Monday, March 09, 2009

Blog Update

If you're wondering why every review I've ever posted has popped up in your RSS feed, again, it's because I had to fix some links and had forgotten to tag a load. Hopefully I will never bother you with the same thing twice again!

Thanks for following :)

Book Review: Girl on the Platform, by Josephine Cox

The only good thing about this book is how quickly it is over.

The story focuses on best mates Mark and Pete who go to London for a night out. At the station they begin their journey at, Pete sees a sad-looking girl on the opposite platform, and quickly becomes obsessed with the idea of finding out who she is and helping her. On the way to London the men realise that they won't have enough time to visit any nightclubs after the theatre show they have tickets for if they have to catch the last train home, so they find a hostel, run by Leila, the stereotypical "feisty" landlady. The London section is well paced and funny, and gives enough background info about Mark and Pete to make them sympathetic, but once they go back home the book deteriorates so quickly it's almost beyond belief! The rest of this review will contain spoilers, but the book really isn't good enough for you to be concerned about having the ending spoiled.

The following few months are rushed through, Pete becoming more and more obsessed with the girl he saw on the platform, seeing her again and eventually coming up with a plan to meet her and get her to like him. A normal, non-creepy version of this scenario would involve Pete asking her out on a date, etc, but instead he gets manipulative and after finding out her dog has recently died he buys a puppy which he then pretends he found abandoned - I imagine the reader is supposed to be thinking "Aaaww, puppy" but I was distracted by the fact that he was building their relationship on a basis of lies! I was looking forward to seeing how they'd resolve things once he told her what he'd done to get her to date him, but then the book jumps to six weeks later, when they become engaged, and he has yet to tell her the truth. I'm sure if they were real people she would be pretty confused if not completely horrified when finding out the truth after so long and such a big commitment, even though his lies hurt no-one, they were pretty big lies, but the author doesn't deal with her reaction at all and just skips past Pete's thoughts that he must tell his fiancée the truth through to the wedding party in the next paragraph.

On the upside, it does what it says on the cover, it is a quick read - I read the whole thing on a train journey from Edinburgh to London - and is only £1.99. But I get the impression this book was intended for people who don't read very often in a patronising sort of way - the plot is so simplistic it's insulting to the intelligence of the reader. Reading this will not teach you anything, you may even find it frustrating, but at least it's not long enough to get tedious!

Book Review: Acorna's Children: First Warning, by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

This book is the first in the continuation series, Acorna's Children, following on from the original Acorna books, making it the eighth book overall featuring Acorna and the other Linyaari. The original books are a must-read if you are to understand the setting for these books, as very little background information is given in this novel, and events and characters from the previous stories are referred to frequently.

The story of First Warning centres around Khoriilya, Khorii for short, the daughter of Acorna Harakamian-Li and Aari from the original series, and her cat Khiindi. When a plague starts spreading through Federation space, Khorii and Khiindi are left for safety on Maganos Moonbase, but quickly they discover that they are the only ones who can really help. They encounter a diverse range of characters and make many good and useful friends as they battle the deadly new enemy.

I enjoyed the original Acorna series although I found it quite childish because the characterisation is very simple. This book is no better in this respect and the descriptions of the characters are often repeated. Despite this, however, I really got into the plot and devoured the whole of the Acorna's Children series within a few weeks. I would probably not re-read it, but it was fun. I would recommend this book and the whole of the Acorna series for teenagers most although it can still be enjoyed by adults.

The book is not complete in itself, the ending remains open for the sequel, Second Wave. It is currently available in both hardback and paperback.


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