Reviews

Hard Water (Oliver Redcastle Mysteries Book 3)

by Louise Titchener

Hard Water book coverA great read. Fast-moving with a tense climax

Reviewed by Netty18

I have just finished reading Hard Water and have to say that I have really enjoyed it.

A fairly quick read for me as when I got to the end of one chapter I just had to find out what was going to happen next. Although the story was set in a place, country even, that I have never visited I could picture the lake and islands. All the characters were well drawn and all were credible. Oliver Redcastle, the protagonist, had character development through the story and the way he interacted with the other characters made me care about him, which in turn heightened the tension in the story. I was certainly sad to leave them all behind at the end of the book. A tale extremely well told.

11 May 2014

★★★★★

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IOZCJKW/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IOZCJKW/

 

Stillness Dancing

by Jae Erwin

StillnessDancing_flatA different Middle East

Reviewed by Netty18

I received this book to review through Read it and Reap

I have to admit that this story did not draw me in at the beginning. The jumping back and forth in the time frame coupled with two of the main characters having similar names, Lauren & Lillianne, made it a little confusing. Perhaps I just wasn’t concentrating hard enough. However, I am certainly glad that I wasn’t put off.

The story develops into a real page turner. I’m afraid that the Middle East that we see via the news is just an area that has been torn apart by conflict for many decades, but Jae Erwin presents another dimension to us. The wonder of the desert and the mysticism of the ancient beliefs is brought alive for the reader.

Although the story includes violence, cruelty and conflict we are given a feeling of wonder and optimism, where one day the deep inner goodness in people may prevail.

If you are willing to travel outside your comfort zone and at the same time open your mind to the inexplicable then Stillness Dancing certainly will not disappoint.

11 Jun 2014

★★★★

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EE0AXTK/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00EE0AXTK/

 

A Perfect Armenian

by Keri Topouzian

17261082

An exciting glimpse into another culture

Reviewed by Netty18

I opted to download this book to review and although it’s not my usual subject of choice I have to admit that I have enjoyed the journey. Initially I did not find the central character, Tavid, at all likeable. He is a violent young man living in a harsh environment and unless you normally live in a country torn by oppression and civil unrest you are going to be outside your comfort zone. There is plenty of action and tension throughout the book and the essential ingredient for any good story – character development. Tavid matures as the book progresses.

It was interesting to get a taste of a different culture and the short sentences in the dialogue gave the feeling of another language whilst reading English. One slight criticism I have is that too many Turkish or Armenian words were included with a number referring you to notes at the end of the chapter. These could number as many as sixteen which, if you are like me, means that you get tired of flitting back and forth on your kindle. Many of the words had a straightforward English translation – so why not put them in English!

I feel that I got to know the Kaloustian and Eftendelian families and wonder what happened after I left them. Perhaps Keri Topouzian will let me know in his next book?

29 April 2014

★★★★

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A93ZLSO/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00A93ZLSO/

 

Day of the Destroyer: A Just Cause Universe Novel

by Ian Thomas Healy

DayOfTheDestroyerAn easy and enjoyable read

Reviewed by Netty18

I received this book in exchange for a review. Never having read a superhero book before I didn’t know what to expect. The book is well written and there is noticeable character development through the story. Most, if not all, of the superheroes have character flaws or weaknesses that make them more credible in spite of their rather fantastic superhuman abilities. The story covers less than a day and is suitably fast paced and entertaining. To a fan of this type of book the technical details of how certain things worked would probably have been of more interest than I found them.

One thing that I would take the author to task about is Gretchen. I very much doubt that a girl who had almost been raped a few hours before would have initiated such a physical relationship, as nice as Shane was, quite so soon. But then the author is male!

Despite this one little criticism I found the book entertaining and memorable and can recommend it even if, like me, you are new to this genre.

 23 May 2014

★★★★

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BROAMVA/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BROAMVA/

 

Firebolt (The Dragonian Series)

 

by Adrienne Woods

Firebolt_early Firebolt_later

Plenty of conflict

Reviewed by Netty18

YA fantasy isn’t my usual choice of genre, but I have to say that I liked this story. It’s about a teenage girl who finds herself ripped away from normality and having to come to terms with a new existence in a magical land, with new friends and obstacles to overcome. Like any worthwhile heroine at first she is ill-prepared and must step up to the mark in order to save the day – but will she?

The opening paragraph was good, helping to get the story running quickly, with the first chapter ending on a good cliff-hanger. The dialogue had plenty of conflict, and the finale was exciting but maybe the central character needed to push herself that little bit farther and provide a more satisfying character arc for the reader. But there was plenty of stuff going wrong for the friends towards the end to keep me gripped.

 10 April 2014

★★★★

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GS5SUM6/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00GS5SUM6/

 

Between Stops

by Serena Cairns, Eleanor Piper,

Alastair Keen, Viv Laine, Simon Cornish

Between Stops coverA touch of the “Tales of the Unexpected”

Reviewed by Netty18

Between Stops is a collection of 37 little stories. Some should be classed as short and some very short. They are great to read on the bus/train – literally between stops. The book is well presented and offers a variety of themes from the gruesome/macabre to whimsical humour. Each of the 5 authors put their own style on their offerings. It may be unfair to choose a favourite but I really liked Alastair Keen’s stories. The Fireman dealt with the still sensitive issue of the holocaust but Swan Lake and The Legend of the Lone Ranger add that necessary touch of humour.

It’s a veritable pot pourri of shorts that you can dip into when you don’t have time to give to a full length novel. Bite size chunks of fiction that you can enjoy anywhere – anytime. But beware, some may be better not read before you go out alone walking the dog in the dark!

1 July 2014

★★★★

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KVKRD3Q/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KVKRD3Q/

 

Light Weaver

by Carol Anne Strange

lightweaver2The author should be applauded

Reviewed by Graham Higson

This is a beautifully-told story and the author should be applauded for her ability to describe nature and interweave a tale of magic and mysticism. I could almost believe that I was there with the characters, sharing their journey. The atmosphere was strange, amazing, almost tangible.

I think what made it extra special for me was that there’s an echo of a theory I read about in a non-fiction book some 40 years ago, suggesting that what the author describes might indeed be possible, thus adding another enjoyable dimension. I intend to read Light Weaver again.

18 July 2013

★★★★★

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007VH2LCK/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007VH2LCK/

 

Corcitura

by Melika Dannese Lux

16163796A classical vampire story with many new levels

Reviewed by Netty18

I like the traditional format of this vampire story and although it is a lengthy book, over 700 pages, it is easy to read. Not a fast paced book by modern standards it is deceptively compulsive reading. There is always some issue that you need to resolve which makes the reader turning page after page.

Although more Hammer films than Buffy in setting the vampires (of various types) are intelligent, seductive or monstrous and are therefore threatening in many different ways. It is certainly not about waiting until dusk to go armed with your wooden stakes. The backdrop of cities such as Paris, Venice and Bruges make excellent backdrops for the story.

I like the original innocence of the main character, Eric Bradburry, and how his character develops as he encounters his rather more sophisticated adversaries. His challenges as he tries to save his long-time friend, Stefan, and then protect his family makes us care about him and rherfore the tension increases with every new threat that he encounters.

If you like vampire stories or are a fan of the old Dracula films I can certainly recommend Corcitura – it offers far more than you might anticipate.

3 July 2014

★★★★

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009JKUWKK/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JKUWKK/

 

Imbroglio

by Alana Woods

A tense, thrilling taleImbroglio cover (2)

Reviewed by Netty18

After the rather exciting start the story turned to the ins and outs of corporate dealings and percentages of shares held by various people in a company, and I thought “Oh! Should I be making notes, are these figures vital to the plot, do I want to read a story about corporate intrigue?” Being a bit of a miser, I decided that as I’d bought it, I was certainly going to read it. Boy, was I rewarded!

It develops into a fast-paced, page-turning, fingernail-biting rollercoaster of a tale. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing – who’s good and who are the bad guys, and just how bad are they? All this action is interspersed with some rather sensuous “scenes of a sexual nature”, as the TV warnings would put it. had to read them, though, as they may have been vital to the plot – that’s my reasoning, anyway.

This is a very well-written story, with central characters that are likeable, even though I wasn’t sure, at many points, if they were good or bad. The motivation is very credible and that is what makes Imbroglio really terrifying because it could happen – anyone could be like Noel and accidentally hear something that they follow up on – and then find themselves up to their necks in… Well, read the book and you’ll find out.

16 July 2014

★★★★★

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00637K8GU/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00637K8GU/

 

London, the Doggy and Me

by Rosen Trevithick

A neat story that delivers

London, the Doggy and Me cover

Reviewed by Graham Higson

Review policy: If I can’t award 3 or more stars then I don’t post a review. I mark on technical considerations; I will not slate a book just because I don’t like a genre or a story, unlike many people who post so-called “honest” reviews. If I feel there’s an issue then I will try to contact the author for clarification. Fairness, not vindictive point-scoring, is how I work.

The review: This is a neat little story about a young woman who, well, travels to London from Cornwall in true British fish-out-of-water style. The whole promo copy tells you the kind of genre it is so there should be no misunderstandings (which is what has happened with some of the reviewers, I’m sorry to say), and it certainly lived up to my expectations.

I didn’t laugh at every page, nor did I expect to; we all take humour differently and I’m not so easy to amuse—but I can say that, had I watched this as a 30-minute one-off television comedy, then due to the story’s atmosphere and delivery I would have enjoyed it AND wanted to transfer it to DVD so I could get it out to watch again in future. And that’s how I feel about the book: it’s a good piece of escapism.

In other words, it delivered.

10 September 2014

★★★★

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007AGQGUA

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007AGQGUA