Archive for September 2013

The Mayan Codex by Mario Reading


Sometimes there are bad books that you read as a guilty read and that's alright. Then there are books that you read that are just plain awful and you feel like you've wasted your time - this is one of them.

This is a continuation of a first book called The Nostradamus Prophecies but is supposed to be able to be read as an individual book. Herein lies the first of MANY problems with this book, the first book story is repeated continually to every new character introduced - thus reminding us regularly, roughly every 25 pages.

Then we get to the characters, ticking every box for Christianity references - there are 12 people who are part of a cult to kill the main character who knows where the Antichrist is going to be born because he discovered, learnt and then destroyed the missing prophecies written by Nostradamus. All these 12 people are freaks of nature exhibiting all sorts of physical deformities with demonic names and they've been brought up to believe they are in the right.

The story starts in France, moves to America when the main character is introduced and then moves to central America where we then start to tick all the boxes in stereotype Mayan legends - pyramids etc. The story even stumbles into telepathy which feels hopelessly and pointlessly added on. The story ends with a jump back into Europe where the Antichrist is going to be born to a gypsy woman and then stops abruptly, for no apparant reason. The story is continued in the 3rd part of the trilogy and I felt totally robbed.

Now, it is a page turner, I accept that as a book it is not meant to tax the brain too much. However, the language was so simple and consisted of lots of short words, there are lots of 'dangs' and 'darn it's' the only swearing is done by the French character and even then it's in French and the description were far too simple - in other words it just REALLY REALLY annoyed me.

The thought occured to me that this is written for a completely different audience than me, I quite honestly thought it was awful and have absolutely no intention of reading the first or third part.

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D James


To start this I am going to make a bit of a sacrilegious comment: I am not a real fan of Jane Austen. I mean i've read one or two of her books and didn't really enjoy them.

This book, a spin-off of Pride and Prejudice, begins with build-up to a ball, an arrival, a murder, a magistrate investigation and ends with a trial - I don't want to spoil anymore because it is all about the style but all I'll say is that I didn't get who the murderer was!

This is a very clever book written by a lady who is 93. It reads as a Jane Austen novel in language, style and description with a focus on the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth and the effect of the murder. I started this book expecting not to enjoy it but curious to read it and by the end I was mightily impressed with a murder mystery written in the 18th Century style.

Anyway, it's definitely worth a read and has made me consider re-reading an Austen novel - somthing I was not expecting

The President's Hat by Antoine Laurain


If I am in the mood, a whimsical book is just what I want to read and by golly this was marvellously whimsical and charming.

The story is basically the effects of President Mitterand of France's hat on various sorts of people of various ages. But it raises interesting thoughts about whether the hat has magic powers or whether the hat gives people the encouragement to make the decision to change their lives for the better.

I'll admit the idea of some 'thing' being used as a mechanism to change a character's life is nothing new, but this book translated from it's native French was really engaging (even if it does sag slightly in the middle) and the slight twist at the end made this book just lovely and a thoroughly entertaining read.