2015 was a really great year for me reading-wise. It was my first full year out of full time education. The year I could finally read all those books I’d been hauling from university halls to my first home. Weirdly, the first 6 months I was in a bit of a slump. I read some really great books but it just took me foreeeever to get through them. Around June, I remembered I LOVED fantasy. I remembered that Game of Thrones was fantasy. I remembered that other fantasy series exist and I should probably try to read them. I remembered that I loved YA. I hadn’t read a YA book since I was a teen. I soon remedied the fantasy/YA shaped hole in my life. I finally had my reading groove back. I devoured books again. And it made me a much happier person. I’d forgotten how much I’d missed the ‘it’s midnight and I need to get up in 5 hours but I can’t put down this book’ feeling; that feeling of escapism after a really crappy day. And finally, I discovered some amazing authors who have become my new favourites! I am very excited to read more of their work in 2016; their back-catalogues and new releases alike! Continue reading “2015 Faves – Authors”
This is a guest post by Ryan Webster. He has a blog focusing on Military History, you can check it out here. He’s been reading a wide variety of fiction lately and has very kindly agreed to write up some reviews for you lovely people.
Dominion by CJ Sansom, Macmillan, 608pp
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I have been familiar with CJ Sansom’s Shardlake series for some time now, so I was surprised at the direction this novel took. It’s essentially an alternative history spy thriller which is set in Nazi controlled London in the 1950s.
The Second World War did not happen as we know it, and portrays how events might have unfolded if the Third Reich was appeased. The book starts in 1940, with Neville Chamberlain acknowledging his position as Prime Minister is untenable, and a choice has to be made as to who will replace him. The popular candidates are Winston Churchill, a firm believer in Empire and the opposition of Nazi aggression, and the appeaser Lord Halifax. In this story, Churchill grudgingly agrees to work under Halifax in the new cabinet. Fast forward 10 years, and Britain is under an authoritarian government lead by newspaper magnate and Nazi sympathiser Lord Beaverbrook, and Churchill is forced underground as the leader of the Resistance. The Jews are beginning to be deported, there is violence on the streets and there are no elections.
Okay so I must begin with a confession. I started the month reading Jessica Cornwall’s The Serpent Papers. I read the first half but really struggled to get into it. I found the prose difficult to follow and there was a heavy focus on alchemy, without much explanation. The blurb was brilliant, and really made me want to read it. But in reality, I wasn’t enjoying it and life is too short to plod on reading books you don’t enjoy! So, I gave my copy to my boyfriend’s boss and got started on CJ Sansom’s epic sequel to Dissolution.
There is always a worry with sequels that the story will be less enticing, new characters less likeable and that plot lines might be more predictable now you know the protagonist better. None of these apply to the brilliant Shardlake series. Continue reading “Dark Fire by CJ Sansom – A Review”