A Time to Kill – Review

A Time to Kill by John Grisham

Published in 1989

Pages: 655

Genre: Legal, suspense, thriller

“Billy Ray Cobb was the younger and smaller of the two rednecks.”

The introduction of these two rednecks leads into a gruesome description of the heinous acts they perpetrate on ten-year-old Tonya Hailey. This sets the tone for John Grisham’s 1989 crime novel, A Time to Kill. The novel brings into question vigilante justice, the lack of trust in America’s judicial system, personal ethics, and digs deep into the psyche of humans and the lengths they are willing to go to in order to right a terrible wrong. Continue reading “A Time to Kill – Review”

The Last Continent – Review

The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett

Published in 1998

Pages: 292

Genre: Fantasy, satire

“Against the stars a turtle passes, carrying four elephants on its shell.”

Terry Pratchett tends to zoom in on his stories by starting with a description of the Discworld; the beginning of The Last Continent is no exception. Finding Rincewind where we left him at the end of Interesting Times, the Librarian of Unseen University is sick and Rincewind is needed in order to treat the illness; the only problem: he is on the rain-less continent of XXXX which is surrounded by a magic hurricane and no one knows how to get there. Continue reading “The Last Continent – Review”

Gods and Heroes: Myths and Epics of Ancient Greece – Review

Gods and Heroes: Myths and Epics of Ancient Greece by Gustav Schwab

Published in 1946

Olga Marx and Ernst Morwitz translation

Pages: 743

Genre: Fiction, mythology

“Often I have told my youngest daughter the legends of ancient Greece, and have found myself wishing that I could give her a book that would show her more of that magic world which was the delight of my own youth, and to which I love to return, now that I am older.”

Though I typically start my reviews with the first line of the book, I chose to begin my review of Gods and Heroes: Myths and Epics of Ancient Greece by Gustav Schwab with the first sentence of the introduction. Though it isn’t technically part of the stories told in the book, this section gives the reader necessary context (as an introduction is wont to do) regarding how the myths are presented. This information is integral to understanding the mighty deeds and tragic ends of the heroes of ancient Greece. Continue reading “Gods and Heroes: Myths and Epics of Ancient Greece – Review”

The Man in the High Castle – Review

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Published in 1962

Pages: 274

Genre: Alternate history, speculative fiction

“For a week Mr. R. Childan had been anxiously watching the mail.”

While this sentence might be used to begin any type of novel, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick relies on its innocuousness to segue into a world very different from ours. The year is 1962 and the Allies lost World War II, leaving Japan and Nazi Germany to divide the conquered land and lay claim to the world. Being almost two decades since the end of the war, many people have found new roles within the new society of the North American continent, but some patriotism still stirs in the hearts of those who remain. Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle – Review”

Gardens of the Moon – Review

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Published in 1999

Pages: 657

Genre: Fantasy

“The stains of rust seemed to map blood seas on the black, pocked surface of Mock’s Vane.”

In keeping with the typical expectations of its genre, Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson begins with a prologue in order to set up the scene for the epic journey to come. Showcasing a cast of characters that is as diverse as it is vast, the book follows the conquests of the Malazan Empire through pitched battles, political assassinations, and divine intervention. It is easy to get lost in such a dense and in-depth fantasy world, almost to the point of distraction, but Erikson keeps the narrative interesting despite the intense amount of background information to cover. Continue reading “Gardens of the Moon – Review”

Interesting Times – Review

Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

Published in 1994

Pages: 399

Genre: Fantasy, satire

“This is where the gods play games with the lives of men, on a board which is at one and the same time a simple playing area and the whole world.”

Such an enigmatic opening can only be the beginning to yet another Discworld novel. Interesting Times, by Terry Pratchett, picks up the thread of Rincewind’s life and sends him sprawling into adventure once again. Fraught with peril, politeness, and parody, Interesting Times continues the story of Rincewind; a man who seeks boredom in lieu of his naturally exciting life. Continue reading “Interesting Times – Review”

Of Human Bondage – Review

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

Published in 1915

Pages: 380

Genre: Fiction, semi-autobiographical

“The day broke gray and dull.”

This line sums up Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham incredibly well. Following the life of a newly orphaned boy in England, the book covers twenty years of indecision, romanticized lust, and attempts at self-discovery. Fraught with romantic entanglements and conversations of morality and religion, Of Human Bondage makes for a bit of a slog due to the immense amount of toilsome prose. Continue reading “Of Human Bondage – Review”