Approaching a significant birthday and without a real job for nearly ten years, I thought I’d do what any fantasy reading, Star Wars loving, ex-computer programmer would do, and start a blog.  A former bookseller, I have a passion for all things printed, and have been reviewing books on Amazon for several years.  This blog is a way of making it a little more personal.  I would dearly love to write my own original fiction, but probably don’t have the talent, and certainly don’t have the dedication.  So like many frustrated novelists, I criticise; it’s easy to do that when you don’t produce anything.  This blog is also a way of absorbing time I could spend writing.  I’m a few months in to blogging now, and I’m still not 100% sure where I’m going with it.  At the moment it’s all I can do to read and review my books, but one day I hope to add more variety.  Sometime around 2034.

I have a wife and three children, and take my role as house-husband, full-time dad and loafer very seriously.  So this blog will mostly be about books, but there may be the odd parenting tip in here too.   I read a lot of dystopian fiction, which is a depressing thing for a parent to do.  In theory I like crime fiction, but in practice, I moan about it.  A lot.

24 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello dear,
    I sincerely hope you are doing great and having a swell time. I’m dropping by to thank you for following my blog.
    It is my hope that I don’t disappoint you and that your visits to my blog have been and will always be quite enlightening, as well as entertaining.
    Please bear with me if I do not visit you often enough. But do keep up the good work and always try to make it a joyful experience for yourself & all of us out here!
    Thank you and have a lovely time at it.
    Always your friend!

  2. Hi! I’m just wondering if you ever accept books for review? I have one I think you might like, so if you’re interested, please let me know. It’s in electronic form at the moment, but there may be hard copies available soon.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Kasia,
      I don’t policy on reviews as nobody has ever asked me! I’ve had a look at the details for your book, and its premise does look interesting. If I’m honest the chances of me reading an electronic copy are zero, as I’m a traditionalist, but if hard copies do become available, then I would be happy to take a look. Let me know if they do, and good luck with the book!


      1. Hi Robin,
        Thanks! The hard copy should be available as soon as I get my act together, but I’ll certainly let you know.

      2. Hi Robin,
        Finally, we have the paperback! I’d be more than happy to send you a copy if you’re still interested. Perhaps emaill your postal address to kasia_oz(at)hotmail(dot)com, and I will send one winging its way towards you.
        Thank you!

  3. Hi Robin, I like that you loaf 🙂 I’ve come over from twitter (AmazingUmbrella) to give you my email address so that I can send you a copy of Simon Cup’s Box. syedab(at)totalise(dot)co(dot)uk

    I really hope that you and the kids enjoy reading it.

  4. Hi Robin,

    I’ve enjoyed your reviews on Amazon and your blog and was wondering if you would consider reviewing my YA sci-fi action-adventure novel Destroy All Robots?

    I’m not new to writing, as screenwriting is my day job (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1151911/), however this is my first novel which as you can imagine is a very different ball game. The creative freedom of writing for myself was a lot of fun; having to sell it myself less so! I appreciate that you must be inundated by requests for reviews and I totally understand if this isn’t something you’re interested in. But if you could spare the time, having a review from such a highly rated Amazon reviewer could make a truly massive difference to the success of my book.

    Here’s the book blurb and Amazon link:

    The ultimate robot-combat game show. One remote tropical island. Eight teams. Two hundred and fifty concealed killer robots.

    Fifteen year old inventor Toby Badernoch has noble plans for the $10,000,000 prize money – finding a cure for Matt, his terminally ill brother. But his robot is targeted by arch-rival Ray De Coza with lethal consequences. The sabotaged robot rampages, slaughtering the show’s presenter and forcing the TV crew to pull out, leaving the competitors and their super-aggressive robots stranded on the booby trapped island. Mutual mistrust leads to violence and soon Toby and his best friend, Caitlin Steel are fighting for their lives…


    Thanks for your time and wishing you health and happiness for 2013.


    1. Hi Darrin,
      Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily rule out reading your book, which looks like fun, I have a busy start to 2013, so I wouldn’t be able to fit it in until the spring. In addition I only read hard-copy books, no ebooks, so I would only really be interested if you had a physical book I could read.


  5. Hello Robin,

    Another aspiring author here, hoping to attract your attention to my novel, Respect for the Dead, and obtain a review to help me on my way. Having suffered the predictable and endless stream of rejections from agencies (just as I was warned would happen) I realise that the best route to success is to achieve a high profile with Amazon reviews.

    If you are prepared to take a look at the sample pages on Amazon, and think the novel appeal to you, I would happily post you a paperback version. The link to Amazon is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Respect-for-the-Dead-ebook/dp/B00CZSC7X8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377767577&sr=1-1&keywords=nick+o%27brien

    Many thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you.

    Best regards,

    Nick O’Brien

    1. Nice to have you on board! Hopefully there’s some interesting stuff ahead. I appear to be snowed under at the moment, but new reviews should appear soon!

  6. Dear Robin

    I would like to introduce you to the work of Marius Gabriel (www.marius-gabriel-author.com).

    If you feel you have the time to take a look, I’d be delighted to send you a complimentary paperback of any of the titles and I look forward to hearing from you,

    Frances Smythe for Marius Gabriel.

  7. After reading I Am Pilgrim and feeling really unhappy about the whole experience, I was looking for a book review which mirrored my dissatisfaction with the stupid plot and clumsy prose. After reading several rave reviews, I was about to give up when I stumbled across your blog and excellent review of the book. After figuring you knew a good book from a bad book, I checked out your recommended list and decided to go with The Devotion of Suspect X. I just finished reading it …. and I really enjoyed it. I’m a slow reader, but managed to finish the book in one weekend. I found it hard to put down, always wondering what was going to happen next. Looking forward to trying another one of your favourite books. I need a few more good books to dilute the unhappy memories from reading I Am Pilgrim.

    1. Thanks Bman. We do seem to be in the minority with our views on I am Pilgrim.
      I don’t read a huge number of crime thrillers these days but from before i started the blog, I can thoroughly recommend Henning Mankell’s Sidetracked or One Step Behind. Early Michael Connelly is good to. The Concrete Blonde might be a place to start.

  8. Same here. I picked up the book in a hurry going with WH Smith’s bestseller wall recommendations. I am Pilgrim was a very average beach read. The prose is pure cheese and it left me thinking that I’m either too picky or it’s hard to find an honest book review out there. And then I stumbled upon your blog, scanned your other reviews quickly, and I can tell I’ll be coming back for my future reads. I hope you’re an Amazon Affiliate so that I can repay the favor. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Geoff. I occasionally get over excited about books i read, but i always try to be honest. I’m not quite sure what an Amazon Affiliate is, so it’s probably safe to say I’m not one!

    1. Hi Rhys,
      If you can get a physical copy into my hands I’d be happy to give it a go. Although it looks like a sequel? If so I’d rather read book 1 first.


  9. Hi Robin:

    Like Bman above, I found you while searching for negative reviews of I Am Pilgrim. I too was disappointed with the plot and prose, and dismayed with the unmitigated praise heaped on a mediocre book. Hayes’ attempts to equate Islam with the Third Riech are lazy, unconvincing, and politically disturbing – thrillers relying on caricature are a dime a dozen, and I expected more given all the glowing reviews. I look forward to dipping into your recommendations – exciting to find you!

    Best wishes for a great 2015.

    1. Hi Maia,
      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed my review. Hope I can help you find some great reads in future, rather than just commiserate on a poor one. Best wishes for the new year!


  10. Dear Robin – have just read your review of ‘A discovery of Witches’ which chimed with what I thought about it. Would you be interested in reading my book, ‘Sophronia and the Vampire’? It’s a light-hearted witch/vampire romance; I like to think of it as Twilight for the menopause generation, although I don’t think my publishers were very keen on that tagline. Hard copy available.
    Look forward to hearing from you


    Jacqueline Farrell

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