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.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Review: Sharp Ends

Sharp Ends Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is such a fun collection: I enjoyed it so much more than I had expected.

I’ll start by saying I’m not the biggest of fans of short story collections. I find short stories are often a case of hit or miss. Due to this, I very rarely go out and buy short story collections. However, I saw a Goodreads giveaway for Sharp Objects and decided to enter. I had wanted to read some Joe Abercrombie but I had no idea where to start. I wasn’t expecting to win, but I did. Thus, the decision was made that I would start with his First Law world. Prior to reading Sharp Ends, I read the First Law trilogy. I have yet to read the additional books set in the world, yet such a thing did not harm my reading of these stories.

For the most part, the stories were four star reads. There were a couple that were only three stars, that I felt were missing something, but mostly they were still great reads. Of course, I have my favourites, but I’ll gladly read all of them again.

The first story in the collection tells the tale of Glokta. I was really interested to read this one… but I was somewhat disappointed. It was fun, but I had expected something more. As he was one of my favourite characters in the main trilogy, I expected this short story to give us a lot more than it did. It was fun, but I really had wanted more from it. Due to this, it was one I considered to be a mere three star rating. It was fun, but it wasn’t that great. It left me unsure of where the collection would go: the story I had the biggest hopes for had disappointed me.

The second story picked up. This was a four star read. It was characters I did not know, and I questioned whether they were from the additional books set in the First Law world. Such a thing failed to worry me, though, as I enjoyed it. It was a typical Abercrombie read: grim and wonderful.

The third story was another that I wasn’t overly excited by. It had a couple of amusing moments, but it wasn’t overly wonderful. A three star read for me.

The fourth story picked back up. At this point I questioned whether there was going to be a pattern: an okay read and then a good one. I didn’t mind this, but I hoped for more of the good reads. This one follows on from the second story in the book, and I realised that we were following the same characters at a later point in their story. As I was enjoying them, I hoped for more from them – I was not disappointed. As I continued to read the collection, I realised there was a story being told within the stories. Back to story number four, though: it was another four star read.

The fifth story was another four star read. It wasn’t quite a full four stars, but it was close enough for me to mentally round up the rating. It was an interesting read, telling a tale from the main trilogy from the perspective of a new character. It was a lot of fun to see how things played out outside of the main characters.

The sixth story brought us back to those characters we are following throughout the book. It was a rather entertaining one, carrying on their main story and giving us more. I think it goes without saying that this was another four star read: following the couple throughout the book, in the form of short stories, is so much fun.

The seventh story was another okay read. It was back to being a three star read as it did not stand out much. Nothing amazing, but fun nonetheless.

The eighth story was back to being four stars. Again, it wasn’t a high four star rating, but it was more of a four star read than a three star read.

The ninth story was an okay read. This was one that I couldn’t quite round up to four stars, but I did enjoy revisiting some characters from the main trilogy.

The tenth story was another decent read. It wasn’t one of my favourites, but I did enjoy it.

The eleventh story was my favourite. I always enjoyed the character of Cosca and this story left me giggling throughout. I could say so much about this one, but if I did I’d end up with a review longer than the short story. I got in so much trouble whilst reading it: every other sentence someone was telling me to shut up with my giggling. I just couldn’t help it. I was so amusing. Without a doubt my favourite of the stories.

The twelfth story brought an end to the duo we have been following throughout the book. It was another interesting one: showing us more than just the duo. It was a lot of fun, a great end to the mini story within the book.

The final story followed another familiar character: the Bloody-Nine. It was another story I expected a lot from, and was unsure as to whether I was given all I had hoped for. It was better than the Glokta story, but I was still left wanting a little bit more. It was a great insight into the character, but not quite enough to appease me.

Overall, it was a great read. I’m so glad I won this one, and I’m sure I’ll go out and find the other books set in the First Law world in the hope of finding familiar faces from these tales.

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