Review: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Perhaps I didn’t enjoy this book as much as recent reads because I read it on my Kindle (using my eyes!) as opposed to listening to the audiobook. A slowish start that picked up pace towards the end. I found it a little dated, think of it as the reading equivalent to watching old episodes of Star Trek or Lost in Space. Good idea for a plot although the ending came very quickly (in fact it finished when my Kindle said 93%)

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Review: Blake's 7: Lucifer: Revelation

Blake's 7: Lucifer: Revelation
Blake’s 7: Lucifer: Revelation by Paul Darrow
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was bought this book (and the first in the series) as a gift being a long time fan of Blake’s 7. I thought it would be interesting to know what happened after the series ended.

To be honest this isn’t the best of books. The pace of the book is extremely quick with very little time given to character development or the subtleties of telling a story. The story just goes bang bang bang through the plot, written like an essay by a school pupil.

I also found much of the plot unbelievable (if you can find Sci-fi unbelieveable) as everything is fixed with a bit of stealth mode and Orac’s vastly improved superpowers. Orac is no longer in character with the rude arrogant Orac we know from the TV series and Avon has lost the hidden humanity he displayed in the TV series.

Disappointing – on the basis of this book I won’t be getting the last in the series…

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Review: End of Watch

End of Watch
End of Watch by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A return to form and writing from Stephen King that we’ve come to expect. I enjoyed the first two books in the series (King is an excellent story teller) but both books were setting the scene for this book. As I always say for his books, King is an excellent story teller and he builds detailed and believable characters.

As the book unfolds you wonder how our modern world can make sense of a serial killer that kills by entering your mind and talking you into committing suicide. I thought I knew how the book would end, and despite changing my mind several times as I was reading the book I was wrong about the ending.

What more can I say about the book – it’s a Stephen King and this time he got the ending right.

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Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Somehow I’d managed to get into my forties without having read this book or even to have much of an idea of what it was about. I’d escaped it as a set text and it was only a special offer on Audible that made me look again.

So what did I think of the book? I have to say I loved it – I’m soppy, I’m sentimental and I have a strong sense of right/wrong and these are strong themes in the book. I loved the characters (even the names of the characters) and I thought the story telling was excellent. Having read the book I can see why it has been put in front of so many GCSE students.

All I can suggest is that you read the book for yourself and see what you have been missing 🙂

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Review: Good Girls Don't Die

Good Girls Don't Die
Good Girls Don’t Die by Isabelle Grey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As with most of the books I consume I listened to this on Audible and apart from a few dodgy accents, the quality of the narration was very good.

The story was very engaging with realistic characters and a story line that drew me in and kept me listening. As with the best story telling, the author adds back story to the main character that makes her seem more believable and which is threaded in to the story line throughout the novel.

The author puts you in the mind of the detective as she follows up on leads and tracks the suspects. The novel is written from a female viewpoint (fortunately the lead character is female) but doesn’t have an overly feminist agenda so this shouldn’t put off male readers. Little details are pointed out and there are plot twists and turns as the book progresses, although many of these are predictable because you know you are only half way through the book!

I’m a suspicious character by nature so I’d suspected the serial killer but then again over the course of the book I’d suspected several of the characters as many had a motive for killing young women. There are enough twists and turns to keep the story moving and the book doesn’t feel drawn out or too long.

I found out that there is a sequel to this book and it impressed me enough to want to read it! That’s why I gave this book 5 stars 🙂

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Review: Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers
Finders Keepers by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I bought this story on audiobook so I could listen to it on my way to and from work. The quality of narration is excellent and on a par with other Stephen King audiobooks I’ve listened to.

The story is cleverly written to link into the previous novel in the series being a direct sequel. If you hadn’t read the previous book you wouldn’t be at a huge disadvantage reading this one as King fills in the gaps and brings you quickly up to speed.

The story starts in the past and flicks between past and present as it sets the scene for the story and introduces the characters. Gradually the plot picks up steam and the pace starts to increase, and it isn’t until more than half way through the book that the link to the previous book in the series becomes clear and the characters meet.

I enjoyed this book but there isn’t a lot to it compared to some of King’s other novels and once again the ending is a bit of an anti-climax. I’d still recommend this book to others but I hope that King’s next book has a little more of the supernatural in and a better ending 🙂

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Review: The Martian

The Martian
The Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The measure of a good book is how much you want to read it (or in this case listen to the book – my copy came from Audible). I looked forward to the next installment to find out how our astronaut (Mark Watney) would survive being abandoned on Mars.

The book is quite technical and there is a lot of science in there. Most of it seems plausible and you should perhaps be more concerned about the number of times luck is on the side of Mark Watney than the accuracy of the science. The book does a fairly good job of exploring how it would feel to be left behind and to be the only living organism on the entire planet. There is plenty of Martian geography in the story and even reference to old Mars rovers that are not longer in use.

I would like to know what happens after the story – there were a number of plot lines that I felt would lead somewhere only to be abandoned at the end. The audio book is extremely well read and around 11 hours in length making it a good buy. I would recommend this book without hesitation.

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