13 October 2017

Five Reasons to Read… Cormoran Strike Series

I decided to resurrect this series of posts because, honestly, sometimes thinking of five good points about something is the easiest way to convince folks to give a book a chance. I haven’t done one of these posts in ages but then I read two books series I absolutely loved but I couldn’t review each individual book because spoilers! So instead I will do a couple of these posts and attempt to convince you to read the books two.
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I first heard of Cuckoo’s Calling and the Cormoran Strike series when it was revealed that Robert Galbraith was a JK Rowling pseudonym I obviously wanted to read the books because JK Rowling! But also because I enjoy some good mystery fiction. I read the first one a few years ago and I know it took me a while to read last time but I really enjoyed it. The fact that it took me a little while to read, though, meant I put off reading the next one. Like three years later I was on holiday and the BBC had begun airing the series and I decide to reread the first book and read the next two (my mom had bought the books after all, it would be rude not to read them). I am so glad that everything fell into place to give me time to read them because the Cormoran Strike series was amazing and so worth a read. I am going to attempt to convince you to give them a chance.

JK Rowling wrote it!

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Look, for many that reason alone will be enough. But they’ve probably already picked up the books and you’re not really the folks I need to convince now, are you? But seriously, the fact JK Rowling wrote them should suffice, her writing skills are excellent and we all know she can write a whole cast of characters and make you care about them. She is so smart and it really shows in her writing. I was seriously hooked second time around by her characters and the story and it was all just so well written. It’s seriously insane how good a writer she is, I think I forget that when it comes to Harry Potter because the story is so familiar I miss the writing itself but it’s not any old author who can appeal to both young and old audiences.

The mysteries hook you in and keep you guessing (that doesn’t always happen)

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The Cormoran Strike series is a mystery/thriller series all about a private detective and the cases he works. There is always a big mystery with smaller ones within each book as well and I have yet to figure out ‘whodunnit’ before the big reveal. You are continually kept guessing as the clues are revealed and the evidence seems to hint at someone else you can never quite figure it out (at least I didn’t). Even if I did figure out I don’t think I’d mind because the books are so good and you have to keep reading because you can never quite figure out the details of how.

I think I forget that Rowling is a good mystery writer but she tested her skill to begin with in Harry Potter. Looking back on it now I think that’s half the reason those books appealed because there was a mystery within each one which was then revealed at the end. Sure, it’s a fantasy setting but at it’s heart there are mystery elements and you see that once more in the Strike series and you see it done with greater skill and the mysteries are more complex and it’s brilliant.

We have a grumpy MC and he is flawed and I love him.

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Cormoran Stirke is not the stereotypical mystery hero (at least not the type you see in a lot of books). He isn’t typically handsome. He is not sweet, kind and lovable. He’s actually pretty damn grumpy, very flawed, and the kind of guy you definitely wouldn’t look at twice on the street (unless you’re looking at the Tom Burke version, in which case you totally would). I loved how Cormoran felt so human. he didn’t always say or do the right thing, he’s a bit of a dick sometimes and I definitely disliked him from time to time, but he’s also smart and brave and good. Basically, he is totally human

They may be long but you never once get bored,

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The first three books total 1579 pages. I did that in just over three days and that’s a whole lot of words. Most of the books I read average around 350 words and sometimes I struggle with even that so reading a book which has 500+ words is always daunting. Not once did I notice how many pages there were and normally I’m always conscious of how may pages are left in a chapter or a book. I mean, this is also true of the Harry Potter books, I can read those and not even care what page I’m on but I was totally surprised to experience the same thing here.

I am hooked by the will they won’t they relationship between Cormoran and Robin.

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Look, when I told a friend about this series (although I was more trying to convince her to watch the BBC series, even though the books are better, her attention span is not good enough for long books) she instantly predicted Cormoran and Robin would end up together. I ship them together pretty damn hard and that’s not just because I think Robin’s fiancĂ© is an undeserving toad who doesn’t support Robin anywhere near enough. I also think the chemistry between Robin and Cormoran is off the charts.

The pair do have an excellent friendship and working relationship and although it begins rocky between them because Cormoran does almost knock her arse over tit down the stairs and then he is gruff and grumpy and can’t even remember her name! By the end of the book they are friends and as the series continues they become closer, he gets an invite to her wedding, they can chat and joke and it’s brilliant. Personally, I kind of want Cormoran and Robin to get it on (I love romance) but even if they don’t their friendship is spot on and I adore them both.

Have I convinced you yet? The books are so worth the time and as readers we should all venture out of our comfort zone from time to time and here is a good book to do that with. Anyone else read this series or have a similar recommendation to make?

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