Book Reviews

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Broken Homes (Not A Review)

I don’t tend to write book reviews these days. A large part of that is because I’m now part of the industry and as a result have lost a little bit of objectivity. I know how much effort goes into a book, I know the anguish in trying to make a book all it can be, and as a result I empathise. But I also unpick as I read. Too often I’m analysing and editing another person’s book as if it were my own. I’d move that scene forward, I don’t see the point of that character. It’s not that I think myself a better writer, I’ve learnt much from seeing how other authors do things, it’s just that writerly eye is almost always on, knowing how the magic on the page is constructed. So it’s a joy when a book comes along that makes me switch all that off, just read and leave the analysis for later.  Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant books are just that, a pure joy to read. […]

August 6th, 2013|Book Reviews, Reading|0 Comments

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

As a writer there are very few books I wish I could have written. My head is so full of my own ideas and nonsense that the voice of others isn’t something that interests me. Instead I dissect, tear open story like some mad doctor as I read and analyse its various organs. I’m sympathetic as I read and cut, I just want to know how things work. […]

June 21st, 2013|Book Reviews, Reading|0 Comments

Bookshelf Bombshells Rates The Four Realms As A “Buy It!”

Given how much writers struggle with putting together the synopsis of a novel, I'm starting to wonder, following this brilliant summary of the setup of The Four Realms, whether authors should employ reviewers to write them. I jest, of course, but this review does a really good job of getting 'inside' the setup of the [...]

April 10th, 2013|Book Reviews, Reviews|0 Comments

Review – Sea of Ghosts

Sea of Ghosts was very much a book of two halves for me. It’s an ambitious book that tries to do something a little different and when it works, it’s brilliant. When it doesn’t… well, we’ll come onto that. I have a real love of fantasy that abandons or subverts the medieval world trope we’ve [...]

June 22nd, 2011|Book Reviews, Reading|0 Comments

Review – Rivers of London

I read Rivers of London at a bad time. I’d just read Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson and absolutely loved the book, feeling it a pinnacle of post-Tolkien fantasy. I raved about that book. So of course anything I read after that was going to feel like a come-down no matter how much [...]

February 13th, 2011|Book Reviews, Reading|0 Comments

Review – Gardens of the Moon

I fear this review is going to be a little worthless. You see, as a writer or critic we have some experience of the tools of writing: the character arcs, the themes, the worldbuilding, and so on. We’re able to unstitch novels and look at these component parts, judging each on its own merit. Hence [...]

February 10th, 2011|Book Reviews, Reading|0 Comments

Review – The Name Of The Wind

The Name of the Wind tells the life story of Kvothe, a legendary hero, and goes about showing the more realistic story behind the legend. It’s a book about deconstructing legends and in that sense, it’s a book about story. The problem for me is that a novel must have plot. It must have a [...]

January 20th, 2011|Book Reviews, Reading|0 Comments

Review – Retribution Falls

The cover quote from Peter Hamilton says “Retribution Falls is the kind of old fashioned adventure I didn't think we were allowed to write any more” and I think it’s very true. It’s mixture of strange lands, airships and magic cutlasses makes it at time feel like a fantasy novel, a steampunk novel and a [...]

December 28th, 2010|Book Reviews, Reading|0 Comments

Review – The Shattering

As a rule, I don't have a problem with Tie-In Fiction. I'm very much in the "you like what you like" camp and don't think you should ever be ashamed of your reads. The argument against tie-in fiction is often that it is of a lesser quality, that because it is work for hire, authors [...]

December 16th, 2010|Book Reviews, Games, Reading|0 Comments

Review – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

It was both a blessing and a curse that I came about the audiobook for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Crime doesn't tend to be a genre I read a lot in, but I'm pretty genre agnostic when it comes to reading. So when a newspaper was offering the audiobook for free as part [...]

December 1st, 2010|Book Reviews, Reading|0 Comments