Thursday, 29 December 2016

Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One


Ernest Cline

Ready Player One was a book recommended to me by my brother Tom. Whilst he was reading this he kept talking about it and how great it was. He said "You will love this, its all about 1980's video gaming and pop culture". Well, that is all I needed to know to put this at the top of my reading list.

"If you grew up in the 70's & 80's and love video gaming and pop culture, stop what you are doing and read this"

Précis (taken from the cover):

It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?


Where do I start to talk about this book? Well..... It was amazing, I loved this book from start to finish. I don't think I have ever read a book where I have had as many flash backs to childhood as this one. "Oh My God, I remember that" "Oh Yes, that used to be amazing" "I forgot about that one" where some of the things I said out loud with a smile on my face whilst reading this. I was unable to control my geekiness as the main character had to play and complete the great Pacman. Wade, also owning a Delorean from Back to The Future & an X-Wing from Star Wars practically sent me over the top.

The story is really original and nothing like anything I have read or even heard of before. It is so clever how the book has been put together as well. Whilst this is a futuristic Science Fiction book you are taken on a journey that keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat like a good Thriller would. You are left wanting the good guys to win.... that is if you can trust any of the good guys.

The characters are well written and really believable. You could walk into any gaming convention around the world and find these guys within five minutes. You feel for the main Character Wade as his life is miserable and his only life is in the VR world. Art3mis, Aech, Daito & Shoto complete the supporting cast as they each battle to win the prize and to make sure the evil Sixers do not get there first. I am sure you will find a little bit of you in one of these characters.

This is a book I believe will be read again & again and automatically wants me to buy Ernest Cline's next book

Was there anything that I did not like about the book? Well... I always like to have some fault or things that I did not like with books, even if I really like them, but I am sat here racking my brain and struggling to find something.

I scored this book a 5 out of 5. Full marks for me. A great read and very, very enjoyable. Big thanks to my brother Tom.

Ready Player One is to become a film in 2017 with Spielberg directing. Whilst I am pleased for the author, I don't know if I will be able to bring myself to watch this, as I am worried it will ruin the book.

Has anyone else read this book? what do you guys think? Do you agree with me or not? Let me know.

Speak Soon,


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Book Review: Ghost Maven by Tony Lee Moral

Ghost Maven


Tony Lee Moral

Firstly I must thank the author Tony Lee Moral for giving me a copy of this book to read and write an honest review for him. I am really appreciative of this. Ghost Maven is the second book by Tony Lee Moral that I have read, having read Playing Mrs. Kingston last year. I really enjoyed that book having put it in my top 5 best books of 2015, so I was looking forward to this from the off.

"A fun and enjoyable read about Love, with a Ghostly twist that makes you want the good guys to win"

Précis (taken from the cover):

Alice's mother passes away and with her father and little sister, Sophie, she moves to Pacific Grove in California. Alice is deathly afraid of the water despite living in a community surrounded by it. In order to push through her phobia, she joins the Kayaking club in high school.

During a routine kayaking drill, a fog rolls in and Alice becomes disoriented, losing all sense of direction. A large wave turns the kayak over, dumping Alice into the icy-cold pacific. She nearly drowns when a young man dives in after her. . .Henry Raphael.

After Henry's rescue, Alice gains more than her life. Henry is a beautiful seventeen-year-old or more accurately, one-hundred-seventeen years. The relationship between them takes Alice on a journey for which no one could prepare her.

Long distance relationships are difficult - how can Alice bridge a divide between planes? Henry died over a century ago but lives on in the fourth plane of existence waiting for an opportunity to atone for past deeds that caused the death of his ship's entire crew. Their vengeance still hanging over his head, Henry and Alice learn their love will be tested by more than the passage of time and living in different dimensions.


This book is not normally one that I would choose to read, but this past year or so I have been trying different genre's so that I am seeing what else is out there. I have to say I really enjoyed this book, the story was original and nothing I have really seen before, either in book form or on TV/films. Ghost Maven is classed as a young adult book, but I am 36 and found this suitable for older people as well.

Is this a love story? Yes it is, but it's not a soppy romantic book. It's about a teenage girl dealing with a lot a sad and stressful troubles in her life that a girl of that age should not have to go through. It's about her managing this and the horrible and painful matter of falling in love for the first time. The boy she loves is around the same age, well... He was when he died a hundred years ago. An ancient curse has been put on the town meaning that peoples souls are still there living amongst real life people. Like all good love stories there are people, or ghosts as it is in this book that are trying to ruin things and are out for revenge. This story is a fun and enjoyable read about love, with a ghostly twist that makes you want the good guys to win.

The characters were greatly written and very enjoyable to read about. My favourite being Emily & Christian who were Alice's friends that helped and supported her when she needed it. Emily making me laugh throughout. I also loved the sound of O'Reilly, the captain of the ship that sank a hundred years ago. He was kind of like an 1800's pirate. I mean who does not like pirates??

Was there anything I did not like about this book? Very little really, it was easy to read and only took me 6 days, which is good for me. At the beginning of the book there were a few chapters which I thought ended quite abruptly as though there was some story missing, but as the book went on this flowed a lot easier.

I scored this book a 4 out of 5. Like I have said it is an enjoyable book to read with a great story. If you are a young adult, I would really recommend it or even if you are an adult that is just getting into reading, it is a great book for that.

Has anyone else read this book? do you agree with me or not? Let me know what you think..

Speak soon,


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Book Review: Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz

Trigger Mortis


Anthony Horowitz

Trigger Mortis is the latest James Bond novel. This one has been written by bestselling author Anthony Horowitz. Growing up one of my favourite film franchises was the James Bond movies. I, as well as my brothers used to watch them all the time, we still do in fact. There are so many TV channels to choose from nowadays that you probably could not go a whole week without one of the Bond films being on. I was aware that the family of James Bond's creator Ian Fleming was allowing new books to be written but I have yet to read one. Each new Bond book that is written is by a different author which I think is a great idea. I like the idea of different people putting there own twist on how they see James Bond whilst keeping this in the style of Fleming. This was a Christmas present from my sister in law Pam.

"Classic Bond from the golden era of the 1950's"

Précis (taken from the cover):

It's 1957 and James Bond (agent 007) has only just survived his showdown with Auric Goldfinger at Fort Knox. By his side is Pussy Galore, who was with him at the end.

Unknown to either of them, the USSR and the west are in a deadly struggle for technological superiority. And SMERSH is back. 

The Soviet counter-intelligence agency plans to sabotage a Grand Prix race at the most dangerous track in Europe. But it's Bond who finds himself in the driving seat and events take an unexpected turn when he observes a meeting between SMERSH's driver and a sinister Korean millionaire, Jai Seong Sin.

Soon Bond is pitched into a entirely different race with implications that could change the world. Thrown together with American adventurer Jeopardy Lane, Bond uncovers a plan that will bring the west to its knees in a heart-stopping climax.


I really liked the start of this book as it follows straight on from the film Goldfinger. It does not mean you have had to have watched the film at all as the book explains what happened. Pussy Galore made famous in the film by Honour Blackman is still with Bond and as soon as he is back in London his next case is waiting for him.

This is my first Anthony Horowitz book I have read. My wife has read a few and always loved them. I really liked how it was written. The words just flew off the page and this made it easy for you to get stuck into the action. I read this book in two weeks which for me is really quick. I will definitely be reading more books by Anthony Horowitz.

The story for this book was brilliant. It had all the usual Bond attributes from fast cars, intelligent, strong minded & beautiful women, a powerful and enjoyable to read "evil baddy", lots of action in numerous countries around the world and of course James Bond saving the world from destruction. The only thing I thought was missing was Bond having interaction with Q branch, which was always one of my favourite parts of any film. This is where all of Bond's specialist cars and gadgets are created. As this is my first James Bond novel I have read I don't know if this part of the story was in the original books or just put in for the films.

The characters in this book were very enjoyable to read. Jai Seong Sin was the main baddy and I really liked how he was portrayed. He had a very dark and evil mind which left people scared to be around or work for him. There was also the greatly named female characters which were made famous in the James Bond novels. Pussy Galore was there in the beginning but Jeopardy Lane became the main ally for Bond and without her he would not have been able to save the world. I really enjoyed how her character grew throughout the book.

Was there anything I did not like? Apart from the missing Q branch story lines then not really. I fully enjoyed this book and can't wait to read my next James Bond novel. I have been and bought Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks and Solo by William Boyd which I will review when the time comes.

I scored this book a 4.5 out of 5. It's a great action packed book which keeps you on the edge all the way to the end. Even if you are new to the James Bond Character you will be able to read this as in the first 1/4 all things are explained too you.

Has anyone else read Trigger Mortis? What do you think? do you agree with me at all? who was your favourite James Bond in the movies? Let me know. I would love to find out.

Speak soon



Tuesday, 13 September 2016

September Already???

September Already

So...... This week we are already half way through September. I know we say this every year but this year is really flying by and its quite scary. It actually does feel like it was only April the other week.

I would like to apologise for my lack of blogging this year. I was surprised when I signed in and found my last blog was way back in February. I am pleased to say that I will be blogging a lot more regularly from now. 2016 has been a very busy year for me personally and I have literally not had any time for it at all. I have however had time to read although not as much as I would have liked too.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be catching up with all the book reviews from the books I have read which will include:

Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz
The Widow by Fiona Barton
Star Wars Battlefront Twilight Company by Alexander Freed
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
There's Only Two David Beckhams by John O'Farrell
Pop Goes the Weasel by M.J.Arlidge
The Doll's House by M.J.Arlidge
The Alchemist Secret by Scott Mariani

Once I have got round to writing all of these blogs I will also have finished reading my big summer read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara which is very dark yet addictive.

Year target:

At the start of the year I set myself a 2016 reading challenge on of 24 books. I know to a lot of readers this is not that much but for me it will be the most I have read in a year if I hit it. How am I doing? Well I am a little behind at the moment. I have completed 10 plus I am over half way in my latest book. Now I have more time on my hand I will be pushing myself for the remaining 3 1/2 months of the year to try and hit my target.

Books to read:

Like most of you I have around 50 books on my shelf unread. I then make it worse every time I walk by a book shop. I can't help but go in and always come out with a few more to add to the collection.

For the remainder of the year I am looking forward to reading some of the following books I have selected to read next:

15th Affair by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
Love May Fail by Matthew Quick
The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen (out this month)
Mr Mercedes & Finders Keepers by Stephen King

How has everyone else's reading year been going? did you set yourself a target? What has been some of the best books you have read this year? Let me know.

Thank you again to everyone who has read one of my blogs I really do appreciate it and I promise I will never leave it this long again.

Speak soon


Sunday, 21 February 2016

Book Review: Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

Eeny Meeny
M.J. Arlidge
I was walking around my local bookshop one Saturday and thought I would have a little change. I set myself a task to find a new series of books by an author I had never read before. About 90 minutes later and the covers of around 50 books read I chose Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge. Why this one? Well it sounded really good,  plus I thought the cover kind of looked cool. I know, I know,  never judge a book by its cover but sometimes we have to take risks!
"A debut thriller - Dark, fast paced and action packed" 
Précis (taken from the cover):
The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it.
Days later, another desperate escapee is found - and a patter is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted. Imprisoned then faced with a terrible choice: Kill or be killed. Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind?
Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors - living calling cards - who hold the key to the case...... And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die....
This book gets straight into the action. In the first paragraph, someone is already about to die. I was hooked there and then. No scene setting, no build up just boom, there you are. Before I knew it, I was already 50 pages in.
One of the best things about this book for me is the area of the UK in which it is set; Southampton. A city on the south coast of England for those that don't know. It is a different city and refreshing change from London, Manchester or Glasgow which we most commonly have in books set here in the UK. Don't get me wrong, I love those cities, especially London as it is one of my favourite and most frequently visited, but Southampton is all new for me to explore as the story progresses.
The plot line in this book is cracking and really original. Nothing like I have ever read or even watched on TV. A serial killer who compels the victims do the killing makes parts of this book very dark. The author also introduces twists which you just don't expect. I like how the book is written, leaving each chapter on a mind tingling thought, that only gives you one choice - read on.
Detective Inspector (DI) Helen Grace is the protagonist in this book. She is an extremely powerful, yet somewhat mysterious woman who has worked hard to get where she is. She kicks ass and refuse to take any crap. However, she is tormented by her own personal demons, which adds another layer to her persona. I really like Helen as a character and she is up there as one of my favourites. I can't wait to follow her in future books.
The other characters are also brilliantly written. The police detectives actually feel like real people as they have their own problems at home, which in some books you never really hear about so you are able to relate to them. Parts of the story with them are really sad as well.
Is there anything I did not like about this book? Nope, nothing at all. I thought it was brilliant -  I loved it. And to think it was a debut thriller as well, makes it even better. It was dark, fast paced and action packed.
Even before I finished this book it was a 5 out of 5. The following week I went to buy the next two books in the series. The Doll's House & Pop Goes the Weasel. I can't wait to read those. I mentioned this book to my friend Keely and she loved it as well, she read the next three books straight after.
I would love to know what other people think that have read this book as well. Do you agree with me or not? Let me know, I would love to find out.
Speak soon

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Book Review: Symbiosis by Guy Portman

Guy Portman
Firstly I would like to give a huge thanks to the author of Symbiosis, Guy Portman for giving me a copy of his book for a honest read and review. I really appreciate this. For more information on Guy's other books and his blog you can visit
About this book (Taken from the cover):
Identical twins Talulah and Taliah have never been apart. Viewed as curiosities by children and adults alike, they coexist in an insular world with their own secret language. But being identical doesn’t necessarily mean being equal…
Soon a series of momentous events will send Talulah and Taliah spiralling out of control, setting them on a collision course with a society that views them as two parts of a whole. Will their symbiotic relationship survive?
Perceptive and poignant, Symbiosis explores our enduring fascination with twins and the complexities of twinship.
A valuable addition to the monozygotic canon…
Symbiosis demonstrates Portman’s ability to populate his worlds with peculiar yet plausible characters.
Moving and laconic, with impressive attention to psychological detail…
I went into this book with an open mind. I really did not know what to expect. The start of this book was a little confusing for me if I was to be honest, I felt it did not flow and it took me a good few pages to pick the story up. However Once it did and I got my bearings I felt this was a wonderful story. We can all try and think what it would be like to be a twin especially identical one's but we will never really know unless you are one. I think how Guy wrote Talulah & Taliah was great, they had this special bond which included the power to know what each other was thinking and came with their own secret language. The story follows the twins from a young age and continues through to their late teens. The book starts with the twins in a special school until they are around 16/17 then after a bad and traumatic event they end up in a psychiatric hospital. One of my favourite films is Girl, Interrupted which is a movie set in a women's psychiatric hospital in the sixties and in parts of this book it reminded me of that. The subject's in this book are quite harrowing and upsetting in a way but it was written with so much realism, you believe every single incident that happens because of this. It was also very interesting to read, Although it is a work of fiction the troubles of mental health are very serious and you learn lots in this book. I also found this book funny in places which helped lighten the mood perfectly.
The characters in this book were all different. The twins were the stars of the show but each child, teacher, doctor & nurse had a great supporting role to play. One of my favourite characters in Symbiosis was Siegfried a teenage German anarchist who was addicted to fire and taking drugs. He starts off very funny but then gets evil as the book goes on.
Did I guess the ending? nope failed again... I must say though that throughout this book I did have a good 10/12 idea's as to what could happen. Each time I changed my mind I crossed it off my imaginary list and went with my new one. I love books like this where it keeps you guessing all the way through, for me there is nothing better.  
I scored this book a 4.5 out of 5. I really enjoyed it and it only lost points for me at the beginning where I felt a bit confused. This may have just been me though. I will definitely be investing in Guy Portman's other books Necropolis & Charles Middleworth at some point.
I would love to know if anyone else has read this book and if so do you agree with me or not? Let me know.
Speak soon,

Saturday, 9 January 2016

2015: Final Book Report

2015: Final Book Report
So.... 2015 is over just a quickly as it started. I hope everyone had a good new year and all is well...
2015 was a good year for me personally. I secured a permanent job within a department I really enjoy working, I finish a project that I started 9 years ago which makes the future brighter and when it came to reading books I read the most I have in a calendar year, which also included the largest book I have read in I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes at 914 pages long. 
People always ask me have you seen this film? Have you seen that film? My answer most of the time is no, sorry. Don't get me wrong I do love watching films but for me I would rather sit and read a good book. Whilst people are pre-ordering movies I am pre-ordering books. The older I get the more I feel that books are taking over all the spare time I have. Do you know what? I love that. Whilst films are very visual and tell stories, books tell stories but when it comes to the visual side of things I am the director. Yes people & places are described in a book but you could ask a 100 people to draw what they visualise and I would say that each one would be different. This is the fun part of reading for me and when you are in the reading zone nothing else matters in life as you are taken away to whatever world you are currently in.
Social media, especially Twitter is brilliant for book lovers. In 2015 I have followed so many people involved with books, these range from publishers, authors, editors and to all the readers and bloggers out there. There is not a week that goes by that I don't think "oooo that books sound great I must get that". This year, without Twitter I would not have been so excited about The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Disclaimer by Renee Knight or Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig which all had a huge social media buzz about them, it was hard not to buy and read. If you love books and are not on Twitter or Google Plus I would recommend this for you. If you are on Twitter you can follow me at @CBailey31, if you like of course.
My favourite books of 2015:
These are my top 5 books I have read this year all scoring 5 out of 5. They are not in any order as I could spend a month arguing between them.
Playing Mrs. Kingston by Tony Lee Moral

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

Unlucky 13 by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
I don't normally set targets in life as I think they are a waste of time but at the start of 2015 I did set myself a little target on how many books I would read. Although I love books so much, I am not the fastest of readers at all, I know some people who have read up to a hundred books in 2015 which is crazy but cool. I set my target at 18 which is a book and a half a month and at the time thought I could push myself to do it. How did I do??? Well unfortunately I fell just short and finished the year on 14 1/2 books. The half is so important haha. I was on schedule at the end of June but  came up just short. I was gutted I did not hit this target but I am more determined to do it this year. I feel my reading has got faster so my target for 2016 is 24 books which is 2 a month. Fingers crossed.
What have I got planned for 2016? Well, books and lots of them. As stated above my target is 24 books to be read this year. Some of the books I can't wait to read are Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz which is the new James Bond book, the next Cormoran Strike novel by Robert Galbraith which normally comes out around September, Love May Fail by Matthew Quick and the next book which is getting such a buzz across social media. The Widow by Fiona Barton. This a debut psychological thriller and is published on 14 January in the UK and then in February in the US. I have this on pre-order and it will be delivered this week. Keep an eye out for my review soon.
Guest Blogger:
If you like to read books and fancy doing a guest book review on my blog then please give us a shout on the contact page. You may be a blogger already, whether it be food, fashion & beauty, travel or like me, books, so why not advertise your own blog by writing a review on a book you have just read. If you have never done anything like this before but would like to give it a go then please give me a shout as well. It is great fun.
I hope everyone's 2015 was enjoyable and your 2016 is going to be even better.
Speak soon


Friday, 1 January 2016

Book Review: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Career of Evil
Robert Galbraith
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith is the third instalment of the Cormoran Strike novels. When I first heard that this book was to be published I was straight online to pre-order. Having previously read Galbraith's previous two novels The Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm there was no question, that I was not going to order this one. Both myself and my wife love these books so it was a case of who was going to read it first. When it was delivered we were both half way through books, so it was a who finishes their book first wins. I lost of course as my wife is so much faster than me. Thankfully when I did get my chance to read it, it did not take long.... For those that don't know Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K Rowling author of the Harry Potter books.
When a Mysterious parcel is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that is contains a women's severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is not that surprised but very alarmed. There are four people from Strike's past who he thinks could be responsible, especially one of them who is capable of unspeakable brutality. With the police focusing on one suspect Strike is increasingly sure they are not the perpetrator, so he & Robin decide to take matters into their own hand and delve into the dark & twisted worlds of the other three suspects. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for both Strike & Robin.....
Where do I start? well I am best to describe these books as a good old fashioned murder mystery. A modern day Agatha Christie' Hurcule Poirot you could say. Private detective Cormoran Strike, a former Special forces detective and his trusted side kick Robin Ellacott go together so well. It was great to catch up with what has been going on with them since their last big case, which I'm afraid would only really make sense if you had read the two previously books. This however is not a bad thing as they are both brilliant so it will be worth it. Straight from the off you are deep into this story. I remember when my wife read it she had only been reading 5 minutes and she was like, woooah, after only the first chapter. Books that start like this are always the best for me as you know it is going to be great and whilst you have you mind in the book nothing else in the world matters. 
The story in itself is brilliant and so clever, this books takes so many twists & turns that I, at one point, was convinced every character in the book had done it and in some instances I kept going back to the same character over and over. Even when you think you have found out, you still have not really and have to keep going till at least the last page of the book. Did I get it right?? nah of course not. Out witted again....
Apart from Strike & Robin there are some old faces from previous books that are back and it is great to see them as well. Along with the regulars you had a whole new cast of evil suspects which were written brilliant by Galbraith. The way they are described you could picture them so well. I regularly visit London which is where these books are set, so for me this makes it more fun when the story is in places where I have been too. This book also took a trip down a very dark path, which for me is why I think these books are so good. Not because I'm evil, because I'm not, far from it haha but it creates an atmosphere that keeps you on the edge of your seat and makes the story so realistic and reminds you that this world is a horrible place sometimes.
Was there anything bad about the book? Yes it finished, and I have to wait till October 2016 for the next one. Like I said before you are best to read the previous two books so you would probably not enjoy it as a stand alone book.
I scored this book a 5 out of 5. It was amazing and an extremely enjoyable page turner. This is up there as one of the best books I have read in 2015. I fully recommend this book. I know of 5 people who have read this as well and they all say how great it is.
I would love to know what other people think. Do you agree with me or not? Let me know..
Speak soon