Tyson Adams

Putting the 'ill' back in thriller

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Book Review: First Drop by Zoe Sharp

First Drop (Charlie Fox Thriller, #4)First Drop by Zoë Sharp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a new dad, there are a few sentiments expressed by Charlie Fox – the hero – about kids that feel spot on. There is nothing more annoying than a baby interrupting you reading a good book, especially during the final 50 pages! The annoying kid Charlie was protecting rang a little too true for me.

Zoe has certainly got all the right thriller ingredients. But she has also managed to mix them together into a great blend that is interesting and exciting. From go to arrhythmia, there is no let up, with Charlie trying to stay alive and figure out who isn’t trying to kill her. If I had one quibble, it was with a chance encounter that was rather important to the plot, I would have preferred it to be done a little different. But then again, I forgive this in Lee Child, Zoe is no less a writer, so it is an easily overlooked point.

If you haven’t read any of the Charlie Fox thrillers, do so soon.

NB: This review was written whilst trying to calm a baby who hadn’t slept all day and was having the grumps.

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Babies have it better than adults

Things babies can do that adults can’t:

Poop in their pants.
It could be argued that adults are not obliged to deny their desire to poop their pants, but generally that person will be shunned rather than have gooey faces made at them.

Cry to get attention.
Look at how lame we think Glen Beck is for doing this.

Only do the basics of life: eat, shit, sleep.
Hard to sleep when you are hungry. Hard to shit when you haven’t eaten. Hard to eat without earning money. Hard to earn money if all you do is lie around doing the basics of life.

Urinate on someone and laugh.
Well, I suppose we could do that, but I’m pretty sure that a fight would arise.

Suck on boobies in public.
It really would make for a better society if we could.

Be noisy and disruptive during movies, plane flights, in grocery stores and have people blame your parents.
Why am I the jerk for taking a call during the new James Bond film?

Be showered with gifts for just showing up.
Baby gifts are like the participation award at school, except with cooler prizes.

Thought for the day

Reasons why writing is better than a real job

At the end of a day of writing you don’t feel like stabbing yourself in the eye with a pencil.

Writing can be done at any time, rather than nine till five, which is much better suited to sleeping.

Dressing for work is optional. And I mean optional.

Work shoes don’t have to have a safety rating or glossy shine, they only have to be wool lined and comfy.

If you spend all of the money your boss gives you and fail to complete your job on time, nobody is really that surprised.

All of that wasted time on the internet is “research”.

Drinking on the job is mandatory rather than discouraged.

Emailing, Facebooking, tweeting and blogging are important networking, not procrastination.

Shaving is no longer a daily chore, it is a sign you are going out in public for a change.

Work colleagues are people you only see at festivals, or chat to on Facebook when you can’t be bothered working.

Paperwork? What paperwork?

The arrival of the mail is a daily highlight, rather than something you check for as you arrive home.

More grammar essentials

Book Review: Lockdown by Sean Black

LockdownLockdown by Sean Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometime last year Matt Hilton recommended a few authors to me, one of them being Sean Black. I dutifully downloaded a sample of Lockdown onto my Kindle, just letting it sit there, doing the electronic equivilent of gathering dust. Actually, in the digital age, I wonder if we will develop so many little phrases like “gathering dust” since the electronic medium has a lack of physical presence to have relatable descriptions assigned.

Over a year later I finally started Sean’s first novel, bought the full Kindle version, and plowed through this fast paced novel. I really enjoyed the brisk narrative and I could see similarities to Matt’s writing, which is probably why he was recommending Sean’s work.

Guess now I have to find more of Sean’s books.

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Skill vs. Fame

You can always trust a guy in a lab coat, they know stuff. This relationship of skill required versus fame really does show that I have really decided to limit my levels of fame. Scientists aren’t really cool enough to be famous, authors are similarly nerdy, just better with words. Maybe it is time for scientists and authors to start making sex tapes.

John Cleese on Creativity

Like everyone else with a pulse, I’m a Monty Python fan. Whether it be a killer white rabbit or a very naughty boy, there is nothing quite like the laughs that a Python sketch can illicit. I recently found this lecture that John Cleese gave on creativity. It is quite interesting the ground he covers and the conditions that are needed to be cultivated in order to be creative. Hope everyone gets as much out of this as I did.

Book review: Blasphemy by Douglas Preston

BlasphemyBlasphemy by Douglas Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, the title of the book is spot on.

I’ve been making my way through most of the Preston and Child novels, enjoying each in turn, so I thought it was time to hunt down some of their individual efforts. My local library happened to have Blasphemy on the shelves, which came home with me for a few days.

This is a very well written book. Not only is it intriguing, it weaves in several themes, allegories, allusions and straight up social commentaries. At the same time it is a fast paced thriller. I really enjoyed it.

Of course the title is likely to make some people a little nervous about reading the book. It should be made clear that The Flying Spaghetti Monster is not mentioned, nor is his noodliness likely to be happy with the religious comments – beer and pirates are not mentioned once. No doubt some will be offended, especially if they swear blind that Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins have horns and pitch forks. Everyone else will enjoy this interesting and fast paced novel.

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Learning genetics

I’ve spent years learning to be a scientist. During that time I picked up a bit of genetics. But still:

Book review: Assassin by Tara Moss

Assassin (Makedde Vanderwall, #6)Assassin by Tara Moss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Trying to read with a newborn in your arms is tricky. You try to get them to sleep and then realise you haven’t been reading all of that time. You try to feed them and realise that Zaphoid was right, a third arm does come in handy. This all adds up to making it hard to enjoy a good book.

The fact that I did enjoy this book shows just how good it was, because my reading has been very interrupted. Mak is back in what appears to be the finale in the Vanderwall series. Since the last book, Mak has been hiding out in Spain, but it isn’t long before assassins get wind of her location and she is headed back to Australia.

If this is the end of the series (I’m going by the novel, I haven’t heard Tara mention anything on this) then I think it ended appropriately. Some authors, TV shows and musicians drag out a series for too long. Tara has avoided that nicely. Now the only question is, will she continue in the crime genre, or will her paranormal novels be the focus now?

NB: This was a signed copy. Book fans may appreciate that detail.

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