Saturday, 31 December 2011

My Goodreads Review of Scary Mary by S.A. Hunter

Scary MaryScary Mary by S.A. Hunter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, I didn't expect to finish this all in one day, but it was a really good book. Mary is a great character, typical 'individual' teenager from YA, but the interesting bit is that she hears ghosts. Cool start for me, because I love a good ghost story and the whole clairaudient thang is well handled in the prose.

It's a high school story, with evil cheerleaders and jocks as expected, but something about Mary and her friend, Rachel, kept me reading and I am all for a good cliche if it is written well, and these are.

The pace is slightly off for me at the end, it goes from a few bubbles to full-on boil in a heartbeat and the action at the end made me wonder how it all got covered up, but it was such a fun read that I'll forgive it the Poltergeist-like chaos at the end.

S.A. Hunter, good writer, left a few 'romantic' loose ends for the sequel, which actually I am tempted to go buy!

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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

My GoodReads Review for Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot #17)Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, I spent an extra 15 mins this morning finishing this off, because you can't interrupt a good Christie denouement!

I haven't read that many Christies, I pick one up every so often and make my way through it. And of the ones I have read, this comes near the top. It has good pace, economical description, giving us enough to understand the characters, but it does not dwell too long on anything - Ms Christie makes every word count.

I love her colourful characters, the Otterbournes, Cordelia, even Jacqueline de Belfour herself - the background characters have just enough to them to stop short of being caricatures and Agatha has a soft spot for the young women, because they have more depth than all the others.

I've seen several adaptations of this book on TV, one which was fairly faithful and another that was missing characters. I have to say, though, apart from the denouement, which doesn't actually happen in one go the book, I prefer the book, but I think the TV improved on the drama, if not the realism of the thing with an all in one accusation fest - let's face it, with Christie, no-one is looking for realism!

All in all, a good mystery (if I hadn't known already what had happened, I would not have got there the same time Poirot did, it is a fairly devious plot) and it is an easy read. It would make an excellent airport/flight book, easily finished during a transatlantic flight by any moderate reader (I'm not hugely fast).

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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

New Book of Christmas Poems

A little something to get you in the Christmas Spirit!
Christmas Poems by Sophie Duncan Title:
Author(s):Sophie Duncan
Date Pub: 5th Decemeber 2011
Length: Poetry (6 poems)
Genre: Christmas Poems, Christmas, All Ages
Buying Options:
Amazon UK£0.86Kindle
Amazon US$0.99
Amazon DEEUR 0.99
Amazon FREUR 0.99
Amazon ITEUR 0.99
Amazon ESEUR 0.99
Smashwords$0.99ePub, PDF, mobi(Kindle), rtf, ltf(Sony), Palm Doc, Plain txt
ISBN 978-1-908333-10-0, 978-1-908333-11-7
Description: Meet the battered old Christmas Fairy, or listen to a child's prayer on Christmas Eve; sympathise with a harried shopper, or think a while on the meaning of Christmas. The 6 poems in this book were written to be read aloud as the last lesson at a Christmas Day service in a little, English church. They can be enjoyed by anyone from 8 to 80.
You do not need an eReader to view this publication; there are Kindle aps available for most devices as well as formats for other eReaders, devices and PC. Please see FAQ item 11 for more info.

Excerpt: Baby Boy

Baby boy, what are you?
A king, they say?
What king lies on a bed of straw
When silk, or the finest cotton
Should cradle a royal head?

Baby boy, what are you?
A Lord, they say?
What Lord breathes stink of ass and ox
Should only perfumes of jasmine
And sweet musk suffice?

Baby boy, what are you?
Saviour, they say?
Saviour in a humble stable,
Born beneath a holy star
A child and yet a king?

Lord of Light, Peace and Joy,
You are a Saviour,
Saviour of the World.
You are a lord,
O Lord of Love.
You are a king,
King of my heart.
If you read and enjoy this title, please consider reviewing it at Smashwords or Amazon. Thank you.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

My GoodRead's Review of Salem's Lot

'Salem's Lot'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, this is an up and down sort of book. I didn't think I was going to like it at first: King's observational style is cynical, cold and the whole first part takes a long while to get going. I don't give many writers 100 pages to get their story started. However, I persisted with King and at times I was greatly rewarded. His skill with description is second to none, a long as it is horror and suspense he's describing. He had me on the edge of my seat at times. However, at others, he had me wondering if I should bother finishing the book. That's why my review is 4 not 5 stars. Sometimes, I felt the story lacked pace/momentum, mainly in the bits between the horror. For example, one of my status reports, which was towards the end, when everything was galloping towards the climax, wondered if I'd read the best of the story, because I hit a lull. I've seen both TV adaptations on the story and I'd actually forgotten that the point I was at was a false climax, however, I got the feeling with hindsight, that King, when he wrote that bit had that idea too much in his mind. The tension should have been as great as it was in the real climax, but it just wasn't, and I can't blame knowing what was coming for that feeling.

This book goes out to observe the horrors of small town life as well as the horrors of vampires, and it does manage both, but I would have liked slightly less of the cynical observations on small-town America. King is clearly very well read, a scholar, and he has a keen eye for observation, but if he's going to observe ordinary life as well as horror, then, for me, he needs to be less severe. I think I would have cared more for the town and what was happening if that were so.

Still, I couldn't put it down at the end there, I had to finish it, sitting on my exercise bike way after the half-hour program had finished, just so I could get to the end. It was funny, after all the dawdling on the way there, the epilogue I found rather throwaway, a bit too fast paced, but, hey, it was a good read, when I ignored my doubt and pushed through the slow bits.

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