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Archive for the 'Books' Category

A Shameless Plug Ian Likes: Bibliorati.com

• March 18, 2017

A little-known fact is that I once had a gig reviewing books for five years. It was for a now-defunct website known as The Specusphere. It was awesome fun: I scored some books by favourite writers, found some new authors to follow and got to see my words in print and, occasionally, re-used for publicity […]


Review: Winter Warriors by David Gemmell

• February 5, 2017

Winter Warriors by David Gemmell My rating: 5 of 5 stars Seriously, if you’re after an introduction to the way Mr Gemmell writes you really couldn’t go past this one: it’s pretty much a textbook example of everything that’s great about his writing with very few of the flaws you find in some of his […]


Review: Dark Moon by David Gemmell

• January 29, 2017

Dark Moon by David Gemmell My rating: 4 of 5 stars Very tight and well-paced epic told over only one volume. It lacks bloat and tells its tale economically. The characters are well-differentiated and have realistic motives and histories. Dace/ Tarantio start off as an intriguing pair but having their origin explained away as a […]


Review: The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

• January 26, 2017

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley My rating: 4 of 5 stars Mostly enjoyable but the pace stumbles a little bit in lots of places and the beginning feels a little stilted compared to the rest of the book. You can argue that it fits with Harry’s character at that point but I don’t think […]


Review: The Legend Of Deathwalker by David Gemmell

• January 25, 2017

The Legend of Deathwalker by David Gemmell My rating: 4 of 5 stars Through a series of misadventures, Druss and Sieben find themselves taking part in a siege while a Nadir tribesman is searching for something to help his people unite under one banner. This is similar in theme to Quest For Lost Heroes – […]


Review: The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke

• January 23, 2017

Sentinel/the Tr by Arthur C. Clarke My rating: 3 of 5 stars A pretty good collection of stories: only a couple of them have the “zinger” punchline that annoyed me in Of Time And Stars and it’s used effectively in one of them. There’s only one story that relies on some sort of esoteric science […]


A Book Ian Likes: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

• January 22, 2017

Adaptations of art into different mediums most often fall without trace into the collective memory, occasionally dragged out by a teacher trying to show their class that what they taught had some cultural currency once, when they clearly just aren’t engaging their students properly. More often than not, the adaptation is soon forgotten while the […]


Review: The Hawk Eternal by David Gemmell

• January 11, 2017

The Hawk Eternal: Second Book of “the Hawk Queen” by David Gemmell My rating: 3 of 5 stars Entertaining sequel to Ironhand’s Daughter with more timey-wimey shenanigans. Sigarni features as a very minor character in this one as it is set several generations prior to that book, using characters and settings mentioned fleetingly there. It […]


A Book Ian Likes: 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke

• January 9, 2017

For many years, Arthur C. Clarke held the belief that a sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey was not only unnecessary but also impossible. So it was a surprise for many when 2010: Odyssey Two was published. Certainly it was an unneeded sequel, but it manages to extend and explain many of the events of […]


Review: Old School by Tobias Wolff

• January 9, 2017

Old School by Tobias Wolff My rating: 5 of 5 stars Fantastic book about growing up and accepting that your identity isn’t as special as you thought. And with a far more interesting protagonist than Holden bloody Caulfield. Seriously, I wanted to have gone to this school even though they would have flunked me out: […]