Tag: Well-Loved

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.

 


Rick Riordan – Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer | Review

Title: Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer

Author: Rick Riordan

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 498

Rating: 8/10

 

Rick Riordan - Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer

Rick Riordan – Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer

 

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

This is the second Rick Riordan book that I’ve read, the first being Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus, and both of them have been sent to me for review purposes. It’s kind of strange, because I’m under the impression that these books are huge, and that they’re well-loved by the generation that came after me, the millennials. I don’t really understand why they’d need to look for reviewers – there’s a lot of love for Rick Riordan already!

Still, I’m not complaining, and this book takes me to extremes – the last book that I read was the last in a series, and so I wasn’t particularly involved in the story line. This book, by contrast, is the first in a series, and it’s certainly an interesting start. Loosely speaking, it follows the story of a homeless teenager called Magnus Chase, who dies and promptly appears in Valhalla. There’s a heavy focus on Norse mythology here, because that’s what Riordan specialises in, but it’s well executed and it’s a pretty cool structure for the story – the main character is dead from the outset, but he returns as an einherjar. In Norse mythology, an einherjar is a warrior who died in battle and was summoned to Valhalla by the Valkyriesspoiler here: Magnus escapes.

I don’t want to give too much away about the story line, but I can say that Chase finds himself tasked with finding the sword of summer and trying to stop Ragnarok, the Norse equivalent of Armageddon, from happening. Along the way, he’s joined by a diverse cast of characters who either want to help him or to kill him – interestingly enough, whilst the two extremes remain the same, the motivations often change, and you can’t deny that this is a well-crafted page turner. The problem that I had with Riordan before was that it felt too much like a Dan Brown novel – it wasn’t like that this time, and because it was the first book in the series, I actually got quite excited about it. I’d certainly be interested in reading book two, when it comes out.

Overall, then, this book comes recommended from me – I suspect that if Riordan had been around ten years earlier then I would’ve read most of his work and grown up with him. As is, I feel like I can look at his books objectively – he’s a decent writer, and the Nordic feel to his work lends a certain something that other writers can’t really compete with. Besides, in The Sword of Summer, you’ll get to meet all sorts of famous folk, from Odin and Thor to Loki and Ratatosk, the giant squirrel that lives on the world tree. Fear the squirrel.

 

Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan

 

Click here to buy Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer.