Archive | October, 2018

WWW Wednesday, 31-October-2018 [Halloween Edition]

31 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently readingThe Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl looks so good on my bedside table. That’s a reason not to be reading it, right? I’ll get back to it soon…
I’m doing most of my reading of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson during lunch and it’s slow going, but it’s been fun. I’ll likely string this one out until the end of the year. Not by choice, just by slow reading habits.
I hope I can finish Not Me by Michael Lavigne this week. I’m not enjoying it as much as I did at first and I honestly want to finish it and get back to Pearl. I feel like there are too many questions and not enough answers. The main character is languishing, not moving and I’m a bit tired of it.
I was able to start That Night by Chevy Stevens on my phone and I’m using it as my car audiobook until another comes in. So far, It’s been a well-balanced mystery. I know what happened but I don’t. And I know what the future looks like, a bit. It’s muddled and fun so far!

Recently finished: I was able to finish A Column of Fire by Ken Follett on my way home from my swim meet on Saturday. It felt SO GOOD to call it done. I still have to return the huge audiobook to the library but I’m already imagining my car so much more empty. I’ll be writing a review for this next week.
I wrapped up A Night to Remember by Walker Lord, too. It was fun to revisit the Titanic after my trip to the Belfast museum this summer. I feel like a real nerd now. But I loved it. My review went up Monday so please check it out! I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I have my next audiobook on hold at the library and it will be The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway. I’m not usually a fan of short stories, but I am a fan of Hemingway. I think this one will work out well between the two.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Book Club Reflection: Artemis by Andy Weir

30 Oct

Yes, I’m already in two book clubs. Also, yes, I tacked on another one. But just this one time. Probably.

One of my librarian friends told me her SciFi/Fantasy group was reading Andy Weir’s Artemis and I groaned because I knew she would talk me into reading it and coming to the meeting. I loved Weir’s first novel, The Martian, and I had to see how his Sophomore attempt measured up. It seems a few other readers were in the same boat as me.

We had a lot of questions about life on Artemis. At the same time, we didn’t want too many details because it would have weighed down the story. We did wonder about the education system and how you’d put together a school system for so few children. Was there enough demand for teachers?

The book felt a lot like a Western. There was one sheriff, a lot of vigilante justice, and death from the elements was just a hair’s breath away. Only instead of angry Native American tribes, cholera, or snakes, it was temperature, pressure, and lack of oxygen. None of us would want to live on Artemis. First of all, no paper books! That would be hard for bibliophiles like us. But also, the lack of justice wasn’t attractive. We’re not the ones to live in the Old West it seems.

Artemis is the Greek goddess of the moon. We wondered why Artemis was chosen and not the Latin equivalent, Diana. It would have made even more sense for a Kenyan god to be selected. Maybe the name recognition or pronunciation would have been more difficult.

We enjoyed hearing about the small differences in life on Artemis. Coffee didn’t taste as good, stairs were half a meter high, how fun! We felt that these changes and new technology were introduced well into the story.

Of course, we had to talk about Jazz. I’ve already said my share in my review, so I’ll leave that out. One reader was surprised by how rough Jazz’s language was. She was very much the rebellious daughter. She was as opposite her father, a devout Muslim, as one could be.

Despite this, the relationship between Jazz and her dad played a central role in the plot. Her father was very proud of his honesty and trustworthiness. It made sense that he found his criminal daughter hard to get along with.

Jazz’s father was many of our favorite characters. Another liked Rudy and his own brand of space justice.

This group alternates SciFi and fantasy so fantasy is up next. I’m likely passing due to time but I’ll keep an eye out for the next book this group picks. I’ll likely drop in as I’m interested.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: A Night to Remember by Walter Lord (4/5)

29 Oct

I’m obsessed with the Titanic. It’s been a source of amazement and curiosity for at least the last ten years. We went to Belfast just to see the museum. I’ve seen the traveling exhibit at least four times. When I found a copy of Lord’s book at a closing Barnes and Nobel a few years ago, I knew I had to grab it. It took me a while to start diving in, but I’m really glad I was able to eventually.

Cover image via Goodreads

A Night to Remember by Walter Lord

Summary from Goodreads:

First published in 1955, A Night to Remember remains a completely riveting account of the Titanic’s fatal collision and the behavior of the passengers and crew, both noble and ignominious. Some sacrificed their lives, while others fought like animals for their own survival. Wives beseeched husbands to join them in lifeboats; gentlemen went taut-lipped to their deaths in full evening dress; and hundreds of steerage passengers, trapped below decks, sought help in vain.

I wasn’t sure if this would feel dated to me. I know that sounds silly when it’s about such a historic event. However, finding the wreckage changed a lot of ‘known’ facts about the sinking. Thankfully, Lord stuck to facts and this book was a wonderfully detailed account. I enjoyed that he stuck to a set time frame, the night of the sinking. He didn’t weigh down in the loading, construction, or investigations. It helped make this slim volume very engaging. I’m glad he focused on people of all classes instead of on the first class ‘glamorous’ experience. The crew is an often-forgotten group as well but Lord did them tribute.

There wasn’t a lot of characterization in this book which was fine with the ‘hard facts’ mood that Lord picked. The one thing I learned about a passenger that I hadn’t heard before was about Bruce Ismay. He never recovered from the Titanic and lived out the rest of his life solitarily in Ireland. I can’t imagine the responsibility he felt and how hard that was to live with.

It’s hard to imagine oneself in a position like those on the boat. Coming to terms with death and loss aren’t easy to do and I’m getting chills thinking about it. I hope I never find myself in such a horrible position.

Walter Lord
Image via Wikipedia

I loved all the detail Lord had about who was in what lifeboat and what happened while they were waiting for the Carpathia. I’ve not read a lot about that part of the sinking and it was interesting to learn something new. I wasn’t aware such good notes were taken about this time. I hadn’t considered how spread out the lifeboats would be after being adrift at sea on a dark night. All of these details made it easier to imagine how the night felt to the survivors.

The book seemed to come to its conclusion a bit abruptly. I almost hoped for a bit more about the inquiry because it was referenced several times toward the end but never talked about in detail. However, that would have extended the book beyond the scope Lord set and I understand why he didn’t do it.

My audiobook was narrated by Martin Jarvis. I felt he did a good job with the book. As a history, there weren’t a lot of voices or characters that he needed to do. He delivered a very factual account of the night with no thrills and the respect due to the lost.

It’s incredible that the Titanic has remained such a fascination for the world more than 100 years after her sinking. Any time I see an exhibit or talk about the ship, people are always interested and engaged in learning about her. The museum in Belfast is a rather recent structure and was packed on the Monday we visited. We’re fascinated with beauty and tragedy. How something so rich and magnificent could flounder and sink. How death equalized John Jacob Astor and the poorest steerage passengers on that boat. How so many small mistakes could cost so many lives.

Writer’s Takeaway: Lord didn’t take a lot of hearsay for granted. Many people had ideas about how the Titanic sank and what happened in the hours she was sinking. I expected to hear things that I knew were false but was really surprised with Lord’s story. He was true to the facts and the people who were there that night. As a huge fan, that makes a huge difference.

An enjoyable read for a big fan looking to learn more. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
A Night to Remember by Walter Lord:- Review | deemalaviya
A night to reflect | Time Tunnels

Off Topic Thursday: Halloween

25 Oct

Welcome to this holiday edition of Off-Topic Thursday. It seemed appropriate to talk about one of my favorite holidays with it’s own post.

My husband is the reason I love Halloween. When we went to college in different states, he would always visit me for Halloween. We’d wear costumes and go to a party and it was when he met a lot of my friends. When we got older, we decided we needed to throw Halloween parties to celebrate every year. And we decided we needed to make our own costumes. Because those are always better.

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To infinity and beyond! #halloween2015

A post shared by Sam Ann Elizabeth (@samannelizabeth) on

This was the first time I really rocked it. It involved scissors and fabric paint. A bit of work, but really not too bad. Last year, we did three costumes.

This was the simple one. It was punny and for a house party at our friend’s place. I had to eat at Taco Bell a few times that week and ask politely for extra (clean) papers, but it still wasn’t bad to make.

This was for a 10K run. It was my favorite. A lot of fabric paint and some scissors for this one. The worst part was the face paint. I don’t like face paint at all and I’ve vowed to not use it again. Which also includes my ‘no wigs’ rule.

This one was my other favorite. We had our two real turtles ‘dressed’ as the other two TMNT. (We printed out pictures and taped them on their tanks.) The shells on the back and the plates on the front were fun to do and I had a blast fabric painting in our kitchen.

My husband outdid me this year. I don’t have a good picture yet but it’s coming. Our party is this weekend and he’s been working on this costume for ten months. It does not disappoint. We’re going to have to come up with something really epic for 2019. Keep an eye on my Instagram for the bit update.

Until next time, spooky on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 24-October-2018

24 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Maybe I won’t get back to The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl as soon as I’d hoped. A girl can dream, right?
I’m SO CLOSE to finishing A Column of Fire by Ken Follett! It feels really amazing to be so close after so long. I think passengers in my car will appreciate not having the massive audiobook case in the seat!
I’m 25% through Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and I think I can push forward pretty quickly with it. It’s a fun book and every time I think it’s going to get dull, something changes that and I’m intrigued again.
I’m close to finishing A Night to Remember by Walker Lord as well. I love everything Titanic and this one has been fun to explore because it’s written before the wreck was found and things that were ‘known’ at the time have been disproved.
I’m enjoying Not Me by Michael Lavigne and trying to figure out what’s going on. I can tell there’s a big secret I’m not privy to but I can’t figure out what it could be. I like being kept guessing a little but I hope it doesn’t become any more than this.

Recently finished: After doing so well the past two weeks, it’s caught up with me. Nothing new this week. I think that will change again next week and I’ll finish the month strong! At least I can hope so.

I posted my review of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch on Thursday. Thanks to the many of you who came back to check that out! I gave it 5/5 stars.

Reading Next: The plan is still for That Night by Chevy Stevens. I should easily be able to start it this week. Stevens is my maiden name so I feel attached to this writer!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

I Like Big Audiobooks (And I Cannot Lie)

23 Oct

For the past two months, I’ve been making my way through Ken Follett’s A Column of Fire on audiobook. I’m loving it. The story is great, the characters are dynamic, and it’s a good end to the trilogy.

However, it’s reeeeeeeally long. The hardcover is 916 pages. The audiobook is 24 disks. I’m on disk 22. So close!

The problem becomes that the audiobook case is huge. This has caused many problems for me since I started it. No one can sit in my passenger seat and not notice it. Normally, audiobooks fit between my passenger seat and center console but this one is in a double-wide box. It gets tossed in the back with a passenger. My husband held it on a recent shopping trip and got so used to holding it that it started carrying it into the store before he realized he still had it.

It makes it difficult to change disks, too. I can’t lay the box in my lap beneath the steering wheel because there’s not enough space between my legs and the steering wheel. It’s best to be at a stop light to change it and I’ve re-listened to track 1 a few times to get to a good place to disk change.

Lastly, I’ve had to renew this audiobook the maximum number of times. If I don’t finish by 2-November, I’m looking at late fees (or the hassle of calling the library and asking for another extension). Even with my drive to class giving me more car time, this is still taking up a lot of my life. My normal read-through rate is much lower while I’m trying to get through this book.

But I love it. I enjoy long stories and falling in love with characters that are going to stick around for a while. There are a few more massive books I want to read and enjoying them on audio is a great way to keep myself calm in traffic and save my wrists the strain of holding the book up.

So I’ll admit, I like big audiobooks. I’ll keep enjoying them for years to come. Though I think they’ll eventually become big files and will all be on my iPhone. Which means I need to archive my pictures a bit sooner. I’m not sure I’ll like that so much.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

5 Spooky Reads for October

22 Oct

I’m a little short on book reviews at the moment so I thought it would be a good time to recommend a few spooky falls reads for anyone looking to pick up a book to enjoy before Halloween! These are ones I’ve enjoyed over the past few years.

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. A classic with a spooky setting and dramatic characters. Perfect for those not looking to be scared but wanting a strong fall theme.
  2. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. Not exactly scary, but very unsettling. A great story about a family gone wrong and how you live with tragedy.
  3. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Recensy bias here, but a great thriller with a spooky overtone and a setting in late fall. Great for a one-day binge.
  4. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Again with the queen of ghost stories. This one wasn’t flat-out scary but very creepy. Enough so that I screamed when my husband touched my shoulder while I was reading it. I thought he was a ghost.
  5. Bird Box by Josh Malerman. Scary, creepy, thrilling, altogether awesome. I’d recommend this one any time of year but now, it’s just what you need to go with your cider and mini-Snickers.

I hope you’re all enjoying some spooky fall reads! Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (5/5)

18 Oct

I somehow missed the hype of this book when it came out. I knew it got some good reviews but it was never on my radar. Man, do I regret that. This book blew me away. I’m so glad my book club picked it. I must have missed it due to a class in one book club because they were all shocked I was just getting to it. I’m so glad I’m in two!

Cover image via Goodreads

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Summary from Goodreads:

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

At first, I didn’t like this book. I was having flashbacks to The Maze Runner and the frustration I felt when the main character had no idea what was going on and he was getting no answers. But as soon as Jason figured out what was going on, I was in. I finished this book in three days and that’s no easy feat for me now with how busy my life is. I stayed in bed a lot on my days off, napping and reading this book. It blew me away. It was very original and yet it used something familiar enough that I could understand it. I wish I was still reading it. Fair warning, it’s hard to not have spoilers in this review so continue reading at your own risk.

I loved Jason. He was very realistic and yet he was so smart that it was unimaginable. I loved the relationship with him and Daniela. I thought he was really resourceful. Overall, it was really great. The ‘other Jasons’ were fun, too. I wish that had some more screen time.

Daniela was my favorite character. I loved her as a wife and mother and I loved the other versions of her we met. She was creative and fun and still very much the same person. I thought the way she acted at the end was believable and it showed how strong her relationship with Jason was.

While none of the things in this book have happened to me, I understand Jason’s’ dedication to his wife. I love my husband with an odd ferocity and I can understand why he was willing to go to such extreme circumstances to make sure she was safe. I’m not sure I understood the lottery he was willing to set up. I’ll never be in that circumstance so I guess I never have to.

Blake Crouch
Image via Twitter

I liked Amanda and Jason trying to navigate the box best. It was fun to see the strange worlds they ended up in and how the navigated them and got out. It was a fun adventure and it led well to the final adventures of the book. I understand why it was necessary, too, but the fun was the best part.

I didn’t like being kept in the dark for the first 100 pages. I was frustrated and might have put the book down. Crouch’s writing was quick and easy to read, which kept me going forward, but I hate not knowing something critical when the narrator also doesn’t know. It seems like the writer isn’t sure what he’s doing yet but in this case, Crouch had a very good idea!

Jason’s love for Daniela obviously drove the book. If he hadn’t been so driven and dedicated to getting back to Daniela and Charlie, he might have stayed in the other world. Success, riches, and intelligence didn’t mean anything if he didn’t have Daniela and Charlie to share it with. Even successful Jason wanted the happy family.

Writer’s Takeaway: Crouch’s short sentences kept me reading fast. The long chapters and short chapter interchanged kept me guessing. I loved the way he paced this novel, though I wish it had been a little faster earlier on. It was a really fun and quick read, something I haven’t enjoyed in a while.

Really run and enjoyable, Five out of Five Stars

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
“Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch | Ellie’s Reviews
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch | The Owl on the Bookshelf
#BookReview – Dark Matter by Blake Crouch #BuddyRead | Secret Library Book Blog
Dark Matter | Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch | For Winter Nights

WWW Wednesday, 17-October-2018

17 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: It might be optimistic, but I think I can return to The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl soon! I’ve only got one more book standing in my way. The future is at hand!
Unsurprisingly, I’m still working through A Column of Fire by Ken Follett. I’m getting close now, only a normal-length audiobook to go!
I’m moving slowly through Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson but I think this will be faster than some of my other ebooks. It’s a lot shorter than I thought it would be, honestly. I double checked four times that I didn’t have the abridged version!
I began listening to A Night to Remember by Walker Lord on my phone. I love everything Titanic and I’m honestly surprised I didn’t have this on my radar earlier than I did. It’s a short one and I expect I’ll fly through it.
I began Not Me by Michael Lavigne on Friday. Not too far into it yet but I’ve had such a good run of print books that I’m optimistic that this one will go fast. too!

Recently finished: I finished two again! The first was The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz which was a phone audio. I was happy to wrap it up on my way home from school. It was a very satisfying ending for me and set up well for another one in the series! I gave it Four out of Five Stars and posted my review yesterday, check it out.
The second was Dark Matter by Blake Crouch which I flew through. I was skeptical for about the first 100 pages and then finished it in less than 24 hours. I’m yawning as I type this because I sacrificed a lot of sleep for this book. So worth it. A full Five out of Five Stars and my review will be up tomorrow.

I also posted my review of Artemis by Andy Weir last Friday. It wasn’t The Martian, but it was good. I’ll expect good things from Weir in the future. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: It seems too optimistic to think about finishing yet another book this week. If I do, it will probably be an eaudiobook and next will probably be That Night by Chevy Stevens. This book haunted me for a while before I found it on clearance when a Barnes and Nobel closed and decided to buy it. We’ll see how it goes.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz (4/5)

16 Oct

I put this book off for a very long time. I knew that the Salander books were being continued by another writer, but I was nervous that I’d be disappointed by them and didn’t want to read them at first. But my mom read it and reassured me it was fine. I got a copy from a library sale and let it languish on my desk. Eventually, I caved and here we are.

Cover image via Goodreads

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

Summary from Goodreads:

She is the girl with the dragon tattoo—a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit. He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution.

Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female superhacker—a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering. Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminals, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it…

I’m genuinely OK with Lagercrantz taking over this series. I was afraid it would feel too different and maybe for some hard-core fans, it is. As a fan who read the trilogy over five years ago and has seen the Sweedish films and wants to see the new English one, this was just fine. It had the same techy vocabulary and lists of street names that I remembered. I like how Lagercrantz created a new villain for Lisbeth to defeat in this one and I hope he’ll stretch it out for a few more novels.

I liked that Blomkvist is getting older. In the first three, it seemed like Larsson was writing an idealized version of himself in Blomkvist and his ability to be sexy, smart, and perpetually young stuck out (much like Robert Langdon in Dan Brown’s novels). But Lagercrantz doesn’t have the same dedication to the character and he’s much more believable. Lisbeth is as crazy and out there as ever and hasn’t changed much, which I appreciated.

August was my favorite character. I loved how this boy with a minimal ability to communicate found a way to express himself and help the people he loved. He needed to feel protected and didn’t feel that with his mother but when he could be around his father and Lisbeth, he was safe enough to let show what he could do. I adored seeing him as a strong boy and not someone who needed to be perpetually pitied.

There wasn’t much in this book I related to well. It was very distant from my life and I think that’s why I could enjoy it. It was an escapist piece for me. Really fun to read and nothing like my life. Even the ways the characters reacted weren’t things I could relate to because the situations they were in were so far from me.

David Lagercrantz
Image via Facebook

I liked Lisbeth and August’s escape from the summer home best. It was the best of Lisbeth’s quick thinking and fighting ability. Her being able to perform at that level with a child just showed how clever she was. I liked getting the story in bits from different perspectives as well.

I thought the build-up in this one was a bit slow. I can’t exactly put my finger on why, but it just seemed to take a long time to grab my attention. It seems silly to say that with how action-packed the early chapters were, but I wasn’t invested until Lisbeth was more involved.

My audiobook was narrated by Simon Vance. He’s the same man who narrated the first three in this series and I believe I listened to two of them. He doesn’t use much change in vocal tone but it’s enough that you know who’s talking in a phone conversation and he changes his accent enough that you recognized the Russian characters in this one. As is my mark with male narrators, I didn’t feel his female voices were ‘weak’ or ‘too girly.’

There’s not too much of a moral theme in this one. Stop the bad guys from killing people for money. It’s not a very noteworthy theme. Underneath it, though, Lisbeth always has more to say. She can’t stand those who don’t protect women and children. She does everything she can to help August even when his mother has given up. In today’s world, standing up for women is seeming harder and harder. We can’t give up, the same as Lisbeth.

Writer’s Takeaway: I have great respect for Lagercrantz for what he was able to accomplish in writing this book. He was able to take another man’s characters and style and still write an original book. It’s like the ultimate version of FanFiction I can think of. Mimicking another author’s style is a fun writing exercise, but keeping it up for an entire plot is really impressive.

Overall, really enjoyable and a fun read. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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