The Force by Don Winslow

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I’m generally a fan of the novels by Don Winslow, writer able to create telegraphic chapters and to send the reader in the modern criminal world.

This novel, The Force, ended up being quite different from my expectations; on one side the style: a more articulate narration (sometimes confusing, mainly at the beginning), and longer chapters. On the other side the plot: the criminal here are the policemen themselves.

The main character is Danny Malone, king of  Manhattan North Special Force, that is the police unit that never stops to fight criminals. But Danny – and his fellow colleague brothers – are really corrupted, always ready to take favours or money and to be involved in criminal activities.

The novel focus in on the rise and abrupt fail of Danny’s life, from untouchable cop, a hero, to a man who sees everything he has built crumbling in front of him, and the only choice is whether to become a rat.

The novel is engaging, at least after the introductory part, but the whole political schemes and the betrays make the plot almost surreal, with a climax in the ending part. In the end good, but it’s not the first title that will come into my mind if I’m asked to suggest a novel by Don Winslow.


* The Force by Don Winslow ★★★☆☆

*I read this book in english

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[ARC] Uprooted by Naomi Novik

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The Wood stays between the two reigns of Polnya and Rosya, always on the verge of a war. However the Wood is not a normal forest, since it is inhabited by evil creatures, and a sort of dark magic makes impossible to leave it, and everyone who enter the wood is lost forever, like the lost queen of Polnya.

A powerful magician, the Dragon, guards the Polnya wood boundary; the only reward he requires every ten years is a girl of seventeen who has to go with him in his tower. After the ten years none of the girls ever choose to come back to the home country with respect to city life, and none of them was ever harmed by the magician.

Agnieszka has the conviction, like every other person in her village, that her friend Kasia will be chosen by the magician because she is beautiful, graceful and in every way better than the other girls.

With extreme dismay (of the magician himself) the choice falls on Agnieszka, quite plain and quite clumsy. Soon the reason for this is evident: Nieshka has a particular skill for magic and the Dragon will have to teach her to use her powers. Nieshka will also play a crucial role in the history of Polnya, and Uprooted tells her story.

Naomi Novik wrote a beautiful novel, with alive characters easy to like: Nieshka spontaneity, the grumpy magician, the impetuous prince, the envying magicians and the great friendship between the protagonist and Kasia. The idea of the wood is nice, it having a central role in the story. I liked the narration and it’s ironic prompts, mainly in the dialogues between Nieshka and the Dragon.

Uprooted is original, well written and extremely an enjoyable reading, absolutely recommended.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.


 Uprooted by Naomi Novik ★★★★★

*I read this book in english