Bryant & May and The Burning Man – Christopher Fowler
Series: Bryant & May
Published: 2015, Doubleday
Source: Review Copy
London is under siege. A banking scandal has filled the city with violent protests, and as the anger in the streets detonates, a young homeless man burns to death after being caught in the crossfire between rioters and the police. But all is not as it seems. Using their network of eccentric contacts, elderly detectives Arthur Bryant and John May hunt down a murderer who adopts incendiary methods of execution. At the same time, several members of the PCU team reach dramatic turning points in their lives – but the most personal tragedy is yet to come, for as the race to bring down a cunning killer reaches its climax, Arthur Bryant faces his own devastating day of reckoning. ‘I always said we’d go out with a hell of a bang,’ warns Bryant.
The thing that I liked about this book, was that it was just a crime story. Of course, crime was the main subject and there was a lot of it, but The Burning Man also had a more personal touch. Now I haven’t actually read the rest of the Bryant & May books, but I imagine this is a common theme throughout. Despite not reading any others, I felt like I really knew the detectives – not something that you generally get in crime books, as I’ve found!
I thought the mystery itself was brilliant, and I was constantly guessing. Some of the murders were a little gruesome, and the writing was fantastic in that it painted a detailed picture without actually being too detailed and sickening. The storyline was just fantastic. I’m definitely going to read some more Bryant & May when I’ve got the time! 4/5
The Giver – Lois Lowry
Series: The Giver Quartet
Published: 2014, Harper Collins (first published in 1993)
It is the future. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No one in the community wants for anything. Everything needed is provided. Twelve-year old Jonas has never thought there was anything wrong with his world. But from the moment he is selected as the Receiver of Memory, Jonas discovers that their community is not as perfect as it seems. It is only with the help of the Giver, that Jonas can find what has been lost. And it is only through his personal courage that Jonas finds the strength to do what is right…
This book was not what I was expecting, but in a good way.
I was hooked by the first chapter. This world just seemed so strange, and their whole community was intriguing. I really liked the idea of them being a number (pretty much their age) and each child gaining some sort of responsibility as they grew.
The characters didn’t have much development, but this fit with the story so it didn’t matter. I thought Jonas was developed well however, and you could see his character change throughout.
The one thing that I really loved is something that I really don’t want to say, because it could ruin the story for you! I don’t actually know whether I was being a little dim, but I hadn’t noticed that a certain thing was omitted from the world. Only when we discover what Jonas discovers did I realise…
I watched the film soon after reading and it was such a disappointment. So many things were changed. I recommend reading the book and keeping it at that. 4/5
The Maze Runner – James Dashner
Series: The Giver Quartet
Published: 2014, Chicken House
If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human. When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone. Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive. Everything is going to change. Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying. Remember. Survive. Run.
Before reading this, I was a little worried. Lately I’ve seen some not so good reviews about the book, but I threw myself in to this world anyway.
The beginning was confusing. I felt all of the worry and confusion that Thomas did. It was frustrating and annoying and I just wished the other boys would have told Thomas something. Why was he there? What was the maze for? Who even was he? I loved that and I was hooked.
We’ve got another community here, and I thought this one was interesting because it was a group of young boys all getting on with work and life… With few problems really, in the grand scheme of things.
I thought the character development was perfectly fine for the circumstances. Each boy didn’t remember his past, so you couldn’t really delve into much besides what he’d done since being in the Glade.
The book contained a lot of strange things really, but I definitely enjoyed it. The ending was maybe a little rushed, and confusing, but I guess I liked it because it ended as it started. Thomas is somewhere new and is confused, and so are we. 4/5