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review 2017-08-17 18:06
A Mystery of Errors / Simon Hawke
A Mystery of Errors - Simon Hawke

Two travelers, Will Shakespeare-a fledgling dramatist, and Symington Smythe, an ostler and aspiring thespian, meet at a roadside inn and decide to cast their lot together for fame and fortune in the cutthroat world of the London theater in Elizabethan England . . . but neither was prepared for their offstage encounter with A Mystery of Errors. When a backer's daughter is double-crossed by a would-be suitor, the reluctant bride turns to the ostler and the playwright for help.  Little does anyone realize that these simple affairs of the heart and an arranged marriage will lead to a vast web of conspiracy, mistaken identity, and murder that finds the playwright targeted for assassination and the ostler hopelessly in love.

 

This novel suffered from comparison with recently read historical fiction by C.C. Humphreys, whose work stands head-and-shoulders above this little mystery. The writing of just the first page had me wondering if I would even bother to finish the book. After all, life is finite and there are tons of good books out there.

I did persevere, however, and followed the story to its rather pedestrian end. The plot was imaginative and I wish the author had been able to exercise more skill in its execution. Rather than flowing, events bumped along rather brusquely. The dialog was simple and the characterization was basic. Every now and then, there would be a tiny info-dump as the author proved that he had done his research.

If you are considering this book, I would suggest that you approach with caution. If you are looking for a book featuring Shakespeare as a character (as I was), I would recommend Shakespeare's Rebel. If something involving a highwayman is your goal, try Plague. If you are looking for a 21st century humourous take on Shakespeare, pick up Shakespeare Undead, which is lighthearted yet effortlessly shows how to reference the Bard’s works without belabouring the point.

At some point, I will probably solider on and read the second mystery in this series, as I have made a bit of a project out of reading all the novels I can find that feature Shakespeare as a character. You are not obliged to follow me in this obsession.

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review 2017-08-10 16:47
Wicked Abyss
Wicked Abyss - Kresley Cole,Robert Petkoff,Simon & Schuster Audio

 
Immortals After Dark, Book 18

I Picked Up This Book Because: Continuation of the series

The Characters:

Calliope “Lila” Barbot:
Abyssian “Sian” Infernas:

The Story:

I don’t remember these characters in any of the previous books but perhaps that is because I’ve missed the last two or three, no idea how. Unfamiliar-ness aside I really enjoyed this story. I listed to the audiobook in my car and found myself often reaching my destination but sitting in my car for a few minutes listening to the story, fine when you’re at the grocery store not too great when you are late for work.

There was definitely a power struggle between these two which I really enjoyed. As formidable as there are against each other I much preferred it when they finally teamed up. This book was full of laughs, smoking hot sex and great relationships.

The trickster king and queen shall reign together for a long time.


The Random Thoughts:



The Score Card:

description

4.5 Stars

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review 2017-08-06 23:41
Cover promises much but the inside fails to deliver.
The Hellblazer Vol. 1: The Poison Truth (Rebirth) - Simon Oliver,Moritat

Collects issue 1 - 6

 

I've not read any Constantine before, so this is my introduction to the character.

 

        FYI. This is the correct cover.

 

Not exactly what I as hoping for. For the most part the story was boring. And just as it started to get more interesting it finished. The magic was pretty much non-existent or so low key as to raise little more than a meh from me. There seemed to be a lot of talking and not a lot of action. Swamp Thing shared a lot of the page time. The author had much to say on the political climate, being anti-Trump, anti-Brexit, and anti-Tory but I found it laid on with a trowel and it just served to make me roll my eyes and pull me out of the story.

 

John Constantine is a chain-smoking, hard-drinking foul-mouthed antihero. And yet all the swear words were censored (apart from one occasion when Swamp Thing referred to JC as a 'total wanker'). I didn't understand the need for this, it diluted the impact of everything else. This is not a child-friendly character, stick a 'parental guidance'  statement on it and let the parents do their job. 

 


Two different artists worked on this volume. The artist for issues 1-4 had a sketchy style with a darker tone and a more rugged, haggard JC. 

 

It probably suited the character better then the artist who pencilled 5 & 6. These had much cleaner lines and was more cartoony in nature. The colouring was brighter and JC seemed more clean cut.

 

 

With an unapologetic bisexual character I was hoping for something more diverse in my reading. Instead we get just one panel that implies his sexuality. And then it was a taunt by a racist, skinhead, bovver boy (cliche, anyone?) 

 

 

I'm hoping his bisexuality will get more positive treatment in future issues.


An okay read but nothing special. Overall a disappointing introduction to what should be a diverse and interesting character.

 

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review 2017-08-02 12:04
Not interesting enough
Prophet Volume 1: Remission - Giannis Milonogiannis,Simon Roy,Brandon S Graham,Rob Liefeld,Farel Dalrymple

I got all 5 volumes to  read and review but gave up partway through Volume 1. Taking place on a world of strange fantastical creatures, John Prophet has a mission to complete. In sepia tones, the illustrations are not brilliant and the story does not always make sense. I couldn't be bothered with it and therefore have ditched the other 4 volumes.

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review 2017-08-02 03:36
My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse (audiobook)
My Man Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse,Simon Prebble

This is a collection of short stories, mostly featuring Jeeves and Wooster in America but with a few of Wodehouse's other, older stories thrown in. My favourite story (Helping Freddie) features the scene where the two bachelors are taking care of a young child (there's a story behind that as well) and after managing to get the kid undressed for bed, they prod the pool of assorted clothing items and realize it'll be absolutely impossible to get the kid dressed again without help.

 

Simon Prebble as the narrator is great, as usual.

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