Recently I read two very good books. Both quite different in genre and plot, but both very good reads.
The first one I talked a little bit before, and it’s The Monster’s Daughter by Michelle Pretorius.
The story begins in December 2010, when Alet Berg, a disgraced South African police officer is dispatched to investigate a murder in a very small town in South Africa; then, the story flashes back to the time of the Boer Wars–early 1900s–( see previous post), when Tessa and Benjamin, two children borne out of a horrific genetic experiment, survive in the midst of many of South Africa’s historic events.
As Alet Berg begins to investigate even further, the mystery of the murder victim begins to unravel, and somehow is related to the events of the past, especially with Tessa and Benjamin. I will not go into it further, because I don’t want to spoil the plot. But it’s a very well-written novel, and it’s a debut for South African writer Michelle Pretorius. It’s part murder-mystery, part science fiction, and part historical fiction. By the end you’ll receive an astonishing plot twist, and most of the loose ends are tied neatly, but there’s the question about the genetic experiment that wasn’t answered, and that’s what I wanted to know more.
But, this was a great read, and it is fast-paced; at first one doesn’t know how a current murder investigation is tied to the lives of Tessa and Benjamin, but as you read you’ll realize it that they’re both related.
I highly recommend this underrated novel; look for it at your local library or bookstore!
The second book review concerns the sci-fi/thriller Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This one was a dizzyingly fast read, and there there were a lot of twists and turns, and at times I found myself re-reading parts in order to digest what just happened at that moment.
This novel tries to answer the question of what if? What if I took the other way, or what if I didn’t get married and have children? Would my life be completely different? This novel tells the story of Jason Dessen, a small community college physics professor in Chicago, who gets kidnapped after a Whole Foods run, and taken to an abandoned factory where before being injected with an unknown substance, his kidnapper curiously asks him, “Are you happy with your life?”. Then, he wakes up on a gurney in a physics research institution, and he’s still Dr. Jason Dessen, but a famous and accomplished physicist who has won a prestigious award, and in this life he is not married to his wife, and he does not have a son. Everyone thinks he’s crazy, but he knows there must be more than what he is experiencing.
Could this be an alternate world? Could this be caused by the drug he was injected? What is really going on? This is what Jason Dessen tries to figure out while being chased by his “colleagues” from the institution, and trying to return to the life that he knows.
If I tell you more I fear I’ll give you some spoilers, so the less you know, the more thrilling the read will be for you. On another note, Blake Crouch is the SAME author as Wayward Pines, that was made into a TV show; and the novels that the TV show Good Behavior are based on. So he’s known to be a talented writer who knows how to do thrillers. This novel was one of the more buzzed-about books in 2016, and it was definitely one of the best books I’ve read. Highly recommended!