Showing posts with label Mark Gillespie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mark Gillespie. Show all posts

Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Complete FAB Trilogy: What If John Lennon Had Lived? by Mark Gillespie

You might remember my reviews of the future of London books by Mark Gillespie. It was one of my highlights of this year so far. When I saw that this trilogy was on offer at 99p I was over at amazon in a shot. This is still a very entertaining if totally bonkers read. From alternative history to time travel it is quite a wild read. Why only 4 stars, well I had difficulty believing some of the decisions the writer had our John make and maybe it was a bit too out there for me. But give it a try, it is very entertaining.
Click on the pick to take you to Amazon.



What would John Lennon have done had he not been assassinated on the 8th of December 1980. This is the basis of the trilogy FAB, to write an alternative history for a hypothetical John Lennon.
 To take a well-loved figure like a former Beatle and to put words and actions to him will always be controversial and maybe a bit sacrilegious, so this Beatles fan took a few sharp breaths at the direction the story was taking. However I was glad I bought the whole trilogy as the story really comes into its own in book 2.
In the second book we follow former and now obsessed FBI agent Vogel in his hunt for the fugitive John Lennon. The story moves to Britain and the world of emerging Britpop.
 Book 3 takes yet another completely unexpected turn, but was for me the most entertaining. I think by this time I had reconciled myself with the fact that the writer was not trying to blacken the name of a much loved icon but just wanted to create an entertaining story with some roots in our pop culture and a satire on the direction our world is heading. The chapter headers are Beatles songs and will maybe spur you on to rediscover some of their great songs. I would advise, sit back and enjoy this writer’s imagination. (Or if you are John Lennon, you might drop a tab of acid and enjoy FAB in glorious technicolour, but I, of course, would never advocate the use of drugs!)

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Ghost of London (The Future of London book 3) by Mark Gillespie

You might have read my reviews of L2011 and Mr Apocalypse by Mark Gillespie and seen that they both got 5 stars. I really enjoy these books and when I saw that part 3 was coming out I immediately put my order in for a copy. The third instalment didn't disappoint and also gets 5 stars.
Click the picture to take you to Amazon.

Discovering this writer and the future of London series has been one of my reviewing highlights of this year. As soon as part 3 was released I hot footed it to amazon to get a copy. So is it on a par with the previous two books? I think so. As before there is plenty of action and some nail-biting moments when the ghosts come on the scene. A truly terrifying gang that once a year hunts for its human food, from the amazing front cover you get a good image of what they look like. What makes this series so much fun is that it has it satirical roots firmly in our times. Social media and sensationalist TV productions are all lampooned. If I had one quibble with this book would be that it was too short. But having checked, it has 229 pages about the same as book 2, I just managed to devour it in record time. The book ends on an open note, so I hope Mr Gillespie is busy penning number four in the series.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Mr Apocalypse (Future of London Book 2) by Mark Gillespie

This is the follow up to a book I reviewed a few weeks back; L-2011. It received 5 stars from me and is one of my favourite books of 2017. That is until I read the follow up; Mr Apocalypse which I liked even more. I do like that the writer has set the book 9 years after the first book ended and Mack Walker's world has completely changed. However, outside of London things are pretty much as cynical as before. I give this 5 stars.
Mr Apocalypse (Future of London Book2) on Amazon.co.uk

It’s not often I enjoy a book that much that I immediately buy the follow up. L-2011 (Future of London Book 1) was one such book, so Mr Apocalypse had a lot to live up to. Book 1 was set in an alternative past this book is set nine years on in 2020. It is a future which will probably not happen, and that is not the point. This is a sharply written satire mocking the present. Social media and our insatiable lust for reality TV are all mocked. But at the core is a really well written story and a very likeable character in Mack Walker; our Scottish (anti)hero from the first book. Did Mr Apocalypse live up to the first book? I think it certainly does. Darker and at time quite gruesome, this is as good a dystopian adventure as it is a satire. I even liked it better than the first. (Mind you, put a cat in a story and you’re half way on the road to getting my vote!) Recommended.

 


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Storm Lake and L-2011

Two reviews this time. The first, Storm lake is by Val Tobin. I reviewed her excellent Injury before on this site. Only one quibble with this book; it was too short and left me with many questions. But the writing as with injury was good. I gave it 4 stars.
Storm Lake by Val Tobin on Amazon.com

Storm Lake has all the elements a good horror story should have. An eerie build-up of tension, a young family alone in a remote cottage and a gradual realisation that all is not as it should be. It ends in a dramatic and gory acceleration of events. My only problem with this well written and exiting story is that it was too short. I hope Val Tobin will revisit Storm Lake at some point as there is much to explore and I have many questions I would like answered. I would say; great introduction to what could be a great horror novel.
 
The second book is by a writer from Glasgow that now lives in Australia; Mark Gillespie. I liked his version of what could have happened with the events leading up to the London Olympics in 2012. I gave it 5 stars:
L-2011 (Future of London Book 1) by Mark Gillespie on Amazon.com


This book is set in the not too distant past and hypothesises what could have happened in the events leading up to the London 2012 Olympics. The fact that the events never happened doesn’t make this book any less enjoyable. It still taps into the events of today like; corporate greed, the social media and discontent with our politicians and the establishment.  I liked this book a lot but I think a little understanding of modern Britain is required to fully get this story. It is well written and moves at a good pace. I liked that the story was told from the POV of Mack, a young white Scottish boy, caught up in the riots, where he finds himself amongst mostly black youths. Events came to a rather shocking climax and I can’t wait to see where Mark Gillespie takes the story next. Part two; Mr Apocalypse is already sitting ready to read on my Kindle.