The Boy Who Could See Demons By Carolyn Jess-Cooke

Title: The Boy Who Could See Demons

Author: Carolyn Jess-Cooke

Publisher: Piatkus

First Published: 10th May 2012

Blurb:

“I first met my demon the morning that Mum said Dad had gone.”

Alex Broccoli is ten years old, likes onions on toast, and can balance on the back legs of his chair for fourteen minutes. His best friend is a 9000-year-old demon called Ruen. When his depressive mother attempts suicide yet again, Alex meets child psychiatrist Anya. Still bearing the scars of her own daughter’s battle with schizophrenia, Anya fears for Alex’s mental health and attempts to convince him that Ruen doesn’t exist. But as she runs out of medical proof for many of Alex’s claims, she is faced with a question: does Alex suffer from schizophrenia, or can he really see demons? (From Goodreads, 24th June 2013)

Review:

I saw this book when I was shopping and had never heard of it but the title interested me straight away. Then I read the blurb, and thought this is a novel I will love!

Childhood psychiatry is a interest of mine and this book has both sides – the child and the therapist. Alex is a 10 year old boy who sees demons. Ruen is his best friend and is a demon. But is Ruen good for Alex? Is he real? Is Ruen just a symptom of an illness? Is Ruen a way of dealing with the loss of his father? Or is it the way he deals with his mothers depression and repeated suicide attempts? Or is Ruen real? These are some of the many questions that go through psychiatrist Anya’s head when she meets Alex. Anya desperately wants to help Alex and feels hospitalisation would be best for him. However, Anya’s daughter battled with Schizophrenia and this complicates matters.

I love this concept. A young boy who see’s demons with a mother who has attempted suicide and is currently in hospital. A psychiatrist who is dealing with the scars of her own child’s illness. The constant question ‘does Alex see demons or is he ill?’ Some romance is thrown in. Some traumas. Some mystery. Some fantasy. Some drama. Basically everything is in this book. But I think that’s where it falls down. There is a bit too much that not everything is fully developed and leaves you with just a few too many questions.

Lovely novel. Exciting. But just too many questions left unanswered.

4 out of 5.

Last Chance for Justice By Kathi Macias

Title: Last Chance for Justice

Author: Kathi Macias

Publisher: B & H Books

First Published: 1st May 2013

Blurb:

Welcome to Bloomfield, where life is simple, love is real, and stories are shared.

Lynn Myers is still reeling from losing her husband of thirty-five years when word comes that her only sibling, an older brother, has also died. With no one else to settle the estate, she must return to her small hometown of Bloomfield, however briefly, to settle his affairs.

Lynn’s daughter, Rachel, has just graduated from Bible college and with no other commitments comes along to sort through her uncle’s huge old home, right next to the local cemetery.

It isn’t long before Rachel has two men — a handsome CPA and the youth pastor — seriously vying for her attention. At the same time, Lynn’s attention is drawn to a set of journals her brother has left behind detailing a long-standing Bloomfield mystery.

As they pursue solving this mystery, Rachel must make some personal decisions about her future, while Lynn is forced to face unexpected issues from her own past. (From Goodreads, 24th May 2013)

Review:

I was so glad I picked this book up after reading quite a few young adult books. This could be classed as young adult, but I view it more as adult light romance and mystery. It is a nice paced novel, with a sweet story, and just nice to relax with.

So Lynn is still struggling after the loss of her husband when she receives notice that her brother has passed, and that she will have to go back to the close knit, small town she grew up in. Luckily her only child, Rachel, is available to take this trip with her, and they both go on a journey that turns out a lot differently to how either women thought it would.

Lynn’s brother left a mystery that he wished to solve, and now Lynn and Rachel find themselves attempting to honer Lynns brothers last dying wish – to clear Last Chance Justice’s name.

This is a cute novel, perfect when you want a relaxing book to keep you company on a summers day. If you want a fast paced, racy romance, or a complicated mystery, this book is not for you. But if you want a nice summer read, this is perfect.

However, I do have a few negatives and that was the amount of repetition within the book – a lot of eating is one example. Also this book had a heavily religious side, but that is not a negative, just something I am not used to, but made the story slightly further away from my understanding of life. But that is just who the characters are.

An enjoyable light read. And a breath of fresh air after reading quite a few ‘heavy’ young adult books.

4 out of 5

Dr Who: The Nightmare of Black Island By Mike Tucker and Anthony Head

Title: The Nightmare of Black Island

Author: Mike Turner

Narrator: Anthony Head

Publisher: BBC Books

Publication Date: 21st September 2006

Blurb:

On a lonely stretch of Welsh coastline, a fisherman is killed by a hideous creature from beneath the waves. When the Doctor and Rose arrive, they discover a village where the children are plagued by nightmares, and the nights are ruled by monsters. The villagers suspect that ancient industrialist Nathanial Morton is to blame, but the Doctor has suspicions of his own. Who are the ancient figures that sleep in the old priory? What are the monsters that prowl the woods after sunset? What is the light that glows in the disused lighthouse on Black Island? As the children’s nightmares get worse, the Doctor and Rose discover an alien plot to resurrect an ancient evil… (From Goodreads, 18th March 2013)

Review:

I didn’t actually read the book but listened to the audio book which was an abridged edition. I really enjoyed it. It was the first time I have really listened to an audio book and I am glad that I decided to try audio books out!

This is set when Dr Who was played by David Tennant and his companion was Roes (Billy Piper). We follow the mystery of why there are monsters ruling the island at the night. We are taken through the mystery with twists and turns keeping it excited. The lighthouse is mysterious and intrigues the doctor.

I can’t really say much as I would spoil it and give away the mysteries. But this is perfect for those Dr Who fans who are missing the shows, and families going away on holidays with long  drives! It will keep the kids entertained!

First audio book experience – 4 out of 5 because I love Antony Head – was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan!

Over all 3.5 out of 5 as only 4 hours long.

A Cold and Lonely Place By Sara J. Henry

Title: A Cold and Lonely Place

Author: Sara J. Henry

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

UK Publication Date: 5th February 2013

Blurb:

Troy Chance returns in another riveting novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Learning to Swim

   Freelance writer Troy Chance is snapping photos of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival ice palace when the ice-cutting machine falls silent. Encased in the ice is the shadowy outline of a body–a man she knows. One of her roommates falls under suspicion, and the media descends. Troy’s assigned to write an in-depth feature on the dead man, who, it turns out, was the privileged son of a wealthy Connecticut family who had been playing at a blue collar life in this Adirondack village. And the deeper Troy digs into his life and mysterious death, the murkier things become. After the victim’s sister comes to town and a string of disturbing incidents unfold, it’s clear someone doesn’t want the investigation to continue. Troy doesn’t know who to trust, and what she ultimately finds out threatens to shatter the serenity of these mountain towns. She must decide which family secrets should be exposed, what truths should remain hidden, and how far her own loyalty can reach.
   A Cold and Lonely Place, the sequel to Learning to Swim, follows Troy on a powerful emotional journey as she discovers the damage left by long-hidden secrets, and catches a glimpse of what might have been. (From Goodreads, 22nd January 2013)

Review:

Firstly I will say this is the novel which follows ‘Learning to Swim’. I did not know this and thus have the answers to some of the questions that must come up in ‘Learning to Swim’ so I would advise you read that first. You do not need to read it first to understand ‘A Cold and Lonely Place’ but I think it would add extra understanding to some characters.

I read ‘A Cold and Lonely Place’ just as the weather turned from Autumn to Winter and that added to the atmosphere within the novel. Finding a body frozen in the lake of a small town brings a lot of questions that stir the small town. Troy is a freelance journalist who is caught in the story as her flatmates boyfriend is the body in the ice. She begins to investigate the life of the victim and tells his story through feature articles for the local newspaper. She is not investigating his death, but his life.

An interesting novel that shows the curiosity we have in others and the morals writers must decide to follow or ignore when dealing with others privet lives.

This novel brings a good amount of twists and turns without being too fast moving or too slow. It gripped me and the descriptions of the environment were beautiful. I enjoyed it and enjoyed the fact we were not investigating the murder but in fact the life.

A novel for those who are interested in mystery but want a slightly slower pace compared to many others in the genre.

4.5 out of 5.