Archive for May, 2018

Companions in Ruin by Mark Allan Gunnells

May 18, 2018 - 8:41 pm No Comments

Companions in Ruin by Mark Allan Gunnells
Published by Sinister Grin Press on 10th February 2016
215 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Having read some other works from this author, one thing I like is his short stories. So when I picked up this book I knew that I would have a good read. With 25 short stories of various lengths. You will find plenty of stories to love.
For this review I am going to mention my favourites, I found this quite difficult as whilst writing this review I kept changing my mind as they were all good. So here is my choice at this present time.
By the Light of Dawn: A psychic is a person who claims to use extrasensory perception (ESP) to identify information hidden from the normal senses, but what if they make a mistake. This happened to Dawn and trying to make amends she offers to help a couple who’s daughter had gone missing, for a small fee.
The End of Her Rope: A mother is finding it hard to cope after giving birth.
Anniversary: Randall is celebrating his anniversary with a special girl.
Pick Your Path: When I was a young girl, I loved reading books that you had a role in deciding the fate of the characters. Mattie was a bookworm and when she came across a book called Wish Fulfillment she had some decisions to make.
Rebecca Weston Speaks the Truth: A regular afternoon changed Rebecca’s life. As she spoke more of the truth was revealed.
Homebody: A moving story about Brian and his wife.
Before and Aftermath: A heartbreaking story about Ned Terp and his time at school.
Work in Progress: There is a saying that there is a book in every one, and whilst that is the case is does not prove they are a writer. This is a story about the lengths that Jeremy goes to keep his work in progress a secret.
Depravation: If like me you have teenagers you know what a big part technology plays in their lives. This story shows just what happens when a mom bans her daughter from technology.
Whilst reading this book, it will bring out many emotions, whether you are laughing at some of the antics or one liners, or reading with tears in your eyes. Whilst this is horror, there are no evil slobbering monsters out for revenge. Some of these stories show the horror inflicted by humans or of everyday items and if like me you dislike Elf on a Shelf than there is a story to prove your point. These are one of the best short stories collection that I have read.

Tommy’s Girl Part 2 by Laura Morgan

May 16, 2018 - 9:20 pm No Comments

Tommy’s Girl Part 2 by Laura Morgan
Published 16th May 2018
152 pages
Reviewed Yvonne Davies

Tommy is back and twice as mad. Jump forward 3 months and Piper is happy, a new boyfriend and leading actress in her latest film, but has she escaped Tommy or is he waiting for revenge. The break from Piper had not helped Tommy’s dark moods and with his old PA Miles a man after his own heart they found new ways to get their thrills.
Having read part 1 I easily slipped back into Piper’s and Tommy’s story. This story was darker as Tommy had really fell to pieces over his loss of Piper and through his story, you find out how he acted out his plan. Whilst the story still alternated between the Piper and Tommy, the addition of new characters Eddie and Sergeant Fuller, showed how serious Piper’s plight was. You get to know both sides of the story and the impact that Tommy’s action had. The serial killer element to the story was forgotten as soon as Piper and Tommy’s story got serious. Piper was still a strong female character and even when there was not much hope, she still had a small spark of defiance. Reading her side of the story just showed what a impact Tommy had on her. As mentioned, this is a dark story and sensitive readers need to avoid it, but if you like you stories dark then pick this book up, but you do need to read part 1 first.

A Better Life by Kyle M Scott

May 15, 2018 - 9:21 pm No Comments

A Better Life by Kyle M Scott
Published on 16th April 2018
186 Pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Jess and Curt are a couple in love, burdened with debt and mounting medical bills. Ex-brother in law and con Peter comes up with an idea. Kidnap a little girl, demand money and become debt free. Easy
With only a handful of characters, you get to know each one in depth. Jess is a sweet natured woman who had a hard life. Let down by everyone around and with a deadly illness, she finally find happiness with Curt. Curt is a mechanic, who always tries to do the best for everyone, so when Peter came up with plan, he knew that this could be the end of their problems. Peter is an ex-con out for number one, he doesn’t care who he wrongs. Lisa, Curt’s sister and Peter’s ex wife, is the motherly figure, and the star of the show young Emily, the child they are going to kidnap, quiet and serene who let nothing faze her.
The author has a way of letting your imagination go into overdrive. When Emily’s secret is revealed the descriptive scenes makes the terror real. This story start off at a slow pace and you are introduced to the characters and how they have come about their actions, but as soon as they get to the abandoned house, the pace quickens as all hell breaks loose. As a mom, there were times that I felt sorry for Emily as she just wanted someone to love her for what she was and in times of fear to give her a cuddle. As I finished this book I could not decide who had wrong who and even whilst I write this review I am still thinking about what sweet Emily is doing. Carrying on after the story is the authors notes on why he wrote this story, and I found it interesting reading about his ideas and why he ended it as he did.
This will please horror lovers whether they like graphic or psychological

Clade by James Bradley

May 13, 2018 - 6:43 pm No Comments

CLADE by James Bradley. Titan Books, London, UK. £7.99 paperback. 297 pages. ISBN: 9781785654145
Reviewed by Pauline Morgan.

The origin of the word novel, is something new. Certainly one hopes that each book will have a new story to tell but occasionally and author will try a new way of telling a story. Some experimental novels work, most don’t, so often tinkering with the approach to the story is the most that writers will do. Clade doesn’t conform to the usual pattern of a novel and can be regarded as a series of linked stories. The word clade, however, means ‘a group of organisms considered as having evolved from a common ancestor’. As such, it could be applied to an extended family.
The book opens with Adam in Antarctica observing the solstice while his wife in Sydney undergoing fertility treatment. I don’t know if the system is different in Australia, but the process described seemed very alien to that in the UK – without this couple being extremely wealthy. The science might be suspect but the relationship’s development and breakdown are sympathetically handled. The second part of the book feels disconnected from the first as there is no sense of how much time has passed as we don’t even know if the fertility treatment has been successful at that time. The main event surrounds an asthma attack incapacitating Adam and Ellie’s daughter Summer. In the background, the world is disintegrating with floods, food shortages and power-cuts. To some extent, this is a reflection of the immediate concerns of most of the world’s population. The irritating things are the inaccuracies such as food going off in a fridge enough for a rotten smell to permeate the house.
The third section, set ten years later, goes off at a tangent, telling the story of Maddie and Tom, stepmother and father to Ellie respectively. On its own is is a story about loss but seems forced into the structure of the whole book, and suffers from multiple point of view changes.
Although the book follows the path of members of a family as the world disintegrates – with no real attempt to address the issues. The characters put up with consequences rather than authorities attacking the problems. The ordinary person, is, to some extent, disconnected from the bigger picture but problems of a changing world seem to pass them by. The main problem with the book as a whole is that, while the individual stories are interesting, the whole lacks coherence.

Alien Diplomacy (Alien 5) by Gini Koch

May 13, 2018 - 6:39 pm No Comments

Alien Diplomacy (Alien 5)
Author: Gini Koch
Publisher: DAW
Page count: 425pp
Release date: 3rd April 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

This fifth book in the ‘Alien’ series starts off with a bang and doesn’t stop.
As a bit of spoiler free background, the
Surcenthumain drug from a previous book changes people into something more, and as Ambassador Jeff Martini and his cousin Christopher had been given it without their knowledge, they have no idea what the side effects might be. There’s a history of monsters, and this has made Katherine (Kitty) Martini, pretty nervous but also great at kicking arse. She’s also more than human, but not quite alien, like her husband, as yet.
Officially, the ambassadors are from ‘American Centaurion’ a non-exinstant country. They’re really aliens, and there’s a whole bunch of them living in the open.
ACE is benevolent super consciousness living ‘in’ or with Gower.
If you havent read the previous books, there are catch up moments, but it will be confusing. As it is, there are so many characters and arcs now, it’s a little structurally like Game of Thrones.
What you basically have though, is conspiracy theory comedy SF with a great strong female lead who also faces regular challenges like motherhood and etiquette at the Embassy. As well as how to carry her glock and identify killers.
I love these books oka, they’re fast entertaining reads but can get a little confusing as to who is who at times.
However, the second I finished this one I was desperate to read the next.