Profile for Not A Number > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Not A Number
Top Reviewer Ranking: 58,106
Helpful Votes: 67

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Not A Number (UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
pixel
Dark Chocolate and Raspberries
Dark Chocolate and Raspberries
Price: £4.73

1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly researched, or glaring issue addressed later in story?, 4 Feb. 2014
This comment is only based on the sample, and hopefully someone who has read the whole thing might clear this up for me: if so, I'll happily edit this accordingly.

Dylan is 18. We are told he sings in a clear and piercing soprano, and he is introduced as such on his first day at Uni. Now having been involved in choirs since I was a boy in single figures I've yet to meet any "soprano" much over age 12.

So my confusion is this: is Dylan suffering from some very unfortunate medical condition affecting his physical maturity?

The best an adult man can do without having been castrated before puberty is the range known as "countertenor" which can rarely achieve soprano range and sounds completely different to the pure tone of a boy soprano (i.e. it is what is know as falsetto voice). While it has its place in some operatic pieces (and a lot of pop) it isn't going to give you the "angelic" sound you'd associate with Ave Maria which is what we are told Dylan is singing at the very beginning.

For me this is a major incongruity which made me feel the author doesn't know much about boys or singing, which probably isn't a great thing in a book about boys and singing.

On a secondary note, the way the author belaboured the use of the appellation "diva" rapidly became irritating: the whole "Dylan's a diva" message was stated, hinted, opined and generally done to death within a few pages.


Dress Up
Dress Up
Price: £5.22

2.0 out of 5 stars A bog standard and predictable romance, 11 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dress Up (Kindle Edition)
A very standard romance plot which the author has attempted to reinvigorate via the premise that the love interest decides to lie about his background (for poorly substantiated reasons). I had hoped that setting it against a backdrop of "musical theatre" was an ironic nod to offensive stereotypes, but on completing the tale I believe it was simply as a result of a gross lack of imagination.

The prose itself isn't too bad, so you might enjoy this one evening after a tough day when you just want to switch off and relax with something safe. Personally I found it predictable and the attempt at drama artificial.

~ remainder of the review has some plot spoilers ~

It is established that our lead, Wyatt, is still hurting from a break up with a lying and manipulative lover. I therefore found the lying antics of the new love interest(Ryan) distasteful and his stupidity in persisting in his lies (and the lengths he went to) were stretched out to the point to where they ceased to be credible.

I found myself lose interest in the romance side of the plot about a third of the way in to the novel, not least because of the thin gruel of the over-played foreshadowing of Ryan's comeuppance, but also because I felt that Wyatt deserved better: I genuinely did not want the relationship to succeed.

The middle third thus became a painfully protracted filler against the time that Ryan's lies are found out, and a substantial chunk of the last third exists only to stave off the denouement of the "big misunderstanding" romance trope.


Wight Mischief
Wight Mischief
Price: £2.88

5.0 out of 5 stars A decent thriller with a romance kicker, 4 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wight Mischief (Kindle Edition)
This was a delightful find: while so many offerings in the MM romance genre are simply dull rehashings of the same formula this tale gives us an interesting premise, an atypical and well-realised setting and solid characterisation. What took it from a solid 4 star novel and made it a resounding 5 star book was the mystery / thriller aspect: the author teasingly delivered a number of small mysteries which were gradually unravelled only to discover they were themselves only a component of a larger riddle.

If you are jaded with supernatural plot clones or fed up with wading through the flood of overpriced, under-talented garbage on the market, look no further. This is a quality read from an author who knows their craft.


Human Frailties, Human Strengths
Human Frailties, Human Strengths
Price: £2.93

4.0 out of 5 stars Above average fantasy romance, 29 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was a decent fantasy romp providing us with a vehicle for a romance whereby one character Learns An Important Lesson and the other Gets His Heart's Desire. There were some interesting ideas in the fantasy plot which really helped raise it above the typical fare, and it was convincingly written.

Although this could have been a conglomeration of clichés, the author really managed to take me along for the ride and keep me entertained. At £2.51 for 272 pages I felt this was excellent value, and would recommend it to anyone with a taste for a love story with a well crafted swords-and-sorcery backdrop.


Crying for the Moon
Crying for the Moon
Price: £5.20

3.0 out of 5 stars very light entertainment, 29 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Pros:
=====
Generally light-hearted and amusing, and the character development is well handled for a relatively short novella.

I liked the attempt at providing a new background to the vampire myth, and although the entire vampire element was very much in the background this did provide the premise for a key plot element.

Cons:
=====
Overpriced at £4.46 for 210 pages. There is a surfeit of were / vampire MM novels out there, and many that are considerably better than this one available at a much lower price-per-page.

A fun romance novella, but I would only recommend if the price were more competitive.


Dumb Jock: The Musical (Dumb Jock series Book 4)
Dumb Jock: The Musical (Dumb Jock series Book 4)
Price: £5.28

2.0 out of 5 stars weakest of the series to date, 24 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've enjoyed the Dumb Jock series. This one fell flat. I did like the fact that this time we had a Jock who was more self aware and mature about his sexuality, but that was one of the few "pros".

Sadly if you've read much young adult gay fiction set in US high schools, a great many scenes and plot elements may feel disturbingly similar to other works. Furthermore the plot lurched forward at a rapid pace in places, and several promising plot elements were passed over (the romance between the characters was terribly neat and insta-lurv, their struggles against the school board were resolved within days of being discovered etc.) The latter half of the novel became increasingly a record of happenings, rather than taking the reader along for the ride.

For me this novel lacked the emotional connection with the characters of earlier novels in the series, which had greater angst and more interesting personal journeys. Some people like playing games on "God mode". Personally I never do that, as I find the struggle and the challenge are what make the victory actually mean something. For me this was "Dumb Jock: God mode"


Dark Space
Dark Space
Price: £3.83

4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping sci-fi romance, 24 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dark Space (Kindle Edition)
Dark Space is a well crafted blend of sci-fi and romance, where both strands support the other to realise an imaginative and gripping plot.

There are a number of sexual scenes but these were very well done, adding spice without taking over the story, and consistent with the growing romance.

The sci-fi world building was generally good, although my main criticism is that the social attitudes (homophobia, allusions to Abrahamic religion) seemed identical to those present in modern-day USA. As a non-US citizen this rather jingoistic and unevolved projection detracted somewhat from the believability of the futuristic setting. In addition I found it very hard to believe that given an explicitly established history of all-male crews (filled by young teenage draftees sharing crowded accommodation) that homosexual activity would still be overtly condemned (especially given the present trends of growing acceptance). Our protagonists faced plenty of gripping and believable challenges without needing the rather clichéd trope of homophobic oppression on top, in my opinion.

The writing is of a high standard, and overall I found this an enjoyable read. Be warned there are some violent scenes and rape.


A Beautiful Lie
A Beautiful Lie
Price: £4.64

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice enough, 23 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Beautiful Lie (Kindle Edition)
It is impossible not to feel huge sympathy for the characters in this novel, making this a bitter-sweet tale that condenses some major life changes for all the main protagonists into an entertaining read.

Pros:
-------
While I would have liked this to have been a longer novel, it was refreshing that the characters had the brains and self-awareness to actually work out and discuss their issues, and on that score I was delighted that the author made this a tale about realistic, reasonable and intelligent characters dealing with some tough events, where it could easily have become a bloated sequence of "big misunderstandings".

Con:
------
The "pro" in this case leads into the "con" for me: the characters are almost too reasonable. My only main criticism was that while there were indeed some interesting revelations I felt that the author could have hidden them better and teased the reader with some of the major ones for much longer. A little more misdirection and perhaps a bit more human weakness would have added some suspense to the tale in my view. In many instances I found myself thinking "ooh I bet that xyz" only to read that I was right on almost the next page. It was kind of like labouring over your Christmas list and getting your unwrapped present handed to you before you'd even had a chance to post it.

Better than the majority of M/M romances out there and worth a read.


Bone Rider
Bone Rider
Price: £4.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Something different; sci-fi action with a gay theme, 15 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bone Rider (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed this, and not least because it was genuinely good sci-fi in it's own right.

What made this for me was a really solid plot with some decent supporting threads, superbly narrated action scenes and a polished, cinematic treatment. The gay love theme is important to the plot, but it fit naturally and incidentally into this movie-worthy tale.

This novel's premise reminded me of another novel Symbiota Sapiens which I'd also recommend (and in fact will probably re-read shortly as a result of this novel). The two are however very different in the detail and execution, with SS having more Young Adult / coming of age slant with a stronger sexual theme.

If you are a gay / open-minded sci-fi fan, you'll love Bone Rider.


Aaron's Story
Aaron's Story
Price: £2.20

4.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and rewarding, 15 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Aaron's Story (Kindle Edition)
People can behave monstrously, but this novel reminds us that people are also capable of change and growth.

Pros:
====
This could have been a fairly standard angst-fest of American High School gay teen vs religious conservatism, but it really managed to go beyond the average. The characterisation of the secondary characters is generally sound, and where one could be forgiven for seeing some stereotyped "bad guys", what helped make the supporting cast into rounded characters was the far more believable changes we see in (most) of them by the end. I'd have found a bit more of a steady evolution to have been more credible, but to be fair sometimes people need a shock to force them to re-think.

The empathy I felt from the characterisation of Aaron was five-star stuff. We learned that he was both brave and very human, and I could see myself saying the same things and behaving in the same way in his shoes. I found the author's depiction of this teenager's world view to be so compelling that in his darkest hour I found myself rooting for him even when he makes some terrible choices.

Cons:
=====
There were a couple of points where the author got a bit preachy; I agree with every word, it was more to do with how well it sat in the prose. In one case there was a near-monologue from a character that would have felt better if there was a greater dialogue between the speaker and those who needed to hear it.

This is a very emotional read and may upset some; I feel there should be some trigger warnings for any teens reading this, however the lessons learned by the end should help and provide better answers.

Conclusion:
=========
Good value at £2.18, especially since I know I'll be reading it again at some point. Recommended.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9