David Blake was born in the northwest of England in 1970 and grew up on a diet of Marvel comics, 2000 AD and television sci-fi. He has been writing for as long as he can remember and remains an avid reader. His other interests include travelling, vintage British television programmes, vintage cinema, football, eating toast and even having the occasional drink.
If David Blake has reviewed your work on Smashwords, please do not take any criticism to heart. He tries to be unbiased and constructive, and will only award 5 stars to the absolute best works, which will be rare.
on Aug. 07, 2015 :
I first heard of David Blake when he reviewed one of my short stories and was curious as to who he was and what he wrote. I noticed that he wrote paranormal short fiction, and, after a quick browse, decided to read this story first.
"Facing Death" is quick-paced, but not rushed, and throws the reader in the midst of the trenches. It contains visceral descriptions of the horrors of combat, juxtaposed with the comforting- yet painful- memories of more peaceful times. The story's final scene is a solemn testament to those who lost their lives, but not their souls, in war. There is hope, even in hell.
(review of free book)
on June 25, 2013 :
Really good story!
I read this story this afternoon in the pub on my Kindle, and when I have just sat down to review it at home, I notice David Blake has given a very favourable review to my own story "Blue" [and I feel quite honoured to get five stars]. Now, its going to sound like we are doing each other literary favours, but that is really not the case, its simply one of those weird synchronous events.
I really enjoyed Facing Death. It's a story of facing the Germans across the trenches, and about the mad fear and senselessness of it all. And when something unexpected and inexplicable occurs, it is both frightening for the characters and yet strangely uplifting. This is a really good story, perhaps the best I have yet read by David Blake. It is impeccably written, very visual, very atmospheric in its description of trench warfare, and highly absorbing. The ending, especially the effect upon the Sargeant character, is satisfying, realistic, and has quite deep context if you think about it. I can think of no good reason to not give this a five star review.
[Normally I wouldn't mention typos, but I think Mr Blake would appreciate this; "Sargeant Clinch remained where he was, with his back us, but his head bowed."; small error missing the word "to", I presume;
NOTE TO SMASHWORDS; authors giving criticism and especially typo information to other authors is dertrimental in reviews; there should be a better forum structure within smashwords where authors can communicate with each other, without the need of having to communicate within their own or someone elses reviews.]
This is a fine, expertly-crafted and gently haunting story; give it a read.
(review of free book)