Profile for A. Linton > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by A. Linton
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,989
Helpful Votes: 561

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
A. Linton (Manchester, Manchester United Kingdom)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Stinger
Stinger
Price: £6.64

2.0 out of 5 stars An early weak effort, 25 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Stinger (Kindle Edition)
Having read this I can see why McCammon was against it being re-released. This ET meets West Side Story, meets Alien/Predator yarn is unoriginal, poorly structured and in no way lives up to books like 'Mine' or 'Swansong'.

The story should focus around the fate of Stevie/Daufin, the little girl who is taken over by an alien host, instead the action meanders hopelessly, covering the fate of a bunch of uninteresting, poorly drawn minor characters. In the middle of an extremely hostile alien invasion we are expected to care about a father and son bonding and a West Side Story style romance between the leader of the Anglo gang and the sister of the Hispanic gang's leader. On the plus side I liked the character with the invisible dog and there are some cool ideas - like the force field around the town and the insectile helicopter but they are never fully exploited, and I have to agree with the reviewer who said the pacing is terrible.

If you haven't read any McCammon, please don't judge his later books by this weak early effort. It is in no way worth the extortionate Kindle price, and should have been subject to a rewrite before it was released.


As Good As It Gets?
As Good As It Gets?
by Fiona Gibson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More like a blog than a novel, 25 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: As Good As It Gets? (Paperback)
Downloaded the sample by accident but I found it pleasant enough and decided since it was cheap might as well buy it to read, despite being put off somewhat by the awful unoriginal title.

I found it pleasant enough initially - but I can't say that I was ever particularly drawn in or felt any impulse to finish it. It feels like the mildly humorous blog of a busy mum, with an unemployed husband and a daughter who has been 'spotted' by a model agency but overall it's a little rambling and lacks the structure and dynamics of a novel There is also a sub-plot when the daughter's biological father makes a reappearance but that feels strangely out of place, as if the author doesn't know quite where to fit it in.

Gibson is not without talent, but the book needs a better title and a little more editing to raise it to the level of a book I would pay more than 99p for.


Never Smile at Strangers
Never Smile at Strangers
Price: £1.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Adequate writing, but overall an amateurish effort, 18 May 2015
Well the plus side the writing style is ok - not up there with the best but perfectly adequate for this kind of thriller. It kept me occupied on a long journey, but I can't say I got much of a kick out of reading it.

The book is seen from several viewpoints one of which is the killer - a disturbed young man who was abused by his mother and has an unhealthy relationship with his sister. We pretty much guess from the start that this guy is someone we have already been introduced to the novel, but it fails miserably as a whodonnit as there simply aren't enough suspects - in fact by my own reckoning there are only 2 - and one of these guys is completely underdeveloped as a character, and only alluded to briefly in the novel. I also found it extremely unlikely that in this kind of small town environment, the characters wouldn't already be aware of the relationship between a male and a female character (can't say more without a major spoiler) and I felt the author was cheating by simply withholding information from the reader, which would have almost certainly have been common knowledge among the local people.

There are way too many short chapters, too many characters - many of whom add nothing to the plot, too many storylines which either go nowhere, or are just tidied up at the end as an afterthought (like Erica's relationship with her father's new girlfriend). Despite the fact that a young girl goes missing in suspicious circumstances there is no real suspense or sense of mounting danger - the three main female characters pretty much carry on as normal without fear that they could also become a target. It doesn't help that sometimes chapters end in the middle of a dramatic scene - for example in one case a female character has just been spotted by a man in circumstances which make it clear he is the killer - and then the action just shifts a bit further on, just telling us what has happened in flashback!

The ending was a disappointment - there needs to be a dramatic twist which would take the reader completely by surprise - instead it feels as if the author has simply selected a suspect at random and assigned them to be the killer. She definitely has some writing ability but needs to go on a creative writing course to learn something about plot/suspense and character development.


Accidents of Marriage
Accidents of Marriage
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely writing but story flags a bit towards the end, 8 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Right from the start it was evident that whatever problem I might have with this it wouldn't be the writing - I downloaded it after reading two pages of the kindle sample. The author deals with an abusive marriage seen from the perspective of the wife/husband and the 14 year old daughter. It focuses particularly on an accident the wife suffers due to her husbands actions and her struggle to recover and the writing throughout is excellent, the characters well developed.

If this were a true story, the structure would be fine, as a novel it didn't quite work for me. The action often drags, or goes round in circles, something of course which happens a lot in real life, but I felt I needed a sharper narrative here. For example - is this the story of a husband with a lot of anger management issues or the story of a woman struggling to recover from a traumatic accident? At times I felt both storylines needed their own novel to fully develop! I also had a little problem with the character of Ben - he comes across as a highly sympathetic character, fully aware of what he's doing to his family - perhaps a little too much so - shouldn't a true abuser be making apologies for himself and blaming other people? The problem with this is that it leaves the narrative with nowhere to go - if he's already fully aware of what he's doing, feels guilty about it how can he ever stop? where can the storyline go from there?

I did enjoy reading this book, but the ending didn't really live up to the extremely promising start and I got a bit bogged down in the middle. But still a bargain at the low price I paid for it!


The Summer Without You
The Summer Without You
Price: £3.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant chicklit turns to bad Mills and Boon, 27 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I didn't have high expectations for this book given that I only paid 99p for it, but for the first few chapters at least I was surprised by the quality of the writing. Ro is a sympathetic and believable character and KS doesn't make the mistake of making her boyfriend Matt into an outright villain who deserves to be ditched - he comes across as a nice bloke if a bit self-centred.

I enjoyed reading about Ro's initial adventures in the Hamptons - - meeting her new flatmates and starting up her photography business. The author has clearly done her research well and it's nice to have a romantic heroine who actually has a life and a job she cares about who doesn't just spend her time mopping around over some man or other.

Then sadly she blows it - the 'meet cute' between Ro and Ted belongs in one of the trashier Mills and Boons and frankly any editor should have cut it from the novel - and the whole Ted storyline doesn't get any better. It consists mainly of ridiculous misunderstandings based on a total lack of communication - wouldn't Ted have told her the truth about his family situation before commissioning her to work for him? - wouldn't Florence have mentioned her real connection with him, if only in conversation? All Ro's ridiculous suspicions of Ted are supposed to serve as shorthand informing the reader that she is really supressing a great passion for him - sadly this didn't work mainly because Ted is a totally two-dimensional character - the perfect romantic lead without any real life quirks or faults that make him human. Matt and Hump are believable characters while Ted is just a female novelist's fantasy man.

The murder subplot is also totally ridiculous and has no place in a light romantic comedy, and the long discussions of local politics/drainage policy in the Hamptons bored me to tears.

The end starts to become increasingly predictable and soon I started to skim pages. It was a relief to finish it so I could get on to another book.

The author clearly has a talent for writing - particularly travel writing - but IMO she should leave romance with a capital R alone. If she had just written a story about a girl spending the summer away from her boyfriend, and establishing a business, making new friends in America that would have been a lot better for me, without a dreary unoriginal romance subplot thrown into the mix.
________________________________________


Bethany's Sin
Bethany's Sin
Price: £9.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Don't read product description - it contains a major spoiler, 22 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bethany's Sin (Kindle Edition)
First of all let me say the product description is a disgrace and that it gives away the major secret of the plot. Luckily I read this book back in the 90s and just wanted to revisit it, after reading Swan Song which gave me a taste to read more of RM's work.

It's a good old fashioned horror plot - couple with small child think they've found paradise when they move to a lovely small town with friendly neighbours but of course things are never quite what they seem. I was reminded very much of Thomas Tryon's 'Harvest Home' which has similar themes.

The build up is good, and there are some truly eerie moments but as the novel progressed I began to find the hero a bit irritating - he seems determined to put himself in danger when any sane person would just grab the wife and kid (or maybe just the kid) and get the hell out. The denouement is exciting enough but I felt a little bit cheated when it ended - I expected something more, maybe just a hint to send me away wondering.

Still well worth downloading if you've never read it before - a good classic horror novel just like they used to write in the 80s/90s. Just not up to his usual standard.


Swan Song
Swan Song
Price: £4.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning novel which kept me gripped the whole way through, 18 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Swan Song (Kindle Edition)
The trouble with post apocalyptic novels is that while the opening chapters which set the scene may be gripping stuff, boredom often sets in once we are left with a group of plucky survivors trudging across a dreary landscape. I gave up on 'The Stand' about half way through (though I love most of King's early stuff) tired of his over-detailed, bloated prose and I must admit I didn't have high hopes for this one either - but I was wrong. I will admit it bears more than a passing resemblance to The Stand - both feature a satanic villain in conflict with a saintly heroine - but there it ends. McCammon keeps the action exciting all the way though with surprises coming right up until the dramatic climax at the end.

I have to say that it works better as fantasy than an actual description of what would happen after a widespread nuclear holocaust- I doubt that anyone or anything would survive 7 year of nuclear winter - but setting that aside it is probably the best post apocalyptic novel I've ever read - the closest contender being Simon Clarke's 'King Blood'. It reminds me of how good horror novels were in the 80s, where you were gripped the whole way through instead of giving up in boredom after a few pages. I'm going to read/re-read all his past works now, only wish I could get them all for £1.24!


Trust in Me
Trust in Me
by Sophie McKenzie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Write by numbers thriller which has some good moments, 13 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Trust in Me (Paperback)
A rather predictable thriller, which alternates chapters seen from the first person viewpoint of the heroine, and the unknown maniac who killed her younger sister. The female voice is fairly authentic - the evil killer chapters not so much so - and I'm not sure what they add to the novel to justify their existence.

I've given this book three stars, since there are quite a few unexpected twists which kept me reading right until the actual villain was revealed - I was always on the verge of giving up, only to be shocked into thinking - well maybe it IS X after all - and I have to give SMcK credit for working hard to keep up the plot momentum. (So many of these thrillers pretty much make it obvious who the villain is right from the start, leaving the reader to plod through the whole thing only to find out it was the person they suspected all along)

Sadly hard work, and exciting plot twists are no substitute for writing talent and that's where the whole thing starts to unravel. The narrator - despite the brutal murder of her sister at a young age, and the 'suicide' of her best friend - doesn't think or behave like a grieving/tramatised person - and all the rest of the characters are cardboard cutouts - especially the male characters who are totally interchangeable - as another reviewer said - anyone could be pulled out at random to be the killer. Given the weakness of the characterisation the only thing which keeps the reader involved is the need to get to the solution of the puzzle - however after all the twists and turns I found the ending disappointing - she needed to introduce a really major twist which would send us away reeling, but for me this didn't really happen and theactual ending was a bit of a damp squib.

Still it kept me occupied for a few hours, and was reasonably good value for money, so probably worth downloading if you want a book to pass the time on a journey and don't set your expectations too high. (Please note that I paid £1.49 I don't think it's worth the full price)


The Twilight Hour
The Twilight Hour
by Nicci Gerrard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to her ususal standard, 25 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Twilight Hour (Paperback)
I loved Nicci Gerrard's solo books - especially 'Solace' but I was a little disappointed in this one. When I read the synopsis I thought it sounded more like a Rosie Thomas or Rosamond Pilcher book and wonder how she would handle what was basically historical fiction.

Sadly I was somewhat underwhelmed - though her writing is as lovely as ever - the storyline is a bit hackneyed - once I learned that elderly matriach Eleanor has a secret sadness in her past - it seemed a pretty fair guess that it relates to a secret love affair and the fact that her husband wasn't the real love of her life. A stock plot of historical/romantic fiction.

The parts set in the present day are somewhat underwhelming - we never learn much about the life of Peter, the young man employed to sort out Eleanor's paperwork and sometimes I felt like skipping forward to the sections set in the past, which are really the only interesting thing in the book. TBH I felt she might as well have written it as straightforward historical fiction.

I didn't find the character of young Eleanor totally convincing either - she seemed far too much like a modern 21st century heroine and for me this doesn't have the spark of NG's better work - it feels a bit generic, like something she wrote to fulfil a book contract. Not really worth the price, and I hope she does better with her next book.


The Silent Sister
The Silent Sister
by Diane Chamberlain
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, write by numbers, thriller, 20 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Silent Sister (Paperback)
The comparisons to Jodi Piccoult and Liane Moriarty are ludicrous and I suspect that fans of both writers will find this novel distinctly underwhelming.

Like many other reviewers, I caught on to the set up a few chapters into the novel which made it rather a boring plod to get through. Chamberlain is an ok writer, but with this kind of plot, what the reader is really looking for is to be kept guessing right till the end. That frankly is unlikely to happen here to anyone who has read any books with similar plots, or watched any soaps/TV mini series.

The original set up is ridiculous - the most obviously faked suicide which would not deceive the police or anyone else (this isn't a spoiler it's made clear right from the start of the novel that the missing sister, Lisa, is still alive). I also found it impossible to believe that any lawyer would describe Lisa's case as 'indefensible', even as a non legal person I could think of at least one possible angle- for that matter if she had told the truth right from the start, she would probably have gotten off with a few years in prison and we would have been spared all this nonsense. The hostility between Lisa and her brother Danny also struck me as rather overdone - especially all the resentment over her status in the family - given that he was only 4/5 when she disappeared and there was an age difference of 11 years between them - too much for any serious sibling rivalry to develop in my opinion. Like the seemingly impossible legal situation Lisa finds herself in, this is just a transparent device to drive the plot forward.

The only plus point was the empathy I felt towards Riley at the start of the novel being left with no real family other than the useless Danny and the curiosity to find out the secrets in her past, but this quickly faded as I began to guess what was in store. The ending wasn't very satisfactory particularly as it leaves one plot point unresolved - namely that two other people know that Lisa is still alive and have a reason to get back at the family - and given the fact that Lisa has completely ignored all advice she was given and taken up a career that leaves her extremely vulnerable to discovery this left me wondering how long in the real world she would be able to escape justice.

A weak thriller which is overpriced on Kindle.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2015 2:01 PM GMT


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20