Sunday, April 24, 2016

A spy thriller for smart readers

The Wishing Shelf Book Awards
(which provided the title above as a catchy phrase I can use as well as the full report below)

This book was recently entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:

Title: The Chinese Spymaster
Author: Hock G. Tjoa
Star Rating: 4 Stars
Number of Readers: 19

Editing: 8/10
Style: 7/10
Content: 9/10
Cover: 5/10

Of the 19 readers:
12 would read another book by this author.
3 thought the cover was excellent.
7 thought the Chinese setting was the best part of the book.
7 felt the text was often a little too complex and difficult to follow.
5 felt the pacing was too slow.

Readers’ Comments

‘Behind this very simple cover is a pretty interesting spy story. The author is an academic and this shows in the style of the writing. If you enjoy the simplicity of Clive Cussler, this is not for you. There is a strong political element to the story and there is a lot of ‘telling’ and not ‘showing’, speech being sparse and a little wooden. As a result, it feels cold and reminds me of a newspaper article.’ Male reader, aged 45

‘This is a rather thoughtful book. It is NOT an action-packed thriller but I don’t think the author wants it to be. What it is, is a thoughtful, well-researched looked at political intrigue and terrorism dynamics. Where there is fighting, the author seems a little lost. Definitely for the high-brow thriller reader.’ Female reader, aged 61

‘There’s a lot of info in this story; so much so, it kills the pace. If you fancy a book which will help you to understand the complexity of Chinese government, then this is for you. If you want fast-paced adventure, try Jack Higgins.’ Male reader, aged 33

‘Very enjoyable story. I loved all the Chinese history and how cleverly the Spymaster plays the spying game.’ Female reader, aged 41

[The above is the report, "warts and all" as they say, from]

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