Book Review

The Boss Killers – For when you have a bad day at the office.

The Boss Killers by Keith Gillison
The Boss Killers by Keith Gillison

In all honesty, this is not a book I would have normally picked up off the shelf in a bookstore. It isn’t my normal cup of tea in terms of plot line. I certainly wasn’t sure what to expect from the front cover and I haven’t read a kindle book on my phone for a while. However, thankfully, I was asked to read this by a friend. So, dutifully, I downloaded the book onto my phone and sat down with a cup of coffee (decaf – 2 months (ish) clean of caffeine – yay!).

I did find the beginning of the book a little intense to read. There is a lot of dark, descriptive gore in the first couple of chapters – so I wouldn’t recommend this to any sensitive souls out there. As a result it took me a little time to really connect with the tale so my initial progress was pretty slow (not helped by the knitting projects I started around chapter 4).

Really wanting to finish the tale – I’ve managed to make some serious progress on the book this week (I’ve actually managed to finish it). It has been a case of making a concerted effort to move away from my desk and actually read at lunch. But it has been so worth it. There has not been a single chapter that hasn’t made me laugh out loud at something.

Around about 40ish % through the tale a really strong plot line started to kick in. The beginning become a really solid introduction to the tale, situation and then current scenario in the backdrop of this. I had the same experience with Game of Throne (part 1) so a slow start isn’t something that should put you off. Once you reach this point, it’s difficult to find the willpower to stop reading. If you want me to pick one word to describe this tale I would definitely class it as SURREAL.

I discovered new career paths such as “Human Demolition Services” (it does what it says on the tin) and about evil organisations all set out to kill you (in a colourful variety of methods). The tale also includes many satirical characters so ridiculous that you can’t help but wet yourself with laughter at the description.

Keith has judged the amount of humour to mix into his plot line perfectly. It’s so well balanced and really contrasts from some of the darkness bubbling under the surface of his main character (Ross). It also helps release some of the dramatic tension he manages to create. In the future, I would love to see this book voiced as an audiobook. The humour and strong characterisation of Ross really lends itself to this type of medium. I can only image that it would make the contrasting elements described above even more pronounced.

I’d really like to thank Keith for asking me to read this. It was a great experience and I look forward to his future novels. Since publishing this on the kindle he has also had some short stories published. So I will find out where you can see those and insert links below later.

If you’d rather read a good, trusty paperback – you can now also have that option. Only £6.50 🙂 You can buy it in paperback or download it from here: The Boss Killers: Bad day at the office? Call The Boss Killers

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Book Review

Audiobook Review – Tribes We Need You To Lead Us. Seth Godin

After this book has been sat gathering dust on my self, it was time to try a new tact - an audio book
After this book has been sat gathering dust on my self, it was time to try a new tact – an audio book

This is a book that I picked up years ago in a book sale. It’s been sat on my bookshelf for years in the To-Read list. I’m quickly realising that I have limited time for reading in my busy schedule. So I have recently discovered and subscribed to a 1 book a month plan on audible.

The audiobook popped on a list that was for sale for about £1.99 (I’d already had my freebie for the month). It was irresistible – especially since it’s being read by the author.

So with all my knitting and walking at lunch I’ve been able to listen to it. It’s a great way of making my time more efficient – especially when it’s relevant to marketing and so hits the ‘useful for work’. Triple win!

The first thing I have to comment on is that Seth Godin is really easy to listen too. He is obviously really enthusiastic about his chosen specialist topic and this makes it more engaging.

In terms of the content, this looks into the concept of tribes and how you can use this for marketing. It’s a really new way of looking at marketing – and really building on the concept of branding being a loyal fan base that I learnt during the Future Learn Branding Course.

His theory is that if you can create a tribe with loyal fans then your organisation can grow. People will talk about you and spread the concept of what you are. From this they will return again and again – but next time they will bring friends.

I’m spending nearly every sentence going – “I completely get what you are saying” and “that makes so much sense”. It’s really motivational and really makes me want to push myself and try something new.

It’s leaving me with a sense of inspiration (and a firecracker up my arse to go and change things). There are things I can apply for work and for promotion of my blog. It’s time to stop being afraid to try things and just get on and do it.

I thiught I would share encase this also applied to you. If it does, I really hope it helps.

Buy the audiobook here

Buy the book here

Book Review · Game of Thrones

Review —> Game of Thrones – A Song of Ice and Fire – Book 1

Song of Ice and Fire – Book 1

Author: George R. R. Martin

Pages: 780

ISBN: 978-0-00-742854-0

My copy (obviously well loved by the previous owner) of Book 1 of the Song of Ice and Fire - Game of thrones
My copy (obviously well loved by the previous owner) of Book 1 of the Song of Ice and Fire – Game of thrones

Having watched the series 1-3 on DVD I was keen to read the books. My friends who had read it told me that the books were much better. So, unlike most times when I pick up a book, I already knew the plot line. This was an experience I had not had for a while. It did afford me the opportunity to get to grips with any hints and clues for the future plot – as I didn’t have to worry so much about what was going on now.

I initially picked up this book to read earlier this year. Possibly because of the size of it – I have a tendency to get bored – I read the first half of the book and then it was abandoned for a couple of months. It was then rescued from my bookshelf again on Friday and then promptly finished over the bank holiday weekend.

If you have watched the series – and loved it – then I do recommend picking up the books. The book gives a lot more time and singular focus to each character and their development within the plot. I have also been informed that with this new series the plot of the books and show start to differ.

In terms of writing style – this book brought back memories of attempting to read the Lord of the Rings in my early teens. Each chapter swaps between characters in different setting with different people surrounding them. Unless you have time to focus on what you are reading, you may struggle to follow the plot and progress. Because I already had a familiarity with the characters, I did have a better motivation to finish it. If you struggle with Lord of the Rings and not particularly keen on the TV series, then I don’t think you’ll get much enjoyment out of reading this.

The plot is constructed a bit like a play with heavy amounts of dramatic irony. It is a tale played out for the reader. The characters are blissfully unaware of their fates or the consequences of their choices. The reader is afforded a combination of explanation and hints about what is to come and why things have occurred. If the some of the characters knew what the readers knew then things would certainly play out in a different fashion.

My final thoughts upon completion:

If you to take advantage of the clues, etc, I would read this with a pen and paper beside you. I’m sure these hints will mount into something more significant over the rest of the series.

Unlike some of the novels I have read, this one has a significantly more complex plot line. This is telling multiple tales of multiple characters in sync with some cross over. It could be difficult to follow for some readers if you don’t get time to focus and read. But it is worth the effort if you’re looking for something more challenging.

SPOILERS

While I was reading this novel I kept a pen and notebook beside more to make notes for the review. In addition, I also couldn’t resist the urge to make notes of plot hints surrounding a mystery that intrigues me – Jon Snows Parentage.

This issue initially came to my attention when I found the Youtube video below. The presenter puts all the theories together really well – along with the evidence from the books.

This goes through in detail the theory of Jon Snow’s true parentage. Which adds in some very interesting possibilities of what might happen next. The final books of the series are not written yet – so no one is entirely sure and can continue to enjoy the theories.

Reading Resolutions 2015

  • A book of more than 500 pages
  • A book by an author you have never read before
  • A book based on or turned into a TV Show
  • A book with non-human characters.
Book Review

A Magical Book Review – The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness


Book:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Part 1 of the All Souls Trilogy

Length:

688 pages

Book Published:

2011

Diana Bishop is a descendant of the Bishop witches – a powerful witch lineage. After her parent’s murder when she was a child, she has gone out of her way to deny her supernatural heritage. She is now an academic visiting Oxford university. She is putting together a study about Alchemy – the point at which magic starts to become science.

This is a world where Witches, Vampires and Deamons exist in a universe with humans. They are part of the society around them, but also have their own separate existence.

Talking of vampires, Matthew is a 1500 year old vampire with a mixed and intriguing past. He is also an academic and studying genetics. He specialises in looking into the origins of witches, deamons and vampires and their interlinked genetics.

The problem starts when Diana summons an ancient manuscript from her study paper. This is an manuscript that has been lost for centuries. Suddenly, everyone wants to know what it says and denying her heritage starts to become more difficult.

This book can be read as a modern, supernatural, Romeo and Juliet story.  There are hints within the novel that this was a foretold match. However, their love is not as simple as it originally seems.

One of my favourite plot concepts in this novel is the use of genetics. I studied some genetics at university and I fully appreciated (and enjoyed) the integration between genetics, Darwin’s theory of evolution and supernatural ideas. If you like science and supernatural stories this book is worth taking a look at.

Around 2/3rds of the way through this tale I began to realise that the story would not be finished by the last page of this novel. Which was slightly disappointing. However, it is exciting to have the opportunity to spend more time with the characters. Deborah definitely leaves you wanting to know what happens next.

Overall, the book was something I was really looking forward to reading. It definitely lived up to my expectations.

Reading Challenge Points

–          A book with more than 500 pages

–          A book with non-human characters

–          A book by a female author

–          A trilogy (Part 1)

–          A book with magic

–          A book by an author you have never read before

–          A book you own but have never read