29 September 2008

Refuge

I have gathered all the readers' reviews I can find, good or bad, from various places on the web, and reproduce them here at the risk of infringing the reviewers' copyright - if you have written one of these and object, please email me and I'll take it down right away.

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MobileRead Book Club discussion
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Paul Nash 14 Feb 10
*****
To begin with, as the Web can be a dodgy place and I deplore the literary tradition of arranging to be published and reviewed by one's friends, may I state that I do not know the author or have any connection with him apart from the purchase of this book.

Post-apocalypse has become a popular genre, making it more challenging for each new arrival. For me, 'Day of the Triffids' is one of the yardsticks among works by English authors, and this book is of similar quality, with one or two points of direct comparison.

It may suffice to say that I downloaded it, read the sample, bought it and read the rest all in one sitting.

It combines a page-turning plot with excellent writing. The style has a sinewy, economical poetry, and the author uses his evident knowledge of weapons, science and English literature to great effect. As well as telling an action story of occupation and resistance, he explores a philosophical argument between Satanic paganism and Christian morality through the conflict between a village dominated by religious fundamentalists and the gang of sadistic thugs who take it over.

This novel entertained me as a reader and impressed me with its literary qualities, and I recommend it.

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T. Carrion 31 Jan 10
****.

Well, first off, I really enjoyed the story as a whole. It was interesting, kept me thinking and I did want to keep reading the entire time.

There was only one problem with this great story! I don't know if it has anything to do with it being a British book or not. Perhaps people in Britain can read the occasional huge words he used. I am a medical student, and I had to keep my dictionary handy for some of the amazing words, a few of which my dictionary did not have. That is okay for lots of people, I am sure but I don't think everyone can handle that. In the United States, most books are written on the sixth grade level, unless they are science, textbooks, or something educational. This is so everyone can read it. I just loved the story but wow!

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of smart people here, but I don't think most would want to look things up while they are trying to get into a book. We like immediate satisfaction and quick understanding of the story lines. Also, it has a lot of homosexual descriptions in it and some rape of women. I just want you to know, in case you are triggered by things like that. It could bother sensitive readers who are uncomfortable with rape. I will tell you though, it is a good story. The author really knows his stuff. You can tell he is an intelligent person! Check it out if you aren't bothered by some of what I said. It will be worth it!

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Gilmartin 29 Jan 10
*****

Another winner from this wonderful and under-rated author. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed "The Penal Colony", I decided to read this and was not disappointed.

Herley beautifully creates situations in which to explore alternate moralities using succinctly defined and plausible characters.

A book which compels the reader from beginning to end.

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Kayla 11 Jan 10
*****

AMAZING BOOK!!!! very well written. good details. very good charactors that seem very real and important to the story.

it takes place in the near future where there is a huge disease going around that killed many. there are very few surviors left. there is one village who trys to kill and rape everyone. doesnt sound like a great book but once you get into it, it goes with the story. so... READ IT!!!! :) i promise you wont regret reading it, its an amazing book!!!

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jamjam 7 Jan 10
*****

After reading The Penal Colony and really enjoying that, I knew I wanted to read more by this author. This book pulls you right in and has excellent character development. Intense and very interesting viewpoints for this type of post apocalyptic scenario.

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trtsmb 27 Dec 09
*****

Excellent, fast moving story. Very interesting twist on the post-apocalyptic story.

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Dflower 23 Oct 09
*****

great read!

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ilikerobots 17 Oct 09
****.

Fast-paced with an accessible protagonist. I was impressed enough to donate a bit of change on the author's website in return for making this excellent work freely available to readers.

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Suzanne Francis 11 Feb 09
*****

Gripping. Loved it!

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Lucas 19 Nov 08
*****

Wonderful! A grand adventure.

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lifh 10 Oct 08
****.

great!

4 comments:

Christine said...

Hi. I just finished reading Refuge and I thought it was very good. I sent in my money. Thanks :)

I'm going to read the trilogy one of these days.

David said...

Thanks for a great read.
And thanks to you, as a big reader, I now understand that a good writer without an editor can take you to places that you haven't been before. Some parts of Refuge made me uncomfortable like no other book has before.
Congratulations and keep up the great work.

Benjamin Duffy said...

(From my four-star Goodreads.com review)

When this novel first came to my attention, I was excited, since Richard Herley had already authored one of my favorite books, the outstanding The Penal Colony. Then, when I read the blurb and realized what Refuge was about, I admit my excitement faltered a bit. I felt the post-apocalyptic, I'm-the-last-man-on-Earth survival milieu had already been pretty well strip-mined in a hundred works ranging from I Am Legend to Children of Men to The Stand, and I thought it would be difficult for an author to come along in 2008 and give the genre a treatment that was anything other than derivative and tired.

Happily, I was wrong. Herley immediately puts his stamp on the proceedings, much as he does in his other works, with concise, economical detail, great pacing, and a level of research and thinking-through that leaves the reader wondering why other novelists didn't think of these things. His chops as a writer are simply amazing - several wide cuts above the average writer of popular fiction. Several themes from Herley's other works are revisited here, most notably the villains' Christian/Satanic delusions and the protagonists' struggles for survival in a wild, uncaring natural world, but it's a very different novel to The Penal Colony.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you like brainy, propulsive thrillers with characters who are complex, flawed and not always easy to love, this is the book for you. And as the book is available for free download (with donations accepted via the honor system) on Feedbooks, Manybooks, or his own website, www.richardherley.com, there's no excuse not to.

thisdamecooks said...

Thank you so much for an amazing read...Refuge. I couldn't lay it down!

I've read all your books from obooko.com and would gladly pay a fee for the pleasure.