Fiction Books and Novellas
Fiction Book Reviews With A Difference
Reviews of fiction books can often be too long and dull, and go into too much detail about the plot and characters, spoiling the pleasure of discovery that awaits the reader. In my reviews I give a succinct overview of all aspects of the book and add all the extra details that make a book fascinating - notes and tidbits about the author's life, their inspiration for the book, their other books and their writing process.
My passions for reading and writing centre around 4 main fiction genres. Look below to find the categories you enjoy the most.
Crime fiction is one of the most popular and bestselling genres. I love a crime novel that grips me from the first page, and compels me to stay up way past my bedtime to keep on reading.
I have become a noir fiction junkie, from the classics of the 40s and 50s to modern authors. In noir fiction, the perpetrator often gets away with it. Just like real life.
A good suspense novel has to have the right level and mix of pacing and tension to maintain the suspense all the way through. It doesn't necessarily have to incorporate a crime, but often does.
I think of a thriller as being a high-octane suspense novel. There's usually lots of action and the stakes are high - the fate of a particular group of people, a country or the world is in the balance.
Writing a Fiction Book
Everyone has a book in them. So the saying goes. The hard part is dragging the book out of you and translating it into words on a screen.
There are innumerable ways to write a fiction book -as many ways as there are authors. But whether you're a 'pantser' (flying by the seat of your pants, ie, making it up as you go along) or a plotter (planning the story beforehand) or a combination of the two (as I am), there are experiences that are common to most authors.
Firstly, you need a burning passion to tell the story you're writing; a strong belief that it's a story worth telling. Because you'll need that passion to keep you going when the words are not coming, and you feel like abandoning the book because it's a load of rubbish. (These episodes are usually short-lived; the next day you wake up thinking your story is the most brilliant ever contribution to literature. You're wrong on both counts).
Secondly, you need a regular dose of BOS. (Bum on Seat). Even if it's only 15 minutes a day. And even if it's the last thing you feel like doing. Especially if it's the last thing you feel like doing - some of my best inspiration has come on the days I didn't feel like writing, but made myself do it anyway. Your burning passion helps you to find the motivation to sit down day after day and write.
Thirdly, you need to grow a thick skin. When you finally pluck up the courage to put your book out into the world for people to read and judge, not everyone will love it. Sooner or later, you'll get a one star review; maybe more than one. You're in good company - even Charles Dickens has some. It will hurt, but once you've acknowledged it, don't dwell on it. Move on.
That's my wisdom. Now park your bum on the seat and write!
Types of Fiction
Taking the broad overview, many experts believe you can divide literature into two main types: Genre Fiction and Literary Fiction.
Genre Fiction is any book that can be categorised into one or more of the many existing genres, such as romance, fantasy, science fiction and crime. Under each major genre are dozens of subgenres - for example, Western romance, high fantasy, space opera and so on.
Literary Fiction is any book that doesn't fit into a genre, and many readers consider it to be more intellectual and highbrow. Essentially the aim of genre fiction is to entertain and provide an escape from reality, whereas the aim of literary fiction is to take the reader on an emotional journey to help them better understand themselves and the world.
Although I have enjoyed some literary fiction and books outside my usual genres, in these reviews I'll be sticking to my favourite genres - crime, suspense, thriller and noir. These genres frequently overlap, and many books fall into more than one genre. In fact, the first book I review under Crime, Boy Swallows Universe, straddles 5 genres!
If there's something about a book I don't like, I'll say so. But I won't review a book that I haven't enjoyed overall ; I can't see the point of that, because it's my enjoyment of books that I like to share.
I'll also disclose here that when I review a book, I use affiliate links to the relevant book retail sites, where possible. This allows me to earn a small commission if you purchase the book using that link, without any extra cost to you.
I hope you enjoy reading my reviews as much as I enjoy writing them. Reading a wide variety of well-written books has been a major contributor to the enhancement of my writing skills. If you'd like to chime in with your thoughts and opinions on the books I feature, please post your comments at the bottom of the review.
I look forward to seeing you there.