Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Passage by Justin Cronin - Book Review

A journey into post-apocalyptic world in the not so distant future is every dystopia fiction fans dream come true, and every humans worst nightmare.

The Passage by Justin Cronin
Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world.
She is.
Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row.
He's wrong.
FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming.
It is.

I will start this review with a warning; this book is not for everyone, but if you are not faint hearted and start with The Passage it may just consume your life.

I first heard about this book more than a year ago from some colleagues at where I worked at the time, The Passage was being talked about everywhere; top of the best sellers in WHSmiths, raved about by all that read it, warnings about its complex dystopian themes but no one could quite tell me about what it was about. Because of this I never found the time for this great volume of a novel. But a couple of months ago I had some money in my Amazon account and the cover reached out to me from my black and white Kindle screen begging to be read.

This is not a short read, and all the better for it. It covers more than a 100 years from the perspective of a spiralling cast of protagonists, each one with their own back stories and rich lives revealed to you when the time is right. The narrative is weaved by these rich characters in a ever more complicated web, and when the final destination finally reveals itself you are dragged rather than being allowed to follow them on their quest.

More than once trapped within its pages I couldn't possibly see where it would take me next. It felt like the dooms day was upon them and they would never last the night, until something happens that allows them to continue their journey. 

This review is deliberately vague to allow anyone who has not read this yet to discover its secrets in the way Cronin intended, as the result is a modern masterpiece.


If you want to read short teaser of this book, it was my last weeks Teaser Tuesday. I have never read anything like this before, and would recommend it to anyone who loves a rich gritty and unique narrative, but has the stamina to stick with this 1,000+ page novel, hence loosing a point in my rating for its length.

I would love to speak with anyone who has read The Passage to discuss the finer points of this fabulously complex book. More so, I would love to discover what the second book in the series, The Twelve , has to offer and will do as soon as I can!

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme (a.k.a. Tag), hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
 1. Grab your current read
 2. Open to a random page
 3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page, please no spoilers!
 4. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser is:

The Passage by Justin Cronin

"'Amy, why didn't you say anything before?'
'I am sorry. I think I had forgotten how.' She was frowning inwardly, as if puzzling over this thought.
'But now I have remembered'" 

Right, I want to know your teasers too! Please post a link to your teaser in the comments below. Don't have a blog? Then please leave your teaser in the comments in full. I both love an hate reading teasers, they always introduce me to some fantastic books but my TBR piles always get so much larger!

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

Friday, 4 January 2013

My New Year's Resolutions for 2013

As another year has ended I have jumped on the bandwagon of making some promises to myself for the new year ahead. I do this every year and I am not sure I have ever stuck to them for more than a few hours. But I was hoping by writing them down here for you all to see you could help me keep on track. I would also love to hear what your guys news year's resolutions are and maybe I can motivate y'all to achieve your goals for 2013!

Following the sound advice from one of my work colleagues I am not going to just name my resolutions for the year, but give a brief step-by-step plan, lets call them tactics, on how I am going to achieve them. I have split these up into bookish blogging resolutions and personal ones, so if you are not interested in my general drivel that isn't talking about books you can just skip the end of the post. This might be a bit of a long'un as I have posted in a while, so I have added some cute animal pictures along the way to say thanks for reading and give you a break :P

So here goes....


  1. Finish at least two books a month: I have a terrible habit of starting lots of books in my excitement of their release, cover or a great recommendation. However I am failing miserably at finishing... well any of them! They just keep adding up and adding up until I now have 6 books on the go and have become a little scared to pick any of them back up. So my tactics for finishing 24 books in 2013 are -
    • From today I will not start a book until I have finished at least one from my bedside table.
    • Only read books I enjoy, and not being scared of abandoning a book that I am not impressed with. Life is too short for reading books you don't enjoy!
    • Find time for reading during the day, such as my lunch break or after dinner in the evenings. I tend to only read in bed meaning when I get a wee bit sleepy reading just gets forgotten when my hearts not in it.
  2. Post at least one post a week: December was a horribly busy month for me, and I neglected the one thing I love the most... blogging about my beloved books! To help my tactics are -
    • Remember not every blog post has to be a book review and bring in different content.
    • Try not to write 1,000 word essays about books. Instead I will focus on writing short, snappy and sexy reviews.
    • Ask for help. I have had some fantastic people contribute to Rie Reviews in 2012 and I would love to invite them all back to write more!

  3. Proof read more: Often in my haste to get a blog post out I fail to proof read and spot the most obvious errors. Not only does this look awful to you guys that take the time out of your day to read this, but it makes me so mad at myself when I go back and look at these posts a few days later! TACTICS....
    • Always read posts at least twice before pressing publish.
    • Proof read in the preview mode as well as in editing mode. The change in background should help me spot formatting errors.
    • When I have finished a post and not feeling up to proof reading, I will save it and publish it the next day once I have had the time to read it again.


  1. No more snacking! I can take a pretty good guess that over half my calorie intake is from snacking alone. I am grazer and will often stretch my lunch at work over 2 hours as I pick and nibble of different food. Then there is elevenses, afternoon tea, post work binge and late night... well.... snacks! My tactics -
    • Eat more at meal times, especially breakfast to keep me going the whole morning. That's right Rie you are going to start eating fruit after your cereal!
    • Eat regular meals, even at the weekends.
    • Get some will power! I don't think I am even hungry when I snack. Its a habit that I just need the will power to kick!

  2. Save money: When I have money I spend it. You have to treat yourself every so often but daily treats no longer make them treat like. I have a future ahead of me that needs funding! My tactics -
    • Set monthly goals for saving money and most importantly stick to them
    • Less snacking will mean less money spent on snack food! But also making sure I prepare breakfast and lunch to take with me will save those precious pennies.
    • Remember what I am saving for!

  3. Work life balance. When I was studying I could blame essays and looming deadlines for my late nights at the computer whilst knowing it was really the laying in till lunch time and the 3 hours wasted watching YouTube videos. Now I am in the real world and work in an office that is where I should work, and not take so much home with me. My social life has seriously falters the last few months and I have missed out on a lot of things that I used to love to do. I need to learn balance so that neither my work or personal life suffers...
    • Plan my work time more efficiently. 
    • Spend at least one evening a week doing something I really enjoy. Sims, reading, taking a long bath. They are also important to me!
    • Take a day out every now and then with an old friend. I have missed some guys from days gone by due to my neglect. I am going to dedicate a whole day to each of my girls and guys out there that I love so much just to catch up. You know who you are :)

Leave me your resolutions in the comments please! Here's to a happy, healthy and successful 2013!

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x