Archive for February, 2017

Angel Manor by Chantal Noordeloos

February 25, 2017 - 8:00 pm No Comments

Angel Manor by Chantal Noordeloos

Published by Horrific Tales Publishing on 12th November 2014

396 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

In honour of Women in Horror month this book was top of my list to read.

Freya has inherited Angel Manor from her “nutty” aunt, ignoring her mom’s wishes to sell it, she decides with her friends to turn it into a hotel. Strange things start as soon as they arrive, but with the nuns still haunting the building can they survive.

Freya was quite a weak needy character. Throughout this story, she never once stood on her own two feet. Whether at the start where she had Oliver and Bam to lean on, or further on with Logan or Marie-Claire, she always had someone there to watch her back. Although rather tiresome, it wasn’t a bad thing as it helped develop the other characters.  One of favourites was Terrance, a minor character but a bad lad trying to go good.

From the prologue to the final page there is enough gruesome action to keep the majority of horror fans happy whilst keeping with the traditional horror theme of the haunted house and the monster in the basement. Having evil nuns was a good idea as I always sense an air of sinisterism with them and feel that they have something to hide.

The suspense and terror builds up as the story progresses and just when you think the story has finished with the ending you expect; the author has one last surprise and another secret is revealed.

A fast-paced action filled book and another author I will follow

 

Ultraxenopia (Project W.A.R. Book 1) by MA Phipps

February 24, 2017 - 10:00 am No Comments

Ultraxenopia (Project W.A.R. Book 1) by MA Phipps

Published by Shire-Hill Publications on 5th January 2017

332 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

At the age of 21 Wynter has to sit an exam, an exam to decide her job and living status. However, when she suffers what she thinks is a panic attack, her whole life changes. When she sees flashes of her future self she knows she is in trouble. Taken by the State, questioned about PHOENIX (a terrorist organisation) she knows she has to find the man of her dreams.

Wynter was quite a shy young woman, not wanting to draw attention to herself, but the more she found out about her condition, and the danger she was in, did make her a stronger woman. She still has a sense of vulnerability about her but always knew when she had to man-up.

As this is set in a dystopian world then expect comparisons between other books in the genre, but this book is not a copycat. The original storyline of her being used as a guinea pig in the lab and what she is to become knocks the comparisons out the window. Written in the main character’s POV, this book grabbed me from page 1. With the suspense building through the story made it a book I did not want to put down. The story flowed smoothly and it had an evenly balance of action and sci-fi. The medical procedures were explained well and I never once was confused. There is a romance storyline, but this ran undercurrent to the main storyline

The ending of the book did not feel like a cliff-hanger but has left it open for the already published book 2.  I am looking forward to reading more from this author

Suspended: Vagabond Circus: Book 1 by Sarah Noffke

February 22, 2017 - 11:23 pm No Comments

Suspended: Vagabond Circus: Book 1 by Sarah Noffke

Published 15th January 2016

245 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

The Vagabond Circus is run by Dream Travellers, a band of magical people that want to give the audience back their belief in magic again. The circus is run by ex-psychologist, Dr Dave Raydon, who has his own mental health problems, overcomes them to put on the greatest show on earth. Using each Dream Traveller’s abilities Dr Raydon places them in their ideal role for the show.  After Finley joins the team, it starts a chain reaction which involves love, mystery and murder.

Although the circus is run by a big team of people, the author introduces us to just a handful.  Zuma, Jack, Jasmine and Finley are the acrobatics, the stars in the circus, working close together they each need to trust other, but with Finley keeping secrets trust is hard to give. Titus is the creative director, working closely with Dr Raydon, the circus is his life.  One of my favourite characters was Sunshine, an empath, who had an air of sadness around her, she was not afraid to speak her mind.

The more you read this story the more you know about the character’s lives except Finley, just like his character, his life story and mission is a mystery, it is not till the end of the book do we actually find out why he is at the circus. This kept the story interested as throughout the author teased us with why he was there. The connection with Zuma and Finley and their love/hate relationship kept you guessing whether or not they could pull of the show.

Whilst reading the scenes of the show it reminded me of the Cirque du Soleil as they also have a magical feel to them.

With book 2 and 3 out, I can continue following the adventures of Finley

Kinship: The Uncertain Life of a Vampire Hunter by Caroline A Gill

February 22, 2017 - 9:44 pm No Comments

Kinship: The Uncertain Life of a Vampire Hunter by Caroline A Gill

Published by St Helena Press on 26th October 2016

174 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Valen is a vampire hunter, going from city to city, clearing the nests of vampires. As the battles with the vampires become more and more difficult, Valen knows that he is losing the war. With other hunters keeping secrets and a mysterious light source at one scene, Valen does not know who to trust, but when he came across an enigmatic woman playing darts, he knew that he had to put his faith in someone.

The way the author describes Valen, you can sense he is a man on a mission, but that it took its toll. He took every death and every failure to heart.

As this is a story about vampire hunters you can expect action from the moment you start reading. At the start of this book, I did feel sorry for Valen as he had no one to watch his back or to talk to when he was feeling really depressed.  However, after he joined up with a partner his whole demure changed and he did start to feel more confident with himself and his actions.

Running through the story is the mysterious light source and whilst some fact about it come out, I hope more is explained in book 2.

This book is different to others that I have read about vampire hunters as this shows the loneliness of a vampire hunter. A good read full of vampire kills

 

 

Visions of the Mutant Rain Forest by Robert Frazier and Bruce Boston

February 16, 2017 - 9:13 pm No Comments

Visions of the Mutant Rain Forest by Robert Frazier and Bruce Boston

Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 10th February 2017

199 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Even today the Amazon Rain forest still has its mysteries, with exotic plants and creatures that lay undiscovered. This collection of stories and poems take you on an adventure of the strange happening that go on in the forest.

The poems were scattered throughout this book breaking up the stories. Whilst I am not a big fan of poetry, I really enjoyed reading them as I felt they took you deeper into the forest with the descriptive writing you feel that you are there, exploring the area. Luminous Decay to me was a poem about a tribe living in the forest. Another poem I enjoyed was A Gourmand of the Mutant Rain Forest, A poem about gluttony and the consequences.

The stories were of various lengths and in each story the characters had a different experience in the forest. Whilst I enjoyed all of the stories, my favourites were

Cruising Through Blueland, the story of Jeri Cristobel rescuing his brother Eric whilst being a pawn in a revolution. With psychic powers, enormous creatures and space technology, this story is a great introduction to what wonders the forest homes.

Holos at an Exhibition of the Mutant Rain Forest. Holographer Genna Opall and guide Jorge are hired by Mingus to find his missing wife. With them going deeper into the forest, they come across mother nature’s creations turning this into more than a missing person case.

If you want a different type of sci-fi book, then this is the one for you. With the mixture of poems and stories that keep you Interested from the moment you start to read. As it is set in the rain forest, then expect South American terms, I did use my dictionary a lot on my kindle but this was not a bad thing as I felt as I learnt more about South America. This is a complete change to what I usually read but I am glad I took the time to read it.