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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Lily Wight

Updated 03/06/2014

     Despite obvious extensive research and the Stoker seal of approval belated Dracula sequel Dracula The Un-Dead is a wasted opportunity which panders to modern tastes instead of keeping faith with the original vampire classic.

     Dacre Stoker and collaborator Ian Holt throw in everything from Elizabeth Bathory and Jack The Ripper to The Titanic creating a convoluted yarn which, although fast paced, struggles to find themes and focus.

     This sort of  Victorian Gothic Alternative History, or Literary Re-imagining, has been done far more successfully before by author Kim Newman whose Anno Dracula series is both effortless and ingenious in its use of similar settings and characters.

     The Un-Dead reads more like a sequel to Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula movie and when Dracula intones to Mina’s son “I am your father!!!” you may just die…

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Lily Wight

Updated 03/05/2014

     Erikson is a writer at the top of his game with the fourth book of his Malazan series delivering more of the same and then some!

     Fans will be familiar with the author’s distinct style and structure featuring unlikely pairings undertaking strange journeys that impact upon the martial and political landscape in unexpected ways.

     Erikson’s tales mimic the evolution of real history so those who prefer traditional quest-driven yarns may feel frustrated by the lack of conclusions.  There is however a realism and sense of immediacy seldom achieved by the Fantasy genre.

     House of Chains concludes most of The Whirlwind Rebellion plot and getting there is a brilliant, challenging and addictive read.

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Lily Wight

     Updated 06/03/2014

     Here is an early Easter Egg for you, crack it open and you will find a golden and glowing review of John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things…

   

      It is hard to beat Angela Carter’s potent re-imaginings of traditional Fairy Tales but John Connolly may boast a valiant and successful attempt.

     Young hero, David’s struggle to adjust to his step-family under the shadow of The Blitz is realistic and heartfelt but unfortunately the tone alters and the pace flounders during a flabby middle section inspired by tired and predictable medieval quest romances.

     Connolly’s work suffers a little under too many influences; Narnia, Oz, Wonderland, Labyrinth and even The Box of Delights are all thrown into the mix.  Focus is restored most triumphantly however in a dramatic ending which…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 11/02/2014

     A recent quest to the local library led to this booty; Retribution Falls: Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding.  Space Piracy is a darned tricky genre to master.  Get it right and you have Han Solo and the Falcon, get it wrong and it’s Disney’s Treasure Planet all over again.

     Wooding succeeds in delivering an entertaining, if simple and linear romp with some excellent characters.  Captain Frey owes much to Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow and his ship and crew will be familiar to fans of Joss Whedon’s Firefly.

     The Science Fiction and Steampunk elements are sketchy and rather ill-conceived.  Airships and the odd cyber-limb do not make a fully realised Secondary World.

     The Fantasy elements are better integrated and more intriguing with Wooding doing a fine job of…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 06/02/2014

     Kate Mosse’s début novel, Labyrinth was much-loved and promoted by Richard and Judy’s TV book club allowing Mosse to swiftly and decisively establish herself as the female answer to blockbusting airport favourite Dan Brown.

     Sepulchre, Mosse’s second standalone novel, combines folklore and history to weave a simple yet compelling treasure-hunt mystery with Tarot magic and the lush French countryside thrown in for good measure.

     As with Labyrinth the past and present intertwine around the comparable adventures of two female protagonists but the Nineteenth Century heroine easily trumps her modern-day counterpart whilst secondary characters are frustratingly underwritten for a novel with such a hefty word count.

     It is Mosse’s descriptive and lyrical prose which prevents accusations of peddling pulp and Sepulchre stays the right side of sentiment; emerging as the thinking woman’s…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 28/01/2014

     It’s almost a decade since Stephenie Meyer’s first Twilight novel was published and here is the last review of our four book retrospective…

     Breaking Dawn is undoubtedly the most mature and entertaining book in the series with more incident, action and horror than all the previous volumes put together.

     Discerning fans might try to excuse, scan or simply ignore Edward and Bella’s nauseating honeymoon and enjoy instead Jacob’s first person narration of the birth of their monster offspring.

     The Twililght Series has always tended to be a little tame and anaemic but by introducing that classic horror staple – the “demon-child” – Meyer invigorates the tale creating, arguably, a better starting-point for the entire series.

     Unfortunately Meyer bungles the ending by rushing the introductions to an influx of interesting new characters and…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 25/01/2014

     We’re three books – and three reviews in – yet The Twilight Saga refuses staunchly to improve or evolve as its little flashes of brilliance are swamped with so much melodramatic waffle.

     Stephenie Meyer obviously missed the writer’s workshop on “show, don’t tell” because those pages of circular dialogue do not equal plot momentum.

     An inspired chapter on Quileute folklore provides too brief a respite and elevation by delivering a tantalising glimpse into a better book that never was.  More of this and less of Bella might have given the saga more depth to match its breadth.

     Meyer has an unfortunate habit of disappointing readers with ideas and plot-strands which fail to flourish.  She denies Bella the opportunity to embrace the fate of The Third Wife thus denying Eclipse…

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