Book Review · Books

Moore Field School and the Mystery by Liam Moiser [BOOK REVIEW]

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Moore Field School and the Mystery by Liam Moiser is the first book of the Moore Field School series. We follow the main character Samantha, whose parents are teachers at her school, Moore Field School.

When Moore Field School is about to close down, the headmistress, Miss Moore, moves the school to Lakeview to start again. And Samantha and her parents move too. 

Before the first term, the students go to a camp, where they hear about a haunted house. Samantha and her best friend, Jessica, somehow end up in the middle of this mystery. 

My first thoughts of this book were that I find this little school cute, and the mystery of the haunted house quite interesting. 

However, other than that, I am afraid not many things really appealed to me. 

First of all, Samantha doesn’t look like or act like a little girl. She has conversations with her parents in a very unusual way. Who talks to their parents in such a way, in a middle grade book for children?

“Okay, since you are both insisting, I’ll go and get my musical sheets whilst you settle yourselves down in the living room.” Samantha smiled; she really did want her father and mother to listen to her music. 

Aside from the characters and their language, there are a lot of scenes and acts in the book that I cannot find the logic of: 

Miss Moore, the headmistress, is closing the school down because of the lack of pupils going into the private school. She is then moving the school into another town, which is a few hundred miles away. And she wants the old students to keep going to this school. Why would I want my child to keep going to a school that will now be hundreds of miles away? And yet, parents agree to this…

Both parents and teachers don’t seem to care too much about their pupils. Samatha and Jessica wander off, almost drown, get lost twice, and when they return, they are simply greeted as if nothing major happened. Also, the teacher that was supposed to be guarding them and fell asleep and lost them twice gets out of the whole mess without being in any trouble. 

I really wish I enjoyed this book, but it made me cringe and wince all the way through on how pompous and unrealistic it was. Luckily, it is quite short, so I got through it quite fast. Whew. 

I don’t think I will be reading the rest of the series unfortunately.

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Book Review · Books

Dracula by Bram Stoker [BOOK REVIEW]

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Dracula by Bram Stoker is the ultimate horror classic of all times. This is where it all started. A tale about a creature that feeds on the blood to survive, but also a tale of friendship and love, described and presented in a way we rarely have a privilege to see these days. 

If Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, Twilight and the Sookie Stackhouse series pop to your mind when you first think of vampires, this book might feel extremely slow to your taste. However, if you want to experience the real horror and the building tension through many diary entries – you will enjoy this book completely. 
I am a fan of both, and I had moments where I fell in love with the detailed explanations of weather and whereabouts. But the setting of writing many polite letters to people dear to the characters also made me cringe. I suppose a cringe can’t be all bad for a horror book though? 
Through many diary entries of various characters, we follow their experience with the Count Dracula. Young Jonathan Harker is sent to go to Transylvania and arrange for the apartments the Count Dracula  wants to buy in London. During his stay, he faces many unusual things. Meanwhile, his fiance Mina and her friend Lucy are in London, and Lucy is facing some unusual experiences herself, when Dr. Seward arrives to help better her condition.

“How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.”

I knew what I was getting into, and I believe knowing this is a classic, and not a fast-paced romance with a paranormal twist put me in the right mood from the very beginning, so I was aware of what I was going into, and I really enjoyed it!
Dracula as a character is so mysterious, so powerful, very feared and secretly admired. I both loved and hated the fact that we don’t get to really see much of him, but we have to be satisfied with what the other characters are going through. And even though, he continues to be a shadow, a fear, a thought of everything they are doing. He is always there, even when he isn’t, and it requires great skills as a writer to create that presence for a character.
The characters of Lucy and Mina were very interesting – from a time perspective. How things have changed for women in all these years. What women were doing and thinking at that time, and how different it is now. I suppose I could make all the comparisons in the world – but one thing stays true will all classic books – they leave a mark of the time they were written, and this mark always gets better as time goes by. 

“It is really wonderful how much resilience there is in human nature. Let any obstructing cause, no matter what, be removed in any way – even by death – and we fly back to first principles of hope and enjoyment.”

I am glad I read Dracula, and I will try to read more classics in the new year. The writing style, the past of them, they remind you to take a big breath and acknowledge many things you take for granted in today’s world. In a world of page-turners, you sometimes need a slow book that makes you think deeply.

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Book Review · Books

The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell [BOOK REVIEW]

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The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell was a very pleasant read for me for many reasons! I am so glad I got the chance to read it!

The Plot

A terrifying novel set in Czechoslovakia in 1935, in which a brilliant young psychiatrist takes his new post at an asylum for the criminally insane that houses only six inmates–the country’s most depraved murderers–while, in Prague, a detective struggles to understand a brutal serial killer who has spread fear through the city, and who may have ties to the asylum.

Psychiatrist Victor is starting a new job in the Asylum where the Devil’s Six are – Czech Republic’s most dangerous murderers. Victor has a theory by the name of the Devil Aspect, where he believes that is manifested in these six murderers. He believes it comes out in certain circumstances, making these people commit crimes, but not being aware they have done it. Something similar to a split personality, but in this case, the murderers think that the Devil is next to them, and he is making them do all these things.

My thoughts

This book was such a pleasurable roller coaster. I wasn’t able to put it down and I read it in only a few days. The writing is unbelievable and I am going to be picking up other books from this author, for the sole reason of his writing. The Devil’s Aspect was so intriguing and it kept me on my toes at all times. I found it extremely enjoyable.

The blend of mythology, culture and psychology is perfectly put together, and having lived in the Balkan countries, I can easily relate to many of the culture aspects. It was perfectly described and I felt as if I am in 1935 together with the characters. The time and place are wonderfully written, with incredible accuracy.

The ending was the most pleasurable, and without spoiling anything, I will only say a few things… Be ready for everything to happen. This book has many twists and many scenes where dangerous things are happening. A lot of intensity which I devoured with great pleasure. If you are coming for an adventure, you will get even more that you bargained for.

Proceed at your own risk! And good luck!

Thank you to the team at LoveReading UK and the author, Craig Russell, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Blood Shadow by Dianna Hardy [BOOK REVIEW]

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Blood Shadow (Blood Never Lies #1) is a companion novel for An Eye of The Storm Series.

Blood Shadow can be read without reading the previous books. At the beginning, the author has included a recap of everything you need to know about the main character, before you start reading this book.

Blood Shadow was an interesting read, that is for certain. At the beginning I felt a bit lost in time and it took me  awhile to understand what is going on, despite the recap that was provided by the author.

A woman wakes up in a hospital and can’t remember anything. Some anonymous person saved her life and gives her the name Jennifer, alongside with a whole new life.

She knows her real name is Selena. She also knows she was a werewolf but is not anymore. It seems she is human now, because her wounds are not healing as they usually would. Selena/Jennifer also remembers all the sexual abuse she went through before. Being tortured and raped and even persuaded to kill her brother. It feels like that was a lifetime ago.

And now, five years after her new life begun, she lives quietly and has a normal job and a boyfriend. The only thing that reminds her of her werewolf days are the sweaty nightmares. And now Jennifer has received a new note – on of those that her anonymous friend leaves for her now and then, advising her when she is in danger. But this time, the note says something different: a Supermoon is coming, and with that, a total lunar eclipse.

This is the moment when things start to get confusing for me. There is an anonymous person, he sends her notes that have saved her life, he is always watching her, and now they need to meet, because she is in big danger and he has a secret to tell her. But he also doesn’t want to reveal his true identity yet.

[SPOILER ALERT]

Long story short, he is one of the people that were there during her sexual abuse period. And he didn’t do anything to help save her. Also, it turns out that she is also a mermaid, which is why she is able to do some things, but also doesn’t have full powers.

And things keep being more and more confusing. From a werewolf story, we jump onto mermaids. The title also made me think that vampires bight be involved, which isn’t the case. And we also might see dragons in the next book. I am not against having all these fantasy creatures into one place, but I felt that it needed to be explained better.

I felt for the girl – it must be extremely hard to live with such past and then to also have to constantly be hiding and never be truly happy. She tried to live a normal life as well, but just ended up hurting the people around her.

I am not sure that I connected enough with this book. The ending wasn’t a conclusive one – it seemed as if it only was an opening for yet another book of the many. It didn’t feel like any of the characters grew or learned from their past actions, which was slightly disappointing.

It is a nice chill book to read in your spare time, if you like these types of books. But it is nothing out of the ordinary. I don’t believe I will remember how it ended or what it was about in a few months.

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Book Review · Books

The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries #2) by L.J. Smith [BOOK REVIEW]

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The Struggle is the continuation of the Vampire Diaries Series by L.J. Smith. The second book that features the life of popular girl Elena Gilbert and her endeavors with the mysterious vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore.

The Struggle continues where The Awakening ends; Elena is looking to talk to Damon, knowing that he has something to do with Stefan’s disappearance.

I felt like there was more action in this book, compared to the first one. It made me more engrossed with the story and I was very excited for all the twists.

Elena was obviously the main character in this book, alongside Stefan and Damon. I am not sure how I felt about Elena in this book. She seemed to ignore everyone for a while and just be her selfish self – which resulted in getting people in trouble.

On the other hand, I really loved the history of Stefan and Damon. The memories from hundreds of years ago. The author manager to portray the time very well, and I was easily transported into another world, another time… I think these scenes were definitely the favourite part of this book.

I wish we saw more chapters with Bonnie and Meredith. Even though best friends, it didn’t feel like they were too involved in the story. We didn’t get to know them properly and it has already been two books. I really hope book three will let us meet these two characters better.

I am happy with the book in general.

The scenes, the plot, the twists – they were all very carefully put together. Elena’s love choices are opening up, letting us wonder which brother she might choose. Making us choose sides (team Damon here!). This battle between the love and hate of the two brothers definitely seems interesting.

The ending was everything I was hoping for and now I can’t wait for the next book. The Awakening and The Struggle were only an introduction and the real adventures are yet to begin!

I recommend it to all of you that love young-adult, teen romance and vampire stories. It will keep you on your toes for sure!

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