Author: youandibooks

Hi, I’m James. I love reading a wide range of books, playing pool in a couple of leagues, seeing friends and losing myself in role playing games and shoot ’em ups on Xbox One. I recently passed my CII Certificate in Insurance and my Google Certificate in Online Marketing. I am currently studying for my CII Insurance Diploma and my Shaw Academy Diploma in Graphic Design. In the near future I wish to take a course to become a life coach provided by The Coaching Academy. I like to mix things up a bit and I am always either reading or studying. I attended university at Aberystwyth, Wales where I made many amazing friends. If I save up money for a few years then when I am 35 I want to do another degree at an accelerated pace of study and get invited into a secret cult where lecturers and geniuses discuss nonsensical nothingness over expensive wine.

Review of ~ Stephen King – The Wind Through The Keyhole (The Dark Tower #4.5)

6.5/10

The first fantasy series that I ever read was Stephen King’s epic The Dark Tower. Looking back, it is by no means my favourite fantasy series however it opened the door for me to this wonderful genre that I’ve loved for 7-years. In similar fashion to the Russian doll-esque tale featured in The Wind Through the Keyhole, there is a story within a story with reference to my experiences too. (more…)

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Review of ~ M.R. Carey – Someone Like Me

8.5/10

I received an advanced review copy of Someone Like Me in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank M.R. Carey and Orbit Books. Minor spoilers may follow.

This narrative opens with Liz’s ex-husband Marc attacking her when she asks why her kids are back so late and refuses his request that they should be able go out for a meal that night with their father at this late hour. He throttles her, in an extremely violent fashion, and something in Liz changes, perhaps even takes over so that Liz is an observer in or around her own body. She stabs him in the face with a broken bottle and then returns to her normal calm and grounded self. Was it her that was that violent even though it was self-defense? (more…)

Review of ~ Peter McLean – Priest of Lies (War for the Rose Throne #2)

9/10

I received an uncorrected proof copy of Priest of Lies in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Peter McLean and Ace Books for the opportunity.

We return to Ellinburg following the first person perspective of gangster boss Thomas Piety, the head of the Pious Men. The way that McLean writes led me to feel like I was actually walking the streets of The Stink, enjoying a mug of beer in the Tanner’s Arms and that I was almost a member of the Pious Men myself. When a fantasy world has me that invested then it is difficult for an author to do much wrong. (more…)

Review of ~ Adrian Tchaikovsky – Children of Time (Children of Time #1)

9/10

I received a review copy of Children of Time in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Adrian Tchaikovsky and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity.

Children of Time is 600-pages of extraordinary, evolution-based science fiction that features quality storytelling and worldbuilding that is rarely seen in this generation. This narrative is set over 1000’s of years. We first see Doctor Kern and her scientific team of 19 as they wish to experiment with monkeys and a nanovirus on what some individuals are considering could be the new Earth. After betrayal and confrontation on their spaceship, which may be reflecting hostilities back on Earth events don’t progress in the way that they envisaged. (more…)

Review of ~ Jane Rawson – From the Wreck

7.5/10

I received an uncorrected proof and a finished version of From The Wreck in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Jane Rawson and Picador. This review is based on the final product. *Minor spoilers*

“But I, awakened from sleep, considered in my excellent heart whether to drop from the deck and die right there in the sea or endure, keep silent, go on being of the living.” Homer – Odyssey

Rawson’s Aurealis award-winning novel is a unique, intelligent and thought-provoking alternative history/ science fiction merger. This narrative begins with (more…)

Review of ~ George R.R. Martin – A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

9.5/10

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a collection of three novellas that are set a generation or two before the events of A Song and Ice and Fire. In the third person perspective, we follow Dunk or as he tailors himself – Ser Duncan the Tall. The first narrative is named The Hedge Knight and we are presented to our protagonist as he is burying his former mentor for whom he used to squire. It’s a touching start, and an interesting introduction to Dunk. He is planning to go to a tourney in Ashford and at a crossroads inn he meets Egg, who he assumes is a stable boy. (more…)

Review of ~ Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson – Shadows of the Short Days

8.5/10 –

I received an uncorrected proof copy of Shadows of the Short Days in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson and Gollancz for the opportunity.

Vilhjálmsson’s debut is a masterfully crafted dark tale that fuses elements of alternative history, steampunk, science fiction, urban fantasy and grimdark. It is a strikingly original and often complex narrative that mainly follows two well-crafted protagonists. Sæmundur is a sorcerer who has recently been expelled from the magic university of Svartiskóli for being too ambitious, being intrigued by gaining absolute knowledge of the esoteric source of magic galdur which is forbidden and borderline heresy. (more…)