Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Universe Within - Neil Shubin

Book Details

Book Title:  The Universe Within

Author: Neil Shubin

Publisher: Penguin Books 2014

Source: The local library, they treat me well!

Page Count: 225

Format: Non-Fiction

Genre: Science/Nature

Audience: Science Lovers, Those who want to know a bit more the evolution of earth and man.

Buy It/Borrow it/Avoid it: Buy it!

Summed up in one word: Beginnings

Summary of the Book:

The Universe Within is a factual narrative about our connection to the earth and by extension the universe. There are so many topics packed in here, you will always learn plenty about our origin and the creation of the universe.

TUW is split across ten chapters and acknowledges the key events in the history of the universe, earth and finally our existence. It is a very story based article of events, the author speaks with an almost informal manner. The science is explained clearly but there isn't much depth or complexity to it, it is an overview of the last 13.7 billion years, with narrative being used to explain it in every day terms.

Neil Shubin starts off with a story about a research trip he was apart of in Greenland, looking for evidence of a link between reptiles and mammals 200 million years ago. The team find a tooth the size of a grain of sand that confirms their theory and the existence of the connection they are looking for. The tooth found in the extensive plain the team were searching on is a great metaphor for earth's presence in the universe :D.

I learnt many fun and interesting facts while I was working my way through TUW. For example I got to learn why the sky is blue or red, we grow three different kidney whilst we are in the womb and the Antarctic used to be a tropical environment full of life. Its these moments that make the book change from being intriguing to getting to be a fun and informative read. 

NS then begins at the beginning, the big bang 13.7 billion years ago, there are plenty of images in this book that assist in making the science that NS is conveying clear, my favourite is the elemental breakdown of the human body, it is very fascinating and I may have to get in on a t-shirt as I am a nerd... NS then talks about humans discovering that we are part of bigger fabric of time and space in a vast universe and runs through how the solar systems were created and how elements play their parts in all of creation. NS goes into detail about the dynamics of a supernova and how they come about.

Each chapter moves towards how earth was created, how the seas and life came to be and eventually how homo sapiens and us managed to conquer the world. The other chapters go into topics such as the origins of water and oxygen on earth and how they balance with other elements/molecules to be able to sustain life. NS discusses earth before it was habitable and the evolution/extinction of other species that paved the way for us to become king of the hill.

This is a short book and the writing style is very accessible, I definitely recommend buying this book as it is a great way to learn more about the creation of the universe and understanding the potential for the future, the good and the bad!!

I have a few criticisms about this book. I personally feel that NS could have included some more intense scientific pieces in this book, it is quite easy going and I felt NS was capable of more. The size of the book is a shame also, its a bit short/thin, a bigger tome would have found its way onto my shelf permanently but this one may get lost in the fray. My final criticism is that the ending felt rushed to myself, There is no real summary of the book, NS tries to add additional information at times where wrapping it up would have been simpler.

Neil Shubin is a talented scientist band writer, if he ever puts together a more comprehensive collection of research and narrative on the human/universe connection I will drop everything and buy it. TUW is an important book and I think everyone should read it as its the story of us and its important to know where we come from.

7/10

If you enjoyed this there are plenty more Non-Fiction reviews on my blog alwaytrustinbooks.blogspot.co.uk or add me on twitter @AlwTrustInBooks or like ATIB on Facebook or add me on Goodreads....Social Media is crazy!! Enjoy whatever your reading and feel free to recommend books to feature on my site :D

Monday, March 28, 2016

Perdido Street Station - China Mieville

Book Details

Book Title:  Perdido Street Station

Author: China Mieville

Publisher: Pan Books 2011

Source: The local library, 

Page Count: 867

Format: Fiction

Genre: Science Fiction amongst many others!

Audience: Adults (sexual and violent content)

Buy It/Borrow it/Avoid it: Borrow it

Summed up in one word: Thorough!



First Impression Of The Book: I was not aware of the page count involved when I reserved this tome on the local library website, it is rather large, at first I was intimidated about getting stuck into PSS but im really glad I did. The books depth is unbelievable, the detail is astounding and China Mieville's mind is a master at creating fully fleshed out worlds with larger than life characters and other beings. This book is part of a trilogy, a trilogy that totals 2,500 pages across three books, but totally worth it!

Summary Of The Story:

There is a lot to this story! I have seven pages of notes...just on story elements....I had a great time with this book so it was definitely worth the effort.

Perdido Street Station which is set in the city of New Crobuzon follows Isaac Dan Der Grimnebulin, a human physicist who works in the field of material science. The book also follows Isaac's girlfriend Lin, a Khepri which a humanoid bug and Yagharek who is a Garuda which is an avian humanoid. There are many species that populate New Crobuzon including humans, Khepri, Garudas, the Remade (biologically altered beings), Vodyanoi (water beings), Wrymen (gargoyle...ish beings) and Cactus People...among others :D.

Isaac is approached by Yagharek one night in his laboratory, the Garuda asks Isaac to research ways for him to regain his ability to fly after it is taken from him by his own people. Yagharek pays handsomely and Isaac accepts this opportunity and starts to research any being that is able to fly as well as use physics to create a machine that may allow the birdman to fly at will. 

As his research progresses Isaac becomes to believe that it is a fruitless task, his fellow scientists become irritated by the constant presence of copious birds filling every corner of the lab. Isaac hires a shady fellow to get him some of the rarer forms of flying creatures not readily available to the common citizen, amongst the batch of illegal specimens that Isaac receives is a grub stolen from a bio hazard lab nearby. Isaac grows fascinated with the bug, he discards his other research and pours his energy into seeing how this creature ticks.

Meanwhile the story follows Lin, who is an artist. Lin is building a sculpture for a known criminal boss who pays well and treats her right. Her story arc doesn't really progress the story but adds the element of a love story to fill the gaps in Isaac's story. Lin's presence also adds a sense of danger that doesn't present itself in Isaac's own story until well into the novel.

Isaac figures out what makes the creature evolve, he manages to get the grub to grow into its adult form, which turns out to be a Slake-Moth, a much feared beast who is capable of bringing New Crobuzon to it's knees and the Slake Moth has friends! The rest of story follows the events of the Slake Moth's eventually escape and the havoc it wreaks on the city and everyone in it. There are many other side-stories arcs that bring that extra level of depth and intrigue that makes this an amazing book instead of an okay one.

The Review:

The highlights of the book are the monsters that occupy these pages, the Slake Moths are truly intense evil beings and they are not even the worst, for myself the Weaver is the actual fear bringing element. A spider monster who takes fate into it's own hands and can turn on anyone at any moment. They are the highlights because they are the most memorable aspect of this novel, I can still see their images in my mind, their horror and their presence, China Mieville really nailed the overall description that accompanied these characters.

The main themes in this book are poverty, horror and science. New Crobuzon is a dirty city, full of people barely scraping by, overshadowed by the Perdido Street Station. The PSS is mainly a presence in this story and doesn't add much the overall effect. The poverty aspect brings a desperation sort of affect to the story, highlighting the affect of the 'heroes' defeating of evil as a positive effect. The horror brings the reader in, it makes the reader live and breath each encounter and fear for the characters. The science fiction in this novel is here and there but very potent and enjoyable. The genre of this book is a bit wobbly, it is mainly science fiction/fantasy but it does has great horror parts and some romance and comedy thrown in.

I have few dislikes about PSS, the length bothered me a little as it took me a week to finish and there were a few parts that felt unnecessary and brought very little to the effect other than either an 'ohhh' or an 'ahhh' or even a 'grrrr' at some missed potential. The ending was satisfactory, though the build up in the book that takes 700 odd pages to come together finishes on a high note, the rest of the conclusion just felt rushed and merely a formality, but that may be required for the sequels that I am yet to read.

Perdido Street Station is a world you can get lost in, there plenty to it, it has loads of re-read value and the science fiction is spot-on. That part with the lady who can seek out and contact people via a unique method is awe inspiring and one of my most notable parts of this story. PSS is a long volume and China Mieville did this for a reason as any less detail or impact would have left a bad taste in one's mouth.

8/10

If you liked this review check out my blog at alwaystrustinbooks.blogspot.co.uk or add me on twitter @AlwTrustInBooks, or like my Facebook page or friend me on Goodreads for updates.....ahhhh social media :D see you around and happy reading!!!


Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Posthumous Man - Jake Hinkson

Book Details

Book Title: The Posthumous Man

Author: Jake Hinkson

Publisher: Beat to a Pulp Dec 2013

Source: The local library, thankyou!!

Page Count: 177

Format: Fiction

Genre: Thriller

Audience: Adults (sexual and violent content)


Summary of the Book :

This book is a novella which isn't usually my area as I enjoy a densely written story I can get completely lost in, where this book is more of a shot of caffeine, fast paced and wears off too soon. This story is set in the first person which helps maintain the depth to the main character's plot line.

The story follows Elliott Stilling who decides to commit suicide and is saved after only 3 minutes of being dead. Elliott is saved by a nurse by the name of Felicia Logan, who he forms a bond with during his return to life. When he escapes the hospital he bumps into Felicia again and manages to get embroiled in a high stakes heist. This is a fast paced story where you meet many bad people doing lots of bad things, The reader also learns more about Elliott and his past and there is a lot to learn.

As this is a short-ish story line we only really get to know Elliott during the events in this book. He is a deep character who battles many troubles and is looking for some existential answers. The other character that makes an impact in this story is Stan-the-Man, a gangster who is a double sided coin of trouble. This book did make me shed a few tears as it is emotional in places and being a parent has made me a bit more emotional these days :P.

The plot structure is great as it never loses momentum and the reader can meet new people in the story without it slowing it's pace, the characters are written for impact and it definitely works. This novella is quite unique to me, there are parts of the story I have seen time and again, but that is not necessarily a bad thing as it allows the other parts to shine.

The Posthumous Man really does deliver a trilling story, there are two main themes in the story. The first is crime, fairly standard but effective in carrying the story through to its natural but non-stereotypical ending. The other is religion and it plays a major part in providing the reasons behind why the characters make their choices throughout the story.

I was unhappy with the ending, but I am biased as I am a father and there are elements in this book that I disagree with but that is personal, that said I can see that accidents like the one in this book do happen. Jake Hinkson is talented author who deserves praise for this exciting piece of fiction, his writing style is easily accessible and impactful which is sometimes difficult to pull off.

The Posthumous Man is fast, emotional and definitely makes you stop and think about why events in life happen the way they do. People who need more depth to the characters and the world they occupy then you will need to look elsewhere, check out China Mieville and thank me later ;)

7/10

If you enjoyed this review then please check out my blog, it is in the early stages of becoming awesome but I am doing all I can to make it truly epic. It is called Always Trust In Books (you can find it on google) or Add me on Twitter @AlwTrustInBooks. Have an awesome day and thanks for reading!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Neurocomic - Dr. Matteo Farinella & Dr. Hana Ros

Book Details

Book Title: Neurocomic

Author: Dr. Matteo Farinella & Dr. Hana Ros

Publisher: Nobrow Ltd Sept 2013

Source: The local library, they are good to me :D

Page Count: No more than 100, mostly comic pages though :)

Format: Non-Fiction

Genre: Neuroscience

Spoilers In Review: YES!





Summary of the book:

This article is more of a recommendation then a review, Neurocomic for myself was a new and refreshing way to broaden my knowledge of the mind.

Neurocomic is a journey through Neuroland and focuses on a man who is lost there. On his way through the brain this man meets many scientists who are vital figures in the study of neuroscience. Among the crowd is:

Santiago Ramon y Cajal
Camillo Golgi
Bernard Katz
Luigi Galvani

To name a few...

On his way through the gentleman experiences the structure of the brain and the various abilities and effects that the brain can experience or wield. He takes a trip through a neuron, meets common neurotransmitters and gets to the see how electricity is used to transmit signals in the brain. He also sees a lot more but I don't want to reveal all :D.

This is not an in-depth book on neuroscience, just a basic overview in the style of a comic. The stand-out part of this book is in the illustrations! Such detailed and inventive depictions of the brain and its various elements. Reminds me a bit of Alice in Wonderland and the bizarre imagery that comes with the story.

If you know plenty about the brain then maybe pick this book up as a way to reinforce your memory recall through vivid imagery.
If you know nothing about the brain and the basic science behind how our brains function and work with our bodies then definitely read this book, it will give you a good foundation on which to build your knowledge of the brain from the ground up.

I need to buy this book to have nearby if I want to drag myself away from the written word for a while and immerse myself in something different, animated and informative. You will be lost in here for a while, its a nice change of pace, especially if your like me and get lost in heavy science fiction or non-fiction titles all day.


A great, unique take on neuroscience, you will come away from this reading experience knowing something new or at least seeing what you already know in a different light.

9/10

For more information on books like this or to read my reviews, check out my blog www.alwaystrustinbooks.blogspot.co.uk or add me on Twitter for updates @AlwTrustInBooks



Sunday, March 20, 2016

Country Of The Blind - Christopher Brookmyre

Book Details

Book Title: Country Of The Blind

Author: Christopher Brookmyre

Publisher: Abacus 1998

Source: The local library, they ordered it for me, THANKYOU!

Page Count: 380

Format: Fiction

Genre: Scottish Crime Thriller :D

Spoilers In Review: YES!

First Impression of the Book: I really enjoyed the first book in this series Quite Ugly One Morning and this was a great addition to this series! Christopher Brookmyre is amazing at creating almost incomprehensible plots and playing them out between a cast of varied and interesting characters. I also love that he writes his dialogue in a Scottish accent when required and that adds a new dimension to the book overall.


Summary Of The Book (Spoilers :D!!!):

The story begins with a murder, a VIP and his wife are killed along with their bodyguards at Craigurquhart House  and they have four suspects that were found on the scene covered in the victims blood. The suspects they found were known thieves who it seemed went out of their way to kill the couple and their staff so it is deemed they are part of a greater terrorism plot.

Enter Nicole Carrow, a lawyer who wakes up one morning to find her new client who she met just last week is one of the accused in this high profile case that has bought the MI5 to their door. Nicole's client Thomas McInnes came to her prior to this murder with an envelope that she was asked to keep in her possession and only to reveal its contents if he doesn't return to collect it.

Nicole opens the envelope when she finds out here client is in trouble and uses the information to try and remove the terrorism charges that her client is facing so she can talk to him and find out what actually happened. Meanwhile the chief security advisor for Craigurquhart House commits suicide whilst he at the police station after being asking to come in for questioning. Before he dies he is caught by journalists at the front door to the station where he makes a nervous and mystic speech that is meant to send a message to one person. 

That person is Jack Parlabane.

Jack is an investigative journalist who is the main character of this series of books. Jack is getting married to his fiancĂ©e Sarah who we met in the first book, they went through an ordeal and as a result Sarah has asked Jack to hang up his tool belt and keep on the straight and narrow. Though Jack is happy to oblige, when he finds out that his nemesis has been killed and his long time friend has committed 'Suicide' he has to get involved and find out who is pulling the strings behind this elaborate scheme.

The story is split between several story arcs that all follow important characters and unravel various parts of the bigger picture which involve government politicians, MI5 agents and pornography. Other than Jack and Nicole, the other main event follows the four 'terrorists' who are being set up to take the fall for the original murder. They are kept from their lawyers and when they are moved between prisons they are mysterious busted out of their jail bus and are set free in the Scottish wilderness. They are followed closely by unseen forces and when one of them is killed they are forced to strike back against their attackers.

CB is an artist when it comes to character creation, I really enjoyed all the characters in this story. Jack Parlabane is persistent, infuriating and a true master of his profession. Sarah is the voice of reason and a great counter balance to Jack. Tam, Paul and Spammy are the real highlight of this story, properly fleshed out, funny, meaningful and their characters and struggles are very rooted in realistic happenings in that era of time.

Christopher Brookmyre always writes complex and well structured stories and the fact that he sets a lot of his books in Scotland adds an extra layer to the story that gives the reader insight into a different country and their culture, how they speak, how they treat others and treat their own.

Go and check out this series of books (there are six of them!). If your looking for action and high stakes stories then also check out CB's Jasmine Sharp trilogy, a fantastic and addictive series about a female private eye investigating the death of her only family member left.

7/10

If you enjoyed this review then please head over to my blog alwaystrustinbooks.blogspot.co.uk or add me on twitter if your here @ALwTrustInBooks for updates, news and other bookishness :@D

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock that Shaped the World - Tom Zoellner

Book Details (Picture Coming Soon)


Book Title: Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock that Shaped the World

Author: Tom Zoellner

Publisher: Penguin Books 2010

Source: Library

Page Count: 354

Format: Non-Fiction

Genre: Chemistry/Politics

Spoilers In Review: No

First Impression of the Book: The first thing to mention about this book is that it is written by a historian, so it is a historical account of uranium from discovery through to present day application. This means readers looking for a more scientific account of uranium will need to look elsewhere. Great book though! Well researched and deeply interesting.

Summary Of The Book:

Tom Zoellner is a dedicated author. TZ took uranium and painted a massive picture of its history, its applications and the many people that have been affected by or have come to appreciate/fear uranium and its potential for destruction or life giving energy.

I will mention again that this is a history book more than a scientific account, there are pieces about the science behind uranium but as TZ admits he is not that familiar with science himself so its put to one side to focus on the factual side of uranium.

This book starts in the Democratic Republic of Congo where in 1915 uranium was found at a site called 'Shinkolobwe' which is one of the biggest deposits of naturally occurring uranium in the world and contributed most of the uranium used in the second world war in the atomic bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

TZ digs deep (excuse the pun) into the rich history surrounding uranium and the many strange and wonderful characters that started popping up when it was revealed that uranium was very special indeed and was worth lots of money to the right people.

Uranium covers 3 main aspects of the history of the element in question. TZ starts with the use of uranium in a war setting, talking about the Manhattan Project and the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. TZ then goes on to talk about the cultural aspects of uranium, the slave labour, the poverty and eventually the salvation it brought to countries around the world. Finally the book focuses on the political side of uranium, what countries did to stay in the war game, the trading, fighting, espionage and the diplomatic decisions countries had to make to keep everyone safe.

The writing style of TZ is great, clear, concise and he writes with plenty of narrative which suits me well as its the best way for me to take more information in. TZ also brings in other fun factual treats in to keep a lighter side as uranium is an intense subject. For example he talks about H.G Wells and his prediction of the atomic bomb and the reason why American money is called dollars, fun little 'ahh' moments that break up some of the heavier sections.

 There are several other areas worth mentioning. TZ gives some insight into the apocalyptic side of cultures as well which were very interesting, as well as some apocalyptic views from the scientific community from people like Sigmund Freud. Also there is a chilling account from W. L . Lawrence who was present at the dropping of the bomb on Nagasaki. I found the piece about the Nevada nuclear testing grounds in America unbelievable in the sense that how can people get away with these decisions but that is beyond me and my little blog :D.

TZ has written a well rounded, thorough tome on the uranium and the affect it has had on the world, there are many great stories, some very sad and even a little anger inducing...but on the whole TZ has nailed it, he travelled around the world and had his head stuck in hundreds of books to put this book together and to make sure he got his facts right and it makes it totally worth reading.

8/10

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits - David Wong

Book Details

Book Title: Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits
Author: David Wong
Publisher: Titan Books Oct 2015
Source: Home Collection
Page Count: 490
Format: Fiction
Genre: Science Fiction
Spoilers In Review: YES!
First Impression of the Book: I have read the John Dies at the End and This Book is Full of Spiders... duo and I really enjoyed them, this is a new series (hopefully!) and I was excited to read it and I was not disappointed :D FV+FS is a refreshingly clear cut and well written piece of SF with some really great characters and DW creates an interesting futuristic world which may be a decent depiction of things to come....:D


Summary of the Book (Spoilers :D:D):

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits follows Zoey Ashe, a woman in her early 20's who lives in a trailer with her mother and Zoey has no contact with her gangster father...until now...

Zoey is targeted by a nasty serial killer one day and is saved by a stranger called Will who informs her that her father Arthur Livingstone has died and that she is needed in Tabula Ra$a to settle his affairs. Will makes it clear that Arthur had enemies who may mean Zoey harm and that she is safest by his side. Zoey avoids trusting will entirely and decides to head to him on her own terms.

The majority of the story is set in Tabula Ra$a to which Zoey Ashe is led to by Will with the offer of money. When she is confronted by people on the train to the city and at the station when she arrives it becomes clear that she being hunted as a key to Arthur Livingston's fortune and once again Will swoopes in to save Zoey from nasty characters who mean her harm.

Will and his crew are not as nice as they originally appear and they too only need Zoey Ashe to unlock Arthur's vault so they can take charge of his empire and the fortune attached to it. Arthur Livingstone is no fool though and makes it impossible to force Zoey to open the vault unless she is alive, healthy and willing to open it.

Once the vault is opened and its apparent Will and his crew are not going to gain the advantage Zoey takes charge herself and fires everyone other than Carlton the butler (a great character!) and leaves herself and her fortune open to attack. It doesn't take long for someone to try  take what is Zoey's and a near assassination attempt introduces Armando, a body guard for hire who happens to be my favourite character, Armando is a badass on so many levels and his demise (sorry :/) is the greatest injustice this book has to offer!

Other than bandits trying to get at her for her money, Zoey has another opponent. Molech and his band of bandits are looking for 'GOLD' a program that will make their enhanced limbs work properly (the existing technology is prone to malfunctions). Although Molech is really just a thug/douche/jock his character has potential if a movie is ever released and Jack O'Connell would be great for this :).

I won't go any further into the story as it needs to be read to be enjoyed properly. The main themes in this book are Zoey dealing with her inheritance (which is jealousy inducing..) and how the human population may evolve in the future, both as humans and as a society. Will the world ever be like this...I doubt it but there may be cities like Tabula Ra$a that pop up here and there and do things differently. The back and forth between Zoey and Molech is nail biting and very enjoyable and DW was right to focus most of his energy on this aspect of the story.

If you enjoyed David Wong's first two novels you will enjoy this very much. If you haven't read any of his work then this is a great place to start, JDATE and TBIFOS..DS are more complex and have more of a cult appreciation where as FV&FS is a stand alone, easy to appreciate novel written by a great science fiction novelist!

9/10

if you enjoyed this review (it was a bit sparse, I try to avoid giving to much away...) then check out my others @ www.alwaystrustinbooks.blogspot.co.uk or add me on twitter @AlwTrustInBooks


Jack Glass - Adam Roberts

Book Details

Book Title: Jack Glass
Author: Adam Roberts
Publisher: Gollancz 2012
Source: The local library, my second home..:D
Page Count: 373
Format: Fiction
Genre: Science Fiction/ Detective Thriller
Spoilers In Review: YES!
First Impression of the Book: This book should really be called the legends of Jack Glass as though he is in this book throughout, he is not properly fleshed out as the story makes way for other characters. I really enjoyed the science fiction elements of this book, they were top notch but the detective aspects were very average for me, not bad just ok. AR is a talented SF writer and i really look forward to all his other books.


Summary of the Book (Spoilers/:D):

This is the (partial) story of Jack Glass or Iago (his name for most of this story). AR introduces this story as a three part story, a prison break, a 'whodunnit' and a locked room mystery. This is exactly what you get, three separate events intertwined by science story writing at its best.

The prison break part of this story sets a particular scene, for both the main character/story and for AR's writing style. The first 100 pages follows a prisoner named 'Jac' who is sent to an asteroid out in our solar system to serve his sentence with six fellow prisoners. Their job during this sentence is to mine the surface of the asteroid for a big merchant company, during the planning of this task a hierarchy forms of which 'Jac' and a fellow prisoner called 'Gordius' are at the bottom.

Though 'Jac' has to face the difficulties of being trapped with other hardened criminals he still manages to put together a plan and escape his prison and vanish. The events on this asteroid set a certain scene for this novel that dissipates quite quickly as AR quickly moves on to the second story in this novel.

The next chunk of the story is set on a future earth and focuses on a young lady in her mid teens. Diana is the daughter of the leaders of clan 'Argent' one of five royal clans that rule the solar system. Diana and her sister Eva are sent to earth and during this stay Diana is put to work to solve a murder mystery that had taken place in the servants quarters.

This part of the story is largely forgettable and really is used to set in place other story elements that will come into play later on in the 3rd part of this book. As Diana's theories come together on who had killed the servant and how; the sisters are chased from their home the Ulanov's the highest power in the solar system. The sisters are separated and Diana is sent on the run with Iago who by this point is revealed to be the infamous 'Jack Glass'.

Jack reveals that the Ulanovs are searching for FTL technology (Faster-than-light) that his friend had created but in a crisis of conscience hid from everyone as he believed it would bring about the end of their world. This is part of the story where the science fiction writing is superb and I really got stuck in to the story.

The final adventure in this story is a locked room mystery, and a great one too!!

The light version is that Jack, Diana and five others are in a room with one exit, no one is armed and no one intends to hurt each other due to an agreement to surrender, but the arresting officer ends up vaporised and no one in the room knows what happened. It is a great addition to the story and the only downside of it really is that it highlights a great relationship between Jack Glass and Bar Le Duc. I enjoyed this relationship and I wished there was more of it.

AR is honest in the 'Acknowledgements' section of this book, where he says its more of a detective novel than a science fiction piece. This is a shame because AR is such an enjoyable SF writer and I was left wanting more, but that is just me and other people may find it was just enough.

An enjoyable science fiction/detective story which skimps out on the former but maybe that is me being greedy, I haven't gone into the SF elements that are apparent in this story to much as they are best explained in the context of the story. 

Please check this out!!

I can't wait to check out AR's other material :D

8/10

If you read this and enjoyed the review, there are many more reviews on my blog and in the days to come so please check out my Blog, www.alwaystrustinbook.blogspot.co.uk and im on TWITTER!! @AlwTrustInBooks 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Street Lawyer - John Grisham

Book Details

Book Title: The Street Lawyer
Author: John Grisham
Publisher: Arrow Books 1998
Source: Home Collection
Page Count: 358
Format: Fiction
Genre: Law Thriller
Spoilers In Review: YES!
First Impression of the Book: I had already read several John Grisham books when I approached this book so I thought I seen it all so to speak. This book caught me off guard, an emotional upbeat piece of fiction based on real problems cities face every day.

The Street Lawyer highlights a part of the world that a lot of us don't really acknowledge day to day and hopefully it has inspired people to do more.

I am currently reading Jack Glass by Adam Roberts and the review will be coming soon, so I pulled this from the archive to help keep honing my reviewing abilities :D

Summary of the Book (Spoilers :D!) 

I was blown away by this book, it really acknowledges the issues faced by the homeless and the dedicated volunteers, clinics and legal staff that do their best to keep everything ticking over and doing their best to protect those less fortunate.

The story begins with a hostage situation. A homeless man with a bomb takes a group of highly paid lawyers from a big law firm hostage with no clear agenda, among these hostages is Michael Brock, the main character in this story. The situation unfortunately ends with the death of 'Mister' and this whole event forces Michael to analyse his life and his job. Michael eventually comes to realise he does not accept the way his firm works and leaves to pursue a legal career helping the homeless.

He meets a hard working lawyer called Mordecai Green (great name!) who works with people on the street with a few other lawyers. Michael gets a job with Mordecai and starts immediately working with the homeless, helping at the shelters, taking on cases for those who can't afford to pay lawyers and he also takes a deeper look into 'Mister's life and the reasons why he would take a room full of lawyers hostage.

Over the course of the rest of the novel Michael unravels an ugly scheme that involves his old law firm and he tries to find ways to make them pay. JG writes this novel with a lot of heart and the characters are truly vivid examples of real people who exist out there every day and need help, compassion and understanding.

I'm not ashamed to admit I shed a few tears over this story and I almost read this in one sitting because there are so many well written characters charging around making the world a better place and I found it hard to pull away till I got some closure on 'Mister' and his story.

Please go and read this book, it will broaden your mind to take into consideration those less fortunate and highlight that we can all make a difference.

9/10

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