Category: Book

Book Review: Terror Firma by Matthew Thomas

Posted on by 5WC in Book
Terror Firma - Header

At the end of last year I, finally, read Before & After by Matthew Thomas, a novel about exploding sheep, Nostradamus and the end of the world. And while I enjoyed it, it didn’t rock my world. It has a charm but ultimately fell flat. It was, however, while looking up Thomas for that original blog post that I stumbled across Terror Firma, his second novel, that tells the story of aliens, conspiracies and what it means to be human. Read more

Book Review: The Last Days Of Ector by Guy Haley

Posted on by 5WC in Book
The Last Days Of Ector - Header

Last September I read a book by Guy Haley called Valedor. A Warhammer 40,000 story it recounts a battle between alien armies fighting for consumption or survival throughout an Imperial galaxy. Essentially Sci-Fi warfare. And while, I wasn’t overly impressed by the book, I did enjoy it and it certainly created a growing passion for reading and writing within me.
Read more

Book Review: Stephen King: On Writing

Posted on by 5WC in Book
Steven King On Writing - Header

I have always enjoyed writing, creating, and while it has been primarily limited to web site content and over the last year or so, bog posts, it’s a passion that has always been simmering away inside me. I’ve always enjoyed imagining, explaining, bringing to life. Using the power of words to express, whether fact or fiction, and so with the simmer rumbling into a boil and with reading taking more of a front row seat in my life, I turned to one of the masters for advice. Read more

Book Review: Lord Of The Flies by William Golding

Posted on by 5WC in Book
Lord Of The Flies - Header

I think it is fair to say that every school child in the UK, within living memory, has almost certainly read Lord of the Flies by William Golding. And it’s probably fair to say, that the majority have probably not picked it up and re-read it since! I know I certainly hadn’t, but it’s funny how a chance encounter, a brief mention, can unlocked a closed thought and draw you back. Read more

Book Review: Before & After by Matthew Thomas

Posted on by 5WC in Book
Before And After - Matthew Thomas - Header

They say never judge a book by it’s cover, but sometimes you just have to break the rules and do it anyway. I have owned Before & After by Matthew Thomas since I first set eyes upon it’s confused embossed sheep, many, many years ago. 15 years in fact. And in the intervening time, it has been read by friends, family and even moved to North Wales before being returned back to me. Always to sit on the book shelf in the corner, loved, treasured but unread.

So it seemed only fitting, that I  finally gave in as it were, and read it. That I finally sat down to see whether or not it was actually any good. This book has held such an important and loyal place in my life for some long without remorse, that it deserved it’s chance to tell it’s tale. A tale that captured my mind at a 16 year old, even if I was too lazy back then to expand it out. Read more

Book Review: Thursday’s Child: The Mike Kendrick Story

Posted on by 5WC in Book
Mike Kendrick - Thursday's Child - Header

It’s a strange situation to be reading the biography of a man you have met, know and who, through their business actions, has had such a shaping on your entire life and yet be treated to stories and anecdotes that you’ve never heard or realised took place. But that is what exactly happened recently as I read Thursday’s Child: The Mike Kendrick Story.

Mike was an early pioneer and overly enthusiastic hot air balloonist who went on to create the company that would be Virgin Airship & Balloon Company. The business that was responsible for creating, capturing and expanding my love of lighter than air flight into an obsession. Without Mike and his foresight to use balloons as a marketing product, we wouldn’t have had lighter than air craft representing: Choc Dips, Sonic the Hedgehog, or Action Man to name just three. Read more

Book Review: Yarrick: A Plague Of Saints by David Annandale

Posted on by 5WC in Book
Yarrick: Plague Of Saints - Header

If you’ve read some of my previous book reviews you will have seen my musings on two stories – Valedor and Wraithflight – by Guy Haley which recount events surrounding a Warhammer 40,000 race known as the Eldar. And if you’ve also spent some time flicking through the various pages of this site, you will have come across mentions of my interest, both past and present, in the whole hobby and gaming pastime from which the stories are born.

It should therefore, come as no surprise to you that when it comes to reading, I gravitate towards and enjoy the Games Workshop produced stories that accompany my hobby and, as I mentioned in my review of the Ultramarines movie, the first miniature I ever painted, was an Imperial leader called Commissar Yarrick. Since I still have that model proudly sitting on my desk, it should also be no surprise that I have a loyalty and soft spot for the character even though I no longer have or use the army he commands when playing. Read more

Book Review: Wraithflight by Guy Haley

Posted on by 5WC in Book
Wraithflight by Guy Haley - Header

In theory it’s a religious countdown, in practice it’s an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast and more often these days, it’s a marketing tool used by companies to either release unsold stock or drive awareness through promotion. I am of course, talking about Advent.

And while I tucked into my ever perennially shrinking lump of sweet cocoa with my morning coffee, I had a quick glance at the Games Workshop website to see their latest daily “offering”. Games Workshop, in the run up to Christmas, through their Black Library publication arm, are offering a new novel or story each day for you to buy. And on the 4th day of Christmas, the scribes of the 41st Millennium gave to me a brief continuation to the tales surrounding my beloved Iyanden Eldar. Read more

Book Review: The Great Starvation Experiment by Todd Tucker

Posted on by 5WC in Book
The Great Starvation Experiment - Header

It seems slightly ironic that I first came across the Minnesota Starvation Experiment while in the process of doing exactly that. It wasn’t until I was methodically rocking backwards and forwards, counting off the metaphorical meters on my rowing machine, while listening to the audio book version of journalist Emma Woolf’s The Ministry Of Thin that I ever knew that during the 2nd World War, 40 American conscience objectors volunteered to be starved for 6 months to help man better understand and cope with the effects of famine and starvation on the human body, and ultimately the best techniques for countering it.

As soon as I heard about it I was fascinated by it, here I was in the total throws of Anorexia religiously burning off every calorie, counting ever gram of food to enter my body and living by structure, routine and discipline; my life felt right but my life was miserable and out of control and yet here, apparently, were a group of people who happy to knowingly walk into this existence and live this way through open and informed choice? I had to know more. Read more

Book Review: Valedor By Guy Haley

Posted on by 5WC in Book
Valedor - Header

It’s been a long time since I last sat down and read a book “cover to cover”. And this is something that I am slightly ashamed of. There are reasons for it; personal difficulties with reading, a lack of time, a preference to start and finish a story quickly all marry together to mean that reading takes a very back seat in my life, especially in comparison to the narrative story telling of films, and this actually upsets me.

While I don’t want to be someone who lives with their head in a book, I do wish that they played a greater part in my life. I like writing, I like being creative, and however much of a struggle at times it may be, I do draw immense satisfaction from reading, whether it be a magazine, newspaper, website, or hardback novel. Read more