Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (Susanna Clarke 2004)

Jonathan_strange_and_mr_norrell_cover

This is one which I’ve wanted to do for a while. My interest was sparked after I saw that they were broadcasting a TV series on BBC in 2015. I finally started to read the book just as the TV series was about to air, and in the end I read the book and watched the series at roughly the same time, although I finished the book slightly before so that the TV series didn’t provide me with any spoilers. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is a strange book which covers many genres, but primarily it is a work of historical fantasy that happens to be set in an alternate version of 19th century England.

The book follows the lives of Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange as they become involved in bringing magic to England. However their philosophies begin to diverge and the two men are thrown into conflict into each other. That is the short version but in reality it is a big book with many different plots running in the background, the most notable of which is that of the gentlemen with the thistle down hair, a fae whom Norrell inadvertently sets upon the world and the main antagonist of the book. He becomes enthralled with a woman whom Norrell brought back from the dead, taking her to the kingdom of Lost Hope every night.Read More »

Divine Misfortune (A. Lee Martinez 2010)

Divine Misfortune

I picked up this book at random. I found the concept very intriguing, not all that different from Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. The premise of the novel is that the modern day world is inhabited by gods who live openly amongst mortals, with many mortals worshipping  a particular deity in exchange for gifts and favours. The plot of the novel revolves around married couple Teri and Phil, who decide to get their own god but end up with Luka, a raccoon god of prosperity who wishes to crash at their place in exchange for his favour. Luka moves in, dragging his enemies along with him, putting Teri and Phil in more danger than they anticipated. Read More »

Emperor of Thorns (Mark Lawrence 2013)

Emperor of Thorns

Emperor of Thorns is the last book of the Broken Empire Trilogy, of which I have reviewed the previous two books. Emperor of Thorns continues where the previous book left off. Jorg is now twenty and he still has yet to kill his father. He aims for the position of Emperor, however nobody in living memory has secured the majority vote necessary to attain the position. There is also the small matter of the deadly necromancer, The Dead King, who is feared even more than Jorg himself. Between these three factors the plot promises itself to be something decent, and after reading King of Thorns I was very excited to read this. Read More »

First published work (sort of) in Voxx Magazine

While I don’t usually post on Tuesdays, I will break the pattern here since I have some great news. Yesterday a piece of flash fiction I wrote  was published in Voxx Magazine, a free volunteer lead magazine based in Lincolnshire, UK, that runs both online and in print. My piece is on Page 19, and is called The Smiling Man. I’ve been told it’s pretty creepy.

It’s a small start but now that I’ve done this I plan to submit short stories to competitions around the UK, while continuing to write for Voxx Magazine. I already have a few ideas for both the competitions and for my next Voxx submission, so watch this space. No doubt there will be more to come.

For those of you interested in checking out my story, you can do so here:  http://www.voxxonline.com/voxx-57/

Stardust (Neil Gaiman 1999)

Stardust

This is my second Neil Gaiman review. I picked up Stardust on impulse, like most Neil Gaiman books in my collection. Stardust is a strange little book with a tongue in cheek sense of humour. It follows a young man Tristan as he ventures into the land of Faerie to retrieve a shooting star so he can impress the love of his life Victoria. However he discovers that the fallen star is actually a woman named Yvaine, and her fall has attracted the attention of three witches. The eldest of the three, referred to as the witch queen sets out to capture her. Like many other books Neil Gaiman has written, Stardust, is best described as a modern fairy tale. This book is probably the most blatant example due to the number of tropes and conventions it shares with the average fairy tale. This is both the book’s strength but at times is also its undoing.Read More »

Horns (Joe Hill 2010)

Horns-Book

Horns is a very unusual book, and one that seems to be gaining popularity. It was adapted into a film starring Daniel Radcliffe, which was released in 2014. Strange as it seems, I have never watched the film despite wanting to. This is a good thing for my review however, since it means that my opinion has not been influenced by the adaptation. Horns follows Ignatius “Ig” Perrish, who is the prime suspect in the rape and murder of his girlfriend Merrin despite repeatedly professing his innocence. Only his childhood friend Lee believes him. The one day he wakes up with horns growing out of his head, and they make people around confess their deepest, darkest desires to him. Read More »

The Hero of Ages (Brandon Sanderson 2008)

the-hero-of-ages-by-brandon-sanderson

At last it is time to review the last novel in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy. The events of the last book have unleashed the being Ruin back on the land, where it begins to wreck havoc. With the deepness – a deadly form of mist- returned, humanity looks to be doomed. Their only hope is in the clues left behind by the Lord Ruler, who had anticipated Ruin’s return, and learning the true prophecies concerning the Hero of Ages.Read More »