Thursday, 28 January 2016

Gold Fame Citrus

Gold Fame Citrus - Claire Vaye Watkins

I received a copy of this from Real Readers to review and I am grateful for the opportunity to read this purposeful new fiction. 

An intriguing title, for sure.  As I began to read it seemed to have all the hallmarks of a debut novel, extravagant descriptions and an abundance of detail from an enthusiastic writer that is often not sustained throughout the whole book.
But as I plunged into the meat of the story I realised this poetry is very much the style of this young author. Some of the writing is exceptional.
As a bare bones story there is much that is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy and James Dashner. And I suppose it was the references to the dune sea and the scarcity of water but I was fleetingly reminded of Frank Herbert’s Dune.
None of the characters are especially nice people, but they are trying to survive in a not very nice world. And nothing is at it seems. 
I think this is an ambitious work for a first novel and there is something here that makes me think we either have a pretention that defies true literary fiction or we are on the brink of a unique and significant new talent. I fervently hope it is the latter.
Is this just another dystopian tale of pre apocalyptic demise, love, betrayal and survival or is it an intuitive allegory of the  current state of our world? 
And the answer to that question is, I think, what will define this as landmark novel or something to be dismissed. 

I am dithering on the fence with my answer but I just have this goosebumpy feeling that this book is important.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

David Bowie

I was numb on Monday. I couldn't quite believe what I had heard. And it is isn't that I am an obsessive Bowie fan. I loved his early work but I went though a period of finding him just okay. However I thought The Next Day was excellent and I was finding BlackStar quite haunting and now I find it was prophetic. How is it that the death of someone you never knew can affect you as much as this has affected me? I remember Al Stewart's  song 'Post World War 2 Blues' from the 'Past, Present and Future' album - I can still remember the last time I cried 
The day that Buddy Holly died 
I never met him, so it may seem strange 
Don't some people just affect you that way
And maybe that's just it, some people affect you that way...............

Monday, 4 January 2016

Killing Eva

I waxed lyrical in my praise of Alex Blackmore’s first novel Lethal Profit and I had already decided to buy the next one if and when she wrote another. I am happy to say that Real Readers sent me the next one. And I am enjoying it just as much as the first.
I was delighted to be reacquainted with Eva. And straight away we were thrust into the meat of this novel from the first sentence. No messing about!! 
My first fear was whether Ms. Blackmore could deal with the dreaded ‘second album syndrome’. She could and she did so admirably. I think there is that comfort that you get from another book in the series. But there is much reference to what has gone before and maybe because I have read Lethal Profit it all makes sense to me I’d like to think that anyone could enjoy this novel even if they hadn't read the first one.
I’m giving nothing away but I found this book as enjoyable as the first. We are still subjected to some of Eva’s fashion dilemmas! And she still amazes me with her ability to survive unscathed from some of the dreadful situations she finds herself in. I think I said of Lethal Profit that it was almost but not quite sci fi and I was struck again by the vaguely sci fi flavours.Only this time I think it is very skilful to offer this as a subtle seasoning to what is predominantly a conspiracy thriller.
There is so much suspense and tension that I felt quite drained at times. The concluding cliffhanger is a bit of a gamble I think. Lovely to think there will be another book in the series but does an ending like that satisfy a reader enough to guarantee their loyalty for the next book?
Interesting, given the amount of time between one book and the next. On TV we often ‘only’ have to wait a week for the next episode but here it’s a little longer and I think a writer really has to be sure that they have sustained their readers’ interest. 
Myself, I can't wait!!!!


If you are reading this I thank you from the heart of my bottom. I am new to this blogging lark but I have seen Julie and Julia so I know the potential. There is a chance I will simply be speaking to myself or maybe I will reach a wider audience. Exciting.
I read a lot of books and I review those books so I thought I would start a blog which includes those reviews but I also want space to express my thoughts and feelings about any issues that consumes my sensibilities at any given time. I may rant even. I shall call that 'brogging'. And when I am reviewing books I will call that 'brooking'. Just so we are clear on the terms. No need for a glossary just yet but who knows where this will lead.