Monday 23 November 2015

David Wailing

This is the second (long awaited and much anticipated) book in David's Auto series. It's a scarily feasible look at the way our current technology is moving. 

Auto 2

My review -

Reading anything labelled '2' generally means you've read the first book and I really enjoyed Auto. This has bells on - and icing and sprinkles. I received an ARC for an honest review and, honestly, it's fantastic. They say 'be careful what you wish for'. This scarily close future sees us all with our autos (like super-smart phones) running our lives and making decisions for us and people love it. They can't imagine managing without. There's even an online church and because hosting space for the autos of the dead is expensive, this cyber-church can offer free immortality in the EternalCloud. We come across characters we've met in Auto and some of them are up against the police and the church.

Auto brought together a group of speculative stories in an amazing manner, crafting a whole from what appeared to be disparate parts. Auto 2 is a more coherent story with the various individual parts acting more like traditional chapters. I read this in a couple of days because it was so unputdownable. It's full of little twists and turns, links to the earlier book and clever speculation on what our addiction to the internet could lead us to. Read this!

Wednesday 18 November 2015

David Haynes

This is a quick read which packs a punch!

The Journal of Reginald Perigar

My review - 

This is a novella length story about a Victorian gentleman who is fascinated by intriguing objects. His whole house is a cabinet of curiosities. His latest acquisition is a beautiful chess set which he opens with eager enthusiasm. This sets in motion a chain of events which he (and the reader) could not have foreseen. The writing so immerses you in the cadences of Victorian speech that it is a real jolt to read the final couple of pages set in modern times. That’s good writing!

The story has a great sense of time and place with the darkness and grime of London and the candle and oil-lamp lit home being particularly well-created. If you like a solid, traditional horror story, you’re in for a treat with this one.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Rosen Trevithick

This is a complete departure from Rosen's usual fiction. This isn't fiction - this is true - and I've tasted the future!

Chocolate Making Adventures

My review - 

I read this cover to cover before publication as I am one of a select band of recipe testers. I began tentatively, not sure if what I was being asked to do would produce anything I fancied eating. All I can say is – go with it. The business of spreading the ingredients, vigorous mixing and re-melting sounds like a faff but it’s quicker and less messy than making scones. At least, the way I make scones! Once you have perfected the technique you will never look back. You’ll start to think of your own variations and you will suddenly find you have an amazing number of friends who want to help you sample them and decide on the best!

If you enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, if you just love eating wonderful chocolate in flavours you can’t buy, then you’ll love this book. I bought a few silicone moulds which each cost much less than a box of chocolates and now I’m addicted to making as well as eating the delicious stuff. The author has put a lot of time into trying out techniques and recipes and has put in all the ground work so that we can fly. The photographs are spectacular. This is a great book. I’m buying the paperback too, as soon as it’s available, because the photos are just too gorgeous and too colourful to hide away on a kindle.