To The Lions

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 May 2019

Member Reviews

strong realistic characters, a tense and thought provoking story with perfectly immersive writing and a page turning quality that grips you throughout.
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Well written but the characters and situations felt too generic (eg the cliche of the sweary tyrant editor).  DNF
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A well-written tense and thought provoking read. Terrifying at times, but a well-structured plot that grasped my attention from beginning to end. Fantastic read.
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Seriously fast-paced political thriller! Thought provoking story with realistic and strong characters. It was not an easy read but very interesting, I don't think this book will be for everyone.
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This was a fast-paced political thriller. It touched on ruthless secretive groups, conflicts and moral and ethical dilemmas with regard to the growth of the huge numbers of refugees and migrants that has become such a debatable issue.

"To the Lions" was an incredibly intense and highly relevant, fascinating read.

It was well worth picking this up. Rating: 4 Stars

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Bloomsbury Publishing via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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DNF

Sadly, this book led me into a false sense of enjoyment. The description was brilliant and it seemed like the perfect book for me to read but unfortunately, the writing style was too difficult to follow and the plot didn't seem to be going anywhere so I did not finish it
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It took me a while to get used to the writing style used but I loved this book. It was a great story and not like anything I’ve read before.
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This book was truly awful. The writing style was very messy and the plot made no sense whatsoever. I gave up after the first 20% or so as it was so bad. I couldn't engage with the characters and the terrible grammar and punctuation made it impossible to follow. As an aside, the symbols on every page in the middle of the text was the icing on the cake.
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Casey and Miranda are investigative reporters who find evidence of a group that can arrange human safaris. In order to uncover the full story they race against time and into ever more dangerous situations. 

I really struggled with the writing style, indeed the first 20% really didn't make a great deal of sense to me I felt like the author had too many threads and not enough connections. As a journalist the author has obviously taken facets of her job and expanded them into a book but she has done this in the clipped style of a journalist and for large parts of the book I just wanted more narrative.

She has a really exciting, realistic plot line and some of the scenes are done really well. There is definitely horror and thrill within the book it just required better style
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There is so much talent in this book. Really good to read a thriller written by a woman, about women; it shouldn't be such a change but it was and I loved it. It was complex and you did have to really concentrate to follow the plot but the intricacy and intelligence were really admirable.
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Good story line that kept you on the edge of your seat. Casey and Miranda are very believable contact continues with her newspaper back home whilst they are in the desert.. The men involved looking for more and more thrills in their life away from the busy money worlds they work in.  This could so easily happen in today’s world making the story worryingly real !
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Holly Watt's novel 'To The Lions' is a chillingly disturbing thriller. Faced paced and very grim.
It's chilling because of its subject matter. That part of the human psyche that contemplates, maybe at first wistfully, what it would be like to take another's life.
Wherever there is weakness, there's a market. This one's for high rollers and the stakes are high, in fact the stakes are highest for the unwitting prey. This is where it gets grim and incredibly plausible too. For the unwitting prey are refugees.
We know wherever there has been armed conflict that attrocities happen but when the elite from amongst us go on a human safari.....could it be true, could it be a crime hidden because crimes don't get recorded in such situations? One would hope not but we do know of all the horrors which follow those fleeing conflict. A novel not for the feint hearted.

A minor niggle, the morphing phone from phone to torch and back to phone again all in a cave tunnel.
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I chose this book because it looked great from the blurb and I also have some experience in journalism; so the plot was of personal interest. It seems like a fantastic read from what I did manage to read (only about 20 pages). Unfortunately the text is filled with some symbols (I assume they are typesetting marks or similar) which look like: 
"-0--01" "-0-+1" etc. they appear randomly in the middle of sentences making it difficult to retain the flow of the narrative and unfortunately spoiling the reading experience. I sent a DM to the publisher Bloomsbury Raven via twitter, to inform them of this and have waited well over a week but my message has not been acknowledged. Therefore I will not be finishing this book, such a shame as it had great potential enjoyment for me!
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It's disappointing when the bones of a thrilling and intense story are present in a novel but are overshadowed by a messy writing style and unnecessary tangents that draw you completely out of the moment.

To The Lions has all the makings of an incredible thriller. Unfortunately, after having read around 20% of it, I was ready to give up. The first fifth of the book, to me, felt entirely incoherent. You're thrown in to a national paper news room and are introduced to (what seemed like endless) processes and people which did nothing for me in terms of hooking me into the narrative.

After this, once you really get into the meat of the novel and start to follow the main character Casey as she goes undercover, I have to say I was impressed. It almost felt like an entirely different author had taken over. The pacing was better, the characterisation was improved and more importantly, I actually became invested in what was happening.

So if you can make it through that first part of the book, you are in for a treat. There are unfortunately some instances where that initial writing flares up, usually in adding exposition or history to Casey's life but it's almost entirely pointless in regards to the narrative and throws you completely out of the story. I wouldn't have minded this had it been a paragraph here and there however, at some stages it was almost half a chapter worth of inconsequential information.

Overall, definitely an intense read and as I say, if you can stick through the first section of the book and get into the driving plot, it's definitely worth a read.
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The author's storytelling is amazing and although I found this book very thought provoking and slightly disturbing  I could not put it down and read it very quickly.  I did not want to get to the end of a good story but needed to know how it ended.  I thought the interaction between the two women was exciting and the story twisted in ways I was not expecting.  It was interesting to be in the centre of a newsroom and learn something of their day to day existence and the pressure I guess they are under on a daily basis.  I enjoyed the toing and froing from country to country and the way they worked through the problems. A great book and wonder if there will be another one to follow the story of Cassie and Miranda’s journey through the newsroom.
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Compelling, thrilling & a ‘must read’! This wasn’t the easiest of books to read as the subject matter is so disturbing but I needed to get to the end to find out what happened. Do read this unusual & well written story.
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I was sent an advance reader uncorrected proof of To the Lions by Holly Watt to read and review by NetGalley.
This is an engrossing, fast paced and at times disturbing read.  The characters are well drawn and quite believable and the settings for the story are very evocative.  Set in the world of newspaper publishing the novel follows journalist Casey as she endeavours to capture the truth of an horrific story she overhears in a London nightclub.  Along with following the action we also learn some of the workings of newspaper publishing, which I found quite interesting, the author managing to express the urgency of meeting deadlines both in the office and in the field.  This book, as well as being a great novel in itself, highlights the real world issues of refugees and migrants which is very thought provoking – exactly as it should be.
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This was a very different story where rich people pay to be taken to Libya where they kill refugees so that they can feel what it is like to kill someone. Two journalists from The Post put their lives on the line to get the story and proof that this is happening and try to stop it. Non stop action, good cast of characters and lots of daring do. Interesting storyline..
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What a mind this author must have ! A story that is so relevant to today , the lengths some Hedonistic people could go to for thrills is frightening . Set in a newspaper office in London , a writer overhears about people going to Libya en route  to a refugee camp for the ultimate thrill to shoot somebody with a sniper rifle  just to see what it feels like . The writer and some colleagues get to join this party by subterfuge and threats , witnessing what happens and having to escape from the organisers . They get their story but are attacked after arrival in London . Well written and not obvious where it is going next .
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DNF

Unfortunately, I did not finish this book. 
As much as I loved the premise, the delivery suffered due to the bouncing around too much at the beginning and far too much plot-building, while setting and characters were thrown in left, right and centre. Also, the formatting issues I have previously experienced from Bloomsbury's e-proofs meant that I was already struggling to read, due to so many uncapitalised letters and +1 --- -0 going on within the proof.
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