Holiday Reading to Sink Your Teeth Into!

OK, so only one of my reads had actual teeth sinking, (OK, two if you count monsters taking a chunk out of someone’s shoulder, or three if you include demons from Hades, OK, so actually only one didn’t…) but it was a cool headline, nonetheless.

I love reading, and have not had much chance lately, with annoying life stuff getting in the way, so feels great to have devoured 4 books in a week!  I will obviously be posting my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads too, because that’s what you do to help authors out.  As these sites require a star rating I will also be including it here, but ideally I would like to be able to star out of 10, because I don’t think 5 stars is enough to reflect the difference in feeling you can have for different books.  So, I’ll tell you my mark out of ten, then let you know how I translated this to Amazon and Goodreads.  Now, without further a do, the reviews!

Jade by Rose Montague

I bought this book because I saw it advertised on Twitter and thought it looked quite good, and it did not disappoint.  If you like Lost Girl then you’ll like this.  Jade mixes run of the mill US cop fiction with urban fantasy.

It is set in a world where “supes” are integrated with humans, but obviously face discrimination, as humans discriminate against anything that’s different, don’t they?  Jade is living proof that you don’t need to conform to anyone’s expectations of what you should be, and with a kickass team by her side she battles to thwart a conspiracy and save her friends.

I could not put this book down, and read it in a day and a half.  It is non-stop action, with just the right amount of comedy and romance to balance it out.  The characters are deftly drawn and you feel by the end that you kinda want to be their friend, only the whole constantly running from danger would put me off, I’d probably need a nap or something.

So, to the scores.  Out of 10, I’d give it 9.  This is because there were a few typos, and whilst this did not affect my enjoyment, and we all have typos (I am certainly not immune), in my way of thinking, 10 means perfection, so I doubt any book will ever get a full 10 from me.  That said, the Amazon score is 5/5, because it’s really good.  Really!

Read a sample below.

Affinity by Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters makes me want to be a better writer.  Reading this swept me straight into Victorian England, and a story of intrigue and ghosts.  What I think I liked most was that it was written in the style of canonical Victorian literature, but from a perspective you would not get to read in traditional Victorian literature, and actually rarely in modern literature.  It is so superbly done that you forget you are reading a modern novel, or even reading at all, it’s like you’re there.  Although I predicted the ending quite early on (my brain has that annoying knack of spotting twists) I still spent the entire book hoping I was wrong, willing all the way to the last page that it would turn back around on itself and somehow find its way to a happy ending.  Of course, it couldn’t do that, there was no other way it could have ended.  It was utterly compelling and I found myself a little bit sad and at a loss when it was over, so of course I bought The Night Watch, review will follow!

So, this is another 9/10 job for me.  Again, it wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty darn close.  The only reason it dropped a mark was because I was so disappointed by the ending (even though I predicted it!) that I felt quite sad and empty when it was finished, as though I’d just lost a friend.  That said, it made me want to read it all over again, almost immediately, and that’s why the ‘zon score is an impeccable  5/5.

Read a sample below:

Wonder Woman: The True Amazon by Jill Thompson

This is a graphic novel (I’ve read quite a few, it’s just a different media as far as I’m concerned), and it is one take on the origin of Wonder Woman, and focuses on her story before she became Wonder Woman.  The concept is good, focusing on Diana as a spoiled, over indulged child and teenager, whose selfish actions cause harm to her friends, and send her down the path to becoming the hero we all know.

The concept is good, and as one would expect from Jill Thompson, so is the artwork.  However, there was a bit too much tell, and not enough show for me.  I would not have thought that possible in a graphic novel, but I would have liked more conversation, more interaction between the characters, getting to know them and develop them, rather than captions and image montages.

It is for this reason that for me it gets 6/10.  Good artwork and a solid story, but too much tell and not enough show. On the ‘zon this equates to 3/5.

Unfortunately I can’t embed a sample, so if you want to read one you’ll have to click here.

Aeon Infinitum: Run for Your Life by E. Rachael Hardcastle

I enjoyed this book as a sort of Hunger Games meets Blade Runner. Hardcastle paints a dark and gloomy post apocalyptic Earth, and throughout the story the sense of hopelessness from the characters is quite palpable.
I found the present tense quite jarring to read, and whilst I kept hoping I’d get used to it, I never quite did. The first person narrative which switched between characters also made it quite difficult to care strongly about any of them, and I feel I would rather have had one person’s perspective, or have the story told in third person, but this is just my preference.
If you like gritty scifi that isn’t afraid to get its hands dirty, with strong, well developed characters, then give this one a go.

As for star rating, I think it has to be another 6/10 for me.  There were grammar issues, and some typos, and whilst I appreciate it is first person, I feel quite strongly that grammar is something we need to maintain, or the world will fall about around us and books will start being written in text speak!  Because of the switching between character perspectives so frequently I didn’t really care about any of the characters enough to even particularly want to finish the book. (I did finish it, I hasten to add!).  It was very exciting, and the world was incredibly well developed, and it is for this reason that on the ‘zon it gets a solid 3/5.

Read a sample below:


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