Today I finished a book, and last Saturday I read one book entirely in almost one go. That sounds not very special, but to me it is. I have had (well, hopefully had) a major depression for many years, and one of the things I had severe problems with was reading. Now and then I couldn't even finish a handfull of pages. And I really love to read, a lot. But back to the books:
When I saw this book in the second hand bookstore I was afraid it would be a badly written fantasy book. I do like to read fantasy, but sadly there is so much garbage out their. A lot of Tolkien-wannabees and authors who try to turn their badly written fantasy into a cash cow.
Anyway, my fears became true for a large part, sadly. Mark Simmons on one hand tries too hard to be sophisticated with the English language, too hard to create a dungeons and dragons feel. So hard that the story becomes messy too often, and needs some intervention by the author himself to get back on track.
Characters are introduced, added to the group, and hardly mentioned again. An exception seems to be the females. The author seems to have quite a problem with decision making, since this is clearly reflected in the main character. Where is the story going? Which female is it going to be? It's a bit sad, since the whole idea was not even a bad one, but in my opinion the author is trying so hard, that the story is severly suffering from it.
I give it a 4 out of 10.
Yes, I admit, I picked up this book because of the title, readable on the spine, but quite a bit harder to read on the cover itself (JCK-UP) giving the impression that the publisher was not that happy with it.
I liked the story a lot. And I must add that the title the fuck-up is quite misleading. The main character is just human, and not really a fuck-up, even though quite some people will call him just that. He is a fighter who keeps on going in hard situations. And while he is going, he shows clearly his human side.
There are only two things I didn't like about the book. First, the author repeats too often the names of the streets. If you live there, you know it, and if you don't, you get really bored after a while with those details or well, I did. I almost could draw a map halfway the book.
The second thing, the book ends too fast. Just when it gets interesting, the book has only a few pages left (I even checked if those pages weren't missing, since I bought it second hand). It gave me the impression that the writer got bored with the whole thing, and wanted to finish the story, almost to get rid of it.
Recommended, I give it an 8 out of 10.
The only easy access I have to books written in English is by buying them in a second hand bookstore. This means that I often pick books I probably wouldn't buy. And now and then this is a good thing.
"East of Desolation" is quite a nice book, even though I felt a little betrayed by the back calling Jack Higgins "above the crowd" (of thriller writers). It takes over 100 pages of introducing people before I got the feeling something really was going to happen. And then it takes almost another 100 before the story finally gets into a fast pace that made me want to read the less then 50 pages left.
All in all not a bad book, and the slow beginning was well worth the ending. I give it a 7 out of 10.