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Book Reviews: Hex + License Invoked + Timeline + 13 Tales Of Terror + Maul + 2 others

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
This horror novel is translated from Dutch. The translation changes the ending and moves the story to America. The town of Black Spring has a secret curse. Evil doesn’t sleep it waits. A 17th century witch wanders the streets. She may be guilty of deeply reprehensible crimes. But that may be malicious lies. A group of stupid teenagers embark on a systematic campaign to prove her existence to the rest of the world by logic which leads to a catastrophic breakdown in the social order. This book was irredeemably bad and the plot beggars logic. The Black Spring residents hold the secrecy of the curse in the greatest reverence to an absurd degree. The ending is ridiculous and this disappointed.

Best Lines:
“This was not uncalculated.”

“She smashed the nice pot of chamomile tea into the witch’s face.”

“And he wished it would go away.”

“That whatever forces you will arouse have your best interests at heart?”

“It’s our right as Americans to know!”

~
License Invoked by Robert Aspirin & Jody Lynn Nye
This 2001 novel seemed to be the start of a series but the ‘franchise’ came to naught. Which was no surprise as this is a horribly dated, patronising tale that did not achieve literary immortality. Fionna Kenmare is the leader of the stupidly named band Green Fire; they somehow exist in an awe filled bubble. MI5 and OOPSI agent Liz Mayfield and FBI agent Beauray Boudreau have to protect Fionna from the forces of TV Satanists or something in New Orleans. This is full of 90s style gratuitous cynicism, a silly magic system, terrible stage Irishness (quite literally) and total disparity from reality. It is neither engaging, fast moving, appealing, exciting or literate.

Best Line:
“No doubt the mattresses were stuffed with straw and discarded Superquinn bags.”

~
Timeline by Michael Crichton
This 2000 novel is the tale of a company that has invented an amazing technology and a group of graduate students will experience this tech when they, in a non-stable rational decision, are sent back to Dark Ages France. There is wilful ignorance of the past and encounters with the lumpen proletariat. There is a state of tension and this was good despite the technoabbble. The terrible 2003 movie had no fidelity to the text.

Best Lines:
“When his favourite grandmother died, a dry-eyed Doniger informed his mother that the old lady still owed him twenty-seven dollars, and he expected her to make good on it.”

“Particle physics is for jerk offs.”

“Do you want to die stupid.”

“You’re not even a half-wit.”

~
13 Tales Of Terror
This 1992 Point Horror anthology isn’t good. It’s all gratuitous ‘horror’ and 90s authors. This is about as scary as the pond of terror and the tunnel of goats.

~
Maul by Tricia Sullivan
This 2003 scifi novel is a misogynistic porn aesthetic filled mess. It is a tale of outdated tech, girls fighting in a mall and a dystopian future.

~
The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton
A wonderful take on a true story.

~
Shakespeare’s Wife by Germaine Greer
An okay biography of what life was like and could have been like for Shakespeare’s much maligned and dismissed wife.
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