Book Reviews, Ala Badger

Well, I’ve made it through four more books, and as I’m posting on Amazon and Goodreads, I figured I may as well share it with you lot too. I reckon some of you can read at any rate.  So, for those of you who missed the first book review post I did, I grade up to ten stars, because I don’t think five is enough.  However, we know that ‘reads and the ‘zon only have the option for five, so I will post my rating, then explain how that transfers across.  Enjoy.

Fandri’s Adventures: Hunters of Reloria series prequel, by Kasper Beaumont

The book started promisingly, as a fantasy tale, somewhat reminiscent of The Hobbit.  However, the characters lacked motivation, just meeting and deciding to go on a journey, for example, or later breaking away from the group, all for no apparent reason.  I was also made to feel rather uncomfortable by the amount of kissing and naked women who felt the need to kiss our protagonists, who were only supposed to be 13/14 years old.

I liked the pictures, however felt that they implied I was reading a children’s story, which the amount of semi naked ladies and deep kissing seemed unsuitable for.  Equally, I felt that the female characters on the whole were just there for this purpose.  I would have liked more motivation with all of the characters, even the minor ones.

I felt the story concept of an adventure was good, and the book was very well edited and formatted, but it really needs to work on character development, and decide who the desired audience is and focus the content to them.

As you can tell, the book wasn’t really for me, and so, on my scale I would give it four out of ten.  This translates as two on Amazon.  Unfortunately five being the limit makes it difficult, and I have given books I felt were better and enjoyed more three stars, so this is only fair.  Of course reviews are just opinion, so why not check out the sample below and see what you think for yourselves?

Jane, by Rose Montague

I really enjoyed Jade by Rose Montague, and as this was the sequel it simply had to be done.  It was just as exciting and fun as the first, as we followed Jade and Jane in pursuit of the devil himself.  The issue for me was that I didn’t like Jane as a narrator.  I didn’t feel she cared about much of anything, so when she was telling us what was happening, it felt that she was distant and not involved.  It is for that reason that I couldn’t understand why she was doing things, it was as though she was going through the motions, there was none of the intensity of emotion that there was in Jade.  This perhaps comes from being a vampire, once you’ve been alive for a certain number of years maybe you’re able to emotionally distance yourself from even events that are closest to you, and remain objective in even the most difficult circumstances.  But her objectivity and lack of passion made it difficult for me to be on her team the way I was with Jade.  Let’s be clear, this is my only criticism, and perhaps that’s why I felt the need to focus on it, because it’s dropped stars for me because of it.  However, in the most part it was funny, exciting and I read it over a few days.  Of course I will be buying Jill to find out how the series ends, and will let you know what I think.

So, this one was seven out of ten for me, or four out of five.

Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

I had this one in audio, narrated by Tony Robbins and I felt that he did beautiful justice to the humour that was the awesome Sir Terry.  It’s funny how through satire, truths can be told, and I felt a lot of the things that happened were a bit to close to the mark.  In these days of fake news and demonising minorities, a lot of the humour was too close for comfort.  I listened to it whilst doing some decorating, and found myself snorting alone with my roller on occasion.  I would say it was worth getting, just to hear the funny voices given to the characters.  As a general rule I don’t like my favourite books being turned into audio or film because once you’ve imagined the characters a certain way, this can be ruined by someone else’s imagining of them, but on this occasion I rather enjoyed it.  I had read the book years ago, and whilst bits of it started to come back to me, I found myself able to enjoy it for what it was, and it made a boring task a little more enjoyable.

I won’t bother star rating this one, it’s Pratchett, you know it’s good.

The Night Watch, by Sarah Waters

I read Affinity by Sarah Waters and found it so compelling that I couldn’t put it down.  Obviously I wanted to see what else she had in her collection, and went with The Night Watch.  This is a non-linear tale that spans through and just past World War Two.  What I liked most about it, as with all of her books (I am now on The Paying Guests) is that your are firmly given a sense of period, and you are fully immersed in whatever period in which the book is set.  I had a real sense of the oppressive nature of the blitz, the feeling of living for the day, the excitement and tension between the characters.  What is brilliant is that nothing is glamourised, we see all of the characters in real settings including toilets!  Whilst I didn’t find any of the characters in this terribly likeable (perhaps they were too real), I did find them all empathetic, and found myself forced to read on to find out what happened with them.  The story goes backwards, so you know how it ends at the start (although of course it’s not really an ending) and you find yourself reading to learn how they arrived at this point, rather than what was going to happen next.  I loved being immersed in the lives of these people.  Sarah Waters writes characters that history has forgotten, and creates them with such realism and clarity as to compel you to want to know more.

Earlier this month I wrote about the importance of diversity in literature, and she achieves this so elegantly that it is hard to find fault anywhere within her writing.  It is for this reason that The Night Watch gets ten out of ten, or five out of five.

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