I manage a small library that specialises in adult education but I would love to be a children's librarian one day.
I will read almost anything but have a big passion for dystopian literature, science fiction and YA.
My rating system is as follows:
1* - didn't like it.
2* - it was ok.
3* - I liked it.
4* - I really liked it.
5* - I loved it.
3* ratings are NOT a negative rating from me.
This member has not published any books.
Smashwords book reviews by Angela
on June 28, 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Took me a while to finish but only because I've been reading it online whilst inbetween jobs at work.
Set in modern day South Africa, this is a very comic and tragic retelling on 'Hamlet'. All the characters are utterly deplorable but viewed as a typical product of the selfish and corrupt society they have built for themseves and completely immersed in. The writing is excellent and darkly comic, giving it a perfect blend of humour/farce and drama all in one.
Would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the darker side of comedy, and to one who isn't easily offended!
- Shelter (Blood Haze: Book One)
on July 06, 2011
This was awful. The entire book was full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors (which I would normally blame on bad editing, but the writing in general wasn't particularly great either). The characters were all so annoying and juvenile. The plot, or lack thereof, was so unbelievably predictable.
I REALLY disliked this book.
- Blood Dance Club
on July 28, 2011
Sexy and erotic short story concerning two vampire hunters. Well written and fun to read. Shame it wasn't a bit longer, could easily be made into a full length novel.
- The Edge of Darkness
on Jan. 30, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
The concept of the novel is refreshingly unique. I say unique because I’ve never read a dystopic book with a cyborg love story alongside themes of slavery, political corruption, galactic warfare and a commentary on socialistic depravity and civil rights. I’ve definitely read books with at least two of those elements but not one with all of them. Well, none that comes to mind anyway.
The novel is fast paced and the language poetic. Lissa is an excellent writer and I have now downloaded her short stories that I found on Smashwords as I want to read more of her prose.
Although I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it, there were elements I personally didn’t particularly like or enjoy but they are more of an aesthetical reason as opposed to a fault with Lissa’s writing and/or structure. In my review of this on Goodreads I have hid the two things I didn't enjoy as a spoiler but I cannot do that on here. Please do not let these put you off or distract from the rest of the as they are problems I can imagine only I would have and I certainly wouldn't want anyone to be discouraged from reading this as it really is fantastic.
As I have already mentioned, the pace of this novel is fast but it felt about two thirds of the way through everything just deflated [round about the time when Ethan gets shot with a plasma gun]. I really didn’t enjoy the whole Terminator-esque section, that part just seemed a bit too erroneous and a major distraction from the rest of the book. When I was reading that section it felt like it had been added on as an afterthought as the writing seemed clunky and didn’t flow as nicely as the rest of the novel. I’m also not entirely convinced with the whole time travel episode/section and the resulting changes that Max ends up making through her actions. However, that is just my opinion, I imagine many people would love that section of the novel due to the questions it raises and possible debates it could cause. For me though, I felt this part of the novel distracted too much from the rest of the superb story and I just couldn’t buy into it.
Another aspect I have an issue with is the ending: it’s too happy. I read dystopian novels and I know that they are going to be depressing and possibly raise more questions than it answers and not necessarily have a closed ending. Examples of this would include Winston Smith accepting his fate and Big Brother’s rule by writing “2+2+5” in the dust in the coffee shop in '1984' (which I find the ultimate in depressing endings btw), or the Savage committing suicide in 'Brave New World', among many others. I certainly don’t expect endings where they all live happily ever after. Again, that’s just a personal point for me. I understand why Lissa wrote the ending the way she did but I would have loved it even more if it were in accordance with the rest of the novel, keeping the element of the desperation and despair suffered by the characters and the claustrophobia felt due to the confines and structure of the world and society envisioned.
All in all this is an excellent read and I would highly recommend it.
- In Leah's Wake
on Jan. 30, 2012
I’m aware it’s taken me quite long to finish this book. I find it very difficult to read long documents on a computer screen as it gives me a headache but I received a Kindle for Christmas so once I’d converted it to that I found it much easier to get through.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It was well written but the story in general is not something I would generally pick up myself (I’m going to get my mother to read it so I can have a comparative view) so I’m unsure whether my feelings about this book, now that I’ve finished it, are totally justified.
Like I say, this was well written for the most part. I noticed very few editing errors but I did find the odd and lack of use of quotation marks as well as the overuse of commas unbelievably annoying and distracting from the flow of reading. Other than that though (and that is most definitely a personal issue as opposed to problems with Long’s writing) this was an interesting read. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I assumed it was about different family members dealing with their collective grief over a deceased child/sister. Instead this is the story of a middle-class family trying to deal with a problem child. Therein lies my problem with this book.
I absolutely despised every single character in this book and if they were real people I would be more than tempted to slap some sense into each and every one of them. Perhaps more than just slap as well. The parents were simply awful; typical, overbearing pain in the arses who think it’s a good idea to buy their children’s love and respect with overly priced gifts but then spend the rest of the time bitching about how disrespectful and spoilt their child is. Justine, the younger sister, was just about bearable due to her naivety and only in comparison to the rest of the characters. I really have no idea why the character of the police officer (name escapes me and my Kindle is upstairs so can’t check) was written about with such depth when he only played a minor character to the general storyline. That leaves Leah, our protagonist. This girl just made me want to scream. She was a selfish, arrogant, immature, whiney bitch of girl and I was really hoping the book would take a twist and inflict some serious pain on her.
As I mentioned before, this isn’t necessarily the type of book I would usually pick up and that leaves me uncertain as to whether the characters were purposely written to be this bloody stupid and annoying in-keeping with this particular genre or whether the hatred I felt for these characters is rare in other readers of this novel.
Other than my intense dislike for every single character, I thought this was a well written and engaging novel and fans of the genre (a genre I’m unsure how to describe) will undoubtedly lap it up.
- Fate Of The World
on Feb. 06, 2012
Well written short story. Very American politics based but some good concepts and ideas.
- Kikaffir - a Black Comedy
on July 03, 2012
The second book by Ian Martin in his Shockspeare series, 'Kikaffir: A Black Comedy' is a modern retelling of Macbeth
Having already read 'Pop-Splat' last summer (a modern retelling of 'Hamlet'), I was well prepared for Martin’s style of writing and the unbelievably graphic violence that he depicts.
This book is fucked up beyond belief, and I loved it. It was vividly violent to an extreme (ahem, gorilla rape), gory, depressing, but also funny, and at times some of the characters showed aspects of being quite endearing.
I loved the tongue-in-cheek aspect of the old man in the mountain being named after the author himself, that had me chuckling into the pages. My favourite character was Sello and I think this was only due to his love of literature and his fondness for using archaic quotations from his favourite texts to highlight the absurdity of the situations all the characters constantly found themselves in.
I’m not going to discuss in detail the book as it would either give too much away, or would put off potential readers. I wouldn’t recommend to everyone (in fact, there are only a handful of people I can think who might enjoy it for the same reasons I did) which is down mainly to the fact for how graphic and grotesque it actually is. There is a lot of swearing, and I mean a lot, and the characters are all hideous in their own way with little redemption and I think it would be too violent for a lot of people to digest. I loved it though, in a rather sickening way, and despite not being squeamish over gore and violence, there were a few instances that made me squirm or flinch.
Technically, I’m giving this book four stars as I did enjoy it in a rather sick fashion and the writing is excellent, but the violence is rather too graphic at times and it does not leave me much scope to recommend to other people without them thinking I’m some kind of pervert. The extra star is for Ian Martin himself, who very kindly sent me a copy of the book in the post from South Africa after I told him I didn’t have a kindle to read it on at the time. Such thoughtfulness deserves extra credit.