Thursday, 15 June 2017

Review: The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

To my shame I know very little about the Bosnian war (which happened only 20 years ago) and after finishing this I feel like I should seek out some more books on the topic. This is the story of three Sarajevans going about their everyday life in very out of the ordinary situations. Arrow is a sniper who hates "the men on the hills" and is tasked with protecting The Cellist from enemy fire, Kenan is walking through a ruined city in search of water for his family and elderly neighbour and Dragan is on his way to work for a loaf of bread. Each has a very different experience in the city under siege and each story concludes with a slightly different message.

I did really enjoy this book, it is very uniquely told and will haunt me for a long time. In particular I found Dragan and Kenan's stories of moving through the city particularly harrowing. In my life I have never had to wonder if I am in the sights of an enemy sniper and I hope that I will never have to.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Review: Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer

It's always a risky strategy when time travel is involved, especially when you have your heroes tampering with their own pasts and altering the events leading up to previous books. Colfer pulls it off very well resulting in the ultimate time paradox that will hurt your brain if you think too much about it. There is always a strong environmental theme in these books, but this one in particular really hammered the point home, focusing on endangered species both real and mystical. Definitely my favourite of the series after the first book, it goes a lot darker and there were a lot less fart gags and an altogether more serious tone.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Review: Dissolution by C.J. Sansom

I really enjoyed this, I had previously read Sovereign and remember that I enjoyed that too so thought it was high time to start at the beginning. It is a very well researched book and the details of the English Reformation are fascinating to read, it was certainly a very dark and dangerous chapter of English history. As a student of history it always makes me particularly sad when I consider how much was lost in those years, never to be seen again.

In terms of the murder mystery itself, I did guess who had done it but not until right at the end when Shardlake himself was finally opening his eyes to reality. Shardlake is an interesting main character, honestly I didn't like him and thought he was a self-righteous idiot for most of the book. I was coming round to him in the end and I have Dark Fire to read at some point in the near future, so maybe I will like him more in that one.