Archive for October, 2016

Two prequels to two zombie series: Changes: A Girl Z prequel by CA Verstraete and Dead and Alive: Outbreak by I J Smith

October 25, 2016 - 8:09 pm 1 Comment

Changes: A Girl Z prequel, A Zombie Story by CA Verstraete

Published 18th May 2015

45 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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This short story is about Spence, who after is given the perfect job working in a lab. Not long into the job he starts to have second thoughts when his work-colleagues start turning into moaning fleshing munching creatures. Like most boys in times of trouble, all he wants to do is get home to his mom.

Spence was a typical teenager without a care in the world until that fatal morning. Escaping the trouble really made him man up. Although a short story this book was full of action and throughout Spencer’s journey I was really willing him to make it home.

I have not read Girl Z, but this has just made me want to read it

 

 

 

 

 

Dead and Alive: Outbreak by I J Smith

Published 18th May 2016

23 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

51lv9w3drnl-_sy346_A prequel to the Dead and Alive series, this book tells the story of how it all began. From the moment, the population of Gosport turn you can feel the tension and know that is not going to go away. Introducing us the pompous military characters, you know that they are going to protect themselves no matter what. One character I did like was Raven, a nurse that was there at the start, a strong character who survived the initial outbreak. I have read the first two books and have not come across her again, however it looks like the author has written a short story about her.  This book is a great introduction to the Dead and Alive series. It explains quite a lot

The Shadow and the Sun by Monica Enderle Pierce

October 25, 2016 - 2:01 pm No Comments

The Shadow and the Sun by Monica Enderle Pierce

Published by Stalking Fiction on 22nd April 2016

263 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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Halina is the bastard daughter of King Vernard, renowned for her conquest on and off the battlefield, her father thinks she is the one to get Gethen onside to defeat his enemy, the king of Besera.

Gethen is a Shadow Mage, a powerful necromancer and brother of the king of Besera. Living on land owned by King Vernard, places himself in a difficult position. Gethen has more serious problems as his powers are fading and an evil entity has escaped the Void. Gethen thinks this is the cause of the war and when Halina arrives at his door, tries to convince her to help him.

At the start of the book Halina’s character was very fiery, due to her background and she did not get close to anyone. She fought on the battle field like a woman possessed, and only taking men to bed for the pleasure not for the comfort. Her actions made me think that she was afraid to get hurt. Grethen and Halina’s relationship started off as a bit cat and mouse but they both thought they were the cat. They mistrusted each other and both thought the other had an ulterior motive. Throughout the book you could sense Grethen chipping away her exterior armour, and it was obvious that they had feelings for each other but did not know how to act on it.

The relationship aside, this story was exciting and full of action making it a quick read. The story flowed smoothly and whilst it had a lot of minor character it was not a confusing read, unlike a lot of medieval fantasy book. The scenes with magic added tension to the book and it was interesting to read the history behind Grethen’s magic.

I am hoping there are more books in this series. If you like your sword and sorcery or medieval fantasies than read this book

Triad by Guy Estes

October 16, 2016 - 7:07 pm No Comments

Triad by Guy Estes

Published 9th June 2015

329 Pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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Aleena, Anlon and Baezha are all chosen ones, each having their own family and all brought up differently. Aleena and Anlon’s major skill was as warriors and Baezha was magic.

Whilst the majority of the book concentrated on Aleena and her troubles, I liked how the author incorporated the other characters into the story. Even as a small girl Aleena had her troubles and as she got older the troubles got worse.  Aleena’s journey made her grow into a strong caring woman who learnt to embrace her chosen path.

Anlon reminded me of a spoilt younger brother who wanted everything handed to him on a plate. He blamed everyone else when he made the wrong decision.

Living as a nomad for most of her life, we don’t know much about Baezha in this book and I hope we get to know more about her in book 2.

This book was full of adventure and action, the fight scenes where graphic but that is to be excepted when the battles are against the chosen ones. The story was a flowed smoothly and you are drawn to the characters. There are a number of mystical characters in this book and that just makes Aleena’s journey more exciting and dramatic.

What surprised me is that book did not have a cliff hanger and I enjoyed how the author ended the book, leaving it open for further books.  My only complaint were the quotes at the beginning of the chapters which to be honest I skipped over. A good start to the series and will look out for further books

Green and Pleasant Land (Great British Horror 1) edited by Steve J. Shaw

October 15, 2016 - 6:34 pm No Comments

Green and Pleasant Land (Great British Horror 1) edited by Steve J. Shaw: Authors: Jasper Bark, A.K. Benedict, Ray Cluley, James Everington, Rich Hawkins, V.H. Leslie, Laura Mauro, Adam Millard, David Moody, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Barbie Wilde

Published by Black Shuck Books on 24th September 2016

275 Pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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11 stories all set in Britain. Each story set in a different part of Britain, each with its own horrors.

Hermaness by VH Leslie: A couple going on a hike, their relationship on the rocks (no pun intended) and the oppressing fog. Throughout this story, you could sense that something was going happen, the way the author described the scenery you could imagine walking across the clifftop. I completely underestimated the ending.

Meat for the Field by Rich Hawkins: Many times I have driven through a small village and wonder what secrets the community are hiding. This story is about one such village. Everyone is excited about the up-coming festival except Gregor, the keeper of the cornfield. The author kept the mystery of the festival right to end of this story, building up the suspense and Gregor’s torment.

Strange as Angels by Laura Mauro: What do you do when you find a strange flying creature, this was the dilemma that Frankie had. Frankie had used Jimmy as a crutch through most of her adult life, but caring for this creature made her a stronger person. She began to realise just the type of person Jimmy was and that she could stand on her own two feet. I loved the ending of this story and would like to read more of Frankie after the event.

The Castlemarch Man by Ray Cluley: Charlie was a treasure hunter, but not your metal detector type, he uses GPS co-ordinates to find the trinkets. This story is about Charlie going back to Wales a year after the event, but what event we don’t find out till the end. The author mentions the lead up to the event throughout the story and although you know something has happened to Charlie’s wife Lyndsey, you don’t find out till the end. The Castlemarch Man reminded me of an urban myth, whilst you know he does not exist, there is always that small doubt in the back of your mind.

Ostrich by David Moody: A story about a woman who although having everything in life, is not happy. This story reminded me of an episode of the TV series Tales of the Unexpected and it was apt that the episode I was thinking about was mentioned in the story. You could sense her unhappiness with the obsessive nature of her husband and his lawn. I loved that at the end she found happiness in her new surroundings.

Blue Eyes by Barbie Wilde: I loved this story and the dilemma that Gazza had, when he came across the most beautiful woman with amazing blue eyes. Although you knew that he had already made up his mind to do the act, the ending was a surprise and I must be honest, I found the ending really funny and was laughing way after I had finished the story.

A Glimpse of Red by James Everington: I started off thinking this story was about Beyza and Altan and their life in witness protection. The further I got into this story I started doubting myself, was Beyza having a nervous breakdown, did Altan get taken to stop her testifying. The story was intriguing and even after I had finished the story, I was still thinking about it. This story left my emotions confused as on one hand I felt sorry for her as she had lost her child but then I would think that she was the cause.

Mr Denning Sings by Simon Kurt Unsworth: A Sunday morning church service, an unusual setting for a horror story. Mr Denning enjoyed his Sunday worship, but this Sunday is was disturbed by a mystical creature and a cough. The story was written with a lot of detail and it felt you were at the service hearing the cough. I can imagine what happened to Mr Denning at the end but I would love to read more.

He waits on the Upland by Adam Millard: A main concern of any farmer, is the safety of their livestock, but when the sheep on Graham’s farm gets mutilated he is obsessed in tracking down the culprit. On top of this his wife Jenny is ill, adding to the stress. Whilst reading this story you could feel Graham’s anxiety and although he had little patient with his wife, he was worried about her. The ending was unexpected and I don’t know who was more surprised Graham or I.

Misericord by AK Benedict: Isabelle has spent her whole career studying carvings in churches and with her fiancée Katie spent one afternoon looking at carvings, in quite an old church. That was until something terrible happens.  When I have been in an old church I have been curious about the carvings on display and I loved the way the author incorporated these to tell the story. It kept my interest to the end as I thought that the reverend knew more than what she was letting on, she felt like she was a big cat stalking her prey. The ending made my skin crawl as I have never liked flying ants and this story just enforced that feeling.

Quiet Places by Jasper Bark: We first come across Sally caring for the village folk that are all comatosed. Going back to when they moved into the village, Sally hoped that it would help David open up, but when they come across The Beast, things take a turn for the worse. Running through the story is a creepy voice which is known as Hettie of the Hedgerow. Researching the family history and the local folklore Sally finds out that the Beast is the fault of an ancestor. Whilst reading the scenes in the forest I had goosebumps and you could sense that it was leading up to a final showdown. The suspense carried throughout the story, but even I could not predict the outcome. You could feel the desperation in Sally and the need to help David and his dark moods. For me Hettie was more horrific than the beast as it certainly knew how to play Sally

This book is a great read and congratulations to Steve Shaw for picking 11 great authors. Each story is so different and I loved every single one. I hope there will be 2nd book in the future.

 

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter by CA Verstraete

October 8, 2016 - 9:36 pm 2 Comments

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter by CA Verstraete

Published by Imajin Books on 13th September 2016

232 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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We have all heard of Lizzie Borden, the young girl who whacked her parents with an axe and the subsequent trial, but did we know why she did it. Well we do now.

Trying to keep the reason for their deaths a secret, she gets involved with a secret society and with the help of her lawyer John Fremont and his colleagues, she learns how to battle the walking dead and becomes a one woman fighting machine.

The author had definitely done her research on the Lizzie Borden as each chapter opened up with an excerpt of either the trial or a quote of a newspaper article. This made the story more believable. Whilst the trial is mentioned, the majority of the story takes place after the event and we see Lizzie and her sister Emma try to get the bottom of their father’s involvement in the whole thing.

Lizzie was a strong willed girl and I was surprised that she was the younger sister, as she was always making sure that Emma was ok.  Whilst she was a suspect in her parent’s murder, I liked how she took charge of her life, learning how to fight and even starting a love interest with John. Even when she was shunned from people she still held her head up high.

Battling zombies is dirty work and this book does not shy away from this fact. Full of action, blood and gore, made this a well written exciting story. The twist at the end was unexpected but not a complete surprise and the way the book ended gives scope for further books.

If you like history meets fantasy than this is a great book to read. Move over Elizabeth Bennett, there is a new zombie hunter in town.