Tyson Adams

Putting the 'ill' back in thriller

Archive for the tag “Robert Crais”

Tyson Adams’ 2012 Book Awards: The Awesomes

Last year I instituted my best reads of the year, The Awesomes. I’ve read a few books this year (+90) and have decided that I needed to talk about my favourites of 2012 and award this year’s Awesome™.

As you will have noticed, my reviews of books are more about my impressions of the book and talking about how much I liked the book, rather than a recap of the plot, etc. My reasoning behind this is simple, I want to say “read this book” to people rather than fall into my bad habit of spoiling the ending, or being a bitch about books I didn’t enjoy. My list is based upon what I have read this year, so obviously some great books have missed out due to lack of reading hours in the year. Also my read list does include some books that were published prior to 2012. There were some categories that were sadly under-represented and some that had some very intense competition.Also, the fact that I finished a book shows that it was worth reading. I have my reading rules that stop me wasting valuable reading time on books I’m not enjoying. This means that any books on my read list are entertaining (well, unless I was particularly disgusted with the crappiness of the book in question).

Awesome of 2012

Nathaniel Cade series – Christopher Farnsworth

Night Angel Trilogy – Brent Weeks

Blasphemy – Douglas Preston

Temple of the Gods – Andy McDermott

Temple – Matthew Reilly

McGrave – Lee Goldberg

And the winner? Blasphemy by Douglas Preston.

Awesome Literary Fiction

There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.

Awesome Mystery & Thriller

Temple – Matthew Reilly

King City and McGrave- Lee Goldberg

First Drop – Zoe Sharp

Blasphemy – Douglas Preston

Temple of the Gods – Andy McDermott

Relic – Preston and Child

Nathaniel Cade series – Christopher Farnsworth

Tough category, but always hard to go past Matthew Reilly.

Awesome Crime

Assassin – Tara Moss

Vodka Doesn’t Freeze – Leah Giarrantano

Black Echo – Michael Connelly

Sunset Express – Robert Crais

Thirteen Hours – Deon Meyer

Another tough category this year. I’m going to have to give this one to Leah, with Tara, Michael and Robert close seconds.

Awesome Fantasy

Night Angel Trilogy – Brent Weeks

Awesome Paranormal Fantasy

Nathaniel Case series – Christopher Farnsworth

Awesome Science Fiction

There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.

Awesome Horror

Nathaniel Cade series – Christopher Farnsworth

The Kult – Shaun Jeffery

And the winner? Nathaniel Cade kicked arse!

Awesome Romance

There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.

Awesome Humor

Right What You No – Tyson Adams’ blog

I’m allowed to be self-congratulatory. Plus I didn’t read any funny books this year.

Awesome Nonfiction

This is an oxymoron, so it is invalidated as a category.

Awesome Graphic Novels & Comics

I didn’t read any 5 star graphic novels this year, but two series came to an end that were worth a mention: The Boys by Garth Ennis and Irredeemable/Incorruptible by Mark Waid. Both series were very strong and explored interesting aspects of the superhero genre.

Awesome Indie

King City – Lee Goldberg

Awesome Poetry

I still try to avoid poetry as much as possible, mainly because of ee cummings.

Book Review: Lullaby Town by Robert Crais

Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole, #3)Lullaby Town by Robert Crais
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

People who read my reviews will know that I’m not a fan of literary fiction. Elmore Leonard has a list of rules on writing, one of those rules is to leave out the parts that people skip. Literary fiction is loaded with those parts you want to skip. Robert Crais must be a fan of Leonard as well.

The last book I started to read was a literary fiction author trying to write a crime thriller. Lullaby Town is Robert’s example of why literary fiction authors can’t make the switch to genre fiction.

Elvis and Pike are back, this time sorting out what should have been a simple family reunion, but ends up with the New York mafia wanting them dead. My only regret with finishing this novel is that my pile of Crais books have now been read and I have to buy the rest before reading more.

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Book Review: Stalking the Angel by Robert Crais

Stalking The Angel (Elvis Cole, #2)Stalking The Angel by Robert Crais

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A good book shouldn’t take any effort to read. The second Elvis Cole adventure is definitely an effortless read. The wit and plot flow seamlessly and make it easy to forget lunch.

The only thing I really have to say about this book is that I’m looking forward to reading the next instalment in the series.

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Book review: Monkey’s Raincoat by Robert Crais

The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1)The Monkey’s Raincoat by Robert Crais
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am the reason that author’s of series have to write novels so that they can stand alone. That’s right, I don’t read series in order all that often. I started with Lee Child’s 61 Hours, Michael Connelly’s City of Bones, JK Rowling’s’ Goblet of Fire, Jo Nesbo’s Nemesis and Matthew Reilly’s Scarecrow. Long time fans don’t appreciate readers like me.

The first Elvis Cole novel I read was Sunset Express, which I enjoyed immensely. I decided to read the series the right way, so I went out and bought the first three Elvis Cole novels. Robert Crais kicked off this series with Monkey’s Raincoat, which was a shorter crime thriller.

Wit, humour, action, a weeping widow and drug dealers: mix and stir. Crais is definitely an author I’m trying to emulate and enjoy his writing and characters. I’m looking forward to the next two instalments.

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Genre vs Literature


During a discussion the other day my favourite authors and books came up as a topic of conversation. Needless to say I listed off writers like Lee Child, Matthew Reilly, Robert Crais, Matt Hilton, etc. Now these people weren’t exactly literary snobs, but they did respond as if I was supposed to list the authors of classic literature and contemporary literature.

Seriously?

Can we all stop pretending that there is something superior about literary fiction. I’ve seen discussions of social problems in crime fiction, fantastic use of literary techniques in horror, exploration of character and humanity in science fiction; all performed with more skill and insight than I have seen in the literary genre.

How about we go back to judging a book by its cover.

Book Review: The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1)The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I tried to like Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, tried but couldn’t help but feel the story was being dragged out far too much. This series, by Brent Weeks, had called to me from the bookstore shelves. Every other book in the fantasy section had all black and red covers, usually with a dragon or girl, or girl riding a dragon. This promised what I had looked for in The Wheel of Time series.

So did it deliver? No. It gave me something else completely, which I enjoyed more.

With a fantasy I was expecting elves: nope. From the cover art I was expecting ninjas: not really. From the blurb I was expecting a Karate Kid story line: thankfully not.

This was a very enjoyable, whilst dark, fantasy novel that had me hooked from about page 10. Normally my reaction to finishing a book is to think about how much I liked or disliked it. In rare instances I immediately jump online and order more books by the author (Lee Child, Matt Hilton, Robert Crais, Matthew Reilly: noticing a pattern there?). The only question now is, do I read the rest of the series right now, or space it out between a few other novels?

Expect reviews of the rest of the series soon…

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Book Review: Double Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Double DexterDouble Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dexter, how I love thee.

It hard to find some reading time these past two weeks. When I did find the time, what better way to spend it than reading a Jeff Lindsay novel.

If there are authors I would like to emulate, Jeff Lindsay and Robert Crais – with their wit, humour and thrilling plots – would be at the top of my list. This outing sees even more of the witty insights into Dexter’s world, my favourite being the final exclamation by Astor, Dexter’s step daughter.

I can’t give this book five stars, because it isn’t as strong as the others in the series. Crunch time hits in the plot about page 200 and is the taut and witty Dexter we know and love. I don’t normally say this about books I read – as I object to it myself – but sticking with this Dexter outing is well worth it.

Also worth mentioning is that Jeff signed my copy of Double Dexter. I asked him about the difference between how Dexter sees himself as “big brained Dexter” and yet exhibits traits that counter this statement. Jeff had some very interesting insights into the psychopath mind that he shared with me on this topic, summarised as “They are never as smart as they think they are.”

Read and enjoy.

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E-Readers Are Cool

That’s right, E-readers were the gift of gifts this holidays. Now the Pew Institute have crunched the numbers to look at who was buying them and how this has changed over time. Report here.

The researchers performed phone interviews with 2,986 people and asked them, “Are you cool enough to own the greatest gadget since Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone?” With an error rate of 2.2%, the results were as follows:

  • E-readers and tablets were owned by 10% of people in December 2011.
    • This was 19% in January 2012.
  • The proportion of people owning at least one of these two increased from 18% to 29%.
  • Tablet owners are likely to be under 50 years old and have graduated college.
    • They are also likely to make enough money to buy lots of apps and books.
  • E-readers are more popular with women and the 30-49 age group.
    • E-readers are still pretty popular with anyone under 65.
  • College graduates and rich folks also love E-readers.
  • You should own an E-reader.

I have my E-reader, the new Kindle. I still love my pile of dead tree books, but I also love my Kindle.

My Kindle and a DTB

Book Review: Sunset Express by Robert Crais

Sunset Express (Elvis Cole, #6)Sunset Express by Robert Crais
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my first Robert Crais novel, after having to return a previous attempt to the library – stupid overdue fees! For Sunset Express I was well prepared, I bought a copy so that I would definitely have the chance to read an Elvis Cole and Joe Pike mystery. A very worthy investment.

While I’m indifferent about some of the characters in the novel, Elvis is a great narrator and has just the right amount of wit and humour. Robert has certainly crafted an interesting series of investigative twists, while at the same time retaining a level of reality. I really did enjoy this book and will be picking up the rest of the series soon.

On a side note, Robert’s style of writing is similar to the style I am pursuing in my writing. A serious novel with wit and humour, while also avoiding some of the neatly tied up ending cliches. From what I’ve read in Sunset Express, I’d be very pleased to have my WIP first novel, Overturned Stones, be comparable to Robert’s work.

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