Book Reviews of Once

Author: James Herbert
ISBN-13: 9780765343505
ISBN-10: 0765343509
Publication Date: 1/20/2003
Pages: 480
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 41 ratings
Publisher: Tor Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

9 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Once on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The story was engaging and well-written, kind of an erotic, murderous thriller with faeries.

"ONCE...A Scary Tale of Faerefolkis & Evildoers, of Lovers & Erotic Passion, of Horror & Belief. Written Only for Adults by James Herbert."
reviewed Once on + 149 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A grown up fairy tale - I guess is what you'd call it. A house with actual fairies in the garden and other weird creatures as well. Quite a few very explicit sex scenes including one between two women. It wasn't my cup of tea but maybe it's yours.
reviewed Once on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
very intriguing plot.....kind of pulls you in.
Mightily twisted, but I enjoyed it!
reviewed Once on + 122 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was ok. It got redundent a few times. There was a lot of sex in the book, and that got a little old. The author loved to draw everything out, from just a simple walk in the woods, to being attacked by spiders (twice). The ending was a bit anti climatic as well. The bad guy (or in this case lady) isn't beat by the good guy. He just kind of stood around and witnessed it while she did herself in. Kind of a "huh" moment. Unless your into erotica, this book isn't that great of a read.
reviewed Once on + 149 more book reviews
Hmmm... how did I feel about this book? Well, I think it could've been a lot better in some regards, but I really liked the underlying story. For starters, I didn't like the author's frequent use of parenthesis and dashes, in the middle of a thought, where he'd go off on a tangent in another direction, just to return to the original thought of the sentence. For instance, dashes should be used for short thoughts inserted into the stream of thought, but when that inserted stream of thought goes on for 5 or 6 lines, before returning to finish the sentence... well, I found myself having to go back and reread the sentence without the inserted text to understand what the author was trying to say. He sometimes used parenthesis in the same way. So all that got annoying after awhile.

Secondly, speaking as a practicing Witch and Pagan, I disliked the use of the word Wiccan to refer to what Nell was. A Wiccan is a very specific denomination of Witchcraft, and what Nell practiced was definitely not Wicca. Nell was a Witch, but she was not a Wiccan. A Wiccan is a Witch, but a Witch is not necessarily a Wiccan. I think the author should spend a bit more time researching the subject of Wiccans and Witchcraft before throwing around terminology he obviously knows nothing about.

Now that all that nasty stuff is out of the way, I found the underlying story interesting and hard to put down. I particularly liked the sex scenes; they were pretty hot for a non-erotica book! :-P I also liked author's portrayal of the Faerie world, and the characters of Jennet and Rigwit. But found Hugo, Thom's longtime friend, to be particularly annoying and spineless.

Overall, a fairly decent read, though it lost points because of the points I mentioned above. I'll certainly look for and read more by this author though, particularly since others have stated this wasn't even one of his better books.
reviewed Once on + 56 more book reviews
An excellent fantasy horror. James Herbert is the English's version of Dean Koontz.
reviewed Once on + 80 more book reviews
A decent read. Kept my interest throughout the book. Would have wished for more information on the fairy folk but all in all a solid book. Would red more of James Herbert's books.
reviewed Once on + 579 more book reviews
for thom kindred, life is nothing spectacular. a stroke victim, thom finde himself partially incapacitated and daily battling to regain control of his life.
reviewed Once on + 650 more book reviews
I've read a few other books by Herbert, who is sometimes considered the "Stephen King of Britain", and for the most part they have been enjoyable horror tales. This one was quite a departure from his usual fare. I guess you could call it an adult erotic fairy tale.

The protagonist, Thom Kindred, who is only 27, has had a stroke and needs time to recover. To do this, he goes back to his childhood home of Castle Bracken where he and his mother lived in a nearby cottage called Little Bracken. During his childhood, his mother told him tales of fairies and other mythical creatures up until her sudden death but she never disclosed who Thom's father was. The master of Castle Bracken paid for Thom's schooling but was it out of kindheartedness or was it for some other reason? Upon Thom's return home, strange happenings start to occur involving elves, witches, fairies, and other creatures who live in the woods around the castle. This included some very erotic sequences that definitely were not written for children! In the end, the tale was a classic good vs. evil story with a clash between the forces of darkness and the goodness of the "faeryfolkis."

I know this Herbert novel has received some very mixed reviews with some hating it and others loving it. I was kind of in the middle and would mildly recommend it for lovers of fairy tales.