Tag: Portfolio

Peter James – Faith | Review

Title: Faith

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 470

Rating: 3/5

This is another one of James’ lesser hits, which is kind of unsurprising because I’ve never found his standalones to be particularly strong. I guess I’m a Roy Grace fan more than a Peter James fan, although I am still slowly but surely working my way through everything he’s written. It’s just that this definitely isn’t at his best in this one.

Part of that is probably because of the characters. We’re mostly focusing on a manipulative plastic surgeon and his doormat wife, who he basically uses as a walking portfolio. Bad things start to happen to them, but really who cares? If anything, the fun in this story comes from watching their lives slowly fall apart.

Other than that, there’s not a great deal to say about this one. It’s a pretty competent thriller I guess, but I don’t really have much time for competent thrillers because there are so many of them out there and they’re all basically the same. In fact, by the time I was a third of the way through this, I was asking myself why I was still reading. But I’m a completionist and I’m trying to work my way through everything that Peter James ever wrote, and so I had to keep on keeping on anyway or my brain would have hated me.

And that brings us on to something of a problem for me, which is that I need to write another 200 words to finish off this review. But there’s just not much to say, to the point at which my favourite characters were some of the minor ones who didn’t really get as much air time as I think they deserved.

What more can I say? It was competent but not for me, and I feel as though even if you are going to read Peter James, you shouldn’t start with this one. Read some of the Roy Grace books instead, or if you’re not into crime then perhaps it’s worth checking out The House on Cold Hill. I think that one’s even been turned into a stage play, which could be worth checking out.

So would I recommend this one? Not really, I’m afraid. It was just a bit of a filler read for me, and I’m hoping that the next one that I pick up will be more memorable. I can’t say that this was awful or anything like that, but I do think that if you ask me about it in six months, I won’t remember a thing. That’s actually surprisingly common and it’s hardly the first time I’ll have read a book and immediately forgotten it. Shame it happened with an author that I actually quite like though, but eh.

Learn more about Faith.

 


Stephen King – Wolves of the Calla | Review

Title: Wolves of the Calla

Author: Stephen King

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 790

Rating: 8/10

 

Stephen King - Wolves of the Calla

Stephen King – Wolves of the Calla

 

And we’re back! This is book #5 in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, and it comes off the back of what was – so far at least – my least favourite book in the series. And I’m pleased to say that we’re back on course, although it still doesn’t feel like we’re making any progress towards the Tower.

Here, Roland and his ka-tet end up helping a small village to fend off the ‘wolves’ that keep attacking them, riding in every generation or so and carting off some of the kids. The town is almost exclusively populated by twins, and the wolves take one child from every pair away. Oh, the kids come back alright – it’s just that they’re ‘roont‘, almost braindead and cursed to a hopeless existence and an early death.

And so Roland and his posse need to try to protect the village and to permanently solve the problem, if they can. Unfortunately, the ethos of the gunslingers requires them to help, whether they want to or not – never mind the quest for the Dark Tower, that’ll just have to wait. Luckily, this book is a lot of fun, and there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you going along the way.

 

Stephen King Quote

Stephen King Quote

 

It was also interesting to see some of the politics of the Calla – after all, not everyone wants their help, and it’s not the gunslingers’ place to convince them that they need it. This book, then, investigates how their very presence is enough to galvanise the town, and it’s interesting to see some of the new allies they make and the unique weapons that they use, which are referenced again in the next book.

Now, that’s about as far as I want to go with regards to the story line, because I don’t want to spoil it for you. Unfortunately, due to the style of my reviews (one word per page), I have another 400 words to go, and so I’d better find something interesting to talk about.

I guess that the length is one of them – in fact, my granddad made a comment about it, and it’s true that it’s a big old book. It was too heavy for me to read in the bath, and it started to make my hands hurt if I read it too long. But it’s so, so readable that you just won’t want to put it down, so you’d better get lifting some weights and getting into shape because if you’re anything like me, you’ll be addicted to it.

 

Stephen King Quote

Stephen King Quote

 

It’s good to be so addicted to a book like this, because it takes dedication to get to the end of it. That said, you also feel a sense of accomplishment, and I’ve been able to power through the first five books in just a couple of months. It’s certainly a little faster to get through than Game of Thrones is, and in many ways it’s more enjoyable. You don’t have to think as much, although it helps.

When I was reading this book, I also started to notice symbolism all over the place – the Tower and the rose are both prominent throughout for example, strong pieces of symbolism that King scatters throughout his work, and I started to see them both in my day-to-day life. I even bought a candle that reminded me of the Tower.

Overall, then, with the Dark Tower series, you need to read them in order. This book isn’t the best (I still have a soft spot for the very first book, The Gunslinger), but it’s still a cracking read and definitely worth sticking at the series for. As always, there’s plenty to keep you going back for more, and if you’ve made it this far then you’ll be pleased to know that the next book is only 440 pages or so, and so it’s a relatively short read in comparison.

 

Stephen King Quote

Stephen King Quote

 

Stephen King has said that this series is his magnum opus, a phrase I had to explain to my family when I mentioned it to them. The phrase means ‘great work‘ in Latin, and refers to the defining piece or pieces of work in a creator’s portfolio. I suppose I’d have to agree with him – it’s certainly an epic, but with so many great books to choose from, I’m not sure if you can elevate any of them above the others.

Regardless, the Dark Tower is definitely a series that I’d recommend, especially if you’re a keen reader who’s read some of King’s other books. So what are you waiting for? Start your quest for the Dark Tower today – it might just be ka!

 

Stephen King - The Gunslinger

Stephen King – The Gunslinger

 

Click here to buy Wolves of the Calla.

 


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