i'll be gone in the dark review

GENRE: TRUE CRIME

PAGE COUNT: 328 PAGES

BOOK SYNOPSIS

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer—the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade—from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.

“You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.”

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

 

“Movies don’t capture the effect of the real thing. It’s impossible to reproduce in a studio. Conversations stop. Heads jerk. Eardrums pound with dread. For nothing signals terror like a teenage girl’s wild, unrestrained scream in the night”

I don’t think words can accurately describe how I felt reading Michelle McNamara’s brilliant work of True Crime. If I possessed the talent for prose Michelle did perhaps I could.

I’ll Be Gone In the Dark is one of the most unique pieces of True Crime I have ever read. All of the trademarks are there, of course, the meticulous research, the evidence, the writers own theories and interviews with detectives and internet sleuths. However unique to this story is the hauntingly beautiful narrative prose and Michelle’s persona perfectly entwined in the story. Paul Holes phrases it best in the book;

“The ability to learn the case, have insights that many do not have the aptitude for, the persistence, and the fun and engaging personality all wrapped up in one person was amazing”

As a reader, you can’t help but be painfully aware throughout the novel that this wonderful human was taken from the world to soon. I have hope that all her painstaking work and obsession with finding the responsible suspect will be rewarded after a reader reads this book and, like Michelle utilizes their own skills playing detective. Finally fitting the pieces together and solving the case she dedicated much of her life trying to figure out.

“We will not stop until we get his name, we’ll be playing detective as well”

The book is as one expects, completely riveting. I made the mistake of starting it during the process of moving and working and ended up reading it into the wee hours of the morn. With all my lights on and doors locked of course. She has a way with prose that is so visual, I was often left with chills up my spine and a scream caught in my throat. As someone who has read a lot of True Crime, I can say nothing has yet left me quite as shook to my core as this book.

Even if you aren’t a True Crime reader I implore you to read this book. It’s a window into the beautiful person that was Michelle, and an intimate view into the obsession that kept her up at night.

I had to read the last chapter several times the “Letter to an old man” she wrote has an immense impact and I can only imagine what the Golden State Killer felt if he has read it. I hope he has, and I hope like so many of his victims, He is afraid.

“Open the door. Show us your face.

Walk into the light”

RATING:
★★★★★

I think it’s also very important to highlight we should all trust our gut instinct. If you see something suspicious that doesn’t seem right, call 000/911. Worst case they check it out and it’s nothing, but you could be ultimately saving someone’s life.

Illuminae By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Review

GENRE: Science Fiction/YA

PAGE COUNT: 599 PAGES

“You have me. Until every last star in the galaxy dies. 

You have me.

Book Synopsis

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, exes Kady and Ezra – who are barely even talking to each other – are forced to fight their way onto the evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit. 

But the warship is the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results. The fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what the hell is going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again. 

I have been hearing about this book for a while now, people are very, very passionate about this series and after reading it last night I completely understand. Illuminae is Starwars meets The Walking Dead meets 2001: A Space Odyssey.  It’s also a super fun read, which is impressive, considering the complete emotional shitstorm you endure over the course of its 599 pages.

The book is told via various interviews, recovered documents, IM Chats and more. The style makes the book a stand out for me as I’ve never read anything like it before. It’s visually stunning as well- the artwork is truly transformative in this novel. The formatting makes the book an absolute page-turner, that makes me feel like a space detective. Always a plus.

 

While reading you question all of the details present and are aware that some may be missing. More importantly, have things been left out intentionally? The book is like a puzzle the reader can interpret as they wish. I will be rereading this in the future to pick up on whatever I missed. I believe a great book should be readable multiple times with the reader still discovering points they missed the first read. Illuminae nails this perfectly.

Aside from the writing style the story is completely heart breaking and enthralling, and superbly character driven.

“I am frequently underestimated, I think it’s because I’m short”

-Kady Grant

Our main character is a classic everyman hero, completely relatable, bitingly sarcastic and charmingly youthful. In what can only be described as the literal worst day a person can have, she remains strong, and fights till the very end. If you are looking for a seriously kick ass female empowering character, you have found her. Kady has empowerment in spades.  She also happens to be an amazing hacker, you could say it’s her superpower. This talent sets her out as a unique kind of hero and I found her very relatable and was cheering her on from my reading nook throughout her journey.

“Let’s try really, really hard not to die”

“He presses the triggers. And like roses in his hands, death blooms.”

Ezra Mason is the modern day Patrick Verona (10 Things I hate about you), seriously, he gave me major Health Ledger vibes throughout the book. He brought a lot of the comedy and lighthearted moments in the novel and is another character who is very easy to love. He’s certainly not perfect, which makes him all the more endearing. He’s an extremely loyal character that complements Kady’s character well.

“Its like a beautiful painting of a totally empty room”

Illuminae will take you on an intense emotional journey. Laughter, loss, conspiracy, twists, tears, friendship, space, death, love – it has it all, and more.

Overall this book is a definite favourite for me and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the series! I was very emotionally invested and finished this book in a day as I simply refused to put it down. The lost sleep was well worth it, I cannot recommend this book enough! If this has been on your TBR for a while, do yourself a favour and pick it up. I can guarantee you wont regret it.

“I hear her whisper their names as seventeen depleted uranium rounds punter her full tanks and scatter her across the void”

Sidenote… The Authors are Aussie’s! I don’t seem to have a lot of Australian authors on my bookshelf currently which is definitely something I need to remedy!

Some quotes that have stuck with me and give me all of the feels;

“Endless darkness shot through with tiny spears of sunlight older than you and your entire species” 

“Lines like poetry, she doesn’t move in space, she dances in it”

“All of it happening in perfect, absolute silence”

“Promises are just words, they don’t mean a thing”

“All this in the time it takes god to blink”

“Glittering fragments spinning out into forever”

RATING:

★★★★★

litjoy crate magical edition

“I solemly swear that I am up to no good” 

My Year 3 Litjoy Crate Magicak Edition has arrived! And oh how brilliant it is! After purchasing last years box I had no doubt that this box would be eqaully as pefect! Now without further adue on to the contents!

litjoy crate magical edition

A letter to Harry from Sirius with a Buckbeak feather included! Much like in the book. Ah, the feels!

“The ones who love us never really leave us, you can always find them in here.”

litjoy crate magical edition

“Why, dear boy, we don’t send wizards to Azkaban just for blowing up their aunts.”

Auntie Marge featured in her blown up state in coaster form! The material of the coaster is real nice as well.

litjoy crate magical edition

“Expecto Patronum!”

A pin featuring one of four patronuses, I believe mine is a hare aka the brilliant Luna Lovegoods Patronus! The material of this pin also feels super satisfying, I believe it is the same material as the coaster.

litjoy crate magical edition

A time turner! This time turner is beautiful and comes with a case so it has a frozen in time effect of you want to display it. You can easily open the case when you want to wear the necklace. This was definitely one of my favorite items as I hadn’t yet had a time turner in my collection.

litjoy crate magical edition

Cute magnetic bookmarks!

A Book of Monsters book sleeve! Just look at how wonderful it is! I love that it matches last years Tom Riddle sleeve so well.

litjoy crate magical edition

A dementors kiss lip plumper, I love the design on this. It smells nicely of cinnamon.

There were also black kisses chocolates that matched the lip plumper but I devoured them shortly after opening…

litjoy crate magical edition

This peekaboo bookmark is both adorable and perfect

litjoy crate magical edition

“It’s … The Grim!”

The grim magically appears when the mug is heated! I feel very Slytherin drinking from a mug with a death omen on it 😂

litjoy crate magical edition

Another Wick and Fable candle! I am equally as obsessed with this candle as I am with the Sherbert Lemon candle that was in the last box. It smells sooooo good you guys

litjoy crate magical editio

How beautiful is this tote!!! I am in love with the artwork on this!

My very own Knight bus ticket!

These illustrations are just ah! I cannot! Just look how beautiful

Even the contents card is amazing, I don’t usually keep contents cards, but I will be keeping this one!

That is the end of this jam-packed box! I have to say if you can only afford one Harry Potter themed box this is the one to get! Each Year they have a box themed on a book and the items are always high quality, usable and fun replicas or items that perfectly fit the year.

I am so happy with this box and there are still some left if you want to purchase one yourself!

“Mischief Managed”

**I purchased this box with my own money and all opinions are my own.

Oh Nocturnal Readers Box, my love for you grows and grows and I fear I will soon explode with horror much like the books contained within.

The Nocturnal Readers box is a Monthly subscription box for fans of speculative fiction, it features one new release and one previously released book and a bunch of bookish goodies each month

This month we have a print called “Swan” by Vitor Willemann. I must say this months print is one of my favourites! Just look at it, so dark and mysterious and it needs to be on my wall now.

Everything That’s Underneath is our new release this month, a collection of short stories. I’m hoping the stories within have the same vibes as the books title which I am digging.

Hell hound is our previous release this month and reminds me of cujo, therefore, I’m already a fan.

A Bates Motel magnet!!! I’m so about this, it’s similar to our Derry magnet and they are both now sitting happily on my fridge.

Poe costers!!! Love Love Love

A second Poe item! Nocturnal Readers box deserve some serious props for their pins, they are always so on point.

Rosemary’s Baby Socks! They look awesome, I really need to watch this… and now I can watch it in style! Clearly, my brain was waiting till I received these to belatedly get on the Rosemary’s Baby bandwagon.

Devil crept in keychain! So subtle and so perfect

I love this new tweak to the bookmarks!  I haven’t seen this done anywhere before and hope to see more like it in the future!

As always, brilliant! Honestly, this subscription box is always so perfect and without a doubt the most worth the money and the best out there. If you are looking for a box that is always original and high quality that also helps you discover new authors, you have found it.

Also, they might be adding true crime soon … **crosses fingers and toes**

the ocean at the end of the lane

GENRE: FANTASY/THRILLER
PAGE COUNT: 237 PAGES

“I remember my own childhood vividly…I knew terrible things. But I knew I mustn’t let adults know I knew. It would scare them.”

Maurice Sendak

Book Synopsis

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

The epigraph sets the stage for this novel perfectly and readies you for the magical thrills you will encounter in the next pages.

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is an easy book to love. You will be hooked from the first page into this strange yet familiar memory the anonymous protagonist finds himself thrown into. A memory he had forgotten about entirely. Filled with magic, wonder, the supernatural and fear.

“Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences. I was a child, which meant that I knew a dozen different ways of getting out of our property and into the lane, ways that would not involve walking down our drive.”

The prose in the book leads to many points like this, which allow the reader to draw comparisons to their own childhood. Moments lost in time much like the moments in this novel. This quote really embodies and alludes to the exploratory nature of a child’s mind and allows the reader to feel their own nostalgia. I was often traveling into my childhood adventures while reading this book.

“She was also an adult, and when adults fight children, adults always win.”

The main character is one who enjoys the company of books. Which is one of the reasons I believe, he so willingly goes along with the adventures of Lettie who at first is a virtual stranger. The experiences must seem like the tales in his books. Another factor I related to in this story as I read from very early on in my childhood, often daydreaming about the adventures in my novels.

“Nothing’s ever the same,” she said. “Be it a second later or a hundred years. It’s always churning and roiling. And people change as much as oceans.”

Personally, I’m a sucker for oceans as symbolism and I really felt that Lettie’s ‘Ocean’ was a metaphor for knowledge. The ocean may literally be knowledge as there is a supernatural element to this book. As with all books, I’m sure each reader has their own ideas and interpretations concerning what the Ocean is and what it represents.

Once you’ve been around for a bit, you get to know stuff.”

I kicked a stone. “By ‘a bit’ do you mean ‘a really long time’?”

She nodded.

“How old are you, really?” I asked.

“Eleven.”

I thought for a bit. Then I asked, “How long have you been eleven for?”

She smiled at me.”

Lettie is a brilliant character, she has earned her place in my top characters list undoubtedly. The eleven-year-old girl with a wisdom and depth beyond her years and our main characters first real friend. Her character is as much a mystery to us as it is to the narrator and one that I wish had her own novel. She is surely a metaphor for the world being infinitely magical and beyond our understanding. Neil captures this so beautifully and clearly in Lettie’s character.

“That’s the trouble with living things. Don’t last very long. Kittens one day, old cats the next. And then just memories. And the memories fade and blend and smudge together.”

Lettie Hempstock’s family are equally as intriguing, they seem to give the impression they know all there is in the world and also kick some serious ass. I would like to adopt both of them, please. I believe the fact that Old Mrs. Hempstock appears to guide the characters when they are lost might be Neil’s cheeky way of saying we should not underestimate the knowledge of our elders.

“I could have ruled worlds, but I followed you, and I waited, and I had patience. I knew that sooner or later the bounds would loosen, that I would walk the true Earth, beneath the Sun of Heaven.”

When the villain has epic speeches like this, you know they are a worthy one. Like everything else in The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, I adored our antagonist. One who still manages to elicit pity from the reader. I cannot say much without spoiling the plot, but rest assured. Much like the all of this novel she is perfect.

I am now listening to the Audiobook of this novel to hear its perfect prose spoken by Neil himself. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you are on the fence about it allow me to push you over into reading it… Now

RATING:

★★★★★