Force of Nature by Jane Harper

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“Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?”

Five women compose one of two teams taking part in a corporate retreat, which has them setting off into the wilderness to navigate their way to the finish line. One of the women never makes it back, and the slightly different accounts told by her colleagues deepens the mystery of her disappearance. Federal Police Agent, Aaron Falk has a connection to the case and finds himself swept up in the investigation that takes him into an isolated region, which holds many secrets from both past and present.

“Later, the four remaining women could fully agree on only two things. One: No-one saw the bushland swallow up Alice Russell. And two: Alice had a mean streak so sharp it could cut you.” Continue reading “Force of Nature by Jane Harper”

Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott

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“This was the line between here and there. No landwash, no vague intertidal zone, no undecided. She stood at the edge, a mass of instincts and yearnings and despair, while the dawn painted itself in around her, shade by delicate shade.”

Catching the Light is a lovely book that initially appealed to me due to its setting, with much of it taking place in a small fictional town in Newfoundland as well as the very real city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The story mainly focuses on two characters: Cathy, a talented young artist who is struggling in school and is an outcast in the community, and Hutch, a popular kid in school who is charismatic, athletic, and ambitious. Through alternating points of view we follow each of these characters over the course of a few years, from high school through university, as they deal with personal struggles, insecurities, obstacles, successes, and failures. Cathy desires, more than anything, to be an artist and to leave the small town of Mariner’s Cove, however her struggle with reading has set her back and there is a great sense of hopelessness and impossibility when she thinks about where she wants to be, and what she wants to achieve. Hutch, on the other hand, seems to have it all figured out with plans A through C, and to him it is just a matter of time before he is on his way to achieving whatever he sets his mind to. However, a tragic event changes everything and he is forced to reevaluate his future.  Continue reading “Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott”

The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst

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“I suppose I’ll need Jastra’s plan after all. Pity.
It would have been nice to avoid murdering anyone.”

The Queen of Sorrow concludes The Queens of Renthia Trilogy; a wonderful fantasy series and one I have enjoyed immensely. In this final instalment, the focus is on the political landscape of Renthia, and the dynamics between three very powerful women. Daleina is a queen who has settled well into her role, although she lacks the power of her predecessor. Naelin holds great power but lacks training, and her role as queen is one she never sought or wanted. The most important thing in her life is her children whose safety and well-being she puts above everything. And then we have Queen Merecot, the key antagonist in the story and who fast became one of my favourite characters. She is incredibly ambitious, humorous, and borderline sociopathic. Her intentions are slowly revealed as the story progresses and she kept me guessing more than anyone else.  Continue reading “The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst”

Cove by Cynan Jones

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“It does not matter who you are. You know what you are physically, and that you’re in a kayak somewhere on the ocean. It only matters what you are, right now.”

This little book captures a man’s struggle for survival in one hundred and twenty unforgettable pages. During a sudden storm a man is struck by lighting while on his boat. When he wakes, he has no memory of who he is or where he is, only a vague feeling and idea of a woman who may be waiting for him. Everything becomes about survival, instinct, and making it from one moment to the next.

“He has no measurement of time. Time seems too specific a word to him. He thinks of whiles, moments – things less measurable. And for a long while he watches the stars, the thin double halo girding the moon, rocking to and fro, building his own constellations, finding his own patterns, drawing his own imaginary lines.” Continue reading “Cove by Cynan Jones”

The Honey Farm by Harriet Alida Lye

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“Spring on a honey farm, she thinks. That could be nice.”

When a drought takes over an isolated honey farm, the owner, Cynthia advertises it as an artists’ colony with free room and board in exchange for labour. Two of the people that decide to make the journey are Silvia, a recent graduate, and Ibrahim, a painter. But life on the farm does not exactly meet expectations, especially when troublesome events begin to occur and ones which Silvia finds terribly ominous: frogs swarm the pond, an outbreak of lice, taps run red, and soon the guests begin to leave.  Continue reading “The Honey Farm by Harriet Alida Lye”