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.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Review: Windswept

Windswept Windswept by Adam Rakunas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If I’m being completely honest, this one really surprised me.

I love science fiction books, yet I find myself thinking they’re often a case of hit or miss. Either every mark is hit or I’m left wanting something more. Of course there are varying degrees of the latter, but I often find myself reading books that fall into that category. More often than I’d like, science fiction books leave me wanting something more. This doesn’t stop me from reading more books in the genre, but it does mean I don’t go out of my way to read as many as I would like. I prefer to know I’m getting something good before picking up a science fiction book that could leave me disappointed.

When I saw a Goodreads giveaway for Windswept, I decided to enter. If anything, it sounded like one of those humorous science fiction books that are out on the market. Not one of those ‘oh my gosh I cannot breathe’ funny ones, but one to bring a smile to your face. Truthfully, I wouldn’t have been heartbroken if I hadn’t won the book. I wasn’t crazy obsessed with winning as I am with some other books (you know what I mean, those times where a book by your favourite author is named in a giveaway). Thus, when I woke up to find two emails from Goodreads informing me of winnings, I found my joy being transferred between the two books. I had won Windswept by Adam Rakunas (earning an ‘I can find out if this is worth it’ yay) and Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie (earning a ‘hooray for the short story collection that I am interested in’ yay), with the two combining to make an ‘oh my, I won two books and want to read them both now’ yay.

I debated reading Sharp Ends first, but in the end I went for Windswept. I’d just come out of reading the First Law trilogy, and whilst jumping straight into the short stories would have been fine, I felt like a break. I went into Windswept hoping for something much lighter, something other than the kind of high fantasy that leaves you reading at a slower pace than usual, and was not disappointed.

It was an easy read, but this is not at all a bad thing. Sometimes science fiction books can really weigh you down as information is thrown at you. My science knowledge is pretty decent (if you’ll accept a moment where I sound big-headed) yet this does not make me an astrophysicist, and it’s always nice when science fiction books are at a level where everyone can understand them. This one reads as though it’s set in the not too distant future: far enough away for the planet we’re on to be unique but similar enough to the modern world to prevent a headache from forming as you try to work your way around it. Whilst this world does have a decent amount for us to learn, it’s done in such a way that you feel as though it’s telling the story in the modern world. It is always great when science fiction books read in such a way. Honestly, there were so many points in favour of the story for that alone.

The story itself was great. The synopsis reads as though you’re in for a humorous story, but such isn’t what you’re given. There are a handful of moments to bring a smile to your face, but it’s not the kind to leave you chuckling at every other sentence. It’s a serious read with the occasional smidgen of humour thrown in, despite how the notion of the story could have you believing otherwise.

Honestly, I was truly blown away by how good it was.

Things were a little slow at first, but once the story got going it was a lot of fun. The characters were brilliant, there was plenty of action, there were many twists, and it makes you think. It truly was a surprising read. I can certainly see myself going on to read the next book.

Overall, a great surprise. I’m so glad I won this one.

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