Tag: Book Reviews

Book Review: Arms of Nemesis (Roma Sub Rosa, #2) by Steven Saylor

Arms of Nemesis (Roma Sub Rosa, #2)Arms of Nemesis by Steven Saylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent book, filled with beautiful and lyrical descriptions of Ancient Rome in the time before Caesar.

The author is certainly more than capable of drawing the reader into old rituals, and stunning scenery with flowing ease and an assurance of research well done on every topic, from poisons to bath houses.

In fact, Steven Saylor includes at the end a list of works he consulted for writing this book, so the curious can go find more for themselves.

I appreciate the tasteful way he describes both sex and sensuality and when he does feel the need to use baser descriptions, they fit very well with the ‘moment’ in the drama.

This is the second of his Roma Sub Rosa series and I look forward to reading the third, even if the ending on this one felt just ever so slightly contrived.

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How to help an Author: Leave a Review

I saw this on Charles Delint’s Facebook page and it’s so very true.

This is why I leave reviews on Goodreads for the books I read.  It doesn’t matter if the author is well established or just starting out.

Reviews help get books moved on up the charts.

Reviews help books get past the initial first day sales, giving them staying power.

Reviews show that you, the readers, were moved by the book, whether it was in a positive or negative way.

Please leave a review after reading – I sincerely hope it’s a positive one 🙂

You can either leave a review for The Secret Service Agent or Conversations in Real Time on their respective pages here on the blog, or on the digital store were you bought them (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo or Smashwords), or of course, on Goodreads.

Thank you so much!

Nicholas J. Finch


 

Book Review: Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novel by Nancy Holder

The one thing I’m adamant about is reading.  Read everything.  Just read.

Which means that my selection of books ends up being from eclectic to downright head tilting at times.

Next book up for a review is not one most wouldn’t think of as part of anyone’s library.   Movie novelizations aren’t the next Jeffrey Archer’s or Stephen King’s (despite how many of their books have been made into movies).  But movie novelizations got me reading as a young loner teenager who preferred books over people.

So on occasion I still pick them up.

Now don’t get me wrong there’s a big difference between reading a novelization and one that was the inspiration of a film … one day I’ll do a post on The Snowman by Jo Nesbø, but until then …

Enjoy Wonder Woman!


Wonder Woman: The Official Movie NovelizationWonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization by Nancy Holder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As someone who enjoyed the movie for it’s innovation of character and bringing back Wonder Woman as a strong female character, I was curious on how the ‘Movie Novelization’ would read out.

It wasn’t a difficult read, I finished it in a few hours (though months apart) It was enjoyable, the writing was good but not in-depth, I had been hoping for more character insight or history. It followed the movie closely, even if you wanted more.

For a movie novelization it was one of the best I’ve read. I would recommend it to people who have seen the movie or not. You’ll fall in love with Diane and feel her pain, devotion and love.

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Book Review: Roman Blood (Roma Sub Rosa, #1) by Steven Saylor

The goal for this year is to read more books!

I got so wrapped up last year in finishing The Secret Service Agent, that I slacked off on my reading list!

So starting off the New Year with my first book review:

 

Roman Blood (Roma Sub Rosa, #1)Roman Blood by Steven Saylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having read Steven Saylor’s ‘Roma’ I was fascinated to start at the beginning of the Roma Sub Rosa series and meet Gordianus the Finder.

This was an easy and enjoyable read from start to finish, though it did flag a little bit in the middle, and I’ve only given it 4 stars here because the repetition of certain information that the reader had already been given previously in the book, started to get very tedious after a while.

I understand that repetition is often necessary to make sure the reader gets the point, but this didn’t feel like that kind of writing tool from my perspective.

The characters are hard to like at first. Their pace of life is very slow, and many of them are utterly irredeemable. But stick with it, it’s worth it.

I had no idea until the end that it was based on real historical documents from the famous Orator Marcus Tullius Cicero, whom we meet in the story as the man quite literally guiding the need for Gordianus to go Find him information on a case to be presented before the Rostra in the ancient Roman Forum.

I would absolutely recommend this book, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the next one in the series.

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Book Review: Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer

Not a Penny More, Not a Penny LessNot a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been a long time since I last read Jeffrey Archer, and where better to start again than at the beginning of his works.

This book is total fun! Seriously.

Simple, straightforward, ever so slightly pretentious without being snobbish. And there’s a twist in the tale that’s just brilliant (the second twist was a little bit too much though to be honest).

Clear language, flowing and precise. The characters are equal parts adorable and annoying, without being tedious.

A good romping read that doesn’t tax the mind too much.

Highly recommended!

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Book Review: St. Peter’s Bones by Thomas Craughwell

St. Peter's Bones: How the Relics of the First Pope Were Lost and Found . . . and Then Lost and Found AgainSt. Peter’s Bones: How the Relics of the First Pope Were Lost and Found . . . and Then Lost and Found Again by Thomas J. Craughwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent book filled with history in terms that are easy to understand and simple to follow. I learned a lot from this that I hadn’t known before, and was very pleased to see mention of the awesome St. Vibiana, who’s personal history and story are so slim anyway. This was great, and put the timeline of the archaeology below St. Peter’s Basilica, into fuller perspective. Recommended reading!

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Book Review: Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca

Mrs. Sherlock HolmesMrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve read a few reviews saying this book felt like a let down.

Personally, I loved the book! I enjoyed reading about Grace Humiston, and her crusade to help those who were downtrodden by society. Grace was a strong willed woman, who took on the system, got her Law Degree and faced off with corrupt officials and police departments. And she did it all in a time where women didn’t even have the right to vote.

I will admit that the narrative was too jumpy, and it took some time to figure out the actual timeline of the story and where we were at in her life. The writer had a simple way of writing, that made it easy to read yet felt as if it was about two steps below you.

It’s a bit slow to start with, but as you work your way through the narrative, you start to see Grace’s amazing story.

What is fascinating about this book, is the realization of how much hasn’t changed – how police departments everywhere still look at ‘Missing Persons’, how Immigrants are looked at, how women are viewed by higher officials. Grace could step out of 1910’s in to 2010’s and wonder what if anything had changed.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Women’s History. I would warn it can be choppy and at times disjointed, but worth reading all the way to the end.

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Book Review: The Nice Guys by Charles Ardai

The Nice Guys: The Official Movie NovelizationThe Nice Guys: The Official Movie Novelization by Charles Ardai
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s easy language and the story flows in a straightforward way, but what I enjoyed most was getting more depth out of the lead characters that wasn’t presented in the film.

A great addition to a really hilarious film that’s begging for a sequel!

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Book Review: The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet, #1)The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the tale of this unsolved mystery. James Ellroy does an amazing job of bring to life 1940’s Los Angeles, making no pretense of the gritty underbelly along with the seedy police and political situations. I enjoyed this book, and got to a point where I couldn’t it down until I knew who had killed the Black Dahlia.

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Book Review: God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert

God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles #4)God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Having never read this far into the Dune sequence before, I was hooked and intrigued and desperate to know where this story line was leading.

Philosophically challenging, beautifully written, and deeply meaningful, the world of Dune echoes through the decades.

I was strangely disappointed with the ending though, and determine that reading further along into the following books that continue the story, may correct my sense of ‘what just happened here?’ that came with the final denouement to this book.

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