F. Bowley

Helpful votes received on reviews: 75% (62 of 83)
Location: London


Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,902,454 - Total Helpful Votes: 62 of 83
The Spellwright Trilogy (1) - Spellwright: Book 1 &hellip by Blake Charlton
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am always slightly nervous when I start a new fantasy novel. I have read too many where the author is concentrating on creating an epic tale in a wonderfully detailed world with strange creatures; they're thinking about the next two books of the obligatory trilogy and forget to write a decent story. This book did have some warning signs: a map in the first few pages and quotes from reviewing highlighting the "original magical system". But, though it is clear that Spellwright is planned as the first novel of a series, the story was a pacy adventure story of a trainee wizard called Nicodemus Weal.

This story was wisely confined to one place, a wizard academy called Starhaven,… Read more
A Seaman's Book of Sea Stories by Desmond Fforde
A Seaman's Book of Sea Stories by Desmond Fforde
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book, put together by Desmond Fforde to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Charity, is an interesting anthology containing nine short stories about ships and naval men. I did enjoy reading the stories. None of the stories were very long, and most were light and well written. They presented novel perspectives on the lives of naval men in a very accessible way, and were by no means repetitive. But, if you came to this book, like me, after reading the Patrick O'Brien Aubrey-Maturin novels (dramatised in the Russell Crowe "Master and Commander" film), the stories can come across a bit too light.

The front cover shows a picture of a tall ship which gives it a similar look… Read more
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical book, 20 July 2004
The Life of Pi won the Booker Prize a couple of years back, so it should be of no surprise that its a good novel. However, as a person who, probably unfairly, avoids prize-winning novels on the assumption that they are judged on the quality of the literature, I was surprised that the book is a great and unpretentious read.
The book itself is quite difficult to describe, never mind categorize. At its simplest, it follows a boy called Pi attempt to survive being cast adrift in a lifeboat with a adult tiger, after being shipwrecked as he emigrates with his family from a zoo in India to Canada. That is about the extent of the plot and any normal direction. However, within these… Read more