The R.I.P. challenge and 3 Reviews : The Thirteenth Tale, Virals and Prophecy of the Sisters

Hello hello, all!

First of all, I missed you. It’s crazy how blogging has become such a part of my life that, when  I don’t do it for a while, I feel like there’s a little something missing in my life!

So October came and went (that was a while ago, I know!), and despite a huge blogging slump that has made this space a lot quieter, I did complete my R.I.P. challenge before October ended! I read 4 books, as I had planned, 2 of which had been on my initial list. Not bad!

I reviewed The Lace Reader previously, and it was definitely my favorite of the four. Now is the time to review the three other books I read for the occasion, and I thought it would be fun to review them all together. While I did really enjoy one of them, and thought the other two were okay, I found that I took very few notes and had little to say about them – hence the shorter reviews. Hopefully I’ll be back on top of this blogging thing before the end of the year!

* * *

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Pages : 406
Genre : Mystery, Gothic
Stand Alone
My Rating : 

What it’s about : When Margaret gets hired to write the biography of one of Britain’s most popular novelists, she does it mostly out of curiosity. Vida Winter has had a prolific writing life, but the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale is one she has never shared before. Margaret soons find herself captivated by Vida’s tales, as well as facing the missing parts of her own story.

My Thoughts : The Thirteenth Tale was much more intriguing, and much more intricate that I expected it to be – but in a good way! The story within a story is a fascinating one, it’s also one that leaves you wondering; is this true, or not? How reliable is this woman’s narrative, really?

The pace was really slow at times but I didn’t mind, at all. It gave the book time to develop gently, and there were a lot of details to these little pieces of the story, so I was never bored. I enjoyed Setterfield’s writing, and while I never completely connected to Margaret, I loved her as a character. It was definitely a great read for October, and for the R.I.P. challenge.

* * *

Virals by Kathy Reichs
Pages : 452
Genre : YA, Paranormal
Series : Virals, Book 1
My Rating :

What it’s about : Tory and her friends are the first surprised when, after rescuing a dog from a laboratory, they witness their bodies reacting differently to the world around them. Now not only do they have to deal with their new abilities, they also got involved in an unresolved murder case.

My Thoughts : In theory, this one had everything to grab my interest : secret laboratory experiments, an almost secluded island, a cold case, etc. But I just couldn’t get into it.

Now, I know that Reichs is quite the popular author, her Bones novels being in every bookstore and the TV series being quite popular, too. But I didn’t like the writing, at all. I didn’t get Tory and worse, I didn’t really want to get to know her more than I already did. So I pushed through the novel and to be honest, I did skim a little. I don’t know whether this is a good sample of Reichs’ writing but based on Virals, it really isn’t for me.

Series Reading Order :

  1. Fallen
  2. Seizure

* * *

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
Pages : 340
Genre : YA
Series : Prophecy of the Sisters, Book 1
My Rating :

From Goodreads : Twin sister Lia and Alice Milthorpe are yoked together in an ancient prophecy that makes them enemies and could destroy them both. If Lia can break this familial curse, she can not only save her relationship with her beloved boyfriend; she can finally resolve the mystery behind her parents’ death.

My Thoughts : Heh. I guess that’s what happens when you get lured by the pretty covers : you take a chance and, sometimes, you get disappointed. While Prophecy of the Sisters wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great, either. For me it fell in the forgettable category. I’m not going to follow up on this one, sadly, even though the next covers are equally pretty.

One of the thing that really kept me from enjoying this one was the writing. What I felt was that the author, having set the story at the end of the 19th century, was trying to write in a way that would imitate writers of this time, or what one would think sounds like a 19th century character’s voice. Sadly, the narration was way too modern, and I didn’t buy it at all. It’s a quick read though, so for those who enjoy the genre, I say give it a try!

Series Reading Order :

  1. Prophecy of the Sisters
  2. Guardian of the Gate
  3. Circle of Fire
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8 responses to “The R.I.P. challenge and 3 Reviews : The Thirteenth Tale, Virals and Prophecy of the Sisters”

  1. Juju at Tales of Whimsy... says :

    Sad to hear Virals wasn’t good but thanks for your honesty!

  2. zibilee says :

    I LOVED The Thirteenth Tale and found myself so absorbed in it. It was a read that I read with my book club, and all the girls just loved it. It was really a favorite book for me. I am sorry to hear that the others didn’t go as well, but I will be following your advice and just skipping them!

  3. Steph says :

    I read The Thirteenth Tale ages ago and remembered liking it quite a bit. It was spooky and had a good plot and was very atmospheric, so I’m not sure that I ever really need more to happen in my books.

    Also, I haven’t read anything really by Kathy Reichs, but I did TRY to read the first book in her Bones series and the writing did nothing for me so I decided I would be better off just enjoying Bones on tv while I knit. What can I say? I love me some gore when I’m making cozy things… 😀

  4. BermudaOnion says :

    A friend of mine lent me her copy of The Thirteenth Tale a couple years ago – I need to get it back to her soon, preferably after I read it.

  5. Amanda says :

    That’s pretty much how I felt about Prophecy too. It was fun for an afternoon of entertainment, and some of the writing was painfully bad, but it was fun too. I barely remember anything about it, and i just read it in May…

  6. Samantha says :

    I really enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale when I read it as well and recently bought a used copy so I could reread it. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it so much!

  7. toothy says :

    i’m super disappointed to hear about reichs’ writing. i have a friend that is absolutely in love with the bones tv show and told me pretty much the same thing you did about reichs’ writing. i was hoping that she was in the minority, but i guess not. at least now i know i should steer clear of her books. the prophecy sisters books do have such pretty covers! too bad the writing is so forgettable.

  8. VioletCrush says :

    I have read the first and third book and loved them both, first more than the later. I’ve tried reading one by Kathy Reichs but remember being disappointed.

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