Posts Tagged ‘Dark’

Dance of the Butterfly by Scott Carruba

August 3, 2017 - 7:58 pm No Comments

Dance of the Butterfly by Scott Carruba

Published by Optimus Maximus Publishing on 5th July 2016

337 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Skothiam is on a quest for 3 ancient books, his research leads him to a prestige university. Meeting Lilja the curator of the university, she has a passion for the old books and a secret that she wants to keep. Also going on in the town is a vigilante trying to stop Gnegon a crime lord who is involved in human trafficking and a serial killer.

Skothiam is a mystery man and its only as the story progresses do we find more about his life. A man of means he does not flash is cash and is very unassuming. Lilja was a confident, strong woman but only at work, when she was with Skothiam she was unsure of herself and in some case quite naïve, especially when she was discussing BDSM.

At the start of this book I kept wandering were the author was taking me, as you had Skothiam’s story and the vigilante’s story running alongside each other and when a serial killer turned up in the book I was still having my doubts, but the author managed to interweave these stories together to make this an absorbing read. The author had an eye for detail and throughout this book even the smallest feature was explained. It brought a smile to my face whenever the character had a lip ring as their characteristics were so like my daughter who is always chewing on her lip ring.  With human trafficking a major part of the story, there are some dark scenes however this is necessary to the story and explains a lot at the end. This is definitely a book for the adult market, however the sex scenes were tastefully written and did not read trashy, in fact they reinforced the bond between Skothiam and Lilja. As I finished this book I was hoping that I could read more of Lilja and Skothiam as they made a good team and I was pleased when I saw Sword of the Butterfly already to purchase. A great read with a touch of fantasy

The Spawn of Lilith – Dana Fredsti

July 26, 2017 - 8:56 pm No Comments

The Spawn of Lilith
Author: Dana Fredsti
Publisher: Titan Books
Page count: 400pp
Release date: 20th June 2017
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

 

Lee Striga is a stunt woman at the top of her game, working with the legendary Katz crew; the equivalent of stunt person royalty. Her crew is going great until someone places her landing air bag in slightly the wrong position, during a routine high fall.
Lee does the drop, and wakes up in hospital with recent memories eradicated and her body in pretty bad shape. But as she heals, she longs to get back into the business; a business where shifters, fae, goblin and all sorts of supernatural creatures work in Hollywood.
On the road to recovery, Lee gets the chance to work on a film with a semi-decent budget as a stunt worker for annoying pain in-the arse actress Portia. But of course, things dont go quite as smoothly as they should, and pretty soon, people on the set are dropping dead, torn to pieces by god-knows-what sort of being.
Fredsti nails the cheap ‘bad’ film experience complete with ‘script’ excerpts with predictably villainous dialogue from – well – the villain. Think Ming the Merciless on a budget. As for attitude towards females in the industry, never mind the so-called ‘concubines’ in the film Lee is working on, she sees herself as curvy, which is fine but she’s regarded as too big to be a leading actress at a size 8, bearing in mind that’s USA ‘8’ which equates to a ‘6’ in the U.K. The sad thing is that Lee’s observations on the industry are based on Fredsti’s many years as an actual stunt woman. As Lee puts it, when being fit for a costume, “eight wasn’t exactly the gargantuan size she was implying.”
There’s a refreshing honesty here.
Axel the horny demon (literally) makes for great comic relief, but also, unfortunately, an indication of how some men in the industry treat women. Thankfully, all of the men aren’t shallow has-beens; Ben being an example of a solid actor and downright nice guy.
On a set later in the book, past the halfway mark, there’s some great banter between Lee and the producer Dobell about low budget SF/horror movies and being a lover of those films, I instantly recognised the kind of films and could guess the studio she is on about when gems such as “Crocksnake” and “Arachnogator” are mentioned – you might say, the well known low budget studio is kind of a “refuge” for B-Movie actors. There are so many pop culture references and ‘in jokes’ about LA and the movies but the kind a reader will easily get, because they are based around some accepted stereotypes. Which, by the way is when this book gets scary, because Fredsti actually worked in the industry meaning a lot of the arseholes she’s talking about? Yeah, they’re probably real. Sheesh.
As for Lee’s ‘voice’ – well – it hits 10 on the sarcasm Richter scale and I literally snorted my coffee out a couple of times through laughter. You’ll see what I mean when she describes actress ‘Portia’.
In a world where parking meter gods get bribed with Hershey Kisses, burly red-headed bar tenders hide secrets and creatures hide in the dark, Fredsti offers a brand new take on the Urban Fantasy genre.
I adored this book; the humour, the mayhem, the characters and the underpinning mystery.
This is a million shades of movie madness awesome. 5/5

Delusional Conduct (Part 1) by JL Clayton and M Rain Ranalli

July 12, 2017 - 8:11 pm No Comments

Delusional Conduct by M. Rain Ranalli and J. L. Clayton is live!

*Are Michelle and Jen manipulating the others, herding them like sheep to the slaughter? Or is this a twisted game where something much more sinister is taking place? *

Get it now on Amazon and Kindle – hyperurl.co/mmp8q0

Delusional Conduct (Part 1) by JL Clayton and M Rain Ranalli

Published by Zombie Cupcake Press on 7th July 2017

66 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

16 yr. olds Michelle, Jen, Steve, Jeremy and Becky have been friends since they were little. Even after a fatal tragedy there bond was really strong. However, cracks begin to show when Jen starts to hear a whistling man and Michelle has a secret that is soon to be revealed.

From the start, you can tell Michelle is the leader. She takes control of the group and is able to calm them down when they want to go off on a mad idea. I feel she can be manipulative especially with Jen and with her list making, I feel she is hiding something. Jen is the complete opposite and whilst she suffered a tragedy a few years before, I found her to be annoying and felt that she wanted to play the victim. One instance was when she had something to tell the group and I felt like shaking her and telling her to get on with it. Jeremy and Steve were hot headed and were protective over the girls. I could not make my mind up about Becky as she was the quiet one and got a bit overshadowed by the others.

This story is only part one of Delusional Conduct so do not expect a lot of answers, in fact you are left with way more questions. The authors drop hints throughout, of the old asylum and I wonder if that will play a bigger part in the remainder of the story. The story has a dark feel to it and I hope that as the story advances it gets darker. As a collaboration, the story flows smoothly and you cannot tell which author writes which chapter. There a few twists in the story and I am not sure how the story will progress. A good start to the series

Scallywag by Stuart Brogan

May 15, 2017 - 4:52 pm No Comments

Scallywag by Stuart Brogan

Published by Midgard Books on 15th May 2017

156 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Callum Benson was a small- time crook. Well known to the police for burglaries and muggings, Callum was a bit of a loner and never affiliated with the criminal fraternity. One afternoon whilst he was mugging someone, he gets kidnapped. Waking up to a group of masked men, he had one task, to save his little sister he needed to murder a “policeman”.  Can Callum step up to the mark and rescue her.

At the start of this story Callum only thought of No1 and didn’t care who he hurt in the process to get what he wanted. However, when his sister was kidnapped he knew that he had to rescue her and he did surprise me that he took on the mission without asking questions. There were times he was cocky and liked to run his mouth but I personally thought this was an act because he was scared. By the end of the story I was feeling sorry for him and I actually began to like him.

The target was a strange character and whilst I read, I felt he was very childlike but the more you read his story, he was highly intelligent, knew exactly what he wanted but was evil in how he did it.

Stuart Brogan has done it again, another book that gave me a book hangover as I read into the early hours. To create a story with very few characters takes skill and Stuart proves he has it. The story intensified when Callum came across his target and the story took on a different pace. It got grittier and when you think you knew what was going to happen, the author adds a twist that completely knocks you back. The ending was a complete surprise but fitting.

Another great read that will not let you put it down until you have finished it.

By Any Means Necessary by Stephen Sayers

April 15, 2017 - 5:53 pm No Comments

By Any Means Necessary by Stephen Sayers

Published by Britain’s Next Seller on 9th December 2016

242 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After losing his mom at an early age, Tommy Myers followed 3 simple rules: Don’t let fear rule his life, fight for those he cared about and never stop unless someone kills him. Knock him down and he would get up fighting. Everything with his life was going to plan, his boxing career was on the rise, he was best friends with his stepsister and he thought nothing could go wrong. However, fate had other plans and after a vicious attack on his sister, Tommy sticking to his rules ends up in prison. Set in Newcastle upon Tyne, we follow Tommy over 3 generations, and see what choices he makes.

The instant, I was introduced to Tommy, I took to him straightaway. A loveable rogue, he earnt respect because he had morals. Sticking to his rules gave him a sense of purpose and even though he was sometimes on the wrong side of the law, he was never greedy and only used violence if necessary. As family come first we get to know Tommy’s family really well. Donna the stepmom, held the family together at their darkest times and although it must have been hard stepping into Mary’s shoes, she always supported the family and never turned her back on them. Karen, Tommy stepsister vowed never to be the victim again and although she had bouts of depression, once she had a project to keep her busy, she put 100% effort into it, not afraid to inflict pain on the male population, she was the one that people under-estimated. Tommy’s nemesis from the moment he was locked up was Jack Hudson, ruling the criminal activity in Newcastle, with the help of bent police office Detective Patrick Campbell, he wants to get revenge on Tommy.

From the prologue, you know that this is going to be an intense story. Set in the criminal world, you expect scenes that are dark and graphic, but each scene is relevant to the story. The author has not just written the scenes for shock sake. The author has your emotions on a rollercoaster, the twists he adds to the story makes it a page turner and you do not know where the author will take you next. I enjoyed reading about the 80s as being a teenager in that decade reminded me about the fashion and music that was around and with some of the comments Tommy made, made me smile to myself.

I was shocked to find that this was his novel as it was written so well. For lovers of the true gritty thrillers, then this is the book for you.  Martina Cole needs to watch out as there is a new author close on her heels.