Sunday, 1 December 2013

November Book Reviews

I've gone on a bit of an unscheduled sci-fi/fantasy bent lately so you'll have to forgive me.. needless to say I have been left thoroughly confused by it all!

By local Wiltshire author and mobile library driver Alan Richardson Dark Light is a kooky, humourous tale of humans controlled by higher powers with the thrill of a chase, multiple time periods and the mistaken switch of an electric kettle from Argos and Yahya, the head in a box all in the sleepy county town of Trowbridge!

Never fear though with the death goddess Jenny Grey, american Lillith Love and Jack Hobbes the undoubtedly best mobile library manager ever all will be explained or at least there might be a book on the mobile about it! 

The newest offering from the wonderful Patrick Ness tackles the idea of the after life, if such a thing exists.

Seth drowned in the ocean, cold and alone but when he wakes up in his childhood home on a different continent things start getting strange. As Seth explores this new land, he is plagued by memories of his short life, trying to make sense of past decisions. But this new land has it's own rules, it's own dangers and secrets. With the help of new friends Regine and Tomasz and a common enemy in The Driver things start to become clearer and truths rise to the surface. Tomasz provides much needed light relief in a very heavy and serious novel but fans of Ness will not be disappointed.

My first voyage in to Terry Pratchett has left me totally confused and yet with a smile on muy face. Now I submit that starting with the 37th episode in a long standing series is probably not the best way to introduce yourself to an author but the fact that I enjoyed this book without knowing all the history is a testament to Pratchett's style. 

The professors of Unseen University must compete in a football tournament, the only problem is no-one knows how to play. Enter Mister Nutt, a mysterious little fellow with knowledge of the game as well as anything else you might want to know. There is a lot more going on in this book including the stories of Glenda and Juliet from the Night Kitchen but this has definitely wetted the appetite for more.

David Mitchell has always been one of those comedians that I wasn't sure whether I liked or not but after reading his biography I find his story endearing. 

Recounting his youth with fondness, talking about his career from Edinburgh, radio and TV and sharing perspectives as we all know he can whilst taking us on his daily walk through London. His narrative is simple and fun whilst being honest and that makes it all the more believable. I read the whole book all the while with a smile on my face.

A startlingly debut from Koethi Zan negotiates the aftermath of everyone's worse nightmare. Caroline Morrow appears to be a normal human being, just your average New Yorker but she is a recluse and has been for ten years ever since she escaped from the cellar of Jack Derber. 

When news comes of Jack's parole hearing she digs into the past to find evidence to keep him behind bars. She wants justice for Jennifer, her friend who never made it out of Jack's cellar but the only way to find out the truth is to go back to where it all began and try to make sense of the past.

A fantastical tale full of illusion, magic and the wonders of childhood. I wouldn't expect anything different from Neil Gaiman. Friendships during childhood are looked back on with fondness and the storyteller's friendship with the Hempstock women at the end of the lane begins a rollercoaster of events. 

To tell more would take away the enjoyment and I would not want to deprive anyone of Gaiman's genius.