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Book Review – The Truth of the Matter

Truth of the Matter

Title: The Truth of the Matter

Author: Andrew Klavan

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Adventure

Length: 336

Rating: 3.5 Star (rounded down to 3)

Series Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4

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Description/Synopsis:

“Never give in.”

Ever since he woke up in a terrorist torture chamber–with a year of his life erased from his mind–Charlie West has been on the run. He has one desperate hope of getting his life back: track down the mysterious agent named Waterman. But in fact, reaching Waterman–and recovering the secrets lost in his own memory–will only increase his danger. Because a team of ruthless killers is rapidly closing in on him, determined to stop him from finding the answers. And the truth of the matter is more incredible…and more deadly…than he could ever imagine.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Yaaayyyy!!!! In this book we finally really get some answers. At the beginning our boy gets shot with a drug that will restore his memory, but at a price. He will be in serious pain when he remembers stuff. I got more pleasure from these moments than I think is normal. Finally, something gets the better of our goodie goodie main character called Charlie West. You have magiced your way out of too many things, now something you can’t get passed has happened and I am happy. Though, he does seem to be able to control it to a certain extent and that made me annoyed.

In terms of plot we seem to do a little dance of gaining some ground then we loose some , gain some, loose some. Charlie finds Waterman, which I found confusing because he found him cause of picture but as far as I remember that picture didn’t reveal where he was, just who he was, and somehow we start the book with him knowing where he is… Oh the magic of Charlie. So he finds him and doesn’t trust him and gets shot with the drug for his memory, then Waterman dies and he is trying to escape from the terrorists again. And then the police. Which he does, cause he is Charlie.

But finally he comes across some people that aren’t trying to arrest him or kill him. Just a random mother and son that hide him from the police in their house while he gets over being sick (hahahaha suck it Charlie, about time the elements nearly kill you) despite knowing everything about him. I think this part was my favourite part of the book. Though I don’t like Charlie and he is awfully endowed with magical main character powers it was a nice break to have someone treat him like the child he pretty much is.

The book ends of a kind of cliff hanger so I will need to pick up the last book at some point to be satisfied. You can totally tell everything is going to be fine for Charlie though, so its not like I can’t see whats coming. Till next time…

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Book Review – The Long Way Home

Long Way Home

Title: The Long Way Home [The Homelanders 2]

Author: Andrew Klavan

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Adventure

Length: 345

Rating: 3 Star

Series Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4

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Description/Synopsis:

Sometimes you have to go home to find out who you really are.

Charlie West went to bed one night an ordinary high-school student. He woke up a hunted man. Terrorists are trying to kill him. The police want to arrest him for the stabbing death of his best friend. He doesn’t know whose side he’s on or who he can trust. With his pursuers closing in on every side, Charlie makes his way back to his hometown to find some answers. There, holed up in an abandoned mansion, he’s joined by his friends in a desperate attempt to discover the truth about a murder he can’t remember’and the love he can never forget.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This book fell a star or a half short of the first one for me. Perhaps I got used to the idea of the story? I don’t know.

We finally got some answers in this book. Thank god. About halfway through I started panicking that nothing was going to get revealed in this book either and if that had of been true I would have had to throw the book at the wall. I could not handle more than one book with no answers. Thank god some of them were answered.

For the most part the plot moved along pretty steadily. I get a very Bourne series feel from these books. He is all confused about who he is, many many people are after him and trying to kill him. He must clear his name and get his memory back blah blah. You get the answer to like 2 questions raised in the first book. Kinda. I wont say which ones because it will ruin it for you but know they are coming. One of them really isn’t all that hard, it was a bit too easy, despite a bit of misdirection. We get a lot more of “I love my country and God” talk in this one which had more tuning out a bit, but its obviously a serious about fighting terrorists so I suppose that’s to be expected.

Where the story gets interesting to me is that we actually get to meet people that are not trying to kill him/take him to prison in the present rather than just him remembering them from his last day of memory. I found his friendly really funny. There was a section where they were watching a friend do something and just kept repeating “Hes gonna die.” I don’t know why but it was funny to me. It wasn’t to our main character Charlie, but it was to me. After all the stuff we watch him go through the situation with his friends is easy.

Charlie’s relationship with Beth isn’t the big romantic thing to me as it is played out to be in the book. Its actually kinda boring, specially since Charlie doesn’t even remember it. It is just your standard high school fling so far. Maybe it will change when Charlie remembers the past year.

Now our main character Charlie kind of annoyed me this book. So many of the things he does are very super human and he doesn’t seem them as super human at all. To me he is a bit full of himself, he doesn’t question really any of the things he does. A lot of things also just magically happen to him to make it work out. Though I’m sure things like that happen, I just couldn’t get into them in this story. Charlie also is kind of dumb, he says some things that instantly clicked in my head as the answer or as something funky or wrong but it took someone who is so super humanly surviving the way he is just way too long to work out sometimes. Those things should never have been in question/accepted!

So yeah. This book fell a bit flat for me, but I got some new things that were exciting/interesting and fun to read about. I think I will pick up the third book really soon because I really still want to know what the hell is going on.

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From Book to Movie – True Crime

True-Crime-1999

Title: True Crime

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery

Rating: 4 Star

Book Review

Description/Synopsis:

Can an over-the-hill journalist uncover the evidence that can prove a death row inmate’s innocence just hours before his execution?

Movie Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

In terms of a book to movie adaptations this movie did a very good job at following along with the story that was given to us in the book.Of course a few things change, but they didn’t bother me at all.

For example our main character Steve’s child is a little girl instead of a boy. Im not quite sure why they changed this, perhaps it was to make it more emotional when he kind of lets the child down. Thats just a guess though because the whole movie seemed to be made more emotional than in the book. For example I found our main character much more likeable than in the books. I don’t know if this is because I really like the actor who plays him Clint Eastwood, despite the fact that the character is portrayed as just as much as an dick in the movie as he was in the book. Another slight changed they made that I didn’t mind was they made Ray’s child Grace have her meltdown about the green crayon at the prison and the Warden had his men go out to the car park to look for it. I think this was a good way to go cause you get the more of a feeling that the warden really cares about whats going on and that he is not completely happy about it.

They kept some moments in that I was really glad stayed the same. One of them was the relationship between Steven and his boss and the conversation they have about him sleeping with the editors wife. They were both such dicks in this scene with the things they were saying and the way they act, but you totally get the feeling of them being good friends and the scene was just as funny in the movie as I pictured it in my head while I was reading.

Now because its a movie they altered the ending to make it a bit more dramatic than it was in the book. In the book our guy doesn’t get injected with anything before the call that saves his life because our caring Warden delays giving the go ahead for the execution because he doesn’t feel right about it. But in the movie they made it more dramatic with the Warden giving the go ahead and the injection process is under way when the call comes through. This was to give the audience a moment of “is he going to die because of how much he was injected? Was it too late?” but then we see Steve and Ray’s final visual of each other at the shops at Christmas and we know that everything ended all happy and well. I think this was a good way to end with the movie. I think because of how much more emotional the movie kind of was the audience couldn’t really just have been left with the ending that was in the book. I think it would have been a bit anticlimactic.

So yes, it was a very good adaptation of the book. Really enjoyable to watch and seeing how well its done I don’t feel I would have missed anything or lost any feelings about the story if I had of just watched the movie and didn’t have the book to compare it to. The only reason it was a 4 star and not a 5 was because of my own personal preference for movies. If we are judging purely on how well they turned it into a movie its a 5 star for sure.

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Book Review – The Last Things I Remember

Last Thing I Remember

Title: The Last Thing I Remember [The Homelanders 1]

Author: Andrew Klavan

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Adventure

Length: 336

Rating: 4 Star

Series Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4

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Description/Synopsis:

Charlie West just woke up in someone else’s nightmare.

He’s strapped to a chair. He’s covered in blood and bruises. He hurts all over. And a strange voice outside the door just ordered his death.

The last thing he can remember, he was a normal high-school kid doing normal things–working on his homework, practicing karate, daydreaming of becoming an air force pilot, writing a pretty girl’s number on his hand. How long ago was that? Where is he now? Who is he really?

And more to the point . . . how is he going to get out of this room alive?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I have to give it to Klavan, I have read three different books of his so far and they are all written very differently. You can kind of feel a hint of Klavan in each of them, but for the most part I wouldn’t have guessed he wrote them all. Well done!

Now this book was pretty interesting. Many situations arise which no one in their right mind would really would want to be in. Throw in the fact that our main character can’t remember a thing. Charlie went to bed happy and woke up tied up and battered from being tortured with many people trying to kill him or lock him up. This is all very interesting, watching him have no clue as to why he has to keep trying to get out of situations that make no sense.

But if you wanted answers in this book, don’t hold your breath. Things happen but not in the sense where the storyline really moves anywhere. By the end he still knows nothing and is still trying to get out of things he doesn’t understand. Will answer be given in the next book? Part of me kinda doubts it but I will see. There are four books after all and this one revealed nothing.

A downside to the story for me is that our main character is so prim and proper. He is the regular good boy. I half expect him to turn out to be a secret agent or something along those lines and he just forgot about everything somehow. Probably to do with the torture. But anyway his goodie goodie ways kind of annoyed me. He was all about his country and god and never giving up. It was kind of hard to swallow it all the time. Now I can understand believing in a higher power and liking the place you live, but I have never been one to crazy over either so when others do it it bores me. Thus far our main character is boring despite all the stuff hes going through.

But despite his boring personality and things pretty much ending in the same place except he isnt tied to a chair, I look forward to the next one. I need answers much like Charlie but at least I just have to look at my shelf to get them.

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Book Review – True Crime

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Title: True Crime

Author: Andrew Klavan

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Length: 384

Rating: 4 Star

Movie Review

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Description/Synopsis:

True Crime is an edge-of-the-seat suspense novel that graphically portrays the final moments leading up to a condemned killer’s appointment with the executioner. The plot is familiar but convincing: An inmate, Frank Beachum, denies any involvement in the murder of a young pregnant woman. His only chance for survival lies in the hands of a reporter, Steven Everett. From the very first page, however, veteran suspense writer Andrew Klavan does everything possible to make this journalist unlikable–he drinks too much, he’s committed adultery. In fact, the incarcerated Beachum, who stands accused of a hideous crime, comes across as a much more decent person than Everett.

Foes of capital punishment will find in True Crime another buttress to the oft-expressed argument that state-sanctioned murder is not always just, that some police investigations are sloppy even when they’re not politically tinged or racially motivated, and that exonerating evidence is often overlooked. Here such evidence is so glaringly overlooked that it’s possible for a somewhat drunken reporter with plenty of other things on his mind (a wife who’s about to leave him and a boss who’s just discovered that Everett is cuckolding him) to spot the inconsistencies. He follows a hunch, discovers the identity of the real killer, and tries to clear Beachum’s name as the minutes tick away. The relentless pace and Klavan’s crisp, taut writing make the suspension of disbelief possible, and no doubt Clint Eastwood, who stars in the movie version, will make Steven Everett a more likely and likable hero.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I go into most crime books not expecting much about them. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this one.

It took me a moment to get into what was happening. The beginning is a bit stuffy and I was wondering what I had gotten myself into by picking it up. Once the ball started rolling though the pace of the story gradually sped up and just kept getting faster and faster and better and better. Some moments had me wanting to chuck the book at the wall because of the suspense happening in the book. At one point I shut it and threw it to the end of my bed and just stared at the cover for ages because of something that happened. It wasn’t even confirmed in the book when I did this, it was just one of the titles hinting at something horrible happening. It was all very very painful for my poor hating of suspense body.

Let me just say I love our main character Steven. I think he is a disgusting pig most of the time and if I met someone like him in real life I would probably think as much of him as something on the bottom of my shoe. But as a character in a book I really liked him mainly because he is not perfect. He is really quite stuffed up. But as a character he is well developed and complete. I met a proper person upon reading him.  The only other character we really meet is Frank, the dude our main character is trying to save to save his own arse really. We don’t get a complete picture of Frank, but this doesn’t bother me because Frank is not a full human. He is a guy who has been in prison for 6 years and has only really been thinking about his death for something he didn’t do. He holds it together for his family, but once he thinks he wont see them again he looses it. The loosing it was good, very realistic. I also like what we get of the other characters too. They feel whole to me.

Since I found out that this book was transformed into a movie I look forward to seeing how that turned out!