Archive for May, 2017

Illuminous by Yolanda Allard

May 31, 2017 - 9:01 pm No Comments

 

Illuminous by Yolanda Allard

Published by Feather Dreams Press on 20th May 2017

324 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

I downloaded this book on Kindle Unlimited.

Aaliyah O’Hare or Allie to her friends was a high school student her only dream was to get through school and with her best friend Aimee travel the world before she started college. Spending her time in the local library/coffee shop she spends her time talking books with Jerum. However, she never realised that her life would change so dramatically when one night she followed Jerum to a party, hoping he would see her as a potential girlfriend instead of a friend.

Allie was like the majority of 17 year olds, just wanted to get through school and enjoy her life with her best friend. She was sweet natured and was true to her friends. After she was marked she always thought of others before herself. With her senses and feelings magnified, she had to learn to trust her instincts. When she had two guys lusting for her affections and even though she wanted them both, she never wanted to hurt their feelings. She had some big decisions to make, especially when she found out what she was and the role she had to play.  With everything she went through Allie handled it well.

Allie’s best friend Aimee was a feisty and a bit of a hellcat, she always had Allie’s back and was a true friend. When she found out the secret Allie, Jerum and Will her brother had, she handled it very well, which was a surprise as most people would have flipped and become hysterical. What helped her come to terms with how she romanticized the situations. Aimee’s sense of humour, help de-fused some of the tense situations that her and Allie found themselves.

Will and Jerum were the love interests, both liked Allie but both acted as gentlemen when they were around her as they wanted her to make her mind up with the pressure. Both had history and whilst we find about Will, Jerum’s past is still mostly unknown and I am hoping that the author writes more about his past.

I was surprised to find out that this is the author’s first book. Whilst this is a book about werewolves, it was more about a young girl who is on a journey of discovery. The story is well written and as this is not your typical werewolf story, it captured my interest from page 1. There is action throughout and whilst there is romantic undercurrent it did not distract from the story. With the addition of a secret society of werewolves it made it a story I could not put down and I read it pretty quick. The twist at the end left me wanting more and I hope that I do not have to wait too long to read more about Allie.

Twice upon an Apocalypse: Lovecraftian Fairy Tales

May 30, 2017 - 5:24 pm No Comments

Twice upon an Apocalypse: Lovecraftian Fairy Tales edited by Rachel Kenley and Scott T Goudsward: Authors: Armand Rosamilia, William Meikle, Bracken MacLeodPeter N. DudarMorgan SylviaDon D’AmmassaMichael KampWinifred BurnistonZach ShephardGary A. Braunbeck (Introduction)

Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 30th May 2017

284 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Like most people I grew up with fairy tales, and have always loved it when authors put their own twist to them. Each story is a different tale but have one thing in common, they all had a Lovecraftian theme.

With 21 stories to capture your imagination, you be hard pressed to find a story that you don’t like. For this review, I am going to pick my favourites.

Little Maiden of the Sea by David Bernard: Using the story of The Little Mermaid, the author tells the story of a female Deep one, who wants to live with humans. Reading this story, I had the feeling that both main characters used each other to get what they wanted in life. The added twist at the end left me wondering if the plan worked.

The Horror of Hatchet Point by Zach Shephard: Based on Rumpelstiltskin and sticking very close to the original this story tells how Rumpelstiltskin uses the Queen to enable him to call forth Father Dagon. Whilst the character of Rumpelstiltskin is a hated child abductor, the author puts a spin on this character and explains the reasons behind his plan.

Let Me Come In by Simon Yee: If you have read The Three Little Pigs, the wolf is the bad guy, however in this story, the wolf has just survived The Great War against the humans and is looking for food. His meeting with the three little pigs and a mysterious white symbol tells the story in a whole new light. It was different to read it from the point of view of the wolf and I did find it funny to hear the pigs swearing, as I am used to the original fairy tale. I liked how the wolf did not use his breath to destroy the houses.

The Little Match Mi-Go by Michael Kamp: After the Old ones were released and destroyed the earth, it was left to the smallest of the Mi-Go to save the earth. This story follows this creature whilst it tries and find Ghatanothoa. Throughout this story I felt sorry for the little Mi-Go as I sensed the quest was hopeless, and I was willing it to survive.

Writing this review, I found it hard to pick my favourites as every story was good. Not having read any of these authors previous works, I did not know what to expect but I have now added more authors to my list to read. I have not read any of HP Lovecraft, but this did not stop me enjoying this book. Lovecraft’s characters suited these fairy tales and returned them to the dark tales before Disney got hold of them. If you like your fairy tales dark or just a fan of Lovecraft then this is a great book to buy.

Holiday in The Hamptons- Sarah Morgan

May 30, 2017 - 1:22 pm No Comments

Holiday In The Hamptons
Author: Sarah Morgan
Publisher: HQ
Page Count: 384pp
Release date: 15th June 2017
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

 

Fliss’ eighteenth birthday wasn’t the joyful experience she expected; not with her father returning to their beach home in a storm of anger.
Every summer, their mom took her, her twin sister Harriet and brother Daniel (New York Actually) to their holiday home in the Hamptons, to escape the ire and tyranny of a bully; their father.
When her father follows them and turns up unexpectedly at her eighteenth birthday with his usual insults and degradation, young Fliss flees to the beach, where Seth, Daniel’s friend, finds her.
Seth Carlyle, five years older than her, looks at her like she’s a woman, treats her like a woman. The chemistry sizzles between them, until it ends. Then she sees him again, ten years later.
Seen in a series of flashbacks and memories, we discover that they marry young and divorce just as quickly.
Ten years later, when Fliss is buried in work at Bark Rangers (fans will know the dog walking service family from from the other ‘Manhattan’ books by Sarah Morgan),
she is a workaholic wanting to expand the business, hiding her constant hurt and loss in Bark Rangers. Where Fliss is vivacious, opinionated and hardly shy, twin Harry (Harriet) is the opposite (introverted and lacking in confidence despite her talents, having been bullied about her childhood stammer). Though there is a steel to a Harry that her twin Fliss doesn’t realise exists.
Together the sisters own and run the business, Harry’s natural affinity for animals being perfect for their success, whilst Fliss’ no nonsense approach sortes the finances and the piles of paperwork.
When ex husband Seth turns up unexpectedly in Manhattan to do a stint at her local vets, Fliss flees to see her Grams in the Hamptons, taking on Harry’s identity to look after her Grandmother whilst she recovers from a fall.
Then the worst thing she could possibly imagine happens.
Seth turns up in the Hamptons; where he actually lives.
In a panic, she continues her charade pretending to be her twin.
Of course, all Seth talks about to ‘Harriet’ is ‘Fliss’. And her defences start to crumble just a little.
“Maybe she’ll be the first woman in history to break up with a guy because she’s jealous of herself.” friend and former Best Man Chase remarks.
So, in a funny, warm and romantic twist on The Parent Trap, Fliss and Seth find themselves spending lots of time together. And as the old adage says ‘the truth will out’.
This book is about secrets, family, love, friendship; the things that matter. It also tackles the difficult subject of bullying.
As a child and teen, Harriet is the subject of bullying at school, whilst at home through their younger years, Harriet, Daniel, Fliss and their mother are all victims of bullying too.
Morgan deals with the issue sensitively, and whilst we later learn some of the reasons for the bullying, the behaviour is not excused.
Though we do learn to understand one important message; honesty is key to any relationship. Keeping things – emotions- bottled up inside will lead to an unfulfilled life.
There’s a lot, as usual with a Sarah Morgan book, going on in this one. Emotional trauma, romance, social and human issues, humour and shock. But what I love most about this book, and the Manhattan series, is the use of animals, particularly dogs.
Each ‘doggy character’ is fully fledged and brings a smile to the readers’ face, or a gasp when they are injured. Hero is awesome, a massive, friendly against stereotyping Doberman and he’s adorable, whilst Lulu is hilarious. And also adorable.
The humans, and the animals, are living breathing characters in her skilled hands.
Reading Sarah Morgan is like being wrapped up in a warm blankie, candle lit, with chocolate cake being served by Ryan Reynolds; who puts on your fluffy cat slippers for you.
Sheer bliss, sheer delight, sheer comfort.

Slugs by Shaun Hutson

May 28, 2017 - 8:22 pm No Comments

Slugs by Shaun Hutson

Published by Caffeine Nights Publishing on 21st April 2016 (Originally published in 1982)

208 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

For the month of Mays reading challenge, I had to read a book from my childhood. Books were a big part of my growing up and I found this a hard choice. Racking my brains, I decided to read the book that got me into the Horror genre, so after a good many years when I originally read Slugs I decided to read it again.

Mike Brady was an environmental health inspector for the Merton borough council, moving there with his wife for a quiet life. After Mike has to serve an amenity notice on a resident, he notices strange slimy trails heading towards a mutilated body. With more slime trails turning up on the new estate and unexplained illness and deaths, Mike knew that he would have a hard time explaining that slugs were the cause of it.

Even though I had read this book before, I still had that same feeling of trepidation when I re-read it. This is a story that builds up tension and whilst you are reading you know something is going to happen. The scenes where the slugs attacked still gave me goose bumps. The way the author set the scene with the prologue you knew that these slugs were not your regular non-threatening garden variety slug. Throughout the story you could feel Mikes frustration and even though his hands were tied with regulations, he knew that he had to do something. With only a small amount people to turn to, it made it feel as the task was a lost cause. One of my favourite characters was Foley the museum curator as he reminded me of a wannabe mad scientist.

Even though it was set in the 80s the story did not feel old fashioned and as a fan of heavy metal I got a buzz every time I recognised an Iron Maiden reference.  If you like your horror gory and want to read a great British author then pick up this book. If you want to know more about the slugs than Breeding ground is also published.

Adam Roberts Aquisition

May 28, 2017 - 1:16 pm No Comments

Adam Roberts is taking over the SF world – again.

Bringing you more news on his recent adventures is @Gollancz guru Marcus Gipps (@marcusgipps)

Hitchcock-inspired Adam Roberts (@arrroberts) novel and sequel to Gollancz

Gollancz is delighted to announce the acquisition of World rights to The Real-Town Murders and an untitled sequel from award-winning author Adam Roberts.

 

Gollancz Commissioning Editor, Marcus Gipps, bought the rights directly from Professor Roberts. The first book, which was inspired by a scene Alfred Hitchcock wanted to film for NORTH BY NORTHWEST but couldn’t manage, is a near-future conspiracy thriller told with Adam’s trademark wit and intelligence.

Alma is a private detective in a near-future England, a country desperately trying to tempt people away from the delights of Shine, the immersive successor to the internet. But most people are happy to spend their lives plugged in, and the country is decaying.

Alma’s partner is ill, and has to be treated without fail every 4 hours, a task that only Alma can do. If she misses the 5 minute window her lover will die. She is one of the few not to access the Shine. So when Alma is called to an automated car factory to be shown an impossible death and finds herself caught up in a political coup, she knows that getting too deep may leave her unable to get home.

What follows is a fast-paced Hitchcockian thriller as Alma evades arrest, digs into the conspiracy, and tries to work out how on earth a dead body appeared in the boot of a freshly-made car in a fully-automated factory.

Adam Roberts said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be publishing again with Gollancz: not only the best SF list in Britain, the best in the world. In this novel I’ve tried to play fair with an impossible murder and a couple of near-future science fiction technologies, but I wrote the whole book under the tutelary spirit of Alfred Hitchcock, and what I came to realise, as I was going along, is that he’s a much trickier customer than many people realise. I hope the SF puzzle and its working-out plays fair, for all that. I think it’s my most ingenious so far.’

Marcus Gipps said: ‘A new Adam Roberts project is always a delight, and this is a wonderful introduction to his work. We can’t wait for people to read this blend of Hitchcock and SF.’

The Real Town Murders | Adam Roberts | 24/08/207
HB £16.99 | Export TPB £13.99 | eBook

Adam Roberts is commonly described as one of the UK’s most important writers of SF, and has won or been shortlisted for all of the major awards. He is the author of numerous novels and literary parodies. He is Professor of 19th Century Literature at Royal Holloway, London University and has written a number of critical works on both SF and 19th Century poetry.

Gollancz is the oldest specialist SF & Fantasy publisher in the UK. Founded in 1927 and with a continuous SF publishing programme dating back to 1961, the imprint of the Orion Publishing Group is home to a galaxy of award-winning and bestselling authors. Through our long-running SF and Fantasy Masterworks programme, and major digital initiative the SF Gateway, Gollancz has one of the largest ranges of SF and Fantasy of any publisher in the world.