Book Review, Fiction

Mini Reviews: January 2020

January has been a slow month reading wise. I spent most of my time coding. Unfortunately GoodReads does not accept C# as reading progress.

Podcast update: On episode 102 of The Magnus Archives. If you love Lovecraft, William Hope Hodgson or eldritch horror in general, then go check them out.

Wayward Son (Simon Snow #2) by Rainbow Rowell

Simon, Baz and Penelope go on an impulsive American road trip. Chaos ensues.

Head’s up: It’s not really a book you can pick up without reading the first novel.

Wayward Son is quite a fast-paced book and a lot happens in it. New characters, new locations and all of them a delight. But it is a book that leaves you wanting more, especially if you are all ready invested in the characters.

In all, I enjoyed Wayward Son, but patiently waiting for the next book in the series.

Artemis Fowl #5 – #8 by Eoin Colfer

The boy genius and his adventures with the fairy folk continues.

 I started reading the Artemis Fowl series last year in preparation for the upcoming film. When the film release got delayed, so did my progress on the series.

I have finished them now and they were all good. At times very heavy handed with the nature conservation theme, but never distracting from the character development. That is the cornerstone of the series. Artemis’ progress from an insufferable twelve-year-old criminal mastermind to the dramatic ending of The Last Guardian.

Plus, Opal Koboi (the power-crazed self-centered pixie), has become one of my favorite ‘most hated’ villains.

Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse by Jack Strange

I don’t remember why I said yes to reading this book. I think I read a very good review about it once. It has been laying on the TBR pile for more than a year. Might have been better if it stayed on the pile.

Have you ever seen the Re-Animator (1985) film? I believe this is aiming for that mix of horror and humor. I didn’t particularly like the Re-Animator, but at least that film had some pathos to it.

It does not take long to find the main characters unpleasantly shallow and rather unintelligent.

In it’s jovial style the book implies that it’s written to be a farce. Unfortunately, nothing funny happens. Instead it’s portrays unpleasant people doing mediocre things before dying gruesomely.

Because of the attempt at humor, the horror lacks the punch needed to have any visceral effect. Even the unnecessary allusions to sex and rape isn’t enough to nudge it to the nasty explicit/horror category.

So, we have a book that tries to be funny and scary and fails in both.

And after all that, the worst offence is the character named ‘Air Chief Nukem’. I can not forgive such on-the-nose naming in a zombie novel.

Artemis Fowl & Captain Holly Short.
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