Author: Colin Marks

  • Review: Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity

    Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity by Ray Bradbury My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is a short read, a collection of essays from the past four decades, in the style Stephen King’s On Writing – autobiographical with a few morsels of advice on creativity thrown in. View all my reviews

  • Review: The Last One

    The Last One by Alexandra Oliva My rating: 5 of 5 stars Book supplied by Netgalley for an honest review. There’s not many books, especially debuts, where within the first few pages the quality, the craftsmanship, the attention to detail, makes you realise you’re reading something special. Oliva’s The Last One falls squarely into that […]

  • Review: The Amateur Marriage

    The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler My rating: 5 of 5 stars Anne Tyler is one of the greats. The subtlety of her writing, the huge swathes left unsaid, allows the reader to mirror their own experiences onto her character’s. I’ve read much of her work, and though her writing style is consistent, the uniqueness […]

  • Review: Dear Amy

    Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan My rating: 4 of 5 stars Note: this book was supplied by Netgalley for an honest review. I liked this book. It’s a fairly standard psychological thriller, but nicely done and paced to hold the interest. The writing was good, some lovely prose in places. I did feel Margot was […]

  • Review: The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story

    The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story by Christopher Castellani My rating: 5 of 5 stars As Castellani says, “in devising and drafting a narrative strategy, an author makes all sorts of craft decisions that influence how the work will be read and enjoyed”. He adds that the language can seduce the reader, maintaining […]

  • Review: Hunger

    Hunger by Michael Grant My rating: 4 of 5 stars Despite this second instalment having some good themes (anti-hero uprising, food shortages, etc.), I enjoyed it less that Gone. It’s turning into one of those series where you just know however bad it looks, the lead characters are going to emerge alive. Hopefully Lies will […]

  • Review: Gone

    Gone by Michael Grant My rating: 4 of 5 stars I read this with my daughter, and we both loved it. Gone is a cross between Lord of the Flies and Akira – super powers affecting children in a world without adults, yet far smarter and better written that the recent splurge of YA dystopian […]

  • Review: The Ballad of a Small Player

    The Ballad of a Small Player by Lawrence Osborne My rating: 4 of 5 stars From the opening sentence, it’s clear Lawrence Osborne knows what he’s doing, that you’re in the hands of an assured writer. The writing is beautifully sparse, navigating the reader through the casinos of Macau, dipping into China’s culture. The only […]

  • Review: Talking About Detective Fiction

    Talking About Detective Fiction by P.D. James My rating: 4 of 5 stars Not quite the book I was expecting – this is a history of the genre rather than a how-to guide. Still, an interesting read, though I did skim some of repetitive sections towards the end. View all my reviews

  • Review: Raven Black

    Raven Black by Ann Cleeves My rating: 4 of 5 stars I hadn’t heard of Ann Cleeves, before my father-in-law gave me this book after attending Harrogat’s crime writing festival. First impressions weren’t good; the writing is simple and surprisingly clumsy at times. But, the story is a good one, and that helps smooth over […]