I received all of these books from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the books or the content of my review.
Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee || Goodreads
“I dedicate this book to those I left behind in North Korea”
We all have heard about North Korea, the closed-off communist nation on the Korea Penisula. But we never know what’s going on inside it. I mean, we all have heard about the poverty, famine, and the cruel regime, but we never experience it. This book provides insight of what actually happens inside the country. And whatever I imagine, the truth is it’s worse.
It sets during 1998-2001 (i think). In those years, our narrator fall from the cozy life in Pyongyang (capital of NK) to the country side. We learn that the whole country is poor. Even Pyongyang sometimes have blackout. The country side is even worse. Parents often left to find food, only to never return. The ones that try to find a better life to China are deported back to NK. It’s horrible, it’s something no one should experience, moreover a 12 year old child. But it happened, and the writer shares his experience through this book.
I love how it gives us insight about NK, through the depiction, story and adding a lot of Korean words. (I watched a lot of SK drama, and I think NK and SK language were different. Turns out, it’s only the dialect that’s different). The story is really touching, and I nearly cried at the end. I’m just so happy he could go through all hell and now look at him now, giving speeches and become representative about NK.
This book is definitely different and powerful. It opens my eyes about NK. I highly recommend this book for people who’s interested in NK, refugees, or human rights.
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix || Goodreads
This book need a lot of hunters to get rid of all the ghost it has, prefferably all hunters that have Winchesters as their last name.
Ever since I saw this book mentioned on booktube long time ago, I’ve been wanting to read it. I don’t really read horror, but the concept of this one is unique. It sets in an Ikea knockoff (even the author admit it xD) called Orsk, where weird things have been happening and some employees would stay for a night to investigate the weird things. Other than it’s unique concept, it also has a really unique format, it’s written like an Ikea catalogue, where you could see a pice of furniture, and the description. They also serves as chapter titles! Except the furniture gets more twisted and torture-y with every chapter.
The characters aren’t my favorites, but they grew on me. The story is really creepy and there are some frustrating moment that makes me feel claustrophobic/drowned, I actually need to stop reading to remind myself to breathe! Seriously guys, this isn’t they type of ghost you can kill, and with every death that happened, I feel more and more hopeless that the rest of them would come out alive.
The ending was some sort of cliffhanger, and I really want to know what happened next! I would totally devoured the next book 😀
Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles || Goodreads
This book is such a short read, and I wish it was longer. I really like the story, but it feels rushed and underdeveloped. Some conflicts over too quickly, and the danger are over too quickly. There are some things that left unexplained, like what is the significance of the spirit animals? or what happened with Momi next? And so on.
Our main character, Ailani, also feels really naive and keep making the same mistake over and over again. There’s difference between kindness and naive. The bad guy is also really obvious from the beginning. I really like how it doesn’t feel like 1500s, it feels like some local myth that passed down generations to generations. And I really like the Hawaiian terms that appeared in the book! The terms and description make it really easy to imagine that I was there with the characters during this whole ordeal.