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.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Review: The Bat

The Bat The Bat by Jo Nesbø
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jo Nesbø is one of those names I have spent years hearing and yet never picked up. I was always curious, aware of a hype, and yet he was never pushed to the top of my to-read list. I changed this when I brought a collection of books containing some of Nesbø’s work. Included in this collection were some of his Harry Hole books, thus I went and brought book one so that I could read the series in chronological order.
Many times, I have heard that this first Harry Hole book is not as good as the later books. Many fans seem to dislike this one. Some have never attempted to read it. Some have started never to finish it. As a whole, this first book does not seem to have the rave reviews of the rest of the series. However, I’ve read far too many series in the wrong order and I wanted to do this one right. Thus, I picked this one up with mixed hopes.
For me, this was an okay read. It was far from the best, and yet I have read much worse. It had moments of being a two star read, yet there were moments where it was a high three star rating. Overall, the book averaged a three star rating – hence the three stars. Whilst this book does not have me crazy excited about the future books in the series, it has not put me off in the way I feared it might. I’m on the bench. Having heard so many times how good the later books are, I am going to continue reading them. However, had I not heard so many rave reviews I wouldn’t have been so overly eager to continue on – it would have been a case of ‘maybe one day I will read another but I cannot say for sure whether such a thing will happen’.
Truthfully, I’m not sure where to start when explaining the things that put me off, but I’ll try and keep them concise and connected where possible.
I’ll begin with the synopsis. I feel as though it was somewhat misleading. The story sounds like a game of cat and mouse, with a constant threat hanging over Harry Hole. Such, unfortunately, is not the case. For much of the book there doesn’t seem to be much by way case at all. It’s like a tour of Australia. We get to see all the good spots, get to meet all the best people, and get to see how diverse the country is. It’s a fine way to build up the setting and the characters, but in this case it seems to distract from the main story. The criminal aspect lags, it is there and not there all at once. Rather than being at the forefront is seems to hide in the shadow. I really had expected a much more thrilling book, a case where the action lasted for longer than the last fifty pages.
Speaking of characters, I feel as though there were far too many clichés. Everyone seemed to be a cliché in some way, and it rather bugged me. I had wanted something other than the alcoholic cop. I had wanted something more than the dirty cop. I had wanted something more than the cop who works on his gut feeling. It all felt like textbook ‘how to put together a cop’ clichés. It wasn’t the worst thing ever, and yet I felt as though there was little by way of originality where characterisation was concerned. Considering how much time was spent on developing characters, overshadowing the story progression, this is a big disappointment.
Whilst the lack of progression made it hard for me to get into the story, I think the biggest aspect was the way in which the story was told. I really disliked the translation of this one. It felt too false. I feel as though it’s much too far away from the original text. It reads like an upper-class Englishman. Excluding the elite, very few people are so stereotypically how the world imagines the Brits to be. Moreover, none of the characters were British. I would have understood it had someone been making a point or if someone was ignorant of the way of the world and way simply working with the stereotype, yet such was not the case. Characters from all over the world were using stereotypically British sayings. It was extremely off putting. This, however, I know to attribute to the translation and I do not hold it against the author.
Whilst this all sounds extremely negative, it wasn’t all bad.
I was kept interested, for the most part. I was constantly questioning where things were going, waiting to see how things would actually come together. Whilst I wish there had been more focus upon the criminal aspect, I cannot deny that what was given did leave me interested in finding out more. Plus, there is a lot of potential for character growth throughout the later books.
As a whole, I wasn’t crazy about this one. I simply hope that the future books improve in the way people have me believing they will.

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