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Joined 1 year, 3 months ago

I will read pretty much anything, although my preferences tend to veer towards Science Fiction (especially Space Opera) and Fantasy (especially Epic Fantasy).

You can also find me on Mastodon

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Paul's books

Currently Reading

Pathfinder Tales: Prince of Wolves (Paperback, 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC) 2 stars

From the editor:

For half-elven Pathfinder Varian Jeggare and his devil-blooded bodyguard Radovan, things are …


2 stars

The main problem with this novel is that is assumes far too much familiarity with the world of the Pathfinder roleplaying game. While this is to be expected to some extent, it does make it a bit of a challenge, initially, to understand what is going on.

This is not helped by the author alternating between the two protagonists.

The Dragonbone chair (Paperback, 1998, DAW) 4 stars

In the peaceful land of Osten Ard, the good king is dying-and a long-dreaded evil …


3 stars

I found this to be really, really slow going. I can see that the author is trying to immerse the reader in his world-building, but it really didn't work for me and I think there are two reasons for this. Firstly, the religion. The main belief system is basically Christianity with a few minor tweaks, and I found this really jarring. Secondly, and probably more significantly, not much happened for most of the book.

Having a detailed world is great and all, but you still need either a plot of some characters to hold the reader's attention. And, for me, this had neither. In=stead, we had a few characters trudging around having lengthy conversations, and not really getting anywhere.

Things do pick up by the end of the book, but this then introduces the problem of there being too many characters being introduced too quickly, making it difficult to keep …

Some of the Best from (EBook, 2023, 3 stars

Some of the Best from 15th Anniversary Edition, our free short fiction bundle, features …

More Misses Than Hits

2 stars

Any collection of short stories is always a hit and miss affair, but for me this one had a lot more misses than hits. Having reached the end of the collection, nothing really stands out and many of the stories felt more like an exercise in style over narrative.

The Complete Ack-Ack Macaque Trilogy (1) (Paperback, 2018, Solaris) 4 stars

Life is good for Ack-Ack Macaque. Every day the cynical, cigar-chomping, hard-drinking monkey climbs into …

Smarter than your average talking monkey

4 stars

All three novels in the Ack-Ack Macaque trilogy, along with a bonus short story at the end. This is way better than I expected it to be.

The book was discounted, so I picked it up expecting some light pulpy fun. And it certainly does display a very pulp sensibility and is a lot of fun, but it's also much more than this. There are also a slew of genuinely SF ideas thrown into the genre-mashing mix and Gareth L. Powell throws them around with such abandon that you don't realise just how much is in there until you get to the end.

The first novel of the three is definitely the high point and it does start to feel a bit forced by the time the final novel gets started, but starting from such a high bar, even this final novel in the trilogy manages to remain a lot …

The Complete Ack-Ack Macaque Trilogy (1) (Paperback, 2018, Solaris) 4 stars

Life is good for Ack-Ack Macaque. Every day the cynical, cigar-chomping, hard-drinking monkey climbs into …

If anything Hive Monkey, the second book in this trilogy is even madder than the first.

Pulp heroes, airships, a borg-like cult and a monkey in search of a troupe. As with the previous novel, this is a really fun read which also has a few serious points to make.

And the sheer believability of the world Gareth L. Powell really is quite incredible.