By Eustacia Tan
Published: October 31, 2013.
The e-magazine An Excuse For Company is back and it's better than ever. We're now focused on indie and first-time writers and to celebrate the re-release, our new issue features the extremely adorable Plot Bunnies!
Freebooter, Rogues of Bindar Book II
on Nov. 09, 2011
This book was tough to read. Literally. I had to make myself read it due to one major issue: the language.
You get the sense that Chris Turner loves the English language, from his wide and varied diction. This meant that the book's greatest strength and greatest weakness is its language.
I had I hopes from the introduction, which is very strong. The first sentence "Baus, an impulsive young man, seemed destined to become an outlaw". The sentence is attention catching and promises an adventurous story-line. This is supported in random moments in the book, such as a dead soldier described as having "sad, fish-hungry eyes", which is a very effective use of imagery.
However, at many times, I didn't understand what was going on because there was too much descriptive language, which tended to confuse me as to what was happening. This wasn't helped by the fact that many words (such as 'ophidian', 'obdurate' and 'obstreperous') were obscure (to me), and didn't seem necessary and actually detracted from the "magic" of reading.
While Baus was initially a curious and engaging character, as the book developed, I lost the goodwill I held towards him. Although he is a Rogue, he should have at least some redeeming qualities, if not only to endear him to the reader. And again, the language didn't help in forming a reader-character bond. It made his less redeeming qualities (his lack of hesitation to take advantage of others was most prominent) more obvious and obscured his good qualities (of which I couldn't see).
I really tried to like this book. The plot was decent and the opening had a lot of promise. But unfortunately, it didn't suit my tastes and in the end, I had to force myself to finish the book.
Disclaimer: I got this book from the librarything members giveaway. I wasn't asked to write a positive review.
on Jan. 13, 2012
Draykon is a fantasy novel. For some reason, I've slowly started reading more fantasy, which I guess is because fantasy is an indulgence for me. To cut what could be a potentially long-winded flashback short: I was told by my writing teacher that I was reading too much fantasy and it was affecting my writing. But now that I've (temporarily) finished school and no longer have to write dreary reports, I can read as much fantasy as I want.
But for some reason, absence doesn't make the heart grow founder. On the bright side, Draykon may have started to rekindle my love of fantasy. I'm going to give a sort-of-spoiler in saying that it took me to read nearly to the end of the novel to realise that Draykon is another spelling of the huge mythological creature that breathes fire. I noticed that it's getting common to intentionally mis-spell words to make them seem cooler, e.g. Vampyre, Faerie, Trylle. I don't know about you, but it's not very effective.
Draykon is also part mystery. The mysterious Istore (I hope this name has nothing to do with Apple!), is causing deaths and Eva has to find out the cause. But it's really more a fantasy novel, with a world very different from ours, and the mystery was more of a chase than a deduction from clues.
I'm also hoping that Draykon is part one of a series. Otherwise, the ending is seriously disappointing, because some mysteries (my lips are sealed) are not explained, but only hinted at. The true nature of the Draykon is never explained properly, and I felt very puzzled at the explanations (or lack of).
I got this novel free from the librarything giveaway. I was asked to write a review, but was not asked to write a positive review. I will be positive, however, and recommend you to read this book, because it's an enjoyable read.
(First published at http://allsortsofbooks.blogspot.com/2012/01/draykon-by-charlotte-e-english.html)
I managed to finish another ebook today. I think my ebook reading speed has increased! ^_^ Anyway, remember how I was complaining about monotony in my reading (that one period of time where I read a lot of chic-lit)? Well, I can safely say that Dirty Little Angels is unlike those novels.
The novel is one of those disturbing ones that you feel compelled to keep reading. It's really dark, due mainly to the portrayal of the lower-income class. I could actually see this as a novel to be studied in Literature.
Basically, the novel is narrated from the protagonist, Hailey's point of view. It's a rather winding novel, chronicling her day-to-day life. The only thing is that to someone like me, it's a very strange and interesting world. Hailey has got to be in her teens (it's mentioned that her friend and her are below 21) but she smokes, she drinks, smokes pot and well, all sorts of things that I have never dreamt of doing. Basically, it's a far far distance from my sheltered world.
But strangely enough, I couldn't stop reading it. Hailey's story isn't hopeful, conversely, she actually goes into a downward spiral. But somehow, despite all the negativity, and the fact that she smokes, she's a strangely likable character.
This book is short, but worth reading. Especially if you're like me, and you hail from a sheltered world.
Disclaimer: I got this book free from the librarything giveaway. All opinions in this review are my own.
(First published at http://allsortsofbooks.blogspot.com/2012/02/dirty-little-angels-by-chris-tusa.html)