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.

Divided Serenity by GL Cromarty

May 9, 2018 - 9:43 pm No Comments

Divided Serenity by GL Cromarty
Published 6th December 2016
258 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

A digitally enhanced wall has always been around Aterra. Originally built as protection from the residents of the forest, the Shadowlands and Janu. Hannah, a technology expert, is the last hope to repair the wall. Having to step out her comfort zone, not only is her life in danger but so is the whole of Aterra.
At the beginning of the book I really struggled to get into the story, the timelines were jumping about and whilst clearly identified I just could not follow the story, but as soon as the story was brought into the present, it all fell into place. With 3 main characters, Hannah, an expert in ancient technology, lover of William (Bill) Bremmer and completely out of her depth when it comes to travel and conflict. Bill Bremmer, President of Aterra, a despicable character who like some politicians was out for personal gain and finally John Tanis, leader of the Shadowlands, an expert in combat and personal enemy of Bill. Whilst the story revolves round these characters, there are a lot of minor characters that help tell this story and the majority have their own tale to tell. There were a few quirky characters, Theo being one of them, who has a very interesting history, which when revealed was unexpected. One character I was really interested in was Kein and in quite a few scenes I was reading frantically to see if he would survive.
This story is medieval meets technology and with its dystopian feel will please a lot of readers. After those first few chapters, the story flowed quickly. The conflict was endless and with its unfairness in weaponry I can only imagine where the story will go and I for one knew which fraction I supported throughout this book . As book 2 and 3 are out I am going to throw myself into continuing journey of Serenity

Ever Shade( A Dark Faerie Tale Book 1) by Alexia Purdy

May 7, 2018 - 8:14 pm No Comments

Ever Shade( A Dark Faerie Tale Book 1) by Alexia Purdy
Published by Lyrical Lit Publishing 24th October 2012
282 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Shade like most teenagers had the usual worries, what was she going to do after high school, would her best friend ever stop getting into trouble and what where the voices in her head. Whilst walking home from school, the voices lead her to an abandon warehouse and the start of an adventure.
At the start I felt that some of the plot did not make sense. Getting drawn into a magical battle and then being introduced to a lightening faerie, most girls would have freaked but Shade took it all in her stride and followed him to the Faerie world. However once I got past that I did enjoy the story. Shade at times showed her vulnerable side which proved that she was not completely comfortable with the task at hand and the news about her heritage. Going on a quest enables the author to introduce us to all different type of faerie folk and I liked that each clan had different powers. It also helps you learn more about Shade and the speculation of her ancestry.
The story is like a rollercoaster and at times it was a good job that Shade was not 100% human as she would have been dead as soon as she walked out the cave. Soap and Jack add some fun and whilst they are older they sometimes act like proper teenage boys. With the addition of Dylan, there is a hint of a love interest and I cannot wait to see how she explains his appearance to her mom
Whilst this is a good introduction to the series there is still a lot of questions unanswered and I hope that some off them will be in answered in future books. This is ideal for teenagers and anyone who likes the faerie folk

They Feed by Jason Parent

May 6, 2018 - 8:56 am No Comments

They Feed by Jason Parent
Published by Sinister Grin Press on 15th April 2018
256 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Tyler is an ex-con released after 6 years after “killing” a man. Dakota is the sister he wronged. Both wanting to draw a line under the past, they unbeknown to each other, go to the spot of that fatal day.
Jason Parent has a way of making you route for the underdog. Throughout the story, Tyler’s past is revealed and you find yourself drawn to him. Not much is known about Dakota at the start, she is just a figure that haunts Tyler, the girl with the piercing blue eyes, but as the story continues you find out that she is a very determined young woman who is fixated in getting her revenge.
The story starts with the original incident that puts Tyler in prison, jump forward 6 years and you find out what is in the park. As the story continues, you are introduced to a handful of characters, Charlie is Tyler’s parole officer, Karl and Abigail, a coupe who are hiking to save their marriage, Merwin the park ranger, Mark, Bo and Luc, 3 obnoxious frat boys and the poor boy they are hazing Frosh. Each character has their own tale to tell about the eventful day, but their stories are intertwined to make a story that you want to read to the end. The description of the creatures leave nothing to your imagination and some of the kills will make you cringe. Their attacks are non stop and you are willing the characters to survive, but like most stories that is not always the case.
From the start you are drawn into a story that is a blend of horror and a thriller and just like this author’s other work, the story is not clear cut so expect a few surprises. This story had a feel of a Shaun Hutson novel to it and I for one loved it.