Emergence is a darkly funny, action packed fantasy adventure from Australian author John Birmingham.
An oil rig off of the coast of New Orleans is und Emergence is a darkly funny, action packed fantasy adventure from Australian author John Birmingham.
An oil rig off of the coast of New Orleans is under attack, not from terrorists, but from a group of terrifying monsters who have clawed their way up from the deep. Dave Hooper, the rig's safety engineer, is hungover and pissed when he finds a hairless, scabrous ape like creature that calls itself a Hunn snacking on the ribcage of his best mate and in a fit of rage crushes its skull with a splitting maul. Hours later he wakes in hospital and discovers his battle with the monster has somehow triggered super hero like abilities... and now Dave must save the world.
Dave Hooper is an anti-hero, who works hard but plays even harder. He takes his job seriously but he spends his downtime partying with hookers and blow, dodging the IRS and calls from his wife's divorce attorney. He is a lousy father with a crude vocabulary and politically incorrect opinions. Dave is not a man you could expect to count on, but the world it seems will have little choice.
The fast paced, explosive action sees the military struggling against the frenzied attack of an advance troop of Hunn as they storm their way through the tears in the veil and set upon New Orleans unprepared citizens. It has been centuries since the Hunn last roamed the earth and they don't expect any resistance from mankind so they are dismissive of what they encounter, for though armed only with primitive weapons and basic armour, the Hunn possess enormous strength, speed and thick hides. As New Orleans threatens to become overrun by the man eating demons, Dave is forced to step up and vanquish the Hunn back to the Underworld.
Emergence won't appeal to everyone but I found it richly imaginative, hugely entertaining and inappropriately hilarious. I'm looking forward to Dave Hooper's next adventure in Resistance...more
Phoebe Maxwell is getting married and she is determined that the occasion will be the catalyst which mends the rift between her two older sisters, Eve Phoebe Maxwell is getting married and she is determined that the occasion will be the catalyst which mends the rift between her two older sisters, Eve and Tash. To that end, she insists on having her wedding at the family home and winery, Tawny Brooks, necessitating all hands on deck to repair the restaurant her fiance and Eve once ran on the grounds. Eve and Tash are both reluctant to return home, but for reasons that have little to do with their feud. The Maxwell sisters are keeping secrets... and they aren't the only ones.
With warmth and humour Hill introduces a family bound by love but divided by secrets. Everyone wants Phoebe to have the wedding of her dreams so they are willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen but putting aside their own problems is more difficult than they expect. As the story unfolds we learn of Eve's guilty conscience, Tash's heartbreaking tragedy and that Phoebe is keeping secrets of her own.
Hill's characters are easy like and relate to, Phoebe is the optimist, Eve the pessimist and Tash the perfectionist. The Maxwell patriarch is considered to be a little crazy and the girls Greek mother is all about family and food. The men in the sister's lives, Heath, Spider and Adonis..uh Adam, are all quite different but prove to be more than capable of holding their own against the Maxwell clan.
The relationships between the family, the sisters and their various lovers are well drawn, though I did think one couple declared true love a little too early to be sensible. It's perhaps the only off note that mars the plot which includes a touch of suspense, a healthy dose of romance, and lust, and plenty of drama.
Hill has left behind the dry and dusty Pilbara and set this novel in the fertile southern region of the state. I spent many of my school holidays in and around the area of Margaret River, so I particularly enjoyed being able to visit towns familiar to me.
The Maxwell Sisters, Loretta Hill's fifth novel, is an engaging story about love, relationships, loyalty and family. Enjoy it with a glass of Western Australian wine....more
Nanny Confidential is the story of Lindsay Starwood, an elite nanny caring for the children of some of the world's most recognisable celebrities.
Lynd Nanny Confidential is the story of Lindsay Starwood, an elite nanny caring for the children of some of the world's most recognisable celebrities.
Lyndsay has cared for the offspring of film stars, presidents, oil barons, musicians and Middle East royalty. Now she is the nanny of six adorable young girls, the daughters of a famous film director, Sir Cameron Appleby, and self obsessed television star, Alysha. Lyndsay's life appears glamorous, her closets are stuffed with designer fashions, she travels in chauffeur driven cars and private planes, and all while being paid astronomical sums, but both the children she cares for, and the demands of their parents, keep her on her toes.
Nanny Confidential is a novel that reads like a memoir, and I have to admit I had to remind myself that it was fiction more than once. Though Lyndsay relates some outrageous situations and examples of ridiculous excess she has witnessed in her job, it all seems so feasible. If only half of what Christian writes is true (and she herself as worked as a nanny for the rich and famous), it's no wonder that the children of celebrities so often lead disastrous lives as adults. Lyndsay has far more patience than I would for the absurdities of her job, quite frankly I don't think anyone could pay me enough to put up with the diva behaviour of celebrities like Alysha.
A quick, light read which includes a touch of romance, Nanny Confidential is suited best I think to readers who enjoy tell-all celebrity features and gossip....more
Friday Jones is stunned when her husband of twenty years announces he needs a break and moves out of the family home. Though Friday readily admits the Friday Jones is stunned when her husband of twenty years announces he needs a break and moves out of the family home. Though Friday readily admits their marriage has been strained for a while, exacerbated by the recent deaths of Liam's parents and the family dog, Friday never imagined Liam would simply walk away. Heartbroken, Friday struggles through each day while caring for their teenage daughters and continuing to work part time as a naturopath. Liam has been gone for four months when Friday's boss insists she takes a week R&R at a health spa, where Friday meets a charismatic married man and falls into a wildly passionate but sort lived affair. While Liam pursues his dream to become a stand-up comedian, and tries to keep up with his brother's bachelor lifestyle, Friday's best friend, Rosie, encourages her to spread her wings, setting her up with a much younger man and signing her up to KissmeCupid.com, while persuading her to help out with Rosie's latest business venture hosting divorce parties. Friday is just beginning to pull her self together when everything starts to spiral out of control, her ex lovers won't take no for an answer, the anonymous gifts on her doorstep suggest someone is stalking her, her daughter ends up in hospital, and then Liam wants to come home...
It Started With a Kiss, Lisa Heidke's fifth novel, unfolds from the first person perspective of Friday and the third person narrative of Liam, exploring the themes of personal happiness, marriage breakdown, domestic drama and modern relationships. The story is told with plenty of humor and wit but doesn't dismiss the seriousness of heartbreak and loss. I especially liked the realistic ending, which isn't as neat as you might expect.
Heidke's characterisation is always strong, Friday is an emotional mess but that is hardly a surprise given the situation, I imagine I would be too if my husband walked out. I thought Friday was a little too self obsessed at times, even a bit flaky, as evidenced by her failure to do anything about growing her business, but I could understand that Blake's flattery would be irresistible given the recent blows to her self esteem. Friday and Liam's daughters are well portrayed, fifteen year old Olivia is a maelstrom of teenage contempt and self absorption, thirteen year old Evie is sweet and desperate for her parents to reunite. I wasn't really expecting to be privy to Liam's side of things and I didn't really want to sympathise with him but I did, a little, though I never really liked him much. His behaviour is pretty selfish, especially as he expects Friday to wait in limbo while he indulges in his mid life crisis.
I enjoyed It Started with a Kiss, it's a quick, engaging read about love and relationships told in a way that is both entertaining and thought provoking. I'm still a fan :)...more
Intrigue, action and romance blend to create an engaging read in Secrets of Whitewater Creek by Sarah Barrie.
Set in rural Australia, Secrets of White Intrigue, action and romance blend to create an engaging read in Secrets of Whitewater Creek by Sarah Barrie.
Set in rural Australia, Secrets of Whitewater Creek introduces Jordan Windcroft, who has been running the family farm on her own since the tragic death of her parents. Independent, feisty and a hard worker, she is the town's favourite daughter despite being on probation for the manslaughter, after claiming responsibility for a car accident to protect a friend from a corrupt judge. Reid Tallon comes to Whitewater Creek posing as a probation officer, chasing a lead on a drug case he has been involved in for three years. He is hoping Jordan, who was also charged with possession when she was arrested, will be able to give him some insight into the local drug trade. The attraction between the two is immediate, but Reid is undercover, and won't let anyone jeopardise his case, and Jordan, whose focus is on saving her farm, has a secret she can’t risk him discovering.
I really liked Jordan who proves to be a practical, smart and strong woman, I enjoyed her quick witted banter, she isn't afraid to say what she thinks and means what she says. She is loyal almost to a fault, and in her determination to protect her friends, she makes herself vulnerable to a dangerous stalker. Reid is a smart and capable detective, determined to destroy the drug syndicate he holds accountable for his sister's death. Both Jordan and Reid try to deny their mutual attraction but it doesn't last long. The development of the relationship is compressed due to the time frame of the novel but nevertheless believable and enjoyed the way they sparked off one another.
The story offers two main arcs, the first involving Reid's investigation of the drug syndicate, the second sees Jordan's life threatened by a crazed stalker. In the main, Secrets of Whitewater Creek is well paced, with a good amount of action balancing out the romance, though I thought that the stalker situation dragged on a little too long.
One aspect of the story that did bother me was the way that Jordan's friends turn on her, suddenly suspecting her of being a drug abuser. I could understand why Reid would jump to the wrong conclusion but I didn't believe that her close friends would do the same.
Still, overall I found Secrets of Whitewater Creek, (previously published as Deadly Secrets) to be a page turning Australian romantic suspense novel with appealing characters, an interesting story and well crafted setting. Perhaps Barrie will allow us to revisit Whitewater Creek again....more
Billed as story with a modern twist on the classic fairytale story of Rapunzel, the two stories share several elements. In essence, Sage was given to
Billed as story with a modern twist on the classic fairytale story of Rapunzel, the two stories share several elements. In essence, Sage was given to her grandmother (the wicked witch) in exchange for her mother's desires and then kept captive, albeit in an ivory tower. And it is a 'Prince' who saves Sage, though not in the manner touted by Disney, and their separation and reunion, has more in common with the original Grimm tale.
Let Down Your Hair isn't a light read though, there isn't a lot of humour and the romance is sidelined. Instead, this is a coming of age story in which Price explores a fairly specific agenda related to 'women's' issues such as body image, the portrayal of women in popular culture and feminism.
Price deliberately uses stereotypes to emphasise her themes. Sage's grandmother, Andrea is a feminist zealot, rejecting anything male, while Sage's mother, Emmeline, is the quintessential shallow beauty, whose self worth is tied to her attractiveness, especially to men. Astute readers will however glean that the views of both women were shaped in reaction to particular incidents. (view spoiler)[ It is hinted at by Fran that Andrea was a victim of domestic violence before her philandering husband left her, and Emmeline's rebelliousness began after her mother's 'conversion'. (hide spoiler)]
Caught between two such extremes, Sage struggles to find a moderate path that suits her, and her journey is a difficult one. Condemned by her controlling grandmother when her relationship with Ryan is discovered, then rejected for a second time by her mother, and separated from her lover, she finds herself pregnant and alone.
Let Down Your Hair is well written, offering an interesting and engaging modern day spin on Grimm's Rapunzel.