Book Reviews

The Rose of Sebastopol – Katherine McMahon

Deer Reeder,

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A painting as a book cover, how lovely.

I don’t know why this has taken me so long to write but I guess I finished this book when I had three deadlines and an exam to do and therefore put it off. Only problem is then that the book isn’t as fresh in my mind as I would like it to be, but don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about everything!! So, what book is it this time?

The Rose of Sebastopol by Katherine McMahon, which I found surprisingly enjoyable to read.

I haven’t read a romantic drama in a long while (if ever! 😉) and you know what? It’s rather endeared the genre to me again. This story had the right balance between romance and drama. I felt it wasn’t solely driven by the romance but also had a strong narrative which was interlaced with poignant social commentary of that time period. Continue reading “The Rose of Sebastopol – Katherine McMahon”

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Angles & Demons – Dan Brown

Deer Reeder,

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For photo source click here.

Because I kept getting interrupted so couldn’t write my last blog for ages, I’ve managed to read another two books within that time (And yes, I know, very bad English on my part to start a sentence with because but you’re just going to have to roll with it!). So, what book captured my interest over the festive break (yes, I said festive break, so this is basically more than a month delayed!)? Why, the good old author Dan Brown’s book, Angles and Demons.

Now Angles and Demons is Brown’s first book staring the Harvard professor, Robert Langdon, so you would assume this is the first book I would naturally read being a lover of chronological order. It wasn’t, in fact other than the very new book he just brought out, I’ve read this last behind all the other sequels because someone (my mum) said we had the book and then found out that, in fact, said book has now been lost! To add to this, when this discovery was made, I was than already thoroughly sequelling the hell out of the others by this point and naturally forgot for ages to than buy it again.

Anyway, worth the wait?

Continue reading “Angles & Demons – Dan Brown”

Dead Famous – Ben Elton

Deer Reeder,

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Like I said, totally normal book cover!

You might be surprised to hear that I started this article in 2017 and now look, it’s a year later! Okay, so I may be exaggerating with it being 2018 now. Don’t worry, it’s not been a year in the making, but it’s still been far longer than it should have. I started this before Christmas you know. It appears that this little Elf as been very busy this festive season. So what book should set sail this new year? Why, Ben Elton’s No. 1 Bestseller, Dead Famous of course. If you find the title intriguing, just have a look at what’s on the front cover. Unhappy gold fish in a bowl, odd right?!

So, I’m going to be honest here and say that this book didn’t blow me away and have me itching to read the next line. However, nor do I want you to totally dismiss this book as rubbish because it really isn’t, I promise. It just took a bit of time for me to get into. Continue reading “Dead Famous – Ben Elton”

The Core – Peter V. Brett

Deer Reeder,

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Hard back edition, front cover on left and inside cover on right

God, it has been a long time since I have written one of these. Too long in fact. I knew this would happen once I started uni again, I’ve just had no time to read! *sighs and looks away from the mountain of assignment briefs nearby…*

Anyway, enough of the woes and on with the book reviewing.

So, The Core by Peter V. Brett. What can I say apart from at last and about time! I’ve waited for the finale to the Demon Cycle series for around two years now, but it was worth this wait. The book starts slowly, re-enveloping you into this fantasy world and ends like Usain Bolt running the 100 metres. I know its not always best to review the last book in a series, but I read the first one many moons ago, so I promise to avoid spoilers where I can.

For those not in the know, the series are set in what seems to be our future but without any of that high-tech business. Instead, it’s as if you’ve stepped back in time to bows and arrows, horses and carts, due to demons destroying the world as we know it. Its clever because you don’t initially realise this until Continue reading “The Core – Peter V. Brett”

Wyrmeweald: Returner’s Wealth – Stewart & Riddel

Deer Reeder,

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Click here for photo source:

Wyrmeweald: Returner’s Wealth is the first book in a trilogy that I never got around to finishing, due to waiting for, then forgetting about, the last book. Therefore, I thought it was about time, 4 years later, to read the trilogy again and actually finish it this time. Reading a book twice can be arduous, as you already know the gist of what happens and therefore can lose enthusiasm to read it again. Luckily, I’m still reading strong with the trilogy, mainly because I love the imaginative story telling of Stewart & Riddell.

This book has illustrations! God, it has been a while since I’ve read a book that has pictures and isn’t an autobiography. To be honest though, I wish more books did have illustrations, especially within the fantasy genre. The creatures that Stewart & Riddell create are ten times stranger then I could ever imagine from merely their descriptions. I’ve read other books with their writing collaboration and have always loved the bizarre but deadly world that they create; it’s all very survival of the fittest themed. Continue reading “Wyrmeweald: Returner’s Wealth – Stewart & Riddel”

A Perfect Spy – John Le Carre

Deer Reeder,

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Got this book while at my Best Friend’s Village Fate!

When I first started to read this book, I didn’t think I would be able to finish it due to the way it was written. I had just finished reading a teen fiction series which was written nice and simply, with obvious paragraphs and a basic sentence formation. Well, A Perfect Spy wasn’t written like this, so for about the first sixty pages or so I felt like I was hiking up a mountain and not understanding most of the scenery as I went along. Thankfully though, I grew a bit more intelligent and got the hang of John Le Carre’s writing style and then commenced to happily devour the rest of the book.

The book starts off in present day during the 80’s (when this book was written), with the protagonist character Magnus Pym starting his stay at a little B&B in Devon run by Miss Dubber (who only knows Pym as Mr Canterbury). The scene sets with him stating that he is here for a longer stint than usual and will be writing a book. This book is revealed to the reader as an autobiography, after the completion of which, Pym has the intention of ending his days with the mortal world. Continue reading “A Perfect Spy – John Le Carre”

Gallagher Girl series – Ally Carter

Deer Reeder,

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Chronological book order is from bottom to top.

I read these quite quickly, so like the other bit of teen fiction I wrote about, I’m going to discuss the whole series instead of going through book by book.

How is it best to describe this series? Well, imagine a school full of teenage female James Bond’s, plus the best security system imaginable and you get the idea of what it would be like to go to the Gallagher Academy of Exceptional Young Women. The school is portrayed as one of the most selective schools for geniuses and is full of snobby rich kids. However, those who have a high enough clearance level know the academy for what it actually is; a school which specialises in the art of espionage. You know a school is going to be interesting when its moto is:

“We are the sisters of Gillian…..To learn her skills. Honour her sword. And keep her secrets…… To the cause of justice and light.”

Continue reading “Gallagher Girl series – Ally Carter”