Month: May 2017

Review: Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has the most gorgeous cover! You can’t help but keep running your fingers over the hammer of Thor on the cover. Inside the book is the story of how the hammer was made and this was one of my favourite stories. I have never been much for mythology but the fact that Neil Gaiman wrote this and I did an audio version, with Neil reading it to me, made it a really enjoyable reading experience. The book takes various myths and puts a Gaiman spin on them and makes them relatable, enjoyable and loads of fun. Even though really rather disgusting things happen to the gods at regular intervals you can’t help but enjoy the stories of how they play nasty tricks on each other, always try to get the upper hand and do ridiculous trades with each other. The dwarfs and the gods are constantly battling for supremacy, it is all good fun.

This is a real crossover book, it will work for kids who are keen, maybe a good place to move the Percy Jackson crew to, but a really enjoyable book for adults too.

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Review: Duplicate Death

Duplicate Death
Duplicate Death by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In times of stress and too much to do, I head to The Golden Age. It has been a very full on little while and so Miss Heyer is exactly right. Undemanding, old fashioned and gentle. I find I don’t really remember much of the stories but they make light reading and move along at a decent pace. I particularly like the way that she makes you engage with a character and then casts doubt on their motives and makes them a suspect. Hemingway is such a clever man and his manner is really amusing. This one is not the best of them, but it is a satisfactory way to spend a few hours luxuriating in hideous spoilt brats and overbearing mothers, dastardly manipulators and assorted other suspects.

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Review: The Destroyers

The Destroyers
The Destroyers by Christopher Bollen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What a brilliant start to a story! The odd thing was that the beginning felt like a different style completely from the rest of the book, the beginning feels like an action thriller, the rest of the book is far more thoughtful and slow moving up until the end, which again moves briskly and concisely to a rattlingly good conclusion.

Ian is down on his luck. He has been involved in an episode in his previous employment where his good intentions ended up getting him into all kinds of trouble in the Panama branch of his family business. Ian is resentful anyway, he bitterly resents that he has been cut out of his father’s will, he took some of the money he had access to and now his half siblings are after it. He has come to the Greek island of Patmos to hook up with his friend Charlie, they have been friends since childhood and he hopes that Charlie will give him a job and help him out. What he discovers though is that Charlie is not all that he seems. Shortly after Ian arrives, Charlie disappears, leaving no trace of a clue about where he might be. Now all the people in Charlie’s life, all of those with vested interests are looking for him or very pointedly not looking for him.

It is an interesting cast of characters, a cleverly constructed novel with clues being given gradually to what might be happening to Charlie but plenty of red herrings. It moves a bit slowly, there is a bit too much pondering and not quite enough doing and as a consequence it took me longer to read it than I expected. Overall it is a decent book.

Thanks Netgalley for giving me access to this book.

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Review: Scythe

Scythe by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sickness and injury are no longer problems, the world has reached the stage where people don’t die from natural causes anymore, technology has broken all the boundaries of mortality. But if everyone can live forever you need some method of population control, the answer to that is the Sythes. They select those who will be culled to keep the population at a manageable level. This is the story of two teenagers who are chosen for the role of Sythe by one of the most respected of the Sythes. They have no choice, if you are chosen you must conform, but in this case they must compete against each other for one position, the winner of the role of Sythe must kill the other. This is a problem as the two gradually go from being very intolerant of each other to becoming friends and having respect for each other.

Neal Shusterman has written a great novel. It is really grim, and I expect that from this author, but it is full of interesting moral dilemmas along with loads of action. Nicely complicated and with excellent dialogue. It was a fabulous read and I’m going to recommend it far and wide.

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