One of the best books I’ve read this year.

The Swordsman’s Lament by G. M. White is genuinely brilliant. When I had to turn the audiobook off after my commute to work I was looking forward to getting back on the road, and back in the story.

Belasko is a great new hero. This series deserves to blow up. I hope it does. The story is a simple but compelling one. A good man accused of a murder he didn’t commit escapes from the dungeons to clear his name.

The writing is excellent and G. M. White is an exceptional storyteller.

There is an equality to the storytelling too. Strong female characters. Female guards, they/them pronouns, ambiguous sexual orientation. It’s not at the forefront of the story, but it’s there in the subtle world building.

The nobility / underclass devide is tackled with an edge as sharp as Belesko’s rapier.

The Swordsman’s Lament, “the older I get the better I was”, is put to the test and Belasko prevails.

There is nothing to not like about the book. Just read it already, it’s great.

I believe it was the narrator’s first foray into reading audiobooks and I hope he reads more. He sounded very much like Tom Hiddleston. It was like having Loki read you a book, and who wouldn’t want that?

Audiobook Review of Grandfather’s House by Jon Athan

Unbelievable Violence and Perversion.

This is a short and sick listen. If you are willing to suspend your disbelief to get beyond the few illogical plot flaws (a kid becoming so hungry he eats rotten chicken after being in solitary confinement for only a few hours) there is a lot to enjoy with this story. It is entertainingly written. The opening scene in the classroom is brilliant and the protagonist and his grandfather are well drawn characters.

The only thing I would change about the actual writing of the book is that characters are far too often “awed” by things. But that’s a small issue really (especially considering the graphic content of the book).

It is violent to the extreme and sexual in a way that is so far removed from erotica it is utterly repulsive. I’m going to leave two words here that may or may not have any relation to the “erotic” element of this sory: grandmother’s bottom.

There we are. Read at your peral.

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Grandfathers-House-Audiobook/B07WP8TWZ8?qid=1568366182&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=c6e316b8-14da-418d-8f91-b3cad83c5183&pf_rd_r=V9C63HN8X2NDV44JP11W&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

The Rats by James Herbert – REVIEW

This book surprised me. I was expecting some schlock. Some B-movie pulp horror. A first attempt at fiction by an author who would become one of England’s best selling horror novelists. But actually, it was brilliant.

It has a few intentional false starts so you’re not sure for a while if the person you’re following on that page is going to die in the next. Or if he, or she, will go on to be the main protagonist of the story. At first the book is a series of vignettes of rat killings. But you don’t just get a violent attack. You really get to know every character before they are ripped to shreds.

It starts with a story involving a gay salesman struggling with his love for another man. You think he’s going to be the main character and then he wakes up to find he’s being eaten alive by a swarm of rats the size of a small dogs.

The depth James Herbert gets from his characters is impressive for such a small book. He wants you to feel something for them before their eyes are graphically chewed out.

There are lots of things about this book I want to spoil for you, but I won’t. The ending was absurd and brilliant. I absolutely recommend it.