Articles, reading

Top 3 reads of 2021

2021 has been a pretty good year for me reading wise. I’m really pleased with how many books have managed to squeeze in with some effort so I think it would be good to just go through three of the more memorable reads that I’ve really enjoyed this year.

The Warehouse by Rob Hart

The Warehouse: A brilliantly imagined, thought-provoking and exciting  Orwellian thriller eBook : Hart, Rob: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

This book is an excellent example of what I seem to enjoy the most both in reading and my own writing – taking a prescient or emerging current issue and extrapolating it to an extreme with around which a compelling story is built. With The Warehouse we get an almost cyberpunk twist on a massive corporate conglomerate (analogous to at least one company right now…) that has its tendrils in everything. I enjoyed the speedy pace and how it introduced us, the reader, to concepts in the story world that become important later and I was quite engaged to find out the revelation of the mystery. The riffing of the characters off each other and their dynamic was quite good to see. This was a thrilling and enjoyable read that was right up my street.

Cold Storage by David Koepp

Cold Storage: From the screenwriter of Jurassic Park, comes one of the best  and most thrilling science fiction books of 2019 eBook : Koepp, David:  Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

This book was another thrilling and claustrophobic and read. While the ramifications of the plot are huge, the action takes place in a very small and compact setting with only a handful of characters that we do get to know pretty well by the conclusion. I thought the stakes were built up quite quickly and it felt believable in the universe and there was a lot of tension as the clocks are wound down towards the disaster. Cold Storage was another read that flew by pretty quickly, it grabbed me pretty fast and left me wanting more! David Koepp being a screenwriter on Jurassic Park impressed upon me its technothriller heritage and considering the novel of Jurassic Park is a firm favourite, Cold Storage is a definite contender for carrying on the mantle of what made Michael Crichton’s books so good.

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

Dan Brown books are always a little bit chaotic but this was one that I got quite into. The plot played at breakneck pace while I knew that the main plot device was a slightly nonsensical if given a great deal of thought, I managed to suspend my disbelief enough for it to be an enjoyable and brisk thriller read. What this book does well is not to get hung up too much on the religious aspects but to focus on using those religious elements as devices on which to hang a thrilling plot.

I hope my recommendations of these books helps you find some good reads to fill your shelves! If you want to see the full list of books I managed to have a go at (as I didn’t finish all of them) then I set up this page on my Goodreads. I generally use this just for my own purposes but you might find something you’re interested in!

If you have not yet subscribed to my exclusive monthly newsletter and wish to, please do so here! Thank you!

Articles

Review: One Road In

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

One Road In is a stylish and pacy thriller from an author who has a true affinity for her genre. The cast of characters is intimate and close-knit, as is the setting – the anonymous seaside town of Rose Bay which, in the 1990s, hides a dark secret. We follow Sadie as she returns to Rose Bay to confront the past that she’d tried to escape from when an unexpected figure comes home.

The setting is unashamedly the 1990s, and Hannah seeds the time period effectively throughout the very DNA of this story. The alternating viewpoint – split the “present” in 1995 where Sadie confronts the past, and 1990, where the events that Sadie dreads to recollect are set in motion – and this is effective as the story unfolds. There’s a ominous mood throughout the book which I found gripping and had me reading to the last page to find out the true nature of the mystery.

The characters are tight and every one we meet has a meaning. Sadie and her friends Callie and Vedat are forced to confront the past through the events of the book with a growing sense of unease, with a twist at the end that is seeded earlier but the payoff is very satisfying, and the creepy, decrepit vibe through Rose Bay and the history is thick and enveloping. The story oozes tension and dread.

Hannah has an absolute verve and affinity for the thriller genre and One Road In shows she knows the conventions well, producing a taut and gripping thriller story that I thoroughly enjoyed. This is one of the greats and is a high-quality, suspenseful and impactful book I can’t recommend highly enough, from an author whose future work I’m sure to devour.

Rating: Highly Recommended

One Road In is available from Amazon as a Kindle eBook and paperback.

Discover Hannah Palmer and visit her website to learn more about her and subscribe to her newsletter!

Articles, reading, Reviews

Review: Wild Spirit: Huntress

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

Huntress up the stakes once again with Victoria Wren’s compelling and highly-readable Wild Spirit series, and with Huntress, everything that was so compelling about the first book – the story, the characters and the world Victoria has created – was ratcheted up another notch in Huntress, which expands and extends the saga that Win Adler finds herself in.

Victoria again impressed me with her breezy and easy-to-read prose that doesn’t shy away from being stylish, and it really brought me along with the story as it pulled me along! There’s some breathtaking moments that shatter the status quo we are introduced to in Huntress, and with a compelling prologue that’s beautifully written and well-integrated into the main story and with an equally exciting prologue that makes your heart do somersaults knowing you’ll have to wait for the next book.

The Wild Spirit universe is a wonderfully crafted and inspired universe and Huntress expands it magnificently.

I also bought the paperback version and once again was blown away by the beauty of the design – quality work that is deserving of such a fine book.