Book Review: The Absolutist by John Boyne vs Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

The Absolutist by John BoyneToday I’m starting my review by presenting The Absolutist to you in the exact same way I was introduced to it.  Right on the front cover is the announcement: “If you loved Birdsong, you’ll love this”.

Now, I did indeed love Birdsong, which I read last year – I’d have to say that it’s one of my favourite novels – so the publishers at this point have really upped the stakes.  What they’re saying to me is that it’s not just a good book, it’s up there in ‘modern classic’ territory.

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Book Review: The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg

The Ice Princess by Camilla LackbergIf you follow my blog you may have seen that I reviewed Camilla Lackberg’s The Drowning a while ago.  In the review I mentioned that I loved the book but was confused by the ending.  Some kind readers pointed out to me that actually this book is part of a series based in the same village and featuring the same main characters.  Oops.

Normally I hate the idea of starting a series part-way through and so I was initially a bit put out.  However, in this case I really enjoyed reading The Drowning on its own merits.  With hindsight I can see that there were numerous little hints scattered through the book about the characters’ past lives, which I had assumed were either there simply to add a bit of depth to a minor character (a technique which I actually liked very much) or would be revealed in full later in the book if it was important.  When a lot of these little sub-sub-plots were not revealed at the end of the book, and I was left with an enormous cliff-hanger, no wonder I was mystified.  Once I knew I was dealing with a whole series of novels, I was determined to read the lot.

Having now finished book one, The Ice Princess, I’m pretty sure I’m on to a winner.  More