Monday, January 12, 2015

The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith

A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.

Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

The motivation behind reading this book is, yeah you guessed it. J.K Rowling, I'm a fan of hers and therefore must devour all of  her books and when presented with the opportunity to read "The Cuckoo's Calling" one does not simply refuse.

I like a good crime novel just like any other reader and I've read my fair number. There's a bunch of them out there with good plots, some might even argue that those are better than this one. But even though there's a vast number out there we can't possibly read them all. 

The Cuckoo's Calling is that old school kind of detective novel. At least that's the kind of feeling it evokes from me. The writing is brilliant. I love it, it's soothing, if that makes any sense. It's nice to delve into the story by the way it's written. 

The start of the story is done very well also. It starts off with Robin, the soon to be secretary of our main character. We start off from her POV then she, as it were, takes us to our main man, Cormoran Strike. The only thing I'm going to say about their first meeting is...well, it was very grabbing.

Cormoran Strike is a great character. He's a former soldier with a prosthetic leg. He's a bit depressing at times, but also very human...(I'm going with that). He's also not created as some extremely sexy male lead as I'm used to in most books these days.

The other favorable mentions when it comes to characters: Robin becomes Strike's secretary. She's a very good one and has some kind of fascination with the job. She and Cormoran become friends in the end (kind of). The person I really want to highlight here, is Cormorans ex-girlfriend. I'm not sure why, but she really makes me curious..or maybe I've made her out to be some kind of crazy person.

The story unfolds very slowly in my opinion, but the good writing makes it worth the wait. Everything fits together nicely in the end. It's a great book in itself, but so are many others and I don't know what makes this one exceptional.It would be your choice in the end. I, however will be reading the sequel if there is one. 


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Think Out Loud #14

Think Out Loud.
This is a weekly meme used for bloggers
to post something they would normally not post.
So, post whatever YOU want!

My literary highlights and downsides of 2014

O Brave New World, 2015 is  upon us! Are we entering a more enlightened age or...are we falling into the rabbit hole backwards to 1984. I'll leave it to time to answer that. I suppose doom and gloom isn't very cheery to start the new year with, so I won't bore you with my apprehension for the future of mankind. I'll just stick to literature, our one true love and drug.

2014 wasn't a particularly good year for reading. I was way too busy with college and stressing about college to actively and properly READ. Of course this doesn't mean I read nothing. ha.ha. I read some books, considering college I challenged myself to read less books. I started out with a goal of 20 ( college is important...) then I hit my mark and adjusted it to 30 ( ..procrastination set in). I hit the mark again and just kept reading. I ended up setting it to 50 and unfortunately I didn't hit this mark. I ended 2014 having read 44 books. Anyways..

Let's get this show on the road, here are my literary highlights and downsides from 2014:

-+ According to Goodreads the longest book I've read this year is Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon with 836 pages. I was really looking forward to Styxx's story, although I was a bit disappointed.  The cover is nice though: the color and the bird...thing...

+ Another book I was looking forward to reading was Dark Skye by Kresely Cole: I was counting the days to Dark Skye and going insane with excitement. Melanth and Throno's story was one I was eager to read. Just like Styxx, only it wasn't disappointing. Lots of hate and love stuff and NIX! It did get sappy towards the end but it's to be expected. The cover sucked -->

-+ Mockingjay lives ! My friends and I went to watch the first part of the Mockingjay movie. It was an exciting and surprising night. I felt guilty joining in on the frenzy to watch the movie because the hype around the movie felt contradicting to the book's message. Almost like we, the viewers, were going to the arena to watch Katniss in the Games. Also Mockingjay the book wasn't the most cheery book of the series. The night turned out great and inspirational. We all wore our mockingjay necklaces and one wore a pin, who we continued to refer to as Madge. The first part of the movie seemed a bit lighter than the book, I suppose the heavy part will be in part 2. The scene where president Snow talks about and denounces the Mockingjay symbol as criminal made me feel like a rebel! And fear for my life while being thankful it was just a movie. ( but is it? recent developments make what the Hunger Games is about very relevant).

-+ I watched Divergent (Veronica Roth) and read the book. The movie was sociologically interesting. The way society was constructed and the division into factions got me interested in the book ( which I was reluctant to read) also Theo James. The concept of factions angers me and fascinates me.  It would have been better if people were free to choose their place rather than forced into one. I'd rather be factionless than dance to societies warped and butthurt ideas of efficiency......of course, I'd die homeless and hungry. The book wasn't as engaging as the movie; I read spoilers on it and ...what happens in Alegiant depressed and discouraged me enough not to continue with this series.

+ Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan, the spin off series to the Percy Jackson series. This was an awesome series. The introduction of an alternative halblood camp was fantastic. A roman counterpart to the Greeks camp halfblood. Unlike my friends, I enjoyed the Romans camp Jupiter: the discipline and order. Less magic and humor but still good. Although I respect the Romans way , I'd still pick camp half-blood. My favorite characters out of the seven was Leo. I identified with Leo more, him being the the seventh wheel and him using Morse code the way I use Korean. Further more I liked the diversity of the group.

+ This year I read more Shakespeare and more Jane Austin! Shakespeare is awesome, if you disagree you just need to give the guy a chance. If you still can't get into it, then wait a couple of years and try again.  I finished Taming of the Shrew this year, a book I started reading years ago. It was different than what I expected. Hamlet! This is easily my favorite for this year! I went to watch the Globe theater performance of the play! And  it's one of the most memorable things of the year!....From now on ask my what I'm reading and I'll say words, words,words!

+ Jane Austen, I'd like to think I'm an austenite now. Persuasion and Northanger Abby were amazing! Captain Wentworth's letter was so moving: half agony, half hope.  I finally got to watch the 2005 movie of Pride and Prejudice and it was moving, Darcy's proposing scene in the rain, the way he whispers .."please.." had me overwhelmed-like. Jane Austen has bewitched me body and soul and I love,love,love her! 

+ finally read some more Neil Geiman!
+ A friend let me burrow her E-reader and added a bunch of my TBR books on it. Giving me the opportunity to read more Neil Geiman, Shakespeare and Jane Austen books. Although I prefer the printed word, I now have a better understand of both sides of the book VS Ebooks debate. 
+ I also got to do a buddy-read with her, we're both currently reading the Hallows series by *Kim Harrison. 
+ I got an editor now. ClarA RowlKin.

+ The Cuckoo's Calling by J.K Rowling! I was happy to get the opportunity to read this book. If it wasn't JKR who wrote it, I'm not sure I would have read it. It's true my interest for the book stems from my HP bias. Either way the book in it self is wonderful. It's not the most original story, but the way it's written and the characters is what make it a winner. Reading this book was magic! it's far from modern simplistic writing we find now in some YA novels. This is easily one of the most well written books I've read in 2014. Well next to Practical Magic.

+ Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman was a whole different experience. It was magic as well. I'm a fan of the movie and finally got around to reading the book. The writing really gives that homey feel the movie gave. However the movie pales in contrast to the book. The book was more dramatic and scary.
+ The Page has mascots now! pandas ( Haru and Sofia)
- The page went on hiatus because college sucks the fun out of everything. 
- I decided to no longer accept review submissions. 

It seems I read some awesome quality books this year to compensate for the quantity of books. As I look to the year 2015 , I'm thinking I should dedicate the year to some classic books, to downsizing my TBR list and to start reading some of those new authors and books I've been eyeing. Like Kurt Vonnegut, Harukami, Hemingway, the Art of War, The Island of Dr. Moreau. Of course more Shakespeare and Jane Austen. NO Mark Twain! and definitely The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I suppose I have my literary resolutions down as well. Tell me yours in the comments below and have an awesome new year, you filthy animals!

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