Posts Tagged ‘ review ’

But A Dream – Jenny Gill – No Sleep for Me

But A Dream Jenny Gill Amazon Kindle

Well, this is another book that kept me up all night reading it.

I think the premise is what got me interested. It focuses on cellular memory. A woman that got a heart transplant begins to have dreams which make her a witness her donor’s murder.

Of course, this is an area I’m sure many authors have played around with before but the actual witnessing of a murder and the need to do something about it presents a problem. Who would believe her? How could they do anything about it? Etc.

The handling of this topic by the writer was done in an interesting style. Time moves back and forward, mostly at the beginning, to good effect. It feels (in atmosphere) something like investigative books of old – Carmilla, Dracula or Return of the Screw. This isn’t to say it’s old fashioned or boring – it just makes great use of the group investigative method and common sense. It’s welcome and different in a modern book.

The dialogue was very realistic, as were interactions with the children. The only exception to this was perhaps Richard, the protagonist’s husband. He was too soppy in my opinion and tended to repeat himself like an old record. He lacked personality in comparison to every other, fully rounded, character.

I also feel the multitude of people that needed to be filled in about the case was not only a problem for the protagonist, as  stated in the book, but for the author. There was a lot of worry over who should hear what and when. I think this would have gone smoother if the author had accepted there were that many characters and perhaps let some conflict happen over individuals not being kept up to date.

There were also a number of problems in the early pages: a missing comma, commas instead of colons, an abundance of unnecessary adverbs… At this point I think the author needs to read a sentence, taking out the adverb. If it works that way, leave it out. I say this because the imagery in the novel was very good. The adverbs only spoilt this good work.

There was also a slight clunkiness with the ‘he thought’s at the beginning. This could work better, and be more mysterious at the start, if the tags were left out.

However, all that said and done, the writing improved within a small number of pages and the grammar was generally of good standard. The story got me hooked and took me on a fun ride to its conclusion. I would recommend this as a shorter read to others. I think it took me about 2 hours or so to read. It is a book for adults and older teenagers, in my opinion.

And for the rating: 4/5 .
Good book for a summer read. Give it a go ūüôā

I found the book through E Reader News¬†, a site which collects daily some of the ‘bargain buys’ and free books on kindle. It also gives blurbs and a cover image to help you decide if you want to read them :).

From the looks of things, Jenny Gill is a self published author. She has two blogs: here and here if you would like to get to know her.

As always, yours truly is on twitter: Holly Ice

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Ink Exchange – Melissa Marr – The Bubble Chuckle

Ink Exchange Melissa Marr

This is a fantasy story with fae in the modern world. It already has my interest. Add tattoos and I’m well and truly hooked. There’s even some romance thrown in here. What could be better?

I must say: what a read. The story focuses on Leslie, a human girl whose life isn’t so great. She gets a tattoo to help her get control over her life. Only, it lets Irial, a powerful fae, get limited control over her instead.

I’ll be truthful. The day after I read this book I was supposed to get my first tattoo done. I was reading this before I slept. Only, it was so good I finished the whole thing in one sitting…only getting to sleep at 8am. It was good for the nerves!

The novel also had a hallmark of a great book for me: it made me bubble chuckle. This is that little chuckle in the middle of your throat that bubbles up and down like a hiccough – uncontrollable and full of glee (well, hiccoughs aren’t usually gleeful but you get the idea).

This chuckle only happens (in my experience) with the best of characterisation and witty dialogue. The characters are great, the plot is good and I loved the story.

The only negative to this is perhaps that the king and queen of courts has been done a lot, as has the dark and light courts. Perhaps this could have been tweaked more for originality. However, this is done to an extent: by the end of the book we find the dark fae aren’t all bad. There’s some grey in here, for sure…and I spoon up grey like ice cream.

So for a serving of this I’d give… 5/5

Not much I’d change.

As always, you can also find me here: Holly Ice

Hope you enjoyed my review!

Alyson Noel – Blue Moon Night Time Reading

Blue Moon Alyson Noel Review

‘Things have changed for Ever since she fell in love with Damen. But just as her powers are increasing, Damen seems to be weakening. Panicked at the thought of losing him, Ever finds a path to the in-between world of Summerland, where she learns the¬†secrets¬†of Damen’s tortured past ¬†– and accidentally discovers a way to twist time. Now she can save her family from the accident that killed them. It’s all she ever wanted – but so is Damen. And Ever must choose between them…’

One of the books I picked up charity shop shopping. Only, I’d read it before…
Turns out it’s part of a series that I started reading a year or so ago but never finished.

I think the truth of it is the book is just a bit young for me. (I’m currently 21 for guidance here). It’s aimed at high schoolers or younger teenagers, probably those with a penchant for everlasting romance. Admittedly, I’m a closet romantic but this was too much for me.

In realistic terms, Ever is too young for her 600 year old counterpart Damen. Also, the name Damen has been swinging around in vampire and immortal circles for what seems like forever (or 600 years as the date he is attached to – heehee).

Having said that, the book is well written. It has good imagery and pacing. It also defied my expectations as I have a good memory; usually I find I can’t ¬†reread a book within 5 years of reading it. This one I could. I still knew the general plot but it was still enjoyable. For that, I give it a lot of credit.

I think the book had space, if Ever was older, to play with the darker side of their connection in a cross-time romance such as the film Beautiful Creatures (that I’ve just watched and raved about). But, this isn’t what the author has aimed for.

So, for a young adult read (or teenage read really since I feel I’m too old for it) I’d give this…4/5.

For an adult read, maybe 2.5/5

Take my comments as you will.

As always, I’m also on twitter.

Holly Ice

James Treadwell: Advent – Ambitious? (Review)

advent

Advent. 439 pages long and I felt most of them go by.

That’s not to say the book is awful. It isn’t. The side note that the protagonist, Gavin, likes¬†Victorian¬†novels does seem to be an autobiographical comment, as another reviewer has noted before me. However, this does not give the book an excuse to lose tension. Between page 250 and around 340 or so I lost interest. It was an uphill battle as I forced myself to keep reading.

In the middle section of this book not much interesting happens, simply put.

I think one of the major issues is the narrative structure. The main protagonist, Gavin, is well crafted and has a character a reader can delve into and enjoy. However, the imposition of the 1500’s magus character does not work brilliantly.

He is essential to the back story and current plot but he is cold, greedy and has no redeeming features. Yes, some villains are like this but it does not seem realistic. There has been an attempt at romance and knowledge gone dark, twisted, but the change, the contrast, is too stark, too unrealistic. He becomes a caricature.

Of course, this may have a lot to do with the layers within the book. It expects a lot of a reader if we are to understand every sly reference. The book alludes to less known corners of Arthurian legend and Faustian tales.

For this, I both reward and condemn. It assumes a reader has more knowledge than a general fantasy reader necessarily may have. Perhaps, in some ways, it is more literary than genre fiction.

However, the novel does break away from the stereotypes of fantasy and strive to create something new, if influenced by the Gothic.

As wikipedia notes from an interview with James Treadwell, the novel (and its assumable the following series) looks at what would happen to modern society should magic be reintroduced to the world as real. This is a concept I myself wrestle with in my own writing (and novel in progress: While I Slept).

At risk of becoming hypocritical, I just feel Treadwell could have done this better. It seems he’s thrown creatures at a page with little thought for why those particular species were picked and the punch lines in the story were too spaced out.

A good 100-150 pages of the novel could be cut and it would be a much better read as, I must say, despite all this criticism, the first 250 and the last 80 pages were a great read. The writing style and turn of phrase can also be, and often is, fantastic.

To sum up, James Treadwell is a great writer and I’m sure we will see more writing from him in future. Hopefully, those books will build on this first one and his writing will improve.

For this book, I give him a score of 3.5/5

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