August was a conflicted month for reading: from books that I struggled to get into, to those that used to hold my absolute attention but no longer do.
After coming across the film on television, I decided to reread Twilight. I’ve already written a bit about that experience, but where it was one of my favourite books, I found it harder to enjoy this time around. Once I finished Twilight, I started on New Moon, but found that a bit annoying so just skipped to the last 100 or so pages where Bella goes to Italy to rescue Edward from the Volturi.
Next up was another supernatural story, but this one was a more engaging read. Night Shift is the third and final book in Charlaine Harris’ Midnight trilogy, which follows the residents of a small town in rural Texas as they go about their somewhat unusual lives.
Many of the characters in this trilogy have popped up elsewhere in the Harris universe, which is amusing if you’ve read any of her other novels. In this book, the residents of Midnight suspect something sinister is happening when people begin appearing in town and dramatically committing suicide at the town’s crossroads. It’s up to vampire Lemuel, witch Fiji, psychic Manfredo and the others to find out what’s happening and stop it before it claims any more lives.
One of the things I particularly like about this series is how each book focuses on different residents from the town, revealing their backstories and hidden pasts. Night Shift was a fun conclusion to the trilogy, which I’m sad to see come to an end, although apparently it is being made into a TV series, so I’ll watch out for that.
The final book I read in August was The Undesired, by Icelandic crime writer Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Moving away from her series of novels following Thora, a female lawyer from Reykjavik, this is a ghost story that promises to be a chilling read.
After the tragic death of his ex-wife, Odinn has to adjust to living with his young daughter. And when a colleague also passes away, he’s stuck investigating a children’s home that operated in the wilds of Iceland decades ago, with instructions to find out if anything untoward happened there, after two boys died in mysterious circumstances.
When he begins to feel a presence in his apartment, and hears stories of a ghostly figure seen at the children’s home, Odinn discovers a link between the two cases and fears that there may be more to his former wife’s death than he thought.
If I’m honest, I really struggled with this one. It was an incredibly slow burn and I just couldn’t get into it at all. I thought repeatedly about giving up but I pushed on, skim reading through chapters in the middle of the book until things started to pick up towards the end. The conclusion to the mystery was mildly disturbing and I’m glad I persevered to find out what happened, but I was disappointed with this one.
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