Our Northland team have leaped into the QBD Spotlight with their fabulous reading recommendations this week!
Irene by Pierre Le Maitre:
Every so often a gem a of book arrives and this is one. “Irene” is a fantastic serial killer, crime novel set in Paris. The book has strong characters with a dwarf Commandant (Chief Inspector) Camille Verhoevan being a very interesting lead detective.
The crimes are gruesome recreations taken from literature and the cops are just as busy reading books for clues as following crime scene leads.
This book is fast paced and just as good and original as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.
The ending will have you gasping and amazed, as this just does not happen in crime novels, but you will need to read it yourself.
The bad news was when I finished it, but the good news is there are two more books - Philip (Store Manager)
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman:
I loved this book! Alison has very cleverly combined elements from several different genres into one exciting story. This is a young-adult-historical-fantasy-paranormal-romance.
Lady Helen is an orphan living with her aunt and uncle in Regency England. She has special gifts that are developing as she nears adulthood. Helen is presented to royalty, attends balls and parties in “the season” and meets a distant cousin who is an Earl with a scandalous reputation. He introduces her to the Dark Days Club, a secret organisation dedicated to protecting ordinary citizens from the hidden demons living among us. Toward the end of this novel Helen has a choice to make; between using her genetic gifts or living a normal life.
I especially enjoyed the insight the author gave to everyday regency life, her research into the era is shown in her detailed descriptions of Lady Helen's life. Helen is a very strong female character in an era dominated by men. I liked how the characters interacted with each other – especially how Helen learnt from her aunt to “manage men” and how to behave in Society.
I really look forward to reading the next instalment from this Australian author. I was lucky enough to meet Alison in person recently, she is a very entertaining speaker and loves Anne McCaffrey's Pern dragons as much as I do. - Kerryn
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth:
This book is a dark re-telling of the original Repunzel story. Forsyth is a great storyteller, creating a nice balance of history, dark magic, family and love, Despite being around 500 pages long it was not a chore to read. The story is faced paced and alters between three main characters. Each character is unique and all three stories blend seamlessly together. The love stories are heartbreakingly good, the dark magic is gritty and raw and the history is interesting and insightful. Forsyth has clearly done her research and her historical accuracy and attention to detail are spot on. Overall a great read. - Zena
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R R Martin:
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a collection of three novellas that takes place roughly 100 years before the events of Martin’s “Game of Thrones” (A Song of Ice and Fire) novels and tells the story of the adventures of "Dunk" and "Egg" during a period where the Iron Throne was still held by the Targaryen’s. The stories bring in a whole new perspective to the land of Westeros and like any great prequel offers the reader more in putting the entire story together. As usual, Martin has a way of quickly making you become invested in his characters and with all the usual twists and turns that makes Game of Thrones so captivating, leaves you hanging on for more.
A great read for anyone that has been pulled into the world Martin has created and coupled with the fantastic illustrations, the story is brought to life in a whole other dimension. - Paul
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent:
This is the story of Agnes; a woman convicted of a murder she may or may not have committed. The mysteries of her life are unravelled in this thrilling novel and chapter by chapter, her story is uncovered.
Set in Iceland, 1829, Agnes arrives at her holding house and meets the Jonsson family to find her presence obviously unwanted. But as the Jonsson family learn more about her telling of the murder and more about the life of Agnes, they begin to wonder whether or not she is to blame for the gruesome murder of 2 men.
Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a beautifully written novel with no detail left off the page. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers, fiction and a classical style of writing where the detail allows the imagination to run wild. This is a book I would read over and over again. - Elle.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart:
I started this book not knowing what to expect and was blown away. We Were Liars is about Cady, who comes from a rich, privileged family and spends every summer on the family island with her cousins. However, for the past few years, Cady has been suffering from migraines and her memory of the last summer she spent on the island, is lost. Cady wants to know what happened that night when everything changed - why her cousins didn’t keep in contact with her and why her mother and the rest of the family insist on keeping secrets from her. It’s a powerful, well crafted book that keeps you guessing and will leave you devastated at the very end. Definitely one of the best YA books I’ve read and would recommend to anyone who’s looking for something mysterious and heart wrenching. - Maria
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas:
For breaking the treaty, Feyre is forced to remain a prisoner on Tamlin’s estate in the faerie lands for the rest of her life. But are the fae all that she has been led to believe? And what is this shadow that is creeping over their lands?
This re-telling of Beauty and the Beast is an amazing story that gives you characters you will love, hate, mistrust, misunderstand and cheer for. I was so impressed by this story I couldn’t put it down. Literally. I read it in one go. Sarah J Maas pieces this fairy tale together so beautifully that you’re drawn in from the first page. It immediately became my favourite version of this fairy tale. Whether you’re a fantasy reader or just like a good adventure, this is a must read. And when you’re done with this you can read her Throne of Glass series. You’ll love it just as much as this one. - Deanna
On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman:
A really special book! Perfect for a new baby, a first birthday or even a christening. This book sets out to emphasise how very unique every child is, no one ever before or since will be like them. You could read it to the little ones over and over, they will be enchanted as my grandchildren were. The birth of this child was celebrated by polar bears, geese, the moon and the lady bugs. It then goes on to encourage them to never doubt it. - Robyn