These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.
Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.
Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.
Sunday, 3 July 2016
Review: The Firemaker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have been a fan of Peter May ever since I picked up the first book in his Lewis Trilogy, The Blackhouse, a few years ago. Whilst none of his books have ever reached the same high, I have enjoyed them all.
The Lewis Trilogy will always be my favourite. The first one pulled me in and I was so engaged I went out and brought books two and three instantly. I thoroughly enjoyed them and promised myself I would read more. It took me a while, but I finally got hold of Entry Island. Like books two and three of the Lewis Trilogy, the book was great. It wasn’t The Blackhouse, but I had lots of fun with it. Again, a rather long time period passed before I read my next Peter May book – this time it was the first in his Enzo Files series. Fortunately, I had the five books sitting at my bedside and worked through one after the other. They were my least favourite of his books, but I still had a lot of fun with them. In fact, I’m hoping we’ll get a couple more of them to complete the series. This was followed by a find in the university’s second-hand bookstore. Hidden away, I managed to find one of his older works – Virtually Dead. It was completely different to what I was used to from him, but still enjoyable. At that point, I knew beyond doubt that I wanted to read the China Thrillers; however, I ended up picking up Runaway instead. I have yet to read it as my to-read list got out of hand and I picked up so many books that were parts of series I was part way through, but it is sitting by my bed waiting to be read in the foreseeable future.
Prior to picking up Runaway, I requested Coffin Road on NetGalley. I was disheartened when I did not get a chance to read it. I’ll still pick up the book, but I’d been so eager to give it an early read! Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I jumped at The Firemaker when I saw it on NetGalley. At first, I was confused as to why it was on NetGalley. The book had been out for years – why was it suddenly on NetGalley? I didn’t question it for long – I simply requested the book. I wasn’t going to miss out on the chance of reading it. I was fearful I would not be accepted, that it would be a repeat of Coffin Road, but I was surprised – I quickly found my request accepted. It was at this point in time that I realised why it was on NetGalley. A couple of days after being accepted to read The Firemaker, I walked into a local bookstore and found the book sitting there with a brand new cover. That was why NetGalley had put it up.
My only regret is that it took me so long to read it.
I’ll start by saying that has nothing to do with the book itself – the book was thoroughly enjoyable. The issue was I decided to start reading it at an exceptionally busy time. Trying to read one of your favourite authors during exam period is not the best of plans. Thus, it took me a while to get through it. When I was finally able to sit down and read it, though, I powered through it. I was pulled into the story, left unwilling to put it down until I knew how it ended.
I’ll admit, a bit like his Enzo Files, the first in the China Thriller series was somewhat predictable. I feel as though the Lewis Trilogy will always be his high with surprises – it was filled with such twists and turns. Whilst the same can be said of this book – there are twists and turns throughout – they were not as shocking as in his Lewis Trilogy. You had some expectations of what was to come, as some details were a little bit too obvious. Characters and topics were introduced that did not seem to quite fit in with where the story was going, seeming to appear as mundane conversation, leaving you more than prepared for when they appeared within the deeper story.
Despite this, it was still enjoyable. Even though it is not set in the western world, it is all you would expect from a good crime thriller. Add in the fact that it is set in the east, along with the fact it is written by Peter May, and you suddenly have an extremely rich world coming to live before you. As always, Peter May is more than capable of bringing the setting and characters to life.
As much as I enjoyed the characters and their interaction, I couldn’t help but think the romance aspect was a bit forced. This, however, is partly because the whole ‘adrenaline of the hunt’ induced romance doesn’t really appeal to me. When I care for romances, I prefer them to be slow burners. It was great fun to watch their interaction, to see the way they battled over their different views, but the romance didn’t appeal to me. I’m positive I will come to enjoy it with the rest of the series, yet it seemed like too much for a first book.
Oh, didn’t I mention that? I’m more than happy to carry on. In fact, I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book.
All in all, it is safe to say this is another Peter May series that I’m going to find myself addicted to. In regards to where it sits on my favourite lists, it’s up there just behind Entry Island (my fifth favourite of his books, that I have read to date, in other words).
As a final note, I would like to say the biggest thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to enjoy this one.
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