Monday, September 19, 2011


I'll leave you with this comic strip of Nemi by Lise Myhre. I'm sure you can relate.

Taking a Break

When I first started blogging back in May last year, I never thought "Hilde's books" (the name at the time) would be anything more than a place to store my book reviews. I didn't even think of them as reviews, they were just my mostly incoherent thoughts on the books I was reading. Now, almost one and a half years and 96 followers later, The Turn of the Page is a source of great joy - but unfortunately also a growing headache.

I have to admit I'm feeling the pressure of creating quality content, not to mention reading - review books or otherwise. I have never been very creative about this blog, which the number of original posts reflect, nor do I read enough to be able to post reviews regularly. To be honest I have no idea why so many of you follow me! But because you do, I feel obligated to provide real content and sadly I haven't been able to fulfill this obligation for a while now. In a way I hit the wall at the start of summer, when I suddenly didn't feel like reading much anymore. Because of my reading slump I found myself with several review books that needed to be read rather quickly, and I think my brain interpreted that as assigned reading and decided it simply didn't feel like it. Since then I haven't read more than one or two books each month, and that is certainly not enough material to keep up a book blog. So I have decided that it's better for me to take the pressure off for a while and concentrate on rediscovering the joy of reading, because right now I'm not enjoying it at all. I will still post reviews as I finish books, and I'll do my best to finish the challenges I've joined. I might even do the odd meme or other bookish post to stay in the game, but I won't force myself to post when I have nothing to say.

I never expected this blog to last as long as it has, and all the credit for that goes to you, my dear readers. Your comments and interactions have brightened many a dreary day, and I'm sorry for not visting your blogs more. I do hope you'll stick around even if I don't post much for a while, but if you don't, I'll understand.

Thank you for your support, and I'll see you soon!

– Hilde

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are you on Pottermore?

After weeks of waiting I finally received my welcome email for early access to Pottermore. I had seen lots of people commenting on the experience, so I was happy to be able to try it out - I was especially looking forward to the sorting ceremony. Being a bookish person I have always pictured myself in Ravenclaw, but the Sorting Hat didn't agree and placed me in Slytherin. It came as quite a surprise! Mind you, I had a hard time deciding on my answers to the questions, so I think they ended up being rather random. But still, I am now a Slytherin (and getting used to the idea). :)

My wand, by the way, is 12 1/2 inches, hazel with a dragon core and surprisingly swishy (I love that last bit).

I'm still finding my way around Pottermore, trying my hand at spells and potion brewing (and generally failing at both), and reading all the new tidbits written by J.K. Rowling. I have to admit I've never been a proper Harry Potter fangirl, but Pottermore is a fun complement to the books and I'm sure the younger fans will love it. It has definitely made me want to read the books again.

My username is ShadowMirror54, so feel free to add me if you like - just please drop me a comment so I know who you are.

Are you excited about Pottermore? Do you plan to register when it officially opens in October (if you haven't already)? If you have registered, what do you think about it?

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.

Nothing! I'm falling further and further behind on my reading challenge and if I don't start reading soon, I won't be able to catch up. I know challenges don't mean anything, but I'm competitive. ;)

I put aside No One Lives Twice by Julie Moffett to read a review book, Murder in the 11th House by Mitchell Scott Lewis. It's about an astrological private detective, which in itself sounds like an interesting plot. Unfortunately I'm 1/4 into the book and it still hasn't grabbed me. It's a pretty short book so I'm sure I'll finish it anyway.

I'm tempted to forget about review books and other books on my "must read soon" list and just finish the Harry Potter series. I also want to read more books by Norwegian authors. I have always hated required reading, maybe that's why I haven't been reading much lately; because I've been reading books I have to read instead of books I want to read.

What are you reading this week?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Sequels I'm Dying To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we make a top ten list from a given topic.

This week's topic is

Top Ten Sequels You're Dying To Read

I admit it, I start way too many series. This year alone I have read 12 books that are first in a series (OMG, I had no idea it was that many!)! And since I don't like reading books in a series back to back, I always end up reading just the first book before picking up something else. I always mean to return to the series soon, but more often than not it's months or even years before I get to the next book – by which time I will have forgotten most of what I read. I don't read that many new books, so most of these sequels are already out. And most of them are already sitting on my shelf, so I really have no excuse!

1) Evil Kill by Justin Gustainis (out April 2012)
I just finished Hard Spell and really liked it, and I can't wait to see where this new series is going.

2) Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
I swore I wouldn't wait long before I read the sequel to Incarceron. That was November last year and I still haven't read Sapphique. Something else always came up (it always does, doesn't it?), but I would very much like to know what happens next.

3) Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know that The Lies of Locke Lamora is one of the best fantasy books I've ever read. In fact I re-read it earlier this year, but I've yet to read the sequel. Initially I was saving it for closer to the release date of the third book, but that has been pushed back so many times the past couple of years I'm starting to think it will never be released.

4) The sequel to The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell (hopefully out 2012)
Twisted Tale is one of my absolute favourite reads this year, and I cannot wait to meet the feisty heroine and her cute brother again.

5) Naked Heat by Richard Castle
I was actually planning on reading this during the summer while Castle was on break, but the new season starts in just a few weeks and I still haven't read it. And with the next book coming out soon too, I really should just read it right now (but I won't).

6) Harry Potter 6 and 7 by J.K. Rowling
I really, really want to finish this series!

7) Scotland By Starlight by Nancy Volkers
A Scottish Ferry Tale was another favourite this year, and I long to return to magical Scotland.

8) Kakkerlakkene by Jo Nesbø
I don't read nearly enough books by Norwegian authors. Jo Nesbø was a pleasant surprise when I read the first Harry Hole book in January, and I can't wait to read the next book (this one hasn't been translated into English yet).

9) Bank Shot by Donald E. Westlake
This is the second in the Dortmunder series about a charming thief and I would love to read it. Unfortunately it's been out of print for a while and I haven't been able to locate a copy anywhere.

10) 2nd Chance by James Patterson
I loved the short-lived TV series based on the books and starring Angie Harmon, and even though 1st To Die didn't impress me as much, I still want to get acquainted with the Women's Murder Club through the books.

What sequels are you dying to read?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Patiently Awaiting

These are some forthcoming books that I am patiently (or not so patiently) awaiting the release of.

Season 4 of Castle premiers 19 September, the fourth installment of the Nikki Heat series comes out the day after. It will be a good fall.

Heat Rises by Richard Castle
Expected publication: 20 September 2011 by Hyperion

Fast-paced and full of intrigue, Heat Rises pairs the tough and sexy NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat with hotshot reporter Jameson Rook in New York Times bestselling author Richard Castle's most thrilling mystery yet.

The bizarre murder of a parish priest at a New York bondage club opens Nikki Heat's most thrilling and dangerous case so far, pitting her against New York's most vicious drug lord, an arrogant CIA contractor, and a shadowy death squad out to gun her down. And that is just the tip of an iceberg that leads to a dark conspiracy reaching all the way to the highest level of the NYPD.

But when she gets too close to the truth, Nikki finds herself disgraced, stripped of her badge, and out on her own as a target for killers, with nobody she can trust. Except maybe the one man in her life who's not a cop: reporter Jameson Rook.
In the midst of New York's coldest winter in a hundred years, there's one thing Nikki is determined to prove: Heat Rises. (Goodreads)

I'm not even close to catching up to this 16th book in the Jack Reacher series, but I'm always happy to see a new Reacher book being published because then I know I have even more to look forward to.

The Affair by Lee Child
Expected publication: 29 September by Bantam Press

Everything starts somewhere. . . .For elite military cop Jack Reacher, that somewhere was Carter Crossing, Mississippi, way back in 1997. A lonely railroad track. A crime scene. A coverup.

A young woman is dead, and solid evidence points to a soldier at a nearby military base. But that soldier has powerful friends in Washington.

Reacher is ordered undercoverto find out everything he can, to control the local police, and then to vanish. Reacher is a good soldier. But when he gets to Carter Crossing, he finds layers no one saw coming, and the investigation spins out of control.

Local sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux has a thirst for justiceand an appetite for secrets. Uncertain they can trust one another, Reacher and Deveraux reluctantly join forces. Reacher works to uncover the truth, while others try to bury it forever. The conspiracy threatens to shatter his faith in his mission, and turn him into a man to be feared.

I've only read one book by Cecelia Ahern before (The Book of Tomorrow), but I really liked it. I can't wait to try one of her adult books, and this one sounds interesting. And I love the cover.

The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern
Expected publication: 13 October by HarperCollins

Dear Lucy Silchester, You have an appointment for Monday 27th July 2011. Yours sincerely Life.

Lucy Silchester has received an appointment card. Actually, she's been invited along a few times to this appointment, but she keeps brushing the gold embossed envelope under the shag pile carpet. She's taken her eye off the ball and has busied herself with work (a job she doesn't love), helping out friends, fixing her car, feeding her cat, seeing her family and devoting her time to their life dramas. But Lucy is about to find out that this is one appointment that she can't miss. And she can't escape it either. Her Life is about to catch up with her in the most surreal of ways. (Goodreads)

The Scarecrow series is my favourite of Matthew Reilly's books, and this sounds just as good as the rest.

Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves by Matthew Reilly
Expected publication:12 October by Simon & Schuster

At an abandoned Soviet base in the Arctic, the battle to save the world has begun...

It is a top-secret base known only as Dragon Island. A long-forgotten relic of the Cold War, it houses a weapon of terrible destructive force, a weapon that has just been re-activated...

When Dragon Island is seized by a brutal terrorist force calling itself the Army of Thieves, the fate of the world hangs in the balance, and there are no crack units close enough to get there in time to stop the Army setting off the weapon.

Except, that is, for a small equipment-testing team up in the Arctic led by a Marine captain named Schofield, call-sign SCARECROW. It's not a strike force; just a handful of Marines and civilians. It's not equipped to attack a fortified island held by a vicious army. But Scarecrow will lead the team in anyway, because someone has to.
. (Goodreads)

What books are you patiently awaiting?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Review: Hard Spell

Hard Spell
By Justin Gustainis

First published: July 2011 by Angry Robot Books
Series: Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #1

Read: 3 – 25 August 2011
Challenges: Mystery & Suspense Challenge #8

Review copy provided by the author

From the publisher
Like the rest of America, Scranton’s got an uneasy ‘live and let unlive’ relationship with the supernatural. But when a vamp puts the bite on an unwilling victim, or some witch casts the wrong kind of spell, that’s when they call me.

My name’s Markowski. I carry a badge.

Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9 mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets.

Book Trailer


My thoughts

Lately I have read a few books with a supernatural theme and after not particularly enjoying any of them, I decided I'm not a fan. But that was before I read Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis. You won't find any sparkling vampires in Scranton, PA – these supes should not be taken lightly.

This gritty detective story is witty and suspenseful and full of memorable characters. I like how the supernatural element isn't the main focus of the book; it's just there and has been since World War II. Vampires and wizards and werewolves are a natural part of society, and despite their biological non-human traits, most of them actually feel quite human – except for the ones that are decidedly not. I wouldn't ever want to come face to face with one of Scranton's demons. I also love the clever way the "supes" appear in historical and pop culture references – anyone seen the musical "Bats"?

The main character is Detective Sergeant Stan Markowski with the Scranton PD's Supernatural Crimes Investigation Unit. He's essentially a good guy who's had some bad things happen to him, and some of those things have made him less than fond of supernatural beings, vampires in particular. Markowski's a well-developed character with a history that unravels bit by bit, much like the mystery itself. I quickly warmed to his no-nonsense approach to everything from exorcists to dead bodies falling from the sky, while still obviously caring for the people close to him.

Despite the dark theme, the novel is dotted with humorous passages and witty one-liners, and I found myself frequently chuckling to myself. It's mostly the little things, like the fact that Markowski's ring tone is the theme from The Exorcist; or the matter-of-factness of Markowski's narrative voice: "It wasn't until we'd signed out and headed for home that one of us almost died."

The only criticism I have is that certain things felt a little too convenient. Those six pages Prescott had translated from the huge Opus Mago turned out to be exactly the pages containing the spell Markowski needed? Now, that's fortunate! Also, the novel contains a fair amount of blood and gore and graphic descriptions. I'm not too squeamish about these things myself, so I didn't really mind. But if you have a weak stomach you are hereby warned.

Book 2 in this series, Evil Dark, will be out in April 2012. I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Bottom line: Hard Spell is a gritty, yet witty urban fantasy mystery with a supernatural element that should be taken seriously.

My rating:

The Occult Crimes Unit Investigation Series
  1. Hard Spell (2011)
  2. Evil Dark (2012) 
You can read more about the book from the publisher (including a sample chapter), or by visiting the author's website.
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