I Am Watching You

Spoilers Ahead!

 

After finishing I Will Make You Pay, I was back on the lookout for another easy read, when I came across ‘I Am Watching You’ on my kindle. San told me not to bother reading it. Looking back now, I realise I should have listened to her and saved myself from trawling through this book. Turns out, hindsight really is the b word.

The whole concept of the book fell apart pretty quickly. Looking at it from a realistic point of view, Ella could not have done anything different when she became a witness to the events unfolding on the train. Let’s face it – calling up Anna and Sarah’s parents was out of the question simply because it was unfeasible. So really the only thing she could have done was physically intervene herself, and honestly what were the chances of that happening no matter how good her intentions were?

Ella herself presented as quite a typically boring character. Perhaps in an attempt to spice up her personality, Ella made some reckless choices, compromising her safety further. Which resulted in irritation and excessive eye rolling on my part with the occasional sigh thrown in for good measure.

And then there’s good old Matthew Hill – private investigator by name, utterly useless in role. Literally, Matthew did nothing to help with the investigation. Why he was even a character in this book is beyond me as he made no difference whatsoever (as harsh as that may sound).The other characters were just as bland and unexciting as Ella. For some strange  reason, unbeknown to me, all the characters kept widening their eyes at every opportunity they got. This was a common theme in no time. (Would have also perhaps made an entertaining drinking game – take a shot overtime a character widens their eyes).

The chapters were formed from five different perspectives – Tim’s one was completely and utterly pointless. None of the voices  particularly stood out; they all started to blend in with each other pretty quickly and more than once, I forgot whose perspective I was reading from, forcing me to go back and read the chapter heading. But I soon got to a point where I didn’t care anymore and just wanted to finish the book to find out the ending. Each chapter was rather short and was left on a mini cliffhanger. A method that was frustratingly overdone.

In all fairness, there was that element of mystery at the beginning as to what Henry and Sarah were each hiding, which kept me reading as well as wanting to know what had actually happened to Anna. However, all that suspense, that agonising build up was so not worth it in the end. Plus to make things even worse, there appeared to be an over dumping of irrelevant and unnecessary information that dragged the book down deeper into the pit of disappointment and the wonderment of why I had ever picked this book up in the first place. (To be honest, I still muse about this).

The ending was as a disappointing as the rest of the story, so at least there was consistency in all fairness. The motive for Tim killing Anna was never properly explored nor explained; it felt as if it was completely random. Again, as with ‘I Will Make You Pay’, the killer was discovered by pure chance rather than any detective or police work.

All in all, a rather disappointing book in all aspects, making it perhaps the most consistent book I’ve read in quite some time. Would wholeheartedly recommend to someone who has had the misfortune to annoy me. I think that sums it up quite well.

Laters,

Saz

 

I Will Make You Pay

915v1mhkqtlSpoilers Ahead 

I was back on the hunt for something to read during my commute to work – something that was readable without being too taxing. San recommended this particular book, having read it herself within the space of a day. Given that San had actually read this book in its entirety rather than ditching, I was more inclined to take up her suggestion. So as soon as I eased myself in to a vacant seat on the packed tube, I opened up my kindle and began reading.

The narrative was simple and straightforward – there was no excess of detail, which added to the overall enjoyment of the reading experience. The tension was palpable in some of the scenes depicted (especially the train scene), so much so that whilst reading, I literally found myself on the edge of my seat, furiously turning the pages (well pressing the button furiously to turn the page on my kindle), soaking up each word and at points gasping out loud.

Alice was a decent protagonist but one that was prone to making some infuriating mistakes despite being constantly reminded not to take any unnecessary risks and to remain as safe as possible. The relationship portrayed between Alice and Leanne was loving and completely wholesome, showing the bond between siblings as a realistic one. The relationship shown between Alice and her mother was incredible, especially when reading about what Alice’s mother was going through and the support all three women provided one another.

The plot moved at a fast pace, with small twists and turns weaved in. It was intriguing to see that Alice was keeping her own secrets and after this revelation that she might not be the person she says she is, the question of whether she can be trusted is immediately thrown up. Her past and its secrets are revealed slowly and carefully, keeping the reader guessing all the time as to what actually happened between her and Alex. The resolution for that was satisfying and knowing what Alice had been through made her a far more sympathetic character.

One frustrating aspect was the ending and finding out that Tom was the stalker. Given that there weren’t many suspects to choose from, it was pretty obvious that the culprit was Tom. Moreover, it seemed that Matthew Hill and the police barely did anything to reveal Tom’s identity and this only happened because Tom chose to reveal himself. In fact, Matthew’s presence seemed a tad pointless in many respects and I began to question exactly why he was a character. However, it was nice the way Matthew and Mel’s friendship had been written about, so at least that was something.

Nevertheless, despite it being obvious that Tom was the culprit, the chapters from his viewpoint, unpicking the past were brilliantly written and gave more of an insight in to his character, his reasoning and his overall motive. It took away the disappointment of the actual reveal to be in some ways rushed and unsatisfactory. Additionally, clues behind the motive were scattered throughout the story rather than the ending being out of the blue.

In conclusion, I Will Make You Pay was a good read despite there being a lack of suspects and therefore obvious that Tom was the one threatening Alice. However, seeing his past, took the disappointment out of that to a large extent. Matthew’s role in all of this was a tad confusing, as he did not seem to do much, if anything. The relationships between the characters was brilliantly portrayed and the narrative itself was an easy read.

Until next time,

Saz

 

The Gospel of Loki

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‘Gentlemen and Players’ had completely swept me off my feet so naturally I was more than willing to get back in to another one of Harris’ books, and what better option than a book about my favourite Norse God? Given that this was a completely different genre from ‘Gentlemen and Players’ and that I knew next to nothing about Norse Mythology, except what I had picked up from watching the Marvel movies (which in was not a lot in all fairness), I had no clue what to expect. I think overall, I had mixed feelings about this one.

One aspect of the book that I loved was the fact that it had been written from Loki’s perspective; his narrative was full of wit and humor. On more than one occasion, I found myself smirking at the sarcasm dripping from each word. However, there were times when Loki’s voice would become slightly jarring, mostly when overusing the phrase ‘your humble narrator’ when referring to himself. Throughout, the story, Loki’s complexities had been portrayed subtly, which made Loki an intriguing character. The overall tone was kept light, which sometimes contrasted heavily to the dark events that happened within the story.

In popular opinion, Loki has always been cast to have a rather undesirable set of qualities (depending on your own perspective of course) – born with Chaos inside of him; he cannot be tamed or trusted. And yet despite this, Loki presented as very much human – he craved acceptance from his fellow gods and appreciation after having proved himself more than a handful of times. Remebering that Loki was a child of Chaos who had, to some extent been tricked to follow the rules of Order by Odin, it was downright impossible not to empathize with him and to understand his less heroic actions that arguably led to Ragnarok. Moreover, it was fascinating to get a glimpse of the other gods and their actions in the events leading up to Ragnarok. It must be said that Odin was the only other character (bar Loki of course) that had been properly fleshed out. The others, although weaved in and out of the narrative, felt a little flat. Even the world building could have been done in more depth and sometimes it felt as if the novel itself was too short.

There did not appear to be an over arching plot as such, as each chapter was a self contained anecdote that normally started with a line of wisdom relating to said adventure, which I thought was a nice touch. Due to this, the story at times felt disjointed and once the book was put down, there was never a real urgency to pick it back up and return to the silver tongued Loki’s trials in Asgard. The ending felt incredibly rushed, given that it was supposed to be an epic battle, practically what the whole book had been leading up to.

In conclusion, I enjoyed getting a glimpse into Loki’s life and reading from his perspective as opposed to from a completely detached narrator. The wit and humour was especially well done. However, in all honesty I was somewhat disappointed at the disjointed nature, the lack of world building and the rushed ending.

Your Humble Blogger,

Saz

P.S. My friend asked me what procrastinate meant. I said ‘I’ll tell you later’.