Archive for August, 2016

Stranger of Tempest by Tom Lloyd

August 31, 2016 - 6:15 pm No Comments

Title: Stranger of Tempest by Tom Lloyd
Publisher: Gollancz: released: 7th July 2016
Pages: 457
Reviewer: Andy Angel

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All stories need a beginning, a middle and an end – that is an accepted, basic truth in fiction. Stranger of Tempest has all three of these but not necessarily in that order.
  The story here is (as the cover says) ‘A mercenary on the hunt for a kidnapped girl’. Where it begins, though, is with the actual rescue of said ‘girl’ and right there, at that moment, you know everything is not quite what it seems. From this starting point (which is, essentially, ‘the middle’) we go back two weeks to where it all started (the beginning) where we find our hero Lynx, a warrior type, not in the best of shape, locked up in a local jail with very little idea of what he did to get there.
On his release he ends up joining a band of mercenaries for ‘just one job’. The Mercenaries are very much your standard adventure pack, plenty of witty banter, plenty of sniping at each other but prepared to die for each other when it all comes down to the heat of battle.
Then we are back to ‘Now’ and the rescue and escape is in full swing with our heroes fleeing into what I tend to think of as a typical Dungeons and Dragons landscape. Plenty of weird and wonderful creatures, lots of tunnels etc. to be investigated, plenty of hair’s breadth escapes…….and so it continues, backwards and forwards until you arrive, totally exhausted at the last page.
The passing of the story between now and then can get a little bit confusing at times and does give the story a bit of  time travely feel but once you get used to the authors style it flows quite well. As I mentioned before, it does have a D and D feel to it, almost as if it started out as a game, and that for me is a good thing. The rapport between the group is really on point here, you feel like you are with old friends, friends you would want to be adventuring with again.
  Story-wise I would put this on a level with Erikson, Abercrombie and James Barclay – Grimdark, band of brothers etc. but above all I would say this is a good, fun read. I am certainly looking forward to more in this series.
The only thing missing was some kind of map (I do like a good map) but that doesn’t detract from a great story, and this was a review arc copy, which often don’t come with maps anyway.
9/10 stars

A Path of Ashes (The Path of Ashes Book 1) by Brian Parker

August 30, 2016 - 8:40 am No Comments

A Path of Ashes (The Path of Ashes Book 1) by Brian Parker

Published by Muddy Boots Press (29th May 2015)

326 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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The majority of the Dystopian books I have read start after the event, but this story was about the event its self.

The book starts off 150 years after the event with a grandad telling his grandchildren the story about their ancestor Aeric and how he survived the nuclear war.

Aeric an 18 yr old, was at college miles from his over-bearing parents when the riots began. his roommate Tyler had moved to Austin, hoping there would be more understanding over his sexuality. After the riots started they both knew that they needed to get out of Austin and check on Aeric’s parents. So they both embark on a long tiring journey all the way realising that they need to survive whatever the cost.

At the start of this story Aeric was a timid guy, who had never had to look after himself, Tyler was laid back. By the end they had become hardened and more mature. The way the author wrote this book you felt that you were going on the journey with Aeric and Tyler and you were willing them to survive. Throughout their journey, they both had to do things that they were not comfortable with, but if your life was in danger then you do what you need to do. Like all dystopian stories there are good and evil people in the world, but Justin the leader of the Vultures was one on his own. To do to the world what he had done just to get revenge on someone who ruined his career was unbelievable. Even though Aeric and Tyler were hardening up on their travels they still showed compassion to people, and them rescuing a young child showed this.

Yes, there are some graphic scenes in this book, but this is life, this made the story. Full of action, it kept me awake as I wouldn’t put it down, I wanted to finish this book. A great read and now I want to read book 2      

Bait, Brutes, and Bullets: Tales from New Biloxi by Kyle Perkins and Lila Vale

August 29, 2016 - 5:58 pm No Comments

Bait, Brutes, and Bullets: Tales from New Biloxi by Kyle Perkins and Lila Vale

Published 7th May 2016

196 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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Set in a futuristic America, Biloxi is a domed city separated from the swamps by a tunnel with automatic guns. There is a lot pf prejudice between the residents of Biloxi (bubble people) and the swamp folk (swampies). Due to the tunnel and only way through is by using a chip visiting each other is rare.  

Harvey the owner of the a once popular casino has troubles of his own, new casino owners are moving into his patch and are starting a turf war. One night he comes across a new drug called gator bait and thinks that selling this on his premises will help him win the turf war, so he decides to go to the swamp to find the source.

Turning up to a swamp party in flash gear just enforces the swamp folk’s prejudice and there are some funny moments when he is trying to evade a fight by hiding in the swamp water in a white suit. A young lad rescues him and drops him off at a house for refuge.

In steps Norra a feisty young swamp woman who to make ends meet is making and distributing Gator Bait. She is leading a risky life as a group of enforcers called the Brute are trying to find the supplier so they can profit heavily from the selling of this drug. As soon as Harvey lands on her porch there is a connection and what starts out as a bit of flirting soon becomes more serious. Even when he knows that she is the manufacturer of the drug, and wants to keep their relationship business like, their feelings get the better of both of them. 

Written in their POV this book is a great story. Both characters had troubled backgrounds and their relationship had to break down a lot of barriers to survive, but this made it more believable. The way the other characters were written felt that they were to big happy families each look out for each other.

There was a shock moment when I thought the story was going in a direction I didn’t want it too, but the writing of that scene was great and I understood the reasoning for it. 

Whilst reading this book I personally could not tell that it was written by two authors as the story flowed perfectly. I would love to read more about the townspeople of Biloxi and see if they ever did get to Mars

A great read   

Lakeshore Sanitarium by KC Harper

August 29, 2016 - 1:29 pm No Comments

Lakeshore Sanitarium by KC Harper41ZeS3DyLqL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_

Published on 31st October  2014

237 pages

 Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After the incidents at 2782 Sedgewood Drive,  Deidre ends up in the sanitarium, whilst everyone else tries to get on with their lives. The story centres round the sanitarium, and the Doctor who was at the house on that eventful night starts to question whether or not the evil did go. Not only is there goings on but the Sheriff and Skye start having vivid nightmares are they warnings or are they trying to show them something at the house.  To add to this Mr Stringer (Anderson Haggler’s assistant) arrives asking questions which he needed answering for an insurance policy and he starts nosing around the property.  

This book was even better than the first. The scenes in the sanatorium were creepy even though you knew it was a modern hospital, and I liked the way the author explained some of the residents and the reasons they were there. When some of the characters died, the death scenes got bloodier and gorier , I was in a state of shock. As you read this book, more of the house’s history is revealed, making the book even more interesting. The ending has yet another twist and I can’t wait to read book 3 which is out.

A great read for horror fans      

The Lakeshore Evil by KC Harper

August 29, 2016 - 1:22 pm No Comments

The Lakeshore Evil by KC Harper

Published on 28th June 2014

203 pages

 Reviewed by Yvonne Davies th

Set in a little town called Lakeshore, this story is about a house and the families that resided there.

Lakeshore survives on winter tourism and it was rare for outsider to move into the community. However a family moves into 2782 Sedgewood Drive, domestic violence was the norm in the family, after one heated argument Katie the daughter fell down the basement stairs and died.

The house went empty for 20 years. The only visitors to it were ghost hunters wanting to see the ghost of Katie. As the tours dried up the Mayor decided that the house needed to be sold and a very rich family buy it. After they move in, strange happenings occur in the house every time there was anger in the house, including the appearance of Katie. 

Also drawn to the house was Skye, the real estate’s daughter, a very intelligent girl who was miss understood, although we don’t find out her importance to near the end of the book.

Due to the amount of minor characters in this book, I did get a bit confused with what was happening but the author had a way of explaining everything and when you think you know what is going to happen, the author throws in a twist that takes you by surprise. What starts out with one ghost soon grows to so much more.

It’s a good horror story and I loved the ending. No cliff-hanger and book 2 in the series is also out