I am sure you will be glad to know that summer has landed in the UK. This week was 'scorchio'. Tuesday and Wednesday had temperatures in the 30Cs. It was fantastic. Maybe not so fantastic on the tube but I refuse to complain after so many weeks of grey, gloomy days with rain, rain and more rain. This lovely weather meant that I got to spend some time outside reading and watching back to back episodes of Grace and Frankie which I think it is hilarious. So what did I read in the sunshine?
It was another book from SPFBO2016 with Shadows Bear No Names (The Blackened Prophecy Part 1) by Oganalp Canatan. This was a bit of a change for me as it was science fiction and all of the other books I have been reading for this competition have been fantasy. I quite enjoyed this change in genre and the tale of the reluctant hero Ray.
Ray just wants to live his ordinary life as a freighter captain delivering goods around the Consortium but fate has other ideas. After the loss of his crew and the destruction of his ship Ray is determined that he must make amends. However, an elderly priest is just as determined that Ray fulfills his destiny as the new found saviour of mankind. Meanwhile a covert organisation has infiltrated the Consortium and one of it's special agents is on the hunt for Ray. Flight and fight across the galaxy as Ray tries to escape his destiny and not get murdered in the meantime, all in the backdrop of an alien race trying to take over the universe. A hair raising science fiction adventure with a dash of Indiana Jones and healthy sprinkling of Star Trek Voyager.
I quite enjoyed Shadows Bear No Names which is pretty good going for me as I don't always enjoy reading science fiction. I thought that Ray was a believable character and thought he was well supported by Brother Cavill, Sarah and the ancient Ga'an. I also thought that the alien invasion plotline and search for the tools to banish them from the galaxy was interesting. This was a sound debut novel and well done to Canatan. Where I thought it needed improvement was during the battles scenes. These were just too long and I found myself partaking in a bit of skim reading. Had Canatan tightened these chapters up a bit more I think he would have had a fantastic debut.
Book number 2 for me this week was Inspector Hobbes and the Blood by Wilkie Martin. Let me just start off by saving that I LOVED THIS BOOK AND IT WAS HILARIOUS. Yes, I am shouting...why you may ask? This was the first book in a long time that I really loved reading. It was also one of the first books in even longer that I have read that I laughed out loud while reading even on public transport!
Andy doesn't realise that his life is about to change when he is sent on assignment with Inspector Hobbes. A veritable crime wave has hit the small Cotswold town and the larger than life Inspector Hobbes is on the case. Following ...quite far behind... is the slovenly, unfit and bumbling Andy Caplet. It's not long before Andy is living with the mysterious Inspector and his tooth collecting housekeeper Mrs. Goodfellow, who both scares Andy and delights him with her sumptuous meals. When Hobbes goes missing Andy is determined to fight his fear and find the Inspector. Armed with a leg of lamb and accompanied by an extra large dog Andy is on the case of lifetime.
What more can I say? This is a fantastic read and hats off to Martin for writing such hilarious characters in such hilarious situations. Andy is so inept that you can't help but cheer him on. Book 2 is next on my list and I can hardly wait to read it.
I have been remiss in not telling you about another great book I read a few weeks ago - The Ghoul King by Guy Haley. This is the second novella in the Dreaming Cities series. This instalment is set a few weeks after the events of book 1 and finds the Knight Quinn down on his luck and on the wrong side of the angels. The story is retold by Jaxon, a local healer. Through Jaxon's memories we travel with Quinn and Jaxon as they search for the means of fixing an enigmatic woman's robot. What they find is sooo much more.
I apologise for not telling you much more than that. What I can say is that I loved this book. From the first page there is a huge reveal and by the end your eyes are almost popping out with all the secrets that have been uncovered. I can HARDLY wait for the next instalment. All this plus a great cover
That is it for me for this week. I had a really good week this week and looking forward to next week where I will hopefully continue the trend. Until then - Happy Reading!