Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Sometimes, not nearly enough times, mind you, but sometimes a book comes along and it changes you.

It doesn’t just break your heart, it crumbles it. It grinds it to bits. Sure you can gather all the bits and try to put them back together again, but it will never be the same. Just like crumbled biscuits you can gather them all together and make an amazing biscuit pudding (here’s a recipe! goo.gl/rPn9JF ) but no matter how hard you try to imagine it is hard to remember what the biscuits started out as.

That is my heart now. Different than it was before I started this novel. Perhaps a bit bigger, maybe even a bit better, maybe not, but certainly forever changed.

In the vast history of discrimination in the USA it is sometimes easy to focus on some types, whilst brushing the others under the straw mats of backwoods shacks.

Kya is beautiful. She is mysterious. She is a treasure. Not because she is different, but because she is the same. We all have that need to be seen and to be loved. Even whilst we run from these things, we often are just trying to see if someone will ‘stick’ regardless of it all.

I could go on and on about how an entire (except for a select VERY few) failed Kya. Instead I will challenge everyone, myself included, to see beyond the perceived facts we make about those we know not, and instead, see to the person that actually exists. The richness we find ourselves in or out of in this life, the country we live in, the religion we believe, the religion we scoff at, the colour of our skin, the education we have, well, so oftentimes, it’s just a roll of the dice. We have no control over it. It is decided before we are even born. We are all privileged in some way that another is not. Does that privilege make us a better, or a more worthy person? Or does it mean we need to try harder to be conscious of this and look deeper at those that aren’t so ‘fortunate’ as ourselves? If nothing else, I hope this book shows us that at the end of the day, we are not just cheating those we cast aside, but also ourselves by our inability to see the treasures right before our eyes.

Read this book. I could hardly put it down.

My heart is still ebbing with every rise and fall of the tides…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it here

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Review: Golden Prey (Lucas Davenport #27) by John Sandford

If this had been the first time I had ever picked up a John Sandford book I would have run out like I did over 25 years ago and rushed to read more by him.

I can’t think of any author alive or dead that has managed to keep a series so entertaining for 28 years. The fact that Davenport has aged from a very young detective to a middle-aged marshal and remained interesting is even more of a feat.

When I finished the last book (Extreme Prey) I was excited about where the series might lead. After 26 books I saw where it might be heading into an exciting new direction.

After reading this one, I admit, I totally underestimated Sandford. When we first met Lucas we were faced with a young guy that did whatever it took to get some pretty violent criminals off the street. We’ve always seen that, I suppose, but as Lucas grew older, he seemed to settle down a bit. Maybe not lose his spark, but it certainly didn’t seem to burn as bright. He seemed at times to hesitate and take less chances. The bad guys he went after didn’t seem quite as bad as the ones he chased in his younger days. He seemed tied down by all the political restraints placed upon him. He seemed just a few steps away from becoming a pencil pusher himself. Often seemed to spend as much time supervising others as he did chasing down the bad guys…

However, with this book all that changed. Some of these guys (and girls) were some of the most violent individuals he’s encountered. Lucas was also at the top of his game in this one. He was right in the midst of the action. We’ve also been introduced to a few new characters and I honestly can not fucking wait to see more of them in the years to come.

I also have to say, Sandford is at the top of his game as well. I will say it a thousand more time before I’m through, NO. ONE. CAN. DO. DIALOGUE. LIKE. SANDFORD. PERIOD. This book is a prime example of it. The banter between the main players of this novel is what Sandford is all about. It’s why I’ve been a massive fan for decades. It’s why I’ve not been bothered with a few less than 5 star books. I think this might be my favourite one to date. No doubt. We saw the young and fearless Lucas. We had the interesting partners. We had the teamwork. We had the dialogue. We had some serious bad guys. We had some bureaucrats put in their places. Plus we had less Weather….hahahaha…sorry, I couldn’t resist…now to just get some Letty set in motion with her mad computer skills and we’ll be set for life…

Amazing read…seriously…this one blew it out of the water!

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Golden Prey by John Sandford

Review: The Yard by Alex Grecian

13056152I’m not sure I enjoyed the mystery part of this novel. Parts of it were just too far-fetched. However, I loved the characters. I loved the going back in time to see an earlier time in the policeman’s lives. To see how they came to be members of the “Murder Squad”. The policemen themselves were interesting enough, but when you added the background stories they became larger than life. I really loved to see the bits of their past that motivates them in the pursuit of justice. I am a bit sad **SPOILER – KIND OF – NOT REALLY** that they won’t all be involved in the second book. I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of all of them.

As always, these Victorian era novels fascinate me and I always find myself running to google to look up different things…this novel was no different! I’m really looking forward to reading more of this series and from the look of things, they only get better as the series continues!

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Yard by Alex Grecian

Review: Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9) by John Sandford

28815364Okay, so maybe chasing tigers doesn’t make this a great read…maybe some of it was a bit far-fetched as well…however, I don’t give a rat’s arse…this is the Sandford I love…characters going back and forth with sarcasm and wit that makes you feel like you’re right there in the same room with them.

I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to Flowers now that Davenport has moved on and isn’t his boss any longer…reading this novel made me realise that it doesn’t even matter any longer…

Flowers is no longer a spin-off from The Prey Series…Virgil isn’t simply a protégé of Lucas Davenport’s. He’s all grown up now and is his own self.

I’ve often marveled at how Sandford has taken Davenport and shaped him into someone who is still relevant despite his aging years and his greying temples…

But now I am seeing the exact same with Flowers. I used to be amused by Flowers, but didn’t really have any real respect for him. I found him a bit too free-spirited to take seriously….but he’s really grown on me…I like the serious Flowers I see now…yes, he still maintains that free spirit bobble headed boy, but there’s no doubt that his spirit is laced with steel. His experiences have hardened him and we see more and more of that…but that hardening hasn’t changed who he is…only how he handles the situations he’s found himself in….

I think there is a lot more to Flowers that we’ll see in the future and that’s why this is still a series that I am still excited about!

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9) by John Sandford

Review: The Sixth Idea (Monkeewrench, #7) by PJ Tracy

2777462129966598(Titled Cold Hit in the UK) I really love this series so I was well chuffed when I received an ARC to read and review. I’ve been a huge fan of the mother/daughter team of PJ Tracy. I was totally blown away when Monkeewrench was published in 2003 and I am always excited when a new installment comes out.

If I wasn’t already familiar with the Monkeewrench team I might have been a bit disappointed in this novel…or perhaps I wouldn’t have been disappointed in it, but I wouldn’t have understood the relationship that the 5 team members (yes, Charlie IS a team member) share.

I really enjoyed this novel. I just wish there had been more of the interaction between the team. I really missed that. No, we didn’t have to revisit and rehash all of the past, but there just didn’t seem to be the same chemistry between them as there has been in other novels.

Don’t let my disappointment stop you from reading a very good novel! Please! If I’m to be honest, maybe I can admit that the lack of chemistry between the team might mean that they are all in better places and much more able to support themselves emotionally.

Yes, you can read this novel and follow along just fine. You won’t be lost. It’s a good solid standalone crime novel…however, don’t cut yourself short. This is a series that deserves to be read from the first book. If only you can see how wonderful this series is.

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now The Sixth Idea by PJ Tracy

Review: Extreme Prey (Lucas Davenport #26) by John Sandford

26025992This one took me a bit longer to finish…I did enjoy it…I did! However, if not for the ending I might very well have rated it a teeny tiny bit lower.

The thing is, I love Sandford so much because of his incredible gift of writing dialogue. When Davenport is with his comrades, well it just doesn’t get any better. The banter between him and his friends/colleagues…well it just doesn’t get any better….Stanford really shines and it’s probably the main reason he’s been a favourite author for decades.

With this novel I just felt Davenport was adrift. Yes, he did his “job non-job”…but he was out on his own. Yes, we met some really interesting characters that I hope to run into again in the future….yes, we saw some old characters that we haven’t seen in a while. All of that was great…but that closeness, dialogue, and teamwork that we’ve always seen in the past was just missing for me.

Lucas hasn’t been happy professionally for a while now. That has left him adrift professionally, and now that seemed to leak into his personal life as well. I mean, really, he didn’t even seemed to connect with his family like he used to…

Hopefully the ending of this book will clear all of this out and Lucas will be part of a team again…in his personal life as well as his professional one…yes, he’ll always be the top dog, even when he isn’t…but at least he’ll be a member of the pack instead of just a lone wolf…

However…this does bring up new developments for that F’ing Flowers now doesn’t it…

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Extreme Prey by John Sandford

Review: The Promise by Robert Crais

22169495I loved this series when it first came out. However, I soon found I didn’t much care for Elvis Cole…Joe Pike? Now that’s a different story! So I was very excited to see this one listed as a Joe Pike book. If you’re the same, don’t be. This isn’t a Pike novel. He’s only mentioned a few times and really plays no vital parts…if those scenes were erased the book would have read the exact shame. It’s pretty shameful really for the publishers to present it as a Pike novel as well as a Cole novel….

The story was good. We also come in contact with another interesting character, Joe Stone. Will be very interesting to see him in follow-up books. My feelings of Cole remain the same though. He just doesn’t inspire much in me. It’s only because I’m above downgrading a book simply because I hate a character (EASE UP, PEOPLE….that was a joke!!!!!) that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. I was hoping that after a long break from this series (I do still try to pick up the Pike novels) that I would fall in love all over again with Crais…sadly that didn’t happen. This is an enjoyable read, but to be fair, it won’t be one I give another thought to now that I have finished the last page, ask me in two weeks what the finer points are and I won’t be able to say…Maybe it’s just because I’m older now, but I try to look for more in a book these days…

Until next time…

Urania

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now The Promise by Robert Crais