Being brutally honest about books

Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Micro Reviews: August

In which I review the books I've finished reading this month in one sentence.
Covers link to Goodreads.


Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by
I especially adored the humorous style of this collection of badass women from history and mythology around the world.

Ash and Quill (The Great Library #3) by
Another venture into the dangerous world of the Great Library series, and while it ends on a cliffhanger like the previous books, I didn't find it as exciting over all, perhaps because the stakes haven't been fully built yet.

The Word Exchange by

Gingerbread by

The Clockwork Dynasty by
 A very cool steampunk story, but the male/female dual POV and first person, present tense didn't do it for me.

The Nightingale by

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Micro Reviews: July

In which I review the books I've finished reading this month in one sentence.
Covers link to Goodreads.


Daughters of Time edited by
A short but shallow anthology about cool historical British women. 

Last of the Amazons by

The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan by

The Scarlet Pimpernel (The Scarlet Pimpernel #1) by


Meditations by
I read this because it's referenced in Black Sails (no regrets! I feel wiser now) and I liked some of the messages but I struggled with the extremely old-fashioned language (thou hath doth, etc).

Nights of Silk and Sapphire by

Saturday, 8 July 2017

The good, the bad, and the ugly: Last of the Amazons by Steven Pressfield


Homer's style has gone out of fashion.

The good

  • The title - who wouldn't want to read Last of the Amazons?
  • It's about the Attic War, a lesser known Greek myth that's very similar to the Trojan War.
  • We know that the Amazons can't win against the Athenians, but it's still exciting and you want them to win.
  • The world building is pretty neat and I could picture the physical and cultural settings.
  • The Amazons seem to be polyamorous bisexual women who all live in triads, a cool and interesting concept, and mate with men once a year. I'm not marking this as LGBTQ characters though, because it's a very minor and brushed over part of the book.*

The bad

  • The characters should and do seem to believe in gods, plural, but but often speak about God, singular, which is confusing because are they pantheists or monotheists? Pantheists who focus on one god (Zeus?)? I'm still confused about this.
  • The songs and chants are kinda cool but definitely unnecessary.
  • Excessive repetition, especially of tribe names and character epithets and name meanings.
  • "Warrioresses". It sounds clumsy. What's wrong with calling them by their name: Amazons?

The ugly

  • The writing style mimics ancient epics, so it's very formal and old-fashioned and awkward all round. The sentence structure and word choice is strange and very difficult to understand. The endless (and pointless!) lists are very Homeric but very exhausting to read.
  • The structure is also very confusing as it's not linear and though it's written in the first person POV, it changes POVs (I often didn't know which character was talking) but I didn't realise these two things for ages.
  • The characters aren't fully developed so I had a hard time knowing who to like or not like.
  • Possible racism? At one point the Amazons paint themselves black and it's not really explained? Huh?
  • *Strangely, some Amazons slut shame and use homophobic language towards their enemies. Hypocrisy much?

The conclusion

The structure and writing style prevented me from enjoying this book and I just wanted to finish it so I could move on. I'm rounding up my rating from 2.5 stars because the concept and the title are so cool. However, I wouldn't recommend Last of the Amazons unless you're a huge fan of Homer's writing style.

The summary

In or around 1250 BC, so Plutarch tells us, Theseus, king of Athens and slayer of the Minotaur, set sail on a journey that brought him to the land of 'tal Kyrte', the 'Free People', a nation of fiercely proud and passionate warrior women whom the Greeks called 'Amazons'. Bound to each other as lovers as well as fighters and owing allegiance to no man, the Amazons distrusted the Greeks with their boastful talk of cities and civilization. And when their illustrious war queen Antiope fell in love with Theseus and fled to Athens with the king and his followers, so denying her people, the Amazon tribes were outraged. Seeking revenge, they raised a vast army and marched on Athens. History tells us they could not win, but for a brief and glorious moment the Amazons held the Attic world in thrall before vanishing into the immortal realms of myth and legend.

Add it on Goodreads

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Micro Reviews: June

In which I review the books I've finished reading this month in one sentence.
Covers link to Goodreads.


All That is Lost Between Us by
 I really enjoyed this as a family drama, but it's not as psychologically thrilling as it promised.

Rolling with the Punchlines by

Far from Home by

The Other Boleyn Girl by

Carolyn for Christmas by
The Further Adventures of Xena: Warrior Princess by various authors
 An expanded universe anthology in which all the stories rely too much on dialogue and not enough on showing instead of telling.

Between Shades of Gray by
 Yet another WW2 book, and it didn't have the strongest plot line or climax in the world.


Carmilla by

Storm Season by

Unknown Horizons (New Horizons #1) by

The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson and

I'm Alexandria, a 19-year-old reader/writer/blogger from New Zealand. I love language, history, and sci-fi. Hi! I'm always around if you want to talk, which you can do via comments, the contact form, or Facebook.

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