What I Want To Read In 2015

I didn’t read any where near enough last year. I can think of a half a dozen books that I really wanted to read but just didn’t get around to (Wool, Pandemic, Feed, The Man in the High Castle, Soul Asylum and The Earthsea Quartet). Those are just the ones off the top of my head. Lets add in some shorter pieces by Dan Abnett (set in his Gaunt’s Ghosts series) and J.C. Hutchins novella series, The 33.
Then I’ve got novels by Justin R. Macumber, Terry Mixon, Paul E. Cooley, Armand Rosamillia, Mimi Black and Christopher Stocking. (Dan Abnett also has a full length Gaunt’s Ghosts novel out this year too, yes I’m excited!).
I’d also like to read the second Lincoln Rhyme book, The Coffin Dancer by Jeffery Deaver and the first Harry Potter book read early on this year as well.
I’d really like to get start on the fourth Dark Tower book as I finished the third recently, but as it’s taking me a while to get through this series by Stephen King I’m a little reluctant to make a start on Wizard and Glass while I’ve got so many other books that I’m itching to read. That said, if I get through enough by the mid-point of the year then I may dive into it. I was thinking about giving it a go as an audiobook but these Dark Tower books seem so complex I’m not sure I’ll absorb them as much as I would do if I read them. I am a big fan of audiobooks, but I do miss the odd thing while listening (interruptions while at work) and also, I’ve read the previous three books and I think it’ll feel weird not reading the other four.

These are all books I’ve already got, either on my bookshelf or on my Kindle app or my iBooks app.

I will be listening to a lot of audiobooks this year as well. I’ve got eight or nine in my Audible library already.

I’ve set a Goodreads target of 60 books this year. With the audiobooks, comic books and the shorter pieces I’m planning on reading I think I’ll manage that. If I’m well ahead of target early on I may increase it but I’ll see how I’m doing.

Book Review : Bartholomew by Mimi Black

Bartholomew is a Novella that tells the story of a young woman, Haley, who befriends a man who is a little different.  He is mysterious and a bit quirky,  he has a thing about apples and hats.

I know that I have not written a great synopsis but its the first time that I’ve read a novella and I really don’t want to give too much away (and I’m still new to this book review lark).   I am a slow reader and if I’m not enjoying a book then I read slower but this story kept me turning the pages.

Mimi Black gives us a book where each paragraph is vital, there is no filler anywhere which I’m glad of because I think it would have not complemented the story at all.  I know that I could not write a story with the pacing that Bartholomew has and it had that mysterious element straight from the beginning. The ending has a nice twist which I can safely say I did not see coming, it changed the entire tone of the story for me if I’m honest and left a couple of questions hanging. I can’t say why without spoiling the ending so I’ll shut up about that bit.

My biggest grievance was that there was not enough!  I want to know more of where Bartholomew came from, what got him to the little coffee shop where he met Haley?  Why did he find her so intriguing.  What’s with the apples?

If you havent guessed I enjoyed this story, a lot, and I will no doubt read it again soon.  I enjoyed the way Mimi Black writes and I must find out  if she has anything else out there that I can read.

Please go and have a little look at the first chapter which you can do so for free at the link posted below 🙂



The next book that I will be reading is a true classic; The War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells.  My granddad recently gave me this book and I am a little ashamed to say that this will be the first time that I will have read it!

Book Review : First Strike By Eric Nylund

First Strike is A Halo video game tie in novel By Eric Nylund.

This is the third of the Halo tie in novels and follows on from the fall of the Halo facility that was played out in the original video game.  The story follows the protagonist of the novel who is know in part by his rank, Master Chief, and in part by his name, John, although only a handful of characters refer to him by his name.  He is one of an Elite group that are known simply as Spartans and along with a couple of his fellow Spartans, a couple of officers, a couple of Marines, the Doctor that ran the Spartan program and the Artificial Intelligence ‘Cortana’ they have to battle their way back to earth to try to stop the enemy’s (The Covenant) fleet from reaching earth.  The battle for Halo has cost mankind greatly and there is a fear that mankind will not be able to hold off an attack by The Covenant.  As you can imagine there are numerous encounters with the enemy during the journey.

I just want to go back to the first two novels in the series to fill you in a little of the back round before I go on.  The first novel titled; The Fall Of Reach also written by Eric Nylund.  This is the prequel to the original video game. This book tells the story of the rise of the Spartan project that is created by Dr. Catherine Halsey and follows it through to the discovery of the Halo system.  We learn how the Spartans are chosen to become Spartans and see much of their training to become these super soldiers.  As you can guess the planet of Reach does fall but this is not really the story of that defeat.  Its the story of the Master Chief and his Spartans and what they go through before the discovery of Halo.

The second book in the series is  The Flood; written by William C. Dietz.  This Book tells the story of the actual battle for Halo.  I will admit that I did not enjoy this as much as the first and third.  It was good to see some of the other stories of the battle that was raged but it just did not blow me away.  I’m not sure that I share others criticism of Dietz’s efforts.  As in detailing the battle sequences too much and his interpretation of the Master Chief.  I will admit that I like two Halo novels written by Nylund more than this one but I like a lot of the heart and detail that Dietz put into the novel.  He was a Navy corpsmen so he has personal experience in this field.  I am more than tempted to track down some of Dietz work to see how what I think of it

As for First Strike I found this not as captivating as the first novel but still a satisfying read which leads into the second video game very well.  I think for Halo fans it will be a very solid read and gives us even more insight into an amazingly rich world that I hope gets even more fruitful in the rest of the books.

On a note about these novels I do believe that they can be enjoyed with having played the video games.  The Fall Of Reach is a great introduction to this universe and I do strongly believe that these books can stand on their own without someones knowledge of the game.  I have got over Halo novels in my ‘to read’ pile and I have a high expectation of what to expect of them.

The next book I’m going to be reading is Bartholomew by Mimi Black