Hmmm not bad, I just found myself disappointed at how like Lord of the Rings it was, a group of people of all races, a wizard who turned evil but coul...moreHmmm not bad, I just found myself disappointed at how like Lord of the Rings it was, a group of people of all races, a wizard who turned evil but couldn't see it, and an unspeakable evil that was encroaching upon the rest of the world. Dwarve's and Elve's hate each other but in the end become friends and a child of a once ancient King of men leads an army of men united behind him. The plot has been done before, and better by Tolkien. However, it turns out not to be a bad read once you get about half way through it and the characters are well written, it's just a shame that it's nothing new. Will I read the second in the series? Probably, but it's not something I will rush to buy.(less)
I actually really wanted to enjoy this. I thought it was the kind of book I would be interested in, after all I enjoy things about mythical treasures...moreI actually really wanted to enjoy this. I thought it was the kind of book I would be interested in, after all I enjoy things about mythical treasures in video games such as Uncharted, so this was supposed to be right up my street.
A two star review may actually be slightly generous if I'm honest. It was been there, done that, got the T-shirt, cliche, predictable and tedious.
Some people recommend Raymond Khoury to fans of Dan Brown as he has a better writing style, if I'm honest, I didn't notice that it was any better to the one Dan Brown book (The Lost Symbol) that I have read. The plot was.....ok. The characters were, boring. And the turn of events I could have predicted before I even picked the thing up.
There seems to be far too much killing of side characters for the sake of it, you can tell that the second someone is introduced that within a few short pages the bad guy will have shot them. I think the author was trying to go for suspense and surprise but ended up with boredom and something as predictable as the British summer. It's the same story each time - Introduce new character, bad guy starts off really nice, pulls out a gun, threatens them, shoots them - and this happens several times in the book, far too many times to be honest. The fight scenes were equally as predictable as well, with all three of the main characters getting slightly more injured in slightly more severe ways right up until the end of the book. And the ending of the book you can see coming as soon as you enter the final 3 chapters.
The writing was fairly tedious a lot of the time, lots of detail, but none of it interesting, sometimes lots of descriptive writing without conversation or plot development that sometimes left me a bit confused as I forgot what was supposed to be happening. Lots of seemingly, childish, conversation with a lot of use of the word "Yeah" which to me, is a lack of effort/ability to provide the reader with good conversations between the characters. I know we all say "Yeah" a lot in real life, but it just seems incredibly lazy in a book that's supposed to be a conspiratory thriller.
I'm not sure that I will really remember a single part of this book in a week or two. It didn't hook me, I wasn't absorbed by it, proved by the fact it took me 5 weeks to read the near 500 pages when I read an 800 pages book in under 2 weeks prior to this.
Shall I read another Khoury book? No, and that is a real shame, because I thought he may be an author I could read a lot of before I read this awful book.(less)
It took me a while to 'get' this book. Even if a book is set in a completely fictional time and place (like this is) I like to try to get an image of...moreIt took me a while to 'get' this book. Even if a book is set in a completely fictional time and place (like this is) I like to try to get an image of a time in our history that I can refer it to so I can imagine the scenes and the way a while city will look without it being described, and for a while I couldn't figure out what it was, was it Victorian time, Georgian time, or something like the First World War. I only started to enjoy the book when I figured out when that was (For me, it was a time around the First World War).
I found it interesting how the only name we know the main character by is 'Warden' and that we don't really know who he is. I also liked it how that narrative of the book (Which is first person) is written just how I would speak it, not over worked, it wasn't over wordy, more...casual, which I found a good change. For some reason (even though I've not read them) I imagined Warden as a similar character to Jason Bourne, in the fact that he isn't a standard 'hero' but a killer, ruthless, yet turns out to be the good guy, in the terms of the story at least. I like an anti-hero in a book, and Warden is certainly an anti-hero. I imagine him to be wearing a long grey trench coat with hobnailed boots and woolen trousers that are frayed at the bottoms. That's probably the best thing about the book, the fact that Warden seems more...real than heroes in other boots because he isn't a true good guy, he's rough round the edges and will get his hands dirty and kills a few people along the way.
I wouldn't say it was an excellent book by any means, as at times I struggled to follow it. And I had to read a couple of chapters twice as by the time I got half way through I was completely lost. But it was certainly a good book, and I shall give the second Low Town book a read. Probably the biggest weakness of the book, for me at least, was that there were quite a number of other characters, which I felt were under developed and therefore seemed to all blend in to one at times so sometimes I was a bit confused at to who was where and doing what. I did chuckle when I noticed one of the characters was called Dunkan Ballantyne, I wondered if any other dragons were going to appear, but they didn't.
Whilst the ending isn't entirely predictable, I did half guess it from about 100 pages to go, although it was purely a guess based on the fact that I thought it was winding up with quite a few chapters to go, and I wasn't quite right.
So, good, not great, but enjoyable with a really good main character. Bring on Tomorrow, The Killing. (less)
This is obviously a debut book. I wasn't that engrossed by it, I didn't enjoy it all that much and it wasn't that easy to follow. The things that frus...moreThis is obviously a debut book. I wasn't that engrossed by it, I didn't enjoy it all that much and it wasn't that easy to follow. The things that frustrated me most about the book were that at the beginning certainly, the chapters were far to short. It felt as if they were slow to start and only built up a momentum with a couple of lines left, and then the chapter was over and you had to start the whole process again meaning you couldn't get a good flow together. Whether it was just the pre-production copy I had or not, but there were quite a lot of glaring grammatical errors within the first few pages, and many sentence's made no sense what so ever. I felt the book had a pretty good middle, but the last 3rd of the book was truly awful. It was difficult to follow, made almost no sense what-so-ever and felt like it was there just so it could be shelved under a 'fantasy' header in a shop.
Was it a bad book? No. Was it a good book? No. Did I enjoy it? Parts of it yes, I did, parts of it I just wanted to skip so I could reach the end sooner. Will I read the second book? Maybe. Would I recommend it to a customer in my shop? No.
This was a polar opposite of the last book I read 'Temeraire' Which I would recommend to anyone and everyone. This, I would only recommend to people if they had read literally everything else in my 'Fantasy' section. Maybe the second book will be better. Hopefully it is. But I doubt I would go out of my way to buy it, I would probably only read it if I can get my hands of a proof copy from the publishers.(less)
This is a pretty good book too be honest, although it does have some flaws, but I'll keep the review short and sweet.
The first of which, the author no...moreThis is a pretty good book too be honest, although it does have some flaws, but I'll keep the review short and sweet.
The first of which, the author notes in the introduction, how the book is as much about Dutch philosophy and culture as it is about football. There is a lot of talk about architecture and art as well as the holocaust. The second problem was that this isn't so much a book about 'Total Football', as it is about Ajax. Now, whilst Ajax are the dominant Dutch team, and were the greatest team in football in the 70's, there is barely a mention of Feyenoord, and when they are it's not in a favourable, and can't recall ever seeing PSV mentioned.
And it focuses heavily (and understandably so) on Johan Cruyff. But perhaps it does go some way to explaining how the Dutch have never won a World Cup, and how they value beautiful football over a win. How they feel to win on penalties is ugly and below them and they would rather lose beautifully.
To put it in Dutch footballing terms, it's a good effort, but misses a crucial penalty in the semi-final to become a winner.
(Still worth a read for any football fan though)(less)
I must say, that at the start I was thoroughly enthralled by this book. The way it was set out with the different characters both before and after 'Ze...moreI must say, that at the start I was thoroughly enthralled by this book. The way it was set out with the different characters both before and after 'Zero Hour' and how they reacted to the situation (The New War) in different ways. From Mr. Nomura in Japan and building his 'Senshi' (Robots that defend him) and the couple in New York who destroy buildings to slow robots down.
But I found that with maybe 100 pages to go, the pace of the book both slowed and sped up. It jumped huge time gaps and I felt that it lost it's way. I felt that the end was slightly weak and a bit.... predictable almost. It was like a film where you know the hero is going to come out on top in the end
I did think that it was written in a really good way, there were elements from A.I, iRobot and The Matrix all thrown in, I just felt that, in the end, there was something missing. Something that would make the end a bit more......spectacular.
It felt like a computer game that has all the potential in the world, but was released 6 months too soon and not fully developed. Just a bit more, just a tiny bit more, and this could have been a seriously good book. In the end it will just have to settle for being pretty good.(less)
It's not easy to write a review of this book, not because I didn't enjoy it, but rather because I find myself writing why I agree with Christopher Boo...moreIt's not easy to write a review of this book, not because I didn't enjoy it, but rather because I find myself writing why I agree with Christopher Booker and disagree with all the environmentalists. So it may be best to keep this short, but I would certainly suggest that everyone, regardless of which view you agree with, read this, as this will balance out the argument that we are not being allowed to debate.
The reason I picked this book up in the first place was because I have never accepted the 'consensus' view about Global Warming that we are pummeled with by the media day and night, and it's nice to see that someone is not too scared to write a book that disagrees with that view too.
I had been thinking that there would be an awful lot of science in the book, and, there is some but, what the book really does is show us is to what extent the people that present us with the 'consensus' bully and attempt to intimidate those who disagree with their view. It also points out how those who tell us that global warming is our fault refuse to fully release their data which is needed to prove that their computer modelling is without fault. We also find out that a lot, if not most, of the statistical data is cherry picked or altered to 'prove' their argument. It's also interesting to find out that the papers that the IPCC present to the world are agreed on my scientists and proof readers, then altered without their knowledge so that they exactly match the views of the governments and IPCC.
If more books like this were out there (And trust me, as a bookseller, there aren't that many compared with the 'pro global warming' books) then maybe, the topic wouldn't be such a volatile one to discuss.(less)
The first Sci-Fi book I ever read, and what a book to start with, picked it up as a proof from work as I had nothing else to read, and couldn't put it...moreThe first Sci-Fi book I ever read, and what a book to start with, picked it up as a proof from work as I had nothing else to read, and couldn't put it down. Guns, Gadgets and surgically enhanced humans, all set in familiar places (Hull for instance) rather than the usual American setting that so many Sci-Fi movies use. I am eagerly anticipating War in Heaven due out next month!(less)
Really good book. Left me a bit confused at parts, and perhaps not so much action as there was in Veteran. At times seems to be a bit slow but it's no...moreReally good book. Left me a bit confused at parts, and perhaps not so much action as there was in Veteran. At times seems to be a bit slow but it's not long until something is happening again. Bit of a surprise ending. So yeah, not quite as good as Veteran, but certainly left me anticipating 20/09/2012 when Gavin's next book is out.(less)
For maybe the first Quarter/Third of the book you can really see the Tolkien influence, Dark riders on black horses, a gang of friends set out accompa...moreFor maybe the first Quarter/Third of the book you can really see the Tolkien influence, Dark riders on black horses, a gang of friends set out accompanied by a witch (Ok so no wizard) and go out on an adventure to save the world from evil. After it gets into it's stride however, it really becomes it's own book. Not perfect, but I will happily read the rest of the entire series. May take some time though....(less)
Nothing really much seemed to happen in the second book, I personally think that it could have been added on to the end of book 1 and the beginning of...moreNothing really much seemed to happen in the second book, I personally think that it could have been added on to the end of book 1 and the beginning of book 3. (less)
Far better than book 2, but nowhere near as good as book 1. Seemed to lose it's way somewhere in the middle and I found my mind wandering and having t...moreFar better than book 2, but nowhere near as good as book 1. Seemed to lose it's way somewhere in the middle and I found my mind wandering and having to re-read parts of it.(less)