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Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 12:34 am
May was not a good month for reading for me, with three chemotherapy pulses sqeueezed in over just a few weeks. Most nights afterwards I wasn't able to read anything at all. Even in hospital I couldn't read much, because it was often too busy/noisy.

However I did finish four books. So here's my writeup of them all.

First up was Gary Russell's Torchwood book The Twilight Streets. I've been meaning to read this for ages, having the hardback print copy, but never quite getting round to it. However being able to buy it again for my Kindle prompted me to read it at long last. It reintroduces the character of Bilis Manger, who was one of the highlights of the spin-off series for me. The first third of the book was good, building up a threat to the Torchwood team, and very atmospheric. Unfortunately once things started to be resolved / explained things took a major downturn for me, with a plot that felt that it was stretched and should have been wrapped up sooner. So although I enjoyed the beginning hugely by the end I found it an unsatisfying read. The characters of all the Torchwood crew were well written, as was Bilis Manger. I just had big issues with the underlying plotting.

Then I read Michael Bond's new Paddington Races Ahead, which has a sort of London 2012 Olympics theme running through it. That was fun. As usual the book was lots of little self-contained stories in chapters, nicely illustrated, and proving that Paddington Bear is still good to read about over 50 years after he was first in print.

I gave my Mum a copy of Tom Cox's Under the Paw: Confessions of a Cat Man for Christmas, and she enjoyed it immensely. I had to wait for the Kindle version. It was worth it. It's a bit of a rag taggle tale of one man's life with lots of cats. And when I say lots I mean lots. At times it was hard to keep count of how many he had. But they all had very individual personalities, and were entertaining to read about. Especially The Bear, one of the most characterful cats I've ever read about.

Finally I finished Big Finish's new Blake's 7 novel The Forgotten by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright. I saw Blake's 7 on TV as a child. I can barely remember the early years, and have stronger memories of the later seasons. This book goes right back to near the start, with the original crew. I wasn't sure if I would remember enough. But I needn't have worried. It's well written sci fi, and the authors capture the original characters well. I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone with fond memories of Blake's 7 from 30+ years ago, or who just likes well-written sci fi stories. Indeed I liked this book so much that I posted a review about it (4/5 stars) to both Goodreads and Amazon UK. This novel is the first in a new series of Blake's 7 novels (as well as audiobooks) from Big Finish. I look forward to reading more.