Killing Floor, Child

 I’ve heard so much about this series, and was starting to get a bit embarrassed about never having read a Jack Reacher novel. Killing Floor isn’t my usual kind of read, not by a mile, but I’m glad I picked it up, and I can see why these are so popular.

It’s a testosterone-fuelled, action-packed, gun-toting rampage of a book, and there’s not a baddie left standing at the end. Actually, there’s not much of anything left standing at the end!

In fairness, I was a long way out of my comfort zone here, but it was definitely a fun break. Reacher is a likeable, larger than life, completely impossible hero who eats bad guys for breakfast and woos purty ladies when he’s not taking on four or five heavily-armed opponents. He can deduce what school you went to and what your favourite colour is purely from the expression on your face. He’s that good!

I’m not going to lie, it does all get more than a little ridiculous…especially towards the end. The hotel thing was just a step too far for me, but it kind of doesn’t matter because it’s a really fun read either way. The pace is breakneck and there are enough twists and turns in the plot to keep you glued to the pages. It’s pure adrenalin-filled entertainment, with Hollywood written all over it. However much Reacher made me roll my eyes, I still kinda like him, and want him to moodily stalk through my hometown…so I can buy him a coffee…and wear my softest, bluest shirt…

Would I read any more of these? Yeah…probably…although not for awhile, I need to get over this one first!

And am I right in thinking that there’s a film of this with Tom Cruise as Reacher? Cruise? Whose idea was that?! Whoever it was they can’t have read the book! #Headdesk

Eragon, Paolini

I loved Eragon when I first read it, and some ten years or so later, after a re-read, I still love it now.

I see no end of criticism over the whole ‘Star Wars’ plot issue, and whilst on one level I can understand it, how many people complain about the Seven Samurai influence on Star Wars? Why is it that some writers can get away with it, and some can’t? Stories borrow from stories…and imitation is the highest form of flattery.

The other negative I keep seeing is that when you pick this one up, you know exactly what’s going to happen in the end. Well, that may be true, but the fun and games come from how you get to what happens at the end. You could say the same thing of almost any novel. When you pick up a romance novel, you can be pretty sure person A is going to end up with person B; when you pick up a crime novel, you can bet your mortgage on the fact that the grizzled, hardcore detective will catch the bad guy; but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to enjoy yourself immensely along the way.

In a nutshell, for anyone who loves dragons, elves, dwarves and magic, you really can’t go far wrong with Eragon. It’s well-written, intricately plotted, and full of interesting characters.

Is it mind-blowingly original and does it bravely shatter the rules of the genre? In all fairness, no. Does it prove that you don’t need to do this to write an engaging, memorable novel? Well, that’s up to you to decide. For me, the answer here is yes.

And for everyone who likes to attack Paolini, it might be worth remembering that he wrote this as a teen, for teens. And did a damned fine job, imho!

I’m planning on re-reading the entire Inheritance Cycle over the next few months, if my teetering TBR tower permits.