It’s always nice to get stuff in the post and especially nice today as fellow Irish blogger Declan, aka Unironedman, kindly sent me a runner’s buff, one of the ones he had produced for the recent Down To Town Marathon. I’m no marathon runner by any stretch of the imagination but who doesn’t like free stuff? I took advantage of a break in the weather and a spare hour to take it for a very enjoyable walk in Monellan Woods. If you don’t already follow Declan’s blog then I’d highly recommend it.
Grave Peril (Harry Dresden #3) by Jim Butcher
Harry Dresden – Wizard
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.
Harry Dresden has faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you’re the only professional wizard in the Chicago-area phone book.
But in all Harry’s years of supernatural sleuthing, he’s never faced anything like this: The spirit world has gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble – and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone – or something – is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn’t figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself….
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
The previous books were very much detective stories with a little bit of a fantasy twist. This one is very much a fantasy/horror with a mystery twist. It’s pretty full on with demons, faeries, vampires and magic. I did find it very enjoyable though. I particularly like the way the author treats magic and the magical world with a certain level of contempt. There’s no perception of magic as something wondrous or other worldly, it’s just mundane, slightly above ordinary and something that’s likely to go wrong.
I really enjoyed the depiction of the vampires and especially the various “courts” and how they use different techniques to subdue and consume their victims.
Where I have a problem with this book is the character Michael and the events that brought Harry and him together. There’s a whole back story here that’s missing. I have checked at least 3 times to see if I skipped a book by accident. There is so much missing here and so much that is assumed the reader knows that it makes the story difficult to follow and creates a sense of uncertainty. It knocked at least one star off my rating.
Overall it’s a really good book, I’d just like to have been given a chance to read how Harry and Michael met and came to be working together.
On Sunday last week I finally made it back on to the bike after almost two months to the day. I had a lot of digestive issues in September, had two bouts of illness heading into October and totally lost motivation for cycling or much of anything else fitness wise to be honest. Any focus I did have went into training for the sponsored run for Pieta.
Sunday though was such a perfect cycling day that I couldn’t let it go to waste. It was mild, bright and dry with very little wind. I decided on an easy paced cycle down to Clady and back to Killygordon using a mix of back and main road. The treat at the end was a short off-road section along the river in Killygordon and a final spin around the forest trails of Monellan.
Mid morning on a Sunday the roads were pretty quiet which was a nice, relaxing re-introduction to the road. Just over the border in Clady I made some new friends.
The trail along the river was really nice with the trees all colourful with changing leaves and lots of water in the river after all the heavy rain of the last few weeks. In Monellan the trails were better than expected and definitely drier than I’d hoped for, really enjoyable.
autumnal bike porn!
After Monellan I was still feeling good so decided to tackle the pretty tough climb up Gleneely Hill before heading home via the long, easy downhill. This is never easy on any bike, never mind on a mountain bike and definitely not after such a long break but I surprised myself and made it to the top without passing out! I was more than ready for an easy glide home though 😊
I also decided to try and film for the first time while cycling. In July I got a budget action camera (Akaso Brave 6 Plus) and set of accessories for my birthday. My plan was to use a mixture of handheld and chest mounted filming but it didn’t go very much according to plan. The handheld bits were fine but I totally miscalculated the placement of the camera on the chest harness. I ended up with a lot of footage but most of it of my handlebars 🙈
I was also using the camera in the protective case which kills the sound quality so the two pieces to camera that I filmed needed an external voice recorder. This worked well for the introductory piece but having just finished the climb up Gleneely I totally forgot about the external mic for the concluding piece which left it totally unusable. I’m still using my mobile for editing (VN Video Editor). This worked pretty well but synchronising the voice over and the video was tricky.
In the end I managed to salvage just over 6min of reasonable quality footage and I’ve decided to go ahead and post it up as a learning experience. I’ve posted a link below if you are interested in giving it a view.
Tokyo by Mo Hayder
Student Grey Hutchins has come to Tokyo because of an obsession. Vulnerable and on the edge, she is searching for a fragment of film supposedly taken during the notorious Nanking Massacre in 1937 when the Japanese murdered 300,000 civilians. Some say the film doesn’t exist.
The only man who can help is a survivor of the Massacre. Immersed in his books and wary of strangers, this man will at first have nothing to do with Grey. Increasingly desperate, she accepts a hostess job at an exclusive nightspot catering for businessmen and gangsters, and it is here she comes to the attention of one particular man.
Ancient, wheel-chair bound and guarded by a terrifying nurse, it is rumoured he relies on a strange elixir for his continued well-being – an elixir others want, at any price …
With its heady atmosphere of overt violence, lurking fear and sexual tension, TOKYO grabs the reader and refuses to let go until its shattering final pages.
My Rating: ⭐
It’s a long time since I gave up on a book without finishing but this was just dire! I really wanted to enjoy it having read so many of the author’s other books but I couldn’t get into this at all. The characters were very unbelievable and I couldn’t relate to them at all, the storyline was disjointed and rambling. What could have been a very interesting and thought provoking story became banal and irritating. I may try another of her standalone books but I won’t ever return to this one.