Sunday, 28 January 2018

Monty's Book Review - Jan 2018

Monty's Book Review

January 2018

I've recently discovered Library Thing ( where you can sign up for authors to send you free copies of their ebooks in exchance for a fair and honest review left on either the Library Thing website or on Goodreads or Amazon.

I love reading and will read pretty much anything apart from mushy romance novels so this was a good opportunity to read books from new or less well know authors.

The first book I received was 

The Godungava by Joel Puga

The Godungava is a fantasy novella heavily influenced by the world of Dungeons & Dragons. The storyline is fairly well-paced but tends to get bogged down during the fight sequences which I feel are a little heavy on the description of the individual blows struck by the characters. The author has  clearly spend time developing the background for his universe and I can see potential for future titles to further develop some of the elements that are only touched on here. I would like to see a bit more character development for the main antagonists which would allow readers to invest more care in their eventual outcome but as this is just a relatively short story it would slow down the narrative and either cause the book to be over long or to remove some of the storyline.

The names of some of the characters can be difficult to pronounce which causes momentary episodes where you are jerked out of the story in order to re-read them in order to pronounce them correctly.. Some of the names are also too similar which can create a tiny amount of confusion but this would be easy to solve if the book was to be published on a large scale in the future.

Despite what appears above to be a quite negative review, I actually enjoyed the story and with a simple bit of tidying up on the names and combat details this would be a good book for fantasy and D&D enthusiasts. One last point - if you are going to introduce a shorter, more easily pronounced, name for a character, stick to in in the text instead of jumping between the two names.

All in all this was an interesting read which would be popular among its target audience.

The second book I received and read this month was

The Liars' Asylum by Jacob M Appel

The collection of eight short stories are all loosly related to unrequited love in one form or another.

The stories are well researched and written in an easy style which make then entertaining reading. Each one is thought provoking and leaves you pondering on where the story would go if it was to continue to look at the lives of the central characters. Each one is a snapshot into the life of one character and doesn't always finish with a conclusion to the problem at hand.

These are not short stories with a twist in the tail like Jeffrey Archer or Roald Dahl and they are not romantic love stories but each one is finely crafted and a joy to read. 


I also entered some giveaways on the Goodreads website ( and the first one I received was

Something Completely Odd by Chris Dyer


A delightful collection of short poetry, stories and opinion that in turn both entertain and make you think. It is a mixture of items both humorous and serious which in places had me reciting aloud to my family a few of the poems which made me laugh - Telly, My Little Friend and Bert in particular.

'Blue' would make a great meme and may end up in a frame on the wall at home

The opinion pieces which the author classifes as ramblings are all aimed at making the world a better place to live and shold be commended.

The short fiction piece gives you cause to think about your environment and the detrimental effect we, as a race, are having on the planet.

The lighter pieces of poetry are fun to read, especially aloud, and the more serious pieces create scenes which make good points for discussion or thought

I really enjoyed most of the pieces in the book and will definitely return to it to reread my favourite pieces again and again.

The second one from Goodreads was

Bobby 'Chicken Legs' Muldoon: Life and Love in the Gorbals


The book is written entirely in glaswegian and as a Sassenach I at first found it hard to read fluently as I needed to translate it as I went along BUT, by the end of the first chapter it clicked and the rest of the book flew by as I got wrapped up in the life of Bobby and his family trials and tribulations.

It reminds me of the Adrian Mole diaries which I read years ago and brought back memories of my own teenage years.

All-in-all this was an enjoyable read and I think it is worth Kate Donne writing a full, novel length, story about the characters as once you get the hang of the scots vernacular it is surprisingly fun to read.

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