Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ★★★☆☆

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ★★★☆☆
J. K. Rowling


Genre(s) | Fantasy, Young-Adult, Screenplay
Goodreads Rating | 4.28
Humpo Show Rating | 3.00 
Published: 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown

Gellert Grindelwald – a dark and powerful wizard – escapes from the authorities and sets about gathering followers with a vision for a pure-blood wizard rule. Newt Scamander somehow finds himself entrusted with the responsibility of finding the person that is central to Grindelwald’s plans for domination – Credence. Continue reading

A Necessary Evil ★★★½

A Necessary Evil ★★★½
Abir Mukherjee


Genre(s) | Mystery, Historical Fiction, India
Goodreads Rating | 4.07
Humpo Show Rating | 3.55
Publisher: Vintage
Published: 2018 (Originally published in 2017 by Harvill Secker)

Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Banerjee of Calcutta Police investigate the assassination of a Maharaja’s eldest son, and heir to the throne of Sambalpore. Their investigation takes them to the lavish kingdom, which contains the beautiful Palace of the Sun as well as observing the royalty that fund their lavish lifestyle with the fortunes brought to them by the diamond mines. Continue reading

The Book Thief ★★★★★

The Book Thief ★★★★★
Markus Zusak


Genre(s) | Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Goodreads Rating | 4.36
Humpo Show Rating | 
Published: 2007
Publisher: Transworld

Nazi Germany in the years 1939-43 provide the backdrop to this heart-breakingly beautiful story of a young German girl called Liesel, whose book-stealing exploits and story-telling talents help to comfort her foster family during this famously tragic and turbulent time. Her life and story catches the eye of our unique narrator, Death, who witnesses humanity’s kindness, beauty and love, but he also intersects her story with a haunting commentary on the horrors of war.  Continue reading

Jack And Jill ★★★★☆

Jack And Jill ★★★★☆
James Patterson


Genre(s) | Mystery, Thriller, Crime
Goodreads Rating | 3.95
Humpo Show Rating | 3.65
Published: 2003 (I’m reading the 2017 edition)
Publisher: Arrow Publishing

In the middle of the night, a controversial U.S. senator is found murdered in bed, the killers have left a note signed “Jack and Jill” promising that this is just the beginning. Homicide Detective Alex Cross works on both cases, and the killers strike again. And again. No one in Washington is safe – not children, not politicians, not even the President of the United States. Only Alex Cross has the skills and the courage to crack the case-but will he discover the truth in time? Jack and Jill is a relentless roller coaster of heart-pounding suspense and jolting plot twists, Patterson has written a compelling thriller, and a nonstop nightmare for Cross. Related image Continue reading

A Rising Man ★★★★☆

A Rising Man ★★★★☆
Abir Mukherjee


Genre(s) | Mystery, Historical Fiction, Crime, British Empire/India
Goodreads Rating | 3.93
Humpo Show Rating | 4.00
Published | 2016
Publisher | Vintage

After surviving the horrors of the First World War, former Scotland Yard detective Sam Wyndham arrives in Calcutta to take up a new post in the police force. No sooner has he touched down in the hot and humid city that he is tasked to investigate a murder of a British official. This investigation takes Wyndham and his Indian-born Sargeant Banerjee into the dark underbelly of the British Raj and the rising political dissidence that is occurring due to the treatment of the natives by the hands of the Brits in power. A Rising Man is the first in a series of atmospheric and intoxicating historical crime novels set in India. Continue reading

The Pigeon Tunnel ★★★★★

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories From My Life ★★★★★
John le Carré


Genre(s) | Nonfiction, Memoir, History, Espionage
Goodreads Rating | 4.08
Humpo Show Rating | 5.00 
Published | 2016
Publisher | Viking
I received a copy from Penguin Random House

A Treasure Island-worthy book…

David Cornwell, otherwise known as John le Carré, has penned a memoir that contains a museum of stories from his days in the service of British Intelligence during the Cold War, to his war tourist days, and his successful career as a novelist. His stories take him from war-torn Cambodia to Beirut, Russia before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, le Carré has written about a plethora of historical events in which he focuses on individuals that he was involved with, and how they influenced his fictional characters in his catalogue of work. Continue reading

The Kite Runner ★★★★☆

The Kite Runner ★★★★☆
Khaled Hosseini


Genre(s) | Contemporary, Historical Fiction 
Goodreads Rating | 4.25
Humpo Show Rating | 4.10
Published | 2003
Publisher | Riverhead Books

There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood

The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, the son of a wealthy Afghan and member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Amir’s companion as a child was his servant Hassan, from the despised and impoverished Hazara caste. Their bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy. Despite escaping from troubles in his motherland, Amir will have to return to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

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Book Review | King’s Cage

King’s Cage
Victoria Aveyard


Genre(s) | Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia
Goodreads Rating | 4.13

Humpo Rating | 5 / 5

Not a god’s chosen, but a god’s cursed.

King’s Cage is the breathtaking third installment of the Red Queen series that leaves a blaze in the popular Young Adult genre, and I am not referring to Cal’s fire abilities.

Mare is Maven’s prisoner, powerless without her lightning, and she spends her imprisonment replaying every excruciating detail that lead to this moment, as well as the potential horrors to come. The boy-King of Norta seems intent on walking the path that Queen Elara intended for him, as her surgical manipulation of her son’s mind becomes more and more apparent given his political decision-making concerning the Scarlet Guard, the Lakelander War, Newbloods and Mare. Meanwhile, Cal, Cameron, Kilorn, Farley and the rest of the Scarlet Guard continue in Mare’s absence, recruiting as many Newbloods as they can before King Maven gets his hands on them, as well as organizing, training and expanding as they prepare for war. The Scarlet Guard can no longer keep hidden in the shadows as Maven makes moves on the chessboard that no longer involves just his kingdom. They have to make alliances and sacrifices as they take their seat at the top table where they are on equal footing with Norta, Lakelands, Piedmont and Montfort in terms of importance and threat- depending on perspective. Continue reading

Book Review | Catcher in the Rye

Catcher in the Rye
J. D. Salinger


Genre(s) | Coming of Age, Young Adult, Classic
Goodreads Rating | 3.8
Humpo Rating | 2.5

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For 2017 I am attempting to read more books deemed to have a “classic” status, and for my birthday last year I received The Catcher in the Rye, and in December I finally got around to reading it. To say I was very disappointed with what I ended up reading would be an understatement. Billed as a classic of American literature, this coming of age tale concerns a school drop out who heads back to New York City to let out some of his teenage angst, and to spend his money in whatever way he pleases before reality comes back and he has to face the real world. Continue reading

Book Review | The Last Testament

The Last Testament
Sam Bourne


Genre(s) | Thriller, Mystery, Adventure
Goodreads Rating | 3.61
Humpo Rating | 3.0 

A predictable answer to a thousand-year-old mystery

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Maggie Costello is a former U.S. mediator who is called upon by her country to finally bring about peace between Israel and Palestine. The two countries were close to singing a peace deal before the death  of right-wing Zionist Shimon Guttman brought the talks to a halt. His death is closely followed by Palestinian archaeologist Ahmed Nour. Guttman died with a cryptic note in his hand: “This will change everything.” which was reason enough for Maggie to explore the death further, but when she finds out that Nour was a colleague and friend of Guttman’s, she realises that there is much more to the deaths than meets the eye. Maggie, accompanied by Guttman’s son Uri, embarks on a journey that involves a clay tablet that contains the answer to an unsolved riddle from the Bible. The answer to this riddle is feared by people on all sides, and could either bring peace or spark war.  Continue reading

Guest Post | Book Review Post (A Frolic Through Fiction)

Guest Post | Book Review Post by A Frolic Through Fiction

Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction is the first ever Guest Poster on The Humpo Show blog! 🙂 She has put together a wonderful post about her reviewing process of books, and all the tips of the trade she can pass onto other bloggers and reviewers. Be sure to give a follow on her blog, Twitter and Instagram!
And without further ado… 
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Book Review | The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
John le Carré


Genre(s) | Espionage, Thriller, Mystery, Classic.
Goodreads Rating | 4.04
Humpo Show Rating | 5.0 wp_20161011_16_59_38_pro-2

An encounter with literary greatness

The course of this tale concerns a complex double-agent operation, which le Carré tells in an economical style that somehow displays the coldness of human relations as well as fiery interrogations. He reveals the cold-bloodedness of British Intelligence—and, by implication, of all intelligence systems—which will be unyielding in its pursuit of secrecy and success no matter if the innocent stand in their way. When the British Station Head operating from West Berlin loses his last agent operating in East Berlin, he returns to London to contemplate retirement. However, his superiors instead see an opportunity to give him one last assignment for him. They want him to “defect” and set up his nemesis in the end game of a plan that has been in the works for years.  Continue reading

The Ruby in the Smoke

The Ruby in the Smoke Book Review
Phillip Pullman
4 / 5

Genre | Young Adult Mystery
Published: 1985
Goodreads | 3.8 

This was a book I read when I was 12 or 13 and it was a book I remember enjoying immensely, yet I haven’t reread it…until now.

This Young-Adult mystery is centred around the suspicious death of Sally Lockhart’s father in the South China Sea which has left her a teenage orphan alone in the smoky fog of Victorian London. Her father’s death and dying note to her triggers a series of events that place her in terrible danger. The danger and mystery deepen, and at the heart of this fascinating tale lies the deadly secret of the ruby in the smoke..

The mystery begins when Sally endeavours to uncover the significance of her father’s last warning to her – ‘Beware the Seven Blessing.’ She intends to pursue this lead and find out the identity of his killer and bring the villain to justice. Shortly after her arrival at her father’s trading office, she becomes embroiled in another murder, the vagaries of the opium trade, and the mystery of the disappearance of the fabled Ruby of Agrapur. During her adventures in London, she encounters a few associates who become true friends, including a young errand boy named Jim, an amiable photographer by the name of Frederick Garland and his friendly actress of a sister Rosa. Before the game is played out, she will need her new-found friends in her race against the clock to make sense of her convoluted past and discover just who is behind the strange web of betrayal and deceit that has taken over her life.  Continue reading

The Prince of Mist Book Review

The Prince of Mist
Carlos Ruiz Zafon

3.5

A short and dark YA novel that captivates the reader through Zafon’s use of atmospheric descriptions, gothic themes and adventure that leaves the reader on tenterhooks. Max and his family have moved to a small village on the coast to escape their war-torn city life, however, as soon as they arrive, mystery, death and a sinister tale reawaken, and they have swapped the danger of war, for the unknowable danger that lurks in the mist. Prince of Mist Continue reading

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Book Review

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chboskyperks

4.5 / 5

I read this on the train to London and Haywards Heath, and the return journey back to Leicester. I got utterly engrossed in Charlie’s thoughts that he put to paper. I felt somewhat of a connection to Charlie, maybe there is a little part of me that is similar to him, or maybe Chbosky has just brought out thoughts in our heads which we keep to ourselves rather say aloud? The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deep, though-provoking and personal novel which introduces a myriad of issues, but at the centre of it all is a teenage boy who is trying his best to participate, be normal and to make friends despite his oddities and emotional issues. This is a book that teenagers should definitely read, and has become somewhat of a contemporary classic.  Continue reading

Glass Sword Review

Electrifyingly Brilliant

Glass Sword
by Victoria Aveyard

4.5 / 5

Mare is a sword, a sword made of glass, and she is showing signs that she may shatter. In this fantastic continuation, Mare and her Scarlet Guard comrades are attempting to track down and recruit the Newbloods (Red bloodied, but with abilities stronger than a Silver), to create a force that is capable of overthrowing the Silver Dynasty. Glass Sword is a pulsating read that has more twists and turns than a double helix which resides within the Reds, Silvers and Newbloods alike.  WP_20160217_14_19_48_Pro 

The one thing that everyone will talk about when discussing Glass Sword will undoubtedly be the ending. I could write endless amounts about the events that happened leading to this moment, as well as speculating about the events to come, but this review will be unspoilerery for those yet to read it. I can already feel an invisible force trying to make me write about the thrilling moments of unbridled action and suspense, perhaps its Queen Elara entering my mind. I will try my best to compose a review which is two-pronged in approach. Firstly, to persuade those yet to delve into Mare’s world of Red and Silver that they should discover these brilliantly written books which are sure to be the next big book series to be turned into a Hollywood blockbuster. But I will also try to write a review which does justice to Aveyard’s incredible work. She has created a world which I willingly fall into every time I pick up the book. The characters are interesting and three-dimensional, and there is never a moment where you can relax as the line that is now etched into the minds of her readers is that “anyone can betray anyone.” Both in Red Queen and Glass Sword this line is enacted by someone, which adds an unpredictability element to the proceedings. Unpredictability is the key theme that runs throughout the book, even with a Newblood with incredible seer abilities, and the unknown nature of what will happen next is idiosyncratic of Aveyard’s style, perfectly shown in the cliffhanger ending. Continue reading