Why You Should Read Murder for Christmas by Jo-Ann Carson

If you could pick one place on the entire planet, any place at all, that you could be during Christmas time where would it be?

Murder for ChristmasFor Madison Rathbone, it’s nothing less than being as far away from her family at Christmas as she can get. Evidentially, in this story, she got her Christmas wish in the form of an all-expense paid invitation for a week get-away at a lodge on a secluded island with 12 other people.

Travelling to the island on a boat Maddy learns from the captain the glorious news about her destination. What Maddy called Puffin Island is known lovingly, or not so fondly, to the locals as Deadman’s Island. That was unfavourable news indeed! That should have been her earliest clue that perhaps she should turn around and head home.

Of course, she didn’t, because that would be a short book indeed.

So, finally getting to her destination, she recognizes the mistake that she made when she comes to the estate. It was right out of thing from a horror movie, in this case, a horror book. Spooky, creepy, and pretty exhausted looking. Once she meets the rest of the guests, she knew her impression wasn’t right and that she wasn’t’ alone in her feelings.

With the scene set, what else could possibly go wrong?

The book is a page turner indeed! (Well, for me a screen tapper seeing it was on Kindle.) I found that the book was pretty exciting and suspenseful throughout. I kept on trying to guess the end of the book but just couldn’t put my finger on what I thought was going to happen at the climax.

The mysterious, isolated island couldn’t have been a better site for this story to take place. The solitude of no outside communication along with the eerie lodge gave the novel all that more spookiness.

Writing the book from Maddy’s point of view was a great choice. She was a strong character with a lot of great character traits. Intelligent, good looking, and a bit of an attitude.

With there being 12 guests to get-a-way you could assume the time it would take for the author to come up with outstanding personalities for each of the individuals. Each one was as distinct from the next as cats are to dogs.

For instance, Mercedes Brown. What a lady! She was one of my favourites. A movie star who brought the most important person to the dinner party, herself.

Don’t’ get me wrong, the main character in the book, Maddy, was great! I absolutely did like her character. But Mercedes Brown took the cake! That lady, man oh man, seems like to be the most significant bi### at a dinner party. Hopefully, Jo-Ann writes a story all around her!

Here’s a bit from Mercedes and one of my favourite parts in the book, although when she says this doesn’t impact the storyline all, was when Mercedes Brown makes her debut to the rest of the guests.

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Quote from  my favourite character in the book – Mercedes Brown

“Sorry darlings, I’ve been drinking since dawn. My agent is giving me such a headache.” Then to mark her own self-importance she goes on to comment, “I’m pleased to be with you all and will leave you autographed photos by the front door.”

Another great quote from the book was, “We need different in this world. It’s what makes life interesting”. This was said when Maddy was talking about her sister.

Now for what I didn’t like about the book. Overall, I loved the book. I had absolutely no issues with it. If I had to make any suggestions to the author, I would suggest making the book a bit longer. Just so you could create more of a back story for the characters. I am sure a lot of people don’t like that in books, but I for one, like a lot of detail and back story.

Another thing that would have been a great item to put in the book was a longer historical explanation about Deadman’s island.

Those two things DO NOT take away from the book!

Now for my recommendation. Don’t let the name of the book fool you, although it’s is called Murder for Christmas, this book won’t make you any colder if you read it in the winter. The island has no snow, only rain, so never fear. You do on the other hand run the risk of catching a chill during those dreary sections. In my opinion, this book is for somebody that needs a great read with a fabulous mystery and surprising ending.

Here’s Why I Read Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

I have to give thumbs up to Sylvain Neuvel for writing such an astonishing novel. It is the first installment in his series called The Themis Files. I haven’t had a chance to read the other parts of the trilogy, but I am one hundred percent certain that I am going to.

sleepinggiantsThe story originates with a little girl by the name of Rose Franklin. Who at the time is 11 years old. Her parents are throwing her a birthday party where they have invited a bunch of other kids. Although Rose welcomes the effort her parents had made, she can’t get the thoughts of her brand new bike out of her head. A brand new bike that her father purchased her for her birthday today.

She goes through the motions of opening her presents, blowing out candles, and smiling. She can’t shake the thought of her bike out of her head and how much she wants to ride it. Eventually, she decides to sneak out of the party and go out for a ride on her new bike. She pedals as fast as she can and heads up to the end of the road where the woods are.

She spends some time there, and when it starts to get dark, she decides to make her way back home. Not paying attention she eventually falls in a perfectly square hole in the ground.

Rose sees that the walls of the hole are glowing and she runs her hands over them as she lays there. Unknown to Rose she is not on the ground but in the palm of a large metal hand.

The rest of the story is broken up by chapters in the form of interviews. The interviews

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Image Provide – Pixabay

are discussions between a mystery man and a group of people that form up a secret team that work on the cracking the mystery of the giant’s hand. This team is head by none other but Rose Franklin herself! I found that this was an excellent way of breaking up the story.

The way the interviews are done helps pull out information about the story, the past of the characters, and their current feelings about their lives, others on the team, and most importantly the project. There is no way you don’t know one character is hurting inside, another who isn’t sad inside, or one is in love.

The book itself was a perfect size for me. It took me around a week to read. Just like I like it. Just long enough so I don’t get bored with the story.

If there were anything that I would change about this book, it would probably be that I would write in some chapters that were not in the form of interviews. I’m pretty sure that would defeat the format the author was trying to make of building the whole story out of discussions.

Now to sum this up. I found this book fresh, a new idea of what ifs, and easy to read. If I had to recommend this book to a specific type of person, I would have to say that I would recommend it to somebody who likes that feels real with just the right amount of Sify in it.