Book Review – Tell The Truth, Shame The Devil

tell the truth

Title: Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil

Author: Melina Marchetta

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 405

Rating: 4 Star



Bashir “Bish” Ortley is a London desk cop. Almost over it. Still not dealing with the death of his son years ago, as well as the break-up of his marriage.

Across the channel, a summer bus tour, carrying a group of English teenagers is subject to a deadly bomb attack, killing four of the passengers and injuring a handful of others. Bish’s daughter is one of those on board.

The suspect is 17 year old Violette LeBrac whose grandfather was responsible for a bombing that claimed the lives of dozens of people fourteen years ago; and whose mother, Noor, has been serving a life sentence for the part she was supposed to have played in the attack.

As Bish is dragged into the search for the missing Violette, he finds himself reluctantly working with Noor LeBrac and her younger brother, Jimmy Sarraf.

And the more he delves into the lives of the family he helped put away, the more Bish realizes that they may have got it wrong all those years ago, and that truth wears many colours. Especially when it comes to the teenagers on board the recent bus bombing. Including his daughter.

Tell the truth. Shame the devil. Bish can’t get Violette LeBrac’s words out of his head. But what he may get is some sort of peace with his own past as the worlds of those involved in two bombings, years apart, collide into the journey of his life.


I would like to thank Penguin Australia for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. Sorry it took so long to publish!

I am going to apologise straight off the bat if anyone finds this review lacking depth. I am reviewing this a while after I read it and I find thriller books hard enough to review the day after I have read them. I held off writing a review for this book because I found it hard to come up with words for it and its not any easier for me now.

This book is very different from everything Marchetta has written before, but you can still feel that it is her writing the words. She is there in the way that the story unfolds, that she is more interested in the way terrorism or racial profiling affects certain families more than people on a grand scale (even though she does touch on this).

I really enjoyed the plot of this story despite the fact it is not something I am normally interested in reading, there is enough of this kind of thing just happening in our world for me to read about. I liked the different perspectives that we were given and the way we are made to question just about everything, In saying all that though I do feel like a few things were shoved down my throat more than what I would have expected from Marchetta’s writing style.

I also really liked the characters. I liked Bish the most even though I think he was a little bit hopeless at times. Marchetta is great at crafting just real characters who you can relate to and like despite how flawed they are. One small thing that I found annoying with the characters in this book though was just how many of them there were. There were a lot and each of them basically had there own plot/backstory being weaved into the main plot line and at times it became a little confusing or hard to keep up with them all.

And I think that is where I will leave the review for today. If you like Marchetta and thriller books or political stories then you would like this book and I suggest you read it. If you have not read Marchetta before and are just looking for another thriller then you may want to read some more reviews before picking it up. She has a certain style about her and if it had not been her writing it I don’t think I would have liked this book as much.


Till Next Time. . .


Mini Mondays – Midnight Embrace, What She Left, Sprout of Deception


midnight embraceTitle: Midnight Embrace

Author: Amanda Ashley

Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Adult

Length: 378

Rating: 2 Star



When I thought back to the times I first read the Amanda Ashley books I have, this is the one I remembered liking the least. Now that I have read it again I can clearly see why. The characters were very simple and very cliché. The story repeated itself so often I started counting how many times things popped up. I hated how he was always going I wont leave you but then two seconds later he would say I’m a monster get away from me. She was such a weak characters because she was supposed to be ‘innocent,’ but she should have been stronger. Then to top it all off the ending was very rushed.

Also, only people who have read the book will understand this but what on Earth happened to the horse?!

The only reason why this book got a 2 star was because I liked some of the romance sections in it, and has a nice poem at the very start of the book. I would not recommend this book to anyone, there are far better Amanda Ashley books, or just romance books in general out there.

what she leftTitle: What She Left

Author: T.R. Richmond

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 380

Rating: DNF 25%



Thank you Penguin for sending me this book for an honest review!

The first thing you will notice here is that I didn’t give this book a rating. This my first DNF (did not finish) review and I am feeling a bit iffy about it. I am sad I cannot say I got further than 1/4 of the way through the book, so I thought it would only be fair if I left the rating off these reviews because didn’t finish them.

One of the reasons I only got 1/4 of the way through is that I just couldn’t get into the format of the way it was written by using articles from the news, internet, peoples laptops, letters and what not. I found it really disorientating and the information these articles were giving us I just found really boring.

I did really like the idea of the plot and I really wanted to get into it. If anyone has finished this book, PLEASE tell me if you had these issues at the start and that I just need to push through. I feel bad about it too cause it was an ARC too D:

81NJh0tcJDL._SL1500_Title: Sprout of Deception [The Hangman’s Replacement 1]

Author: Taona Dunisani Chiveneko

Genre: Mystery, Cultural

Length: 492

Rating: DNF 30-50%



I am pretty sure I got this book in a goodreads giveaway years ago, so I just want to say thank you to the author for giving me the book.

I tried. I really did. I picked this book up and put it back down so many times. It got to the point where my kindle couldn’t even remember where I was up to at times so that’s why I don’t know at exactly what point I was in the book before I stopped it all together.

The first character we are introduced to I didn’t mind. I was interested in getting to know him and what he was going to have to go through with his new life. The story just got so ridiculously boring and slow and I didn’t care about a single thing that was being said or was happening. I think I might have moved onto another guy, but he was only slightly more interesting.

This lack of interest in a character and what was happening, combined with the fact that I just generally didn’t ever understand what was happening with the plot made this book a no go for me. What does a carnivorous plant have to do with hiring a hangman? It made no sense and didn’t have a point to me.


Till Next Time…


Book Review – Losing You

losing you

Title: Losing You

Author: Nicci French

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Length: 304

Rating: 3 Star



Nina Landry is supposed to be taking her two children on a Christmas holiday today. But the road away from Sandling Island seems littered with obstacles. Most pressing of all, her 15-year-old daughter, Charlie, has yet to return from a night out …Minute by minute, Nina’s unease builds to worry and then panic. Has Charlie run away? Or has something more sinister happened to her? And why will nobody take her disappearance seriously? As a series of half-buried secrets lead Nina from sickening suspicion to deadly certainty, the question becomes less whether she and her daughter will leave the island for Christmas – and more whether they’ll ever leave it again.


This is the second time I have read this book but it still managed to keep me agitated and caught up in what was happening. I think on its own merit the book is a 4 but as to my personal preference it was a 3.

The plot of the story is simple enough. A mother is supposed to take her children on a holiday but then the daughter doesn’t turn up to a few of the things she was supposed to and the mother begins to worry, even when no one else does. She then has to rush around the town to try and find her daughter. The events of the book happen over just a single day, and by the time I was done reading the book I felt just as exhausted as I am sure Nina felt. The plot had be so agitated in a good way that I wanted to put the book down repeatedly so I could have a break from the feelings it was making me have. I think because of how fast paced it was, the first time I read it I didn’t guess at to who was behind Charlie’s disappearance. There really wasn’t enough time for guessing.

Writing wise I think the only thing that really needs mentioning is that this book does not contain chapters, which I think was a fantastic little ‘trick’ in terms of writing. This, the fact it happens over one day, and the way Nina is just frantically going from place to place just keeps you so hooked and frantic with her. There is not a break for you to recover.

A downfall to the shortness of the book/day and the pace means that there wasn’t really much time to give some of the characters depth. They were there to annoy, hate, through you off, but other than that they had not more to them. The police were totally useless in the story, Rory was stupid and way too easy to hate, and Joel was just as stupid as stupid can be. I also had no idea why on Earth Renata was even in the story. Was she there to try and make things more complicated? She was just confusing. Then all the teenagers except for one were made out to be the most difficult people on the face of the Earth, which I took a bit of an offense too. Just because they are teenagers doesn’t mean they are going to give someone a hard time when they are looking for their child.

Nina annoyed me probably the most and she tended to have random thoughts that didn’t seem to fit whatever situation she was in at the time. I am going to put this down to shock, but it might have just been because she was a poor character. I did feel so sorry for her brother Jackson though, he just got pushed to the side and didn’t really understand what was happening. He was just there by himself.

I plan on reading this book again when the mood strikes, and I think others should pick it up also. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fast paced thrillers that are really easy to read. This book is not complicated, but it is good.


Till Next Time…



Book Review – The Dogs

The Dogs

Title: The Dogs

Author: Allan Stratton

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller

Length: 286

Rating: 3.5 Star rounded up to 4



Cameron and his mum have been on the run for five years. His father is hunting them. At least, that’s what Cameron’s been told.

When they settle in an isolated farmhouse, Cameron starts to see and hear things that aren’t possible. Soon he’s questioning everything he thought he knew and even his sanity.

What’s hiding in the night? Buried in the past? Cameron must uncover the dark secrets before they tear him apart.


I received this book from Penguin Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I had never heard of it before and really no idea what I was in for. My expectations were a little low admittedly, the angle of not knowing if things are real or not in a book has really bitten me negatively before, but I was actually really surprised and pleased with what I got!

Now, I don’t want to go too into the plot because not knowing all that much about it is what I think made the book for me but I have to touch on it a little. The pace of the story I wouldn’t really call suspenseful but I would call it page turning. The story deals a lot with the comparison of the past and the present and I really liked that. I have always been a fan of past stories in with the present. I really liked having to work out how much of the past had to do with what was going on, as well as trying to work out if Cameron seeing things would work out to his advantage or not and just how much of what he sees is true. Its this that really made the book.

In terms of characters I think most of them fell a bit flat. Cameron, our main character, was really well developed. While I didn’t agree with all the things he does and feels I can completely understand he does and feels things. The people around him don’t handle things well, ever. But all those around him seem very one dimensional and lacked depth. The mother specially really annoyed me, just, gah. You will understand when you read the book. I can almost forgive the lack of character depth in the side characters though, because pretty much all of them are side characters and are only slightly important to the story. It is pretty much just about what is happening (maybe) inside Cameron’s head. They are there to just add little bits to the story, not drive it.

I don’t want t say anymore because I might ruin the book for you then. All you need to know is that I was really surprised and really enjoyed this book. I loved the struggle that Cameron has to go through with all the things that are happening. If enough people keeping telling you you are crazy for long enough you start to believe it. I suggest that you should at least give this book a go, it was a super easy read for me and I completed it in a day.


Till Next Time…


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



“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.


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…


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



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.


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.


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



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?


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.


Book Review – Love Gone Mad


Title: Love Gone Mad

Author: Mark Rubinstein

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 348

Rating: 2 Star



When heart surgeon Adrian Douglas and Megan Haggarty, RN, meet at the hospital where they work, neither has any idea of the scorpion’s nest into which they’ve stumbled. Strange and frightening events begin happening to each of them; someone is after them both–and the stalker is not only brilliant and crafty, but vows to exact revenge for the ultimate betrayal. As things spin out of control, Megan and Adrian fight for their lives.


I was pleasantly reading through this book for about 30% of it. Then I realised that it was still going and I was only 30% through it. Things went downhill from their. It was not a good start to the 2014 reading of the year.

Like all NetGalley books this had random bits of structural and spelling failures so I am just going to move past it.

The dialogue in this book could have been better. At times it was staggered and unrealistic. I think if people talked liked that it would be just as hard to listen to it as it was to read. There was a line asking the bad guy how he smelt something on someone. It frustrated me greatly. Though the thing he said he could smell was that his daughter wasn’t his own, and thats not normally something you can smell (in this book it is) but the way the line was phrased got to me. How do people normally smell you idiot…

It repeats itself a lot, hypes things up that aren’t shocking or anything along those lines, and doesn’t stick to perspectives in a way that makes sense. It jumps from person to person sometimes without warning and quite often stays with the perspective I think that  was the more boring and outside the interesting parts. There are also moments which are seriously coincidental and the fact that there is more than one of them blew the chance of me accepting that it could actually happen. The book lost points here and It was hard for me to keep reading.

However when something action packed was happening, it did it very well. The description in these part was very captivating and had me sitting on the edge of my seat. My favourite section was when she was trapped in the elevator. I am horrified of elevators breaking on me and I am claustrophobic at times so her horror was my horror.


Book Review – Risk Factor


Title: Risk Factor

Author: Charles Atkins

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 292

Rating: 3 Star


Dr. Molly Katz is a resident physician in a psychiatric unit for young adolescents. When a nurse on the unit is knifed to death, and the obvious perpetrator is the heretofore gentle Jonathan, Molly is badly shaken. How could she have missed the symptoms of such behavior? When the boy, now catatonic, is removed to a hospital for the criminally insane, Molly moonlights there in order to keep an eye on her former patient and his treatment.Then another nurse is murdered. Other patients in the unit are suspected. A hair-raising denouement puts Molly and her children near death and bares the crucial question — is the murderer irrevocably evil, born soulless, uncaring about any living thing?

Dr. Atkins is well equipped to dramatize the question that engages so many faced with heinous crime — the existence of pure evil.


I present to you the standard mystery/thriller/crime kind of book. I picked it up from a bargain bin for $3 at Big W (a bin I think last until all the books in it are gone so I would go check your closest one out) because I thought the story sounded good. Its been awhile since I have read a more… adult book I suppose. It was the part that it takes place around psychiatric hospital and patients that hooked me.

Now there wasn’t anything all that wrong so to say with this book that leaves it at a 3 star, its just that it was not as thrilling as I wanted it to be. Picture pretty much any kind of crime book and thats what you get. In a way I liked it for this because it was a god easy yet more adult read to some of the other things I have been reading lately. I got what I expected, thank you book.

In terms of plot and what mystery it actually has it tries to keep you on your toes. It presents you with a patient that cant even feed himself for a good chunk of it as the murder, but luckily our main character Molly is too clever to fall for such a thing and doesn’t buy it and soon as others thinking the same way too. We are then present with another patient who is super violent and not loved by our Doctor at all and most the people are screaming this guy did it! But its just so obviously trying to misdirect you that its no surprise when it turns out to be some random that isn’t mentioned all that much things considered. I don’t know how I would have felt if it had actually been the second one, it would have been a surprise but not a good one.

For the most part the characters are likeable. They are all very simple and straight forward, much like the rest of the book, but I personally liked them and didn’t want this person to die or this person to be found guilty or become more bonkers than they already were.

A romance is kind of thrown into the book, and though it didn’t hurt it it wasn’t really needed either. It was just a little side things thats there.

So there you go. Easy read, you read the description and look at the cover and you kind of know what you are in for. If you like mystery/thriller kind of books I think you will enjoy this one well enough.


Book Review – Unpredictable Webs


Title: Unpredictable Webs

Author: Darlene Quinn

Genre: Suspense, Thriller

Length: 451

Rating:  3 Star

Release Date: May 1st 2013


Betrayal, rebellion, jealousy, and a kidnapping gone awry are at the core of this fourth novel in Darlene Quinn’s ensnaring series. Unpredictable Webs picks up the Webs series five years after Twisted Webs.

About to turn sixteen, Marnie Taylor is rebellious–fighting often with her mother, Ashleigh–and jealous of her more even-tempered and popular twin sister, Callie. Lonely, Marnie finds a compassionate listener in Brad, whom she meets online. Spinning a web of lies to throw her parents off, Marnie arranges an in-person meet-up with Brad. But she realizes too late that she has been targeted in a sinister scheme for ransom.

Quinn’s vivid cast of characters returns in this high-tension, stand-alone sequel. Though their actions are plausible, none of them behaves as others might predict in this tale that discloses the darker behaviors people are capable of. Cougar Viviana De Mornay takes Chicago’s fashion world and ”Italian Stallion” Gino Cabello by storm. Tony Wainwright, who has paid his dues for a past crime and appears to have turned his life around, is catapulted to the top of the list of suspects. PI Ross Pocino is on the scene with his surprising insights into criminal behavior, and Paige Toddman’s mother, Helen, seems to grow younger every day. While some mothers can unintentionally do unspeakable harm to their children, Ashleigh’s steel-magnolia efforts to wrest her daughter from her captor redeem the sacredness of that role.


I received this book from the author off of NetGalley and I had serious issues with rating this book. On some levels I felt it needed to be held around the four star mark, but on other ones I felt it required one.

I don’t know if it was just because of the draft I was given to read, but I found the book to be riddled with structural, grammatical, and perspective errors and found myself placing multiple bookmarks along the way for the more serious ones I came across to point out to the author when I give her my review.

The structure of the book has a new chapter pop up every 4 or so pages on average, and at first I found this really rather distracting and it kind of reminded me of walking though a series of small spider webs, as soon as I removed one web I was thrust into another. At first I thought this was because of the constant perspective changes between the many, many characters but later worked out it was not the case because sometimes the author would give someone a paragraph in the chapter, leave a bigger gap between it and the next, then move onto someone else. Towards the end of the book though I rather started to enjoy this very broken up style of chaptering and only became slightly ‘disturbed’ by it when the chapters were longer than normal. I would not think this kind of writing would appeal to everyone however, and you should probably keep it in mind if you choose to try and read this book once its published.

The introduction of the characters was also a bit of a head spin at first because they all got introduced in rapid succession, and I found I had trouble keeping up with all of them, specially if I stopped reading for a bit and came back or with the lesser main characters. At certain points I found myself thinking Oh please no more characters… But after all this introduction if done in the beginning with pretty much everyone, it slows way down and you only get to meet a couple more people towards the end of the book.

If you ignore of that though the story itself was rather enjoyable. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was ‘unpredictable,’ but you care about what is happening to each character along the way. The character development I found was enhanced by the multiple character view points and rapid changes, because you got to see which personality traits each character picked up/focussed on with the rest of the characters. Some parts confused me with backstory since I haven’t read the first books in the series, but I got enough that I generally got the gist of what was happening/happened between everyone, and I look forward to going back and reading the first instalments.