Tag Archives: Book

Seed by Ania Ahlborn


Seed
Seed by Ania Ahlborn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I originally read this book a while ago, but wanted to give it a second go because I couldn’t really remember the finer details. I remembered that it was about a man who was battling a dark demonic-type force which had been with him since childhood and subsequently attached itself to his youngest daughter.

I found this book suitably creepy, with nods to some classic horror tropes, such as moving furniture, poltergeist activity and possession. It reminded me a little of the movie Insidious, but without the lame “lets go into the netherworld” ending! I had forgotten the specifics of how this book resolved the storyline, and was not disappointed on the re-read!

This story was self-contained to the troubles of a single family, but hinted at a repeating cycle of events which could perpetuate indefinitely. The demonic/evil force was ambiguous enough to fit into multiple theologies and felt as though it were an elemental force, older than humanity and all of our belief systems.

I personally thoroughly enjoyed this journey to the Deep South and will look out for other books by Ania Ahlborn.

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The Devil in Amber by Mark Gatiss


The Devil in Amber
The Devil in Amber by Mark Gatiss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Lucifer Box. I wish he were a real person. Dashing, intelligent, artistic, a spy, and assassin.

In this, the second of his (recorded) adventures, Lucifer is pitted against the megalomaniac Olympus Mons, his Amber-shirt-clad minions, and certain duplicitous members of the Royal Academy. Accused of a murder he did not commit (at least this one particular murder was not his doing) Lucifer flees back to England and must decipher the mystery of “The Lamb and The Prayer”. We are also introduced to Pandora Box, sister to our gallant hero, entangled in her own web. And then the story takes a turn for the somewhat supernatural.

Witty as ever. Fun and naughty. I feel as though Arthur Conan Doyle and Tom Sharpe had a literary baby in Mark Gatiss!

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The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss


The Vesuvius Club
The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a brilliant book. I adore Mark Gatiss’s writing style and turn of phrase. Set in the early 1900s, a dashing, suave, sophisticated artist leads a double life as an agent for His Majesty’s Government. Full of tongue-in-cheek humour, plenty of action, and just a little bit naughty in places. This book is a joy to read. Excellent!

One word of caution if you buy the Kindle version: the illustrations have all been removed, and therefore in my opinion it is incomplete. Find yourself a hard copy.

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Doctor Sleep by Stephen King


Doctor Sleep
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some minor spoilers are contained within this review.

A solid sequel to The Shining. The character of Dan, although an important part of the story, was again not the main protagonist. Instead the young girl Abra is the main focus of the plot. The cult of the True Knot are introduced as this novel’s foe; they apparently feed on a person’s “shining” and torture their intended prey in order to prolong their death (in order to get a bigger meal). By feeding in this way, they are immortal.  (SPOILER WARNING!) Except that they’re not. In fact, the cult are already dying of a mysterious form of the measles, and as such I felt as though they didn’t come across as particularly menacing. (END SPOILER!) There is one murder that leads Abra and Dan into an investigation of the True Knot, and therefore bring Abra’s shining to their attention as their next meal.

I very much enjoyed the character development of Dan as we learn how he battles with alcoholism and becomes a better person thanks to AA, and through the help of his friends. More so, the latter. I’m not sure, based on their description here, exactly how helpful AA meetings in fact are.. perhaps that’s just me being cynical (which I am!). More importantly, how Dan has put his shining to good use by helping folks in a hospice to pass over peacefully; with the aid of a slightly psychic pet cat – which does seem to actually happen in real life.

Stephen King, as usual, writes evocatively and eloquently and Doctor Sleep is a solid book. Personally, I enjoyed the characters themselves and reading about their lives more than the supernatural battle with the True Knot. Maybe in a future instalment, Abra will be able to “shine” on her own.

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For The Win by Cory Doctorow


For the WinFor the Win by Cory Doctorow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A lesson in economics made simple. A gut wrenching tale of disparate and undervalued workers of the world wide web, and the ingenuity and determination that leads to fair treatment. You think playing computer games is only for fun? There’s much more to it than that. Some people get rich buying and trading virtual items in virtual worlds. Meanwhile the 21st century sweat shops ‘farm gold’ to be sold on elsewhere in the real world.

I wish I had read this book whilst still studying the economics modules at university!  This would have helped tremendously putting game theory and the drier economics theories into perspective.  It gives you a greater understanding of how these intangible facts and figures can have a real effect on people’s everyday lives.  Some for the better, often for the worse; and the importance of how trade unions can help to balance the power.

This book was published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike 3.0 license.  Which means you can find this book online and read it for free.  There is also an audiobook version available through Archive.org.
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