Revenge of the Micro Reviews from Planet Procrastination!!!

In this day and age a simple one-off book, movie or game has become old-hat, and a single sequel? Well that’s just passé! Why create just one or two works when you could release a grand Trilogy, Saga or Franchise into the world to wow generations and collect some extra coin? Sure the second sequel isn’t always a hit and with every new installment your original vision is watered down until it resembles a thin gruel, but on the other hand you may hit the magic point where a sequel surpasses its parent!

On that note, it is my pleasure to introduce a hopefully successful and non-gruely installment of the Micro Reviews Saga:

Revenge of the Micro Reviews from Planet Procrastination!!!

Monster Blood Tattoo Book 2: Lamplighter By D M Cornish

Took me ages to finish as the story is so involved and the world is so intricate, but if you persevere it is a great second installment to a very unique trilogy. A good trilogy for children and young adults that enjoy fantasy worlds that they can really sink their teeth into, but would probably only hold the attention of kids that like a lot of detail. Prepare yourself for endless checking of the glossary and other appendices.

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

A graphic novel that exceeds the form and a super hero comic which is unlike any super hero comic (or at least any I’ve read). Complex, intense and brilliant. Possibly not the best Graphic Novel to test the waters of the format (just like V for Vendetta) but one that will please Graphic Novel lovers.

Trick or Treat By Kerry Greenwood

Another fun Corinna Chapmen book. This one had Earthly Delights, Corrina’s beloved bakery, almost closing down, people drugged/poisoned with cakes, a Nazi Gold mystery and some suspicious witches. Not my fave so far, but still a treat, not a trick.

Adultery By Richard B Wright

Not exactly what I expected (certainly not a Mystery like the library spine label suggested) but a good read nonetheless. An exploration of grief and the consequences of ones choices – in this case the consequences of adultery is not simply hurting a spouse and loosing their trust, but the loss of a life and having to endure media attention and the grief of a family. There was so much more I wanted to know about the aftermath of the murder in this story, but it was still a cleverly simple book that was quite engaging.

The Girl Who Played With Fire By Stieg Larsson

As with the first Millennium book, this was hard to get into but once I did it was a wild ride! I was a bit disappointed with the ending as it didn’t wrap everything up like the ending of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but I guess that’s because it continues into the next book. I can’t say much without giving important plot points away, but this series is worth a read if you enjoy a fast-paced thriller with complex, interesting characters.

So the Micro Reviews have had their sweet, sweet revenge! Will they be back once again?! Well all I can say is I only have one more planned (which finishes off the pile of Forgotten Reviews) but if there is enough demand I may make it a regular feature, kind of “reviews lite” for people who want to have a quick look at my recent reviews before (or instead of) reading the full-length ones.

What do you think? Do you Bookbaggers enjoy the Micro Reviews from Planet Procrastination or do you prefer just the regular reviews? Feel free to sound off in the comments 🙂

Happy Reading!

A rest from murder and gore in a City of Bones and a Night Circus?

I realised at the dawn of the new year that a frightening theme had emerged in the books I was reading – they were either about murder or death in some way or were violent horror! O.o

  1. I was still reading The Books of Blood vol 1-3 by Clive Barker which are so twisted, disturbing and disgusting that I can not read more than one in one sitting because I can almost feel them turning my brain into demented jelly;
  2. I also took The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson with me into the new year, which revolves around a series of murders and which has a violent and action-packed second half;
  3. On top of those I started Adultery by Richard B Wright which is about the backlash a married man has to deal with when his mistress is kidnapped and killed on their dirty weekend;
  4. And Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris which is about a young woman named Harper Connolly who can “sense” dead people and so helps the police by finding murder victims.

Cheery stuff huh?

Suffice to say, when I finally finished The Girl Who Played with Fire last night I was hoping for a new book with a slightly lighter subject matter. Luckily there were not too many gory or murder-filled offerings amongst the 16 books on my Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read pile, and after my usual process (which I had to do twice!) I ended up with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, one of the books I got for my birthday and I’ve been hangin’ out to read 🙂

Love the cover art of this one!

As well as The Night Circus I also chose a book from the pile of books I borrowed off my little bro, since the other day I borrowed the third Monster Blood Tattoo novel and the entire The Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare ,and after a much quicker eeny meeny miny moe (there was only 3 books to choose from) I chose The City of Bones, book 1 of The Mortal Instruments.

Supernatural creatures covered in tattoos - this ones gonna be fun 🙂

Neither of these are murder mystery/thriller/horror books so now at least if the death gets to be too much for me I can hide away in a city full of supernatural creatures or a magical circus 🙂

REVIEW: Equinox By Michael White

Possibly even done better than Dan Brown

Do you secretly relish fiendish murders where organs are removed and ancient coins put in their place? Does your heart sing whenever you hear the words “occult”, “secret society”, “ancient rituals” or  “alchemy”? Are you intrigued by historical figures such as Issac Newton? Do you like short exciting chapters that make you want to read on? Do you enjoy Dan Brown?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions then Equinox by Michael White is the book for you!

Equinox is about a series of murders that happen in Oxford and starts strong with the stalking and murder of the first victim (a young woman) being told in the voice of the mysterious and meticulous killer. You are then introduced to the two main protagonists: Philip Bainbridge who is a crime-scene photographer; and his ex and mother of his child, Laura Niven who changed career from crime journalist to crime author. The investigation of the mystery is mainly done by the two, with a bit of help from their mathematics student daughter, Jo and her boyfriend Tom who has an interest in Astrology, and they actually find out more than the investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Monroe. From the first murder Philip and Laura become involved. Philip is called to photograph the scene but as he was giving Laura a lift he stops in with her and tells her to wait in the car until he is finished. Laura, of course, doesn’t wait in the car but instead goes snooping behind the flaps of the crime scene tent and sees the gristly murder close-up: the young woman’s throat has been slit and her chest cavity opened to remove her heart. She then finds out that in place of the heart there is an ancient gold coin which looks Egyptian. The next day a similar murder is discovered, but this time a young woman’s brain has been removed and the coin is silver. From then on Laura is determined to find out more about the ancient coins and to use the murders as a starting point for a new novel, but when she starts her research she finds that the murders go back much further then she thought and follow a specific pattern.

When Laura finds out about the coins she discovers something that leads her to believe that there will be more deaths very soon and the whole business becomes much more serious than a good idea for a best-seller. The first murder was committed on the vernal equinox (one of the two days a year when the day and night are equal) at the point when the sun entered the astrological sign of Aries, a planet that is associated with the heart and gold, and Laura thinks the other murder will also coincide with a planetary alignment. When her daughter’s boyfriend goes onto an astrology website they work out that the second murder happened when the moon (which is associated with the brain and silver) entered Aries and  that three planets are due to enter the same sign over the next week forming a five-body conjunction, an event that has only happened a handful of times over the past thousand years.

The mystery progresses quickly from there, with pieces coming together in a very satisfying Ah! moment kinda way.  Through most of the book there are also chapters that are set in 1690 following Alchemist Issac Newton and they give good historical context to the whole mystery. Plus there is a “truth behind the fiction” section at the end of the book, that really shows the extensive research the author has done and is just pretty interesting 🙂 I recommend it to anyone who likes secret societies and ritual murder mysteries….especially if you like Dan Brown 😛

I give Equinox by Michael White:

4 / 5 Stars

Equal Day, Equal Night….Lots of Death

The other day (when I finished Devil’s Food) I laid out my library books and was quite excited by my options! There was 7 books on the pile and I would’ve been happy to start any of them, but after my eeny meeny miny moe ritual I was left with Equinox by Michael White, which Is one of the ones I’ve had out for the longest, so I was quite pleased.

Riveting already!

Equinox is in the same vein as Dan Brown’s novels – It’s quite fast-paced and has short to-the-point chapters that first focus on character development, then investigation/research into the mystery which has an esoteric twist. I’ve read 16 chapters already (just over 100 pages) and am already hooked! So far the basic story revolves around Philip Bainbridge, a photographer that makes ends meet by snapping gristly crime-scene photos; and his ex and mother of his child, Laura Niven, a former crime-journalist who has recently become a popular crime writer. The mystery starts with a young woman being found dead in her car, with her chest surgically opened so her heart could be removed and an ancient gold coin put in its place. Philip is called in to photograph the scene and Laura sneaks a look at the gruesome body and becomes intrigued. When a second similar murder is discovered, Laura is determined to investigate the murders and use what she finds for a new best-seller.

The book also has occasional chapters set in 1690 which follow Issac Newton and his involvement with alchemy, which adds an extra slice of intrigue to the story.

Stay tuned for a review 🙂

Happy Reading!