Posts Tagged ‘bite me’

Epistle by Max Thompson – ReviewEpistle by Max Thompson
Genres: Autobiographies/Biographies, Humorous
Format: eBook
Pages: 113 pages
Buy from Amazon
four-stars

Epistle by Max Thompson is the latest in a series of fun cat memoirs written by handsome feline Max, aided and abetted by his human caregiver Karen.  I follow Max’s blog and love reading his musings on life as a house cat.  I was excited this morning when he announced that the digital version of his latest book was now available from Amazon – hard copy to follow soon – and immediately picked it up and devoured it.  This particular instalment was written as a letter by Max (who is now a senior kitty) to his younger self giving his kitten self tips and tricks.

What I liked

The format.  I felt this works very well.  The letter to Young Max gives a cohesive structure and approach to the book.  It contains a mixture of amusing and practical tips for Young Max, often ways of “persuading” the humans in the household to give him more food, as well as more philosophical thoughts on human nature.  I am certain my cat has been talking to Max on the sly as she uses many of the same tricks.  He also attempts to educate Young Max in his new role as a house cat – he is responsible for looking after the physical and emotional wellbeing of the humans.  I’m not 100% convinced that this is truly altruistic – he does remind Young Max on more than one occasion that humans are needed to open the cans of stinky goodness.

The introduction from Buddah Pest.  Max’s feline partner in crime, Buddah Pest, is a major part of Max’s life, yet we’ve heard very little from his point of view.  It was really fun to hear from him in the foreword.

The humour.  Max is hilarious.  He has a unique way of looking at the world and I snorted several times reading his musings.

What I didn’t like

Repetition.  Many of the events to which Max makes reference were already familiar to me from his previous books.  Ah well.  I suppose there are only a certain number of major happenings that can happen to one well loved kitty.  Fortunately, the structure of explaining these to Young Max did add a bit of variety.

I would recommend Epistle – and Max’s other books to all cat lovers.

I gave Epistle four stars out of five

 buy from Amazon

It has to be said I’ve been slightly disappointed in the books I’ve read recently. I was unable to get into them for some reason.

The Blade Itself by Joe Ambercrombie I read this on recommendation by Rick Riordan, one of my favourite young adult writers. I listened to it partly in audiobook and then gave up and read it on Kindle. I don’t believe it was a fault of the narrator; he did a good job, but I just couldn’t get into it very easily. On the positive side, I see that Amazon has enabled Whispersync for Voice for purchases on the Canadian store. It worked perfectly on this book. However, they do not yet offer the price reduction for both items, but maybe that will come.

The Blade Itself is very similar to George R.R, Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire in that character development is more important than plot progression. That is all very well, but Ambercrombie can’t compare to the depth of characterization that Martin has reached. None of the characters grabbed me in the manner of Tyrion, Jaime or Arya. In all fairness, Martin has had five books to develop his characters, while I have only read the first one of The First Law series. What I have read though doesn’t encourage me to read the next two in the series.

I did enjoy Ambercrombie’s writing style though. I found it entertaining, amusing and very immediate. The narration in the audiobook certainly helped with that. There were some excellent points where the reader wonders how the characters are going to get out of that particular situation. The world building too, was excellent.

At other points I felt Ambercrombie created some excellent dramatic tension – then allowed it to go nowhere. An example of this is the brilliantly executed confrontation in council. The clash was beautifully set up – the betrayal was foreshadowed and the characterization of the Council made it understandable why they were totally oblivious to the danger right up to the last moment. However, this storyline never went anywhere. The characters all seemed to continue doing what they were doing before.

I gave The Blade Itself three and a half stars out of five

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs This is the latest in Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series.

I’d felt after River Marked that Mercy’s story had come to a natural end. There were developments in the companion Alpha and Omega series that could have opened up the Mercy storyline as well, but Briggs did not take that opportunity.

The novel itself is a well-written stand alone, and from any other author I’d give it top rating. However, from an author of Briggs’ calibre it was a little disappointing. Like Martin, Briggs is particularly skilled in character development and I saw little of that in this book. I hope that in future Briggs concentrates on Alpha and Omega – there seems much more scope for development there.

I gave Frost Burned four stars out of five

Bite Me (A Memoir of Sorts) by Max Thompson I admit as a cat lover I’m a sucker for this kind of book. I’ve always enjoyed “Max’s” writing style and found it very amusing to read about life from a cat’s point of view.

This book is no exception. My only complaint is that some of the material was a rehash of content I’d read before either in the previous books or Max’s blog. This book won’t give you food for thought or change your world, but it is an amusing way to pass an hour or two.

I gave Bite Me four stars out of five

It has to be said I’ve been slightly disappointed in the books I’ve read recently. I was unable to get into them for some reason.

The Blade Itself by Joe Ambercrombie I read this on recommendation by Rick Riordan, one of my favourite young adult writers. I listened to it partly in audiobook and then gave up and read it on Kindle. I don’t believe it was a fault of the narrator; he did a good job, but I just couldn’t get into it very easily. On the positive side, I see that Amazon has enabled Whispersync for Voice for purchases on the Canadian store. It worked perfectly on this book. However, they do not yet offer the price reduction for both items, but maybe that will come.

The Blade Itself is very similar to George R.R, Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire in that character development is more important than plot progression. That is all very well, but Ambercrombie can’t compare to the depth of characterization that Martin has reached. None of the characters grabbed me in the manner of Tyrion, Jaime or Arya. In all fairness, Martin has had five books to develop his characters, while I have only read the first one of The First Law series. What I have read though doesn’t encourage me to read the next two in the series.

I did enjoy Ambercrombie’s writing style though. I found it entertaining, amusing and very immediate. The narration in the audiobook certainly helped with that. There were some excellent points where the reader wonders how the characters are going to get out of that particular situation. The world building too, was excellent.

At other points I felt Ambercrombie created some excellent dramatic tension – then allowed it to go nowhere. An example of this is the brilliantly executed confrontation in council. The clash was beautifully set up – the betrayal was foreshadowed and the characterization of the Council made it understandable why they were totally oblivious to the danger right up to the last moment. However, this storyline never went anywhere. The characters all seemed to continue doing what they were doing before.

I gave The Blade Itself three and a half stars out of five

Frost Burned
by Patricia Briggs
This is the latest in Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series.

I’d felt after River Marked that Mercy’s story had come to a natural end. There were developments in the companion Alpha and Omega series that could have opened up the Mercy storyline as well, but Briggs did not take that opportunity.

The novel itself is a well-written stand alone, and from any other author I’d give it top rating. However, from an author of Briggs’ calibre it was a little disappointing. Like Martin, Briggs is particularly skilled in character development and I saw little of that in this book. I hope that in future Briggs concentrates on Alpha and Omega – there seems much more scope for development there.

I gave Frost Burned four stars out of five

Bite Me: A Memoir (Of Sorts)
by Max Thompson
I admit as a cat lover I’m a sucker for this kind of book. I’ve always enjoyed “Max’s” writing style and found it very amusing to read about life from a cat’s point of view.

This book is no exception. My only complaint is that some of the material was a rehash of content I’d read before either in the previous books or Max’s blog. This book won’t give you food for thought or change your world, but it is an amusing way to pass an hour or two.

I gave Bite Me four stars out of five