Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, a book review.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Sometimes life can be very strange. A while back I bought the book Hex, written by Dutch writer Thomas Olde Heuvelt. I was drawn to it by the fact that it was being promoted as the new Dutch fantasy novel.

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For some reason I put it in my bookcase and forgot about it (sorry Thomas).

Earlier this year whilst I was attending Dutch Comic Con, Thomas was there, signing books. I felt a small pang of shame as I remembered that unread book, still in my bookcase, and bummed I didn’t have it with me to get it signed.

Still, I again forgot about it, until two days ago. One of my friends posted a screenshot of the tweet made by Stephen King, the master of horror himself, praising Thomas his book. How epic and cool is that! So I liked that post and yesterday I got a friend request from Thomas himself.

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Maybe this was the universe telling me, read the book! Ok, ok. I got my copy, settled on the couch and… read the book in one go.

Now I have read loads of books, the fact that I own over 700 of them is prove as well. And there aren’t many books I read in one sitting, where I am drawn into it, forget the world around me and keep turning page after page, desperately wanting to know what happens next. This book did.

Slight note. As I understand it, the English version is slightly different from the Dutch version. I read the Dutch one, but now I want to get my hands on an English copy as well.

Synopsis according to Goodreads:

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves. Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened. The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.

Author info according to Goodreads:

Thomas Olde Heuvelt

  • Born in Nijmegen, Netherlands

 

Dutch novelist THOMAS OLDE HEUVELT (1983) is the author of five novels and many short stories. His work has appeared in many languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French. In 2015, his story The Day the World Turned Upside Down was the first ever translated work to win a Hugo Award. Two more of his stories have been nominated for both Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. In 2016, Olde Heuvelt’s critically acclaimed novel HEX, which became a bestseller in The Netherlands, will be launched around the globe (In the US by MacMillan/Tor and in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton). Warner Bros. is currently developing a TV series based on the book. “HEX is reminiscent of vintage Stephen King, and I can think of no higher praise. Chilli

Dutch novelist THOMAS OLDE HEUVELT (1983) is the author of five novels and many short stories. His work has appeared in many languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French. In 2015, his story The Day the World Turned Upside Down was the first ever translated work to win a Hugo Award. Two more of his stories have been nominated for both Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. In 2016, Olde Heuvelt’s critically acclaimed novel HEX, which became a bestseller in The Netherlands, will be launched around the globe (In the US by MacMillan/Tor and in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton). Warner Bros. is currently developing a TV series based on the book.

I’ll try not to give away too many spoilers.

What I loved about this book, first and foremost is that it is set in the region I originally come from (for the people who read the Dutch version of the book). I was born in a smallish town in ‘Brabant’ although not as small as the town ‘Beek’ mentioned in the book. But how the people and townsfolk act is pretty much how I remember it (minus the horror stuff, but then again, I wouldn’t be surprised). It has nothing compared to living in a larger city where you are lucky if your neighbours greet you at all.

Not until the second chapter you finally begin to get a grasp what the story is about, and throughout the book you begin to grasp the situation about Hex. I imagine when reading the book for a second time you will get a lot of aha moments, small little signs you missed the first time because know you know.

It is amazing how Thomas managed to capture todays life, with texting, popular language and big brother is watching you and at the same time describes that small town feel and throw you back into the middle ages as well.

Some of the horror stuff, nope no spoilers, you should really read the book yourself, reminded me a lot of the books written by Bridget Wood and which I think is high praise. Thomas has captured multiple important ethical dilemmas while being subjected to years and years of indoctrination and pear pressure in such a way that it’s almost scary, even if applied to today’s everyday life and how we as people react to say the refugees’ crisis.

If you are susceptible to nightmares I suggest reading this book during the day, or keep a light on at night when you go to bed. Unfortunately, I’m past this point, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t scare me at some points.

Not one point during the book I had a moment where I had that feel of pages being filled, just for the sake of creating pages (which some books do). From beginning to end it captures you and I hate myself sometimes for having a high reading speed and finishing it in a couple of hours.

The book leaves you hunger for more, but as I said, luckily I can read the English version as well!

Thomas, ik had niet gedacht dat Hex zo ontzettend goed zou zijn. Schrijf meer van dit soort boeken, je hoort thuis in de fantasy wereld en ik kan niet wachten tot een eventuele verfilming en meer van je fantastische verhalen.

This books gets a well-deserved 5 out of 5 star review and I recommend you get your hands on a copy and read it, over and over again, because this is a book you can read multiple times.

Have you read it?

Lots of love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

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The Rory Gilmore 2015 reading challenge.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Welcome to the first post of 2015. I hope you had an excited New Year’s Eve and everybody still has all their fingers and toes left after playing with fireworks.

First of all. Yesterday brought the sad news that Edward Hermann passed away at the age of 71 after battling cancer. Edward was for us Gilmore Girls knows as Richard Gilmore, Lorelai’s dad and Rory’s grandfather. Rest in peace Edward.

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Now 2015 has begun it’s also time to start new reading challenges. I mentioned in an earlier post I wanted to do the Rory Gilmore reading challenge. It isn’t possible to read all the books in one year, but I want to try to read 2 books a month from that list and start an online reading group on Facebook.naamloos1

The original post about the Rory Gilmore reading challenge can be found here. It contains the list with all the books. My goal is to imagesTLU03SA5start on January fifth and see who’s with me.

If you want to participate in this reading challenge just leave a comment or a Facebook link and I will set up a private group on Facebook so we can start reading. I will be doing monthly updates on how it goes and what our thought about the books are.

imagesJ9BOXJM7It doesn’t matter if you join on January fifth or later this year. It is just a way to read some epic classic books you normally wouldn’t pick up that soon to read. And remember, there is a Goodreads list of the books as well.images10XZG7SW

We all get turns into picking 2 books for that month and you are able to skip books if you read them already or you can reread them as well, up to you.

Oh and I’m also in the process of watching all the Gilmore Girls episodes again, thanks to Netflix and my new TV. It will get you imagesNCX6PWCKimagesJF5ML1H1right in the mood to pick up those books.

I hope to see loads of you participating! And let this epic reading challenge begin!

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy

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Fool’s Assassin (The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb, a book review.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Another book review, or at least I’ll try, because as I said before and will say it again. The books by Robin Hobb are my favourite and it’s difficult to do them justice by writing a proper review about them. Beware of spoilers! No seriously! Lots and lots of spoilers ahead!

Robin Hobb

Synopsis according to Goodreads:

Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown. But behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin. A man who has risked much for his king and lost more… On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of a man, a wolf and a fool. Once, these three were inseparable friends: Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. But one is long dead, and one long-missing. Then one Winterfest night a messenger arrives to seek out Fitz, but mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing but a blood-trail. What was the message? Who was the sender? And what has happened to the messenger? Suddenly Fitz’s violent old life erupts into the peace of his new world, and nothing and no one is safe.

My thoughts:

How does one write a proper review for a book that is singlehandedly one of your favourites and still do it justice? Don’t look at me, I don’t know, otherwise I wouldn’t be asking this of you. If you haven’t read the books by Robin Hobb, there is no point at starting with this one, as it is a new trilogy in a group of trilogies and for the proper background story, you need to read the other books first. I’ll help you with that:

Start with the Farseer trilogy:

  • Assassin’s apprentice
  • Royal Assassin
  • Assassin’s Quest

Continue with the Liveship Traders trilogy:

  • Ship of Magic
  • The Mad Ship
  • Ship of Destiny

Next is the Tawny Man Trilogy:

  • Fool’s Errand
  • The Golden Fool
  • Fool’s FateThe Rain Wilds Chronicles:

And if you like (but not really necessary):

  • Dragons Keeper
  • Dragon Haven
  • City of Dragons
  • Blood of Dragons

Before you even contemplate beginning reading Fool’s Assassin. If you have done so, good job and continue reading this review. If not, back up now, read the other books and when you are done, come back to this review.

Last time before you can back out and stop. There are spoilers ahead!

Years after we have left the Fool and Fitz we finally come back to them. Fitz finally has Molly as his wife, only to be known as Tom Badgerlock and he and Molly manage Wittywoods. They have raised all the kids Molly and Burrich had together as well as Fitz’s and Moll’s real child Nettle. Burrich, unfortunately is no more and a lot has changed in the years. Chade is no longer hidden in the walls of Buckkeep Castle and an important influence on Kettrichen and her son Buckkeep finally has a proper skill mistress and coterie in Nettle. People with the Witt are no longer chased for their magic and it seems like peace has restored in the realms.

We see Fitz and Molly working in Wittywoods, the daily upkeep and life is good. When on a stormy and cold winterfest festival a mysterious messenger appears and disappears, again Fitz thinks nothing of it.

His old friends and his old life seem far away, but still in his mind and he thinks often about Nighteyes and the Fool. The two most important beings in his life besides Molly and Chade.

Things calm down after the winterfest and life continues. Molly gets older rapidly while Fitz keeps strong thanks to that skill healing he had years ago. And then Molly starts to behave strangely. She seems forgetful, losing her way and losing her mind. Suddenly convinced she is pregnant at her age. At first this is joyous news for Fitz, but as time passes by, there are no signs of a pregnancy and Molly’s behaviour gets stranger still. Fitz does everything he can to support her and protect her of the gossiping of their staff.

Much to everyone’s surprise, 2 years after Molly announced she was expecting, she gives birth to a tiny little daughter that they name Bee. But still no joy was given to the household as everyone expects the child to die soon and if by some miracle she would grow up, she would be handicapped for as long as she may live.

Of course Bee pulls through and we see how she grows up, not stupid as everyone expects her to be, but highly intelligent and in possession of both the Skill and Witt.

But she has a lot of trouble connecting to other people besides her mother and the unthinkable thing happens. Molly dies, Fitz loses yet another important person in his life and now he faces the world alone yet again. He needs to pull himself together to raise Bee and manage Wittywoods and also take charge of two new protégés Chade puts in his care.

Another messenger arrives, a white one leaving behind a dangerous message and an assignment for Fitz. Will he be able to carry out that oh so important assignment? Is the Fool still alive? Can he manage all the new tasks given him?

My thoughts again:

Although I am costumed to read the books by Robin Hobb in Dutch, I now have an English version in my possession and nothing really changed. The translation in Dutch was really well done and within a couple of pages, I was sucked back into the story about Fitz, the kingdoms, the Fool, politics and magic.

Robin Hobb has done it again. Whereas I struggled to read the Rain Wild Chronicles (and I still haven’t read all of them yet) this was a book I couldn’t put down. But since I’m not in school anymore and need my sleep in order to function at work I stretched my reading period.

On the one hand, I really wanted to read the whole book in just one session, on the other hand, I didn’t want it to finish. I was really strict about reading just one chapter or a couple of pages.

This book felt like seeing an old friend again, who you haven’t seen in years, but it feels like home again as soon as you pull him into your arms. I laughed and I cried, I felt sorry and I was angry. I was going through all the emotions during the reading of this epic book. Fitz and his fellow characters almost feel like family to me, more so than some of my real family.

I hunger for more, I want the whole trilogy now, please Robin, continue writing. Bring us more Fitz, Bee, Chade, the Fool and all the other familiar characters you created. Never ever stop writing these books.

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

Mistral’s Kiss by Laurell K. Hamilton, a book review.

Hi hot cute girly geeks of mine,

Lately I have a lot of free time on my hands and that means I can read a lot. Here is a book review of one of my favorite authors Laurell. K. Hamilton, Mistral’s Kiss. The fifth book in the Merry Gentry series.

Mistral’s Kiss by Laurell K. Hamilton is one of my favorite books from the Merry Gentry series. This is only the second time I’m reading it, but still. Merry finds herself in the middle of a lot of political drama. Her cousin is still imprisoned and she is back in fairy. But there are a couple of assassin attempts on her, before she enters fairy. Her favorite men are doing anything they can to protect her, but things get complicated as a lot of people from the Unseelie court don’t want her as their new queen for fear of becoming mortal. And to top things off. The God and Goddess take a personal interest in her, in attempt to restore fairy as it ones was.

 

I love this book so much because she finally admits her feelings she has towards Doyle, the queens darkness and my favorite character of all her men. The sex is hot and steamy, like all Laurell’s books. She has such imagination and getting it spot on, on paper. The men are beautiful as always. Wish you had those in real life. A girl can only hope.

This is the fifth book in the Merry Gentry series and I will see if I can manage to do a review on the previous four, but this is a must read, as all Laurell K. Hamiltons books are. The Merry Gentry serie and the Anita Blake serie!!!

You can now also find me on goodreads!!!

Love, your hot cute girly geek, for all things hot, cute, girly and geeky!!!