Book Review: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown…

Wow! It has been almost a year since i last posted a book review. i have been reading just not books and…

Confession: i did get stuck reading this Dan Brown book. Stuck as in it didn’t interest me enough to keep going at my normal reading pace. It took me a good few months to finish.

thelostsymbolDanBrown20190828Now, this is not the first Dan Brown book i have read. i have read two others and i quite enjoyed those. So i thought i would enjoy reading another one. i did, eventually, enjoy this one BUT it took a while for the story to get going. i remembered that Brown is usually quite quick to draw you in but for this particular one, at least to me, it seemed as if he took his time in setting up quite a bit of background and i felt it took too long for the action to really kick in. i was a third of the way into the book before it really hooked me. Truth be told, i almost gave up reading it a few times. However, i knew he was a good writer and plowed through to the “i-can’t-wait-to-turn-the-page” stage.

So we meet Dr Robert Langdon again, and he is once again caught up in a dark chase of some myth, which yet again, he does not truly believe in. But this time more is at risk; the life of his dear friend and mentor, Peter Solomon, and Peter’s sister, Katherine, as well as his own life.

i enjoyed how he drew on Masonic legends as well as an obscure branch of science, Noetic Science, entwining the secrets of these with important monuments in Washington D.C. The antagonist was a pretty scary character; a man so focused on his goal that he would do anything to get it. However, it was a goal based on his own interpretation of what this ancient legend claims to bestow upon the one who finds it. Such a single-minded man is frightening yet at the end, i pitied him because he was misled by his own desperate need to be recognised.

As always, the book is also filled with codes to crack and mysterious persons who help Langdon on his quest.

Would i recommend this book? Yes, if you like puzzles and mysteries, and don’t mind a bit more background setup at the start.

Have you read this book? Or maybe another Dan Brown book? Did you enjoy it? Care to share your thoughts?

syc

Book Review: Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult…

This is my 4th review of a Jodi Picoult book so you can say i like her books… a lot. i have read way more than four of her books and have liked each one. But i have only started writing reviews a few years ago.

This one took me a long time to finish because i got really emotional about the story and the characters; so much so that i had to stop a few times, take a break from it, then carry on again.

Picoult’s books are always emotionally draining to read (not a bad thing) because readers will come to care for her characters very much.

51a3hqmpafl-_sx315_bo1204203200_The gist of this story involves Paige, whose mother left her when she was five, and she always felt like she is missing something because of that. Her father tried his best but being a man from a generation which did not express themselves very much, it was hard on Paige. She leaves her hometown, hoping to get into art school in Chicago but ends up falling in love and marrying an ambitious young doctor, who seemed the perfect man. But when they have a baby, her past secrets and doubts about her self-worth and ability as a mother cause her to run as she tries to find answers in her past in order to come back a better mother/person.

This story hits close to home for me because which woman has not doubted herself when she first became a mother. i doubt myself, even now, sometimes. While Paige struggled with her doubts, i remembered how i felt when struggling with similar issues. i also got really angry at her doctor husband who seemed so absorbed in his career and his own family issues. i wished i could have gone into the book and shaken him awake, and i wished i could have said to Paige, “You are doing just fine.”.

If you are a first-time mother reading this, please know that you don’t struggle alone and that you are doing just fine.

By the time i was half-way through the book, i was begging for a quick resolution. But Picoult was not done. There was more to explore and it is worth the effort to stay with the story and worth the wait as the resolution is good.

Picoult has done well exploring the theme of motherhood, not just from Paige’s point of view but also from the viewpoint of her run-away mother and her rather famous and strong-willed mother-in-law.

i am not going to say much more about the story because i want you to enjoy it for yourself. So go read it and let me know what you think.

Here are some other reviews of Picoult’s books: 2013, 2015, 2016.

syc

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne…

I am always slightly precarious when reviewing a very well-known author or book series. But still, i must say this is one i am quite happy to review.

Of course, almost everyone knows the Harry Potter series and a huge number of people have read it and love the characters involved. i like the series and think that J.K. Rowling is a great storyteller. She is just brilliant at weaving in little details which turn out to be a key plot point later in the story. Now she had help with this one – John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. While i am not familiar with these authors/playwrights, i know that together the three of them have written an amazing sequel to the Harry Potter series.

harrypotterCursedChild20180110We start off where we left off at the end of Deathly Hallows, on Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross station, with Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermonie seeing their children off to Hogwarts.

i won’t give away too much (in case there are people who have not read this but still want to). i will tell you what i like about this story.

i like the variety in the characters of the children. i do wish there was more time to explore each of their little personalities but it is a play and there isn’t.

i love the idea of Harry’s son, Albus, becoming firm friends with Malfory’s son, Scorpius. This leads to Harry and Malfory having to work together to get their sons out of trouble. It is nice to see that Malfory has a number of redeeming qualities, which wasn’t clearly seen in the previous books.

There is lots of time travel involved in this one. I can never wrap my mind fully around the going backwards and forwards and how historical events are affected but if you just suspend your disbelieve and confusion for a while, simply go with it, it is an amazing ride through time.

Of course, “you-know-who” is mentioned and this time evil takes an altogether unexpected form. i still am not sure how i feel about this character (not giving too much away) who is so closely linked to Voldemort, because her motivations are still a little unclear, even at the end.

This was a quick read for me, mainly because it is a script and not a novel, which means little scene setting and descriptions, mostly dialogues. But they were good, well-written dialogues which really carried the story.

Now i just wish i could have watched this play actually performed. i’m sure the set designs were fantastic, and i would have loved to see how they manage the time-travel sequences.

One question hangs in my mind – who exactly is the Cursed Child? Was it Albus Potter? i had thought so at the beginning and Albus himself seemed to think so. But when i finished reading, i changed my mind. If you have read this already, what do you think?

syc