Tag: Books: Magical Realism


Books: A Batch of Mini-Reviews

Posted 17 September, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 8 Comments

Another batch of mini-reviews! đŸ™‚ Lots of Brandon Sanderson in this one, but there’s also a few other titles noted here in this post. Included in this batch are:


A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain
By: Adrianne Harun
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

In isolated British Columbia, girls, mostly native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway. Leo Kreutzer and his four friends are barely touched by these disappearances—until a series of mysterious and troublesome outsiders come to town. Then it seems as if the devil himself has appeared among them.

I remember when I first heard of this book, the premise sounded intriguing and unique from some of the stuff I usually read. I picked it up some time ago and had started reading it but after almost 100 pages in, I decided to put it down. I’m not sure if it was the time that I had read it or that I had chosen it as the book to read when travelling to and from work, but I just could not get into it. Almost 100 pages in, I wasn’t even sure what the book was about or where it was heading, which was a bad sign. Hence the DNF.

Rating: DNF

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Review: A God in Ruins

Posted 5 August, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

A God in Ruins
By: Kate Atkinson
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

In Life After Life Ursula Todd lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. In A God in Ruins, Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy – would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

After finishing Life After Life (review), I jumped right into this novel (a “companion novel”, I learned afterwards). Teddy was my favourite character from the last book and after the different navigations that his life turned out there, I wondered how the author was going to go about with his story. Further incentive to finally read this book (and its predecessor): it was longlisted for the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize in Fiction đŸ™‚

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Review: Life After Life

Posted 2 August, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 8 Comments

Life After Life
By: Kate Atkinson
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, she finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past.

Oh my goodness, you guys, I finally got around to reading this book! As some of you may know–either from various discussion posts or from seasonal TTT TBR lists–I had been meaning to read this. I picked up the paperback some two years ago, having been wanting to read this book since I first heard of it. The premise sounded really cool, like the movie Sliding Doors or, a book I read more recently, Cynthia Swanson’s The Bookseller (sort of, anyway; review). After sitting on my TBR pile for as long as it has, I finally picked it up to read đŸ™‚

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Review: Fifteen Dogs

Posted 8 April, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 9 Comments

Fifteen Dogs
By: André Alexis
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

— I wonder, said Hermes, what it would be like if animals had human intelligence.
— I’ll wager a year’s servitude, answered Apollo, that animals – any animal you like – would be even more unhappy than humans are, if they were given human intelligence.

And so it begins: a bet between the gods Hermes and Apollo leads them to grant human consciousness and language to a group of dogs overnighting at a Toronto vet­erinary clinic. Suddenly capable of more complex thought, the pack is torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking, preferring the old ‘dog’ ways, and those who embrace the change. The gods watch from above as the dogs venture into their newly unfamiliar world, as they become divided among themselves, as each struggles with new thoughts and feelings. Wily Benjy moves from home to home, Prince becomes a poet, and Majnoun forges a relationship with a kind couple that stops even the Fates in their tracks.

I first heard of this book when it was shortlisted for the Giller Prize 2015 and then again when it won. The premise of the novel sounded interesting so I kept on the lookout for it, snatching it up immediately shortly after it won the prize before they ran out of stock or anything (in short, prevent a repeat of what happened with Sean Michaels’ Us Conductors (review)).

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Books: A Batch of Mini-Reviews

Posted 28 January, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

And here we are, first batch of mini book reviews for 2016! Sort of…granted, the reviews featured below were from titles I’ve read in 2015, but no matter, it was an interesting assortment of titles I read towards the end of last year đŸ˜› Included in this batch of reviews are:



So without further ado…

The Last Witness
By: K.J. Parker
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

When you need a memory to be wiped, call me.

Transferring unwanted memories to my own mind is the only form of magic I’ve ever mastered. But now, I’m holding so many memories I’m not always sure which ones are actually mine, any more.

Some of them are sensitive; all of them are private. And there are those who are willing to kill to access the secrets I’m trying to bury…

I’ve been eyeing the Tor novellas for some time; the stories sound interesting and the artwork for them are fantastic. I decided to pick up this novella first as the premise sounds really interesting and holds a lot storytelling promise and direction. Suffice to say it didn’t disappoint; I found myself really gripped to my eReader, chest tight with anxiety as I read this unnamed narrator’s story as a man who could wipe your worst, most unwanted memories away. It’s eerie what he can do–and why he can be such a dangerous person and/or weapon–and his dubious morals makes him a rather fascinating character to follow. Despite of his faults, which he freely admits to, I found myself strangely rooting for him, hoping that his shady dealings doesn’t catch up with him, even as some of the things he had done were pretty =S

The novella was also interesting in that the narrator finds himself contemplating about memories, how they define us, how they are tied to truth, etc. I really appreciated how these themes weaved in and out of the story, not necessarily on the fore, but it’s there, especially as our narrator proves to be terribly unreliable. The story can be dark, the character flawed and dubious, the worldbuilding interesting enough with a lot of political changes happening in the backdrop, but overall it was a fantastic novella. Definitely worth checking out!

Rating: ★★★★☆

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