Mini Reviews

Hey guys,

Finished walking the Camino a couple of days ago. 613km in 25 days of walking. Not too bad an accomplishment, if I do say so yself! ;-)

The first 20 days were everything I wanted it to be, but the last 5 days were an absolute circus. Sarria is the closest city to Santiago from which you can begin walking and get your Compostela at the end. From there, the Camino becomes an awful experience. Huge groups of fat and overweight people create gridlock at every turn. Not to mention school kids traveling in groups of over a hundred people. Anyone looking for peace and quiet and instrospection will not find it beyond Sarria. I almost quit in Palas de Rei, because this experience had taken a turn for the worse and was going down the crapper fast. I persevered, though, and made it to Santiago de Compostela.

For the record, I encourage everyone to walk the Camino de Santiago, even if it's just portions of the 790km itinerary. But unless you are a hardcore Christian, stop in Sarria and be happy. Everything beyond that point is just painful and will make you want to kill everyone. :/

On to the mini reviews I promised you!

- Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Canada, USA, Europe) 8/10

I really enjoyed this thriller. Partly because there are no supernatural elements and partly because the cast is comprised of an interesting bunch of characters. It's a race against time seen through the perspective of both the good and the bad protagonists. If you're looking for a novel to bring with you on vacation this summer, this one is exactly what you're looking for!

Here's the blurb:

The stolen Mercedes emerges from the pre-dawn fog and plows through a crowd of men and women on line for a job fair in a distressed American city. Then the lone driver backs up, charges again, and speeds off, leaving eight dead and more wounded. The case goes unsolved and ex-cop Bill Hodges is out of hope when he gets a letter from a man who loved the feel of death under the Mercedes’s wheels…

Brady Hartsfield wants that rush again, but this time he’s going big, with an attack that would take down thousands—unless Hodges and two new unusual allies he picks up along the way can throw a wrench in Hartsfield’s diabolical plans. Stephen King takes off on a “nerve-shredding, pulse-pounding race against time” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) with this acclaimed #1 bestselling thriller.

- Finders Keepers by Stephen King (Canada, USA, Europe) 7.5/10

As much as I was happy to read about Bill, Jerome, and Holly, by far the most unlikely trio of crime-solving agents you'll ever meet, there really was no need for them to be part of this story. Any other bunch of characters would have done the job. Still, it was great to see such character growth in Holly. It's a fine tale, yet overall it's sort of a filler job to keep them busy before the third act in the third installment, End of Watch.

Here's the blurb:

“Wake up, genius.” So announces deranged fan Morris Bellamy to iconic author John Rothstein, who once created the famous character Jimmy Gold and hasn’t released anything since. Morris is livid, not just because his favorite writer has stopped publishing, but because Jimmy Gold ended up as a sellout. Morris kills his idol and empties his safe of cash, but the real haul is a collection of notebooks containing John Rothstein’s unpublished work...including at least one more Jimmy Gold novel. Morris hides everything away before being locked up for another horrific crime. But upon Morris’s release thirty-five years later, he’s about to discover that teenager Pete Saubers has already found the stolen treasure—and no one but former police detective Bill Hodges, along with his trusted associates Holly Gibney and Jerome Robinson, stands in the way of his vengeance....

Not since Misery has Stephen King played with the notion of a reader and murderous obsession, in this #1 acclaimed bestseller filled with “nail biting suspense that’s the hallmark of [his] best work” (Publishers Weekly).

- Network Effect by Martha Wells (Canada, USA, Europe) 9/10

You may recall that I mentioned that the author needed to up her game in whatever came after the novellas. because as fun and entertaining as they were, it was all becoming a little redundant. Well, she surely did and elevated Network Effect to another level. At first, it felt a little like more of the same. But when Wells kicks the story into high gear, then it becomes a thrilling ride that makes you want to beg for more. If you haven't read the Murderbot Diaries, you should make it a priority!

Here's the blurb:

I’m usually alone in my head, and that’s where 90 plus percent of my problems are.

When Murderbot's human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.

Drastic action it is, then.

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