Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now
Profile for Sarmor > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Sarmor
Top Reviewer Ranking: 193,056
Helpful Votes: 25

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Sarmor (Bristol)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories
Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories
Price: £4.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great collection of weird and wonderful short stories, 30 July 2015
I received Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was so excited to receive this book as China Mieville is one of my favourite authors.

That said, I am not a big fan of short stories. Just a couple months ago I finished reading my first book of short stories. Normally I start, then give up. I am pleased to say that I read every story in this book. There are well over 20 stories, some are very short while others are much longer. I have to say that I got on better with the longer ones.

As with all short story collections I've attempted to read, this one has a number of stories where you are left at the end wondering what that was all about and wondering if you missed something. I had this feeling on quite a few occasions. Despite this confusion, I was also often left with a feeling of enjoyment.

Some of my favourites in this collection were Polynia in which Icebergs appeared in the skies of London; The Dowager of Bees in which special cards would appear mysteriously during games of Poker with very interesting consequences; In the Slopes was set at an Archeological dig site where some strange findings are discovered; The Crawl, a Zombie movie trailer which I would definitely go to see if it were ever actually made in to a movie; Watching God, a post apocalyptic island set story where ships sit off the coast just watching; The Buzzards Egg about a guy that I really felt for who had to look after a captured God; Dreaded Outcome about a therapist who will go to the extreme to ensure her patients get well; and After the Festival which was very grim and disturbing that it game me goosebumps and made me shiver upon recounting the story to my partner.

There was quite a mix of stories, all a little strange as one would expect with Mieville. He created some awesome worlds which I would love to spend more time in. I was left with lots of questions (which is not uncommon for me at the end of a short story) but I feel ok with that.

I will definitely be reading his older short story collection Looking for Jake and Other Stories (as well as future novels).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 9, 2015 12:20 PM GMT


Rose of Sarajevo
Rose of Sarajevo
Price: £3.98

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener - I learnt a lot about the Yugoslavian Conflicts of the 90s, 3 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Rose of Sarajevo (Kindle Edition)
I visited Croatia over the Summer and was struck by how little I knew of the war that occurred in the region back in the 90s. I wanted to know more about it but wanted to learn from fiction because it's much more enjoyable. And then I saw that this book was recently published.

This author had meticulously researched the Yugoslavian war and about the history of these cultures as a whole. I learnt so much from this book. In the first half of the book, there was a lot of politics and history which was very interesting and informative, however, I felt that the author didn't seem to have been able to weave it in to the story seamlessly - it seemed a little forced and clunky. I felt like the author wasn't sure what she was going for with the book - a novel or a history book. This dynamic did change as the book progressed though and the last half of the book was more focused on the fictional characters which I really liked.

Some of the history was a little confusing and it is almost assumed by the author that we should know who all the political figures are. I did a lot of searching the internet for confirmation, more background information, and maps of the region. I think the book would have benefited from maps and maybe a list of political figures, their positions, and which country they represented.

At the beginning, I didn't feel invested in the characters because I knew so little about them and the history was focused on more than the characters were. The history was very detailed but nothing else was really described that much - the characters, their houses, their place of work, the town they live in, etc. So while I had a really good grasp on the history and the culture of the region, I didn't get a feel for the individual countries or Sarajevo where the book was mostly set.

Some sections were hard to read, those which detailed the atrocities that occurred there but they were not described in minute details so it's not overly gruesome. This is quite a short book but the author packs in a lot of information and story. I thought the book ended a little abruptly.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and the things that it brought up for me to think about. It was very thought provoking.


Moon Called: Mercy Thompson book 1
Moon Called: Mercy Thompson book 1
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent start to the series., 14 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book was so much fun! Mercy is a fantastic character. She isn't the stereotypical female which I love: she's strong, knows what she wants, doesn't take s**t from anyone, she is a mechanic, and she is a purple belt in karate. All this does mean that she sometimes gets herself in to a spot of bother.

Mercy is a shape shifter, with Native American roots, and she shifts in to a coyote. I really liked that the author chose something different other than the usual vampire and werewolf supernaturals. Don't get me wrong, I love both, but it makes for a refreshing change to have something different as the main character. There are both vampires and werewolves featured heavily in the book though with some really interesting characters. Oh and there are Fae and Witches in it too.

So a lone, newly made teenage werewolf turns up at Mercy's garage looking for work. One day, she finds him being held at gun point and coerced to go with another newbie werewolf and a human. Mercy shifts and intervenes, killing the werewolf in the process. The Alpha of the local pack comes to help clear up the mess and takes the new werewolf in. But then things go a bit tits up. Adam, the Alpha of the pack, is attacked in his own home and left to die and his daughter is kidnapped. Mercy saves Adam and then the hunt is on to discover what happened, who has taken his daughter and to get her back.

So when I read most Urban Fantasy books, I'm wondering when the obligatory romance will start. However with this book, there was nothing until the last chapter, maybe even just the last 5 pages, which was a blessing in my opinion. I have got nothing against romance in books as long as it is not the main focus. Women do not need to be in a relationship to be complete. That's one of the reasons I like Mercy!

I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.


The Scar
The Scar
Price: £5.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Dark & Wonderful Story, 14 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Scar (Kindle Edition)
This is the second book in the Bas-Lag series. It's not like other fantasy series where the setting and characters are the same in all the books. Mieville always likes to do things differently. So in this series, all of the books are set in the same world, Bas-Lag, but the setting and characters are completely different. So personally, I don't think it matters too much which order you read them in. The events in The Scar happen after that in Perdido Street Station but you don't need to have read Perdido in order to understand the goings on in The Scar.

I loved Perdido so much. I think I rated it 4.5 stars and the only reason it didn't get the 5 was because it was very very descriptive and took an age to read. So I was expecting more of the same with this book but I was pleasantly surprised. This book could easily have been very wordy especially because we had new characters, a new setting and several new alien races introduced. Mieville really hit the right balance with descriptiveness in this one. Or maybe I'm just more used to his writing style now. Either way, I was gripped by the story straight away, I couldn't put it down and I read it much quicker than the first one (this one is much shorter though).

The story focuses on Bellis Coldwine, who has fled New Crobuzon on a ship destined for one of its colonies. Bellis has been recruited as an interpreter as she is able to speak various different languages. The ship she is on is full of a real mix of people, including a large number of Remade. While on route, their ship is commandeered by an agent of New Crobuzon and then quite quickly besieged by pirates. The ship and its crew are taken to Armada, a huge floating pirate city in the middle of the ocean. It's dark, seedy, unsettling and dangerous for the newly arrived. This city was described beautifully and I have a great imagining of what it looked like and what it must have been like to live there. It was great being there during the book but it's a place I'd definitely stay clear of in reality!

So on Armada, those who are still loyal to New Crobuzon are locked up while the others are given jobs and a wage to help grow the society. Everyone is equal. While they are free, they cannot leave Armada. Ever!

Then the craziness begins and I can't even begin to explain what went on. It's all good though. If you like pirates, mythical sea creatures, alien races, strange magical/technological machines, double crossing, and sea battles then you'll love this book. I did! And I have to say that I enjoyed it much more than the first book in the series. I can't wait for the third, Iron Council, which I have just bought.


The Black Country: Scotland Yard Murder Squad Book 2
The Black Country: Scotland Yard Murder Squad Book 2
Price: £3.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical Mystery at it's Finest!, 14 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I enjoyed this second installment in The Murder Squad series much more than the first book in the series. I think that was because I already new the characters and it was nice to be reacquainted with them.

The story had a vague The Wicker Man feel to it. Young boy and his parents go missing; villagers know more than they’re letting on and are all very secretive and mislead the police; they have strange beliefs and customs; and out-of-town policemen are sent there to investigate the disappearances. Add to that people dropping like flies with a mysterious contagious illness and you've got a great story. Again I loved all the “new” techniques that the doctor employs to solve the crimes. It’s like Victorian CSI!

The more I read of this series, the more I want to read so I am looking forward to the short story and book 3 which come out next month.


Allegiant (Divergent Book 3)
Allegiant (Divergent Book 3)
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Read, 14 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The format from the first two books is abandoned for this split, first person POV, which I have to say I didn’t like at all. I was used to being inside Tris’ head in the first two books and while I liked her chapters in Allegiant, I found Tobias’ really frustrating. While Tobias is a well-developed character, I thought he didn't have a unique voice and it was actually difficult to tell who was speaking – Tris or Tobias. His style of thinking should have been much more different to Tris’ and it just wasn't!

The main reason I liked Divergent was because it was pretty action packed. Insurgent was less so and in Allegiant, there just wasn't that much action at all, more of the Genetics side of things. I have always been interested in Genetics but I have to say this didn't really grip me as much as I thought it might. I also found some of the scenarios a little samey, mimicking that of the previous book.

That said, I did enjoy the book and thought it wrapped up the series nicely answering some questions. All the while I was reading, I felt like it was "just OK" and was going to rate it maybe 3.5 stars but I enjoyed the ending which pushed it up to 4 stars for me.


The Golem and the Djinni
The Golem and the Djinni
Price: £5.49

5.0 out of 5 stars This book was fantastic!, 14 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have no knowledge of Jewish or Syrian folklore so I found those aspects of the story very interesting.

This book tells the story of a free spirited Djinni who becomes enslaved and trapped in a flask by a wizard and an obedient slave of a Golem set free when her master dies. Both "arrive" in New York, in a world and culture they do not understand, with their true natures limited by their circumstances. They are forced to lie to keep their true nature from the general populace which in itself causes them problems. Then the Golem and Djinni cross paths and they find solace in each other as each know what the other is feeling, although that doesn't mean they see everything eye to eye as after all, they have opposing natures. Then things turn disastrous and they find their lives are on the line.

I really enjoyed the writing in this book. It felt very exotic! And I really liked the characters, I had a really good sense of what they looked like and what they were like as people. I particularly liked the Djinni and the Golem but also the extended cast of characters were very likable too (except the baddie and I despised him as much as I loved the others which is I suppose what you want from a villain).

I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel by Helene Wecker and I will waiting with anticipation for her next release.


Dreams of Gods and Monsters: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy Book 3
Dreams of Gods and Monsters: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy Book 3
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great End to a Fantastic Series, 14 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really enjoyed this book and it was a nice finish to the series. I am a bit sad that I won't hear more of Karou, Akiva, and Zuzana though as those were my favourite characters throughout the whole series.

I thought this book tied things up nicely and explained things in more detail so I understood the world more. There were a few bits towards the end which confused me a little or were a bit more far out but I went with it and I personally do not feel it detracted from the story.

The story starts up where the last one finishes in the dessert of Morocco. The Serpaphim have come to Earth and shown themselves to the humans in order to acquire arms to take back to Eretz to fight the Chimeara. This would be extremely disastrous and so the Chimeara team up with the the Misbegotton Seraphims to stop him.

There are a number of new characters who make an appearance in this book, some who only have a small part to play, while others like Eliza and Scarab, have bigger parts to play. I really liked Eliza and was so intrigued by her throughout the whole book.


Temeraire (The Temeraire Series, Book 1)
Temeraire (The Temeraire Series, Book 1)
Price: £3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Temeraire is a Star!, 14 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have wanted to read this for a while as I have heard a lot of good things about the series. It is my first book by Naomi Novik. What a great combination of fantasy, historical fiction and alternate history! With dragons!

I have only read one book before which was military based and I didn't like it that much but it was set in more modern times. But this book, set during the Napoleonic wars, I found really interesting. During these wars (in reality), no country had aerial squadrons which left battles to be fought at sea and on the ground but having dragons as part of the armed forces in this book gave the war a very different dynamic and obviously changed the course of the battles.

The story focuses on Laurence, a Captain in the British Navy who upon “winning” a French battleship in a fight, took possession of not only the ship but also what was on it including a dragon egg. So it hatches out and they need to put a harness on it as quickly as possible to “tame” it. After drawing lots as to who would do this, they wait for the dragon to hatch. And just like a cat, the dragon chooses who it wants to be as his rider/owner rather than the guy who was chosen by lots.

So from esteemed Navy Captain to Dragon Corp Captain, Laurence names his dragon Temeraire. Oh and I forgot to say that Temeraire is a talking dragon! Which I love! He is the true star of this book for so many reasons. Obviously, not being born to the Corp and Temeraire not being a native breed to England, both face difficulties trying to integrate themselves in to life in the Corp.

The book is set during the Napoleonic War and Naomi Novik sure seems to know her stuff on this time period and does a great job at setting the scene and showing us what it would have been like at sea and at home during those battles. I loved the aerial battle scenes as well as the training drills for the dragons and their crews.

I have to say that I loved every minute of this book and I have added it to my Favourites shelf. I am very eager to continue on with the series and I can’t wait to hear more from Temeraire.


The City & The City
The City & The City
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Imaginative and Compelling, 14 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is a crime mystery, more speculative fiction than science fiction I would say but still elements of the unusual. This book is more political than the other books I've read by this author and I really got in to it.

At the beginning, I wasn't sure exactly what was going on with the two cities: Ul Qoma and Beszel. I was very intrigued and I had to keep reading and things then started to fall in to place. It’s hard for me to give a rundown on this book without giving too much away but basically a woman is found dead in the back of a van and a Detective from Beszel's Extreme Crime Squad is sent to investigate it but he quickly finds himself wrapped up in red tape and politics as it’s not a straightforward murder.

This story is complex! It needs your undivided attention at all times but it’s worth it! Such a creative idea for a setting and the way it was written, the two cities almost became characters all of their own. The last quarter of the book was tense and I couldn't put the book down.

I think I would have enjoyed it more if I could have read it consistently but part way through the book I had to take part in a reading challenge so I put it aside to read another two books then came back to this one. Still a 5 star read though!


Page: 1 | 2