Profile for Roy Brookes > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Roy Brookes
Top Reviewer Ranking: 80,345
Helpful Votes: 426

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Roy Brookes "roybrookes" (Hamburg, Germany)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
pixel
The Mutiny
The Mutiny
by Julian Rathbone
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent as always., 1 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Mutiny (Hardcover)
Boy, can this man write? He is a consummate author, and in my opinion his characters are well-drawn and come to life. His research is well carried out so that you get a real feeling of time and place and his style is superb. Yes, some of the "English" characters are a little bit cardboard but that is because they were so - stiff-backed, stiff upper-lipped and unable to express their true feelings. I did however like some of the "Native" characters such as Lavanya the ayah who really developed through the book and the scheming but charming Azimullah Khan. In the end I could not put the book down and neglected pressing matters to get to the end. There is humour in the book but it is very subtle. I take my hat off to Mr Rathbone, one of our best living writers.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 10, 2013 8:13 AM GMT


Dead Centre: (Nick Stone Book 14)
Dead Centre: (Nick Stone Book 14)
by Andy McNab
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-moving, no nonsense thriller set in today's World., 17 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is what we expect from Mr McNab - a hard, blood and guts thriller with lots of tradecraft where the hero gets hurt and bleeds, with some dirty dealing and a double-cross thrown in. It moves from the tsunami in Aceh to Hereford and the UK, to Moscow and then to Somalia and finishes in Libya. Along the way Nick Stone has to deal with politics, killers, pirates and a love affair that causes him some real heartache. The hero is tough and highly-trained but he is also human. I read all of Andy McNab's books because this is how James Bond ought to be (and Daniel Craig plays Bond more like Nick Stone than previous actors - not to take anything away from Sean Connery & Co.). For hardened fans like me this book needs no introduction. For those who have never read a McNab book, I would recommend buying them all, starting from the first and working through them and you will be hooked.


The Feud
The Feud
by Kimberley Chambers
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.28

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time and money, 16 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Feud (Paperback)
I would give this zero satrs if I could. The writing is puerile, the characterisation non-existent. All the characters are cardboard cutouts. It makes Eastenders look like Shakespeare and I hate Eastenders. How a reputable publisher ever pulled this rubbish out of the slush pile I cannot imagine. When you consider that there are real writers out there that cannot get published it is enough to make you weep. This is the first book by this person that I have bought and it will be the last. I will not even dare to offer it on Ebay for 1 Euro, which is what I usually do with books I do not want to keep. I shall put this in the recycling skip and let it be pulped. It is trash.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2012 11:03 AM BST


King's Man (Outlaw Chronicles)
King's Man (Outlaw Chronicles)
by Angus Donald
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Mr Donald gets better and better, 9 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I read the first two books in the series and enjoyed them thoroughly but found the writing less than perfect and the characterisation somewhat lacking, but Angus Donald now seems to have found his stride and gotten to know his characters and the books get better. I was actually sad when this one came to an end because I was enjoying it so much. One of the things I find very good is the different "take" on the old story of Robin Hood and his relationship with Richard the Lionheart. We all know the bare bones of the legend but this series takes those bare bones and puts some flesh on them in a very believable way. A lot of the historical detail is also well-researched and brought to life in a very authentic way, for example the battles of Acre and Arsuf which I happen to have recently studied and which are very well and truthfully described.,

By the way, I loved the newly-introduced character of Eleanor of Aquitaine, queen and mother of kings. I could have stood to read more of her. Also Hanno the German (or rather Bavarian because Germany did not exist as a country in those days), and the older characters such as Little John are developing nicely. Someone else said there are two more books to come in the series. Can I preorder them now?


Life: Keith Richards
Life: Keith Richards
by Keith Richards
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is The Man. Love him or hate him, he is here., 9 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Life: Keith Richards (Hardcover)
I do not want to be long-winded so I shall try to keep this short. I have been a Stones fan since they first started touring, and even met them once at Birmingham Town Hall in the early days, when Brian was still an integral part of the group. I liked the Beatles but I loved the Stones. (I now live in Hamburg where the Beatles got their start and know the guy who brought them to this great city. We are writing a book together but that is another story).

Keith Richards tells it like it was, no punches pulled, no stone unturned. It is fascinating if a little frightening in places. All the stuff about drugs turns me off because I was never into that scene. You could say "Sex and Rock 'n' Roll but no drugs please" was more my way of thinking. However Keith describes his experiences honestly and candidly and you have to work through it. On the other hand, the passages about how the great songs were born are fascinating, as are the insights into the life of the band on the road, the exile in France (I have also lived in France and know a lot of the places Keith mentions), the relationships with Marianne Faithful, Anita Pallenberg, Bianca Jagger etc, and the friendships along the way with Bobby Keys, Gram Parsons and many others; these are real gems. Who was Ruby Tuesday or the Skydog slaver? The answers are all in this book.

Keith has a conversational style (his ghost writer James Fox was probably taking the stuff down verbatim) and it draws you in and you want to go on listening even when it becomes shocking, and the "F" word on every page soon ceases to shock if it ever did (it takes a lot to shock me but then I am the same generation as Keith and Mick).

Well, I have written far more than I intended, but it is a big subject. All I can do is recommend the book and take my hat off to Keith Richards as a man and an artist.


The Fields of Death (Revolution 4)
The Fields of Death (Revolution 4)
by Simon Scarrow
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. It really takes you there., 9 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I do not want to repeat what others have already so eloquently said. The book and the series of which it is the last instalment are all extremely good. I already know the story of the Waterloo campaign intimately but this book puts you there and covers so much more. Wellington's character is finely drawn and so is that of Napoleon, the flawed genius. The retreat from Moscow is very well handled and the facts are put into context. Also such things as Wellington's domestic situation and his estrangement from his sons whom he has not seen for all of their childhood because he has been fighting for 20 years is very well drawn. It does justice to one of Britain's finest soldiers of all time and to a military genius who had a vision of a united Europe way ahead of his time but also was a tyrant of almost Hitlerian proportions. Although I have studied this period in depth I still feel I have learned things from this series.

Simon Scarrow is well known as the author of the series about a Roman soldier which is very good but this series takes his writing to another level. The research involved is phenomenal and the style is superb. If he never writes another thing he will have earned a place in literary history, in my opinion. A wonderful achievement. Chapeau!


Marlborough: Britain's Greatest General: England's Fragile Genius
Marlborough: Britain's Greatest General: England's Fragile Genius
by Richard Holmes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good but not great biography of a great but flawed personaliity., 9 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Enough said. I enjoyed the read and learned a lot about a lot, but at the end I still could not understand why he stuck with that shrew of a wife, Sarah. But then Wellington stuck with Kitty although she was a liability so maybe it was something in the water. We have it on fairly good authority that Wellington was not totally faithful to his wife and it is suspected that Marlborough also was not, but this side of his character is never really explored. Maybe this is because Richard Holmes is more comfortable with the military machinations than the civil conflicts. A lot more on some of the fascinating characters who move in and out of the book would also have been interesting. Marlborough was operating in a European theatre with an allied army, but we never got to know the other allied commanders well, or the Bavarians who joined forces with the French. On the oter hand the pressures on Louis and his relationships with his ministers of war and his marshals were fairly well handled. On the whole I enjoyed the book and devoured it because there are so few really good biographies of great Englishmen.


Carte Blanche: A James Bond Novel (James Bond Novels)
Carte Blanche: A James Bond Novel (James Bond Novels)
by Jeffery Deaver
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.85

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's a good book but Bond it ain't, 9 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The title says it all and other reviewers have said it too. The main character is an ex-SBS naval commander which in itself is a little far-fetched. Then he is supposed to have served with distinction on the ground in Afghanistan. Now I know the SAS are on the ground there, but the SBS? I'll stand to be corrected but I do not think so. Then there is the background. All Bond's known background (from previous novels) has been thrown out and a new career path found for him, placing him in the here and now but totally destroying the Bond myth in the process. He becomes just another agent, a very good one but not James Bond any more. The fact that the book is written by an American who has no connection to the Britishness of Bond may have influenced this transformation. After all the Americans think that their Navy SEALS are elite troops on a par with the SAS. Come on. Enough said. I shall think twice before buying any more books by this author, especially if they pretend to be James Bond novels. Even Johnny English is closer to the original.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 8, 2011 4:30 PM GMT


Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success
Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success
by Linda Formichelli
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too American, no regard for British or European markets., 29 Jun 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Too American, no regard for British or European markets. The book gives some useful tips but was very much focused on the US market which is very different to those in Britain and Europe. The writing style was also too American and I found it irritating. Not recommended for beginners, in my opinion as a published author.


Our Kind of Traitor
Our Kind of Traitor
by John le Carré
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, 29 Jun 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Our Kind of Traitor (Paperback)
As one might expect from the Master, the book is good, with well-drawn characters and a plot that is somewhat different and moves along quite nicely. However, I felt that a little more action and a lot more background would have done the book no harm. I was very disappointed with the ending. I will not spoil it for others by giving it away, but in my opinion, as a writer myself, it was weak. It struck me that the author was tired of the book and just decided to finish it there and then. Therefore only 3 stars.


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