Book Count (since 1 January 2012)

Book Count (since 1 January 2014): 30

Friday, 1 March 2013

Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

The second in the Peter Grant series this is a fun magic adventure story about an apprentice wizard working for a top secret department within the Met police.  It's a bit silly and very easy to read but the plot is good fun, fast paced and not so ridiculous that you can't legitimately enjoy it.  The main character, Peter, is likeable and as realistic as it is possible for a policeman wizard to be.  The writing is good, although some of the metaphors are stretched a bit far, and the dialogue natural but it's really the plot that makes this such an engaging book.  It's basically Harry Potter for adults (and it is definitely for adults – it is really rather rude in places).

26A by Diana Evans

An excellent book which I very much enjoyed about twins of Nigerian origin growing up in Neasden.  The writing is really beautiful and creates a truly engrossing world which draws the reader into a touching, tragic plot.  The two main characters, twins Bessi and Georgia, have really distinct characters and are perfectly described so the reader feels wonderfully involved with them both and with their wider family.   The plot is very sad but manages not to be depressing.  There is also an element of the mystical about this novel, particularly towards the end, which is impressively believable.   Definitely a book I would recommend.

Toby's Room by Pat Barker

A novel about sexuality during World War I.  The book follows Elinor and her brother Toby as they try and define their own relationship in the context of the War and their own growth into adulthood.   I found this pretty hard going to be honest.  The plot is very slow and very obvious – there are a few potentially interesting avenues but these are closed down abruptly which is a real shame.  For example, Elinor starts work at Queens, a facial injuries hospital and uses her talent as an artist to document the injuries and the surgical attempts to heal them.  This is all very well researched and could have been exceptionally interesting, particularly as there are real historical characters written into the narrative, but the heavy plot and the uninspiring characters overtook this more delicate subject.   I found the plot too flighty and the writing too cold to really engage with what could have been an excellent novel.

The Good Father by Noah Hawley

This novel is about an American man who refuses to accept that the police have got it right when they arrest his nomadic son for the assassination of a presidential candidate.  It is an interesting take on gun culture in America but is not as thought provoking or chilling as We Need To Talk About Kevin.  The main character, Paul, is a doctor who struggles to reconcile what he knows about his son with the gathering evidence of his crime.  I found Paul very difficult to like or engage with and this for me made this book a lot less poignant than it would otherwise have been.  Paul's son Daniel is better drawn but the narrative flips too often between father and son to maintain the reader's connection with either.  The writing is sometimes excellent and never offensive but surprisingly bland for a novel with this sort of plot.   Personally, despite the interesting concept I did not enjoy this book, mainly because of the lack of connection with the characters.