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I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller
Terry Hayes
Legends of King Arthur: Idylls of the King
Alfred Lord Tennyson
The Norton Anthology of Poetry
Mary Jo Salter, Margaret Ferguson, Jon Stallworthy

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future for You

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future for You - Brian K. Vaughan, Joss Whedon, Georges Jeanty, Cliff Richards, Andy Owens, Dave Stewart, Richard Starkings My second comic book, my second Buffy. Still not sure how I feel about them. It all feels so wrong, and all the teenaged-boys art makes it less enjoyable. It still feels childish; why do we need a huge "SPLOOSH" when we can clearly SEE the actual "sploosh" in the art? The cover art is wonderful, if sexist, but the, uh, strip art is pretty basic. And what can you say about dialogue that is just dialogue?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home - Joss Whedon, Georges Jeanty, Paul Lee, Andy Owens, Dave Stewart, Richard Starkings I've never read a comic book before. I've never been interested in them; but since I've been trying out a few new genres (crime and YA, mostly) just to see if my pre-conceived prejudices of these genre-types are accurate, I thought I'd just dive in.

Always been a stalwart fan of the TV series, and didn't think Whedon could go wrong, but I saw the Avengers and Comic Book Superheroes are not my thing, but where else should I have started my journey in to Comic Book land? Or should that be Graphic Novel? Is there really a difference? I'm sure you'll tell me if there is.

The things I usually comment on in regards to a book review were pretty much not present here. There was dialogue and that's it. So, the dialogue: I didn't get a lot of it. I suppose it takes time to figure out which speech bubbles you have to read first, but most of what they were saying was just... I dunno, it felt cheesy and only there because it had to be. They just mumbled stuff and the plot moved along in the pictures. Sometimes it was humorous, sometimes it was obvious. I detest the "thwack" and "oomph" action words dotted about the place. It made it feel really childish and pathetic.

The artwork was lovely, though. Sometimes it felt a bit too sexy, like I need to see some underboob to like what I was looking at: I suppose comic books are still little teenaged hormonal boy territory? Isn't that why they made Thor and Spiderman women?

I don't really know how I feel about it. I wasn't blown away, captivated or pleasured, but neither was it boring, hard to get through or terrible. It was just pictures and words, that's it. I've got the next three to read, so hopefully my feelings with become clearer with those.


Thirst - Thierry Sagnier I received this e-book from the author in return for an unbiased review.

I've been in a crime thriller kick recently: it started with my mother and her Ian Rankin and Patricia Cornwell books. She had some others, too, ones I didn't like: Kathy Reichs, Michael Connelly and Sue Grafton, which I didn't like. Then along came Jo Nesbo and Stuart MacBride and suddenly the world of crime fiction is looking pretty good.

Thirst concerns a drug dealer who is accidentally stabbed and then shot and dumped. His girlfriend is then kidnapped, because the dead man apparently stole some drugs, but nobody knows where they all are. The kidnapped girl's mother is so distraught she asks her lover, Colin, to help find her, along with his buddy Joe the Cop.

It was a decent enough yarn. I thought it actually started off pretty strongly and I found myself intrigued in the whole scenario. There was enough mystery to keep me guessing until around half way, when it petered out and just became a story about nothing much at all, really. It stalled just after and never really picked up pace again.

There were also quite a few typos and I wasn't a fan of the dialogue, but that's all me and nothing to do with the book-more to do with my dislike of American slang and the like.


RatBurger - David Walliams I borrowed this off my nephew, who said it was "a little bit terrifying". I can see what he means, actually; I've read a lot of "Children's" books (quoted because not all children's books should only be read by children) and I've found the are generally two types: those that speak down to their audiences, and those that speak up to them. No doubt it is the latter that are the best, those that don't treat their readers like, well, children.

This book was, for lack of a better word, a little dark. The "terrifying" aspect would be the talk of murder and death, and the scary, horrible Burt who kills rats and turns them in to burgers.

From an adult perspective, it's a wonderful book, full of imagination and comedy, and some little references that I think only adults would understand. This is my first book by Walliams, whom I am a huge fan of in regards to his comedy, but it definitely won't be my last.


Ariel - Sylvia Plath Sylvia Plath was a 20th Century American poet and novelist. Ariel, comprising of 43 poems, was her second book of poems and was published 2 years after her death.

I first read (and studied to death) Ariel in College (a few years ago now) and at the time I didn't really enjoy it. Having said that, my enjoyment of anything literary is always diminished when I have to study it with my brain and not feel it with my heart, instead. This second read-through has been all heart and my enjoyment has burst at the seams.

There are several themes running through these poems; mostly her father, the moon, the yew tree, bees, children and death. The interwoven themes make the book as a whole much stronger, but that doesn't mean that each poem will be any good.

I personally prefer to read my poetry out loud; you truly feel the rhythm if you do this, and Plath's poetry is made for reading aloud: the sentences are often jarring but also silky smooth, they resound with assonance or stutter with ellipsis. The sounds your mouth make whilst reading these poem is quite wonderful.

The Son

The Son - Jo Nesbo Sonny Lofthus is in prison, listening in silence to the confessions of his prisonmates who are convinced he can grant them forgiveness for their sins. But one of them confesses something a little too close to Sonny's heart and all of sudden Sonny needs to get out; get out of prison, get out of a false confession he's been forced to make, get out of this junkie life he's been living...

Ahhh, Nesbo. You have redeemed yourself in my eyes. His two shorter, first-person novels, Headhunters and Blood On Snow, were lacklustre and kind of pathetic (to be brisk), but with this third-person good ole Coppers versus Robbers tale I'm happy to say I like Nesbo again.

It wasn't such a quick read (I still managed it in one day, though) and it was developed and well thought-through like his Harry Hole novels always were. I didn't find any of the characters particularly interesting or likeable, but when you're choosing between criminals and corrupt police officers and pathetic little women you don't really have much to choose from. A great, quickk crime-thriller read from an author who is a little up and down, but still worth a couple of hours of your time.

Blood on Snow

Blood on Snow - Tom Johansen Olav, "fixer", another word for hitman. His victims are his units and right now his boss wants him to kill someone he simply can't bring himself to kill: his boss's wife. But Olav is also in love with a deaf and dumb ex-junkie's girlfriend, and he really doesn't know what to do.

This is a novella of just under 200 pages with large writing, so it's an easy, quick crime thriller read. Nesbø's other attempt at a first-person story of this ilk was Headhunters, which was a terrible book that had little going for it. This had a bit more than that, but not a lot.

I found myself liking Olav, even though he is a pathetic piece of Man flesh. He's quite endearing, but other than that it's just a breezy read. It's fast-paced, much akin to the earlier Hole books, but it's really not much to shout about.

Police: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 8) (Harry Hole 8)

Police: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 8) (Harry Hole 8) - Jo Nesbo Another day in Oslo, another serial killer to contend with. But, since this one is killing coppers, he's gotta be dealt with quicker, smarter, harder.

The previous couple of Harry Hole books were big misses, but Nesbo got back on track with Police. It was still iffy, though, mostly the plot, which was just a bit all over the place and full of dead ends or loose threads it often felt like it would never end. Another quick, enjoyable piece of escapism literature.


Phantom - Don Bartlett, Jo Nesbo I was fully prepared to give this more than two stars. The previous two books, The Snowman and The Leopard had gotten far-fetched and Harry was beginning to turn in to an absolute arsehole whom I no longer wanted to read about. This one starts out well and I enjoyed it right until the end, when I despised it and Nesbø for what they were doing. It's just white men running around with their dicks in their hands and it's getting old now. Harry gets an erection just for being /near/ a pretty woman and it was all just a bit annoying and obvious.

Still a decent quick crime read, like most of them are, though. Great for escapism but don't write an essay about these books, please.

The Snowman (Harry Hole Mysteries, No. 7)

The Snowman - Jo Nesbo Harry Hole is the only man in Norway who has knowledge of serial killers and that's exactly what Oslo Crime Squad think they've got on their hands: the one the call The Snowman. And why? Because he builds a snowman, either to watch over their next victim, or to mock their limp and lifeless bodies after they've killed them.

Harry Hole has gone from bad to worse to okay to bad to terrible to fine to pathetic to fine again in quite a short space of time. I read this book in one day: not that hard to do. It is a quick-read in terms of reading as a whole, but in terms of crime-fiction it's actually quite light. I don't know what the big deal is with Scandinavian crime thrillers; I don't find them any darker than British or American ones. Maybe it's all lost in translation?

But the misogyny and utter contempt for women was jarring in this one. "I'm on my period" was a particular excuse used by Harry's new colleague-a woman, obviously-which was the lamest piece of dialogue ever used. Nesbo started out quite well, but when you lump yourself with a man as pathetic as Harry (yes I KNOW he's the best damn crime squad investigator there has ever been) who really needs to get over Rakel and stop drinking.

This was basically Stieg Larsson's trilogy The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, only in Norwegian and less apathetic towards woman as a whole. I'm also sick of all the women falling at Harry's feet instantly. It's 'cause he's so bad, I know.

The Redeemer

The Redeemer - Jo Nesbo A hitman realises he's shot the wrong man and sets about rectifying his mistake. Harry is still held up over Waaler and Rakel and Oleg, and the booze, but he's got a new boss and he had to make a decent last impression.

Harshly rated, but I was disappointed with this one, despite it having some great twists and turns and an excellent revelation (or three). It was just a bit lack-lustre for me and, though I can't really comment on the writing since it's been translated, it seemed a bit picked at. Still a good crime thriller and can probably be read as a stand-alone novel apart from the series.

Balanced on the Blade's Edge

Balanced on the Blade's Edge - Lindsay Buroker Yes, but Kindle.

A Little Princess

A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett Yes, the prettiest, ruggedest copy you can find.

Winter Queen

Winter Queen - Amber Argyle Yes, but Kindle.

The Little Prince

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Richard Howard Yes, but Kindle. Not a captivating start, but the illustrations (unf)

The Sin Eater’s Daughter

The Sin Eater’s Daughter - Melinda Salisbury The writing was competent but I found the characters lacklustre and couldn't really fathom where the action was taking place, except in a castle and dungeon. The premise didn't really tickle my fancy and the fact that the protagonist only went on an emotional/metaphorical journey add opposed to an actual one put me off even more. I suppose it was, as always, just the pretty cover that drew me in.