Saturday, 4 February 2012

January Books List

In my resolutions for the new year I stated I wanted to start a book review section of my blog.  I don't want to detract from the crafty and sewy side of my blog but reading is also a big part of my hobbies so I thought it would be nice to do a mini review each month.  I am going to keep it short and sweet as I don't want to bore people who are not interested and so people can skip the post to get back to the sewing if they want :p
 I have a soft spot for the fantasy genre I read avidly as a teenager but didn't want to start a new series so I read this standalone book by Guy Gavriel Kay.  I really enjoyed it, it is a big chunk of a book but don't let that scare you off.  The characters are so well defined and none of them are your standard princess of hero they all have flaws and traits that makes them far more endearing and realistic to the reader.  The quest to restore the name of the lost land is really interesting and I love that you get to see it from the 'goodies' and 'baddies' perspective which makes you realise that those black an white definitions are never the reality.  It has a great twist at the end which I always love in a good novel.  I also love the depiction to sex and relationships in the novel which is much more of a modern day attitude rather than the medieval virginal girls which you normally get in fantasy books.

Read this if you like fantasy and authors like Robin Hobb, Tad Williams and David Eddings.

 The first of the Richard and Judy Spring 2012 book club Before I Go To Sleep is a thriller dealing with the main characters amnesia and her rather suspicious husband and doctor.  This is not something I would normally read but I normally follow the R+J book club (not because I trust their opinions on books but it is part of my job, that said I will give my honest opinion here not just make you want to buy them!)  I really enjoyed this book, it is one you have to sit down and read all at once as you just have to find out the truth of the story.  It twists and turns and even when you think you have it figured out it twists again.

 Read this is you like thrillers and books you cannot put down.

The second R +J book was touted to be like Jo Nesbo and Stieg Larsson as it is one of those Swedish crime thrillers that have popped up all over the place since the popularity of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meant it got made into 2 separated film series and sold a bjillion books.  I was disappointed with this book though.  The writing style is really hard to get your head round to begin with and the plot lacks pace which meant I didn't really care about the crimes that had been committed and getting to the bottom of them.  It was new to have a female detective in Swedish crime fiction, they are normally hard-drinking divorced middle aged men but she was a hard-drinking divorced nearing middle aged woman so in some ways it wasn't dissimilar.  Towards the end of the book the pace did pick up but I wouldn't rush out to read more by Kallentoft.

Read Stieg Larsson instead unless you are really into this genre.

I have been reading the Raymond E. Feist Midkemia series since I was a teenager and in the past few years I started re-reading them from the beginning.  This book is the first in the final ever trilogy Feist is writing about his fictional land and I will be sorry to see it go but I do feel the characters are all getting a little watered down with time.  However I really enjoyed this first instalment, each book has characters from the next generation in several families and it is easy to fall in love with them.  It has a great twist at the end regarding the identity of the demons that emerge at the beginning of the book and is a story of upheaval in the kingdom once again.  It is obviously gearing up for a big confrontation scene in the last book and I really hope it goes out with a bang.

Read this if you like the fantasy genre and authors like Anne McCaffery and Robin Hobb.  If you want a taster of Feist read Magician his first book which can also be read as a stand alone.

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