Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around a Nordic Noir sequel I ended up having a great time with and a backlist title I’ve been looking forward to, but sadly ended up being my second DNF of the year.
(Dark Iceland #2)
Author: Ragnar Jonasson
Translator: Quentin Bates
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: October 1st 2014
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: January 27th 2021
(Originally published in Icelandic: ‘Náttblinda’)
“The silence deepened. He knew what was at stake, and how unlikely it was that this was the last they would hear of it.”
I’m going to try and catch up with Ragnar Jonasson‘s books this year and I decided to pick up the second Dark Iceland book on a whim… What I didn’t realize was that this was actually book number five in the original Icelandic series, meaning that Nightblind takes place five years after the first book and there will be spoilers for the next three books. I’m not sure why they weren’t translated in order, but as I already started it I decided to continue reading and hope the spoilers wouldn’t be too big.
Nightblind is another interesting read, with a brutal attack on a policeman and no clear idea of the how and why. I did feel part of the background of the characters was missing with that five year gap, but it didn’t affect the case itself as both the shot policeman and the other case involves ‘new’ characters in the small town of Siglufjörður. As always, I really liked the descriptions of the Icelandic setting, which once again make for the perfect backdrop for this story. Nightblind also has a multiple POV structure, making it easier to understand the different sides of the story. One of these POVs is an old diary belonging to a mystery person who’s identity won’t be revealed until the end… I struggled a little initially to understand why these chapters were relevant, but as a whole they added a nice little touch. The writing is just as engaging as I’ve become used to with this author, and we also have the flawless translation to thank for that of course. I really enjoyed my time with Nightblind, although I kind of wish I had read the next three books first and I do feel Snowblind was stronger.
Title: Crazy Rich Asians
(Crazy Rich Asians #1)
Author: Kevin Kwan
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: June 11th 2013
Finished reading: January 30th 2021
DNF at 24% (131 pages)
“Remember, every treasure comes with a price.”
WARNING: unpopular opinion review ahead!!
I’ve been meaning to read Crazy Rich Asians for a long time now… I love books set in foreign countries, and after seeing so many positive reviews I had high hopes I was going to enjoy my time with this story as well. Alas, it wasn’t ment to be. I still feel sad I had to turn Crazy Rich Asians into my second DNF of the year, but life is too short to keep reading a book that simply isn’t for me. And that is definitely what happened here. I can understand why other people love this story, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case for me. Why? I’ll try to explain briefly. The first thing that didn’t work for me was the writing style and tone itself. I was expecting a hilarious and engaging read, but instead couldn’t really connect to the writing… I think the fact that this story has so many different characters to juggle that it makes your head hurt and warrants the inclusion of a family tree also has a lot to do with this lack of connection. I don’t mind stories with a large cast, but as a result I felt that most of the characters were rather flat and more cliche versions instead of properly developed characters. I also have to confess that I couldn’t care less about the overdose of high society talk and displays of ridiculous wealth… Or at least the way it was incorporated into the plot and repeated over and over and over again. The pace was considerably slow and with so many fillers I felt that the story was overlong; or at least the part I did read. The filler parts made me start skimreading multiple times, up to the point I had to stop myself and made the difficult decision to simply DNF instead. The funny part is that I didn’t even mind the footnotes… In fact, I think they were the main reason I kept reading that long, with the translation of foreign words speaking to my inner language nerd and the descriptions of foreign food, history and customs helping me learn more about the cultures discussed. Sadly, as a whole they weren’t enough to convince me to keep reading, but I might still try the movie at some point.