Tag: Meal

Dan Simmons – Hyperion | Review

Title: Hyperion

Author: Dan Simmons

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 484

Rating: 4/5

To begin with, I wasn’t too sure that I was going to like this one, because it’s one of those books where it sort of throws you straight into the world and if you can’t keep up, that’s your own problem. I usually find that’s quite off-putting, and it comes down to the strength of the story. Here, the story was easily enough to keep me going.

But there’s also the fact that it was extremely well written. It’s one of those books where I would have read to the end regardless of my actual enjoyment just because I wanted to learn what I could from the writing style. I also think this is definitely one that you could re-read and because of the new perspective, you’d get an entirely different experience.

Another thing that I liked was the structure of the book itself. It was reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, although I haven’t actually read that and so I don’t know how valid the comparison is. When you combine the structure, the worldbuilding and the quality of the writing as a whole, you’re on to a winner.

It’s just a little heavy duty, although I’d argue that it’s easier to read than Dune was. That’s partly because you can break it up into the individual microstories, and also because there’s a pretty constant pace throughout, whereas I found that Dune sometimes felt a bit “stoppy and starty”. I think they’re both must-reads if you’re a serious sci-fi fan, although perhaps not if you’re only a newbie to the genre.

I’m somewhere in between, in that I’ve read my fair share of sci-fi but I don’t particularly enjoy it above any other genres. Horror is much more up my street, and so reading this has made me keen to try out The Terror, although I think I’m going to have a little wait between the two. I’ve also read one of Simmons’ novellas in a collection called Dark Visions that he was in with Stephen King and George R. R. Martin, and I found the same thing then. I need a bit of downtime after reading Simmons.

Still, I’m glad that I picked this up and I will probably continue with the rest of the series, although I have no plans to do it immediately and I might not get to it in time to join in with the readalong that’s happening on BookTube. For me, that’s fine, because it seems as though Simmons is an author who’s like a fine wine that should be savoured and enjoyed every now and again, instead of with every meal. And that’s just fine.

I’d say overall, if you’ve been thinking about giving this book a try, you should. If you haven’t, don’t. It lived up to my expectations, I guess.

Learn more about Hyperion.

 


Peter James – Not Dead Enough | Review

Title: Not Dead Enough

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 626

Rating 3.75/5

 

 

This is another of Peter James’ Roy Grace novels and so as such, it follows Detective Superintendent Grace as he investigates a crime in his native Brighton. James is a Brighton native himself and he also spends a lot of time carrying out research so his books are as accurate as possible.

In this one, Grace has to investigate the murder of a socialite called Katie Bishop. The problem is that the main suspect, her husband Brian, seems to be innocent. Then things start to get a little bit weird, and I can’t really talk about it without sharing spoilers. Suffice to say, though, that the storyline touches on identity theft and family secrets. I’d also say that it’s one of those rare books where the investigation of the crime is more interesting than the crime itself.

In fact, I think that the most interesting part about this particular book is the side story. Each of the Roy Grace books can be read as a standalone, but you’ll get a little more out of it if you read them all in order. That’s because each of the books also covers what’s going on in the personal lives of many of Grace’s fellow coppers, but we also get a lot of Grace’s own back story including an update on his missing wife Sandy and a little bit of development when it comes to his current squeeze, Cleo.

 

 

Now like I say, I’ve read these out of order and so I kind of knew what to expect and what was coming, at least with the cops’ personal lives. Still, I’ve read enough of these books by now that I’m pretty attached to most of the characters and so it was a lot of fun to revisit them and to just hang out with them.

This is one of the longer Roy Grace books, and that poses a little bit of a problem because each of my reviews has the same number of words as the book has pages, and yet I don’t have much more to say about it because there wasn’t a whole load of stuff going on. I enjoyed reading it, but it didn’t seem to have as much substance as some of the others, so it was kind of like snacking on a big bag of crisps instead of eating a proper meal.

Because of that, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this one if you’re new to Peter James’ stuff, but if you’re working your way through the series then you also shouldn’t skip it either. It’s one of those weird books where there’s nothing necessarily wrong with it but where it feels as though it’s just business as usual. The good news is that I know from experience that the series continues to get better and to evolve and so you’ve got that to look forward to, too.

 

 

Click here to buy Not Dead Enough.

 


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