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My Top Five 5-Star Rated Books


Reading is one of my greatest passions next to writing (gaming has fallen way down on the list surprisingly) and as most of you know, I have been challenging myself to read a book a week for the Goodreads Reading Challenge. It’s been tough and as far as I can see, I am a bit behind in my reading. Nonetheless, I have read enough to give you a list of five books that I have given 5 star ratings (4.5 counts too right?).


Twelve thousand years ago, they came. They descended from the sky amid smoke and fire, and created humanity and gave us rules to live by. They needed gold and they built our earliest civilizations to mine it for them. When they had what they needed, they left. But before they left, they told us someday they would come back, and when they did, a game would be played. A game that would determine our future.

This is Endgame.

Well of course Endgame: The Calling was going to be on this list. I gave it a 10 out of 5 but had to scale it down for the sake of being impartial, fair, objective, realistic, etc etc. This is a definite recommendation for those looking for something better than your typical let’s-get-these-teens-to-kill-each-other-off book… and the general populace who don’t mind some fast paced, heart thumping action.

The Program_1

Called back into the fold of the U.S. Marshals Service, Tim Rackley is tasked with retrieving Leah Henning, the daughter of a powerful Hollywood producer, from a mind-control cult. As Tim wends his way deep undercover into an insidious operation called The Program, he confronts a brand of mind-warping manipulation beyond his worst expectations.

This is the book that got me back into reading. I was away visiting the States (East Coast) and I happened to  visit a Thrift Shop, which had a selection of cover-less books. I picked this up, went to a random page, read the page, and bought the book. Yes it was that good. So good, that even now in real life I am skeptical of group meetings, where there is a leader trying to “sell” something and has advisers on the side are egging on the crowds into “buying”. Mind Control I tell you. Mind Control!


When a violent and incoherent naked Jane Doe is found cowering in the street near the scene of a brutal murder, a pair of bloody scissors in hand, Detective Frank Blackburn is faced with a tough question: is she a victim or the killer herself? Determined to get some answer, Blackburn takes the young woman to the Baycliff Hospital detention unit, to renowned psychiatrist Michael Tolan, in the hope that he will work his magic and get her to open up.

This was a book I also picked up at a random book sale, in a mall I never visit, run by an old couple who are hardly ever there, selling books at a ridiculously low price. The blurb was interesting enough but the story blew me out of the water completely. Dark. Gritty. Plot twisted. Fast paced. Action saturated. Supernaturally thrilling. This was the better-than-Stephen-King author I was hoping to meet.

Erin Morgenstern - The Night Circus

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

Magical. Magical. Magical! I don’t know where Erin Morgensten came from, but I am glad she did. An inspirational novel about a mystical circus, the people affected by it and the hidden magical realm that exists in and around the circus. Most times I am put off by long-winded descriptions but this was the exception, and a spellbinding one too.

9781415203798The world has been massively unappreciative of sixteen-year-old Baxter Zevcenko. His bloodline may be a combination of ancient Boer mystic and giant shape-shifting crow, and he may have won an inter-dimensional battle and saved the world, but does anyone care? No.

No. No one cares! In this sequel to Apocalypse Now Now, Baxter seems to be a changed young man. No longer leader of the Spiders and now exposed to the magical realm running rampant in Cape Town, Baxter is also trying to live a new life at a notorious magical school. And as you can imagine, chaos ensues. I loved it not only because it’s local (South Africa) but also because Charlie Human is hilarious and clearly South African in his descriptions. Ludicrous in other things, but all tied up so well I couldn’t help love this novel. South African authors are just as talented!

What are your top rated / favourite books? I’m always keen for some good book recommendations.


Book Review: The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern - The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus

 The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

It’s one thing to watch a movie about magicians and illusions, and to watch those spectacular feats come to life right before your eyes. The Harry Potter series comes to mind as well as the film Now You See Me. It’s a completely different thing to live those illusions in your mind reading a book and to find an author who not only articulates them in a believable and eloquent manner but brings the magic to life in words. This is what Erin Morgenstern has done and as an aspiring author, I am severely impressed.

Let us appreciate the fact that this is as much a romantic novel as it is fantasy. What I enjoyed most was not having the romance smudged against my face continuously, and when those scenes swept into the pages, it flowed right in, whisked you away for a while, brought you back all emotional to move right along with the unfolding drama. The atmosphere is stunningly created and carried throughout the course of the book. The language is vivid and carries the story along from scene to scene. The characters are well thought out, personalities etched so you get a real sense of who each one is and how they have grown by the end of the book.

The Night Circus is definitely worth a read and I would strongly urge you to read it if you enjoy magic, fantasy and a touch of romance.


Next Book Review: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

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