Maze Runner Series: Book 4 – The Kill Order (Book Review)

The Kill Order is the original prequel to the Maze Runner trilogy, having been released many years before The Fever Code.

…spoiler warning… Continue reading “Maze Runner Series: Book 4 – The Kill Order (Book Review)”

Maze Runner Series: Book 0 – The Fever Code (Book Review)

The Fever Code is a prequel to the original Maze Runner trilogy, and I was led to believe that it would provide backstory and general information, which would complement the series as a whole.

I remember reading the original prequel, The Kill Order, years ago and really struggling with it. This was because it was centred on a completely different cast of characters, had a tedious story and didn’t really correspond to the other books. My hope was that The Fever Code, would provide the answers and insight that were missing, in regards to Thomas, Teresa, Newt and Minho.

As you would expect, all the regular and much loved characters from the trilogy play a part in The Fever Code, and it’s nice to have some of these familiar faces return. However the never-ceasing list of WICKED guards and employees that keep cropping up, eventually becomes too frustrating to try and keep track of.

The book has far too many inconsistencies with the main trilogy, often contradicting events and the memories that conveniently return to Thomas, just at the right key moments. Unfortunately, the story also doesn’t provide any further information than what we’ve already been told. The questions, such as why WICKED changed all the kids names, are still never answered. Instead just re-hashing the same old facts that we’re already familiar with.

Unlike the other novels, The Fever Code lacks the action and intrigue that makes readers want to keep turning the pages. It lacks oomph and mystery, which made it difficult for me to read. And I found the attitudes of the adults to be infuriatingly hostile, irritating, downright repetitive and infuriating.

At 2 out of 5 stars, I had high hopes for this book but it just didn’t match up with my expectations. It provides a very basic background story for those interested in learning more about Thomas and the origins of the maze, but don’t expect it to wow you with any answers to those burning questions you might have.

See also:

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 1 – The Maze Runner

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 2 – The Scorch Trials

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 3 – The Death Cure

Maze Runner: Book 4 – The Kill Order

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 3 – The Death Cure (Book Review)

The Death Cure completes the main Maze Runner trilogy, continuing on from the point where The Scorch Trials leaves off.

…Warning: this review contains spoilers, proceed with due caution…

Continue reading “Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 3 – The Death Cure (Book Review)”

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 2 – The Scorch Trials (Book Review)

The Scorch Trials continues the story of Thomas and his friends, which began in the first book of the series, The Maze Runner.

…Warning: this review contain spoilers, proceed with due caution…

Continue reading “Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 2 – The Scorch Trials (Book Review)”

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 1 – The Maze Runner (Book Review)

This is my second (or maybe even third) read of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner. I discovered the novel after watching the movie starring Dylan O’Brien and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and immediately fell in love with the whole concept of the maze; the mystery of working out where they are, what’s happening to them and how to escape their confinement. This is a story I often find myself revisiting on a regular basis, and it has become one of my favourite dystopian films, as well as a favourite novel. Also it doesn’t hurt that Dylan O’Brien is easy on the eyes.

…Warning: this review contain spoilers, proceed with caution…

Continue reading “Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 1 – The Maze Runner (Book Review)”

The Branches of Time by Luca Rossi (Book Review)

Having fled the Northern Lands, the inhabitants of the remote island of Turios, protect themselves with ancient magic.

This very same magic prevents King Beanor, ruler of Isk in the Northern Lands from leaving his kingdom and trading upon the southern seas. For 2,000 years the people of Isk have been forced to live in isolation, prevented from trading with foreign shores.

Keen to remove this barrier Beanor enlists the help of the wizard Aldin to remove the residents of Turios, so that he can succeed where all of his ancestors have failed, break down this magical force field and re-open the trade routes of the sea.

Unfortunately, the wizard fails in his task, leaving three survivors: the Priestess, Miril, a woman, Lil and her injured husband Bashinoir. Can Ilis, the young apprentice wizard, succeed where his predecessors could not, and appease his king?

Meanwhile, the three residents of the Temple on Turios have an added problem, besides the failing barrier, someone has travelled to the past and messed with the branches of time to try and remove them from existence. Will this person succeed? Or can the Priestess find a way to protect them from their fate?

 

Favourite Quotes:

“The life of all of the inhabitants of this island depends on the protection provided by magic. If the priests fail, if they don’t fulfil their duties, the consequences may be very harsh indeed.” – Priestess Miril. (p37)

 

“Get to the point before I cut off your head and throw the rest of your body down the toilet.” – King Beanor. (p54)

 

“Just be a shadow and a voice in his mind: that’s all you need to drive a man mad, anyway.” – Obolil. (p99)

 

“Life gives us gifts and brings us pain when we least expect it.” (p102)

 

The Branches of Time is a very well-written science fiction fantasy novel in which time travel is used to wipe out a colony of islanders and end magical spells that have been in place for 2,000 years. There is also a little mystery to the narrative that both keeps you guessing and whets your appetite for more.

Luca Rossi writes in a simple, easy to read prose that flows nicely as the characters develop and the story gradually unfolds.

The inclusion of an insatiable sex crazed bigamist king however, in the form of Beanor, makes The Branches of Time a rather adult novel with some explicit details, and therefore unfit for any younger readers.

A short book at only 159 pages, it is a quick read and the story ends rather abruptly and with no conclusion, leaving me frustrated and yearning for more. It may have been better had the author waited and completed this story as one novel, rather than splitting the narrative into smaller bite-sized novellas, but I will refrain from being too judgemental in this matter however, until I have read the follow-up novel, Volume II.

Luca Rossi offered me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My summary: At 4 out of 5 stars this is a great concept that is very well executed, but obviously incomplete.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Book Review)

Although not previously acquainted with the authors work, I took an interest in reading Agatha Christie’s mystery novel And Then There Were None after watching the TV adaptation.

The story revolves around ten guests who are seduced by nefarious means to visit a private house on Soldier Island, off the coast of Devon. Once they reach their destination however, circumstances take a very mysterious turn when their hosts are nowhere to be found.

It soon becomes apparent that the guests were not chosen at random, but rather have been selected specifically due to a particularly disturbing incident in their past.

The mastermind behind the rather odd situation at this secluded, seaside house wishes to impart his own rather unusual form of judgement, upon the unsuspecting guests.

One by one, the ten occupants of the house begin to drop dead, but which one of them is actually the murderer?

 

And Then There Were None is a gripping mystery novel from Queen of crime, Agatha Christie. It is a very unique tale that does incredibly well to keep the reader guessing all the way to the very end.

Loaded with bewildering twists and misdirection, And Then There Were None is most definitely one of the VERY best mystery novels to cross my bookshelf, and while it is not a genre that I usually tend to lean towards, I feel that I may be inclined to delve a little more deeply into Agatha Christie’s immense catalogue in future.

At 5 out of 5 stars I promise that you won’t be able to stop turning those pages, or prise this book out of your hands, until you discover the intimate confession that awaits you at the novels conclusion.

 

 

As previously stated And Then There Were None is also available on DVD as a 3 part TV adaptation, featuring top performances from Charles Dance, Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Burn Gorman and of course the delectable Aidan Turner.

Brent Bolster Investigations: Book 4 – Double Infinity (Book Review)

Double Infinity is the fourth science fiction novel in the hilarious Brent Bolster Investigations series by author Michael Campling, and it is reminiscent of writers such as Douglas Adams and Red Dwarf creators Rob Grant and Doug Naylor.

…warning: potential spoilers for those not previously familiar with the Brent Bolster series…

My review of book one, Dial G for Gravity can be found here.

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Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Book Review)

Today’s book review is the science fiction novel Dark Matter written by Blake Crouch, the man who created the Wayward Pines series.

 

… warning may contain spoilers … Continue reading “Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Book Review)”

Horns by Joe Hill (Book Review)

Almost a year after Merrin Williams is found raped and murdered; the main suspect in her death and boyfriend, Ignatius Parrish wakes up to discover that he has horns growing out of his forehead.

At first Ig thinks he’s suffering from hallucinations due to a brain tumour, or some other terminal disease, but soon discovers that despite the fact that his horns are clearly visible to the people around him, no-one pays them much attention. Instead, they inadvertently reveal to him their deepest, darkest, most evil thoughts and desires, almost as if they are requesting his permission to commit atrocious acts or confess their darkest sins.

The horns provide a unique insight into the minds of the people around him, providing answers to what really happened the night the love of his life was murdered, and Ig sets out for revenge on those responsible for Merrin’s death.

 

Favourite Quote:

“The devil is always there to help those who are ready to sin, which is another word for ‘live’. His phone lines are open. Operators are standing by.” – Ignatius Martin Parrish (p254)

 

Unlike Joe Hill’s previous novel ‘Heart-shaped Box’, at 4 out of 5 stars Horns manages to captivate the reader, as it flows neatly along. It delves into a simple notion that most people have longed for at some point in their lives, the ability to read someone’s mind. Joe reminds his readers that knowing what goes on inside other people’s heads may not necessarily be something you wish to know, that the knowledge of a person’s deepest, darkest desires is not a pretty thing at all.

 

 

Horns, has also been adapted into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame, along with James Remar and Heather Graham. Although it’s a little different to the novel, it retains the basic fundamentals of the story and provides a pretty good adaptation of this entertaining and rather unusual tale from Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill.

 

See also:

20th Century Ghosts

Heart-Shaped Box

NOS 4A2

The Fireman

Strange Weather