I guess you can't expect much from a book picked up just to get you through a delayed flight, this was pretty much the only book in English that was aI guess you can't expect much from a book picked up just to get you through a delayed flight, this was pretty much the only book in English that was available on the bookshelf in the hotel foyer and now I know why. It's pretty much rubbish from cover to cover.
Ok maybe my viewpoint is clouded by the fact that I was stuck in an airport and already in a bad mood however I failed to find very much in this book to excite me. It being James Patterson it still had bits of the endue of your seat action but lacked any real suspense to get me that interested in what the mystery was going to be at the end. ...more
Well I can at least now claim to have finished the series, seeing how long I've had the books this isn't much of an achievement but there we go.
HavinWell I can at least now claim to have finished the series, seeing how long I've had the books this isn't much of an achievement but there we go.
Having now read all three I am of the same opinion that I was after reading the second book. Being that this was not built to be a series, the first book in my opinion was different and finished well. After that attempts to revive the story just didn't work for me and I wish that I had only read the first book because I would have thought much higher of the story had it ended there.
the book is still easy enough to read and I blasted through it in little more than a couple of days. ...more
This was a more enjoyable read than the associate which I have also recently read having picked up two Grisham novels in a local charity shop.
Where IThis was a more enjoyable read than the associate which I have also recently read having picked up two Grisham novels in a local charity shop.
Where I felt that the associate was a bit flat and had a bit of a weak ending, this Nobel was gripping to the last paragraph. Although I never really suspected that Backman was ever going to come our badly it was really interesting to see how the author constructed his escape.
The plot was maybe a little far fetched but in a thriller this isn't always a bad thing. The book was quick and easy to read. Something that rather disappointingly is becoming more and more important to me as I find less and less time to read. ...more
My final book of 2013 and the one that gets me to reach my of 45 books for the year.
This is a good mystery novel with it's own unique twist. I reallyMy final book of 2013 and the one that gets me to reach my of 45 books for the year.
This is a good mystery novel with it's own unique twist. I really liked the fact that it was different from your usual crime mystery, in that instead of following detectives or investigators, we were following the victim as she searched for the memories, that would allow her not only to work out what happened but to be able to live again. It's for this reason alone that I will remember this book when I forgot most of the crime mysteries I have read.
Having said that I did guess the final outcome fairly early and although I was never exactly sure that my thoughts were true it could have been better disguised. This would have helped to make the twist at the end of the novel that much more shocking.
As I am typing this review the question at the top of the page says 'What did you think?' which is a very good question as quite often I wasn't entireAs I am typing this review the question at the top of the page says 'What did you think?' which is a very good question as quite often I wasn't entirely sure what to think since I wasn't entirely sure what was going on. This is the second Cormac McCarthy novel that I have read, having previously read The Road in 2012 and I think it is sage to say that it is going to be my last.
I really find his writing style hard to get on with an below have listed the reasons why.
1) There is a lack of punctuation throughout the whole novel. Apostrophes and speech marks are the two most commonly missed out, in fact I do not believe that speech marks are used at all. This really annoys me as it meant that I often read whole sections of text only realising in the middle that what I was reading was a conversation.
2) It is written in a very heavy southern states dialect that I simply don't understand, being British and having never visited Texas or the surrounding states I was often completely unable to follow conversations due to the phraseology being used. I like authors giving a character an accent and using occasional local expressions but when they are appearing on every page it just becomes difficult to understand the novel as a whole.
3) Often characters were not properly reintroduced when entering a conversation and therefore I could often read a page or so of conversation before I actually managed to work out who was doing the talking. If the story just followed a clear path of one character then this would be ok, but the book doesn't do this. It is frequently moving between different characters in different locations which made it important to know who was involved in each change of scene.
Then there is the actual story, if I had fully been able to keep track of what was going on then it would have been a really good plot. It's certainly not your typical crime novel which focuses heavily on the police and always ends in a arrest. This novel focusses much more on the 'bad guys' and even though sections are written from the polices view they are generally more philosophical sections that actually about the solving of the crime. I would have liked to have been able to say that I thought it was a great story but I so often couldn't follow it that it lost all its shape.
However it has been made into a supposedly very good film so maybe when I watch that I'll have a better idea of what actually happened in the book.
Other than George R.R. Martin's 'a song of ice and fire' series this is the book I have seen the most around London in the last six months. It was theOther than George R.R. Martin's 'a song of ice and fire' series this is the book I have seen the most around London in the last six months. It was therefore inevitable that I would read it at some point.
I get what all the fuss is about, the book does have some very clever twists and the ploy line is very difficult to predict. However I just didn't think it was as good as some other books I have previously read in this genre. The book is split into 3 parts and each of the three parts are very different from each other. The first part I found a little slow going as much of it was just background of what was happening prior to the disappearance but this build a good base for the second part which really is explosive. Almost all of the excitement happens during this part of the novel. The third part the wraps everything up and shows how everyone settles down to their new lives after the preceding events and it was this section that annoyed me the most.
The ending to me was a complete let down. I just couldn't believe that after everything that had happened the author could leave the ending with them just being back together almost in the same situation that they were in the first place. It needed a big ending to match the explosiveness of the middle section of the novel and just didn't have it.
However with the exception of the ending (which many people probably like) this is a good and exciting novel, I really like the way that the author has written the whole novel from the point of view of both Amy and Nick who for obvious reasons have completely different opinions on each of the events as they occur. I also enjoyed reading a book that was in a diary form, it's nice to have something different and I haven't previously read many books in this form ...more
So It's the book that everyone has been talking about, J.K. Rowling's latest attempt to write a book that isn't Harry Potter. Even the attempt to writSo It's the book that everyone has been talking about, J.K. Rowling's latest attempt to write a book that isn't Harry Potter. Even the attempt to write under a pseudonym hasn't working as the British media quickly uncovered who the true author was. Which is very ironic given the nature of the book, I'm not going to go into whether the discovery that this was a J.K. Rowling novel was instigated by Rowling or not but for what it's worth I can see no reason why she would want to expose herself as the author. It's certainly not about the money.
The reason I say that it was very ironic that this book was uncovered and given such publicity by the British media is because one of the core themes throughout the book is the animosity towards the media and their overly intrusive reporting techniques. So far as I can remember Rowling was one of those caught up in the phone hacking scandal a number of years ago and it seems that this book has given her the opportunity to let out all the frustration she had with the media in a fictional narrative. Throughout the book the media are accused of all manor of immoral and illegal practices and are indirectly accused for bringing about the death that forms the mystery that this novel is based around.
So now onto the actual story. It's actually a fairly run of the mill detective story, It starts with a slightly unusual death which is then taken on as a case by a private detective who unsurprisingly get dragged deeper and deeper into the case and finds that everything is not as simple as it would first appear. This story line in it's most basic form is nothing new it is a tried and tested story that has existed as long as crime fiction and usually works as it allows the author to build suspense throughout the novel as various clues and new theories emerge.
Rowling does produce interesting characters in particular the main character Cormoran Strike is described particularly memorably. The plot moves well and at no point did I feel as though the story was stagnating, every time things started to slow down there was a new development which kept the reader interested. It is also well written for it's genre, the writing style is not as dull as The Casual Vacancy which tried to hard to be the exact opposite of Harry Potter but does not digress to the uselessness that is found in many thriller that try to be so pacy that the forget to describe anything.
Its nothing overly special, had I not known it was J.K. Rowling I would just have dismissed it as another book in what is already an overpopulated genre. And this is precisely the problem with detective novels, there are just so many of them around that it is impossible to tell which are going to be good and which are going to be bad. Even if this had not been Rowling I would have been disappointed not to have read it since it is a good book but it would only have been through blind luck that I would have selected it from the other thousand books with similar blurbs.
On a side note that is not relevant at all to the quality of the book, I noticed that Mr Strike was always drinking Doom Bar which is an excellent beer from Rock in Cornwall, however the number of London pubs in which he found it was hugely disproportionate to the number of London pubs I've found it in. Either I'm drinking in the wrong pubs or the author has used a bit of creative license to improve the distribution of this ale in the capital. ...more
"The secret to good science fiction is a base in good science" was something I was once told by my GCSE Biology teacher and to date is the only thing"The secret to good science fiction is a base in good science" was something I was once told by my GCSE Biology teacher and to date is the only thing from GCSE biology that I can remember. This book is a case in point of this quote, I found the science very unbelievable and thus the book as a whole felt a little bit fake and I couldn't really get into it. I know you can claim that in an alien invasion you should be able to do what you want and hide behind the cover of 'alien technology' but for me to enjoy a sic-fi novel I have to be able to believe in at the very least the theoretical science that underpins the story.
Another issue is that young adult really isn't my genre, this is by no means the authors fault as the book is written towards a young adult audience, i just have the style of a grumpy old man and therefore struggle to get along with the simplicity of many young adult books unless they really are very good. it's the writing style of young adult books more than the content that will generally put me off.
If as an author you are going to kill 97% of the worlds population off with a deadly disease (this isn't a spoiler it happens right at the start) then you'd best hope that your readers haven't read Stephen King's The Stand because if they have then no matter how well you have done it they will be disappointed. All be it, King does manage to take about 400 pages to describe the effects but it really does cast into perspective how poor the description in this book is in comparison.
I'm not sure if it is just me (it probably is since I'm hopeless at paying attention) but I really found it difficult to identify who I was when the book first changed it perspective, I don't know whether I missed something but I had to pretty much re-read that entire section in order to fully understand what was going on and who had been speaking.
I have completely slated this book for which it really doesn't deserve I'm just feeling in a highly critical mood today. I'm sure if young adult is your genre then you will enjoy it, just try not to overanalyse it.
It's to without it's perks towards the end it become a proper edge of your seat thriller with the lives of all the main characters precariously places on a tightrope that could snap at any time. The tension towards the end is well built and so long as you get to the end you will want to know what happens and if the characters can somehow survive the impossible situations they are in.
It's not the book for me but maybe it will be the book for you if your looking for something easy to read in the young adult genre. ...more
After years of my mother constantly telling me that I have to read a Kate Atkinson novel I have finally caved in a read my first. Starting on the fortAfter years of my mother constantly telling me that I have to read a Kate Atkinson novel I have finally caved in a read my first. Starting on the forth book of a series is not entirely logical however I was not aware of this when I bought the book and I don't think you lose too much by having not read the previous three. Certainly the story line does not depend on any knowledge of the previous books although some of the references may make more sense if the other books had been read.
The book itself has what can only be described as a bizarre story line with the paths of each key character being more unlikely than the last. What kind of a person just goes and buys a child at a bus stop? Especially if the person doing the buying happens to be an ex police officer. Throughout the first half of the novel I was constantly wondering what my mum loved about these novels, it just seemed to be a little unconnected with each of the key characters having there own separate story and with very little interaction between these stories. The key to any good thriller is to bring everything together into a grand finale with an unexpected twist that the reader could never have predicted and I'm glad to say that this novel really does this very well indeed.
There were certainly points during the novel where I could see no way in which the stories were going to tie up and was deeply confused with the seeming impossibility of Jackson's travels. However there is a great twist towards the end which clarifies Jackson's story and over the final hundred pages or so there is an inevitable pull towards as all of the characters move towards a seemingly inevitable clash. The ending is every bit as momentous as could be hoped and is a fitting ending to what is an exciting novel. ...more
This is good but by the high standard set by Dan Brown's previous books it is far from great.
The start is fast paced, instantly making you ask what haThis is good but by the high standard set by Dan Brown's previous books it is far from great.
The start is fast paced, instantly making you ask what has happened before and what is going to happen, in this way it is the perfect start to a modern thriller instantly grabbing your attention and getting you to read more. However I personally had one huge gripe about the start which was that I had read it before in The Bourne Identity. Although I have to say that the Bourne series has one or the heat starts in modern literature, this one was way too similar for my liking. Mysterious assassins on boats, never failing a mission, amnesia from a shooting and murder attempts from your own government...
However moving on from my frustration with the start the novel continues to develop well. I have never checked the accuracy of the historical references used by Dan Brown in his novels but have taken it for granted they have been well researched and are accurate. Because of this I always feel as though I am getting a history lesson as well as reading an exciting novel, which gives the book some redeeming value. I like to feel as though I have learned something from a book and through the history portrayed I get the feeling that there is a lot that could be learned from the references in this novel.
Despite the book being hugely exciting throughout and being a true edge of your seat thriller at points there were simply too many twists and turns. The plot line was always on the outer extremes of believability but at points the actions by many characters were so far fetched that it was just too much. It's a real pity because it lead me to stop believing in the book and once I've done that I can never quite get back into the novel in the same way.
Even with my complaints this was still a good book and well worth a read, at times I was able to completely loose myself in the world that Dan Brown had created and really be interested in what Langdon was going to see next. The way in which he talks about these places and the artwork really makes one want to get up and go to Italy and see it for real.
As per usual people will complain about Dan Browns writing style saying he doesn't deserve his popularity. True, this book will never win any literary awards but it packs one hell of a punch....more
John Grisham is without doubt the king of legal fiction, over the years I have read a number of his books most of which have been good and some of whiJohn Grisham is without doubt the king of legal fiction, over the years I have read a number of his books most of which have been good and some of which have been great. This one is once again a well written edge of your seat legal thriller with plenty of action and tension. However it was a little to predictable, I had worked out the story line and the characters involved with 100 pages to go which spoiled the ending. The key to a great mystery is to keep the reader guessing until the end and then to prove them wrong and this book did neither of these things. ...more
Totally predicable from beginning to end, following a very similar storyline to the first 16 novels in the series, the 17th book in the Jack Reacher sTotally predicable from beginning to end, following a very similar storyline to the first 16 novels in the series, the 17th book in the Jack Reacher series is exactly what you want it to be. Fast paced and exciting and the type of book you can sit down and read in a single sitting, I didn't quite manage to do this but still read the whole thing in under 24 hours. ...more
Very good, Mr Le Carre. I'm not sure why I picked this book up having previously disliked John Le Carre's more famous Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, hoVery good, Mr Le Carre. I'm not sure why I picked this book up having previously disliked John Le Carre's more famous Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, however I could vaguely remember someone once recommending it to me. Whoever it was, I thank you because I really enjoyed this book and wouldn't even have noticed it in the shop without your recommendation.
The book gets off to a really quick start with the majority of the book being the unravelling of the story behind these action packed first few scenes. The ending was equally as good, there were twists a plenty and I certainly hadn't been able to predict how it was going to end. In fact I knew I was never going to be able to predict the story line early on and didn't even try to predict how it was going to end. I'm also glad the story didn't end with the happy solution to all the problems that seems so common in so many stories. From the start there could never have been a happily ever after but I think the sad ending suited the story more than anything else.
The only disappointing part was I found that parts of the middle of the book especially these scenes in England and Italy were a little slow and the story got a bit bogged down during these parts. By the end I appreciated how important they were to the story and recognise that they could be left out but while reading them they didn't seem to progress the story as much as they actually do.
Over the years I have read a number of the D.C.I. Banks series by Peter Robinson, and they are and have always been able to rely on them being decentOver the years I have read a number of the D.C.I. Banks series by Peter Robinson, and they are and have always been able to rely on them being decent solid modern crime novels. The characters and locations are always similar and in a way the story-lines are too, often using a lot of the same ideas and plot-lines, but as this is what the author is good at and is what his readers expects then the old motto of 'it it ain't broke don't fix it' comes to mind.
What has and continues to be one of the things that really impresses me about these novels is the way in which the author manages to really bring the images and scenery of the Yorkshire moorlands to life in the readers mind. This is even more impressive when you consider that the author lives in Canada and therefore is not writing from the location of the moors. The main character, detective chief inspector Banks is also a very likeable character, he is in no way your typical lead character and is far from flawless but the fact that he seems to be such an ordinary bloke is what makes him so identifiable and likeable.
As with any crime mystery things quickly escalate to a highly improbable level, from the death of a man in Yorkshire to investigations of cross European drug smuggling gangs. But I guess that is just part and parcel of the genre itself and without the story spiralling out of control it wouldn't make much of a story in the first place. And of course in the end everything gets solved.
This is not the best book in the series but isn't the worst either, it maintains that many of the qualities that have been the underlying success of the series but fails to progress to anything new. ...more
Well here goes for my first book of the new year. I'm not going to write much as really I don't have anything to say about this book. James PattersonWell here goes for my first book of the new year. I'm not going to write much as really I don't have anything to say about this book. James Patterson is one of the most successful authors in terms of numbers of book sold ever to have lived, he has a tried and tested method of success mixing action packed entertainment with enough suspense to keep you reading 'just one more chapter'. His books are always easy to read and this is no exception, however it's the same old story every single time, and I have to say that before I was even half way through this one I could tell you how it was going to end. In my opinion Patterson has become too predictable and this book wasn't as exciting as some of it predecessors. No doubt it will (and probably has already been) a bestseller worldwide but really its every bit as forgettable as it is readable. ...more
So having read the first two books I have swiftly moved on and read the third novel in this series, and I doubt that it will be long before I move ontSo having read the first two books I have swiftly moved on and read the third novel in this series, and I doubt that it will be long before I move onto Wizard and Glass. In this book we continue to follow the quest of Roland and his companions through mid world towards the city of lud as they move ever closer to the Dark Tower. This book also saw the return of Jake (the boy from the first book), the series has precious few key characters and having a forth main character means that it is now feasible that something could happen to one of them, with only three characters I was always of the opinion that they were always going to survive as the story couldn't survive with just two characters. The book also has very few chapters, in fact there are only 6 in a book that is 600 pages long, being a regular reader of Stephen King I am used to the way in which his uses many mini-subchapters to break up very long chapters but still would prefer "normal" chapters. However this aside the story is continuing to develop well and I'm looking forward to reading the forth book. ...more