Tuesday 24 June 2014

M T MgGuire

Although I label MT's books as funny fantasy, this is rather different.  It's far more introspective and angst-ridden. It's full of tension and nicely ratchets up our expectations for the final book. No pressure, then!

One Man, No Plan

amazon.com One Man, No Plan

My review - 

I assume readers of this review have read the first two books in the excellent K'Barthan series but if you haven't I'll try to make sure that I don't spoil either of those for you. The villainous Lord Vernon is determined to declare himself The Candidate and marry The Chosen One. She, however, is in love with The Pan of Hamgee – form a queue behind me! Actually, I have a thing for the Thing. Big Merv, the Swamp Thing. On with the review! 

This book is more introspective than the earlier two which were full of action. Here we deal with motivations and feelings. Ruth is asked to choose between her own happiness and the life of the person she loves. She has to be convincing so he must believe she doesn't love him. There are some heartrending passages here. It's horrible but it's beautifully done. The Pan pulls things together towards the end, then steps out to meet his fate. I won't be the only one hardly daring to breathe till we find out what happens in Book 4.

Friday 13 June 2014

David Hadley

This is the first longer work I've read from David Hadley and it gave me a lot of chuckles!

Juggling Balls

Amazon .com Juggling Balls

My review - 

Martin lives in a shared house and begins to realise the other inhabitants have memories that he should share but he doesn't. He has to rely on the others who inform him he's their leader. Someone is trying to take over the world but in a benign way. He doesn't want power or riches, but to make people cooperate and to end wars. He's known as the Colonel. Would you want peace at the price of a chip in your brain which takes away your free will? And this chip is going to be activated by... Elvis! This is really off-the-wall stuff and a quirky mix of fantasy, sci-fi and humour.

I enjoyed this story and found the characters very individual and distinct which isn't easy with a big cast. The story is funny bordering on silly but I loved some of the detail. The Colonel's guards are called the Hound Dogs, for example. This book as has a high enjoyability quotient and is a light, fun read.

Monday 9 June 2014

Stuart Ayris

A really strong story here from Stuart, whose work I always enjoy.

My review - 

This story is set in eighteenth century Kent and is peopled with a wonderful set of characters both good and bad, including a tired, wise mule called Oaken. We meet Edward at the age of ten when he and his sister run away from a drunken father. The story is very much what fans of Stuart Ayris will expect. It's lyrical, whimsical, humorous and deep. You can't keep Mr Ayris down and he occasionally speaks in asides to the reader, in effect. We roll on through this story fearing an inevitability but with all good stories there's more there than is immediately apparent.

I enjoyed reading this, watching the development of the story and the unfolding of the characters. I don't know if any of this story is based on truth but the author always manages to sift his own truth from the lives of those he writes about. Highly recommended and possibly the author's best yet.