Tag: Literary Gripe

Thirst by L.A. Larkin

Posted September 16, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Thriller / 0 Comments

Thirst by L.A. LarkinTitle: Thirst (Goodreads)
Author: L.A. Larkin
Published: Pier 9, 2012
Pages: 332
Genres: Thriller
My Copy: ARC from Publisher

Buy: Book Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

In the harsh environment of the Antarctic, the people of Hope Station are been hunted down. Glaciologist, Luke Searle has to fight for survival against a mercenary that will win at any cost, while trying to prevent an environmental disaster. He only has 5 days to fix this, can he stay alive long enough? Does he really know what he is going up against? L.A. Larkin’s Thirst is an Eco-Thriller set in one of the harshest environments known to man.

Thirst is a fast paced novel that will suck you right in with its constant suspense and the unpredictable elements within this book. The harsh setting of Antarctica and the sense of solitude and danger really helped drive this book and became my favourite element of this book. But there was something in the book that really didn’t sit well with me. This book has one of my Literary Bête Noires in it; the villains. I’ve blogged recently about how I never seem to enjoy cliché villains and unfortunately the fact that the protagonist was up against the Chinese in the book really detracted from my overall enjoyment of this book.

Apart from that one element, this book is a typical thriller, highly enjoyable read with some explosive situations. I’m happy that the book never seemed to go into the realm of formulaic but it did sit on the border and I did feel myself cringe at that thought it might head in that direction. Thankfully Larkin’s was able to recover with her writing style and her research of the environmental aspects of this book.  I must admit that towards the end of the book, when I pictured the protagonist Luke Searle, I kept comparing him to Steven Seagal and expected him to act that way.

Thirst was an enjoyable Eco-Thriller which was a lot of fun to read, while I did struggle with the villains being cliché, I did enjoy reading this novel. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes a good light read. I know many people are going to compare this book to Matthew Riley’s Ice Station but that shouldn’t be deterrent, it’s nice to see a female (why is there a lack of thrillers written by women within Australia?) can write a thriller just as exciting as something written by Riley.


Literary Bête Noires: Villains

Posted September 15, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literary Bête Noires / 0 Comments

I’ve felt like my blog is starting to be overrun by book reviews and there is less to do with random book banter than I would like. So I plan to rectify this with introducing some more regular segments. In this one, I want to look at thinks that I find in books that either annoy or don’t sit right with me. Everyone has pet peeves with literature, it can be topics that have been overdone, cliches or just the way people seem to write. So I wanted to go though some of my literary bête noires as a therapeutical way to vent and maybe generate some interesting conversations in the comments.

The first literary gripe I want to look at has to do with villains. If you are writing a book and the villains are Russians, Chinese, or Middle Eastern then you have pretty much lost me already. There are other countries that annoy me to a lesser extent. But it’s not really the country that is the problem, all the writer is doing is generalising the people by making it sound like that the entire nation is full of villains; that is just plain lazy.

Alright it’s understandable if you are setting it in a war but when writing a thriller how about mixing it up a bit try something original, that’s all I’m asking. This formulaic approach to villains are one of my biggest problems with action or thriller novels. As soon as you enter into overdone territory with villains you’ve lost me.

There are more elements I find annoying with villains in literature but I mainly wanted to focus on nationality for this one. Please let me know your thoughts on villain nationality or villains in general and if you have any other insights on the topic that I’ve missed.