Books Review

 

Use our posting form to send us books posts.

10 Sep 2020 19:04:26
Hi all, had a ambivalent reading experience last night? Spent the evening reading a very short novel (more a novella really 165 pages)
It was science fiction and I expected a lot from it. The reason being, it was written by George Rr Martin. It was okay. It promised at big secrets and revelations. The revelation did not impress me at all.

And the shame is it was one of two books I got our from the library.

The second, although I only read two chapters erm 3:20am to 5:50am, was brilliant.

It is Forge of Darkness.

It is book one of a Steven Erikson (author of the fabulous Malazan books) trilogy. I understand book two is done but Erikson has started another trilogy before completing this one.

I will tell more as I read and I have to go right now.

Oh great place guy.

Agree1 Disagree0

11 Sep 2020 09:34:47
For my sins, I haven’t read anything by erikson. I know he’s a genius- I’ve read the first few pages and knew it was something special. The Mazlan series is top of my pile where it mocks me from its front row seat on the kindle. I’ve put down far too many books unfairly the last two years because I’m only able to read between projects so it’s agony. I feel like a footballer not being allowed to do social media 😂 Poor old grrm. I used to be mad at him for his pace but I can only imagine the pressure of needing to write such a series. So many authors have buckled under expectation and when they do write it’s probably inferior to their better known works imo. That said, a feast for crows was one of the great disappointments in my life.

{Ed001's Note - I have never read any of his books either. I have to admit never even heard of him. As for George RR Martin, I must be the only person in the world that thought GoT was utter dross and just mindless drivel with sex scenes thrown in regularly to keep people watching. What I read of the books, the TV show was better. But me dad loves it all (which pretty much proves my point as he wouldn't have married me ma if he had a mind!!), and has all the books. Now if you don't hear from me again, then you know one of my parents has read this....}

Agree1 Disagree0

15 Sep 2020 20:50:34
I have Erikson's Malazan Book of The Fallen, and Malazan Empire series, but for whatever reason, I haven't been able to start.
Joe Abercrombie's The Trouble With Peace is out today though, and Brandon Sanderson's Rythm of War is out in November. Those are the ones I have been looking forward to all year.

Agree1 Disagree0

24 Sep 2020 14:52:09
Real, Joe Abercromie is really good! I've nearly finished his first series, the name forgets me now, the First Law Trilogy I think? absolutely brilliant, and I can't wait for Rhythm of War. Have you by any chance read The Red Knight by Miles Cameron? He's a very good author and his stuff is in a similar style to Joe Abercrombie, very dark, deep characters etc.

Agree0 Disagree0

10 Sep 2020 09:21:57
Greetings! I stumbled across this forum upon my nomadic strolls in the internet. I plan on reviewing books I have read here, partly to organise my thoughts on particular subjects in a coherent manner, and in part to motivate my procrastinating self to finish the numerous books that I have started only to cease half way. Thank you for spending your time reading this! Have a good day.

Agree0 Disagree0

10 Sep 2020 14:33:43
Fantastic mate, great to meet you.

{Ed001's Note - always good to have some more input and be interesting to see what t/s/he/y read.}

Agree0 Disagree0

21 Jul 2020 10:37:17
I'm one of those annoying people who reread books all the time. Just starting David gemmel's legend for the fifth time at least. Usually do when I'm in the mood for good fantasy. I dedicate this post to ed1. A clear Gemmell fan! As this is a review site. I'll give legend 5 stars.

{Ed001's Note - hahaha it is by far and away his best book, but you really should find something new to read mate! There are far too many good books around to just read the same one a hundred times.

Hopefully I will have something new for you to read soon mate, got something in the pipeline that will probably feel like fantasy, despite it being a true story.}

Agree0 Disagree0

21 Jul 2020 11:19:04
Ah fantastic, I’d be honoured to read anything mate. Whatever you are working on, that’s freaking awesome. Sure play your cards right and I’ll pass on a little something once it’s back from the editors. As for your piece, any details you can share?

{Ed001's Note - it is just family stories, but they are a little different from the normal. People have been telling us for years they should be written down, any time you tell anyone them they say it. Finally we have decided to do so properly and make it a proper book.}

Agree0 Disagree0

21 Jul 2020 11:49:09
That sounds amazing. You never know where it’ll bring you down the road mate.

{Ed001's Note - there are so many stories, it is just trying to fit them altogether as a story that is difficult.}

Agree0 Disagree0

21 Jul 2020 17:27:30
Sure that’s the agony of being a writer. I will be demanding constant updates. Naw I’m kidding. Nothing worse than announcing something and people asking about it. When you are ready, I can’t wait to take a read mate.

{Ed001's Note - there are worse things mate, it is when no one gives a toss about your new book you need to worry!}

Agree0 Disagree0

22 Jul 2020 09:43:35
One of my old mates shouted to the world about a book he was starting to write. Really nice guy and everyone wanted him to do well. His mates kept asking about it and he began to buckle. Couldn’t go to the pub without people questioning him. Weeks turned to months and eventually he came out and said he couldn’t do it. When I started writing, only the better half was aware of what I was doing. Ah sure good thing you aren’t a nice guy Ed 😂 you’ve nothing to worry about.

{Ed001's Note - that's true, I have no friends to badger me so no worries at all!}

Agree0 Disagree0

07 May 2020 18:49:35
All I have ever read in my life which is a shame as I absolutely loved all of them are
In the name of the rose - Umberto eco

The trial - Franz kafka

Of human bondage - W. Somerset Maugham

Fear and loathing in las vegas - Hunter S Thompson

1984 - George Orwell

Will rate them in the same order as well. Also halfway through Don Quixote by M . Cervantes and Foucault’s pendulum by Umberto Eco should be next.

{Ed001's Note - only one of them I have read is 1984. Very good book. Animal Farm by Orwell is a good read too.}

Agree0 Disagree0

08 May 2020 08:58:05
Loved fear and loathing the movie admittedly. As for 1984, cracking book. Animal farm is outstanding too though I feel 1984 is his best. My wife only read it a few months ago and she was amazed how apt and foreshadowing and absolutely relevant it has become in this day and age. For lack of a better term, the importance of fake news propaganda.

{Ed001's Note - 1984 is defo his best, but Animal Farm often gets overlooked as a kid's film. Most people seem to miss the message.}

Agree0 Disagree0

08 May 2020 09:20:11
Spot in Ed, I was one of those kids. I was shown the cartoon when I was far too young and it upset me so much. Only when I read the book years later did I see the symbolism.

{Ed001's Note - I have never seen the cartoon but I didn't read the book until I was about 11 or 12, so old enough to get it and find it really disturbing. It also put me off eating pork for a week until me ma cooked bacon and that cured me.}

Agree0 Disagree0

08 May 2020 19:35:57
Agree ed and aoe, 1984 is such a good read. Luckily my friend suggested a good list of classics which I should read and Animal farm is also on it.

Definitely would suggest kafka’s - The trial to both of you. Funny thing is kafka saw himself as a failure because of his father and after two of his books failed to do well he never released any of his other material. Only after his death a friend of his released the other books.

{Ed001's Note - a good classic to read is Fahrenheit 451 as well.}

Agree0 Disagree0

12 May 2020 05:12:07
Will add it on my list ed. Already have an idea what its about. Might make connections just like orwell, 1984 and india.

{Ed001's Note - I hope you enjoy it mate.}

Agree0 Disagree0

06 May 2020 08:48:34
Anybody reading anything awesome at the moment? Little spark city perhaps? My review for such an overrated title, "meh, worse ways to spend a pandemic I suppose. " Still waiting for ed1's glowing book of the year review as well 😉. I've certainly paid him enough. I'm currently reading Leigh bardugo's Shadow and bones. Think oceans 11 in a fantasy world. Fun book and going to make a fantastic Netflix show I hope. There you go, two terrible reviews. Hope this pandemic has given opportunity to budding authors to get grinding into their masterpiece. Sometimes necessity is the perfect muse. Stay safe.

{Ed001's Note - maybe we should come up with a list of worse ways to spend a pandemic? Only I think the posters are going to need proof that there are really are worse ways!

All joking aside, I have read Spark City twice now, once on ebook and then again as I got a physical copy and I much prefer reading a real book over an ebook. I have been trying to think how to describe it without giving anything away and I think the best thing to say is that it is not a typical fantasy novel. Women are actually more than just there for ornamentation and to give men a reason to fight, unlike many other fantasy novels. The problem with it is that it ends with so much left to say. Though they say the secret is to leave you wanting more.

Now I am just waiting on the sequel (the author is a lazy get though so it will probably be a long wait) to find out what happens to the characters in the end. If only the wait wasn't quite so long!

As for writing a book, if it takes as long for anyone on here to write one as it has for you to write a sequel, they will need a pandemic that lasts about 40 years!

By the way, did I mention I am waiting on a sequel? I know you love being asked about one.....}

Agree1 Disagree0

06 May 2020 09:19:25
18 chapters to go ed. You will get to know far more about the world. (It’s twice as long) . Some people will like that, some will crucify me for it. I didn’t start writing until I was 30+ so it’s never too late to just dig in. Start with a paragraph and then a page. Most people can’t even get beyond the desire to write but once you do, you might never stop. Are you reading anything else at the moment?

{Ed001's Note - yes mate, I tend to buy ebook bundles when they come up on Humble Bundle as part of the money goes to charity. They had a Warhammer starter bundle on there recently, so I am reading through that at the moment. Ahriman: Exile by John French is the current one. Ahriman is a long-running character from their books so it is like putting on a comfy pair of slippers and relaxing to catch up on him, so to speak. It is strange, I don't play the Warhammer tabletop games, though I do love the Total War videogames, but I love the books. It is the world (or should that be universe for the sci-fi ones?) surrounding the games that makes them interesting to me, rather than the games or models themselves.

As for writing, I remember one of the things I was told to help get into writing is to set an alarm to go off at the time you should start. Start writing and then have another alarm after a set time and that is time to stop, no matter how into the writing you are at the time. Initially start with 10 minutes and then gradually increase the time. The idea is to ensure you never suffer writer's block as your mind slips into a routine of writing, rather than mystifying it, as often writers can do. Have you tried that mate? If so does it work for you? I sort of do to a degree with writing articles. I set times and I will write in those times only and other times purely for research. But I do it to ensure I take a break as I was finding if I was reading something interesting or got lost in writing a particular article it could be 3 or 4 am and I would realise I hadn't eaten since breakfast.}

Agree0 Disagree0

06 May 2020 09:50:27
You mentioned the war hammer books before and they are absolutely on my list because of it. I think people wanting to write but finding themselves unable to write should try many things to get the formula down. That alarm thing is good for those with limited time in their day to train themselves. I have a comprehensive list of formulas for every stage of writing from conception to last rewrite. For ideas, I just walk miles and miles, figuring out my story and characters etc. Then I write the chapters out free hand while watching a tv show or movie that I can half concentrate too. Then comes the first draft which is the easiest for me. Sit in a comfy chair in the dark with lord of the rings on repeat and just go. I never stop, I never rewrite anything until I’m done. I let the second draft pick up the slack. That’s how I write my first book and it’s pretty much still my routine.

{Ed001's Note - that one point you made I think is the most important one, imo. Never rewrite anything until you are done. When I first started writing articles I would find it really difficult to ever actually finish anything because I would be stuck on rewriting every paragraph over and over.

Dan Abnett is the one to look for in the Warhammer novels. I love military history, it is a family passion, my uncle has written books on the subject and gives talks and tours on a couple of subjects. We would go book hunting together at book fairs etc. Abnett's books seem to bring the battles to life, it feels like he has also read a lot of military history and bases his books on it. Double Eagle, for example, has the feel of the early days of World War II and the Battle of Britain.

It is different from what you write, which is very much character-focused and about them, to being about a time period and then having characters in that period. If that makes sense? Neither is right or wrong, just a different focus and it makes a nice change to go from one to the other.

What I like about both is that the characters feel like real people, that you can care about, unlike so many other writers who write caricatures rather than characters. I know David Gemmell is a huge name in fantasy, but I find his characters weak and his books are formulaic repeats of the same story over and over again. Enjoyable enough reading, but they are like those old pulp novels that used to be churned out in the 50s (I think). They are like a soap opera rather than a quality TV show such as Peaky Blinders imo.}

Agree0 Disagree0

06 May 2020 10:19:58
Ha, you know I love Gemmell but I agree that there is only so much of him. He was a master of fight scenes but the characters never change too much throughout the stories. Despite that, every fantasy reader should read “legend” at least once in their lifetime. I’ve never read a book like it. It’s about a battle. Just one big battle. Pretty much the entire book is just this said battle and it’s amazing. Easy not to pay attention to character development when it takes place over such a short period of time. George rr Martin is the opposite, it’s nothing but characters. No battles whatsoever. Apart from a few painfully short chapters throughout the entire series. The tv show took quite a few liberties with the amount of fight scenes.

{Ed001's Note - see I am not convinced Gemmell is the master of fight scenes, Legend is excellent, but I think Abnett is much better at writing battles. They feel real, which is a hell of a talent in fantasy and sci-fi. I have never read George Martin's books, the only interest I have in him is that he has the same name as my grandad, but I found GoT lost me constantly. Too many characters and I couldn't keep track of it, I can't imagine the book would be any better. The fact me dad loves it is enough to know it would bore me to tears. Though it has at least stopped me dad looking down his nose at fantasy stuff, so that is something I will be grateful to him for.

I had a bunch of Gemmell books on file for years, before ereaders existed, someone must have typed them up for me on text files from the books. I made the mistake of reading them one after another. That is something I advise strongly against doing. Some writers you can just read though their books and get into them, but Gemmell just ends up feeling repetitive like that. It is not like Tolkien where you can reread them over and over either. Like I said they are a bit soap opera-ish and lack depth to give a good reread value. They are a very good intro into fantasy though.}

Agree0 Disagree0

06 May 2020 10:49:47
Yeah, I did the same. Read them in succession and suddenly I just had to stop. I think the mark of any good book is the desire to read it a second time. My favorite books I will read every few years. It’s almost time for ready player one again. Cracking book, terrible terrible movie. Actually, I picked up Enders game a few months back on a deal on amazon and read it through. Unbelievably good. Some of the language is a little risky these days but I loved it. I ended up buying everything in the series straight after. Another sign of a good book.

{Ed001's Note - have you read any of the Witcher books? Every tells me they are brilliant and they are one of the few where the games and TV show have stayed faithful to the books. If that is true, the books must be great as the TV show was excellent and the games have great stories.}

Agree0 Disagree0

06 May 2020 11:58:44
I read the sample and bought the first straight off. It now sits on my ever expanding to be read pile. Cracking Netflix show, never seen such a part so perfectly cast. I played the games a little but feared what it would do to my career if I got sucked too deeply in. I’d still be on the first chapter I would imagine. I’ve sacrificed so many games just too keep my creative juices going. That’s the only real downside to writing. I miss my marathon gaming sessions.

Agree1 Disagree0

17 Jun 2020 21:31:30
I have read many fantasy series recently, and by reading the above posts, I'm sure you would all enjoy! The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson is fantastic, he's an insane writer, all his stuff is pretty good though! Patrick Rothfuss is a really good author, although hasn't released anything for awhile. James Islington is another really cracking new author. He has quite an interesting writing style. Finally two darker authors are Sam Sykes and Mark Lawrence, they write in a more visceral style.

I also second the opinions on the warhammer series! I've read loads of WH stuff over the years despite never playing the tabletop game. I really enjoyed reading the Wordbearers collection.

I have never read David Gremmel Eds! I will go to my library when it opens and look for his name.

{Ed001's Note - have you read any of the new Warhammer stuff? They have branched out into new eras and so it has some interesting concepts involved. Josh Reynolds has written some good stuff.

As for those you have suggested, I will look out for them.

As for Gemmell, start with Legend, it made his name and is probably the best of his work.}

Agree1 Disagree0

18 Jun 2020 11:01:10
I have not read any of the latest Warhammer stuff, I think the last WH stuff I have read is Gotrex and Felix, which was very enjoyable. I did update my book list last night with some of the newer books. I'm glad GW started moving the story forward, it had pretty much been in the same state since I started following WH about 17 years ago.

I'll look for Josh Reynolds and add them to my list!

Thanks Eds, I'll definitely go look in my library once it has opened, and scour the charity shops near me to see if they have it.

{Ed001's Note - anything Dan Abnett has written is always worth a read, he is the standout for me.

I do miss scouring charity shops for books!}

Agree1 Disagree0

18 Jun 2020 19:04:29
Dan Abnett is a boss, I really like his stuff, I had some audio books by him years ago and they were fantastic.

It is probably one of my most enjoyable activities!

There is a guy on Cardiff indoor market who has a huge selection, and Sedbergh has several secondhand book shops, one in particular was very good, I forget the name but if you google Sedbergh book shops it's normally the first one that comes up. Many market towns have a stall, I know my Ex-local Market, Chorley has a decent book stall. Probably the best hidden gem I ever found was inside the Weymyss Bay Ferry and Bus Terminal. If you walk in the main entrance they have a little book shop immediately to your right. Also very close is a place called Largs with a cafe called Nadini's which does amazing breakfasts, and very good ice cream as a bonus visit ;) .

Agree0 Disagree0

22 Mar 2020 18:08:31
Not much going on here.

Agree0 Disagree0

22 Mar 2020 19:35:06
early doors though.

Agree0 Disagree0

22 Mar 2020 23:26:22
Are you guys open?

{Ed002's Note - Absolutely - please share your story here.}

Agree0 Disagree0

22 Mar 2020 23:40:18
I have plenty of stories ed, looking forward to hearing everyone else’s though. I’m delighted they’ve opened this page again. I’d like to think I’ve acquired some knowledge about the publishing industry and only too happy to give what advice I can. Essentially I’ve made every mistake any budding new author has ever made. One might say spectacularly. But I’ve managed to somehow make a living out of it.

{Ed002's Note - Post what you did on the Liverpool page are - if the deal is still running - it is a great starter. I don’t read fiction myself, but I am sure many will be keen to pick up on it.}

Agree0 Disagree0

23 Mar 2020 00:30:53
Unfortunately, the deal ended. Some of my books are contracted to kindle unlimited (Netflix for readers- two months free if you sign up at this current time) so they’re strict on allowing free books for longer than a few days between contracts. I’m going to try get another free book up at some point because, yeah, it’s a lock down and reading is a wonderful release. For the record, and anyone wondering, my name is Robert j power, some people know me for the fantasy series “spark city” series. If anyone asks about when the sequel is out, I’ll kill them. As soon as I’ve got some free goodies, I’ll post up the link here. As I have said before, I’m delighted to give advice on the industry, from writing the first few lines, to submitting (don’t) to everything after book is written. We’re all about to be locked down for the next few months, might be the right time to have a crack at writing.

{Ed001's Note - when did you say the sequel is out?}

Agree0 Disagree0

25 Mar 2020 10:50:23
Cutting a fine line there ed- sounding like one of my sycophants. 100,000 words and counting. As scary as things are, I’m just doing my best to push on, like everyone really. I put up a short story on my site if anyone’s interested. I don’t have a link, I have an internet wizard guy who does all of that for me. Just google Robert j power. In a few days I’ll put up a proper post on what help I can give for aspiring authors to make a living. I don’t expect much traffic on here at the moment but hopefully between all the sites, there’ll be enough readers and authors to kick this off.

{Ed001's Note - a sycophant? That is the nicest thing anyone has ever called me.}

Agree0 Disagree0

30 Mar 2020 12:11:04
Anyone read the book, the damage done, by Warren Fellows? It portrays his time in the notorious Bangkwang prison, nicknamed "Big Tiger". Fellows was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1978, convicted of heroin trafficking between Bangkok,  Thailand and Australia.
I read this book years ago and was the first time I really enjoyed a book. Turned off the tv to continue reading it, read afew good books since then but this definitely my favourite.

Agree0 Disagree0

03 Apr 2020 15:14:00
Fitting with how we are all locked in at the moment. Closest I read was “mr nice” about an infamous English drug dealer who had quite an interesting story to tell. Would recommend. A great book beats any tv for me. Just pure escapism.

Agree0 Disagree0

07 Apr 2020 13:49:24
Howard marks. I was given the book years ago by my brother-in-law but I never read it tbh. I mostly read sports autobiographies now. Reading Tyson Furys atm.

Agree0 Disagree0

Posting Form

Please Log In or Register
 
Log In or Register to post

User
Pass
Remember me

Forgot Pass