The Verkreath Horror

The Verkreath Horror

by Martyn Stanley

This was a good read. The characters are much more complex and well developed compared to book 1; their personalities having subtleties that make them feel much more ‘real’. Brilliant characterisation and graphic, often gruesome, vivid depictions of the scenery mean that the plot feels slower and more measured, but without ever becoming frustrating or feeling like things were moving along too slowly. I can still smell the rotting corpses of Strak and feel the claustrophobic darkness of the Warren even now as I write this review.

The relationship between Vashni and Korhan was handled well in this book and I enjoyed their more subtle budding friendship greatly. We do hear much more from the other characters and it felt much more balanced as a result. Brael still leaves me intrigued and desperate for more,  Vortrex really comes into his own while fighting the Verkreath and Saul did a lot to help the group during the journey (though I felt he was unfairly sidelined, he was actually critical to their success).

All in all, a very good read. I’m very much enjoying seeing both the developing complexities of the characters, as well as seeing the evolution of an author. I look forward to the next instalment.

Rating: *****

Mermaid Trouble

Mermaid Trouble

by Andy Mulberry

 

This short book wasn’t about mermaids unfortunately. It was about hunting a mystical something that was putting some charms on people which made them grow mermaid tails, amongst other things. If my summary sounds vague, it’s because that is all I remember despite only just finishing it. The writing felt stilted, the story didn’t really get going until around 60%-70% of the way through the book, and I just couldn’t find myself caring about the characters. If you are looking for a book about mermaids, this one isn’t it. It does have magic and unexpected events, all of which might have been much more exciting if I had been able to like the characters more. Having said all that, I did make it through to the end, there are some interesting potential themes which I could see being explored in future books, and the text itself is simple to read for younger teen readers.

 

Rating: **

The Last Dragon Slayer

The Last Dragon Slayer

by Martyn Stanley

 

This is book 1 in the Deathsworn Arc.

 

The book is not so much about the Last Dragon Slayer, who plays a relatively minor part. It is more focused on the relationship between Vashni and Korhan, two of the others that make up a rag-tag bunch of adventurers on their way to hunt down a dragon. I won’t give away what happens, but needless to say this relationship is very odd and reminds me of a magical “50 shades of grey” minus the sex and with a plotline.

Having said that, this was a much better read than the aforementioned book! The main characters are very well portrayed, although i’d like to have seen a little more of the others making up the journeying group. The pacing of the story during action scenes was spot on, and the ending was satisfying, if somewhat predictable. Overall, an enjoyable read.

Rating: ****

The Sun Jumpers

The Sun Jumpers

by Ken Luber

 

I loved the story behind this book and can imagine this playing out well in a movie. It is a fun, very positive/happy read following the adventures of a group of teenagers who end up 10,000 years in the future. Most of the book follows their adventures in trying to get to grips with the modern world and is a story of deep friendship, love and acceptance in a sometimes difficult world. The book has a slight philosophical edge that makes you stop and think, but definitely doesn’t get bogged down in details as could easily happen with a story of this kind; Luber is skilled at making you stop and think without things becoming too deep or ruining the light-hearted, playful theme.

Rating: *****

 

 

 

Luminescence (Rayne Trilogy: 1)

Luminescence (Rayne Trilogy: 1)

by Quoleen Sbrocca

Well, this one was a surprise. I have to confess, it started off slow and the way the characters spoke in their latin-based language irritated me a little.

However, irritation quickly became endearing and other-worldly and I became immersed in an interesting and exciting world; I felt that I was right there with Rayne as she discovered the results of receiving the Luminescence so late in life. As the book continued, it got better and better and I found myself caring more. By the end, I was eager to read more and have added the next book to my wishlist.

I have only marked it 4 stars because it took almost a third of the book for me to start to love it; I do wish that the first part made for easier reading but I get that this is hard when you are throwing your readers into a world that is so different from our own.

 

Rating: ****

Mine to Tarnish

Mine to Tarnish

A good prequel following Katherine’s story which fills in some interesting blanks from the first book. Short and sweet and written in similarly good style, it was a nice read although i didn’t enjoy it as much as “You are mine”. I don’t recommend reading this one first, definitely start with book 1 and then read this prequel as things will make much more sense in this order and you’ll find yourself caring  more about Katherine and her story.

 

Rating: ****

Mastering Logical Fallacies

Mastering Logical Fallacies
This book is boring. I persevered through 40% of it before speed-reading the rest to the end. Each of the arguments is laid out one by one in a way that makes you feel like you are reading a dictionary. Some of the examples given were vaguely interesting but will become completely irrelevant in a few years as it heavily borrows from what is current in the news right now. If you want very detailed technical examples of logical fallacies with lots of jargon then you might like it, but this book doesn’t relate to ‘real life’ very well and gets way too bogged down in academics.
Rating: *