Monday, June 6, 2011

May reviews

Before I start with the reviews, some of you may well be wondering what is happening with the writing and the seeking an agent part of my life. The short answer is nothing. This is not really anything to do with writer’s block or a lack of passion but to do with circumstances at the moment. My wife is pregnant with our second child and unfortunately been seriously ill. As much as I am dedicated to writing, I am finding it too difficult to give my full attention to the project at the moment.


There are 7 weeks before the baby is due and until that time, I have decided to have a break from writing. Who knows? When my first boy was born I was inspired to write Ritual of the Stones and never looked back. It is a shame because the completed chapters I have so far are actually very good in my opinion.

Anyway on with the reviews:

1) The Keep – Paul F Wilson

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I have been meaning to read this book for a while. Every time I tried to buy it from Amazon it was out of stock or listed at a very high price. Having recently acquired a Kindle I was pleasantly surprised to find this book in the store for just over £1.

The story was better than I hoped to be honest. The Keep oozed with atmosphere, every brick seemed evil and in a world where vampire tales are aplenty this older story really comes up trumps.

If I am honest I found the first half of the book stronger than the second. The characters that are initially compelling seem to fade away in favour of a love story. One of the main POV characters seemed to just stop (you pretty much assume what happens to them but having read about them throughout the novel it just seems a bit too abrupt). Having said that I really liked the explanation behind the monster and thought the loose ends all came together nicely.



I will definitely be checking out the other books in the Adversary cycle, I just wish they were on the kindle too!

My rating: 8.1


2) Twilight – Stephanie Meyer.

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Surprise! Yes after reading many horrid reviews about the series and been reliably informed that the books are badly written and for teenage girls only, I decided to hide behind the anonymity of the kindle and see for myself.

Well the surprise was on me. To begin with I wholeheartedly agreed with the reviews. The opening chapters are badly written and definitely for teenage girls. If I had to read about Edward’s azure eyes one more time I would have pulled my own eyes out. But a strange thing happened. When I went to put the book down, content in the knowledge that I had given them ago, I found that I couldn’t. I picked up the book and read a bit more and then a bit more. Even though nothing happens for the whole novel expect for gushing over Edward, I could not stop reading. I would even go as far to say (infuriating as it sounds), I was enjoying the book.

Twilight is not the greatest novel in the world but I can see why it is popular. It is sort of akin to liking a James Patterson book. You know it is not great writing but it works.

My rating: 7.8


3) A Storm of Swords – George R R Martin (Re-read)

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 A Dance with Dragons is little over a month a way now and the anticipation is reaching fever pitch. Once again, I was pleased that I took the plunge and re-read the books before the 5th one arrives.


Simply put, this book is the best book in any series. Every chapter seems to be a pay-off. Martin seems to be at the height of his writing skills. Each character is riveting, delivering excellent lines of dialogue and even though I knew what was coming (mostly, I had still forgotten parts) the impact was just as great.

Jaime and Brienne are new POV characters and both are excellent. Martin handles their awkward alliance deftly and their friendship and distrust of each other is one of the highlights in a book filled with massive events.

Only Feast of Crows to go before I am ready for Dance. I cannot wait.

My Rating: 10


4) Gone – Mo Hayder

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I have read all of Mo Hayder’s books. The early ones are a lot stronger than the latter ones. That is not to say that I am not a fan of the Walking man series. They are still good and better than the majority of books in their genre.

With Gone, Mo has returned to her glorious best. Someone is stealing kids from the back of cars and Jack Caffery and Flea Marley are making all the wrong decisions in their pursuit of the Jacker.

Whilst the killer is easily identified from very early on in the novel, it is a credit to the book that it did not detract from my enjoyment of the story. The grieving parents are well portrayed and Caffery’s and Marley’s characters as well as the walking man’s are developed nicely.

My rating: 8.6