Tag Archives: fantasy

Book Review – Out of Time – Great Library Series Volume 3 – Laurie Graves

Out of Time (The Great Library Series Book 3) by [Laurie Graves]According to the Amazon details the book has 276 pages. It didn’t seem like it. Time flew,and although I spread it over two nights, it finished too soon. If there was another in the series I would definitely buy it right away. Unfortunately, there isn’t.

That’s really all you need to know. It’s less than £3 on Kindle, so what are you waiting for?

Of course, book reviews are supposed to be slightly longer than that so I’ll just add a bit of waffle. The action takes place in a magic county called Elferterre (somebody is showing their French roots again!) , which is a convincing place, and has an excellent talking cat. There are very few books that can’t be improved by the addition of a talking cat, so this is good to see.. Even  a talking cat couldn’t improve  Don Quixote, but I won’t go into that.

I always get off to a slow start as I pick up the threads from the last book, but it is handled well, with enough prompts to get the reader up to speed, and enough information to help a first-time reader get into the story. After that it goes along at a decent pace and, as I say, is over all too soon.

There’s a bit of teenage romance going on, which I suppose you have to accept in these modern times, plus some comment on equality, ecology and vegetarianism, though it’s all done lightly and it isn’t laboured. This is handled much better than C S Lewis manages it  in Narnia. (Cut that out as a quote Laurie “much better than C S Lewis”).

The only fault I can find in the book – the ending seems a little rushed. I felt there was room within the pacing for a little more action but the book seemed to pick up speed towards the end, as if a word limit was looming. Apart from that – pacing, character, action, context – all brilliant.

All that remains is for me to recommend the purchase of a copy, as I said, at £3 on Kindle it’s an absolute bargain.

 

 

 

Book Review – Maya and the Book of Everything

Maya and the Book of Everything

Paperback: 310 pages

Publisher: Hinterlands Press; 1 edition (25 Nov. 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0997845309

ISBN-13: 978-0997845303

You’ve probably seen the blog Notes From the Hinterland by Laurie Graves – this is her book.

I’m probably not the best person to review a fantasy book for young adults as my experience started with the Narnia books, experienced a gap, then started again with Harry Potter. Even then, it finished after the first few Potter books because they got too big to hold.

On that subject, did you know that there are 257,045 words in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? Here are some word counts for famous novels. Bigger isn’t always better.

I’m not sure where Maya stands in the matter of word count, but in terms of quality it’s up there with the books I’m using as comparisons.

The action starts early and carries on at a brisk pace with plenty of twists. There are well-developed characters, a murder, a stabbing, some soppy stuff, a bit of morality and a cliff-hanger ending.

It’s ahead of most of the Harry Potter novels in being shorter, which makes for a tighter and more enjoyable read. It’s ahead of the Narnia books because the odd spot of morality that appears isn’t rammed down your throat: even as a ten-year-old I objected to having religion rammed down my throat by C. S. Lewis.

So there you have it – Maya is a better read than Harry Potter.

That will look good as a quote on the cover of Volume 2.

Where it falls short (and this is just my opinion) is that the Potter and Narnia books have a more developed environment. You could, of course say that it is uncluttered, but I would like to see a bit more detail and development.

And that’s about it. I’m now looking forwards to reading the sequel.