What I’ve been reviewin’ – Fire And Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

Fire and HemlockFire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ugh no. DWJ is a goddess in my personal pantheon, but no to this book. Really obvious observations stated as stunning revelations.

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What I’ve been reviewin’ – Refuge (Minder’s War #1) by Gerhard Gehrke

Refuge (Minder's War #1)Refuge by Gerhard Gehrke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The alien hive mind is a trope I’ve always been fond of, but I’m getting a little jaded with it. The drifts of alien spores travelling through space and time reminded me of the classic ‘The Possessors’ by John Christopher, a beautifully chilly and ominous tale.

Heroine Deanne I found a little unsympathetic and detached, and was initially puzzled by the apparently extensive technical and scientific comprehension of a juvie hall kid, although this is briefly addressed at a later point in the book. The monsters were grossly unpleasant, which I guess counts as a win in a tale of this type, and overall the story was readable, plausible and internally coherent, and the detail convincing.

There were occasional tense and grammar issues at some points of the book, and on one page – I think 86% of the way through – a paragraph is half-deleted. Easily enough done during formatting. The main annoying thing was the constant rendition of the word ‘shone’ as ‘shined’ – extra noticeable as it is used about two thousand times in the book. I’m willing to accept that it’s correct American usage, but to British sensibilities it really grates quite a lot.

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image – Lucas https://www.flickr.com/photos/myvector/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

What I’m reading – ‘Souls In The Great Machine’ by Sean McMullen


I’m on page 26 of 608 of Souls in the Great Machine by Sean McMullen: currently loving the mysterious ‘Call’. And Lemorel! She’s a scary lady! Joyful and amazing so far.
image – William Chang https://www.flickr.com/photos/misterwilliam/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

What I’ve been reading – Aerodynamics of Pork by Patrick Gale

Aerodynamics of PorkAerodynamics of Pork by Patrick Gale

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book so very long ago that it’s probably hardly fair to review it, really. I will say that I loved it at the time, and I’m interested to discover now from other reviews that it was intended as a subversion of the traditional romance novel. A little irony there, because the gay relationship struck me as the very essence of Harlequin, barring the homosexuality.

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What I’ve been reading – The Christmas Mansion by Hollis Shiloh

The Christmas MansionThe Christmas Mansion by Hollis Shiloh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three point five. Nice attraction between the MCs, and an interesting combo of house restoration and magic!

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What I’ve been reading – The Wolf of Ash and Fire by Graham McNeill

The Wolf of Ash and FireThe Wolf of Ash and Fire by Graham McNeill

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not much of a fan of self-consciously sparse, tight writing – no thanks – but this was a bit too elaborate in style for me.

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