Friday, 14 August 2009

Jasper Kent - Twelve

I really like unusual novels, especially ones that cross and challenge genres.

This is Russia, 1812, Napoleon is invading, an undercover, mercenary strike force is recruited from Wallachia to fight for the Russians. They only fight at night, they have amazing strength, they are superb killing machines. The only problem is, will they stop at the French and can they be stopped?
Reminded of his grandmothers terrifying stories of the voordalak, our hero Aleksei sets out to discover the secret behind these men and whether once set in motion they can be stopped!
This is a fascinating novel part horror, part romance and all historical thriller. The descriptions of Moscow disintegrating after the occupation by Napoleon are compelling, and the scenes of his rushing to retreat over the inhospitable snow covered country, pursued by the Russians and more ,are full of on your seat suspense.
This is a debut novel and I understand that this is the beginning of a series.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Stieg Larsson - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Despite being 533 pages I read this over the weekend. I really resented when I had to put it down. What a talent we have lost with the death of Stieg. This book has everything. an education on financial fraud, an old murder mystery, corruption, blackmail, stunning location - Sweden. We have Blomkvist, a disgraced financial journalist employed by the head of the bizarre Vangar clan , (Nazi skeletons in the closet - among others) to research the fate of his missing niece. Along the way he is joined by a research assistant, Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo who has a disturbing, disturbed and mysterious past. She is 24, rides a motorbike, and is an expert hacker. Between them they begin to unravel the mystery and their lives become increasingly in danger. It is clear that a sadistic and insane serial killer has been on the loose for 45 years. Then there is just the small matter of revenge on the corrupt industrialist who had successfully sued Blomkvist for libel, ruining his reputation, resulting in a prison sentence and him taking up the offer from Henrik Vangar.

I have already ordered the second book in the trilogy and cannot wait!