The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

ddf1dfe5fcf46b4841c623768f50e07fI think the one thing I felt most when finishing The Great Gatsby was utter jealousy of how well this was written. Fitzgerald use of lexicon is so clean and precise, his sentences float one to the next so naturally. At times making you want to stop and read over and over again, so it never leaves you.

“He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.”

Fitzgerald captivates you in the charm of 1920’s America with elegant language and lavish lifestyles. The cultivated characters are so innocent upon the surface totally oozing with style and sophistication. People this perfect always have something to hide. A little book with so much to offer.

5 Golden Stars

A Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger

A Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger

In my opinion, this is a beautiful piece of fiction that could be as close you could ever experience inside the mind of an autistic adolescent male.

Holden Caulfield is a seventeen- year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school. Navigating his way through the challenges of growing up, Holden dissects the ‘phony’ aspects of society, and the ‘phonies’ themselves: the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly-sweet affection.

Written with the clarity of a boy leaving childhood behind, The Catcher in the Rye explores the world with disarming frankness and a warm, affecting charisma which has made this novel a universally loved classic of twentieth-century literature.

Continue reading “A Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger”

The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams

img_2343Last year Jen Williams completed her debut fantasy trilogy (The Copper Cat), marking the last of the adventures from Wydrin, Seb and Frith. A wonderful trilogy, that I highly recommend. On my knees tweeting I was lucky enough to get an early copy of Jen’s new novel ‘The Ninth Rain’.

Jen has a style of writing that should appeal to many readers of fantasy and similar genres. Classical fantasy traditions of the past are not forgotten but embraced as a foundation to build upon. Take this familiar comforting troupe adventure and distort it with a smorgasbord of geek cult and modern trends and you will have an idea about what to expect. Continue reading “The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams”

Harry Potter & the Cursed Child; The Play reviewed.

Harry Potter CC#14It’s Sunday the 14th August 2016, the date has been the biggest highlight of our year since the announcement of a new Harry Potter. Tickets so high in demand, on the day of release I joined the queue at 9646, despite sitting refreshing both my phone & Mac constantly 10 minutes before they were due to go on sale.

The Palace theatre is incredible, a fine example of architecture that just feels perfect for a grand performance of magical proportions. Me & my family seated a few rows from the front with an outstanding view. Whilst London outside is enjoying a chilled out Sunday, a break from it’s usual demanding hustle & bustle, the theatre is full of excited Potter fans of all generations. The curtain displaying a stylish ‘H’ already gives the impression that this is a more sophisticated style to the HP we are all familiar with. As the curtain raises, the excitement and tension is pushed to another level, with gasps from the other early arrivals, followed by more speedy whispering about favourite characters, wands, spells, books and films. People have travelled miles from all over the world to be part of this exclusive show.

But….WHY?? Continue reading “Harry Potter & the Cursed Child; The Play reviewed.”

Alex Verus #1-7 by Benedict Jacka

 

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Alex Verus by Benedict Jacka
#1 Fated
#2 Cursed
#3 Taken
#4 Chosen
#5 Hidden
#6 Veiled
#7 Burned 

UK imprint – Orbit
Pages – 416
Date released – 1st March 2012 – 7th April 2016
Audible 

 

If you have never been acquainted with Jacka’s protagonist Alex Verus you are certainly missing a hidden gem amongst the shelves in the fantasy isle. It maybe on it’s 7th book, but they are a great in between book like Discworld or Peter Grant. I highly recommend the audiobooks which me and partner listened too, great narrator – unsure why he says plarstic rather than plastic.

“I don’t sell spells, and I don’t sell tricks. I don’t carry illusions or marked cards or weighted coins. I cannot sell you an endless purse or help you win the lottery. I can’t make that girl you’ve got your eye on fall in love with you, and I wouldn’t do it even if I could. I don’t have a psychic hotline to your dead relatives, I don’t know if you’re going to be successful in your career, and I don’t know when you’re going to get married. I can’t get you into Hogwarts or any other kind of magic school, and if you even mention those stupid sparkly vampires I will do something unpleasant to you.”
— Benedict Jacka (Cursed (Alex Verus, #2))

Alex Verus is a mage who runs a shop in London selling non-magical ‘magical’ items to the general public and real magical items to witches and wizards, however these are hidden out of sight. Mages have different abilities falling into three families;

Elemental – Earth, Air, Fire, Water (sounds the like the theme tune to Captain Planet) Ice etc, the most common type of magic.

Living – Affecting others thoughts, emotions and the ability to shape shift.

Universal – The rarest and coolest, Divination, Chance, Time and Space.

The magic system is very simple and does not have any negative impact on Jacka’s writing which is flowing, laid back and generally lots of fun with moments of intensity and madness.

Alex Verus has the power of divination, the way Jacka combines the divination alongside the narrative is very clever, in a very short space of time Verus often needs to use his mage sight to check out all the alternatives for his next action to find the result that will end up with him ultimately not being killed. Ideally Alex just wants to have a relaxed life in his shop but the reality is so many people want him dead both dark mages (the baddies) and the light mages (the supposed goodies, think our government) So why is Verus such a target?

To become a mage Alex had to be trained by a master, in his case a dark mage (Richard Drakh the Voldemort of  dark mages.) which involved Alex’s mage sight being used in exchange for his own life as part of some very unpleasant jobs against other mages. Alex eventually escaped the bonds of his master and made every effort to turn good and be recognised this way by the light council, however there is a snobbery amongst the light mages which there seems to be no return from being tainted by the dark leading to Alex being stitched up, framed or assassinated, furthermore without the protection of his dark master he is an open target for all the dark mages he p*ssed off whilst in service to Richard Drakh.

“As I walked, I started making a list of everyone in the mage world whom I’d opposed, fought with, or otherwise irritated. After I ran out of fingers to count on I 9780356504407decided to limit the number to people I’d pissed off relatively recently.”
— Benedict Jacka (Cursed (Alex Verus, #2))

Verus is an outcast, with his best form of defence is to rebel and outwit the hierarchy, which he does brilliantly, even if occasionally with the attitude of a 16 year old teenager. However when he becomes a master himself and has his own apprentice, he is determined to erase all memories of his own training by supporting her the best way he can, this leads to him making some good friends but at a cost making the target on his back a whole lot bigger and himself a lot more vulnerable.

I have made sure I have not added spoilers but I must say the end of Burned will leave you screaming out for book number 8, excellent series.

 

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About the author: Benedict Jacka became a writer almost by accident, when at nineteen he sat in his school library and started a story in the back of an exercise book. Since then he’s studied philosophy at Cambridge, lived in China, and worked as everything from civil servant to bouncer to teacher before returning to London to take up law.

 

 

 

The Fireman – Joe Hill

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The Fireman – Joe Hill
UK Publisher – Gollancz
Pages – 768
Date Released – June 7th 2016
Lowest Price – Amazon £13.60
Signed – Anderida Books £25
Format – Hardcover
ISBN – 9780575130715
Reviewed by The Fantasy Book Collector @kvothe1984

2/5

My least favourite Joe Hill book. I am a huge fan but The Fireman lacks the intensity and insanity of previous works. Maybe this is Joe Hills ‘Black album’ to hit a wider mainstream audience, which I can understand. In fact it almost feels like it has been written for a netflix series, apocalypses are like the in thing at the moment, whilst the mention of a fireman makes most women blush. However I really struggled to feel for any of the characters, the main character Harper (not the fireman) is too easily pushed around and bullied for someone who managed to escape her evil husband. She is heavily pregnant, she should be using crazy hormonal driven methods to protect her child and having cravings for flesh or something would have been more comparable to previous JH. The fireman, her saviour, with super fire powers is barely in the picture until the end, being allowed to live isolated on an island whilst Camp Wyndham is being run by a psycho control freak. Furthermore it was not until the fireman got to spray his hose after pages and pages of flirting with Harper to finally get involved.

Great start.
Middle too long.
Good finale.
I love Joe Hill.
I hate camping.
This one was not for me, however I expect many will enjoy.

About the Author (Wikipedia) Joseph Hillstrom King (born June 4, 1972), better known by the pen name Joe Hill, is an American author and comic book writer. He has published four novels—Heart-Shaped BoxHornsNOS4A2 and The Fireman—and a collection of short stories titled 20th Century Ghosts. He is also the author of the comic book series Locke & Key. He is the son of authors Stephen and Tabitha King.

The Last Mortal Bond – Brian Staveley

Before I review The Last Mortal Bond I must make you aware that there will be spoilers if you have not read The Emperor’s Blades and The Providence of Fire. Furthermore if you have not read these…
Then what are you waiting for!!

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The Last Mortal Bond – Brian Staveley
(The Unhewn Throne #3) Preceded by The Emperor’s Blades and The Providence of Fire.

UK Publisher -Pan MacMillan
Imprint – Tor
Pages – 656
Date Released – March 24th 2016
Signed Copies – Goldsboro Books (Sold Out)
Lowest Price – Amazon £13.60
ISBN – 9780230770454
Length of time to read – A long time (I will explain.)
Character POV’s – Adare, Kaden, Valyn, Gwenna
Favourite Character – Skullsworn Assassin Pyrre for her optimism, wit and passion for killing.

Continue reading “The Last Mortal Bond – Brian Staveley”