Featured reader reviews: Page 9

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.

The Silence by Tim Lebbon

9 stars

Tim Lebbon dishes out another page turner. The Silence keeps you at the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Excitement and, terror as you put yourself there with the characters grips you. Definitely recommended.


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

10 stars

Genuinely despairing at the number of people giving this book low reviews. I'm convinced that many of them must be trolls, and the rest are simply, not meaning to cause offence, incapable of appreciating what makes a good piece of literature. The majority of these negative comments cite 'the annoying, implausible main character' as the main cause of their displeasure - let me draw your attention to Achilles of the Iliad (which, by the way, is arguably the greatest piece of literary fiction to have been composed), to the eponymous hero of the Harry Potter series (far and away the best-selling book series of all time - and little wonder, it's great!), to Shakespeare's Hamlet, protagonist of one of the greatest plays that will ever be written: the best heroes throughout the history of literature are balanced by their flaws and their assets, as Kvothe so demonstrably is. This book is a skilfully composed amalgam of several distinct genres of fiction - the Epic, the bildungsroman, the romance - and as such, fails in no respect to appeal to all types of avid reader. Whether you seek a sentimental tale of love and loss, a thrilling journey of toil and hardship, or a provocative fable with deeper moral implications, this novel has facets which should appeal to you. Most striking to me personally are the honesty of Rothfuss' characterisation and the beauty of his prose. Having read a vast quantity of fiction, from dozens of esteemed authors spanning millennia, I can categorically say that this is one of the best books I have ever had the joy of reading, and one with uncommonly high rereadability; indeed, I feel I gain more pleasure from this book with each subsequent reading, as I perceive more about the inner workings of the characters, the subtleties of the plot, and the deeper nuances and themes of the text as a whole. I genuinely believe that those who have given this book 1-star reviews should have their opinions nullified - the only explanation is that they have misunderstood the text entirely, and as such their misguided observations do not reflect the true brilliance that Patrick Rothfuss has achieved here.


It by Stephen King

10 stars

I abosutely LOVED this book!! I already watched the movie prior to reading it and it was interesting to see how they are alike and different. This book was definitely one of the best and well written books I have read. I will say some parts go into a lot of detail and are kind of boring, but overall it gets really intense and I could never put it down! I fell in love with the characters ever since I watched the movie and I felt the same while reading the book. This book is not only horror but a story full of friendship, childhood, and love. 100000/10 recommend.

United States

High Rise by JG Ballard

10 stars

This book is amazing, thought provoking, and mind boggling, too. I re-read this every once in a while to see how my viewpoint changes. It's really fascinating to see how everything falls to madness, and I believe that it represents many, many things, such as the dangers of capitalism, separation from the outside world, etc. To put it in layman's terms, this book made me nut. 10/10 have and will read it again.


The Deverry Cycle by Katharine Kerr

10 stars

Never mind where it ranks in the fantasy genre league tables, this series is some of the deepest, most intelligent fiction of any kind I have ever read. Brings to mind that quote from Aristotle that 'poetry utters universal truths, history particular statements.' I am just nearing the end of my third epic read-through (and it gets better each time). The Celtic knot style weaving of significance is amazing. I'm only now getting the point of many things that happen in the latter part of the series because my end-focused little brain was busy racing towards the conclusion of the linear plot on the previous read-throughs. A real gem. Thank you Katherine Kerr.


The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley

8 stars

I honestly love how the characters flow, grow and eventually interact with another. I find myself compelled to continue. I've yet to finish the 3rd book WHY WOULD YOU SPOIL? What a pos move. Indicate if you plan on spoiling. I've read alot of fantasy books man and Brian has a certain flair to his writing that makes him stand out as an author. I'll spend hours at book stores reading passages from various books that catch my eye. Few authors captivate me in the paragraphs I read from them. I'm glad to include Brian Staveley among them. I can tell hes improving as a writer. Suspend your personal f pride. Thanks for wasting my time.

United States

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

3 stars

An original and for the most part compelling read but lost me at the end. There seemed to be a suggestion at the end that the townsfolk were to blame for their own demise, as if to say that their fears and prejudices were unfounded and it was their paranoia, feeding on itself, that led to the final and absolute carnage. Hang on, didn’t the witch pose a very real threat to them? One that they were forced to live with for the rest of their lives because she wouldn’t let them leave? They were imprisoned and living in constant and real fear. Didn’t she kidnap two kids at the end and lead the whole town to the river to drown? Didn’t she compel a kid to kill the dog and make the son kill himself and almost his brother? This is supposed to be a horror book. Can’t stuff just be evil for the sake of it anymore? Why dilute her power, her evil, with a suggestion that the prisoners were also not very nice and therefore deserved to die. The mixed message at the end makes me wonder whether the author himself knew how he wanted to the book to end. Before the end I was ready to recommend this book to everyone I know. I have not recommended it to anyone. Some books are rubbish throughout. These don’t disappoint because you know what you’re in for, and if you read on you get what you deserve. This one showed so much promise and so is all the more disappointing and worthy of criticism thanks to its ill-conceived final act. Ultimately not with the effort.


The Last Battle by CS Lewis

4 stars

A bunch of religious & racist mumbo-jumbo. This ending to the chronicles of Narnia is so far in spirit from the beginning of the series that it hurts. The racism in “The horse and his boy” was a bit much, but the great story overshadowed it. In this book, the Calormene racism is more obvious than ever, with racial slurs such as “Darkies” thrown around. Moreover, it appears that their god Tash is no other than Satan himself. So now the Narnian world is divided into evil “darkies” with Muslim features who are cunning and worship Satan, darkies and narnian-folk who are non believers, and therefore ignorant and bad, and good narnian-folk (and one honest darkie!) who believe in Jesus-Aslan-Christ and are therefore good. While the adventure story itself is not half-bad (I wouldn’t even begin to compare its quality with even the weakest other narnian stories), the subtexts are so obviously racist and religious (though mostly Christian-type religious) that I wouldn’t dare to read it to any child. I guess it has something to do with that, like many other people in the world, I am not Christian-European (or a man of god for that matter) and therefore in Lewis’s eyes I’m just another Calormene brute (at least I’m not a woman...)


The Silver Chair by CS Lewis

6 stars

A great adventure story overshadowed by Lewis pushing his propaganda on the reader, regarding Christianity (Aslan resembles more and more of Jesus), misogyny (seriously? another evil witch?), conservatism (his hatred towards the experimental school and its values) and semi-racism (must all the non-Narnias be evil?). Moreover, the Pevencies replacements are not such interesting characters - I mean, Eustace was a great sidekick but is not an interesting main character, and Jill and Puddlegum are stereotypical at best. But some of the adventures are fun and thrilling and it’s still worth a read.


The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis

8 stars

Arguably the last great story in the chronicles of Narnia. The story feels more like a collection of short story depicting the adventures amongst the “dawn treader”. The stories are fun and full of wonderful adventures. On the downside - the Christian subtexts start to be less subtle (“in your world, I am known by another name”, etc.) and the educational parts (Eustace back story and resurrection, Lucy spying on her friends and being envious on Susan, etc.) start to overwhelm the story, though at least so far they’re somewhat good educational values in contrary to latter books. Overall it’s great fun.


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