Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! This time around a sci-fi read with a social media angle and nordic noir sequel that both ended up being great reads.

Title: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
(The Carls #1)
Author: Hank Green

Genre: Science Fiction
First published: September 25th 2018
Publisher: Dutton
Finished reading: March 25th 2022
Pages: 343

“Knowing something is a bad idea does not always decrease the odds that you will do it.”


I confess that I’ve been curious about this title for quite some time, but I wasn’t sure if it would be a right fit for me… I don’t exactly read a lot of sci-fi and wherever there are aliens involved I tend to stay clear, but there was just something about An Absolutely Remarkable Thing that had me intrigued. I had this wrongly pegged as a YA read; the main characters are in their twenties instead (although they do act young). What made me enjoy this story though is that it’s not just a sci-fi story about human-alien contact, but it also focuses on social media and many scientific quirks. It is also the story of the 23-year-old April who suddenly becomes famous and how she deals with that fame along with the whole Carl mystery. This includes relationship/friendship problems, dealing with fans/enemies and suddenly having a huge audience everywhere… There was some drama I could have done without and April isn’t exactly likeable, but I liked the humor used and the mystery around the Carls, who they are and what they mean kept me reading. The ending also made me very curious about what direction the sequel will take… All in all quite a good story that mixes aliens with a worldwide mental game, social media and personal drama. Not what I expected, but in this case in a good way!

Title: The Owl Always Hunts At Night
(Holger Munch & Mia Kruger #2)
Author: Samuel Bjork

Translator: Charlotte Barslund
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: November 2nd 2015
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Finished reading: March 29th 2022
Pages: 416
(Originally written in Norwegian: ‘Uglen’)

“She was livid that she had allowed them to mess with her mind. She would never let it happen again.”


I really enjoyed the first book of this series a little while back, and I decided to pick up book two sooner than later so that I can work towards crossing off another series on my pending list. And while I do think that the first book was stronger, The Owl Always Hunts At Night was still a solid piece of Nordic noir. The Norwegian setting really helps setting the right atmosphere for this story, and the case Holger Munch, Mia Kruger and the rest of the team have to investigate this time around is another intriguing one. The flashback chapters could have done with a better introduction, but I do like what they added to the plot. I wasn’t happy with having to read about an actively cheating character though, but the case itself thankfully did manage to partly distract me from it. I do have to say that it is becoming repetitive to read about Mia’s mental struggles and suicidal thoughts; I get that she is a troubled soul with a complicated past, but having to hear it over and over again is getting a little old… The same goes for some of the other main characters with their struggles. Detectives tend to be portrayed as flawed in a lot of different crime series, but I did feel there was simply too much of it in this sequel. That said, the way book two ended definitely has me curious about the third book, which I will be picking up soon to complete this series.

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