charlie james recent comments

written 269 days ago

Read up to the end of chapter two. Fun stuff, with some nice lines, ezpecially the helen of troy bit.

I'm not sure the pitch dies this justice though, it's a damn sight better than advertised and e prologue opening works well to my mind. I know some don't like them but I think that is a really good hook.

Well written, nice turn of phrase. Elements of George McDonald Frazer.

So, very good, justifies the humour tag, and I can see why it is riding high. view book

written 273 days ago

CLOG Review

Read to the end of chapter three. This is an amiable amble through what appears to be a small village. It has elements of lovejoy and the vicar of dibley about it, perhaps withou the farce of the latter. It also had a similar vibe to the movie keeping mum.

All in all therefore, a pleasant, light hearted jaunt. So what to think about? Personally I wasn't entirely sure where the plot was going to take me. There didn't seem to be anything telegraphed in those first chapters and the pitch is fairly silent on what the storyline frugally is, this perhaps ties in with the thought that this is heavy on description. I don't ink that this is a bad thing, but it might be stopping the novel from getting a crack on and getting to the drama/conflict/mystery or whatever is at the heart of the plot.

A nice, pleasant effort, though. Seem shapening and some more silos ting forthe plot, and this could go quite high, I think. view book

written 274 days ago

I put this on my watchlist because if it's anywhere near as funny and imaginative as your childrens' story Marshmallow Raisin... it will be an entertaining read. I'm just not reading too far because of some of the comments that make it sound a bit "explicit" for my preferences...


It is, perhaps more so, but I warn you it is rude. Not as rude as the first one (although they are stand alone booked, arterial spray is he first book with these characters). Read only if you like Tom sharp, Ben Elton and the like. view book

written 274 days ago

I put this on my watchlist because if it's anywhere near as funny and imaginative as your childrens' story Marshmallow Raisin... it will be an entertaining read. I'm just not reading too far because of some of the comments that make it sound a bit "explicit" for my preferences...


It is, perhaps more so, but I warn you it is rude. Not as rude as the first one (although they are stand alone booked, arterial spray is he first book with these characters). Read only if you like Tom sharp, Ben Elton and the like. view book

written 276 days ago

Thanks for your kind words! view book

written 277 days ago

CLOG Review

Evening. First off, Marcus is clearly a bastard. A mouldering pile of regurgitated grass cuttings. . Will people that know you, know who he's based on? Coz I reckon that there is something a bit real world there. Anyway, he's clearly a cock, and this brings me to my first thought, I wondered if there was a bit too much domesticity with this and not enough Marcus is a cock stuff. I wanted the build up to his dalliance to be bigger and the reveal and the consequences more farcical, but then that ties in with my preferred genre, and I don't really do chick lit.

Next, I liked the prologue, a nice hook for a murder mystery type novel. Slightly Linwood Barclay. Especially with the normalcy stuff that follows.

So, interesting premise, well constructed, and clearly told, even if I wanted a bit more pizzaz for the Marcus eviction. Quite harper Collins, I think, if I'm honest.

But, and I know you knew this was coming, in my view there is a bit of an identity crisis going on with this in the first chapters (I went up to the end of two). It is a bit chick lit, a bit domestic thriller, a bit soap opera, a bit mystery. I dont think all these can work together and you need to choose one or two and committ to them. I'm sorry to say that I don't think it is comedy, or at least I don't think it is in the first few chapters and I think if you are pitching it as comedy, there needs to be more of a comedic feel or tone in these bits or will get binned by thoe looking for comedy. Some tweaking could puch into humour though. Personally therefore I'd try and decide what you want this to be, it seems to serious without the farce to pitch for comedy easily, but could see this going towards the domestic thriller side very well and this is where I think the strength cold lie if re-tooled in the linwood Barclay style. It isn't a too distant tone from what is there and would have a wider market perhaps than chick lit alone. Jut my thoughts, which are generally confused so pay as little or as much need as you might wish. Or add more jokes. The Marcus eviction and him doinking his ex could be golden for some nice descriptive Ben Walton esque prose.

Have allotted some nice shines stars. view book

written 280 days ago

Hi, I saw your post in the Children's genre. I tried to read your book, but all three chapters only have a title page, there is no story text.


Thanks for the effort!

I've no idea what the problem is though, if I click on it, it is all there, you just need to scroll down a bit. view book

written 362 days ago

A sliver of Douglas Adams with a good chunk of Tom Holt. An interesting concept that has been well executed. The humour is subtle and based on word play and wit, and although this isn't a bad thing, personally, for me, I feel that this means that it clearly in the humour category, rather than comedy. This does make some of the bigger jokes stand out though, but I felt I wanted a few more of these.

I've read to the end of chap 8 and enjoyed it, I like the character of Denton and I liked Jesus. I did wonder at the portrayal of the other worldly civil service and found is perhaps disconcertingly accurate...

All in all, a really worthwhile read. Nice idea, well done, and the potential for a good story. Perhaps a few more bigger jokes in the first 8 would be nice, and perhaps a change of pace, add a bang or a bigger hook to get folk rolling along.

Good stuff. I think you should be happy with this.

view book

written 424 days ago

Ok, read your other one and liked it. This seems to need a polish (for example where did the bars come from? - chapter two) but otherwise, it has potential I think. I started to get into it a bit more once the actual narrative started on board the wolfhound with the army chap using the loo, up until then it seemed a tad disjointed and a bit trivia/ fact heavy. This distracted me a bit.

All in all though, looking like a decent start. As ever, happy to read more and properly if you are happy to send a PDF.


Cj. view book

written 428 days ago

Nicely done. Some good lines, I liked the rioting/aggressive shopping bit. Perhaps a little more Ben Elton than python though.

Personally, I liked the premis, and I can see where you are going with it, but I felt there was just a little too much new world for me to take in right from the off. This said I'm fairly simplistic so for this genre I think the approach is probably fairly solid. That said, i didnt figure out the whole thing was malone until half way down the first chapter.

I liked the general concept, a bit futurama-y but with a twist. And a bit scary. I could see this happening...

Does it justify the comedy tag ( a bone of contention with me), I think it perhaps just does.

Good show.

There are a few typos, but I don't think these detract. view book

written 459 days ago

Excellent crime novel... i came by to peruse, got hooked into the death penalty stuff, and then i found myself 'turning' page after page.

I did notice a few typos in the beginning, but after that I was too involved to notice

high stars!
Jaclyn x

It Never Happened

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written 487 days ago


Have read up to chapter 7. A few points comments.

Firstly, this has potential, I think. A definite Grisham or Simon kernick feel to it all. I can see why it has had succession other territories. That said, the legal technicalities in the first section with the law do show that you are not familiar witht the English legal system and I think you might need to revise these sections for accuracy if you are seeking to sell to the uk (for eg London city instead of city of London, attorneys rather than barristers or solicitors' use of the term justice in lace of judge.

The pitch itself is quite short and a little too brief to get a full idea of the novel I think, but this is just a personal opinion, I'd like more.

Despite these basic observations, I have nothing else to add. Good stuff, that I suspect might collect a following, especially if more detail about the novel is trailed. view book

written 491 days ago

Ok, these are my comments. I honestly don't have a lot, because this is very well done. I've read all you sent me. It took me a good chunk to get into it, and then after a dozen or so pages it started to grow on me and I began to get into it. Here's by first main comment i think, and it relates to these first pages; these bits seem a little over described, in adding in extra words it seems to detract from the action of the kidnapping from the airport and doesn't allow a full idea of what is happening. Perhaps shaving some words and shortening this section would generate more pace. The writing here isn't as assured or as good as it gets later on. Perhaps a rewrite or revisiting these pages would help.

My next thought is that the novel appears to have a slight identity problem. Whilst it has some good lines and is light hearted in places, I don't think it is a comedy. Likewise it doesn't seems to have enough pace to be a thriller, or enough intrigue to be a spy novel. I think 'caper' sits quite well though. I'd suggest deciding what this is going to be and adding more jokes, or more intrigue, or more action, depending on what direction you want.

I liked the bit about using a practically naked woman to distract the traffic. Nice touch.

P9. I got a little lost with the murder, I was being left to imply a lot and I felt a bit more explanation might be useful.

P12. Getting into the flow of it now. It's getting good.

P19. The ref to legoland missed me. Not sure whether it refers to the park or is slang for a building.

P21. 'Is the head of mi6 a mason.' I liked that.

Lots of references to art. These seem very authoritative - I confess I have no idea - but I wonder if see might be lost on other readers like me. Some are required, I think, to get across the idea that Arthur is very educated and bright, but perhaps a variation on the theme might help out savages such as myself?

P37, top. Not sure I get this about the radio.

The bomb at he hotel, what's CTC? I assume it is counter terrorism something but might be better to spell it out.

Bottom page 51, the font changes.

Summary. Lots and lots of potential. Would I read more if I had it, yes. Do I think is is publishable, yes, with a bit of finessing to the beginning section. Highly starred. What is it like? Not sure. Perhaps echoes of flashman, and a bit of catch22 in there as well perhaps.

Reading was not a chore. This means at this is a cut above much of e stuff here. I think this deserves a higher rank than it currently has.

Good stuff, and good luck with it.
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written 526 days ago

Strange bodies

A murder mystery set in a near future following the collapse of much of the current first world. The murder of two people is investigated by Nick Adams and his crack investigation team. It is all based in Australia. I have had the benefit of reading the whole book.

It's really really good. My points are all fairly minor in the whole scheme of things.

[note - this is an abbreviated review - a full review has been emailed to the author]

You have created a complex world, perhaps there is too little explanation about some of the aspects of this world, but then there is too much detail and back story in others. In parts the reader is assumed to know things, in others spoon fed stuff that does not immediately seem to be relevant. Kudos on the realism of your world though, much of the tech is very believable, for eg the tyles etc.

The characters are well written and believable, apart from the fact they are all too pretty. Other than that, really well done and I'm perhaps just feeling bitter...

Sometimes this felt a bit like a YA novel, other times clearly not. I don't know why I think that, it is just an impression I get. I suspect if you could nail the pros and cons for adult and YA then you could cleanly edit and nail one or the other.

The mystery element: I think this was well done, and it did keep me guessing who the killer was. I kept guessing as I went through, and kept getting it wrong. A nice puzzle.

All in all, this is a very good piece and I enjoyed reading it. Well done! Highly rated.
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written 540 days ago


A rollicking ride through the late thirties through the voice of a - well, for lack of a better term, con man and rogue, zeroing in on nazi germany and the beginnings of ww2.

Beyond that, really very good. It's detailed and believable on the history, a little bit fun (I don't do depressing books) with a bit of dick Barton and 007 thrown in.

My comments, such as they are, are very minor.

My first thought as I started this was that it was slightly over described, it seemed that such an effort was made to paint the picture that the action got a little lost. By page 15 or so I'd either acclimatised to the style or the amount of description lessened as the story progressed. I suspect that he story was bedding in and so less extra stuff was required. A slight trim in these early sections might help perhaps.

Languages. Can you learn Classical Greek and Latin by ear?

Escaping nick and Nora - contrary to the above, this seemed a bit under described. Perhaps adding more to the technical aspects of the violence might give this a bit more depth and add to the bond-ness of the mc. If he's adapt at violence does this need more adding to it? He strikes me as the sort that would have studied bartitsu or similar and I feel certain that some sort of similar training might suit him. I can see his mad combat instructor being a follower of Barton-Wright or similar. After all, if it was good enough for Sherlock Holmes...?

A to the mc's recruitment, I felt there was a bit more missing here, I wanted a bit more convincing as to why he's willing to sign up. The vague Spanish threat is there, but it doesn't seem very crystallised.

The history paras are really very good, but with some I felt that there were two many segments and not enough story, for eg pages 19 & 20. I would advise to edit some of these out but I really do like them, they give a clear sense of the escalating tension. Perhaps it would work to flesh out the bits in between to restore balance? Other than that I have no solution for you...

Really quite good and highly rated. I may even shelve for a bit. Worth a read. I understand it is available on amazon, and I might even be tempted to actually get a damn kindle reader for my iPad... view book

written 549 days ago

Ok. Pretty damn good. I liked this. Read up to chapter 8. A decent hook, but i yhinkmit could be better. In thins regard the only thing you might want to think about is the pace. Most of the chapters I've read are a little prologuey or introductory. We get snippets of the story to come and the main plot is trailed, but it seems as if the story doesn't actually start. I found myself a little frustrated that I wanted the meat of the story to get going but I got another background piece.

Don't get hung up on the above, generally I think this is really solid, and entertaining story. I want to know where it is going. Feel free to send me a PDF of he whole thing if its finished. Highly starred. Will probably shelve when I get on a real computer - I can't shelve on an iPad.

Good stuff, well done, and entertaining. Reminds me of something, but I can't quite put my finger on it. A tv series I think. Reaper? Possibly something with Eliza dushuku? The synapses are tingling but I can't place it. Again not a bad thing, because the concept isn't original, what matters is the plot and enexecution, which is done well. view book

written 549 days ago


Read the first three 'pages'.

I think that there might be something here, but that the structure might need looking at. Because of the way this reads, along with the fairly non-descript pitch, I wasn't sure what the plot or story was actually about. This meant that for me the first three chapters seem very disjointed. I also had a bit of difficulty pegging the time frame - when is this set? We have very Victorian ambience and my fair lady esque characters, but then terms like rozzers which are much more 20th century. This confused me a tad.

So, lots of potential, but perhaps think about advertising the thread of the story a little more clearly. I think that a tantalising glimpse into something works, but the reader needs to know what they are glimpsing into.

Hope this helps. view book

written 553 days ago

There isn't enough comedy around, and so I'm trying to be a champion. Hence why I'm here. I wouldn't normally skitter around this high in the charts. So, what can I add to the below comments (I read to the chapter fours). Little to be honest. A few things to consider:
1. Could these first four chapters be condensed? I suspect that if you stripped them by 30-50% the end result would be much sharper. There is some really nice stuff, but I think it runs the risk of getting lost.
2. I liked the consultancy stuff, and see the Douglas Adams / monty python type stuff coming through.
3. Personally I'd like a shorter chapter one.
3. I had a little trouble with the fourth wall stuff, I think there was either too little of this or too much. Perhaps more would give a clearer narrative. As it is it seems out of kilter and distracts a little.

So, all in all, very nicely done, and clearly a bit of Tom holt in there somewhere (thinking especially of here comes the sun). Shinies awarded and good luck. view book

written 652 days ago

Hi Shaun,

I'm forever on the hunt for comedy, and I think tht is why I ended up on your pages. I've been entertained by how to fail and can see where you are going with it. Due to the short episodal nature I wonder if it is commercial enough to be publishable, but then again I have zero experience here so perhaps I'm worth ignoring on that point.

In essence I think that this reads a little like a blog or email forward and that is why I wonder about the format you've chosen. Humour wise, I think you could increase the impact of the jokes by pruning some and cutting some of the sections, because it is all pitched at the same level I think some oomph is lost. Also, as a consequence, it seems that the novel is trying too hard with some of the jokes and this creates a sense of desperation which detracts. Culling stuff might help alter the level and make it funnier.

Nothing else I think I can really add. Nice idea, well executed, but perhaps in need of a trim. view book

written 655 days ago

Very funny. Ignore the hc chap about it being too much. I liked it. Butnthen I'm a deviant who has written about a superhero called pornoman...

Anyway, I could see this as a christmas book or similar. Very enjoyable. I'd have backed if there was a point, but six stars nonetheless. view book