Tag: Book Reviews

Book Review: A Murder on the Appian Way by Steven Saylor

A Murder on the Appian Way (Roma Sub Rosa, #5)A Murder on the Appian Way by Steven Saylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was very hard trying to put this book down!

I do love how Steven Saylor weaves Gordianus into history, and makes dramatic sense of what were desperately dramatic times.

Great reading. Awesome research. Brilliantly enthralling.

Highly recommended!

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Book Review: The Alexander Trilogy by Mary Renault

The Alexander TrilogyThe Alexander Trilogy by Mary Renault
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first book in this trilogy ‘Fire From Heaven’ read like an absolute miracle. Beautiful flowing prose, the likes of which is rarely to be found these days, made the entire experience an exciting and insightful joy.

The second book ‘The Persian Boy’ started out interesting, moved to intriguing, and then became irritating. Actually it became increasingly irritating to the point of utterly unbelievable annoyance, and I couldn’t keep reading it without wanting to scream ‘are you completely f’ing kidding me with this?’.

I have rarely gone from such unfettered admiration for a writer, to being utterly disgusted in so short a time.

And in my life, I’m quite sure I’ve never before read such beautifully, eloquently, gorgeously constructed crap before.

Can’t finish this.

Not even curious about it.

Not recommending this past the first book.

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Book Review: Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills (Star Wars: Rogue One) by Greg Rucka

Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills (Star Wars: Rogue One)Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills by Greg Rucka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book more than I had expected to.

It’s a fun action packed story that makes you laugh, cheer, and ask very philosophical questions. For a Star Wars book, it actually showcased many philosophies – from the quotes from Jedi texts at each chapter, and the age old arguments of revolution against oppression.

If you enjoyed Baze and Chirrut in Rogue One, I would highly recommend this book as it brings out more of who they are, and what they fight for.

Though there is a warning that you may get more attached to them, and the movie might be harder to watch as a result.

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Book Review: Munich by Robert Harris

MunichMunich by Robert Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit that this book was really boring to start with, and I nearly put it down several times in exasperation, but by about 25% in it started to get more and more absorbing.

By 40% into the story, I was having trouble putting it down.

And by 50% I was hooked and had to finish it.

This is an interesting look at a piece of history that has be examined, studied, examined some more, written about, poured over, re-examined, and is ceaselessly fascinating and devastating all at once.

Yet it bears a message for our present times too.

And for that alone, I recommend it.

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Book Review: The Greenest Branch (Hildegard of Bingen #1) by P.K. Adams

The Greenest Branch (Hildegard of Bingen #1)The Greenest Branch by P.K. Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Having read P.K. Adams’ book ‘Silent Water’ previously, I was intrigued by The Greenest Branch, and quickly drawn into a beautiful and elegantly described world that is so richly peopled, and so intensely crafted, I was disappointed to reach the end!

Thank goodness there’s a sequel!

Having known but little about Saint Hildegard of Bingen, I almost feel now like she’s a friend.

This is brilliantly written book.

Highly recommended!

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Book Review: Raise the Titanic! (Dirk Pitt, #4) by Clive Cussler

Raise the Titanic! (Dirk Pitt, #4)Raise the Titanic! by Clive Cussler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No one writes books this breathlessly awesome any more.

I first encountered Dirk Pitt, and the brilliant Clive Cussler through this book back when I was at school and first developing what would become a life long fascination with the Titanic.

Oh, how I soaked up the great ship’s discovery a few years later, and was so disappointed that she could never be raised from her cold, deep grave.

But I digress…

This is an enduring and phenomenally amazing story that it is physically impossible to ignore for very long.

If you only ever read one Cussler book, this has to be it.

Highly recommended to the max!!!

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Book Review: Church of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler by Mark Riebling

Church of Spies: The Pope's Secret War Against HitlerChurch of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler by Mark Riebling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I will readily recommend to everyone.

It contains some hard, and painful reading. It also contains some history I had never read before, and had no idea about.

It provoked great debate in my house!!

Absolutely a MUST READ BOOK, even more so for the sake of the situation we are currently enduring in the 21st Century.

Brilliantly expressed, excellent work.

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Book Review: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno

Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel (Star Wars)Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since I was kid. I read most of the Extended Universe books, and have been eyeing the new materials suspiciously.

Having seen Rogue One, I was fascinated about reading Catalyst, and wanted to discover how Galen Erso ended up creating the most destructive weapon of the Empire while building into it a flaw that could be exploited.

The story takes place with Jyn’s birth, during the Clone Wars. Watching how everything quickly changed from the Republic to the Empire, and all the elements around it, was an interesting insight into society as a whole. Weaving all this in through the Erso’s own stories, showcased how much someone can be blinded by what’s around them as long as they themselves were okay.

Galen Erso is neither a hero, nor a villain. He’s a scientist who forgets the world around him. He doesn’t see the implications in what he’s doing, or the consequences of it until it hits him in the face. He is the epitome of ‘seeing if I can do it, never asking if I should do it’. There are even moments where Lyra, as his wife, is the voice of his conscience, but she too is naive to things around her, until she’s confronted head on with what the Empire is truly doing and what they want from her husband.

Krennic’s manipulation through the story is well crafted, and despite the reader knowing he’s the ‘bad guy’ you can’t help but feel he’s the only one who is actually honest about what he is doing.

If you enjoyed Rogue One the movie, you will enjoy this story as it brings past history and depth to characters that the film missed. So when you rewatch Rogue One, the opening takes on a whole new meaning, and that is exactly how movies and books in a Universe should work.

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Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was not a book I’d normally be drawn to, but I found the title alone intriguing.

And what a fascinating tale!

Written with remarkable charm and flair in a tone that sounds so very British, it carries great authenticity on every page.

Well researched, and nicely crafted from nothing but correspondence, I highly recommend this book.

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Book Review: Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible VoyageEndurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Considered to be the definitive account of Shackleton’s incredible expedition to the Antarctic in the famous ship Endurance, this book reads a lot like a thrilling novel of desperate heroism.

That it’s all real, and not fiction, makes it a breathless journey on which the reader travels with the men who endured so much, and achieved such feats as deserve to be endlessly admired.

I have read widely on this topic, and found Lansing’s book to be sufficient as actually adding new elements to my knowledge. For that, I am grateful though I had to wait 9 months in line at the library for a copy.

Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like a better understanding of what Shackleton’s expedition achieved, and would suggest that this form the basis of one’s comprehension.

Excellent work.

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