Saturday, 27 May 2017

Sofa Spotlight - Bullet Catcher, Joaquin Lowe

It’s the first YA book I’ve read in over a year and my overall impression was that it was alright. It started off good with Imma and her brother Nikko growing up and dreaming of becoming bullet catchers, people who can deflect bullets with their hands. Nikko runs off to join them early on and then vanishes from the face of the earth. Imma meets an old bullet catcher and basically bullies him into teaching her. Nikko reappears and Imma has to decide whose side she is on and what is right and wrong.

And I think that is what is good about this book. You have two sides, the gunslingers and the bullet catchers. Both have their propaganda that deems the other evil and in need of being wiped out. As the story progresses you see that both sides have their redeeming features but are also responsible for some pretty serious crimes.

Both Imma and Nikko have to come to terms with this and work out which side they belong to. They have family loyalties, but at the end of the day it is up to them. Mid way through this book I did get a bit bored – Imma took a while to work things out and waiting for her to do wasn’t all that entertaining. Having said that she did meet some other fun characters along the way who build into that idea of what is perceived as right or wrong.

There’s also some gore in there. The gunslingers want to be faster so they add some machinery into their hands and it is grim. I’m not one for blood so that was a tough part for me. But it added a different take to the Western setting of the book.

It’s a book that makes you think a little bit, but I would have preferred it to be faster paced. What I did like that the main character wasn’t the stereotypical tortured teenager. She was a lot more likable and real.

As it’s so hot right now maybe you should read something desert themed. Let me know how you get on if you do.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Sofa Spotlight - The Clocks, Agatha Christie

For a novel where Poirot ultimately solves the crime, he doesn’t appear in it all that much. He sort of drifts in at the end and solves it out of curiosity. Which I suppose is fair – it is a storyline that does make you curious to know what on earth is going on.

In essence what happens is that Sheila Webb, a typist, is sent to a Miss Pebmarsh’s house. When she gets there Miss Pebmarsh isn’t there, but there is a dead body surrounded by clocks – most of them stopped at 4:15. To make it even more confusing Miss Pebmarsh, who is blind, does arrive home and claims never to have requested a typist. Also no one knows who the dead man is.

Most of the story is told by a Colin Lamb who happens to be in the area doing some work for MI5. He takes the case to Poirot, but like I say Poirot doesn’t really seem to do much until he arrives at the end with the reveal.

Although the story was intriguing it seemed to take a long time to get from murder to resolution. The police have to go through their work of not getting anywhere, but this time it just wasn’t as good. Maybe because I missed Poirot. Having said that, there were some brilliant characters and potential suspects. The crime takes place on Wilbraham Crescent and the neighbours are nosey and eccentric. But frustratingly none of them seem to have anything of value to say about the crime.

A couple more people are murdered along the way – which all goes to show that if you have dangerous information go to the police straight away and avoid getting murdered unnecessarily.

Not my favourite Poirot story but it’s still good. Oh and I worked it out/remembered how it ended just before the end.