Sunday, 28 May 2017

Carole's Sunday Review The secret speech

Author: Tom Rob Smith
Title: The Secret Speech (Leo Demidov #2)
Genre: Historical Fiction. Thriller, Mystery 
Pages: 416
Published: April 2009
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Used Bookstore)

he Soviet Union 1956: after Stalin's death, a violent regime is beginning to fracture. It leaves behind a society where the police are the criminals, and the criminals are innocent. Stalin's successor Khrushchev pledges reform. But there are forces at work that are unable to forgive or forget the past.

Leo Demidov, former MGB officer, is facing his own turmoil. The two young girls he and his wife Raisa adopted have yet to forgive him for his part in the brutal murder of their parents. They are not alone. Leo, Raisa and their family are in grave danger from someone with a grudge against Leo. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance. Leo's desperate, personal mission to save his family will take him from the harsh Siberian Gulags, to the depths of the criminal underworld, to the centre of the Hungarian uprising—and into a hell where redemption is as brittle as glass

This is a sequel and I do believe you need to read the first book or at least had seen the movie adaptation. There is a lot of references and character developments that need to be read and understood to fully grasp this story. 

This book follows Leo and his family three years after the events of the last book. He and his wife, Raisa, are struggling to raise the two girls they had adopted. The youngest has forgiven Leo for the part he played in the deaths of their parents, but the oldest daughter is a dang psychopath. She hates Leo and blames him for her parent's death EVEN though he tried to intervene AND he saved her and her sister from a life of misery in an orphanage. Leo and Raisa have a lot more patience then I would. 

At the same time of Leo trying to hold his little family together and do well in his secret department that no one can know about. The government realized that someone needs to investigate and take care of any homicides that happen, but the public can't know that Stalin's Kingdom is flawed. 

Things happen and Leo's world is thrown upside down. Poor guy cannot catch a break. All he wants his a happy family and a decent job. 

This was enjoyable, but it took awhile for me to be hooked. The beginning was a little confusing and I had NO idea how the new characters would play a role. I feel like the structure of the beginning needed some major work. I GET what the author was doing, but it just made me confused about who was who and how it all played a part in the story. IT DID make sense once the story got to a certain point though. 

I enjoyed the action and the mystery. However, it did feel melodramatic and not realistic. I'm sorry, but Leo should have died 50 times over the course of the book. I love Leo, but even Jason Bourne would've died along the way...too much "lucky" breaks for him. Also, I questioned his sanity and motives. I get WHY, but really? After everything, you are still willing to jump into Hell and save someone who doesn't want to be saved? Mmmm. 

Also, the main baddie confused me at a certain point. I get the want of revenge and all....but really? *SPOILER ALERT* You are going to work for the government to just get revenge on Leo who was ordered to arrest you BY the government? Wouldn't the main aim be to kill as many government officials as possible? Maybe unite with Leo to bring down Stalin? *END OF SPOILER* Doesn't make sense to me. Silly. 

Honestly, the character developments did intrigue me, especially at the end. I am excited to see what the next book holds for Leo and Raisa. 

In the end, this was pretty okay. The first book was WAY better, but I still enjoyed this. There were some confusing parts and character motivations that left me scratching my head. It was more action-y and melodramatic. Overall, though, I do recommend reading the first book and then reading this one. Out of five stars, I'll give it three.  

Friday, 26 May 2017

Friday Movie Night: Suite Française

Movie time :)

During the early years of Nazi occupation of France in World War II, romance blooms between Lucile Angellier (Michelle Williams), a French villager, and Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts), a German soldier.

Director: Saul Dibb
Writers: Saul Dibb (screenplay), Matt Charman (screenplay) | 
Irène Némirovsky ... (based on the novel by)

Stars: Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas, Margot Robbie

My thoughts:
Now how to write a movie review, see, this is why we have discussions. Those work so well for me.

I liked that it was sort of silent, I am so bad with words today. There was just this calm over it. A scared calm, the war has slowly come, now it is there, but the true horror does not really show at once.

The acting was good, though to be honest, Williams did not really impress at times. I got that she was timid, but still, for me she was not the best one for the role. But she did grow into it,

There is a lovestory, but it is not a lovestory. They never say words of love, they slowly move towards each other even though it is wrong. But you feel it, they want to love, even if it would be more tragic for her.

And yes there is a war going on. We are not at the front, we are in a sleepy village, where people spread gossip about each other, turn on each other, and also help each other.

A good sleepy movie that had me scared I would cry ( I did not ;)

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Owl and the electric samurai - Kristi Charish

The International Archaeology Association (IAA) is responsible for keeping all things supernatural under wraps. They’re also responsible for ruining the promising archaeology career of Alix Hiboux, better known as Owl.

Needless to say, Owl’s still a little sore about that.

Just to keep Owl’s life lively, the IAA has opened a bounty on the two designers of World Quest, the online RPG that is much, much more than it seems. Owl needs to locate the notorious gaming duo before the other mercenaries do. But finding the gamers won’t be easy since every clue points to them hiding out in the legendary lost city of Shangri-La. Not to mention that the last time Owl and the game designers spoke, their conversation didn’t exactly end on the best note…

Meanwhile, undercurrents of supernatural politics are running amok in Tokyo, dragging Owl and her friends into a deadly game of wits with an opponent who calls himself the Electric Samurai. The cost of losing? All-out civil war between two powerful supernatural factions.

All in all, just another great day on the job.

My thoughts:
I listened to book 1 on audio, then I read book 2, and now I am back to audio and I guess  because I started it on audio I just prefer the audio. I need those voices.

Owl does not have it easy. The IAA is after her (and it was never her fault to begin with). She is under the employment of a dragon and the worst, someone has her cat. Noo, not Captain. I do love a good cat sidekick. He is just there you know, and his growls plays a big part.

I like Owl, she is snarky (sure maybe too much for her own good but who cares). She loves cats and history. Gotta love that.

Anyway, in this one she must find two guys for the IAA and that is just the beginning. In comes the mystery of the electric samurai. And it does become a great adventure. Action, snark, danger and suspense.

Narration by Christy Romano
I do like how she plays the different part and I enjoy listening to her voice. I think she does a good job narrating this one.

I never know what to say when it comes to narration, I mean, I liked her voice and that is all I need.

I am reeeeally looking forward to book 4 now cos omg that ending. Dang! That was intense and something bad happened. Something that will alter everything. I can't wait to see how it works out. I need it now.


Audiobook, 12 hours 33 min
Published May 8th 2017 by Audible studios
The Adventures of Owl #3
Urban fantasy
For review

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Maybe this love - Jennifer Snow

Hockey player Ben Westmore has some serious skills---on and off the ice---and he's not above indulging in the many perks of NHL stardom. When a night in Vegas ends in disaster, he realizes two things: 1) it's time to lie low for a while, and 2) he needs a lawyer---fast. But the smoking-hot woman who walks into his office immediately tests all his good intentions.

Olivia Davis doesn't need anyone derailing her career---or her dreams of starting a family---least of all a skirt-chasing player like Ben. But soon he's unleashing a full-court press to convince her that he's the real deal. She's slowly falling for his sweet, rugged charm, but with so much on the line, Olivia has to decide whether Ben can truly change---or if he's just playing the game.

My thoughts:
He was drunk, he did something stupid and now he needs to get out of his mess. And honestly it was not a bad thing he did. But yes still a mess. And sure he was a player, but I can forgive that. He just needed the right woman ;)

Olivia liked her job, she was focused and she wanted a baby. She is also the opposing lawyer. But how sparks flew. But she should stay away. But damn he was fine. Though how she could be all I can't do that, when she did not even tell him her secret.

They can't date but they grow closer. I liked that he wanted her, and she, well she does want a family and thinks he can't give her that. Being a player and all.

And there is hockey too of course, it's a sports romance after all. He plays hockey and should focus so he does not croak. It's Stanley Cup after all! At least I get hockey so I liked that.

Will they wont they. Yes they will


Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Expected publication: May 30th 2017 by Forever
Colorado Ice #2
Contemporary romance


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