Secrets Of The Last Castle

– A. Rose Mathieu

 

After having SO much fun with “Sins Of Our Fathers,” obviously I HAD to continue the A. Rose Mathieu way with her sophomore effort and sequel to “Sins,” “Secrets Of The Last Castle” immediately or I wouldn’t be able to go on with other titles! First off, sequels, in general, are hard to write mainly because of all the pressure of trying to top the success and quality of their originals, aren’t they? Hence it’s not commonplace for sequels to fair better than their predecessors because most often than not, creators tend to go overboard (with few exceptions, obvs!). But Mathieu not only succeeded in nailing another top-notch sophomore story but also succeeded in crafting a sequel with flying colours! Perhaps even surpassing the overall quality of the writing and storytelling of the first one, imho! In fact, for me, “Secrets Of The Last Castle,” was just superbly remarkable and extraordinary!

You know how sequels tend to be bigger and more elaborate than the first, right? Like Randy Meeks said in “Scream 2,”: “There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate — more blood, more gore. Carnage candy.” Mathieu did it. With remarkable effect. The plot was bigger, more sinister and infinitely more dangerous, Elizabeth and Grace’s relationship was more expanded, deeper, their roles in the plot more intricately entwined, stakes couldn’t be higher.

I was beyond ecstatic that I had the opportunity to take that fabulously thrilling ride with Elizabeth, Grace and the rest of the pack from “Sins Of Our Fathers” in this highly entertaining, superlatively weaved, darkly subversive piece of crime/mystery thriller! This time, Mathieu took her innate skill in weaving a truly splendid tale and elevated it to another level of brilliance! In this sequel, Mathieu delved even deeper into the many intertwining events and stories that formed this tale. A cerebral, intelligent, clever, ingenious plot that just kept getting more intricate at each developmental stage of the story, the characters, primary and secondary alike, the ever-changing situations and warping circumstances.

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Sins Of Our Fathers

– by A. Rose Mathieu

 

Truth be told, I stumbled upon A. Rose Mathieu‘s 2017 debut novel, “Sins Of Our Fathers” sometime last year and quickly placed it on my reading queue primarily because of the “sinfully” ill-omened cover beckoning me so resistance was futile for me, tbh! You know me and spellbindingly aesthetic art! And then, there was the title with the familiar phrase which, to my delight, would equate to the saying, “old sins cast long shadows,” which could only mean – hidden past, unsolved mystery, convergence of the past, present and future with intertwining stories – that I could look forward to in Mathieu’s book! Why, then, wait until now to read it? Blame my horridly LONG reading queue and…timing….mood. Yup, that’s it. So now that I’m in the mood for some good lesfic crime/mystery/thriller, I thought it was perfect timing for me to read it. Well, I inhaled it. At no time at all because…what a page-turner, it was!! Utterly brilliant writing and storytelling! I LOVED it!

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Compass Rose

– by Anna Burke

After a captivating read of Anna Burke‘s latest novel, “Thorn,” obviously I HAD to read her debut work, “Compass Rose.” The critics were right. By gosh, what a fantastic, thrilling, captivating ride indeed! This swashbuckling action-adventure where I got to read about pirates, mercs, and the military all converging in the high seas (not to mention monsters!), marking their territories and warring for more was exceptionally depicted with persistently vivid visualisations of each and every situation, environment, surroundings, all described with such realism that I was transported to every scene that Burke created, like I was there meself, observing every action and sequence….virtually!

Burke’s “Compass Rose,” at times, was reminiscent of Jules Verne’s classic sea voyage adventure literature, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea,” and at times reminded me of “The Pirates of the Carribean,” for me. Except, Burke’s voyage was infinitely better for me, imho, because of many factors, namely, all the badarse, kick-arse leading characters were WOMEN! Bloody hell YES! Having expressed just how much I loved Burke’s literary, lyrical writing style in “Thorn,” Burke continued to impress me to no end with her brilliant knack for creating a glorious sense of music in her richly descriptive, heart-tugging words in every scenario and dialogue/monologue that somehow transformed into lyrical notes in me head as I read on!

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Breaking Down Her Walls

– by Erin Zak

I didn’t think I would be reading this book, “Breaking Down Her Walls” by Erin Zak until I read Rachael Byrne‘s review posted on Les Rêveur that piqued me interest. Not having had any experience with this author or her books, I dug in without any expectations, really. Am I glad I did because the first act itself hooked me right in!

First off, I have to mention that the style in which Zak utilised was something I’d only experienced once before (if me memory serves me right!) or let’s just say, a rarity in me reading history – third-person in present tense. Me reckons it’s not a common style authors use. In fact, the only time (if I remember correctly!) I came across it whilst reading, I remember it being very jarring for me that I noticed it immediately. I had to really get used to it. Fortunately the storytelling and the writing was solid so I didn’t mind it one bit. THIS book, however, I must say, I didn’t even notice it until my realisation hit after I finished because Zak somehow infused the style with such smoothness in the word flow that I read it like it was in any other usual style of writing!  Continue reading “Breaking Down Her Walls”