Saturday 30 June 2007


Apologies to all our dear readers, but the list of candidates posted for May was incorrect - some of the books listed were actually read in June, and therefore are not eligible for May!

The list should have read:

Battlestar Galactica
Slaves of the Mastery
7 Days in Hell
13 tragic tales - A series of Unfortunate Events
Dean Koontz Frankenstein - Prodigal Son
Dean Koontz Frankenstein - City of Night
The Poison Belt
Chingles From The East
Raven's gate

In view of this mistake, we have given an extra week for the vote for BEST READ MAY. Those who have already voted need not do so again - unless they voted for one of the books that should NOT have been there! (Mango: The Unlucky Monkey, Fear is the Key, Night Without End and the Dark Crusader)

Friday 29 June 2007


Don't forget - today is your last chance to vote for the Best Read for May!

So hurry up and get your votes in!

Thursday 28 June 2007


Valpot read the following books recently - here's what she has to say about them:

41. The Partner - John Grisham
Better written than other books of his that I've read (much less waffle and padding), nonetheless I felt the plot of this story was too thin (and predictable) for a full length novel. The final twist, apart from the routiness of it, didn't fit well with his depiction of the character involved. It was an obvious cheat. Having said that, well, it's readable.
Rating: Half-way Decent

42. Blood-Drenched Altars
This is a history of Mexico, particularly how advanced a country it was prior to the series of revolutions and Marxist governments which destroyed it. And continue to do so to this day, although the book - disappointingly - only went up to 1930. Very interesting.
Rating: Interesting

43. The Boy in Striped Pyjamas
Wonderful, fantastic, amazing, book of the year - not. I had reservations about this book because of all the hype, and the fact that the author said he wouldn't dare write a story from the point of view of a Jew in a concentration camp. Unfortunately, for me anyway, the "voice" of the book was not genuine, the protagonist was unconvincing as were his family, and what could have been a very moving book was too false and self-conscious to be readable.
Rating: Almost Darren Shan

44. Demon Seed
I saw the film and thought it was very 70's, and not much good. Dean Koontz practically re-wrote this book a few years ago - I'd imagine it was a great improvement on the first. It's (was) an original idea, and the computer as narrator is very chilling.
Rating: Not Bad

45. When Eight Bells Toll
Haven't read this Alastair McLean for a while. It's a well-written thriller, although you have to laugh at the 35 year-old actress with the face of an eighty-year-old. Formula McLean but enjoyable.
Rating: Not Bad.

Tuesday 26 June 2007


Here are the latest reviews from Inkpot:

41. MARLEY AND ME by John Grogan.
I couldn’t take to this book, although it is short and succinctly written. It tells the story of a very average journalist and his very average uncontrollable, badly behaved dog. I got tense just reading about it.

4/10 Half way decent

42. HEART SHAPED BOX by Joe Hill
On the back of this book Neil Gaimen showers it with praise. Because of his glowing review, I bought it. After reading it, I have not regretted my decision. Everything he says about it is true. It is a genuinely scary book, with realistic likeable characters, a fast paced page turning rhythm and enough creepy moments to keep you from sleeping. Be warned, this is not a book to read before bedtime.

9/10 A good piece of fiction.

43. THE GOOD GUY by Dean Koontz
Reading The Good Guy, I had the feeling that I had read it all before. Solid, all round decent man Tim gets unwittingly embroiled in the assassination attempt of an unknown woman (alla Velocity, The Husband), he goes on the run to save her (not unlike TickTock) and battles a hitman who just lives to kill (similar to the hitman clone in Mr Murder). Having said that, the book is well written, fast paced and the characters are likeable. Not Dean’s best work, but a lot better than Life Expectancy.

5/10 Readable

44. THE PRESTIGE by Christopher Priest
After reading Christopher Priest’s collection of short stories, The Dream Archipelago, I was hesitant to try another of his works. However, the film of The Prestige intrigued me, and I was interested to see how the source material differed from the movie. I am glad to report that the book is a very clever and enjoyable read. It is told from the view point of rival magicians, Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier, and two of their great grandchildren. Each of the voices is distinct and the story is built up well from the different view points. Knowing the story of the film did not diminish my enjoyment of the book in the least. Highly recommended.

8/10 I like it

45. A REBEL FROM RICHES by Bede Reynolds
The blurb of this book is excellent although, unfortunately the content does not live up to it. Kenyon Reynolds was born in the U.S of A in the 19th century to well off Episcopalian parents. He had a good education, was devoted to God, married his soul mate, made millions in the petrol business, retired in his thirties and toured the world and converted to Catholicism. He had a good life. After years of happy marriage, his wife died. After her death, he became a priest. His story is undoubtedly interesting, it is just he spends little time on his conversion and becoming a priest – which interested me most – and dwells mostly on the less interesting minutiae of his early life.


Monday 25 June 2007


Some great books in our list of candidates for BEST READ MAY!

Have a look and get your votes in by Friday 29th June!

Slaves of the Mastery

7 Days in Hell
13 tragic tales - A series of Unfortunate Events
Dean Koontz Frankenstein - Prodigal Son
Dean Koontz Frankenstein - City of Night
The Poison Belt
Chingles From The East
Raven's gate
Mango: The Unlucky Monkey
Night without End
Fear is the Key
The Dark Crusader
Battlestar Galactica

Sunday 24 June 2007


The runaway winner for April was - no surprise here - Mango: The Unlucky Monkey by Mungo.

Second place was tied between I am Legend and Coraline, so both books will go forward to the end of year vote.

Congratulations, Mungo - well done on winning again!

Friday 22 June 2007


Last chance to vote for BEST READ April!

Winners will be posted soon.

Have a good weekend, dear readers!

Wednesday 20 June 2007


I realise that we are a little behind (it's all the excitement over the Best Read awards), but let's take a look at the June targets of the DNS.

Blueberry: Any plans for this month that you care to tell us about?

Blueberry: Enjoy the June sunshine, if there is any.

Inkpot, life has been hectic for you recently. Are you going to aim high for June?

Inkpot: I have about 35 books to read this month - I hope to be able to read as many of them as possible. Also I would like to finish Til The Moon Fails.

Great news, Inkpot - I hope I'll get to read it.
Marvin, how about you?

Marvin: I have no specific targets this month. I will, of course, be doing my best to support the DNs in all their endeavours.

Including me, I hope - hee! Hee!

Mungo, I'm sure you'll be busy this month?

Mungo: I intend to start Rainbow and the Mountain of Life this month. My fans are clamouring for it.

I'm looking forward to it, as is all of the wider public.

November, what's happened to the mystery blog?

November: Nothing.

But that's the problem - nothing is happening!

October: Don't worry - June will see a couple of posts, all right.

That's good news, at least.

Parsley, how about you - any targets set?

Parsley: No targets this month.

Sparkie, what about you - have you any targets set for this month?

Sparkie: I have no targets this month either.

And finally, Valpot - what excuses do you have for this month, now that the exams are over?

Valpot: Ha, ha. Well, my exam was on Tuesday 12th - so that means half the month is already over. And naturally job hunting in earnest has to begin... However, I do hope to get TLD sent out to an agent before the end of the month. I have started working on a synopsis but am finding it extremely difficult to write - so any volunteers out there?

We'll put the word out for you - so any readers out there willing to help out poor Valpot?

Valpot: I also have 31 books to read this month, which might prove a little difficult!

Best of luck with your targets, Nodpots - we look forward to hearing how you get on!


You only have until this Friday to vote for the BEST READ April - so keep those votes coming in!

Thanks to thsoe who have already voted!

Tuesday 19 June 2007


Here's the latest from Valpot on the book pledge (yes, readers, both pledgers are lagging seriously behind - it is almost half-way through the year, they should be well in the 60's, if not the 70's by now! Maybe they are though, and are just drip feeding us?)

What can I say about this absolutely fantastic book? It's absolutely fantastic! Like Mungo's brilliant first novel, the writing is beautiful, colourful and polished, the action is fast and exciting, the characters are charming and endearing, and the story is packed full of humour, heavily laced with thrilling adventure. Not to be missed!!!

Rating: Shines like the Lucky Diamond!

I don't think the author of this biography of Fr William Doyle actually gives his name, which is a pity for he has done an excellent job. One of the great things about this life of this Irish Jesuit who dies in the trenches in 1917 is that the author quotes hugely from the holy priest's own letters and diaries. One of the many remarkable things about this man - apart form his love of God and man, his indefatigable work for salvation, his personal self-sacrifice and self-discipline and holiness - is that he was gifted with excellent writing ability and managed to find time to describe in detail what he saw. This is particularly moving during his time at the front. Reading this book will give you a great insight into the Fr Doyle - holy, humorous, courageous, totally unselfish and self-sacrificing - and a great liking for him. You are only left to wonder - why has he not been canonised?
Rating: 10/10 (Highly recommended)

38. Night without end by Alastair McLean
I read (and re-read) loads by this author when I was in school, and have to say I think he writes very well. I haven't read him for a while, though I must have read this story dozens of times. It still is very enjoyable, despite the hero getting absolutely everything wrong!

Rating: Good piece of fiction

39. Fear is the key by Alastair McLean
When I read this first (in school also) I thought it was brilliant, the plot so clever. This time it didn't work so well for me, and it was a bit grimmer (understandably in the context of the story). Still good, though but no longer one of my favourites.
Rating: I like it

40. the Dark Crusader by Alastair McLean
Classic McLean. Good story, action and character from the start. One of my favourites
Rating: Good piece of fiction

Monday 18 June 2007


The BEST READ APRIL candidates are:

Killers of the Dawn
Hollow people
The Wind Singer

The Dream Archipelago
Burnt Offerings
Mango: The Unlucky Monkey
Dean Koontz Frankenstein - Prodigal Son
Resident Evil Underworld
Dean Koontz Frankenstein - City of Night
Dr Who - The Face of Evil & the sunmakers
I am Legend


And the winner is... (no surprise here!) Dracula, by Bram Stoker.

Second place (just about) goes to Firesong, by William Nicholson. This is his second nomination - he also wrote Slaves of the Mastery!

Anyway, well done Bram & Bill!

Thursday 14 June 2007


Here are the next five books from Inkpot:

Mills and Boon is a multi million Euro industry with hundreds of books published each year and many women literally addicted to their literature. Recently the RTE guide ran a competition to find the next great romance writer and gave away this book free. In the interest of research, I read it. It had everything you could expect from a Mills and Boon romance – exotic location, hero and heroine hating each other before realising how much they loved each other, happy ending. After reading it, I realised I am not a romance writer and didn’t enter the competition. I just couldn’t write a story without a few zombies popping up somewhere or one of the protagonists getting killed. Because of this, I will not rate this book. I’m sure it is an excellent example of the genre, but it just isn’t my cup of tea.

37. THE SECRET by Rhonda Byrne
The secret is, whatever you think about you will get. So if you imagine yourself with wealth and status, and believe it is real, you will be the next Bill Gates. This doesn’t bode well for me, although I haven’t yet turned into a wolf or encountered any zombies in real life.

38. MR MURDER by Dean Koontz
Mr Koontz, I salute you. This is an excellent book with a spine chilling adversary and a very likeable family that you root for. It is fast paced, keeps your interest and is truly unputdownable. The end is a little disappointing, but he had painted himself into a corner and there was no other way he could realistically get out of it.

9/10 A good piece of fiction

39. THE BONE COLLECTOR by Jeffery Deaver
The movie of this book is one of my favourites, so I approached this book with some trepidation. Could it live up to my expectations? It did, and surpassed them. Excellently written, imaginative crime thriller with enough science to intrigue and enough humanity to keep you interested. It is quite different from the movie, which made it all the more interesting, and I could see Denzel and Angelina playing the different parts. I’m looking forward to reading the next Lincoln Rhyme in the series.

8/10 I like it

This book has taught me, among other things, that Neanderthals couldn’t cry, didn’t speak with words but used sign language instead and used an early form of the contraceptive pill. I wouldn’t have minded this fantasy so much if it hadn’t been passed off by the author as fact. Apparently this book was also made into a movie, staring Daryl Hannah. It is the first book in a hugely successful series, entitled Earth’s Children. I am going to pass on the sequels though.

1/10 Darren Shan-Tastic

Monday 11 June 2007


And the candidates for BEST READ MARCH 2007 are:

7 little Australians
Pistols for Two
Artemis Fowl & The Lost Colony
Darren Shan Allies of the night
Death du Jour
The Time Traveller's Wife
Lucinda's Secret

You have until Friday 15th June to get your votes in!!

Sunday 10 June 2007


Thanks to the votes from our loyal readers, we have a BEST READ FEBRUARY - and it is Black Rabbit Island by Valinora Troy. Runner up is The Slaves of The Mastery by William Nicholson.

Thanks for all your votes - I hope to see you support the Best Read for March next week!

Friday 8 June 2007


Don't forget to vote for February's Best Read, if you haven't done so already!

Today is the last to vote for it!

Next week we will post the nominees for March Best Read!

Thursday 7 June 2007


Breaking news - there's a new blog in town!

It's called "Random thoughts of the Monster" and it's good - very humorous and intriguing! I think it is the Choccie Monster, once a fan of Mungo's (and perhaps still is!).

Check it out anyway - there's a link below (non-DN blogs section) or find it at http://randomthoughtsofthemonster.blogspot


Let's take a look at the DNs activities during May & see how they got on.

Inkpot, you wanted to finish Til The Moon Fails, enter the Hughes & Hughes competition, and update blogs - how did you get on?

Inkpot: Didn't enter the Hughes & Hughes competition, Unfortunately didn't get to finish TTMF - but very nearly finished! Back in the Saddle blog was updated regularly, and updated the writing one a couple of times also.

Well, there's always June!

Mungo, you were going to start Rainbow and the Mountain of Life, and tour the country.

Mungo: Due to a concatenation of events, both the tour and starting Rainbow have been put back to June

Marvin, how are the website and blog going?

Marvin hangs head in shame but says nothing.

Parsley, did you get the cash from Iseult?

Parsley: It's like getting blood from a stone. I believe she has it - as she is buying books and going to conventions - but none of it is coming my way.

And with the SSIAs just in too! Poor Parlsey!

Sparkie, you were awfully adventurous, deciding to take on the minutes like that. Were you successful?

Sparkie: It's a big task, and one I haven't completed yet.

Blueberry, I know you plan to enter Mungo's competition - have you started your tale yet?

Blueberry: Still on the thinking stage

October and November - your blog has been pretty quiet recently...?

October: Really? There's a reason for that.

November: Yes, we've been very busy doing stuff. Back some time in June.

We all look forward to it, I'm sure!

Finally, Valpot - your plans seemed to be mainly to study, though you did mention the possibility of entering the H&H competition also.

Valpot: I'm afraid May was a month of studying, as will most of the first half of June - and then there'll be -

I haven't asked you about June yet, Valpot - Just May.

Valpot: Oh, alright. Yes, I studied all May.

Well done, Nodpots - looking forward to hearing what you have planned for June.

Saturday 2 June 2007


Well, Readers - you did a great job voting for the Best Read January. Hope you are as interested in the February books - here are the reads for February!

The Chringles go West
The Opal Deception

A Good Man is Hard to Find
The Windsinger
Stranger to the Sun
Tyrannosaur Canyon
The Slaves of the Mastery
Black Rabbit Island
The Eyes of Darkness
Deja Dead
The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Day after Tomorrow

Remember, you have until next Friday to cast your vote!

Friday 1 June 2007


Here is the result from our reader's poll:

The best read in January was voted to be: LEAF: IN SERACH OF RAMUNE by Mungo.

The runner-up was THE LUCKY DIAMOND by Valinora Troy,

Both of these books will go onto the short list for BEST READ 2007.

Thanks for all your votes!

Don't forget - you have until June 8th to vote for Best Read February! A list of the books elible to win will be posted early next week.