Worlds Inside Books

I love mysteries/thrillers, fantasy and science fiction. It's pretty much all I read. My reviews will be in English and Spanish, even though they may only appear in one language at first.

Six Little Secrets

Six Little Secrets - Katlyn Duncan I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

I debated whether to give this book two or three stars. In the end, I chose two because of the things I disliked about it. The first half was very intriguing. However, the last quarter or so was predictable and a disappointment. Because of the lack of pages, it is very clear that only some people can be involved in the plot. There is simply no time to introduce a whole new character and make the action plausible. It became very obvious who was part of the plan and that a certain character was another target. The character development didn't suffer so much because we can all imagine what kind of people highschoolers are. As readers who have been through high school, we can fill in the blanks.

It starts fairly strong, with the reader not knowing how on Earth could all these kids be linked to each other and not know it. Not just because it seems rather unlikely that all of them would have something in common, but also because they themselves cannot figure it out. This mystery was the best part, together with how the culprit could have managed to get all the tasks ready. The problem is that once you start thinking about it, it becomes obvious that a member of a certain group had to have been involved somehow. There is no other realistic explanation and this is where the greatness of the book disappears.

Then, there are a few things that I actually disliked instead of just not liking it. First of all, and I may sound insensitive, I didn't think that most of them were guilty of much. It reminded me a bit of 13 Reasons Why. In a way, they all played a part in something, but most of them couldn't really be blamed for much or even anything. For example, the sin of one of the characters is not lending money to someone to take the bus. Is this person guilty of whatever happened to that other person because they weren't able to take the bus home? It wouldn't be a problem if the mastermind behind the tasks were considered crazy and a criminal. But they aren't. There's also the fact that some of the tasks were way too much if the mastermind wanted to turn them into better people. One of the tasks involves forcing one of the girls to take a naked picture of herself and to post it online. Again, it wouldn't be a problem if the mastermind was considered the bad guy in the end. It makes me wonder if the author thought about the consequences of such pictures being distributed online.

In general, even though the premise is great and the beginning is very mysterious, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

Sobre fondo azul

Sobre fondo azul - Sara Cruces Salguero Tengo que admitir que me había esperado una situación mucho más complicada. Cuando leí que el protagonista se lesionaba y que eso era lo que desencadenaba todos los problemas, había imaginado algo mucho más grave que una tendinitis. Sin embargo, el que no se trate de nada excesivamente trágico es lo que le da realismo a la historia. Aunque al principio me decepcionó un poco, al terminar el libro y poder verlo todo en su conjunto, no me parece tan aburrido que lo que se convierte en la última gota que colma el vaso no sea algo tan grave.

El argumento en sí no es nada complicado. Alan, el protagonista, nota cómo le duele el hombro y cómo este dolor va en aumento a medida que pasan los días, pero no se lo cuenta a nadie porque teme perder lo único que hace que se relaje: la natación. Luego, cuando se ve obligado a abandonar temporalmente este deporte, se da cuenta de que había estado usando la natación para no pensar en sus otros problemas. Me pareció un argumento muy verosímil, puesto que se trata de algo que le sucede tanto a adolescentes como Alan como a adultos.

La verdad es que misterio, lo que se dice misterio, tiene poco. Sólo con leer la sinopsis uno puede imaginarse cómo va a acabar el libro. No es algo que sea excesivamente negativo, ya que esta novela no trata de si va a volver a nadar o no, sino de cómo lidia con sus temores.

Lo mejor de este libro son los personajes. El que más me gustó fue Dante, el mejor amigo de Alan. Aunque no sabe nada de natación, no deja de estar al lado de Alan en ningún momento y, aunque a ratos parece algo inmaduro, es la primera persona a la que Alan pide ayuda.

En general, se trata de una novela muy madura y me llevé una sorpresa al ver que la autora era tan joven.

Charmed: A Thousand Deaths

Charmed: A Thousand Deaths - Erica Schultz Review copy provided by NetGalley.

I have to admit that I don't really remember every single detail of the TV show, so I'm not sure where this story fits within the plot, but if I had to guess I would say somewhere in the first half of the fourth season from a few details that the sisters mention. Don't ask me to give you exact episodes though because I can't.

I didn't know that there were Charmed comic books, so finding this one on NetGalley was a very nice surprise. It was also a plus that the cover art is so beautiful. You can easily recognise each of the three Charmed ones and there's also a mysterious demon and the Book of Shadows. The artist even got Paige's paleness compared to the other two sisters right. Unfortunately, this doesn't translate to the rest of the comic book. I found it quite hard to see which one was Paige and which one was Phoebe. Piper is the easiest to spot and in some scenes and it was only because of the length of her hair. It's not a huge issue, but it made me have to pay close attention to their clothing to figure out who was saying what, which sometimes distracted from the plot.

About the plot, it did start as something very mysterious and intriguing, but the more pages I read, the less interested in it I was. The problem I found is that the mystery doesn't is not too well paced. Also, this comic book suffered from not having too many pages. It's not objectively short compared to other comic books of different tv shows, but the story wasn't well distributed among all the pages. It feels as if the introduction is huge and the end very short, which affected the suspense. Cutting some of the side plots, such as Phoebe's work problems, and devoting this space to building a stronger ending might have been better.

All in all, an ok-ish comic book, but I hope that there are better ones.

La niebla y la doncella

La niebla y la doncella - Lorenzo Silva Review soon.

El señor del crimen: Sherlock, Lupin y yo 10

El señor del crimen: Sherlock, Lupin y yo 10 - Irene Adler, Miguel García Great book that introduces one of the most famous villains. We also see that the three main characters - Sherlock Holmes, Arsène Lupin and Irene Adler - are getting older and that they're starting to slowly become the characters that we know they will become.

Longer review soon.

Death Note, Vol. 2: Confluence

Death Note, Vol. 2: Confluence - Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata I didn't like this volume as much as the first one. In fact, I didn't like it much in general. Since I liked the last one, I'm going to read two more to see if the series improves at least a bit. I want to know how it ends, but I didn't even like the ones who are supposed to be the good guys in this volume.


Longer review soon.

En nombre de Luna, te castigaré. El universo mágico de Sailor Moon

En nombre de Luna, te castigaré. El universo mágico de Sailor Moon - Andrés Argal Sotés I was so happy to find a book about Sailor Moon in my local library, that I read it in one evening. It's not actually that difficult because there's a picture using the space of half the page in almost every page. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as Sailor Moon is a very visual story, whether you're considering the manga or the anime, there is something to see.

Unfortunately, this book was a huge disappointment. Most of the book is just a detailed summary of the whole manga/anime and the films, both animation and live action. It includes the openings and endings and it mentions the differences between the manga and the anime, but there is very little extra information. Sure, the author mentions the differences between the manga and the anime, but this is the only information that stops it from being just an extensive summary.

There are also some character files at the end, but they only cover the main good characters. There isn't even a short file about the most important baddies. People who, like me, don't speak Japanese might find it curious to see how the names of these characters fit with their role in the plot. This is really the only useful thing if you've already watched the show. If you haven't, don't read this book, as it will spoil everything.

The only part I found truly worthwhile is how the book starts with an explanation of anime and manga in Spain and how their situation was in the 90s. This is interesting because access to Japanese media and merchandising has changed a lot since every person got internet at home. This chapter isn't very long and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning about the 90s. The information isn't overly detailed, but it paints a very clear picture of how people watched anime.

I have read other encyclopaedia-like books about tv series (Lost, X-Files, Doctor Who, Harry Potter) and they all had something that made them worth reading. Some had all the complicated details of the characters and their relationships in one single place. Others, some essays and articles that went beyond the plot, such as how the series fit within the genre at the time or how it changed the genre. Unfortunately, this was not the case of this book. En nombre de Luna, te castigaré - El universo mágico de Sailor Moon doesn't have enough extra information to make it a great read for fans of Sailor Moon unless all they're looking for is an episode guide and a summary of what happened in the series.

This book suggests that there will be a second volume, as it's called Vol. 1, so maybe that second volume will have all the things that I missed reading in this one.

Note: As far as I know, this book only exists in Spanish.

Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom

Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom - Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata It's a really good start to a series that I hope will be just as good. I like that it could be much lighter if it were told from the point of view of L, but seeing Light's movements over everybody else's makes everything much darker. Light is very ruthless and the only time he considers the morality of his actions is at the very beginning. After this short scenes, he is fully convinced of the rightfulness of his actions. He even goes as far as considering killing his family if it becomes necessary.

I hope we get to see more or L in future volumes. He is obviously a very smart young man and probably the only person who can be a match for Light. The development of his investigation has been conveniently perfect so far, but I would like to see more scenes told from his point of view and the problems he runs into while investigating the mysterious deaths.

Tsumitsuki

Tsumitsuki - Hiro Kiyohara The premise was amazing and I had high hopes for the book. Unfortunately, the execution wasn't that good in my opinion. The truly amazing cover and the blurb suggest a great hunt and gory mysteries. The problem is that none of it is actually in the book. Well, there is some gore, but it can hardly be called a mystery. Each chapter is a case for the main character to solve and they're all more or less connected. However, the chapters are way too short to develop the characters enough to make them at least a bit round and this lack of development affects the plot as well. What could be a great mystery if each case were longer becomes a group of almost magical deductions because the investigation is never shown or otherwise explained. The result is that I never cared about any of the characters. Not even a little bit, which is a shame since precisely the emotions play a big role, if not the biggest role, in this story.

I suppose that this complete lack of roundness and the resulting apathy for the reader reflects the point of view of the main character in a way. I don't know if this is what the author wanted to make the readers feel because there is no indication for it, as, for example, the plot is not exclusively told from the point of view of this character. It was a funny coincidence though that apathy is a good word to describe the main character's life. He's not human and his destiny is to hunt tsumitsukis, demons that take over the body and soul of some people, for all eternity, so he never gets close to anybody, with the exception of his talking wolf. Sadly, we don't see much of his interaction with this wolf either. We only know that they are somewhat friendly, with the animal acting as an older colleague.

Tsumitsuki does get a plus point for having an epilogue explaining who the main character is and how he became who he is. It was really needed after reading one disappointing mini plot after another.

This manga is a stand-alone, but I wonder if it started as something much longer that the author had to shorten later. I didn't know that there wasn't a second volume when I finished, but I thought that there was one. The whole manga has a prologue-feeling. While it disappointed me a lot as a stand-alone, it would be a great first volume of a series.

Pueblo fantasma

Pueblo fantasma - José María Latorre The scariest thing about this book is the cover. Even though the blurb says that it's horror, I never felt that any of the characters was in any real danger. Some parts are a bit creepy, but having read much scarier YA stories, this one was just average.

Also, the long robbery subplot at the beginning is just a way of getting the main character to the village. All the other people in his team turn out to be just redshirts, even though they seem to be very important and big potential threats for our main character at the beginning. I thought the book spent way too much time focusing on them considering their very limited importance.

Los oscuros límites de la magia (La Asociación, #2)

Los oscuros límites de la magia (La Asociación, #2) - Pierre Bottero I like the main character, Ombe, much better in her own book than in Jasper's book. A good second book that introduces another agent. I also prefer her to Jasper in general, but, unfortunately, she is the POW character of just two books, this one and the fourth one. She is 18 years old, three years older than Jasper, and it shows. Her sense of humour feels much more mature and there are fewer rash actions. Not that there aren't any, as her mouth gets her in trouble a lot, but her way of dealing with her assignement seems to be less childish than Jasper's.

By the end of the book I was wondering who was after the young agent and if they were in any way related to Jasper's "stalkers". I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

La perdición

La perdición - Anna Collomore While I liked the premise, I didn't like the execution. There are two main problems with this plot. First of all, the main character is not someone very likeable. She is naïve, gullible and doesn't seem to know how to stand up for herself. In general, she is not someone who is ready to live alone anywhere. The other problem is that the plot and the antagonist are highly predictable. There are way too many objectively weird things going on for anyone to believe that everything is in the main character's head.

La pálida luz de las tinieblas (La Asociación, #1)

La pálida luz de las tinieblas (La Asociación, #1) - Erik L'Homme Good start of a series!

Nervous Conditions [Import]

Nervous Conditions [Import] - Tsitsi Dangarembga, Kwame Anthony Appiah I read it for a class. It wasn't my favourite, but it didn't bore me either.

I have to admit that I didn't really understand what Tambu's problem was. She got everything she wanted in the end. We only had to read the book for that class, but we never analised it and it's not the kind of book I usually read, so I may have missed a lot of things, but I got the impression that the European education was supposed to have given Tambu the nervous condition the title refers to. However, that's not how I understood the book. Tambu got a taste of something more than what was available to her in her little village. Not better or worse, simply more. She enjoyed it and she felt that it set her apart when she went back to her village. But she had never fit in in the first place. She grew up and, while she didn't truly forget the bad things, the things she missed about her childhood were suddenly much more powerful than the bad things. And she romanticised that time.

I guess that the idea was to see the effects of colonisation, but what I saw was a girl who was given the chance to spend some time elsewhere and who liked certain things of that new life and then missed them when she went back home.

Also, I would like to know how Tambu's cousins forgot their native language in only five years. To add a bit of context, I didn't forget two foreign languages after not speaking them for longer than five years, which is why I'm honestly curious about this. Also, how their parents let them forget it if their intention was to return to their country.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave - Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison 2,5 stars.

I only read this book because it was part of a mandatory reading list for a class. I have never read any autobiographies, so I don't know if the way this book was written is the norm in this genre. I found it a bit dull and very monotone. Maybe I'm too used to reading fiction (very graphic fiction sometimes) to appreciate the author's writing style, but I didn't find any of the emotion that a lot of readers see in this book.

The Buddha of Suburbia

The Buddha of Suburbia - Hanif Kureishi Out of the books I ever had to read for a class, this one was among my favourite. I don't really know why. I just enjoyed it, even though it's not the kind of book I usually read.

Currently reading

Asesinato en el Orient Express (Murder on the Orient Express)
Agatha Christie
La marca del meridiano
Lorenzo Silva
La marea de hielo
Morgan Rhodes
The Rose Society
Marie Lu
El nombre del viento (Crónica del asesino de Reyes, #1)
Patrick Rothfuss, Gemma Rovira