Dammit! Now I've got another series to add to my list of literary addictions. It's my own silly fault. I was lucky enough to get my mitts on an advancDammit! Now I've got another series to add to my list of literary addictions. It's my own silly fault. I was lucky enough to get my mitts on an advance copy of this for review purposes, and liked it so much I had to go out and buy it now it's been released properly. If you don't want to get hooked on a series, or would rather just be mildly entertained by run of the mill cliched fantasy stand-alones, don't read this. I warn you, you'll get sucked in and then you'll need to read more, and probably do what I'm about to do and start nagging Taylor into hurrying up to release more!...more
I read this ages ago when I was a kid. Back then, I didn't really appreciate the poetry, rhythm, and meter of Dahl's wrI'd forgotten how good this is.
I read this ages ago when I was a kid. Back then, I didn't really appreciate the poetry, rhythm, and meter of Dahl's writing. Now I'm a dad reading re-reading this tale decades later, only this time, I'm doing so aloud to my four year-old daughter at bed-time.
She's loving it. Reading it out loud is a breeze, and putting Dahl's inflections of his characters' into their conversations is a hoot.
Get this book and read it. If you have kids, read it to them, but you don't need youngsters to enjoy Dahl's writing. There's a reason his work has endured and is considered classic by so many. Brilliant!...more
I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'm not normally a fan of Christian redemption fiction, butI was lucky enough to receive a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'm not normally a fan of Christian redemption fiction, but add other supernatural elements, and I'll usually give the book a go. Be Not Afraid was a pleasant surprise. The horror aspect was as intimate and compelling as anything Anne Rice has penned. The plot line, while a little heavy on the Christian faith side for my taste, was spot on, and the narrative flowed neatly without being overly wordy. I'm looking forward to reading more by K. R. Morrison. Who knows? She may even get me to actually like religious fiction!...more
Straight off the bat, I must say romance aint my bag. All those heaving bosoms and rippling chests.. All the angst and quivering loins - without muchStraight off the bat, I must say romance aint my bag. All those heaving bosoms and rippling chests.. All the angst and quivering loins - without much actual, you know, (ahem) "action" just makes me want to gag... Most of the time. UnDone wasn't like that.
I found the characters enjoyable and identified with them easily, and the story was actually interesting and engaging enough to keep me reading, and like I said, with romance, that's a tough ask for me.
I'm looking forward to reading more in the series, though I should add I hope in the books to come there's a bit more raunchiness and less wistful sighing. But then, that could just be me being an impatient bloke who usually prefers swashbuckling to lace. Go read UnDone by L.M. Randem. It's a nice surprise!...more
This, boys and girls, is how Young Adult (YA) writing should be done. Connolly has already earned his stripes as a true master of macabre and creepy AThis, boys and girls, is how Young Adult (YA) writing should be done. Connolly has already earned his stripes as a true master of macabre and creepy Adult and Paranormal genres. When he turned his hand to the something lighter (The Gates, Hell's Bells), he produced a quality of work to which all others in the genre should aspire. His style is fun, easy to read, and best of all, he makes his characters all so delightfully and humbly flawed, one cannot but root for them all, even the antagonists. Anyone who loved Harry Potter should give this a go. Trust me, you'll enjoy it every bit as much, probably more. The Creeps is a wonderful conclusion to what really has to be the standout series in a decade. I'll be re-reading it again and again, and, I'll wager, so will you....more
I grew up breathing James Bond and eating Jason Bourne, so finding Tiara was a real treat. The action is real, the plotting detailed and intricate, anI grew up breathing James Bond and eating Jason Bourne, so finding Tiara was a real treat. The action is real, the plotting detailed and intricate, and the settings are spot on. Set in late 20th/early 21st Century, the very real political and social turmoil of Northern Ireland is blended with fictitious royalty and villains perfectly. I read this book in one sitting and am now going to seek out more by John Reinhard Dizon!...more
I'm not usually drawn into fond trips down memory lane, but McCarty's The Jewel Box isn't your usual such tale. I'm serious. Normally I'd get a few paI'm not usually drawn into fond trips down memory lane, but McCarty's The Jewel Box isn't your usual such tale. I'm serious. Normally I'd get a few pages in if I'm lucky before tossing the book aside. So often writers of books in this kind of genre make the mistake of deifying their protagonists. Not McCarty. Texan Jill ("Cherie") is delightfully flawed, and her tale of tumbling from one situation to another is as captivating as Alice's trip down the rabbit hole. Add to that her well researched historical references to art, literature, music, politics, TV, and more, and you have a thoroughly delightful read. The supporting cast of diverse characters, quite large, I admit (but then, the story takes place over several decades), and keeping them all straight in my head was a bit tough, but they were all well-rounded and genuinely added to the story instead of being mere filler. Will I read more from C Michelle McCarty? Yes Ma'am!...more
Another classic but quirky whodunnit from Nansi Kunze! As with her previous offerings, Mishaps and Dangerously Placed, Kunze draws us eEncore! Encore!
Another classic but quirky whodunnit from Nansi Kunze! As with her previous offerings, Mishaps and Dangerously Placed, Kunze draws us effortlessly into a great young mystery. And, in classic Kunze style, she blends normal and thoroughly believable main characters with scenarios we know to be impossible but which she somehow makes seem thoroughly plausible - in this case, that of the the world of an uber-successful rock band, their young charge (our heroine, Lorna Powell), and the villain who wants them dead.
Kunze's style is easy to read and fun for both fans of Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction, as well as any who love even the darkest of cloak and dagger thrillers. There are twists and turns, fun, well-paced action, and of course, plenty of Kunze's trademark slightly self-effacing humour. Brilliant! Really, really looking forward to Ms Kunze's next book!...more
What a fantastic idea! Some might call this dark fantasy or even horror, but for me it fits right into speculative fiction.
There are so many takes onWhat a fantastic idea! Some might call this dark fantasy or even horror, but for me it fits right into speculative fiction.
There are so many takes on immortality that finding an original one is almost impossible, but DiGuiseppi delivers in an engaging short story what many other writers would take tomes to tell and even then probably not get it right. Meet Maddie, the woman Death forgot...
ps: I first read this a while ago, but I just had to re-read it again, hence the date shown on the review. ...more
I'm not going to give away spoilers like other reviewers. That's not my thing. That said, what a great premise! I just love the spin DiGuiseppi puts oI'm not going to give away spoilers like other reviewers. That's not my thing. That said, what a great premise! I just love the spin DiGuiseppi puts on classic ideas, thus making them original and wholly her own.
This aint no ordinary vampire hunter story, and like all great shorts, it leaves the reader wondering. I finished reading Click with a whole bunch of questions sparking off different scenarios in my brain. How did Wendy come to be a vampire hunter? What the hell was the source of the "Click" noise and where did it come from? Was Wendy (just as I and so many were left wondering if Deckard was a replicant in Blade Runner) a vampire herself???
Give yourselves a treat and read Click. You'll thank me! ...more
In a relatively short novel, Jason E Maurer delivers a helluva lot. Part cop procedural, part psycho thriller, part kooky - Haunted Mind, Confused HeaIn a relatively short novel, Jason E Maurer delivers a helluva lot. Part cop procedural, part psycho thriller, part kooky - Haunted Mind, Confused Heart has it all. Maurer tells the story from the multiple points of view of the main players, all of whom are developed nicely, especially the antagonist who is wonderfully psychotic. A great fun read, though definitely not for the faint-hearted....more
Some sci-fi writers, and a lot of fantasy writers load the reader with massive info-dumps to wade through before they get to the guts of the story. CaSome sci-fi writers, and a lot of fantasy writers load the reader with massive info-dumps to wade through before they get to the guts of the story. Catrina Taylor doesn't do that in Below The Surface. That alone made me really, really like this short story.
There's little to no preamble cluttering up Taylor's writing which makes her a must for the experienced sci-fi reader. She takes you straight into the middle of a war-zone, on an unnamed planet, and bam! You're in the story.
The protagonist is a young Resistance fighter called Merx who, with his two mothers and other family members and comrades, is fighting the Ven. He's also gifted; a telepath. When he helps rescue a girl around his age, also a telepath, from a crashed Ven transport, the intrigue only just begins.
The bulk of the story takes place in the caves in which the Resistance is hiding from the Ven - hence the title, and it leads up to an ending which left me just itching to get more.
Another nice touch Taylor works in is how in the society she's created, there are a few very different social and biological norms. Extra sensory perception, while not common, is recognised as real, and bi-sexuality (and, we can assume all other kinds of non-traditional, non-heterosexual relationships) is no big deal whatsoever. For fans of the likes of Herbert, MacCaffrey and Heinlein, Taylor takes us into more wonderful unknown territory, yet armed with the familiar feel of being in a good sci-fi setting, the way it should be.
For the dedicated sci-fi reader (especially Heinlein fans), Catrina Taylor is a writer to watch. ...more
You know how with some series, you start to lose interest after a while? With Tara Moss' Pandora English series, I found it's the opposite. The SkeletYou know how with some series, you start to lose interest after a while? With Tara Moss' Pandora English series, I found it's the opposite. The Skeleton Key, the third installment of the series, has more to offer than the first two, and that's saying something because the first two were a blast.
The plot is more detailed, there's more intrigue and action, and the main character -- young Miss Pandora English -- is more, well... ...blooded. The bad guys are nastier, the danger is greater, and our heroine is more kick-ass. And, it's delivered with Moss' trademark slightly wry style which is both fun and easy to read.
It becomes clear from the first few pages of The Skeleton Key that Moss had a lot of fun writing it (if she didn't, she did a damned good job of hiding it), which pulls the reader in for a great ride. And, even better, the book ends leaving you wanting to cast your own dark spell over Moss to make her hurry up and write the next one. 5 Stars.
(* as a tech side note, I should also point out the ebooks of this series are beautifully presented. The formatting is spot on, the unique glyphs and dinkuses are great, and the cover art is a delight. Hats off!)
The Dragon Dimension (Caught in the Dragon Cove), the debut offering from Ressa Empbra is just brilliant. She's created a world I'm looking forward toThe Dragon Dimension (Caught in the Dragon Cove), the debut offering from Ressa Empbra is just brilliant. She's created a world I'm looking forward to visiting again, so I hope she's got more up her sleeve! That shouldn't be hard because she's created a world rich with almost limitless potential for both high-tech sci-fi and traditional swashbuckling epic fantasy.
Empbra's style and dialogue are great. For anyone who fell in love with Anne MacCaffrey's dragons of Pern and their riders, The Dragon Dimension will also be an instant hit, only they'll have to cope with Empbra's free use of profanity. Her protagonist, Iax (eye axe) swears. A lot. And that's one of the things that instantly drew me to her. Empbra's use of colloquialisms and frequent use of 'real' language by Iax contrasted perfectly with the slightly alien language from the other characters in the Dragon Realms. Well done.
The plot is fun and though familiar for the romantically inclined (as so many die-hard fantasy fans are but won't admit to being, heh), not predictable, which made it a joy to read. Buy it. Read it. You'll love it.