Saturday, 18 March 2017

Worlds Fantastic, Worlds Familiar by Bonnie J. Buratti

Many thanks go to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me access to this book in exchange for an honest review.

I've always had a passing interest in the field of Astrophysics, regularly looking out for big news items like the discovery of evidence pointing to running water on Mars and the more recent haul of exoplanets around the dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. Getting the chance to read a book about how humankind has observed planets and moons in the past and present, as well as a look to the future, was a really exciting prospect for me.

And this popular science book is very informative, it describes a lot about the discoveries of features on the planets and moons, as well as going into a bit of detail as to why Pluto isn't a planet. It was a really fascinating read and was certainly not a complicated read. There is only one mathematical equation, near the end, which Buratti helps break down so it is more understandable.

On a negative note, she comes across as being slightly obsessed with herself, especially the repeated fact that Carl Sagan, the great physicist, was her mentor. Why it was necessary to tell the reader in almost every chapter is beyond my comprehension. Also, mostly in the beginning, and a little later one, she does keep referencing the point that she is a female scientist, as if it's so hard to believe. I understand that the sciences have been portrayed a lot as a male dominated area, and maybe it was hard for her at first to break through, but it only needed a little mention.

That said, it takes nothing away from what is a truly fascinating and engaging read which I would recommend to you if you have any interest in our solar system and beyond!

Star rating: 4/5
This book is due to be published on 27th March 2017

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Manga Classics Double Bill

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me access to a review copy of these two books in exchange for honest reviews.

This month, I have returned to the world of the graphic novel. This time, I have been reading some classic tales from literature lovingly represented in the Manga style. Both books are ones that I have either never read or never finished for whatever reason so I was glad to have the chance to read these.

Great Expectations

This was a beautiful book to read. The art beautifully depicted what life must have been like in England during the 19th Century and the characterisation was fantastic. I read this book with a lot of pleasure, through both the happy and sad times. Pip is one of those characters who you never forget and his love for Estella shines out through the images and speech clearly.

The difficulty with this was the lack of Dickens' feel of the text, from his novels that I have read, but the adaptors have tried their best to get across the style, however hard that may be. I can say that I was not disappointed, however, and it has also made me want to read the original text, maybe later this year, as a full comparison.

Star rating: 4 from 5 - Difficult Dickens made easy

Les Miserables

When I tried to read this book last year, I couldn't get beyond the convent scene. For those who read my early reviews last year will know that I found 50 pages of background to be a little too much like hard work! However, this version seemed to skip the background and concentrated on the story at hand, much to my delight. 

Again, the art is stunning, and the feel of the story is one of building to a crescendo, which of course it does. Seeing the emotions on the characters faces in certain situations certainly helped with that, and I also found characters to love, some to absolutely hate. Would I now reread the novel? I don't know, to be honest. I really enjoyed the Manga form, but could I sit through Hugo waffling on about how to open the door, or something else like that? We will see. I won't say I won't try it again, because the story itself is wonderful, as this book showed.

Star rating: 4 from 5 - Heavy Hugo lightened

Both of these books are available now!