‘Call me Ishamael’ you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that you were about to start reading Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick. But this is a series which is set to be a completely different type of classic.
This is the second book I’ve read in the Ishmael Jones series by Simon R Green and the fourth in the series overall. Which answers the question do I need to read them in order? No. There is always a little background at the beginning that fills you in on who Ishmael is and what’s going on with him.
Ishmael Jones (which isn’t his real name) is an alien who crash landed on earth 50 years ago, his spaceship turned him into something resembling a human and he’s since joined the service of a covert government operation led by the strict Colonel.
The Ishmael books all feature a mystery which Ishmael and his endearing human girlfriend Penny have to solve. This time they’re carted off to the mysterious house of the Colonel’s wife’s family who hold one of the largest private collections of Egyptian artefacts in the world. Including a brand new mummy that they want to show off.
The Ishmael Jones series is an excellent example of genre blending, imagine Scoony Doo meets My Parents are Aliens for grownups. Ishmael and Penny have an amusing relationship and the books are just generally very easy reads, they’re not particularly long and the mysteries are hard to solve because it’s usually something supernatural at work and hiding in plain sight.
I’ve really enjoyed this series so far and hope there will be some more if only to determine Ishamael’s true origins. Will he ever know where he came from and why?
I am reeling. The roof has blown off the top of my head. I am in shock. My mind is full of turmoil. This book has destroyed me and everything I’ve ever thought was right with the world. But in a good way because it was absolutely fantastic.
Creepy, weird, fast paced, psychologically gripping and with a paranormal twist to the theme the best way I could describe this book is by saying you should imagine the brain child of Gillian Flynn and Stephen King and that’s what this book is.
Louise has had it rough since her husband left her for another woman. With a 6 year old son to look after she doesn’t get out much but on a rare night out she meets David a dashing stranger and they share a kiss. It’s only the next day that’s things turn awkward when she meets her new boss… David. To make matters worse David’s husband Adele is lonely and desperate for a friend and Louise is drawn to her and wants to help her. Here begins a crazy love triangle.
Sarah Pinborough is an amazing story weaver. She doesn’t ‘tell’ the story, she doesn’t ‘write’ the story. She weaves it. It took me only three hours to read this because I couldn’t put it down. Just as I thought I knew what was happening something came up which made me throw doubt on what I thought I knew until finally I realised I knew nothing at all and had no choice but to let the story carry me where it wanted me to go. As for the ending. Obviously I’m not going to include spoilers but i can honestly say that having read 199 books just this year I haven’t come across one other book which carried off a twist like that without me working first. If I didn’t have deadlines I don’t think I could read anything else for a while after that. It’s certainly going to stay with me for a long time to come.
Thank you to Netgalley for my ARC
This is one of those books that I shouldn’t have liked. Why? You ask. Because it’s completely ridiculous. But surprisingly, it works.
Ishmael Jones is an alien. I’ll get that out there straight away. This is actually the 3rd book in a series about him but the first one I’ve read. I’m definitely intrigued to read some more of them now! Ishmael and his partner/girlfriend Penny work for ‘The Organisation’ a mysterious, well… organisation who sent Ishmael on jobs to rid the world of monsters and murderers and thinks that go bump in the night. In Very Important Corpses; Ishmael and Penny go off to Loch Ness to investigate the death of a fellow agent right in the middle of the meeting of a secret society.
It wasn’t even that this book was particularly well written in terms of being some kind of literary genius. It was more that it was funny, witty, engaging, page turning and just about everything you could want from a book where the main character is a sort of alien detective. There’s a hint of mystery and thriller but tied in with the sci-fi genre making it extra interesting.
A delightfully easy read and I get the feeling the Ishmael Jones series is about to become my guilty pleasure!
Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for my ARC.
The Case of the Green Dressed Ghost appealed to me as a read now on Netgalley purely because of the blurb and the colour. I’m not really one for ghost stories but as this one seemed to have a little mystery to it I decided to give it a try.
This is Lucy Banks’ first published novel and I must say I enjoyed the story/plot immensely.
Kester is devastated when his mum dies but intrigued by the mysterious message in her dying words. Kester’s mum tells him he must find Dr Ribaro and tell him who he is. After some serious googling Kester is non the wiser, so armed with the address he found in his mothers address book he heads to Exeter where he is pulled into the world of Dr Ribaro’s supernatural agency. This novel documents the adventures of Kester and the rest of the staff at the agency.
The character of Kester is not your typical hero. 22 years old he is a mummy’s boy and an academic having recently graduated from Cambridge. He has a paunch, psoriasis covered hands and pale flabby skin and he dresses like a middle aged professor. However Banks is skilled in that she writes him as being both amusing and capable completely without meaning to be.
The other characters are also very interesting and I’m intrigued to see if future novels in this series will focus on some of their back stories a little more. The storyline was engaging and interesting and I loved the idea behind it. It reminded me a lot of ghostbusters as it’s quite tongue in cheek but in some parts was actually quite scary!
There’s only one criticism I could really throw at this. I think the book could have done with more strict editing. In parts it was overloaded with cliches and way too many similes and other ‘writers techniques’. It could have had a lot of this ‘filler’ and fluff removed and replaced with some more interesting insight into the characters. Other than that I really enjoyed it and would look forward to reading more from this author.