Last year I bumped into the authors at Edge Lit 4 where they had a table and were selling/promoting their books. It only took me a moment to realise ILast year I bumped into the authors at Edge Lit 4 where they had a table and were selling/promoting their books. It only took me a moment to realise I was going to like these books.......and I was right.
The first book in the series, Clovenhoof, introduced us to Jeremy Clovenhoof (aka Satan) who is now living in the suburbs of Birmingham. He rapidly became one of my favourite comedy characters - it's like sit-com gold, if there is trouble and mischief you can bet that Clovenhoof and his neighbours Ben and Nerys are going to be slap bang in the middle of it all.
Which brings us to Satan's Shorts, a collection of (as you might have guessed) short stories, five of which feature Clovenhoof and friends. His exploits involve going to night school ,dressing up as David Hasselhoff (for wedding entertainment) and his attempts to cure Ben of Arachnophobia. As you would expect, things never go quite to plan.
Add to this tales of Saint Christopher, who has now been demoted from the Sainthood and is now working for the Non Specific Prayer Assessment Unit (a kind of heavenly call centre) and various denizens of Heaven and Hell and what you have here is a chucklesome collection that will have you laughing and cringing in equal measure....more
I believe there is only one word to describe this Sci-Fi/Thriller novella - Exhausting. But don't get me wrong here, not exhausting in a bad way, moreI believe there is only one word to describe this Sci-Fi/Thriller novella - Exhausting. But don't get me wrong here, not exhausting in a bad way, more in the fact that the story starts at pace and doesn't really have anywhere the reader would want to stop until the final page - at which point a few hours (admittedly, enjoyable hours) have passed.
The basic premise of Patchwerk is that Dran Florrian has invented a machine, The Palimpsest, that can manipulate alternate universes. A 'shady organisation' (as you might expect) wants the machine for their own nefarious ends and even enlist his ex wife Karen in their scheme. What ensues is a fight and flight story that follows Dran and Karen through several Alternate Universes (AUs) where we get to see different versions of them (including one where they swap genders)trying to keep the machine (and themselves) out of the wrong hands.
What I liked - This was a good, short read with plenty going on. It reminded me of something along the lines of The 39 Steps or North By Northwest but put into a future Sci-Fi setting. The idea of different versions of the characters in different realities was handled well as were the AUs. The resolution for the relationship of the Dran and Karen characters was done in such a way that it seemed more believable than your typical Hollywood ending.
What I disliked - There were moments when I had to go back and reread sections just to be clear on what was going on but that was mostly down to the pace of the prose not any fault with the writing itself.
I will say at this point that I read Patchwerk earlier on in the year with the intention of reviewing it but for some reason I seem to have mislaid that review. Anyway, on realising this and re-reviewing I read the book again and must say it is a better read second time around (probably because I had a better idea of what was going on and what to expect).
So, in short, a fast paced, if at times slightly confusing story that warrants a second read for full benefit - 4/5 stars
Final thought - somebody needs to get hold of the film rights to this - it would look great on The Big Screen ...more
Wow!! I picked this book up on recommendation from several online book sights, not thinking it would be 'my thing' - and I am so glad I did. You can pWow!! I picked this book up on recommendation from several online book sights, not thinking it would be 'my thing' - and I am so glad I did. You can pick up the general gist of the story from other reviews on here so I'll concentrate on the writing. In a nutshell, Kit Berry's narrative skills blew me away. The descriptions of the people, environs and flora and fauna of Stonewylde mean you don't just read this book you live it. Ms Berry obviously has a feel for the 'old ways' and Pagan beliefs because the attention to detail is that good. The book gets a lot darker towards the end and I actually found myself worried for Yul, the male lead character (yeah, I know he's the hero and everything will be alright but the stuff he has to endure is tough) Loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone. Thankfully book 2 will be out soon because this ended on not so much a cliffhanger as a major turning point so midnight on release day it'll be heading straight to my kindle....more