I would like to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for giving me the chance to read and review this novel for 5171 Miles Book Blog!
Jess Ryder is a new author to me and yet I was excited to head into The Good Sister, her latest psychological thriller that follows the lives of sisters Josie and Valentina.
After her father’s sudden death, Josie finds out that he led a double life that included a secret house, a secret family and even a secret sister – a sister with the same red hair and the same icy blue eyes. But that is where is the similarities end. Whereas Josie is sweet, reserved and jealous, Valentina is care-free, confident and dangerous. But there can only be one sister and another dark secret might destroy them both.
Josie and Valentina’s father always believed in his Viking heritage: he was tall, broad, pale and had that stiking red hair. Although his character was only short-lived in the story, the Viking theme was carried on through the entire book. I really enjoyed the historical facts that were given about the Vikings in the beginning of every chapter. Each one of those facts not only broadened my knowledge on Vikings, they also refered to the happenings in each chapter.
The beginning of the novel was slightly confusing which made it difficult for me to get into the story. One of the reasons was the alternating POV between Josie and Valentina. The chapters didn’t mention which sister I was reading about and I only found out which through the course of the chapter. Although it was difficult in the beginning, there was a reason behind Ryder’s not mentioning the names, which only made sense after finishing the book.
Josie was the character that the reader would root for from the beginning, the one who should ‘win’. Because she was the good sister, right? Valentina was the bad and dangerous illegitimate sister, the character you would want to ‘lose’ as a reader. Valentina played her part well, she was batshit insane and the sister you shouldn’t believe one word from. Josie, however, was different. I was rooting for her in the beginning, because she was the victim after all. But after about 1/3 into the book, I only had annoyance left for her. Her father’s death, his lies, but especially Valentina’s appearance made her act careless and make dumb decisions. She put herself in the most stupid situations, which made me only shake my head and role my eyes. It seemed like there was a second Valentina at one point.
The blurb for the this thriller promised a “nail-bitingly tense and unputdownable read that will keep you turning pages into the night”. Unfortunately, I didn’t experience any of it. The story really dragged and made me look at the “xx hours left in this book” on my kindle more than I can count. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that nothing happened. There was some crazy stuff going on but that was not enough excitement or suspense for me. However, in the last 10 chapters or so things finally started to get interesting: lies were revealed and secrets were uncovered, things I never would’ve thought of. Those shocking twists made me give the book 3 star rating after all.
Pre-order your copy now: Jess Ryder’s new psychological thriller The Good Sister releases on August 16th!