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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