Featured reader reviews: Page 1

Listed below are the latest featured reader reviews on the site. Some are positive in praise, some are negative in criticism, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are well written and explain their reasoning. We can never have enough reader reviews as they add to the quality of the site, making it ever more useful for visitors.

Duncton Wood by William Horwood

10 stars

Guys, this is honestly just one of the best, most underrated and under-read fantasy novels ever written. That’s partly due to Horwood withdrawing the book from publication in the 90s (the special edition, first time it’s been published since, is currently being crowdfunded on Unbound - https://unbound.com/books/duncton-wood - join me trying to get it published!). Think Lord of the Rings with moles. Watership Down with more plot, more emotional depth and a resonance that makes it hard to shake and keeps readers returning to the wood decades after they first discovered it. Just a beautiful book.

Tom
UK

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

10 stars

I like Cormac McCarthy's work, however it's oppressive as fuck. This is the second book of his I've read (The Blood Meridian was the first) and holy shit. I mean the man is a poet, no doubt about it, but where did I put the straight edge and is the bath water hot enough yet. He is what Stephen King is afraid of writing. Personally, I love both Cormac and Steve, for very different reasons, but the older I get I find my interests tend to move toward the lighter side. Cormac is definitely darker than a sucked out hole in a tar factory and I love him for it, but you really have to be in the mood for it.

Shawn
Bowmanville

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

10 stars

I love this book SO much! The descriptive language is amazing, leaving me breathless with each chapter. My parents loved the series so much, they decided to name my brother and I after Éowyn and Éomer, our middle names Arwen and Legolas. I remember when I reached the end of the book, I truly had felt part of my heart had shriveled and wilted like a flowers petal. I have considered fantasy as one of my dearest passions and when this particular trilogy ended, I felt there was absolutely nothing reality could offer me that could ever stimulate the emotions I had felt in a world that is so deep in imagination. I had come to understand that it is from reality that this beautiful story was birthed and that what was seen and read can be expressed in our daily lives that we may become a united world and stand in the face of all evil as one, I might be a fool to think there is hope for our world, but I do. In times when I feel darkness around me I chant the Oath of Elendil and breathe.

Éowyn
New Zealand

The Children Of Hurin by JRR Tolkien

8 stars

This is a special book for Tolkien readers on its face (which is why poor Ollie's review, such as it was, elicited so negative a reaction), as it's only the fourth, and most-likely final novel set in his Middle-earth. Unlike everything else that's come out under his name since The Silmarillion, published 40 years ago, it's a complete narrative, painstakingly assembled by Christopher Tolkien from his father's manuscripts. That it's actually such a good read is just icing on the cake. It's dense, dark, dismal, and delightful.

Anthony
United States

This Savage Song by VE Schwab

10 stars

Schwab's writing never fails to hook me with her dynamic characters, unique worlds, and flowing style...This Savage Song is no exception. While one of our POV characters, Kate, is pretty cookie-cutter YA protagonist, the other, August, is a twist on an expected narrator. His development, in this book and as it continues on into the sequel, is not only darkly heartbreaking as he first clings to, then loses hope, but beautifully and slowly written as to make a character the reader can truly sympathize with. It's a definite re-read and 10/10 recommendation.

Reyna
USA

Swan Song by Robert McCammon

10 stars

Fantastic book. You're right if you read King's The Stand you will find this, in my opinion, even better. It is long but never boring, and hard to put down once you start. I prefer hardback books so went to a book store years ago for them to try and order and was told never published that way and was disappointed until I found that there was a hardback edition on ebay. Yeah! I had to have it and won. It was well worth it. The more time that passes people are finding this book and how good it is. McCammon makes his characters real as you follow their attempts to survive, while others to control. Then there is Swan, a very special girl, and their attempts to find her and protect her from those who want her for the wrong reasons. Why? You need to read this book to find out! If you liked the Stand you will love this book!

Debbie
USA

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

10 stars

What amazes me is nobody mentions the great humour of this book. Off beat, dark or sarcastic it adds another dimension most other authors do not bring to this genre. Who cares about sentence construction, syntax or what words used, surely we read fiction especially fantasy for entertainment and mind journeys and fun. Get off your high horses and just enjoy. Mark Lawrence has become a must read in my book. The new Red Sister is as good ;but with less of the original humour.

Andrew
Australia

Swan Song by Robert McCammon

10 stars

I first read this book about 20 years ago after my sister read it. I never gave the book back and it is one of the very few books I've kept in physical copy (rest have transitioned to kindle or just donated). It is hands down my favorite book I've read. I'm sure I have re read the book about 10 times and enjoy reading over favorite portions of the book. It is a great, compelling read.

Sharon
USA

Nod by Adrian Barnes

8 stars

I feel like if I read this book again, I would understand it better. There is clearly a deeper meaning in the pages than the story we see on the surface, but I couldn't quite get to all of it, which left me feeling empty. I haven't read a book this late into the night in years. In fact, I'm such an insomniac myself that this book is my nightmare. Yet I didn't want to put it down. So that definitely speaks in this book's favor. I do wish we had truly known why the Sleepocalyse started, what the Dream meant, but for better or worse, our knowledge is limited to that of our First Person Narrator. All in all I find it to be a solid novel. At times it can be hard to understand what the overarching meaning of the whole thing is, but there is such beautiful prose and such profound truth within Paul's musings on life as the world falls apart around him. I feel after reading such truths, that my perspective of the world has shifted. Which, hey, maybe that desire to shift is what Barnes wanted readers to feel. There is so much going on under our world of words and societal constructs, but we accept the surface as it is presented to us. Should we really be that passive?

Sara
USA

King of the Cloud Forests by Michael Morpurgo

10 stars

Beautiful book and to all those people who say the book is boring... probably you're just a resentful teen who was forced into reading this book, with little reasoning behind your review. Michael is a brilliant author and all of his books are worth a read. Suitable for 9 year olds with a strong command of English - read this at 8 and understood and empathised with the book perfectly - but is also refreshing for young adults.

Belle
Singapore

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