Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Baby Trap by Sibel Hodge

You know exactly where you are with a Sibel Hodge book (well, mostly ). In chick-lit land.
This one, though, is a bit more "chick" than usual. This is the story of Gina who decides she wants a baby with hubby, Karl and finds she can't. The story follows Gina extremely closely !!!!!! as she spends quite some time and many methods of trying to get pregnant.
I know some blokes love a bit of Sibel (oo er missus), but you will need to (wo)man up before attempting this book. It goes into extreme detail of all the methods Gina tries to get pregnant.
I did enjoy this book, but I couldn't relate to Gina, so I, personally, wouldn't rate this as one of Sibel's best books. I much prefer the fantasy of Amber Fox than the realities of close-up fufus

Bang: Memoirs of a Relationship Assasin by David Wailing

Well, what can I say - apart from "Marvellous"

This is the story of "Scott" who is a relationship assassin, ie someone who ruins a relationship for payment. He starts off quite cocky, but as the story unfolds he becomes more human. As with Fake Kate there's a lot about identity.

I really like David's writing. It is simple and flowing and just a joy to read. I hate discovering fresh new authors as there's no back catalogue for me to devour . I am officially a massive Wailing fan.

If you liked Fake Kate, you'll love this.

Dark Tidings by Ken Magee

"What happens when ancient magic meets the internet? One thing is sure, modern life will never be the same again." Now that's certainly an eye catching tag-line. It caught my eye again and again, so then I just had to read it. And, boy, is it a damn fine read.

The two stories run seperately for the early portion of the book. You know their paths will meet at some point, but it's not like you are waiting for this to happen before the story can get going. The separate stories are enjoyable in themselves.

I thought this story was quite original. It's probably not, but it had that fresh feel to it. Try it - you may very well like it.

The Time Hunters and the Box of Eternity by Carl Ashmore

After waiting ages (plus a few more days) I finally got my hands on Time Hunters 2.
The wait was well worth it as this is another gem. Basically if you liked the first one, you'll love this one.

Becky and Joe are off on another adventure with Uncle Percy and Will. This time they have to deal with Chicago mobsters and pirates.

This may be a children's story, but I adored it. If I was a parent I'd happily read this to my child again and again. I also think this story would make a lovely family film.

If you want a fun packed adventure story. This is the one to get.

Bodyswitch by David Callinan

The first text of this book is "BODYSWITCH a paranormal erotic psycho thriller" which startled me as I didn't think it was quite that from the description on Amazon.
Luckily (for me) it wasn't too paranormal nor too erotic, but plenty of psycho and thriller

The paranormal bit was that the protagonist visits a "half-way land" to say goodbye to his recently deceased wife. This didn't seem out of place, it seemed like a nice thought about the interim afterlife. There wasn't a lot of sex, just some encounters that mostly moved the story along. I didn't particularly like the character of the psychiatric consultant, she seemed a bit unprofessional.

This seemed a long book. It wasn't "un-put-downable" but I kept going back to it to see what happened next. It's not a masterpiece by any means, but certainly an enjoyable read with some good ideas and plots.
I will probably check out some more books by David Callinan.

Carnival of Hope by George Hamilton

This is the story of Tomas and Thereza who grew up and live in the slums of the North East of Brazil and the fight they have to get out of town via the Carnival.

This story is heartbreaking in its portrayal of just how poor these people are. I could picture the streets and tips that George describes. Tomas doesn't eat for 3 days and that is just unbelievable for me in my comfy house. I've no doubt this story could well be a true story many places in Brazil.

Tomas in his heart is a good person, but who knows how far we would be pushed before we do bad things like he reluctantly has to.

I think George is a good writer, the story is easy to read and even though nothing exciting happens, I was always "in the story". As with his previous book Secrets from the Dust, this wouldn't have been one I would have looked at twice, but I'm so glad I did. I was thinking of Tomas and Thereza long after finishing the book.

The Dark Deeps by Arthur Slade

The Dark Deeps is the second book in The Hunchback Assignments series.

Modo and Octavia are sent to investigate ships being sunk by "sea monsters" in the waters off Iceland. This being a steampunk story, it's obviously not a living creature but an underwater submarine (as submarines generally are :-)

Modo gets split up from Octavia who doesn't play such a big part in this book. Instead the heroine is Collete, a French spy who is a bit more mature - well she is 18. It's very Jules Verne.

I think I slightly preferred the first book in that it was a magical new story as I was introduced to the wonderful characters. But that's not to say that this is any less a good book. I shall definitely get book 3 and I hope there's much more to come.

Build a Man by Talli Roland

If you are a fan of Talli's books, then you will love this. It is 'classic' Talli, so you know you are getting a fantastic chick-lit read.
It's no secret I'm a fan. The writing is superb, very readable.

It's an interesting story set in a plastic surgery about Serenity who wants to be a reporter. You really feel for her as things go wrong around her.

I think Talli's books get better and better and I again look forward to reading more.

Iditarod by Andre Jute

What can I say? This book is an immense story. My finger nails are no more.

The Iditarod is a race across the Alaskan countryside of well over a thousand miles. Easy you may think, but it's a dog sled ride in temperatures of minus stupid and winds of way past gale force with snow getting everywhere you don't want snow. This is no winter wonderland.

Andre describes this utter whiteness so well you can feel you are there. Also the loneliness of the competitors makes you want to go hug the nearest person (not if you are reading it on public transport !!!!!!)

The way the side story of the wolves is written made me think of David Attenborough doing the narration. There was a definite shift in the writing that made you realise that this is a seperate part of the story and built it up to the climax of the finale.

I believe most of this story is true, just the two main characters with their "sub-race" is the fictional part.

I can really imagine this as a film. But in a made-for-TV movie kind of way If it was a blockbuster it would be all about the stars, but on "Real Stories TV", the dogs and the landscape would be the bigger stars.

Crime in the Community by Cecilia Peartree

First off I will say that I really don't like the cover, it's gritty and grey and bleak and Scottish . This book kept cropping up and it's free and time passed and even though I kept clicking on the Amazon page, I really didn't fancy it. But for some reason I tried it and I'm so glad I did.

I would possibly call it a bit chick-lit-ish apart from the main character being a bloke. I might even put it into the cosy mystery group, but it's not too cosy. Perhaps a bit Miss Marpley but the mystery is not that important.
Whatever, it was a great read with some lovely characters and not at all gritty like my first impressions gave me. I didn't find it too Scottish either :)

Fake Kate by David Wailing

The cover always drew my eye and I'd looked at the write up a few times but the £1.71 was a bit too expensive for my stinginess. But after tasting the sample I knew I was hooked. I needed to know about Kate.

The story was gripping from the start. I loved Team Kate (and surprisingly the 4th member). I could quite imagine Belinda running around London looking for clues as to Kate's whereabouts.
The book seemed a meaty size. After all the plots and twists and turns I was surprised to only be at 50%. Perhaps the scenes in the nightclubs went on a bit too long for my liking but it was all relevant to the plot.
This was a story where you didn't know where it was going nor where it would end. I had a few ideas, but they were cast aside.

A big thumbs up from me

The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade

The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade is my recent foray into the Steampunk genre. The fantastic looking cover caught my eye in the first place.

It's the story of Modo who is taken in as a baby by Mr Socrates who trains him to be his agent. I don't like giving the story away in my reviews, so go read the blurb to see what it's about Due to mention of orphans at the start and being taken in by a mysterious rich gentleman, I was thinking along the lines of Lemony Snicket, but as it got into the adventure I was picturing the film Young Sherlock Holmes in that they were running around Victorian London.

This book is aimed at the younger market, yet was certainly grown up enough for me.
It was a very visual story, I could imagine the look and smells as described.I will certainly check out more by Arthur Slade. This book is free at the moment and a fantastic introduction to a great writer, so get it quick and start reading.

Cruel Justice by Mel Comley

The first book in the DI Lorne Simpkins set of books. It was a page turner, I read it in two nights as I just wanted to keep going. Even though the murders were gruesome, Mel doesn't go into gory detail like some authors do which, in my opinion, made for better reading.

I look forward to reading more of Lorne's cases, but I hope she gets a few days off as even I was getting tired by her hard work and long hours.

A Time for Change by Mel Comley

Whilst I enjoyed this story, I wasn't too fussed on the behaviour of the two males in Danielle's life. Obviously the "wrong" one was a jerk, but I found the "right one" to be a bit of a spoilt brat who needed a slap.

The story was a pleasant read and I wanted to be on the trip with Danielle, she seemed like she was having a great time on her own.

Trav Zander by Lexi Revellian

Trav Zander by Lexi Revellian is the sequel to Torbrek and the Dragon Variation

It introduces a new character Trav Zander to the now familiar Tor and follows on from the first book.
When I started reading it, I must admit the thought past through my mind "do I want to be reading this?" but that thought soon disappeared as I got into it and the story got going.

Yet again Lexi has delivered a sparkling story. I have decided that I was picturing Tor as Mila Jovovich in Joan of Arc when she was undercover. All the characters are well fleshed out and believable and I look forward to the promised third book of this alleged Trilogy (and the rest as who says a trilogy must be 3 books - not Douglas Adams and not Robert Rankin)

The Geronimo Breach by Russel Blake

This is a story set in Panama and Central America about a thief, his guide and their pursuers.

I hadn't really read the write-up as it was offered up as a review copy, so didn't know which of the characters I came across at the start of the book was the main character (even though it should have been obvious, doh). That made it better as I didn't quite know who to root for.

The storytelling was quite colourful (in a nice way, not a swearing way) and very rich. I have been on holidays to Costa Rica so could imagine the jungle landscape.

I was wondering what was on the video tape and it did surprise me, which was enjoyable . Other people may have picked up on clues as to what was going on, but by not over-thinking it was a journey that I felt I was going on too.

I really enjoyed this book and will check out other things by this author.

Torbrek and the Dragon Variation by Lexi Revellian

Lexi mentioned she had just published her first two books so I had a nose. Torbrek... is a fantasy about dragons and princesses and knights and battles etc. I am not all that interested in this kind of book, but since I loved Remix and Replica, I thought I'd check out the samples when I went to bed last night. Well, I'd got to 30% of the book before I was too exhausted and had to sleep . I read another third this morning before I had to go out visiting and finished it off this afternoon.

What a blummin fantastic book.

It was very light, but not childish at all. There were story strands with numerous characters but you never got distracted or confused (this is no Game of Thrones )

The main character is a girl who pretend to be a boy, but I was glad that that didn't go on for too long. She's no-nonsense and likeable.

I think I can officially say I need never download a sample of Lexi's books ever again (maybe if you do a Western, but other than that ... ) as she is superb storyteller and writer in 3 genres now.

A big thumbs up from me.

The Meyersco Helix by Andrew McCoy

Andre Jute writes that this book was first published in 1988 and was re-edited, but there was no sign of it being over 20 years old. It seemed completely in the now. I like a good biological thriller and this was just that. The thought that something could so easily escape into the atmsphere and the only way to stop it is with high collateral damage is scary.

In the main, this story is very much a chase story. I did have a problem with it at one point where the pursuers had stopped to do some nasty deeds, yet caught up with the pursued even though he appeared to be travelling via faster means.

There were some twists and turns that caught me out and - as a reader - I found the ending to be satisfactorily unexpected.

Fourteen Days Later by Sibel Hodge

I read Fourteen Days Later on a plane to Orlando. There's nothing like being stuck in a flying can to concentrate your mind on a good book. It made the flight fly by :)

I was really taken in by Helen's character and was willing her to have a happy ending. In this type of book you can guess the ending practically from the start, but it's all about the journey. And what a journey it was too.

I think this book was more interesting with the different nationalities / customs. I'm so used to "white" characters that I rarely come across and appreciate the differences in customs that can cause hilarious misunderstandings.

Watching Willow Watts by Talli Roland

Now that's what I like, a 100% Chick Lit book. You know exactly what you are going to get. A darned good read.

I was going to save this for holidays next week, but I thought I'd read a page or two. Next thing I knew was I'd finished it and it was dark outside.

It's the story of Willow Watts who, after living in London for a while, goes back to her small village to live with her dad and gets caught up in whirlwind after appearing on You Tube.

It was a great read. The story just flowed and even though Willow is extremely naive, I liked her and the other characters.

Is it too early to ask when your next book is out Talli? I want more

Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave by Sibel Hodge

The topic is hard reading, but the storytelling is superb.

I love Sibel's chick lit writing and was unsure whether I wanted to read this story, but am glad I did. It's sad that trafficking exists nowadays and this story highlights the nightmare that the girls go through.

Well done Sibel.

Secrets from the Dust by George Hamilton

I was recommended to read this, but as it's not "my kind of book", I decided I'd check out the sample first. And I'm so glad I did as even though I thought I wouldn't like it, it was a supurbly written, thought provoking book that I just didn't want to put down. In fact I was late for work this morning as I wanted to read 'just one more chapter'

It is the story of Margaret, an Aboriginal girl who gets torn away from her family and first gets put into a home with other girls who get treated worse than prisoners, then gets adopted by a white family and goes to live on a farm where, even though she is treated well in the house, gets treated like a second class citizen in school and in town.

I really felt for her and had my eyes opened as to the inequalities the native
Australians had to put up with back only a few decades ago.

I do thoroughly recommend this book. Get a sample, you'll soon want to keep reading

Beyond Nostalgia by Tom Winton

Beyond Nostalgia by Tom Winton was an enjoyable enough read, but I can't give it the 5 stars that loads of fans on Amazon have given it. I look at some of the reviews and wonder if I had read the same book. I'm not one to repeat or summarise the story, just give my view and my view on this one was that it didn't really seem to go anywhere in the first half. I kept waiting for something to happen. Perhaps life is not like that and the author just meant to write about nothing much. It was a nice, flowing read, just not as interesting as I'd expected it to be. In fact, in my opinion, it only got interesting in the last quarter, which is a lot of investment as a reader.
It's not that I didn't like it. I just didn't like it enough.

Replica by Lexi Revellian

This was so different to Lexis's other book, Remix, but the quality is the same.

I find Lexi's writing really easy to read. There could have been confusion about which Beth was being written about, but I don't think I got confused once. The story was gripping and hard to put down.

I now rate Lexi Revellian as one of my new favourite authors and look forward to her next offering .

The Cornerstone by Nick Spalding

I read and enjoyed Life Without Breaks and have Life on a High ready for on the plane on holidays, but when I came across Nick describing his book as " The Cornerstone - It's got effeminate vampires, a six foot ex-special forces loner, a chick covered in tattoos and Susan Boyle in it. " How could it not be next on my reading list It's a very light hearted adventure, perhaps aimed at a younger audience, but I found it quite un-put-downable.

I liked that Max was just a typical teenaged boy who is too lazy to take any messing about. The whole of humanity is probably relying on him and he's "meh" . But, of course, that would be a short and boring adventure, so he steps up and gets on with it.

The baddies are nice and bad, the goodies are overwhelmed and the readers are along for the fantastic ride. This is a nice easy enjoyable read. 5 stars for this one Nick and hurry up with the next. After all, it only takes you a day or two to churn them out

The Main Point by Bruno Phillips

The Main Point is billed as "The story of Bernd Töst and his career as a porn movie auteur".

This is my first assignment as an official KUF reviewer. It probably wouldn't have been a choice of mine, but I took my new responsibility seriously. 

I must admit, I found the writing very cold. It seemed to be written in a matter of fact way, just relating the facts. 

I had expected, given the subject matter, for it to be a bit more exciting and colourful.I didn't particularly care for Töst in his earlier years and he was rather boring in his later years. The most interesting time of his life was as he was starting out on his career as a porn director, yet he seemed too nice and boring. He was so boring not even his relationship with his sister made him interesting.

In summary I would give it 3 stars as, while I didn't like it that much, I didn't dislike it either.

An Epitaph For Coyote by Bryan R Dennis

This is the story of Henry and his life after he meets Rosa. Henry is Mr Bland and boring, he likes his life of order. Until he meets Rosa and BAM, nothing is the same again. I found this an intriguing read. As Henry's character develops through the book it brought a smile to my face again and again as he pushed his boundaries. It was an easy read, nice and flowing, I was always wondering what was round the next corner.

Hexult by Perry Aylen

Not normally my type of book, but I'm so glad I tried it. I was totally immersed in the world to the extent I'd be feeling cold just reading it. It seemed like it was the start of an epic set of adventures, I hope so.

Crack-Up by Eric Christopherson

It's hard to review this without giving any plot away. But what I will say is that it was such a good read. I wasn't sure whether Argus was or wasn't sane at points. And I certainly didn't work out the end as it's so often easy to. It was a very satisfying end. Often books just have to tie up the ends or finish on a good note / happy ending and you think "why did they bother" but I was happily reading until the very end.

Be Careful What You Wish For by Sibel Hodge

I enjoyed this book more than The Fashion Police, maybe because I was used to the characters by now. I wasn't sure I'd like it as much, as the blurb says it's about boxing and I really don't like boxing, but it made no difference, I loved this book. I didn't want to put it down. Now when's the next installment coming out?

Life With No Breaks by Nick Spalding

I enjoyed spending time with Nick ................. well it felt as if I was sat on his sofa listening to him telling me his trials and tribulations. Thank you for an enjoyable few hours.

The Fashion Police by Sibel Hodge

I started this book this morning and have not long finished it. I enjoyed it from start to finish. I adore Stephanie Plum and this did have a similar feel, although Stephanie is now getting tired, so long live Amber Fox. I am really looking forward to reading more Amber Fox Murder Mysteries.

Friday, 30 December 2011

The Time Hunters by Carl Ashmore

I chose this book as the first book to read on my new Kindle and thought it was a great read. I look forward to the sequel.