Book Review ‘Alien – Out Of The Shadows’ by Tim Lebbon

alienoutoftheshadowsI genuinely think it’s a difficult task to write an ALIEN novel. It’s been done so many times and fans want the same things. So, I guess it’s really a task to be original and find a tone and voice that captures what fans really want and also to bring something new to the table.

Tim Lebbon has done some incredible work and I love the guy, but this novel didn’t work for me. I totally disagree with the amazing reviews from sites and magazines. I’ll keep it simple. In the first 10-15% of the story, you, as the reader have been introduced to chest bursting, facehuggers and dark shadows of monsters. What are they going to do with the rest of the novel? How will they keep momentum and tension up? How will they keep you in suspense? The answer… they didn’t.

In act 1 you have met the Aliens. The rest is slow and repetitive. Simply put, characters that you are not invested in or have little emotion for, walk through corridors and caves. I couldn’t picture what the writer was describing, especially scenes, and actions which is incredibly frustrating as a fan. The description of the characters ship was fine, as we have the films for reference, but outside I really had trouble picturing the scenes and eventually gave up trying. You are desensitised to the Aliens very quickly and there is little fear.

Why they needed Ripley is baffling. She is a marketing tool to get readers to buy it (that’s just my opinion). Maybe, it was a requirement of the publishers that she had to be in the novel. You can remove her and the narrative would play out fine without her. She is not needed and the dream sequences of her daughter felt like padding to fill the story and I eventually passed over them without reading.

It would have been a better story if Hooper had remained the main protagonist. He was great at the beginning and even better in the final 10% of the story. Ripley’s introduction ruined what was initially a great character, and he quickly becomes diluted. The introduction was very strong and Hooper and his relationship with his captain had huge potential. The feel of the world was there and the tone was set.

Great cover.

Spencer

 

BOOK REVIEW ‘Into the Darkness’ (Darkness #book 1) By K.F. Breene

Into the Darkness coverBeing a USA Today Bestselling Author, I had to read book 1. Upon reading the synopsis, it sounded like something I’d really like. Sasha is the main protagonist. A young girl who, for most of her life, has seen strange paranormal shadows at the edge of her peripheral vision. To her it’s normal, but she’s realised & learnt how it looks to others. So she keeps it all pretty quiet.

I found the whole idea really intriguing. Sasha’s a well rounded character and not as flaky as some female leads tend to be. Some of the writing was absolutely beautiful, as were similes and metaphors.

However, the novelty disappeared quickly & I got tired of listening to Sasha’s thoughts. The book is written from a first person perspective.  It was okay initially, nevertheless, I did rapidly get tired of it and wanted the pace to pick up.

What I disliked the most was that it reads as a teenage ‘young adult’ fantasy/paranormal novel in a type of ‘Twilight style’ but then, adult graphic sex is thrown in like a brick through a glass window. It’s so inappropriate I was staggered! Was I reading the same book? The sex jarred against the overall tone and spirit of the book. It felt really forced, as if the author was told to go back and but sex scenes in it to make it more adult.  It doesn’t work and felt hugely wrong, you didn’t have to do this. You remove the sex and the narrative is solid without it.

‘The Boss’ (the hunk to tempt Sasha) was forgettable. I wish he’d been given more depth and development. He’s the contrast, conflict & love interest for Sasha, but this didn’t come over to the reader. It’s no good describing how hot a guy is & how he jumps in rescuing girls & acting moody, show it in other ways!

It’s okay creating an alternate world like Harry Potter’s alternate magic world that ‘Muggles’ can’t see, but you need to establish the real world first. Into the Darkness doesn’t do this and that really throws the reader.

The story just dragged on, far too long.  It got to the stage, when I kept checking how much of the book I had left to read.  The narrative got messy and confusing. It was slightly difficult to see what the author was trying to show. So, you end up continuing to read hoping it’ll eventually make sense. By the time some sense appears you have already given up.

Will I read the follow up? No. I would however, try other work by this author.

Spencer

End of an era (Part 4)

It’s been a few days now since I moved and it’s both strange and normal at the same time. I’m trying to get into a new routine quickly so that I don’t fall into bad habits. Been applying for jobs which seems to take ages theses days and went and made an appointment at the local gym as I’ve moved away from my usual one. I already miss my gym and the guys there.

Was asked about romance the other day and I almost bit their head off (lol). They said that as I’m in a new town, romance could be around the corner! The last thing in my mind at the moment is romance unless it’s in a book (stayed up till 1am last night reading).

Some might say a romance is exactly what I need, or at least to go out and meet new people. Anyway, going to go out on the bike and venture forward tomorrow morning. Hopefully my skipping rope will also get delivered as I now have outdoor space for training so, I have no excuse.

Spencer

End of an era (Part 3)

Well I’m all moved now. Today all I’ve done is sort through boxes. Boxes which hold my entire life. I’ve had an almighty sort out, even throwing things away I’ve kept since my teenage years. It feels good to get rid of stuff. Just looking forward to reading some more right now.

End of an era (Part 2)

It’s all very quiet in the house. I’m the only one here now. My best mate has virtually moved out now. My bedroom is the room in its original state. All other rooms are becoming more empty as the week goes by.

The dog is worried and senses the changes as she hasn’t fully moved with by best mate yet. I think Gandalf said it in Lord of the rings, “it’s the deep breath before the plunge.” That’s what it feels like.

Part of me wants to hold on as long as I can, keeping the house all normal. The other part of me wants to take action and move NOW! Put it behind me, lock up the house, jump in the car and go. This will happen anyway but it’s whether I want to wait till the 19th. I don’t want to wait for things to happen, I want to make it happen.

End of an era (Part 1)

It’s a sad time for me, although I’m trying to see the positive side.

My best friend and I have lived together for 6 years. On the 19th of Feb this all ends as he has brought a new property and will be moving. You have heard me talk about him and his partner on my blog a few times as they embarked on their new relationship. They have been together 20 months now.

I was initially very emotional and so was he and still is, even though he’s trying not to show it. He is basically like a brother and he is my best friend. The thought of not seeing him every day is upsetting. What makes it even worse, is that he gets the dog who is equally in my heart (dog owners, you understand). The dog belongs to him.

I laugh at all this because it sounds like we were a couple divorcing and he gets everything, but that’s not the case, it’s just how I’m perceiving it.  He, his boyfriend and the dog are like my second family and it all changes on the 19th.