Tuesday, July 25, 2017

futher book review sort of things

hello, fellow reader


at least i presume you're a fellow reader. well, you are as point of fact reading this, look you see, and so it's not much of a stretch to say that reading is something you do. theoretically i read what i am writing, so fellow also seems pretty appropriate in that sense.

right, ok, with that all said and done, on to the books. i have read another two, to be sure, since i last did this sort of post, and so comment on them is what comes next from me. as ever i have absolutely no clue if this is of interest or use to anyone, but here it all is on the off chance that yes it indeed is.

here's a look at what it is i have read of late, then, followed by some quick, spoiler free sort of overview comments if you are in a rush or simply want to (perhaps wisely) engage in a spoiler free reading experience of either at some stage.



it is with some delight that i say Helka's Children by James Brogden was one of the most enjoyable reads i have had of late and is pretty much what i would consider great and perhaps essential reading (or consideration) for any fantasy / horror fans. there is slightly less delight, however, with Burning Angels by renowned urine enthusiast Bear Grylls. whilst at the time it is a good read, and helpful in wrapping up parts of the previous one, Ghost Flight, ultimately it's hugely disappointing.

with that being the overview, please do take it as something of a given that a *** SPOILER WARNING *** so merrily exists and is in place for the remainder of this post. please don't say i didn't warn you, as i did, just then. also, links to where one may purchase the books from pretty much any address in the world are there purely for convenience - they're not any sort of affiliation or endorsement by me.

ok, right, yes, let's get on to the first of these two books that i read, in the order i read them in. which means we get to start with the better of the two, Helka's Children by James Brogden.

provenance of my copy? i forget which precisely, but £2 or £3 off of Tesco. i think the lower, former number, actually. it's smart that Tesco randomly has a novel that you might not otherwise buy for a low price every couple of weeks. perhaps it is a "loss leader" to attract people in, but we are not here to discuss their marketing.

plot? tricky to summarize without giving much away, despite the spoiler warning standing. but, anyway. four student apparently vanish into mid air during an outing involving walking the hills of Sutton Coldfield. one returns, but has no memory of what happened and no idea of where they went too. about a decade later the incident is brought to the fore with the discovery of a body. at first the body is thought to be thousands of years old, but certain anomalies seem to connect it to the missing children. this serves to bring the teacher responsible for the children back to the area in order to try and work out just what exactly happened......

how good is this book? as it went on i got a distinct sense of late 80s, early 90s Clive Barker. as in, yes, that good. although elements are familiar this is one of the funniest, original and entertaining horror / fantasy books i have read in quite some time.

obviously if you don't really like horror or fantasy then you need to avoid it. also, some pretty gruesome violence crops up from time to time. for me, i loved it, and i say bring on March 2018 when apparently his next book, The Hollow Tree, will be made available to the public.

any downside to this book? actually yes. in the bio section James Brogden describes himself as a "part time Australian". this is not good enough chap. you should be proud of where you are from, not worry so much about where' you're at, and describe yourself as a full tilt Australian.


on we go then to Burning Angels by Bear Grylls. i suspect this is his 2nd work of fiction, but am certain that it is at the least the second novel what he has done to feature the entirely imaginary protagonist of Will Jaeger. as in this is a follow up or if you like sequel, to be sure, to Ghost Flight.

provenance of my copy? costing and location of purchase withheld, for it was a most thoughtful Father's Day gift. received with great thanks, for my children were not to know that, ultimately, this novel would be something of a let down. no, actually, disappointment.

the plot? this really is quite tricky to do without spoilers for that first novel, so do be considered as being extra warned. with that yet another disclaimer in mind, the action picks up only a short while after the end of Ghost Flight, with Jaeger and his team determined to rescue a missing member from that first mission. after that there's more unravelling of the mysteries of the Nazi war plane which was at the heart of Ghost Flight. Jaeger is drawn in to finding the truth of what Nazi secrets escaped the war, where his kidnapped family are and incidentally saving the world.

so yes, much of this does kind of echo a Ben Hope novel off of Scott Mariani. which is no bad thing, as mostly they are fun to read. the pacing of this novel makes it something of a pleasure of a breeze to read, it's just that the content, structure and conclusion pretty much leave you left flat and deflated at the end of it all.

a breakdown of the novel in percentage points? why not, warning again of spoilers....

20% of it is wrapping up events of Ghost Flight
15% of it is referencing things that happened in Ghost Flight
30% of it is the actual plot and story of this novel in itself
00% of it is related to things you can do with urine
10% of it is related to saving elephants and twatting poachers as a sub plot
20% of it feels like it is setting up the premise of a third novel
05% of it is just wrapping up the whole thing in a rushed, this will do sense

it would be fair to say that something of a 'Catch 22' exists with this novel. should you have read an enjoyed Ghost Flight then you will want to read this to see how the story ends. but as you are likely to head to disappointment there is little point in reading Ghost Flight if the only ambition you have in doing so is that this novel will make sense.

the most surprising element was the complete lack of urine related matters, bar a small thing with the elephants. universal advice says that writers should try to play to strength by writing of that which they know. my understanding of Bear Grylls is that he made fame by making some television shows which depicted him drinking his own urine to survive, using his own urine to cure all sorts of ailments, bites and infections, and having celebrity guests come on his show to urinate on him as and when the presumably magical powers of it could cure him.




so as to repeat myself once more, my most earnest hope is that these reviews, or if you like comments, are of some use to someone somewhere. most happy day if i in a certain capacity have assisted you in selecting something of interest to read, or perhaps to avoid.

proudly on i march, then, to the next books. one of these shall be the most recent John Grisham one to make it into paperback; The Whistler it is called, i think.




be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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