Archive for damp squib

BITTER SEEDS By Ian Tregillis – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2015 by stanleyriiks

Such promise: English Warlocks and Nazi Psychics battle it out during World War Two. Such potential. A shame it hardly lives up to it.

The English side of the battle is the real damp squib, it’s much more about the terrible mental and physical struggle of the English team and their warlocks. The best they can manage is to create some bad weather.

The Nazi psychics are also tortured by their leader to imbue them with their mysterious powers, and treated like weapons. But they manage to get fully into the action, what little there is of it. A couple of episodes of action are all that we are party to, the rest of the book is set-up and background.

This feels like the vague first part of a trilogy, and as such Tregillis doesn’t want to blow his load too fast by giving us an epic battle between the warlords and the psychics. Which is exactly what we want.

I’m assuming the second book in the series will lead into an amazing third book, but I’m afraid I won’t be sticking around to find out.

Authors need to realise we want to be massively entertained throughout the series and every page and chapter should have something to keep us gripped.

Tregillis has produced an interesting book, which shows potential, but which ultimately fails. I’m sure the third book in the series will finally live up to the promise, but it’s too little too late.

DAY OF THE DAMNED By David Gunn – Reviewed

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2012 by stanleyriiks

I’m a huge fan of the Death’s Head trilogy, and particularly our reluctant hero, soldier and narrator Sven Tveskoeg, but despite Gunn’s unique and thrill-a-minute story telling, this is the weakest of the three novels.

For a start Sven is almost too utilitarian, the ultimate soldier is without his humanity (the Aux) for most of the book, and when they do turn up nothing much happens for them to be of any use. The plots of previous novels, Sven going from mission to mission, or sent on a huge suicide mission, here give way to political (high clan) intrigue. Sven feels out of his depth, and the reader awaits the action. Alas, it does not arrive. The damp squib of an ending is let down all the more because there is no fight, the “baddy” gives in, and the battle that should be hard-won is escaped.

Where’s the fighting, the action, the battles and near-death experiences? Where’s the edge of your seat/seat of your pants sequences that leave you dripping with sweat and physically exhausted? The first book int he series delivers and then some! It’s a full-on, over-the-top, action-fueled SF adventure! The third book… not so much. A couple of good action scenes, but poor plotting and a wasted opportunity of an ending just didn’t do it for me.

Not the best of a great set of action-packed SF thrillers. Sven deserves better, and I hope Gunn isn’t finished with his brilliantly-realised grumpy supersoldier.