A slow start, but once I'd battled past all the military stuff - a whole lot of numbers and letters for the most part, none of which meant anything to...moreA slow start, but once I'd battled past all the military stuff - a whole lot of numbers and letters for the most part, none of which meant anything to me - I began to enjoy this book more and more. The start was a little slow while everything was set up, but there was a section of 150 or so pages towards the end where I don't think I could have put it down if I wanted to. I found that the end tapered off a bit, reading like a big-budget action movie sequence and being a bit OTT in general. Still, I very much enjoyed this book, perhaps more so because I wasn't sure going into it and very nearly stopped before I got going because of all the military jargon.(less)
George R. R. Martin and the Ever-Expanding Storylines.
So. Many. Storylines. And when did it become too easy for the title chapter to be the actual nam...moreGeorge R. R. Martin and the Ever-Expanding Storylines.
So. Many. Storylines. And when did it become too easy for the title chapter to be the actual name of the person we were going to be reading about? I much preferred this to having to work it out based on what was going on.
But it does look like there is finally some forward motion in certain storylines that maybe haven't had so much momentum, and there were a couple of good cliffhangers. But still, this book is nowhere near up to the standards of the first, in large part probably because there are now so may people that we only get a couple of chapters from a large majority of them. At this rate we're going to need far more than another 2 books.(less)
This is a book of two halves. Or rather, one third and two thirds. I loved both The Long Walk and The Running Man,, but found Roadwork a bit bland. It...moreThis is a book of two halves. Or rather, one third and two thirds. I loved both The Long Walk and The Running Man,, but found Roadwork a bit bland. It's a good thing they stuck it in the middle, because I may have just given up on it if it had been the last of the three stories included in this book. But, as they say, two out of three ain't bad.
The Long Walk sees teenage boys doing just what it says on the tin: walking. And walking. And walking. The last one standing - walking - wins everything he could ever want, but to get there he has to outlast the other 99 participants, some just nameless faces, but some who become friends. He has to watch them be shot when their three warnings are used up. A sometimes horrific, heart-wrenching look at the lengths to which human endurance can stretch.
Roadwork is about a man who's whole life is about to be torn apart so that a road can be built through the middle of it. Literally. His home and place of employment are due to be torn down, but he does nothing to relocate either. I can kind of see why, with the memories attached to these places, but new memories can be made. It dragged a little, really, and there seemed to be very little forward motion in the story. There were interesting aspects, but I never really enjoyed reading it.
The Running Man again does what it says on the tin. A man is put on the run, and he (or his family) will receive money for every hour that he evades capture. This is a clever and suspenseful story and you can't help but root for Ben Richards, for the almost inevitable circumstances he finds himself in and the tenacity he shows whilst on the run.
These books were all written by Stephen King under a pseudonym, but apparently people from the off suspected that it was him, and I can see why. While the subject matters are more sci-fi than the average King book, they just feel like King. Of course little things like the format and the Maine-connection would have probably tipped of King-fans of the time.(less)
If Poe had stuck to tales of mystery and imagination, I probably would have given this book 4*, because those short stories which were mysteirous and...moreIf Poe had stuck to tales of mystery and imagination, I probably would have given this book 4*, because those short stories which were mysteirous and imaginative were very good. There were some creepy little tales - mostly involving death, and a fair few involving bricking people into walls - including The Tell-Tale Heart which was very good but a lot shorter than I was expecting.
Unfortunately, he also turned his hand to crime-solving with a Sherlock Holmes-esque character. Only less exciting. It was pure exposition on the part of the detective and very little else. When you've got three of these stories one of the other...let's just say I found it a little tedious.
Arbiter Thanquil Darkheart is a cleanser of heretics and a man who can pretty much go wherever he wants and do whatever he wants once he gets there. J...moreArbiter Thanquil Darkheart is a cleanser of heretics and a man who can pretty much go wherever he wants and do whatever he wants once he gets there. Jezzet Vel'urn is a BladeMaster who seems to run from danger to danger. You'd kinda think a master of the blade would be doing more with her life but there you go. Then we have Betrim Thorn - the Black Thorn: killer of Arbiters (six, everyone always forgets about the first) and general all-round scoundrel. They're all going about their lives, all end up in places they don't want to be, and all end up fighting for their lives against the darkest of enemies.
This story has all the moves for grimdark fantasy but none of the oomph, none of the wallop. I could tell what it was trying to do, but it just didn't have that...grimdark-ness. I don't know what exactly was missing, but there definitely was something not there. Now, the story was by no means bad. I never struggled to keep going with it and there were a couple of interesting twists, but maybe not as many as the author was hoping for, and certainly nothing particularly flooring. You know those books where you're reading them and something is revealed and your mind implodes? Unfortunately nothing as big as that.
So if the story wasn't all that bad, why the low rating? Unfortunately, because of the writing itself. While the grammar was never terrible, it quite often made me uncomfortable. Commas missing led to run-on sentences which were hard to understand, while added-extra commas made the text clumsy and awkward. It never quite made sense to me that both of these problems existed...whether it was a style choice or what I have no idea. On top of this there were a couple of instances of the mixing up of homophones: peak instead of pique, taught instead of taut. Not major things, but not mistakes an author should be making.
Overall, not a bad story by any means but the lack of editor (I'm assuming - as far as I can tell this is self-published) is telling. Some cleaning up would have made the world of difference.(less)
Though tagged as a psychological thriller, I found very little 'psychological' or 'thrilling' about this book. There was never any mystery or confusio...moreThough tagged as a psychological thriller, I found very little 'psychological' or 'thrilling' about this book. There was never any mystery or confusion or not-knowing on the part of the reader, and indeed very little on the part of the victim. It was clear from the off who the perpetrator was, and there was no building up of tension or anything. Yeah, there are things going on that I wouldn't like to experience but then that's true of a lot of books that aren't supposed to be psychological thrillers.
So, that aside, it wasn't a terrible book. There are two narrators, each with a very distinctive voice so it was easy to tell the difference between them, for oftentimes in books you can't distinguish between narrators without being told or clues from the text itself. And it was an easy book to read - I wouldn't notice how long I'd been reading until something pulled me from it. But it wasn't compelling - once I had been pulled from it, I felt no push to immediately start reading again as I do with great books.(less)