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.

The Tournament by Matthew Reilly

9 stars

It sure shows how reader's tastes in books differ. 'Travelswithacanadian' rates Tournament poorly whereas I was the opposite. Scarecrow I got half way through and gave up as the hero left Superman for dead and it all got too much for me. The setting in Tournament alone was a history lesson in itself and the Hagia Sophia an amazing, awe inspiring structure. Suleiman the Sultan was a rogue, Roger Ascham a very wise man and the Princess an excellent student.The revealing at the end of the letter that King Henry the VIII sent to the sultan instead of a casket of gold was a highlight for me and topped the book off. I fully recommend it.

Richard
Australia

Boneland by Alan Garner

2 stars

I’m afraid I have to agree with Richard from Australia. Reading Weirdstone shaped my childhood and opened my mind to the amazing possibility that a world of magic, wizards, elves and dwarves could exist in the here and now. The storytelling enraptured me, parts remaining in my psyche to this day; just thinking about the journey through the earldelving still fills me with claustrophobic terror. I understand the comments written here about artistic merits and symphonic nature but, and maybe I was being naive, in Boneland I wanted to be taken back to that magical place where I lost myself as a child, a place, despite Tolkien, Terry Brooks, and more recently George R R Martin, I have never quite discovered again.... and, crushingly, after reading Boneland, it looks like I never will.

Steve
England

Dune by Frank Herbert

9 stars

An epic in the original sense of the word with a full heros arc. I've read this book many times, in particular for a love of the universe and the allegory, but the one weakness is that Herbert's voicing of characters is immature in the first book, which like a Kevin Smith movie, gives the sense of all the characters having a similar voice. I really have enjoyed this book over the years, even if characters at times sound snotty and distant. Index and map books, such as this one, are hard for folks who aren't used to indexes and maps but ultimately assist in creating a very complex universe with some brevity. It's a great book, but better if you're already reading dense stuff: You'll get less turned off by Herbert's tone.

Luiz
United States

Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes

9 stars

I started reading Seve Blades in Black on a routine lunch-break visit to my local book-store. It had its hooks in me from the first page. I still couldn't bring myself to buy it as I had a ton of unread books at home. Next day, I came back and continued reading. Stopped after a few pages, promising myself this book would the first I'd buy once I was through with my other books. Didn't help - I bought it a couple of days later and burned through it in a few days. If you like a fast-paced, gritty, Joe-Abercrombie-type of story - though Sam Sykes defenitely has his own tone of voice - with more depth than initially apparent, Seven Blades in Black is your book.

Jens
Germany

High Rise by JG Ballard

9 stars

An absolutely amazing voyage of the human condition and the impersonal power of concrete and steel. This is a great book that has helped me see deeper into my own writing and should be read by anyone that enjoys the macabre and dystopia.

Paul
Australia

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

10 stars

This book was amazing. Definitely one of the most gripping novels I have read. The characters are unique and flawed, each with different struggles and detailed backstories, yet with incredible and realistic character arcs. The world building is masterful, and the plot twists are amazing, but it the characters that really drive this novel. It was given to me for my birthday, and having not previously read any of Bardugo's other works, I was thrown into the GrishaVerse with no prior knowledge, however became easily hooked into this intricate world. The sequel is just as good, if not better. Each characters individual struggle is unique and real, and the characters are so well fleshed out. Also, bit of LGBT+ representation, which I believe to be great representation, as well as characters of colour, and differing nationalities. So much praise for this novel!!!! Highly recommend this to anyone who is interested, as it is a captivating, realistic, fantastical novel with detailed characters, a intricate world and an incredible plot.

Anon
Australia

It by Stephen King

6 stars

The span of emotions regarding this work by Stephan King is very interesting. I found the book a bit of a disappointment. Having read several of his books before and hearing great praise for IT, I downloaded the book with high hopes. The length of the book was an instant surprise, and as I later found out, a serious drawback. Yes, I belong to the group of readers who think that the book is loaded with much too many stories, narratives, characters and detail. So many that the names, places and times just get lost in the flood. Almost all of them are well written and interesting in their own right, but after a while, it becomes too much and irksome. Perhaps even more disappointing were the multiple climaxes at the end. So many things and characters that were endlessly built up throughout the book sort of fizzled out without much explanation, or detail, just when they were most expected. The list of characters in this respect is pretty long, but I won't mention them for sake of not spoiling things for new readers. I can't say I was shocked by the bit about the interaction between the children towards the end, but I truly don't get it, or why it was important. In summary, while I am not sorry I spent the time to read all of it, King has written better books.

Jay
Israel

Charlotte's Web by EB White

8 stars

I loved the review and found it so amusing at parts the book was an absolute blast and I am not the type of person known for reading. I love the beautiful drawings incorporated with the creative way E.B White words the whole story and then strings it together with creative and imaginative twists. The story really gets you to step inside Wilbur's [the pigs] shoes. The story gets you to really understand the everyday life of a pig. The story also gets you to see how phenomenal the spiders web is. You would think that this outstanding book would be forgotten because of the 21st century books, but it holds its own and is even better and informative than the books now!

Emma
No

Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

10 stars

An impeccable book that is so amazing that I cannot stop reading it! Michael Morpurgo is an old man, no offence, but he really makes this book all adventurous and full of excitement! I would recommend this book to anyone of all ages.

Callum Ridley
South Africa

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

9 stars

This is, in all honesty, a deeply compelling and wonderfully creative historical fiction novel masquerading as a sci-fi book. All the characters are remarkably human, the settings—though different from the usual—are very believable, and the story keeps you invested. Despite not having a “real” villain, the battle against the black death was more thrilling than many a story I’ve read that ends with a final epic battle. This story keeps you on your toes and is a really good read. It makes you feel things and learn things, and shows a great picture of many sides of humanity.

Adrian Cooke
United States of America

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