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Heaven's Fall: The dramatic conclusion to this heart-racing near-future trilogy
Heaven's Fall: The dramatic conclusion to this heart-racing near-future trilogy
by Michael Cassutt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A damp squib, 22 Oct. 2013
After reading the first two books in this trilogy, I was hopeful that the conclusion would leave me satisfied, excited and thrilled. Sadly, this final instalment left me unmoved and frankly, a little bored.
The action here takes place twenty years after the events in the second book and struggles because of it - essentially starting from scratch with a bunch of characters who hold little resemblance to those in the previous books. The writing never feels urgent or tense, despite the 'end of the world scenario.' There is little flesh on the bones of these people that we are supposed to care about. And, more than the other two books, this feels like it was rushed - like an expanded screenplay. The story is interesting, but the execution left me numb. It might make a good TV show but it certainly hasn't made for a good read. A real shame...


Red Seas Under Red Skies: The Gentleman Bastard Sequence, Book Two
Red Seas Under Red Skies: The Gentleman Bastard Sequence, Book Two
by Scott Lynch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Let down, 18 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not only is this book overlong and way too focused on the minutiae of the world the two main characters occupy, it is also terribly edited. There were SO many typos throughout the book and even a couple of paragraphs which were repeated on the SAME PAGE- very poor form and completely took me out of the story. It made me want to proof it instead of enjoy it.

This doesn't come close to 'Lies..' because it seems to do what most fantasy writers do: take a good concept and bloat it with 300 unnecessary pages of pointless detail.

There is a great story in here, but it takes a lot of effort to get to it.


The Heretic Land
The Heretic Land
by Tim Lebbon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lean and Mean, 18 Oct. 2012
This review is from: The Heretic Land (Paperback)
Great fun- Lebbon has taken what he did brilliantly with Echo City and crafted a horror thriller which works as an edge of your seat chase story, with gods, super soldiers, engines, assassins, giant underwater monsters and lots and lots of violence.

All of this is written brilliantly too- it never feels gratuitous and the plot whips along at a good pace.

To my mind, this is even better than Echo City- and that was a great book.


Last Light
Last Light
by Alex Scarrow
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, scary premise, 18 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Last Light (Mass Market Paperback)
A good fun read- if you like your post apocalyptic books to be fast and furious with a premise which could happen all too easily, then read this.

Not only will it make you stock the larder with tinned food, it will keep you awake while you try to finish it.

Read this, then read the sequel, Afterlight, which is also great fun.


The Sense of an Ending
The Sense of an Ending
by Julian Barnes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 18 Oct. 2012
This review is from: The Sense of an Ending (Paperback)
The Sense of an Ending is, quite simply, a masterpiece.

It takes big, important, weighty themes like love, youth, death, responsibility, memory, the self, and manages to cram them in to a book of 140 odd pages, without it sounding like a self-conscious exercise in intellectualism.

Julian Barnes has managed to write a supremely clever and emotional book, and made it look effortless. It's poetic, controlled, lean and immensely readable. And, once you've finished it, you'll feel enriched, because it writes about things you already know, in language which gives a completely new perspective - and that makes it a very important book.


Heaven's War
Heaven's War
by David S Goyer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

3.0 out of 5 stars The tricky middle chapter..., 18 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Heaven's War (Hardcover)
*Read Heaven's Shadow before reading this book*
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heavens-Shadow-David-S-Goyer/dp/0330541374/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350553418&sr=8-1

This is the tricky 'second part of a trilogy' which is essentially the bridge between what happened in book one and the 'big event' that will, I hope, happen in book 3.

Where the first book looked at a limited number of characters, this one takes on far too many narrative voices, which frustrates because it delays the action and slows down the plot. There is some nice writing and it is good to get under the skin of these character and understand what makes them tick, but at some point, you just want them to stop thinking and talking and start DOING.

The action does happen, but it takes a little too long to get there. And as soon as it gets there, it's so good that you forgive it for 200 pages of so-so narrative. It does what all middle chapters need to: it gets you to the point where you really, REALLY want to know how it's all going to turn out. And that, I suppose, is the point.


Heaven's Shadow (The Heaven's Shadow Trilogy Book 1)
Heaven's Shadow (The Heaven's Shadow Trilogy Book 1)
Price: £4.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Like reading a film..., 18 Oct. 2012
This is one of those stories that immediately hits you as a fleshed out screenplay, with a fast pace, broad cast of characters and a plot which simply doesn't allow you to put the book down. Moody lead character? Check. Astronaut love interest? Check. Stroppy teenager? Check. Wheelchair bound genius? Check.

Each chapter feels like a 30 minute episode (perhaps the original idea?) but that's not to say it doesn't work as a book. It whips you along in a truly gripping tale of differing space centres racing to get to `Neo' first (an asteroid that is heading towards earth) and the strange happenings that occur once they land...

It has summer blockbuster written all over it- and that's no surprise since it was written by David ` Dark Knight' Goyer. This is as close as I've come this year to a popcorn movie, and I'm glad that I picked it up. So glad in fact, that I've already bought the sequel. But it will have to be a seriously good read to top this book in the action/ thriller/ sci fi stakes.


Echo City
Echo City
by Tim Lebbon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Epic, exciting, violent, strange- read it, 18 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Echo City (Paperback)
Echo City is one of those books I picked up because I loved the title. Simple as that. I'm not a fantasy or sci-fi reader, but after reading the synopsis, I was intrigued. Then, after reading it, I was thrilled, because it's everything a good sci-fi fantasy book should be, with all the elements that make an exciting story(though not arbitrarily included): horror, action, violence, technology, genetics...

Lebbon has created a fascinating world here- a city that is so well realised you can almost smell it; a cast of characters who you immediately relate to and an ominous menace which changes the book from being a world- building epic to a frenetic race against time.

The middle section does go on a little too long, but it more than makes up for it with a seriously thrilling climax. If you haven't read much sci-fi fantasy then I'd suggest Lebbon is a great place to start. I've often been put off fantasy works because the writer spends 500 pages describing the weather and architecture; Lebbon doesn't allow that to happen. He builds this universe brilliantly, but he never lets it take over the story.

This book reminds me of Twelve Monkeys, though I'm not sure exactly why (probably the tech and colour of the environments), but in style and tone, it's totally unique and I highly recommend it.


The Games
The Games
by Ted Kosmatka
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genetics, Olympics and Action- not a bad combo, 6 Sept. 2012
This review is from: The Games (Hardcover)
The Games is one of those books that on the face of it, looks pretty derivative. There have been umpteen books on genetic experimentation, and the load of techno-thrillers out there is immense, but despite this, I still found myself enjoying this taut and tense thriller.

The story of genetically engineered animals fighting each other in a futuristic Olympic Games is a pretty compelling (and timely) one. The future that we see isn't one of flashing neon and hover cars, but something which feels genuine- with glimpses of technology that have changed people's lives (such as a shot that reverses being drunk. It has at its heart a great idea, and Kosmatka has built a very efficient story around it.

The one major draw back is the characterisation. With such a high concept plot, it's easy to see why Kosmatka didn't feel the need to flesh them out completely, as you are constantly distracted by a moment of tension or peril. But, the central character, Silas, is essentially morally dubious, given his involvement in genetically mutating animals to create 'gladiatorial entertainment.' This could have been developed and looked at in far more detail to make the reader sympathise with him, to question why and how he justifies his work. But, as it's a techno-thriller, that's not really the point. It's a gung-ho, tense and exciting thriller that doesn't dwell on bigger issues (though it does touch on them). You know where the book is going from the first chapter and it's no less fun because of it.

It's a great bit of holiday popcorn that kept me totally entertained, so I'd recommend this one.


Sparko
Sparko
by Karl Stephan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome illustrations; great story, 17 May 2012
This review is from: Sparko (Paperback)
This is a great graphic novel - full of quirky and well realised characters, brilliant illustrations, violence and laughs. You can't really ask for more! Karl Stephan is definitely one to watch...


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