Archive for May, 2018

Eve of Man by Tom Fletcher and Giovanna Fletcher

May 30, 2018 - 9:44 pm No Comments

Eve of Man by Tom Fletcher and Giovanna Fletcher
Published by Penguin on 31st May 2018
408 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

50 years where only boys were born. The earth is in trouble, then an unlikely couple have a miracle. Eve the first girl born. Living in a dome to protect her, is she the answer to save the world.
Bram, pilot and son of one of the powerful men in the EPO. He has know Eve for a long time thanks to high tech technology.
But what if they both want something different?
Eve lived a lonely life, whilst she lived in beautiful surrounds and had the “Mothers” with her throughout her growing up, she had no one of her own age. What she learned was from archives and watched 24/7. Her only companion was Holly an AI. Even though she had a sheltered life, she was wise to the EPO tricks. As she grew up she started to question her existents and the reason behind her imprisonment.
Bram was one of the pilots of Holly. Being the son of one of the big bosses, did not go down well with some of his team. But he was good at what he did. However when he began to get to close to Eve and question authority, he had to make a stand.
With an unique storyline, this story captured my attention from page 1. As the story progresses you find out the character’s history and even though Eve and Bram had not officially met, they had a similar background. Bram was a strong character and this was probably due to his abusive father. His true leaderships skills comes to force further in the book. The relationship between Eve and Bram was innocent and sweet and you want to carry on reading to see how their friendship developed. Whilst some of the mothers’ history was revealed in the story, I would like to know about the them as they remind me of a group of nuns.
Like any dystopian story, you have the downtrodden and this book is no different. The Freevers are a group of people that are not happy with the situation with the EPO. Wanting to free Eve, they work in the shadows for their cause. Whilst technology plays a big part in the story, the authors managed to blend some lower tech into the mix, so look out for a Rubiks cube the bane of many 80s child’s life. The book has a steady flow to it, and the action builds up to a dramatic climax which leaves you wanting more.
Although this book is written by two authors the style of the writing makes it impossible to tell who had written what. This book is ideal for young and old alike and if you are looking for your first dystopian novel this will be a perfect read. Be warned this does finish on a cliff hanger and I hope that I do not have to wait to long for book 2. A great start to this series.

Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh

May 30, 2018 - 4:59 am No Comments

Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh
Published on 25th January 2018 by Orion
368 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Before I started this book, I had never read any of the other books in this series. What grabbed me was the blurb and a lot of recommendations from my friends.
Eddie Flynn is a defence lawyer, good at what he does, he has made a name for himself, whilst annoying the NYPD. When Robert Solomon gets arrested for murder, Flynn gets an invite to be on the defence team. With all the evidence stacked up against Robert, Flynn knows he has a fight in court. But the further Flynn investigates, he quickly comes to realise that it is not a simple case of murder.
From the start you know that Joshua Kane was a master of his work. Everything he did was planned to finest detail. He was one of the cleverest serial killers I have read about and I did have an admiration for him.
The story swaps between Flynn and Kane’s story, there is no confusion as Kane is in 3rd POV. This helped the story flow and you learn about the character’s in detail. This story is fast paced and the tension builds throughout. I do not read many court room drama but I found this intriguing, even down to the jury selection and after I found out what they have to go through to get selected, I admired Joshua more.
When I am reading thrillers I like to guess where the story was going, but with this story I was wrong in every case. The story was well plotted and there was a lot of detail to the story. Even if you have not read the others in the series, you do not miss out on any of the story as this can be read as a stand alone and for me a good introduction to this author’s work. An intriguing plot and a must for thriller lovers and you will get to find out why thirteen as there are only twelve on the jury.

Psycho Circus: A Collection of Horror by TS Woolard

May 23, 2018 - 8:53 pm No Comments

Psycho Circus: A Collection of Horror by TS Woolard
Published by Azoth Khem Publishing on 9th October 2017
169 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

One thing I enjoy with reading short stories is the wide variety of tales. Whilst I have not read any of this author’s works before, I was looking forward to reading this book as I had heard good things and I was not disappointed. With 13 dark short stories and 6 poems each one was completely different. With various length stories involving clowns, zombies, serial killers angels, demons and many more, you will sure find a story you love.
Whilst I am not a big poetry fan , I did enjoy reading them. They were dark with a melancholy feel to them. They were systematically placed between the stories giving the book a smooth flow to your read.
As for the short stories it was hard to pick some of my favourites to write this review.
Kizzy’s Danse, follows Bret ex prisoner on his mission for forgiveness and revenge. Through this story, I felt sorry for Bret, whilst what he was planning was wrong, you could understand why he felt the need for revenge and the ending was so sad. This was one emotional read.
The First Cut, follows Ken and his fears of a house invasion. All I can say was I never saw the twists coming and Ken had a very unusual fetish.
The Toll, a story about what to expect when you die. Full of action and whilst graphic had some comedy moments in thanks to St Peter
Giving, follows five people throughout their lives. As you read this story their lives are all interlinked ad goes to show how one action has a domino effect in all their lives.

This is a book that you can pick up and read either straight through or if you have a spare 10 minutes just to read one. The stories are a good length and each story had me gripped. A lot of the stories were intense and some of the scenes where so emotionally charged that I had to pause before I carried onto the next story. I admire any author that can write a short story as you have limited words to tell the story and this author has definitely got the knack. This is a good collection and if you like your horror on the dark side than get this book.

Scouse Gothic by Ian McKinney

May 21, 2018 - 5:35 am No Comments

My turn for the book tour for Scouse Gothic by Ian McKinney. Learn more about book and my review of a vampire in Liverpool.

Scouse Gothic by Ian McKinney
Published by YouCaxton Publications on 2nd October 2015
200 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Melville was a vampire, but if you walked past him in the street, you would not know. Living in Liverpool, trying to stay “teetotal” he lived an unassuming life, but his past is trying to catch up with him.
I have read quite a few stories about vampires and they all have one thing in common. They are strong beings trying to inforce their power either by killing each other or by turning their victims. Melville was different, a quiet man who just wanted to live his life. To make his life more complicated, he had fell off the wagon, had a body to dispose of and had a new love interest. Added to the story is Lathom a retired hitman turned antique dealer, Kelly, a man with no morals with a past of his own, Peter, recently bereaved who talks to an angel, Catherine, a woman out for revenge and Sheryl, the larger than life love interest.
Reading this story you can tell that it was well plotted with only a handful of characters their stories were interlinked and each character you learn about in detail. Reading a story about an immortal, there is a lot of life history and throughout you get to know more about Melville and to say he lived an eventful life is an understatement. There was always something happening which kept me turning the pages to find out what was coming next. Kelly has some of the bloodiest scenes and there was one of the most unique ways of escaping that I have read. Scattered throughout there are some funny moments thanks to Frank the pigeon come angel and I laughed out loud when he described religion to different chains of fast food restaurants.
The author takes the vampire myths and throws them out the window and it was a refreshing change to read something different, even down to the way Melville was turned. Liverpool is a place I have never visited, however with the details in the book Ian McKinney is an ambassador for the city full of history.
With its mixture of historical, thriller and vampires it makes it attractive to a vast amount of readers. Finishing on a cliff hanger and a box of chocolates, this was a great start to a series which has got me hooked

19 Abercromby Square: Owned by the Chavasse Family and previously the Confederate banker Priorleau 

Now from the man himself

SCOUSE GOTHIC: Facts and Fiction
When reading fiction, I’ve always found it more believable if it’s based on fact, whether that is a real event, or even a real place. Consequently, when I began writing SCOUSE GOTHIC, I was determined that all the events would take place in actual locations.
Although I was born and bred in Liverpool I hadn’t lived in the city for many years. However, a combination of events meant that I had access to a new apartment in the city centre for a few months. It was during this time that I wrote the majority of SCOUSE GOTHIC.
While spending weekends there, I began to explore the city, and was constantly surprised by how much it had changed – but also, by how much of it was totally unchanged from my youth. Many of the old buildings had survived redevelopment and many had found new uses. As I walked through the streets I imagined my vampire, Melville walking the same streets and remembering his past lives in the city.
The apartment I was using was high up in a new development and overlooking Chavasse Park. I’d spend many hours looking out over the city, trying to imagine how Melville would feel, watching people in the park far below. Would he feel unconnected to them and their lives? After all, he is always an outsider, unable to put down permanent roots or have long-term relationships. How do you explain not growing older? Or the occasional missing person? No doubt he would watch individuals in the park and think them insignificant and their lives worthless. Perhaps considering them not as human beings, but prey – fresh blood to feed his addiction.
As the book progressed, I introduced more characters who all had their own personal relationship with the city. In each case I began to develop their character by walking in their shoes. Each location was recorded on a map which I reproduced in the book. I also took photographs as an aide-memoir when writing scenes at a later date. I’ve since posted these on the ‘Scouse Gothic Books’ page on Facebook, so that readers who are unfamiliar with Liverpool can see the actual locations used in the books.
I discovered that many of the buildings that Melville would have known from his previous visits to Liverpool in 1862 and 1914 have now found others uses: a church is now a bar; a dock is now a tourist attraction etc. This gave me the opportunity to explore Liverpool’s past, alongside that of Melville’s.
It started with the park I stared down on from my apartment, Chavasse Park. Why was it called that? I found out that it’s named after Noel Chavasse, a local hero from the First World War. (He was a Doctor who won the VC twice, the second posthumously) I imagined that Melville would have known him and served with him, called him a friend. Which is why he refers to it as ‘Noel’s Park’, and that in turn triggers a memory about the King’s Liverpool Regiment and 1914.
I then discovered that at that time, the Chavasse family lived in a house in Abercromby Square, and that had originally been owned by a man called Priorleau. In 1862, Priorleau was the banker for a Confederate conspiracy to secretly build warships in Liverpool to fight in the American Civil War. This led me to the story of a Confederate warship called the Florida and another story from Melville’s past.
As I walked the streets, I’d see a date on a building and wonder what it used to be? The more I delved into the history of Liverpool, the more strange coincidences I discovered. It was as though every building had a secret it was hiding. Just like my characters in SCOUSE GOTHIC, who each appear one thing to the outside world, but who are all something else entirely. Something much darker and much more complex.
Perhaps Liverpool had ceased to be merely a location for my characters to inhabit, but a character in its own right?
Which is fact and which fiction? I’ll leave that to my readers to decide.

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.