March 26, 2017 - 10:38 am
Perk Noir by Chris Garson
Published by Optimus Maximus Publishing on 6th July 2016
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies
After getting injured on the field, former American Football player Mason Barnes became an author. He has a created a series about a ninja spy Mia Killjoy who can kill any assailant with her lady parts, loved by a niche audience all Mason wants to do is to win a Pulitzer. Mason does his writing at Perk Noir, a coffee shop dedicated to Earl “Lightening” Perkins, original owner and little known Jazz player. Being a big fan of Lightening, Mason knew there was more to his life and if he wanted to win that prestigious award, then he would have to investigate and write Lightening’s story. Helping with this story was Shelly a big Mason, Cosplay and Mia fan, who’s family heirloom kicked started the Lightening investigation, but he knew that he had to get to the story before his nemesis, Bancroft.
The way the author described Mason you have a definite picture in your mind whilst reading this story. I found him to be a loveable character, a gentle giant who had a fascination for people’s head size. When he joined up with Shelly their partnership was solid and I felt that she bought out the best in Mason and was always worrying about his wellbeing, especially when Mason suffers a health scare. Although young in age, she was very mature and was full of confidence and I liked the way that she did not care what people thought about her. The detail that the author put into each character even the minor ones, added more depth to the story. I was instantly drawn to Brett Barlow, the café owner and Professor Harrison Coopers-Clarke Mason’s mentor and I would like to know more about them
Weaving from past to present, helped tell the story of Mason’s investigation, without it being confusing. Lightening’s story was so convincing that I had believed that he was an actual Jazz player. This is a well written book, with a great plot full of twists and turns. I did not want the story to finish but I could not put it down. It had me laughing at Mia’s antics and the constant comparison of head sizes and the final twist I am sure I just sat there with my mouth agape as I definitely did not see that coming.
This is a great story and not just for mystery lovers. I want to read more of Mason and I want to know if Snippy ever loses weight.
Aletheia by JS Breukelaar
Published by Crystal Lake publishing on 24th March 2017
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies
Thettie Harpur was going home, after 10 years away, wanting to make peace with her cousin Frankie. Going back to Little Ridge, brings back memories and even though the town has changed, people’s views of the Harpur clan hasn’t. Running the clan now was Doc Murphy, a man with a dangerous past who was not one to share his secrets. On arriving Thettie meets up with a local artist who is still haunted by the disappearance of his son and the death of his wife. His only friend is Vernon, a Gila Monster, a lizard rescued from a medical lab whose venom had amazing qualities. Can Thettie get to the mysterious Island and make peace with Frankie? and who is Bryce and why did she find out the Harpurs?
Throughout the book, you are introduced to a lot of characters, each having their individual story but each story interlinked. Whilst reading this book, I felt that Thettie although having all her family around her was a very lonely woman, moving back to Little Ridge brought back a lot of memories and she had a lot of guilt, she only showed her true self when she was with Lee. At the beginning of the book, I could not connect with Bryce and it was not until further into the story that I started to understand her purpose. Lee and Thettie’s story was at times harrowing and I could not understand how Lee could suffer any more pain. I was intrigued with Aunt Sarey and wanted to know more about her and her strange dogs.
This is a very in-depth book and I found that it was a book that I had to take my time reading. It’s a story about love, betray and loss and is most definitely not your normal ghost story. The detailed writing especially the scenes on the lake added mystery to the book and you do wonder what it under the lake. Whilst I do not judge a book by its cover, this is beautifully drawn and I feel that the cover captures Thettie sadness. A good story and a book that I will re-read as I am sure I will find something that I had missed.
The Rage of Cthulhu by Gary Fry
Published by Horrific Tales Publishing on 23rd March 2017
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies
After being medically retired George and his wife decide to spend some of what time he has left travelling round the world. Starting off in the picturesque town of Whitby, George stumbles across a derelict foghorn station and whilst he investigates the damage to the building gets embroiled into a mystery of an ancient being which will follow him around the world.
Not having read HP Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu, I had no idea what this creature was or the history behind it, but after reading this story, I am curious to find out more. From the start of this story you are drawn into a secret that has not been talked about in 50 years, from listening to the two old men’s tales or reading an ancient Norwegian manuscript, you are taken on a journey around the world only stopping when George gets to his final destination. Whether it was in George’s dreams, visiting different places and seeing new cultures all this added to the mystery of the Cthulhu. The use of George’s illness makes you doubt yourself whilst you are reading it, as I kept wavering between thinking it was all in his head and thinking that he was chasing the monster down. Even finishing this book did not solve my dilemma. I had sympathy for Christine, George’s wife as I felt she was struggling between letting him investigate the mystery and believing him and worrying about his illness.
As it is a novella it is a quick read and it is a book you can finish in one sitting. The suspense builds up slowly and I had to keep reading to find out what happened. Whilst reading it I was expecting something dramatic to happen, but when it did, the descriptive way the author wrote those scenes I was imagining being with George and watching him face his demon.
A well written tale of an ancient monster, this will have you gripped to the end a good horror read.
A new adventure in Ben Aaronovitch’s bestselling PC Grant series, for September 2017
Gollancz is delighted to announce the acquisition of THE FURTHEST STATION, a brand new novella in the bestselling PC Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch, for publication in September 2017.
Publishing Director Gillian Redfearn acquired world rights (excluding the USA, France and Germany, which are represented by agent) from John Berlyne of the Zeno Literary Agency.
THE FURTHEST STATION is Ben Aaronovitch’s first PC Grant novella . . . and there’s something going bump on the Metropolitan line. And when commuters start reporting encounters with ghosts up and down the track – encounters which they forget entirely within minutes – Peter Grant gets a call to investigate. And the very first interview leads to a ghost-hunting expedition . . .
The unabridged audio edition – read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith – and ebook edition will be published simultaneously with the hardback.
Ben Aaronovitch said: ‘This is my first novella and I suddenly understood the appeal of the form to both writers and readers. Novellas allow you to tell a story in a very elegant, streamlined fashion. Something you can read quickly but without feeling cheated at the end. I may write more’
Gillian Redfearn said: ‘THE FURTHEST STATION is brilliant. Powered by a gripping mystery, brought to life by Ben Aaronovitch’s wit and wisdom, it’s a story of modern London and modern families – as well as a future bestseller’
John Berlyne said: ‘Readers far and wide have enjoyed Ben’s work thanks to Gollancz’s brilliant publishing. This wonderful novella will delight each and every one of them’
THE FURTHEST STATION | BEN AARONOVITCH | 21 SEPTEMBER 2017
£12.99 | B–Format HB | 9781473222427
Ben Aaronovitch grew up as part of a famously engaged and lively North London family. He has written for many TV series including Doctor Who, and worked as a bookseller for Waterstones. All six of his Peter Grant novels have been Sunday Times and Audible bestsellers, and are sold in twenty territories around the world, and he now writes full time in addition to being actively involved in charity work. He still lives in London, the city he likes to refer to as ‘the capital of the world’.
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.
The Dragon Finds Forever
Nocturne Falls Book 7
Author: Kristen Painter
Publisher: Sugar Skull Books
Page count: 240pp
Release Date: 21st February 2017
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
It’s back to Nocturne Falls again. Where supernatural creatures (vampires, werewolves, Valkyrie, gargoyles – the list goes on) hide in plain sight in the town which celebrates Halloween 24/7. This time, we have a dragon.
It starts with Monalisa (don’t sing please!) Devlin, watching her father play with the gold coin that’s supposed to be hers; her birthright given to her at eighteen. But Padraig Devlin, father and king of the Leprechauns could be crafty, sneaky and greedy.
She should’ve got her coin twelve years ago as she turned eighteen, but no, no matter that she’d done what he asked, there was still that ‘loose end’.
As soon as she got her coin she’d be able to leave, which is why the king held onto it tight, as blackmail – there was something he wanted her to do.
Her parents were known worldwide for the casino, The Shamrock, and the fights held beneath the venue. Monalisa’s manipulative father wanted her to persuade a certain dragon to fight in their arena. Urging her to use her ‘will-o-the-wisp’ skills to get the Dragon in her thrall.
Van, Dragon in metaphorical hiding, is determined to leave fighting behind and settle down in Nocturne Falls. Close friends with Pandora, she helps him choose a dog as a new companion as he heals on crutches; a dog he hopes to bond with. His life in the fighting arena over. He just wants to mope, recover and read and pet his new timid Doberman Grom. He’s in no place for female relationships.
Too bad the ‘rehabilitation therapist’ ‘Lisa’ (Monalisa’s cover to lure back Ivan the Hammer) is easy on the eyes, he is not interested in women – at all! But he also doesn’t want her getting in Trouble and getting sacked for not doing her job, after all, she seems desperate. So reluctantly he agrees to the therapy.
With the therapy comes an interesting aspect of the book. Van has been severely injured by a manticore’s poison and is suffering a form of sports PTSD or injury-related trauma as a result.
Painter seems to have really grasped what trauma feels like and through the therapy sessions between her two protagonists, leads the reader through the recovery process, exploring the emotions involved. As Monalisa helps Van deal with the physical and emotional scars from his fight, the two, inevitably, become closer.
Painter also deals with perceptions in the novel; how Van is seen by the tourists as something or someone to be feared because of his size and shaved head, juxtaposed with his sweet nature, his sense of humour, and how the locals and Lisa see past his exterior.
Overall, this is another fun, romantic romp from a Painter in the Nocturbe Falls series, with a cameo of Jayne Frost. The more I read of this Halloween town, the more I’d love to move there!