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review 2015-05-20 17:18
Burning House review
Burning House - Daniel Marc Chant

I seem to be in the vast minority when it comes to reviews for this novella from second-time author, Mr Daniel Marc Chant (I included the "Mr" because that's how the author's name is listed on my kindle copy of the book). Other reviews have praised Burning House for its fresh and interesting concept - that of a group of firefighters battling some kind of evil in the midst of a large apartment building blaze - and its impressive gore. While I agree with the concept here being different enough to be interesting on its own, the gore, for mine, was nothing exceptional.

I don't know. Perhaps I just read this with my grumpy pants on. But what I find odd is that others seem to have overlooked major issues with this novella that stood out to me like a LARPer in the middle of the CBD at lunch time on a Wednesday.

To start, Chant sets up the town this all takes place in as being off or wrong in some kind of way, and then never again revisits this idea. Then, he has some kind of sacrifice take place within the bowels of an apartment building which presumably summons the evil that feeds the flames which devour said building, but again, aside from setting things in motion, this goes absolutely nowhere. Once the residents of the building get out, the story switches to the POV of the firefighters, and they have no clue what's going on (at any point), so the reader never gets any kind of explanation as to what is happening and how it relates to the prologue. Which I found to be wholly unsatisfying. Why not just start the tale with the firefighters arriving on the scene, noting something weird about the flames, then hearing screams and going in to find the person still trapped in the building?

Which leads me to issue number two. All fictional books require a certain suspension of disbelief - and works of horror require it more than most - but the level required to get through Burning House is immense. The time the firefighters spend looking for one screaming person, even after their own start to disappear and then die, becomes increasingly silly. Their rationale for staying is not sustainable beyond the first death they suffer. Worse, they continually split up, wander off, and otherwise make bonehead decisions mere scenes after talking about not doing exactly what it is they have gone ahead and done!

The writing here screams early trunk novel. Far too many characters not nearly fleshed out enough to care about (aside from Ellie, the female lead), with some not even given a trait until after they have died (eg. Ellie's cousin). Building from this, too many characters are simply too interchangeable, and this is only made worse by Chant's decision to switch back and forth between calling them by their first and surnames throughout the book. I mean, I still can't tell you how many people were in the firefighting squad that went into that building*. Chant also has so much going on in certain scenes that he has characters simply stand there far too often looking on in horror. This is sometimes explained by the encompassing darkness that travels with the evil thing, but that darkness still doesn't explain why people aren't booking it out of there quick smart once light has returned and the result of said attacks is revealed.

So, in summary, Burning House reads and feels like a very early novella. At its core, it has a genuinely good idea, but the execution of said idea lacks in numerous critical ways - at least, it did for me.

2 Hopelessly Inept Captains Who Know Nothing About Saving Their Teams for Burning House.

*Though in the counting system of Terry Pratchett's trolls, I know it was lots

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/994537920?book_show_action=false
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review 2015-04-29 18:34
Burning Down the House (Skull Crackers Motorcycle Club) - Marissa Knight

1,5 Stars!
Well that was not so good. I was expecting a hot and sweaty erotic short story and in its place i got an awkward, poorly developed, menial, tiny tale, that was more frustrating than anything else.


The premise was ok, maybe naive and plain but i was looking for that kind of simplicity in this particular read. No matter how basic though the story is i still expect for some semblance of literature. The whole book is hardly 20 pages long, couldn't the author take a look at it and do a spell check? Am i asking for too much?


Anyway, like i said, this is nothing much so yeah! Ta ta for now!



THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK

- Some editing issues.
- I liked how shy Danny was.
- Stale usage of the language. Manhood, again and again!!??

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1267218044
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review 2015-04-26 17:36
Caution: This book may induce scotch drinking
Burning Down George Orwell's House - Andrew Ervin

I picked this ARC up at the MPIBA trade show back in October, firstly because of the title, secondly because there was a wolf on the front cover, and thirdly because it took place in Scotland, where I had recently returned from. Sadly, I did not make it to the Isle of Jura, where the story takes place, but that wasn't going to deter me. 

 

Burning Down George Orwell's House tells the story of Ray Welter, once a big time advertiser in Chicago who finds himself on a fairly remote island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. After months spent pushing large, gas-guzzling SUVs onto the American public, Ray has a change of heart about who he is and what he's doing with his life. His wife has left him, he's racked with guilt and he has no idea who he is. 

 

So he packs up what few belongings he has and blows all his money on a six month lease on George Orwell's old house, the same on in which he wrote most of 1984. Ray has been obsessed with 1984 since he read it years ago. So what better place to come and rediscover yourself? But Ray has to contended with the locals on the island, most of which who are very pleasant and other much less so. 

 

Okay, I liked this book for a few reasons. First off, it was set in Scotland. Every time I picked up the book it made me very nostalgic and I got to practice my Scottish accent in my head while I read. Not much really happens in the book as far as action or adventure or anything like that. It was really a story of self discovery and introspection and reflection, which can be really boring and preachy if you don't do it well. But I would say Ervin did a very nice job. 

 

The story and Ray's own journey seemed dependent on the story of 1984 but not in a way like it was a crutch. Ray's journey seemed almost a mirror of Winston Smith's journey but inverted. Smith was opposed to the oppression of Big Brother but in the end admires the regime. Ray puts himself in a world he feels is very similar to that of Big Brother (the advertising world) and works to manipulate people into thinking they want something and then tries to escape our very Orwellian world. 

 

I feel like the book is very topical to our own day and age. So much of our lives can be, and will be, dictated by what we are fed by the media, by our government, by however is looking to make a buck off of us and keep us in line. I appreciate very much Ray's struggle to figure out who he is and what really matters to him. It's a very admiral thing to do, especially since not everyone is so quick to question the way things are. 

 

I certainly don't think this kind of book is for everyone. I would say you have to enjoy more literary types of work to pick this book up. But I certainly liked it. 

 

P.S. There's a werewolf and lots of scotch, too. 

 

~Ren

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review 2014-12-23 15:00
Review: Last House Burning by Katy Scott
Last House Burning - Katy Scott

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Last House Burning is a paranormal/urban fantasy with an intriguing story, and a main character who never gives up, even with the odds stacked against him. One has to admire Ben and his almost manic drive to help Verla, a girl he just met. He is also one of the most open-minded characters I've come across in a long time.

Ben is on vacation in a remote Australian town where he is mystified by a fire-ravaged town and the one mansion which survived the flames. I liked Ben, he was passionate and caring, open-minded yet intelligent. The lengths he went through for Verla was heroic to say the least. Verla was a rather dull character, but I suppose given the hell she's lived for the last century, it was understandable.

The bureaucracy of Heaven and Hell led to some of the most memorable scenes in this novel. It's strange to picture the reps of Hell as boring pencil pushers. I thought the story started out quite slow, not really picking up speed until about halfway through. Once things got moving, they also got interesting, and I enjoyed the last half.

While I never really connected with the characters, I did enjoy the plot, so even though I didn't really care much what happened to the characters, I still wanted to know how things panned out. This is one of those rare standalone stories that are becoming harder and harder to come by- I appreciated that quite a bit- it's always nice to have an ending.

Source: onceuponayabook.blogspot.com/2014/12/book-review-last-house-burning-by-katy.html
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text 2014-11-14 16:36
The Boy in the Burning House - Tim Wynne-Jones

Ian and Sammy get a happy ending. Sammy goes and lives with his dad. Ian does community service and stays with his coach. In the end everything works out for all of them. Ian's mother went to get help but never went through with it, but they wont give up on her.

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