Tag: Things

Kenneth Thomas – Vanwest: The Past | Review

Title: Vanwest: The Past

Author: Kenneth Thomas

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 197

Rating: 3.75/5

Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a free copy of this book and was compensated for my time.

This book is interesting because it blends a bunch of different things together in a sort of YA-focussed sci-fi caper involving everything from time travel to a sort of Hunger Games/Triwizard Tournament style event right at the beginning that sets up the world and kicks us off.

The subject matter and the ideas here are pretty cool, but I personally would have loved to see something a little grittier. In particular, the constant “roaching hell” and “roachtardswear word substitutes kind of grated on me as being a little too twee. But if that’s the only complaint I have, it can’t be too bad, right?

Overall, it was an interesting little indie read with a lot to offer, and it hopped between genres as easily as the characters hopped between timelines. It also did a good job of worldbuilding and contrasting the differences between the future and the past, and sets up the series pretty well.

Learn more about Vanwest: The Past.

 


Thomas Harris – Black Sunday | Review

Title: Black Sunday

Author: Thomas Harris

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 320

Rating: 2.75/5

I was expecting good things from this, purely because I’ve read the Hannibal novels and so it had a lot to live up to. In fact, as far as I’m aware, this was the only Thomas Harris novel that I hadn’t read other than his most recent one.

This one was actually published way back in 1975 when Harris was in his thirties, and I have to say that it shows. He attempted to write a sort of fast-paced political thriller, but it doesn’t really work so well when you compare it to some of the newer novels to have hit the market in the last twenty years.

There’s also the fact that this deals with terrorism but was written over a quarter of a century before 9/11. Some of the stuff that he wrote is still relevant, but a lot of it has been superseded by events, and it definitely feels like a product of its time. The writing isn’t particularly good either, and nor is the plotting. In fact, it just comes across as a pretty generic book, something pretty forgettable as far as I’m concerned.

There is a saving grace though, and that’s the complex antagonist with his Vietnam flashbacks and his plot to blow up the Superbowl using an explosive-laden blimp. In fact, I’m kind of surprised that it was so dull considering the subject matter. It could have been awesome. It just wasn’t.

I’m not sure that I’d say that it’s a bad novel either, I just think that it’s very much a product of the time it was written and published in. I think it would have been good enough at the time, but I don’t think there’s much point reading it now. I would have given up if I hadn’t already read Harris’ other stuff.

Learn more about Black Sunday.