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drallapaul

drallapaul

Currently reading

The Silent Companions: A Novel
Laura Purcell
Underwinter: A Field of Feathers
Delilah Fawkes
Elephantmen: Mammoth Book 1
Joe Kelly, Richard Starkings

1346 – all hell breaks loose – enthralling novel

The Last Hours - Minette Walters

 

 

Known for her thrillers, Minette Walters has written an enthralling novel about how the Black Death affects a small community in Dorset. There are many contrasting and interesting characters from Lords to serfs, all well-developed and contributing to the plot. This develops very nicely with intrigues, murder, lies and suspicion. There is plenty to enjoy and it is definitely a page-turner.

 

If I had a gripe, it is the words To Be Continued at the end although it works easily as a stand-alone book. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Tiger Lily's revenge – very much her story

Peter Panzerfaust Volume 5: On 'Til Morning - Kurtis J. Wiebe

In this fourth volume of a comic collection which runs to at least 5 volumes, we meet Peter Panzerfaust as he helps the group against the Hunters and Tiger Lily takes her revenge. Taking place in 1940, the group continue to fight the Nazi occupiers in France. The story told in sepia tones is engaging and nicely-illustrated . I've got one more volume to work through and it should be worth the journey. Recommended for its novel perspective, continued action and developing characters.

Quite good but violent and perhaps depressing

Those Below - Daniel Polansky
The second and concluding part of this series deals with the continued political machinations of Eudokia and Pyre, resulting inevitably with bloody confrontation with Those Above. The characters are developed further and the second part of the book is full of double-crossings and betrayals. Some of the main characters die in the conflict, other survive. It's a bit reminiscent (100 years this week) of elements of the Russian Revolution (Lenin, Trotksy, the Romanovs).

It's not really clear till the end which side will prevail - a valuable addition to the plot.
Quite good but violent and perhaps depressing.
 
 
 

The “crocodile” enters into the story – betrayal and more wartime activity

Peter Panzerfaust, Vol. 3: Cry of the Wolf - Tyler Jenkins, Kurtis J. Wiebe

 

 

In this third volume of a comic collection which runs to at least 5 volumes, we meet Peter Panzerfaust as his group of Lost Boys and the Darlings are betrayed by one of their group.

 

The story told in sepia tones is engaging and nicely-illustrated as warfare continues as the Germans advance through France. I've got the next two volumes to work through and it should be worth the journey. Recommended for its novel perspective, continued action and developing characters.

 

Tiger Lily and Hook enter into the story – more wartime activity

Peter Panzerfaust, Vol. 2: Hooked - Tyler Jenkins, Kurtis J. Wiebe

 

 

In this second volume of a comic collection which runs to at least 5 volumes, we meet Peter Panzerfaust as his group of Lost Boys and the Darlings encounter Tiger Lily and her Braves as well as the Nazi villain, Hook. This WWII drama revolves around rescuing Felix from the Germans

 

The story told in sepia tones is engaging and nicely-illustrated as warfare continues as the Germans advance through France. I've got the next three volumes to work through and it should be worth the journey. Recommended for its novel perspective, continued action and developing characters.

Well-produced Peter Pan-meets-World War II story

Peter Panzerfaust, Vol. 1: The Great Escape - Tyler Jenkins, Kurtis J. Wiebe

 

 

In this first volume of a comic collection which runs to at least 5 volumes, we meet Peter Panzerfaust as he rescues the Lost Boys and the Darling children, all as the Nazis invade Northern France in 1940.

 

The story told in sepia tones is engaging and nicely-illustrated as Peter and the boys fight their way out of Calais to head for Paris. I've got the next four volumes to work through and it should be worth the journey. Recommended for its novel perspective.

 

Bleak and not particularly enthralling mystery novel

After the Fire - Henning Mankell, Marlaine Delargy

 

 

Known for his Wallander books, Mankell's latest venture is After the Fire. It tells us about Fredrik, our narrator and retired elderly doctor, whose house is burnt down on the remote Swedish island where he lives. The story revolves around his encounter with various people as the mystery of the arson event unravels. Slow-going, it plods along with a good deal of introspection and often emotionless thought. Involving a few other characters, not much happens for most of the book.

 

As you will have gathered, I was not inspired by this novel and would only recommend it to die-hard Mankel fans.

 

Saga is the right word – more fun and fighting

Saga, Volume 7 - Fiona Staples, Brian K. Vaughan

 

 

The continuing story of a host of characters of different species as they fight for their survival and for their loved ones. The plot centres around a war between two races which spreads across the cosmos involving many others. The child of a Romeo-and-Juliet couple may resolve the growing crisis. It's difficult to write another review for this series without giving too much away: new characters appear and some die. There's plenty to keep the reader interested and

 

The artwork is fun as it depicts all the various races, few of which are humanoid. There is a lot of violent action and many main characters die in the process.

 

And it’s not finished – there’s more to come. Let's not keep this going forever, enjoyable as it is.

 

Nicely-produced medieval epic – with a twist.

Green Valley - Max Landis

 

 

This colourful and clearly-illustrated comic collection tells us about four knights battling away against various enemies but encountering a strange “wizard”. The characters are all very different and interact well. With fighting, time travel and lots of surprising elements, this collection is a lot of fun and well worth reading. Highly recommended.

 

I found it enjoyable and one of Image's more interesting creations.

 

London-based eye-opener about the lives of Sikh women

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows - Balli Kaur Jaswal

 

This novel deals with Nikki, a young modern Sikh woman, hired to teach women at a gurdwara in Southall. The classes take an unexpected turn as the Sikh widows have a different agenda. Their stories are revealed as well as a mystery to be resolved. This all leads to a satisfactory conclusion for all involved with some action at the end.

The book is character-driven mostly although the plot elements are well-conceived. Having lived in Leicester for 25 years, a lot of the story was familiar to me, dealing with arranged marriages, women's role in Sikh society, honour killings etc.. It is engaging and enjoyable and worth a read. Recommended but probably more a woman's novel than a man's.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Recommended to fantasy lovers but don't expect too much!

Those Above - Daniel Polansky

A slowburner, this fantasy novel sets up a confrontation between the god-like figures living Above and ruling the land and the humans living Below. The plot is about establishing all the major characters among the Others and the humans, their thoughts ,whims and ambitions from the lowly Thistle to Calla, servant to the Aubade.

It certainly takes a while for any action to take place as it also encompasses political machinations among many of the characters. It's quite engaging eventually and I've bought the next in the series to see how it develops. Recommended to fantasy lovers but don't expect too much!

Comic about ninja high school girl – quite good

Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special - Brian Maruca, Jim Rugg

 

 

This comic is about a girl challenged at her school because of her reputation as a fighter and the consequences of the fight.

 

Quite good although not particularly original in places, this comic is worth a look and is quite clearly illustrated.

 

 

Our cibopath and more adventures – silly, fun and quite good

Chew Smorgasbord Edition Volume 2 (Chew Smorgasbord Ed Hc) - John Layman

 

 

The premise behind this omnibus compilation of Chew is that Tony Chu is a cibopath – by eating something, he learns its history and all about it. He is hired by the FDA at a time when all chicken is banned due to a disastrous outbreak of avian flu. In this second volume of stories, he encounters a whole range of similarly-powered people with a lot of interesting abilities. There's ongoing plotlines involving ex-partners and a cyborg rooster.

 

The style is cartoony and the stories are inevitably silly but quite fun. Worthy of a look, especially if you're acquainted with Volume 1.

 

Mysteries to solve – quite enjoyable stuff

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel - Matthew J. Sullivan

 

After a childhood event in which she is involved in a multiple murder scene, Lydia Smith now works at a bookstore in Denver where she encounters more tragedy. The bookstore serves as a port of call for various down-and-outs and lost souls. The plot brings both events together as she discovers more about the present victim.

With a good deal of characterisation of the main characters, this mystery novel is relatively engaging and interesting although the coincidences are a little hard to believe. It is enjoyable and worth a read.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

OK fourth and final part of the series

Shards of a Broken Crown - Raymond E. Feist

Having read the first three books in this series, it only seemed appropriate to finish it. Like the previous volume, this novel is basically a lot of battles as a new foe takes on the forces of the Kingdom. The war takes place in a number of locations and involves all the main characters, focussing mainly on Jimmy and Dash, who both acquire new and exciting roles by the end of the book.

I could have done with more non-fighting plot but this book is OK as it stands.

Not for me but some girls should enjoy this

Snotgirl Vol. 1: Green Hair Don't Care - Leslie Hung, Leslie Hung, Mickey Quinn, Bryan Lee O'Malley

 

 

Aimed at the female market (I think), this comic collection is about a girl fashion blogger, Lottie, and her trials and tribulations, centering on boys, friends, social media and a new mysterious acquaintance. Her life is one of fashion, parties and get-togethers but a mystery begins to unfold. More in the next volume.

 

The illustrations are colourful and clear but this really does not suit a 64-year-old man!