‘Short But Not Sweet’

Score: 4/5

Lots of ‘dubious advice’ here, and I enjoyed every bit of it!

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‘Just Not That Compelling’

Score: 2/5

There are a bunch of ‘blurbs’ on the cover of this book. They’re all things like: ‘The best thriller writer alive’ (from Ken Follet), ‘A master of storytelling and suspense’ (from Candice Millard) and ‘John Grisham is the master of legal fiction’ (from Jodi Picoult).

I should have taken it as a warning sign that none of the blurbs are actually about the book.

It has been quite a while since I read any John Grisham books - decades maybe. I remember tense legal thrillers with lawyer-heroes in peril. This isn’t really like that. The main character seems fine enough, but I just didn’t feel any particular tension throughout the book. There’s a lot about legal processes here, and the book tries to keep the pace out by leaving out the weeks between court appearances or legal actions, but it just really wasn’t that compelling to me.

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‘Some Seriously Sterile Sections’

Score: 3/5

I like the Laundry series. I like that sometimes the author sometimes changes writing styles with viewpoints - sections from one character’s viewpoint are in that character’s ‘voice’, sections from for a different character can have a different style. But it causes problems for me when some of the styles just don’t flow.

I didn’t like the sections about Agent First. The writing there was deliberately quite sterile but I found it really hard to read. I felt like skipping entire Agent First sections rather than read them, which kindof defeats the purpose of me buying the book. (I didn’t skip. I wanted to, but I didn’t.)

Maybe the next book will be better.

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‘Just A Placeholding Scene-Setter’

Score: 3/5

I get the feeling that this book is the dull-middle-of-a-trilogy book. The first book is exciting, creating the world and characters, with lots of conflict and ending with a heroic victory. The final book is the culmination, the battle between the Big Bad and the Heroes - a battle bigger than the battle in the first book, with more at stake. The middle book is... Well, the middle book is just to get the characters from the victory in the first book to the start of the third book, and maybe make them lose some critical battle along the way.

Well, I haven’t read a third book here yet, but this fits the second book profile quite well.

I really enjoyed the first book, but now I’m not sure I even want to bother with the third. Hmm.

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‘Welcome To The Bobiverse’

Score: 4/5

This was fun. A readable exploration of a programmer whose consciousness is uploaded to a von Neumann probe. Some interesting ideas, some bits are ‘Well, I wouldn’t have done that...‘ followed a few pages later with ‘...and that’s why.’ but overall I enjoyed it. Might read the next one in the series.

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‘Some Simple Adult Humour’

Score: 5/5

Here’s a test to see if this book is for you. Does this make you laugh?

Getting ready for a night out can take Melissa up to an hour.

Getting ready for a quiet night in takes under twenty seconds, or a minute if it’s a posh night in, with trousers.

If you laughed (I did), then this book is well worth your time.

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‘Nice, But Not London’

Score: 3/5

A Rivers Of London novella, but not set in London and not with any of the previous characters. Tricky to pull off.

And it sortof worked. But only sortof. I didn’t really care that much about any of the characters and they seemed to lack the depth of the existing characters. That’s probably to be expected, given how many books the other characters have been in, but it’s still a shame. I don’t know that I’d have warmed to these characters to the same degree if they’d had the same number of books, and really all I want is a Rivers Of London book that moves the Rivers Of London story forward.

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‘Weird, Disturbing And Gross’

Score: 4/5

Of course it’s weird, disturbing and gross - what did you expect from a bunch of Chuck Palahniuk short stories?

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‘Fun Sherlock Parody, Sortof’

Score: 3/5

This tries to be a fun Holmes-esque era detective parody, and a lot of the time it succeeds. Sometimes it falls a bit flat, not being as smart as it thinks it is, but overall I enjoyed it.

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‘Cute Cats, Weird Humour’

Score: 5/5

Lots of cat jokes that cat owners will recognise and appreciate. Loved it!

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