Tag: Pleasant

Louise Candlish – The Other Passenger | Review

Title: The Other Passenger

Author: Louise Candlish

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 411

Rating: 4/5

I was sent a signed copy of this book for free as part of a bookish subscription box that reached out to me, but I don’t think that will influence my review. Still, I guess that’s a disclaimer for you.

The theme of the box that I received was all about the commute and this was pretty much the perfect book for it because it was mostly set on the commuter boats that people take to get into the city. As for the genre, it’s basically as close to generic contemporary thriller as you can get, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

We have a lot of the classics tropes here, from an unreliable narrator to tons of twists and turns, complex interpersonal relationships and of course that little technique of jumping backwards and forwards through time to advance what’s happening in the present by bringing up something that happened in the past and which changes the way we look at things.

Other than that, I don’t really want to say too much about the plot, purely because as with most of these, half of the point is being taken by surprise. And I will say that while there were one or two things that I called pretty early on, there were also a couple of twists here and there that I didn’t spot.

It probably also helped that I received quite a nice edition of this, a hardback with the author’s signature in it, and so it was quite an aesthetically pleasing read, too. I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of thrillers in general, as I tend to prefer either cosy mysteries, private detectives or gritty police procedural novels, but it certainly did the job and was a pleasant enough read, keeping me going until the end to find out the truth about what happened.

And that brings us on to the question of whether I’d recommend it or not, and that really depends upon the type of reader that you are. If you’re really into modern thrillers and you loved Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, you’re probably going to like this one. There are a ton of twists, more than I’ve seen in a novel of this size in quite a long time, and the characters are just warped enough to keep them interesting.

Learn more about The Other Passenger.

 


Dan Brown – Origin | Review

Title: Origin

Author: Dan Brown

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 473

Rating: 3.25/5

You know what you’re getting with Dan Brown, at least to a certain extent, although I do feel as though in this one, there were fewer twists and turns and a lot of the plot was more linear. There was also a twist at the end which was pretty easy to figure out, although I will admit that the motives had passed me by. It happens!

The main problem that I had with this book is that something happened at the end of the last book which really ought to have had repercussions. Instead, it wasn’t even mentioned. I guess that makes sense given Brown’s style, because he tries to make each of his books function as a standalone. And in all fairness, this one does work as a standalone – as long as you haven’t read the one that comes before.

What was cool was the way that this investigated artificial intelligence. Brown’s portrayal of it wasn’t particularly realistic, especially at the time it was first published, but if we give it ten or twenty years, we might not be far off it. There were also some interesting ideas about the ultimate fate of humanity – or to quote the book, “Where do we come from? And where are we going?”

They’re some pretty important questions, and I thought it was interesting to see how Brown – and his characters – approached them. I’m not sure whether I agree with their conclusions, or whether the science involved is even possible, but it was still a pleasant journey to go on. Sure, I got infuriated from time to time by Brown’s writing style, in which he sets up a mystery and then takes a dozen chapters to reveal the actual answer, but it also did its job and kept me reading.

What I would say is that it’s worth going out of your way to get a paperback copy if you can. I had the hardback and it was difficult to hold while I read reading it. Admittedly this is totally a firstworld problem and not one that everyone would have, but it did bug me a little bit and hamper my enjoyment. Actually, this may be one of those rare books where it would work better as an e-book or an audio book than when it’s physically in print.

All in all then, I’m glad that I finally picked this up, if only because I’m a completionist and I’ve read all of Brown’s other books. I’ll probably pick the next one up too, assuming there is one, but I won’t be pre-ordering it. I’ll try to grab it from a charity shop if I can. I’ve got to be honest, I fancy my chances. And that’s about all I’ve got.

Learn more about Origin.