5 Star Books · Book Reviews · fantasy · historical fiction · Science Fiction · thriller

I read my FIRST Stephen King Book! 11/22/63

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11/22/63

Published: November 8, 2011

Publisher: Scribner

Pages: 849

Genres: historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, thriller

Rating: 5 stars 

Recommend to fans of: JFK conspiracy theories, history buffs, alternate history novels, long well written books

Foodie Vibes: diner food but made the right way — from scratch, high fat and without preservatives

 

Synopsis: 

Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.

 

Review:

Like: 

  • The main character and narrator
  • Discussions of time travel repercussions – while not real, it’s fun to think about
  • The mix of historical fiction, suspense, and science fiction
  • A blast from the past: all the vintage brands, companies, music and fun anecdotes

Love: 

  • The audiobook version: I highly recommend listening to it! You will not be disappointed. 
  • The main topic: trying to go back in time and stop the JFK assassination 
  • The world building: the 1950s and 60s world the author creates feels extremely immersive

Dislike: 

  • All the talk about food poisoning, illnesses, etc. seems to be discussed more than most books

Wish that:

  • everything could be happily ever after by going back in time to change bad events 

Overall, I am so glad that I finally read a Stephen King book. I know, I know, how could I not have read one of his books before? I loved 11/22/63 and am looking forward to reading more of the author’s work in the future. 

 

Bookish Question:

How many Stephen King books have you read?

Which ones do you recommend?

 

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3 Star Books · Book Reviews · mystery · suspense · thriller

The Sixth Day by Catherine Coulter

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The Sixth Day by Catherine Coulter

Published: April 10, 2018

Publisher: Gallery Books

Pages: 538

Genres: mystery, thriller, suspense

Rating: 3 stars

Recommend to fans of: mysteries set in London, police procedurals, thrillers mixed with fantasy

Read with food: fish and chips in iconic London

 

Synopsis:

When several major political figures die mysteriously, officials declare the deaths are from natural causes. Then the German Vice-Chancellor dies on the steps of 10 Downing Street and a drone is spotted hovering over the scene. The truth becomes clear – these high-profile deaths are well-constructed assassinations, and the Covert Eyes team is tasked to investigate.

With the help of Dr Isabella Marin, a young expert in the enigmatic Voynich Manuscript and cryptophasia (twin language), Nicholas and Michaela home in on Roman Ardelean, a wealthy cybersecurity genius and a descendant of fifteenth century Romanian Vlad the Impaler – often romanticised as Dracula. Ardelean believes the Voynich Manuscript will unlock the secret to curing his severely ill twin brother’s blood disorder and is willing to murder anyone who gets in his way, including Nicholas and Michaela.

Along with MI5, the Covert Eyes team must race against the clock to find Ardelean before he unleashes a devastating attack on London intended to destroy those he believes betrayed him.

Review: 

Thank you to Goodreads Giveaway for a free copy of the book, as well as the publisher and author. As always, an honest review.

Drones, falcons, cyber warfare, and boots on the ground police determined to solve the mystery of multiple high ranking officials’ deaths pretty much sums up this action packed book. In general The Sixth Day was good but not great.

I enjoyed the page turning action packed intensity of it. I even finished the last 200 pages in an afternoon. The story is extremely relevant to this day and age. It’s even more terrifying, because with technology these sorts of crimes are possible. Definitely creeps me out a bit! The entire book takes place over six days, which works wonderfully.

However a major premise of the story wasn’t a great fit for me as a reader. The foundation of the mystery is the legend of Dracula and The Voynich Manuscript. Ancient curses, bloodletting, twin powers, secret texts and languages. If that’s what you love in a book, then you will probably enjoy the story even more than I already did. This sort of fantasy folklore aspect isn’t my cup of tea, so I enjoyed the actual investigation more than anything else. Also at over 500 pages, the book was too long. I thought it could be shortened by maybe 50 to 100 pages.

The Sixth Day is the first book that I’ve read by the author. I would read more of her books, but would pick and choose carefully based on the subject matter. Overall, a good solid police mystery, set in London, filled with tons of action, and featuring ancient texts.

 

Random question of the blog post:

What advice would you give to someone looking to get more reading done each day?