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Foxglove Summer (Rivers of London 5)
Foxglove Summer (Rivers of London 5)
by Ben Aaronovitch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.49

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's quite good, but, 24 Nov. 2014
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It's quite good, but... I'd like to register a complaint.... or two.

The story is pretty good, but like a disappointingly throw-away mid-season episode of Doctor Who, this is almost all sub-plot and doesn't move the main story of the series on at all. The main content of the book is around a missing persons case, which Peter solves with aplomb, and frankly, not too much trouble. The bits where the Faceless Man and Leslie feature are entirely incidental; they could almost have been added in as an after-thought.

I'm a big fan of the series and the characters, and I continue to enjoy the writing style but I feel like I'm stuck in a Peter Jackson Hobbit-like loop of annual installments. Of course I want to know what happens next, but I feel slightly disappointed. I suppose if I'd started here rather than with the earlier books then I wouldn't be too disappointed, but as I did, I am.

Oh, and there's some pretty average editing/proofing going on. One of the characters changes from a daughter to a grand-daughter within a few pages, and then is inconsistently one or the other.

Ah well; I enjoyed it enough to read the next, but I'd be happier if it was betterer.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 29, 2014 10:34 AM GMT


The Dogs of Riga: Kurt Wallander
The Dogs of Riga: Kurt Wallander
Price: £5.42

4.0 out of 5 stars Going to The dogs, 20 Sept. 2013
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This is a decent Wallander although not the best. The story is a little far fetched - more a thriller than police procedural - and the translation clunky. But a half decent Wallander it's worth more than most. well worth a read


Good Omens
Good Omens
Price: £5.37

5.0 out of 5 stars Where was I when this was first wrote..., 10 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Good Omens (Kindle Edition)
Actually, most likely I was working in a bookshop. Somehow I missed it. Not sure how. Might have to read all the discworld books now. Bugger, that's a lot of catching up to do....


The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking)
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's all just Noise..., 12 May 2013
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I read this on recommendation of a friend who had it as her World Book Night book. I wouldn't have picked it up otherwise because it's a officially a Children's Book (Guardian Prize winner and all that). But it's a great read irrespective of that and I really enjoyed it.

As it's aimed at younger readers the writing is straight-forward, and this feels slightly one-dimensional, especially towards the end. It doesn't have the richness of textures that you get in an adult novel; it feels like walking on a foggy mountain top - you can only see the path in front of you, rather than the full view of the landscape around. I found this made it less enjoyable for me later on in the novel, and I was racing towards the end. There wasn't enough to make me stop and pause and take time to enjoy the read. I was just following the story.

Anyways,the story is innovative and unusual in that the action takes place on a planet where human's can hear each other's thoughts (the Noise). The plot unfolds as the main character Todd is coming of age and finding out that things he took for the truth are not all as they seem. The characterisation is really good and the development of the two principle human characters - Todd and Viola are both very engaging, everything you'd want in friends. And I love love love Manchee, Todd's dog. Probably too much...

So, I really enjoyed it. Although I'm not sure that, because of the simple narrative, that I want to go onto read the rest of the series. Which is in part why I've only given this a 4. It leaves as almighty cliff-hanger, and whilst I'm tempted to go and buy the next one right now, I'm not sure it's textually complex enough to keep me reading across the series.


Cell 8
Cell 8
Price: £4.18

3.0 out of 5 stars A Different sort of Scandi crime novel, 7 May 2013
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This review is from: Cell 8 (Kindle Edition)
I sort of enjoyed this, but not completely, hence the middling star rating. It's less of a mystery solving detective novel than I'd have liked, bit more of an issues led book. In fact, it's only really Scandi crime fiction in that it's written by Swedish authors and there's some crimes in it. But it's more, to me, trying to be about the rights and wrongs of capital punishment than anything else. And not wholly satisfying as a result of that.


Jar City (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries Book 1)
Jar City (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries Book 1)
Price: £5.49

5.0 out of 5 stars The rain it tainted every day..., 13 April 2013
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This is a fantastic novel. Well written, translated in a sensitive way that means the words create a vivid picture, and with a cracking murder mystery at its heart.

It does rain a lot. I'm from The North, so maybe that's part of my enjoyment - the climate creates an atmosphere of depression which suits the themes perfectly.but the tea win gets a mention about every 10 pages or so.out feels a lot!

It's slightly tough going - fairly unremittingly grim. Murder, rape and suicide are all part of the story. But there isn't any gratuitous violence or gut churning descriptions.

And it twists... boy does it twist. But all the threads are cleverly woven together in the end.

Erlender it's a decent detective, albeit slightly cliched. He is a smoker, divorced with dysfunctional familial relations, and a reputation as a difficult colleague. But he has a sense of humour and his heart it's definitely in the right place. It's hard not to warm to him, but I'm not sure I'd like him as a colleague or friend.

Definitely recommended...


Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant Book Book 1)
Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant Book Book 1)
Price: £1.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic urban fantasy..., 5 April 2013
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I really enjoyed Ben's book. The only reason it didn't get 5 stars it's that it has to be perfect to get that rating, and it isn't quite so... but if I could have given it a 4.9 I would have done.

Peter Grant is a very engaging if slightly hapless hero. He has 'greatness thrust upon him' - he doesn't plan on becoming a ghost spotting, magic spell casting copper, but kinda falls into it. But he's fun to be around. It makes a change to read about a policeman who isn't sitting from the usual policeman tropes - alcohol, dysfunctional personal relationships, that sort of thing.

The other major plus in the book is the characterisation of London itself, both on the everyday descriptions of places and life in the capital, but also in the way the book weaves in the magical world into the fabric of the city. As if, were you to look sort of sideways you'd be able to see that would just out of view. The magic doesn't feel 'stuck on', it seamlessly weaves info the real world.

As a police procedural it's more than half decent as well - there's a case to be solved and Peter and the rest of the Met, albeit some of them in a disgruntled way - too much magic going on - step up to get to the bottom of it. There's a good twist of two - not the sort that take your breath away, but enough to keep you guessing, and they turn out to be 'neat', both in the sense of cleverly realised, but also in explaining stuff.

Downsides: some of the characters are a bit two dimensional, the narrator's voice, whilst charming most of the time, gets a bit much at some points, dare I say it, a bit annoying, and there's a bit of inconsistency in the styling. The set piece at the Opera House takes a little while to get going, and slightly chunks along to start off with. This made me think he couldn't write action very well, but once the riot for going it really came to life.

I'm deffo, going to read more. I think it will develop and get richer in the series. At least that's what I'm hoping. It's a great start and great fun.


Inferno: Free Ebook Sampler
Inferno: Free Ebook Sampler
Price: £0.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but I'm not convinced..., 25 Mar. 2013
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So, there's only 15 pages here, but on the evidence of what we have, the wait may not have been worth it. On the positive side, it's set up pretty well - Langdon wakes with part of his memory missing in a hospital bed 4000 miles from home. And there's both a lissome doctor and a leather clad hit woman outside, so there's a story to be told. But I'm not sure I'll be making the effort to read the whole thing on the basis of this - I wasn't grabbed. But I can see that millions will welcome back Robert with open arms.


World War Z
World War Z
Price: £2.37

4.0 out of 5 stars Z is for Zombies..., 25 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: World War Z (Kindle Edition)
I bought this off the back of seeing the movie trailler, and then it being on a cheap Kindle deal.

It's done in a reportage style, with interviews with people involved (solders, politicians, civilians). Because of the style it's not got the things I like in a book - a driving narrative, characterisation etc. But I'm strangely enjoying it. There is a narrative arc; in that the events are presented to give you a timeline. But it's not a "story book". And there's no characters to get to know.

It's worth a read... but I'd be disappointed if I'd spent full price money on it...


Faceless Killers: Kurt Wallander
Faceless Killers: Kurt Wallander
Price: £4.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wallander 1 is go..., 10 Feb. 2013
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I've come at Wallander backwards - picked up o copy of The Troubled Man in the library and enjoyed it so much that I decided to start at the beginning.

Many of the themes in TTM have their roots in this first novel -Wallander' s dogged investigative style, his familial relationships, his battles with his demons. But at its heart it's a decent police procedural/crime thriller. It opens with murder and the rest of the book is built around solving that crime. There's a few twists and turns, some red herring, everything necessary to keep the plot moving forward. There's also a good dose of socio-political content a lá sjöwall and wahlöö, in fact there are echoes of their novels throughout.

I love the melancholy feel of the novel -because it's written essentially from Wallander's perspective his troubles inform the view. This is not a sunny novel, but if you're wanting to read some Scandi noir, I imagine that's exactly what you're looking for.


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