Featured reader reviews: Page 7

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.

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.


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?


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.


Shadow and Betrayal by Daniel Abraham

10 stars

I've read it twice without realizing it's part of a series, and with quite a long gap between. I loved it both times. I love the concept of the poets and the andats. The idea of hand gestures is very clever. I'm looking forward to reading the next books in the series.


Death Angel's Shadow by Karl Edward Wagner

10 stars

It's a tragedy that Wagner's work has, except for a few limited run deluxe editions, died with him. Evidently there are issues regarding intellectual property rights and upfront money, but publishers are, in my view, missing a good bet with Karl's work in general and, in light of the success of _Game of Thrones_, the Kane series in particular. I pretty much agree with this reviewer's judgments, though "Cold Light" is among my favorites of Wagner's stories. The depiction of dogmatic zealotry as WORSE than simple pillage and plunder is especially relevant, I think, here in 2017, near the anniversary of Wagner's death. The action will carry you along, the brooding philosophy will hit you later.


The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

5 stars

I had a great deal of trouble getting into this book. I had heard so much about it, and there were so many more books written in this world that I was determined to give it a solid try. I will not, however, read another one. There are many great series of books that are patterned after "The Lord of the Rings"(Thomas Covenant, most notably in my opinion) This one is the worst. The characters are boring, barely differentiated from one another. Apparently the only descriptive word Terry Brooks knows how to use is "giant" to describe anyone or thing as large. He seldom referred to each character by their name, instead we constantly had to be reminded that Flick & Shea were "Valemen" Thst Mennion was "The Highlander" The two elf brothers ( did they have names?) His description of places and people are vague, not the rich tapestry I would expect from a well-known author. I did't like any of the characters (except Kelsey the rock troll) and did not care whether the world got saved with this sort of Shannara or not.


Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

9 stars

One of the best books ever! Brought me to tears at the end. Very emotional book for me. Wonderful book.


Valour by John Gwynne

9 stars

Valour is a very good book. Not just fantasy wise, but in general. The battles (in which 90% of the book is people fighting, making it exciting adrenaline fuelled throughout) are breath taking and brutal in equal measure. However, there is one flaw which plagues a lot of books and tv shows, with he first 4 seasons of Game of thrones being the only thing I can think of which did not suffer this; it's the fact that Main Character do not die. What I mean by this is that writers tend to not want to kill off main or developed characters unless it's in a particularly dramatic (and sometimes predictable) way. Although Valours predecessor, Malice, managed to pull the rug out from under the reader towards the end of the book, Valour did not seem to have that same rug pull moment. There is an emotional loss that affects the reader and the characters right at the very end of the book, but mostly everyone else worthy of mention was able to dodge Deaths scythe. Saying that, I don't want all the characters to die, so maybe I'm being a hypocrite. This book is absolutely jam packed, you will be exhausted by the end by the sheer amount that happens throughout, however it's fast pace means that you're never bored. You'll never get bored of the characters too. Each has their own motivations for doing what they do and each feel fleshed out and deep, with everyone in the book going through a satisfying arc or multiple mini arcs which leave you rooting for everyone, whether they are good or evil or a mixture of both. I implore everyone to read the Faithful and the Fallen. It's rich narrative and fast exciting pace keep you glued throughout. It's a vast epic series, and John Gwynne is one of the best around. This is worthy of all the praise.


Fade to Black by Francis Knight

10 stars

Possibly one of the best books I've read in the past two years! I've been struggling with reading ever since my depression hit me hard and one of my joys in life was stolen from me. I picked up this book thinking nothing of it other than it might be boring. But honestly, I was so wrong. It's an amazing and really interesting plot, it really caught me off guard. The character development is great, story is well thought out, and it's worth your time.

United States

Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

9 stars

Although I am in my fifties, I love this book! I assume YA means Young Adult, and it certainly has a different vibe from Reynold's other books, which I have read all of, but I thought it complemented the slightly steam punk landscape. It left me wanting to know more about the souls in the Quoins, Palladin's progress, Adrana's life before being rescued, and what Fura does next. I buy into the universe and would dearly love there to be a sequel. The fact that Fura suggests that she and Adrana would each write their own version perhaps provides an opportunity to close some loops and open others. My only complaint- I thought the idea of Fura writing her story on human skin was weird - wouldn't it be too thick? Finally, the suggestion another reviewer made that the book was somehow anti Semitic and that the Crawlies were based on Jewish money lenders is utterly preposterous. I hope it does not dissuade the author from continuing with the story.


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