Tag: Compelling

Alan Dean Foster – Aliens | Review

Title: Aliens

Author: Alan Dean Foster

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 250

Rating: 3.75/5

This book is the novelisation of the second Alien movie, and it’s actually a pretty good read. Foster is a well-known and well-loved novelist in his own right, and before picking up this and Alien, I’d already read Midworld, which is my friend Todd the Librarian’s favourite book. That was great, Alien was great and so was this one.

The only real flaw for me was that it’s a little top heavy and so the last twenty pages contain the most climactic scenes. But at the same time, I can see how this could happen when you’re writing a novelisation based upon a movie. Movies and books work differently, and it’s kind of noticeable here.

Still, Foster’s writing style combined with the original script make for a compelling read, and I was impressed again by the way that he was able to bring the story to life. His writing style is super evocative, so at times you feel as though you can smell the stench of alien blood burning its way through steel decking.

Of course, the downside is that by this point, most people have seen the movie and so they already know what happens. That kind of gives it the weird sensation of being a re-read even if it’s the first time you’ve picked it up. That’s not a bad thing though, and I thought it was decent.

Click here to learn more about Aliens.

 


Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light | Review

Title: Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light

Author: Derek Landy

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 605

Rating: 8/10

 

Derek Landy - Skullduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light

Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light

 

Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.

This book messed with my mind, man – at first, I really struggled to get in to it, and I could never tell who was who, whether they were good guys or bad guys or even what they were actually doing. But then I got absorbed, after the first hundred pages or so, and everything got a lot more exciting.

I get the feeling that I would’ve suspended my disbelief a little sooner if I’d read the earlier books in the series, because the author seems to assume that you know a lot about his fictional world, although the occasional exposition that he uses to fill you in on what happened earlier is actually well-handled and subtle enough that you don’t even notice what’s happening.

Which is a good thing, because there’s a lot going on – people dying left, right and centre, and occasionally coming back to life, switching allegiance or doing something else that’s equally surprising. It gets confusing to say the least, although I suspect it’ll be easier to understand it all if you’ve started the series from the beginning.

 

Derek Landy

Derek Landy

 

And from what I understand, quite a lot of people do just that – when I was reading this at work, one of my colleagues stopped me and asked to take a look at the cover. It turns out that her kids, and her kids’ friends, are obsessed with the Skulduggery Pleasant series, in the same way that my own generation was obsessed with Harry Potter.

In fact, when I first started reading the novel, I did detect the influence of the Harry Potter series, and to begin with I was worried that it might just be a rip-off. It turns out I was wrong – the world of the Skulduggery Pleasant series is completely different, and in places I think it weakens the plot-line. Magic needs some universal laws that must always be obeyed, otherwise it can just be used to explain away gaps in the story, as it was occasionally used here.

But despite that, The Dying of the Light is a pretty compelling read, and once I really got in to it, I did find it hard to put it down. Sure, the barrier to entry is a little high if you haven’t read the other books in the series, but once you get past that, you’ll be interested in the huge collection of characters on offer, and I bet that you’ll find a favourite and settle down with the back catalogue to read about what happened to them before the events of The Dying of the Light kicked off.

 

Valkyrie Cain

Valkyrie Cain

 

I don’t want to go in to too much detail about the plot, partly because it’s too complicated to go in to and partly because I don’t want to spoil it – suffice to say that if you’re in to magic, fantasy and the fight of good against evil, then you’re going to enjoy it. Hell, I’m not even going to tell you who wins!

The only problem for me, when you consider the target audience of kids and young adults, was the level of gore that the book contains – it seems like every couple of pages, someone’s being beheaded, dismembered or otherwise brutally murdered, even some peripheral characters who the author could’ve left alive. It might bother you if you’re reading it to kids.

 

Derek Landy Quote

Derek Landy Quote

 

Click here to buy Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light.

 


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