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The Pillars of the Earth
The Pillars of the Earth
by Ken Follett
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett- Book Review, 9 Feb. 2013
As you can see from above, I didn't actually read this book as I got it with my free credit from Audible.co.uk. I've been meaning to read this book for ages but because of its length, have always put it off! So when I got my credit all the way back in December, I decided I would finally listen to The Pillars of the Earth and see what all the hype was about!

As an audiobook the story was ok. The length (in time) of the book is just over 48 hours, which seemed to take forever to get to the end of. But to be fair to the book, I mostly listened to it when walking to and from uni/work and have only tried in the last week or so to make a big push to get it finished. It was narrated really well by John Lee but at the start of the book, Lee's voice and accent were hard to get used to, so much so, that the way he said `forehead' made me laugh a few times! Nevertheless, by the end of the novel I liked Lee's narration.

The book itself is based in the 12th Century around the building of Kingsbridge Cathedral in Southern England. The novel is split up into a number of different stories and characters that all revolve around the building of the Cathedral. The main plots are that of Tom Builder, Aliena and the evil William Hamley and finally, Prior Philip. Each of these stories interact with each other and really explains the vastness (and length!) of this novel.

Tom Builder is as his name suggests a builder. Tom, his pregnant wife and his two children have fallen on hard times and as Tom can't find work, forcing them to `tramp' the roads looking for a construction site that Tom to work on. Unfortunately, Tom's wife Agnes dies in labour giving birth to his new-born son. What's made even worse is the fact that Tom has to abandon the new-born, as he has no milk to feed it with. Distraught and heartbroken, Tom gives up on life and wanders into the forest to die. Luckily for Tom, he bumps into Ellen and her son Jack.

Ellen heals Tom's heart and eventually they fall in love. Ellen agrees to accompany Tom on the road until he can find work. The family ends up in Kingsbridge, a small Cathedral town where Tom hopes he can get work. It has always been Tom's dream to build a Cathedral and he hopes that because of its run down state, he will be able to get a job rebuilding Kingsbridge. At first, Tom can't get work. However, when the Cathedral is mysteriously burnt down, Tom is named the Master Builder and finally gets to live his dream of building a Cathedral.

Aliena is the daughter of the Earl of Shiring and is set to marry William Hamley, the son of a local property owner. Aliena has nothing but contempt for the arrogant youth and refuses to marry him. This causes the Hamley's to become the greatest enemies of Aliena's father and when they learn that the Earl is part of a conspiracy against the King, they use it to get their revenge. William sneaks into the Earl's Castle (at Earlscastle) and manages to capture Aliena's father. As congratulation for the capture of a traitor, the Hamley's are awarded Earlscastle and the Earldom of Shiring by King Stephen.

William goes to claim his prize but finds Aliena and her brother Richard still living in the castle. William and his men violently rape Aliena and throw her and her brother out of the castle. However, Aliena is not beaten and manages to build herself up as a rich wool merchant and finances Richard, making him able to contest the Hamley's hold on their fathers Earldom!

Prior Philip is the hard working Prior of the small Cell of monks at the Monastery of St. John in the Forest. Philip believes that hard work gains reward (especially in the eyes of God) and runs his Cell extremely efficiently even though he is still only a young man! However, Philip's life is changed forever when his brother Francis comes to visit the Cell. Francis brings news that the Earl of Shiring is the leader of a group of conspirators who want to depose the current King of England. Francis wants Philip to take this news to the Bishop of Kingsbridge and put a stop to the civil war that will un-doubtfully arise if the revolt is successful. Philip takes the news to Shiring but finds the Bishop isn't there! Instead, Philip gives the new to the Arch-Deacon- Waleran Bigod.

After sharing the news, Philip returns to his Cell and finds out that the Prior of Kingsbridge is dead. Philip goes to Kingsbridge to pay his respects and is there convinced by his friend Cuthbert Whitehead to run in the election for the next Prior. Philip is aided in this by Waleran Bigod, who as an Arch-Deacon has a lot of influence over the Priory. All Waleran wants in exchange is Philip's support for his claim to the Bishopric of Kingsbridge when the current Bishop dies. Philip agrees to give his support. What Philip does not know is that the current Bishop is already dead! When he finds out, he vows never to be man-handled by Waleran Bigod again!

My synopsis is only the very tip of the iceberg of what is The Pillars of the Earth and I hope it shows how these stories all interact and connect together. Overall, I did enjoy this book but at times found it repetitive, especially when it came to William Hamley's attempts at sabotaging Kingsbridge. However, I really liked the fact that Follett added in historical characters such as Thomas Becket, King Henry and King Stephen. I thought adding these characters made the book much more believable. Moreover, adding events such as Becket's murder really helped make the events in the book fit in with the context of the 12th Century, again making the book more realistic and believable.

I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of historical-fiction novels especially Dissolution by C. J. Sansom as that novel is also based around a monastery.

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Ravenwing (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Legacy of Caliban)
Ravenwing (Warhammer 40,000 Novels: Legacy of Caliban)
by Gav Thorpe
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ravenwing, Gav Thorpe- Book Review, 4 Feb. 2013
Ravenwing is the brand new book from Warhammer 40k writer Gav Thorpe and is the first of a new three book series called The Legacy of Caliban Trilogy. The book is also a sort-of sequel to the other Warhammer 40k book, The Purging of Kadillus that I reviewed a few weeks ago. In this novel we follow Brother Annael; a new recruit to the Ravenwing. The Ravenwing are a group of Dark Angels that are above the usual Space Marine. They ride around on giant motorcycles and land speeders and are usually used as reconnaissance for the Dark Angels when they are fighting battles or chasing down their foes. However, unknown to Annael until his acceptance into the Ravenwing, they are also used to hunt the Fallen, the evil Space Marines who turned on the Emperor during the Horus Heresy and killed their own Patriarch- Lion El'Johnson.

When a distressing signal is received from the planet of Piscina IV, the Ravenwing are sent on the hunt for a powerful Fallen Librarian. The Librarian manages to `turn' the leader of the Dark Angels on Piscina IV, Grand Master Belial, (from The Purging of Kadillus!) and makes him doubt his faith in the Dark Angels, forcing him to kill himself and his brothers. However before his death, Belial leaves the leader of the Ravenwing, Grand Master Sammael, a message directing him to the infamous pirate Space-Port of Port Imperial. When the Ravenwing arrive at the Port, they find that the pirates have formed a cult around the Fallen Librarian and fight a fierce battle to protect him from the justice of the Dark Angel Inquisitors as he manages to flee. However, the trail is not lost and the hunt is still on as the Ravenwing follow the mysterious Librarian to his lair where more of his loyal and corrupt followers fight to the death to defend him.

This was another good book from Gav Thorpe but I honestly didn't enjoy it as much as The Purging of Kadillus. I don't know why this was, I think it might be to do with the fact that The Purging is a Space Marines Battle Novel and was really fast paced, full of battles, action and all in all, for someone like me, a great book to get into the Warhammer 40K literary world. Ravenwing on the other hand, is the first book in a series so perhaps was not going to be as fast paced as the one-off Space Marine Battle Novel. I also didn't enjoy the characters as much as I thought I would. I think that this might be because I'm not that big off a fan of the Ravenwing as a unit anyway- which probably explains why Telemenus was my favourite character!

Nevertheless, saying that the novel wasn't fast paced and then reading it in 3-4 days might seem a bit contradictory. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy the book but not as much as The Purging and I'd suggest that you read that book before you read Ravenwing. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to the next book in the series Master of Sanctity!

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Life Of Pi
Life Of Pi
by Yann Martel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Life of Pi, Yann Martel- Book Review, 19 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
I went to see the Life of Pi shortly after it was released here in the U.K. not really knowing what it was about. I knew from the movie trailer (that made me want to go and see the film) that the book was about two castaways- a boy and a tiger. I also knew that the book the film was based off was a Booker Prize award winner. All of these factors made me excited to see the film, but when I left the cinema the only thing I felt was disappointment. Yes, the CGI and graphics were amazing, but I just didn't find the plot of the film that exciting or entertaining. I mean, the story was about a boy and a tiger been cast away, the movie should have been epic!

Luckily, my girlfriend (who watched the film with me) also found it a bit of the let down and decided to buy me the book for Christmas. I'm really pleased she did because the book was much better!

As the plot goes, the book was similar to the film. However, there were a few changes in the book that weren't implemented into the film. The one I liked most was all the facts Martel puts in about zoology and facts about other zoos around the world. It added a little humour to the book, which I think the film lacked. In addition, the facts about animals and the way they learn, adapt and live made the book a lot more interesting to read because it shows why Richard Parker acts the way he does and how Pi uses his knowledge to try and tame him.

I also thought the book was less focused on religion than the movie. I think in this aspect the movie was trying to push a point on the viewer with religion, whereas the book seemed to be a lot more subtle. I think this was helped in the book because you were reading Pi's thoughts, which obviously the movie would have had trouble portraying. Even though the book was more subtle, it was still thought provoking throughout, especially in the last few chapters.

Overall, I really liked the book and Martel's style of writing. As normally happens in these cases, I preferred the book to the film and would suggest that you read the novel first! I don't know who I'd suggest this book to as it was a lot different to novels that I normally read. However, if you like a good, well-written, thought provoking novel that is a little different, then the Life of Pi is definitely for you!

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The Purging of Kadillus (Space Marine Battles)
The Purging of Kadillus (Space Marine Battles)
by Gav Thorpe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Purging of Kadillus, Gav Thorpe- Book Review, 16 Jan. 2013
First off can I just say how awesome this front cover looks!

Anyway, as some of you guys may know, I have quite recently gotten into the amazing world that is Warhammer. I love painting the miniatures, so much so that I even started another blog that shows off the miniatures that I have painted. With the miniatures come a lot of history and back story about the various factions in the Warhammer 40k game. Because of this, I decided to read The Purging of Kadillus because the story is about the faction I play in Warhammer 40k; the Dark Angels.

The book is based on the planet of Piscina IV where the 3rd Company of Dark Angels is stationed. The planet is important to the Dark Angels because many of its members are recruited from the neighbouring planet of Piscina V. That is why when the infamous Ork Ghazkull or as he's known to the Dark Angels, the Beast of Armageddon attacks, the Dark Angels are ready to defend the planet and their H-Q against the horde of Orks Ghazkull brings with him. The Dark Angels think that the Ork invasion poses no significant threat. Yes, the Orks have much bigger numbers, but the Dark Angels have the Astartes- the Space Marines, the most powerful fighting machines in the universe.

However, Ghazkull is not like any other Ork. He has escaped other Space Marine factions before, including the Blood Angels, the Ultra Marines and the Salamanders. Ghazkull, along with his allies have a cunning plan to capture Piscina IV. The only person that notices the real threat of the Orks is Scout-Sergeant Naaman. Naaman knows that the Orks are better organised than usual and notices that their reinforcements are arriving at regular intervals, even though there is no Ork ship in the atmosphere. Naaman takes it upon himself to find out where the Ork reinforcements are coming from. What he finds however, is not what he or his fellow Space Marines are expecting and the future of Piscina IV looks bleak as the odds turn against the Space Marines!

I thought this book was immense, not just because it features my favourite chapter, but because it was full of action, fighting, humour and amazing gadgets and inventions that I love to read about in a sci-fi novel. It was so fast paced! The Space Marines fought off waves and waves of Orks to protect Piscina IV from imminent destruction. For someone like me who is just getting into Warhammer, the book is also great because it teaches you about how the Dark Angels faction works and what the hierarchy is of all the different units, from the Space Marine all the way up to the Deathwing. Plus, it teaches you some history of the Chapter which made me just want to read more Dark Angels novels and more novels by Gav Thorpe!

I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of Warhammer 40k, especially if like me you play Dark Angels. I'd also suggest it to anyone who is into sci-fi novels like Wolf Dawn because even without the link to Warhammer, the novel is still a great sci-fi book!

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Wish: An Epic Adventure of Magic and Mayhem!
Wish: An Epic Adventure of Magic and Mayhem!
Price: £1.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Wish, C. H. Aalberry- Book Review, 15 Jan. 2013
Wish tells the tale of a group of very unlikely heroes who all have one thing in common; they are all WishMonsters. A WishMonster is someone who owns a shard of the infamous and magical WishStone. The WishStone was accidently shattered 4,000 years ago by the world's most famous adventurer Aventur, casting hundreds of shards all over the Seven C's. Even the smallest shard of WishStone has enough magic in it to grant its owner any Wish.

One of these WishMonsters is Dak. With his wish, Dak wanted to become a great warrior. His wish is granted and Dak becomes a giant among men with thick, red, armour like skin and the ability to wield twin axes, both the size of a man! However, even though he has great power and fighting skills, Dak's ugly and unusual appearance makes him a loner in the world of the Seven C's. Throughout his journeys and adventures however, Dak hears of an ancient book that may have answers about why the WishStone made him look so grotesque. The book is in the famous city of Om and Dak sets out to find it. But, unfortunately for the troubled, red, giant, he is not the only person looking for the book!

Lae is also a WishMonster but unlike Dak, she looks like a normal human girl. Lae's wish was spent on making her a powerful mage with the ability to read and digest books unlike anyone else in the Seven C's. Lae has also heard of this mysterious book and sets out to Om to find it. However, when she gets there, she learns that Dak has already bought the book! To try and get her hands on it, Lae attempts to steal the book with her magic but is caught out by Dak!

After a few days arguing, Dak and Lae agree to become partners and seek out the answers of the book. They decide to go and see an old, dark and powerful wizard called Jazrak about the secrets of the book (as they both find it is too damaged to read). On their way to see the old man, the two companions come across another young WishMonster called Chee who has great powers with healing. Chee also wants to find out more about the WishStone and accompanies Dak and Lae on their journey.

When they finally arrive at Jazrak's black tower, the companions are given a task by Jazrak to steal a shard of WishStone from the evil and powerful Necromancer that lives in dark and mysterious valley. In return for the shard, Jazrak agrees to give the companions a complete copy of the book they are desperate to read. However, the quest will be no walk in the park, as the companions have to answer riddles, cross-deserts and fight wild animals to get to the Necromancer's lair. Will they have the strength to do it? Or will the answers in the ancient book be kept secret forever?

I think there is only one-way to describe this book; a fairy-tale with epic proportions! I thought it was great! I know that the novel may be aimed at an audience a little younger than me but I still thought the book was exciting to read. The novel was full of epic battles and fights, dangerous animals and a lot of humour that will appeal to readers both young and old! I also really liked the idea of the shards of WishStone, and how their power can be used to fulfil anyone's wishes. Plus, there is also a great sub-plot about Aventur that mingles into the main plot/adventure of the novel, which is also great to read!

I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys fairy-tale/fantasy novels like The Hobbit, Harry Potter and The Colour of Magic.

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The Descendant: The Descendant Vampire Series Book 1
The Descendant: The Descendant Vampire Series Book 1
by Kelley Grealis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.90

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Descendant, Kelley Grealis- Book Review, 13 Jan. 2013
Allison had always been told that she is special and will do something great with her life. But, as life usually turns out, Allison is stuck in a job that she can't stand in a town she feels trapped in. And when she comes down with a mystery illness that gives her an extremely sore stomach and throat, uncontrollable body temperature and insomnia, she puts it down to the `mid-life crisis' she feels she's in. What's even stranger about the sickness is that no doctor can diagnose her with any illness and continually sends Allison home with no aid to get rid of the awful pain. Even though the doctors can't diagnose anything wrong with Allison, her husband Matt knows she isn't imagining things as Allison's insomnia keeps him awake at night!

To try and cheer her up, Matt takes Allison to a friend's birthday party. After a few drinks, Allison doesn't feel any better and drives Matt and herself home. On the drive home, Allison and Matt's car is crashed into and she and Matt are knocked unconscious!

Allison wakes in a hospital several days later asking for her husband. She is shocked to find that her husband has been dead for three years and that the crash has caused her to lose some of her memory. When she is discharged from the hospital, Allison is driven home buy a friend. When she arrives home, she discovers pictures of her in another handsome man's arms but has no idea who the man is! That evening, the mysterious man comes around to Allison's house and introduces himself as Vincent and explains that he and Allison have been dating for the last year. At first, Allison does not believe his story, but after spending more time with Vincent, she realises that she does in fact love him and accepts that her beloved husband Matt did really die three years ago.

However, Allison soon realises that Vincent holds a very dark secret and that there is a reason why she has always felt special in her life. As Vincent reveals, Allison is not just a normal human being but a descendant of the first ever vampire, Cain! Allison is thrown into a world she never realised existed. But because of her infamous ancestors, Allison is hunted in the vampire world by Luscious; an evil vampire obsessed with ending Cain's lineage! Vincent and his siblings must keep Allison safe but that is no easy task...

For me, this was a book of two halves and even though I did enjoy both halves I thought the story behind the first part of the book was really great. I loved the mystery behind Alison's illness and why she was feeling depressed and unfulfilled. I also thought the mystery behind her car crash and the death/memory loss over Matt made the book really interesting to read. This is because you kept asking yourself `was or wasn't' he really alive? Plus, Vincent's character was much more appealing in this half of the book. He was the cool, rich kid who wasn't afraid of a good time.

However, in the second half of the book (the part that introduced the vampires) I thought the mystery behind Matt was forgotten right until the end. I also found Vincent really annoying! I don't want to give too much away, but I think maybe Grealis made him more unlikeable on purpose (which does sort of make sense when you read the book) but I still preferred him in the first half. Nevertheless, I did like the idea of the Secret Coven and I think it would be great that if in the next book the different members back stories were broaden a little more.

All in all, I did enjoy this book but I preferred the first half to the second. I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys Vampire novels such as Legacy of the Vampire: The Pits by Kristofer McLaren or novels such as Destine by Katherine Polillo.

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Freedom Club
Freedom Club
Price: £4.91

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freedom Club, Saul Garnell- Book Review, 11 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Freedom Club (Kindle Edition)
Based in the year 2085, the Freedom Club is a futuristic sci-fi novel based around the existence of technology and how it affects our everyday lives. In the novel, technology has advanced so far that advances in biology, robots and A.I. have created Sentient Beings, who have much greater thinking power than humans and are therefore replace them in many different areas of employment and industry.

In amongst this new age of technology is Sumeet. Sumeet is an extremely clever human who, if born a century before, would be the CEO of a large company. However, in this new age where many high ranking jobs are taken by Sentients, Sumeet starts to feel unappreciated in his job as his attempts to try and gain recognition keep failing. Things become much worse for Sumeet when his company sends him to see over a merge with a company in Japan. In this age, Japan is seen as a backwards country technologically. This is because it has strict rules on sharing information both internally and externally in the country. After finishing his task, Sumeet is told that he has lost his job. However, his trip to Japan does offer a silver lining to his cloud as Sumeet meets Shinzou, a mysterious technological consultant.

But, this meeting is not a mere coincidence, Shinzou has been tracking Sumeet for some time. Shinzou believes Sumeet will be a perfect recruit to `The Freedom Club'. The Freedom Club is a club of individuals who all have a shared belief. That belief is that technology, materialism and capitalism have too much of a stranglehold over society and want to discard the influence that technology has. What is most interesting about the Club is that it has been in existence over the past few centuries with poets like Lord Bryon and William Blake been members. Shinzou tries to convince Sumeet to join by showing him the destruction technology has had on his life. Nevertheless, Sumeet has his own problems, he is getting married and is preparing to buy an apartment complex and has no real desire to join the Club.

However, when Shinzou and Sumeet are thrown into a mystery regarding a Sentient Being that has a unique gift and a hatred for technology that far exceeds that of the Freedom Club, Sumeet's opinion is changed, as he and Shinzou have to prevent the Sentient from destroying the human race.

I found this novel a very interesting read. The message it asks throughout is what affect will technology have on our lives? It does really make you think about how companies like Apple already have a massive effect on people's lives (including mine!) and that when technology further advances, will technology ultimately replace humanity? In addition to the interesting underlying question, the book itself was a great read. I especially liked reading about how Garnell saw the politics of the future, with China and India becoming the world's superpower, merging and becoming Chindo. The way Garnell goes back and tells the tales of the members of the Freedom Club is also great as it adds a bit of historical-fiction to the novel (which I love!).There was also some very subtle humour in the book, which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Nevertheless, at first I did find the book at little hard to get into. I think this was because of all the technological, economic and political jargon that starts in the book. I really didn't have a clue what most of the words meant, but after reading a few more pages, Garnell goes onto explain a lot about the situation in which the world's in, which made the book much easier to read. As well as this small issue, I did think that the book was based too early in the future. I know that might not make sense, but personally, I can't see technology been as advanced in 70-75 years as it is in the novel. I think one day it will be, but not within the next 100 years (thinking about it, the events in the novel might take place in my lifetime, that's how soon it is based!).

Anyway, even though I did have some small issues with the book I still really enjoyed it and found it both interesting and engaging. I would suggest this book to anyone who is interested in sci-fi novels or films, especially films like iRobot.

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The Other Robin Hood
The Other Robin Hood
Price: £2.35

4.0 out of 5 stars The Other Robin Hood, Anthony Anglorus- Book Review, 10 Jan. 2013
I'm sure many of you will know the infamous tail of Robin Hood, the archer who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. However, you might not have heard the tale of George Davenport, The Other Robin Hood. Based at the end of the 18th Century, George Davenport is a man in a struggle. After starting a family on a very modest wage, George is then made to pay for his two parent's livelihoods, as the local community that has cared for them can no longer afford the cost to keep them fed! The fact that he cannot pay for both of his families drives George to crime and more specifically to robbing travellers on the road to London.

George soon finds that he has a knack of being a highwayman and with his strict code of only robbing the rich, and the fact that he always leaves his victim with a shilling, soon creates an infamous persona around George in his local town of Wigston. In addition, George also finds he has more than enough money to support both of his families. With the excess cash, George decides to give something back to the village of Wigston and leaves anonymous coins on the doors of the poorest people in town.

However, his kindness and gentlemanly attitude towards highway robbery soon starts to come back and bite George, as every robbery made in Wigston is made in his name (even if he was not in the county at the time the robbery took place!). George soon finds himself in the hands of the law answering for crimes he did not commit! However, with his cunning and bravado, George manages to escape deportation and imprisonment. But, with his countless offensives and the fact he is the most wanted man in Leicestershire may come back to haunt George one day, as countless Peace Officers are on the hunt for him.

I liked this book a lot and I think the main reason for this is because George Davenport was a real person and many of his adventures and misdemeanours actually happened in real life! The author of the novel, Anthony Anglorus, came across George Davenport whilst working in modern day Wigston and researched him further, deciding that his tale had to be written down. I for one am glad Anglorus did write down this tale as it was exciting, fast paced and in many places quite funny. I also liked the little touches Anglorus put into the book such as making the English used in the dialogue of the book similar to that of which would have been in the late 1700's. Plus, it was nice to get back to reading some historical-fiction as many of the books I've been reading at the minute have been fantasy and sci-fi novels!

So, I would suggest this book to anyone who is a historical-fiction fan and to people who enjoy books about crime or infamous criminals! If you are interested in criminals, definitely check this book out because some of the things Davenport does in it are unbelievable (especially at the end!).

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Legacy of the Vampire: The Pits
Legacy of the Vampire: The Pits
Price: £2.32

4.0 out of 5 stars Legacy of the Vampire, The Pits, Kristofer McLaren- Book Review, 9 Jan. 2013
The year is 1777 and Conner wakes in a dark dank cave with feelings he has never felt before. He knows he is now not the person he was before his death a few days earlier, he is now a vampire. Conner is not alone in the cave, Kali (Kal) a female vampire has brought him back to life and now wishes to raise him and teach him in the ways of being a vampire. Conner knows he cannot return to his human life that he lived before his death and decides to take a new name, Sirus.

Kal takes Sirus to see her mentor Prince. Prince is very sceptical of Sirus and demands that Kal kill him and try again at creating a new vampire, one that is stronger. Sirus, in an effort to show his strength accidently kills Prince. Unfortunately for Sirus and the rest of the vampire race, Prince was a peacekeeper between humans and vampires. Without the influence of Prince to keep the peace between the races an all-out war breaks out and Sirus loses his mentor Kal.

Stretching forward two hundred years and the vampires have lost the war. They're now kept like animals in `houses' that's sole purpose is to fight against other houses in hand to hand combat. Sirus is in one of these houses and is been treated like a dog. With his fiery will, Sirus refuses to conform to the human's system, but his desire to live and eventually become free means his is the best fighter in his house, that is until he comes across Kal in the arena.

The epic fight between Kal and Sirus convinces Kal's owner to buy Sirus from his old house. When reunited with his old mentor, Sirus's urge to escape becomes much more urgent. Moreover, when the father of all vampires Cain is brought into the house, Sirus is even more inspired to escape. Nevertheless, with the odds sacked highly against him will Sirus manage an escape and can he grant the vampire's freedom from human oppression?

I'm not usually a fan of vampire novels but I was pleasantly surprised reading this book as it was really enjoyable! The book is written by Kristofer McLaren, who funnily enough I know, as he is from the same town as I am and is friends with my brother! He is a young writer and I thought reading this book did great credit to other young writers who are aspiring to write their own novels. The book was exciting to read and in places really quite clever; I especially liked the sub-plot of Cain been the first Vampire and murdering Abel (a human). I also really like the fact that Kris mixed in a bit of sci-fi into this novel (which I'm loving reading at the moment!), making it different from many other Vampire novels that are based for young adults. It shows that your age doesn't matter in writing, as long as you have a good imagination you can write a good book!

However, I found some little issues with the book. The first was that basing the start of the book in a cave made it hard to work out when the book is set. I knew it was in the past but it isn't until the third or fourth chapter until you are told that the year is 1777, and that is only in a passing comment! I just think it would have made the book easier to imagine at the start if this fact was put in earlier. The other small issue was that there were some small editorial issues with grammar in some places. Nevertheless, these two tiny issues didn't detract from how enjoyable this book was to read.

All in all, this book was very enjoyable! I would suggest it to anyone who enjoys vampire novels and if like me you wanted to read one that was a little bit different, this book is for you!

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Clifton Falls
Clifton Falls
by L A Taylor
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clifton Falls, L. A. Taylor- Book Review, 19 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Clifton Falls (Paperback)
Clifton Falls in a small rural town in Yorkshire where nothing much happens. The economy of the town is based on farming and one of the town's most well-known farmers is Blake. Farming is not an easy game and Blake needs to find a new way to increase his yearly yield and protect his crops from a menacing insect that is poised to destroy them. Blake comes across a new fertiliser that is designed to kill these bugs and help his crops grow. He manages to secure the first batch of fertiliser that is realised for public use and spreads it on his vast crops and fields. Blake even gives some of the fertiliser to his wife's boss Vincent, so he can use it on his garden. Vincent has been putting off doing the gardening. His mother died recently and her final wish was to be buried in the garden of the house that she had lived in (the house in which Vincent now owns!). Even now after a few months, Vincent is still freaked out that his mother is buried in the garden! Nevertheless, Vincent finally plucks up the courage and uses the fertiliser to try and reinvigorate the plants he has recently being neglecting. Unluckily for Vincent, his hard work does not pay off as a storm washes away most of the fertiliser whilst the rest just soaks into the soil.

What Blake and Vincent don't realise is that the fertiliser contains a dangerous chemical called Moltovenium. When this new chemical comes into contact (with the help of the storm) with dead cells, it reanimates them causing the corpse to come back to life! What's even worse is that the newly revived bodies come back to life with a hunger for human flesh and will do anything to get it! One of the first zombies to rise is Vincent's mother and unfortunately for Vincent and his wife, the reunion is not a happy one.

With the zombie epidemic in full flow, the local police force is tasked with keeping the virus inside Clifton Falls and preventing it from spreading to the local city. But when the fertiliser washes down to the local cemetery, the task is made much, much harder as a dozen new ghouls are brought back to life. The fate of human kind is held in the hands of the local Police Chief Mike, but this fate does not look good with these cunning and devious zombies out on the hunt!

I really enjoyed reading Clifton Falls! I have never really read a horror book before but have always wanted to. I think that is because there are so many good horror books out there and I never knew where to start. I'm glad I waited and luckily read Clifton Falls because it was such a good read! I really liked how the novel was set in a small town, which I thought made the book and the reactions of the characters much more believable. I also liked the fact that the book wasn't over gory on the zombie killing front. I think, especially in films and games, the zombie genre sometimes ends up more about the killing and violence instead of actually sticking to the story of the epidemic and the characters. I think Taylor did a great job of telling the story with some gory scenes, which made the book really interesting and thrilling to read. There was also some humour in the novel. This further made it exciting to read and helped balance the book from it just been a horror novel and again made it much more believable.

However, I did have one little issue with the book and that was when the characters (especially the police officers) came across a zombie. They would nearly always be sneaked up on, go to get their gun out, fail to shot and then be attacked. It sort of made me think `Just shoot it!' but instead they'd stand there looking at it! I just thought that if I was in that situation I'd either run or shoot, whereas most of the officers just stood there!

Nevertheless, this was just a small issue and all in all I really enjoyed the book! I would like to say a massive thank you to Lee Taylor for getting in touch and being patient with my review! I'd suggest this book to anyone who enjoys reading horror novels or to anyone who is a fan of movies like Dawn of the Dead or Resident Evil.

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