This is the second book that I have read by Erik Therme. Just like Roam, If She Dies has that dark undertone constantly running through it. Imagine waThis is the second book that I have read by Erik Therme. Just like Roam, If She Dies has that dark undertone constantly running through it. Imagine walking through the woods in the pitch darkness, you have not seen anyone, but you have the sinking suspicion that someone is out there watching you. Within reading a few pages, I had many questions. In fact, I had questions on top of questions which then spawned more questions. All because Therme introduced us to Tess. Any mother can get into the same headspace that Tess is in; just how do you move on from the death of a child?
If She Dies is an incredibly harrowing examination at a mother’s struggle with grief and obsession. Tess is struggling, never in her wildest imagination that she would be faced with having to bury a child. Her five-year-old daughter was killed when she ran onto the road and was hit by an oncoming speeding driver. The driver, Brady Becker was arrested, tried and court and sentenced to two years in jail. My initial thoughts were how can a child’s life be equated to two years in prison? As a mother that would be an extremely hard pill to swallow.
If She Dies was a hard read, it isn’t meant to be a lighthearted read. It has the capability of puncturing your chest and ripping your heart out with it, still beating. Think dark and gritty and then multiply that again by an incredibly high number. This is one woman’s world shattering into tiny pieces, so small that it is in all probability will never be whole again.
Things aren’t getting any better nine months and her husband things she should be healing; he suggests she move on…who is anyone to tell you how you should grieve but I digress.
Tess Is descending into madness slightly, she discovers that Becker has a twelve-year-old daughter being raised by her mother. Somehow that knowledge takes root in her mind and she can’t let it go. Any rational person knows that this isn’t going to help but Tess is anything but rational at this point. Tess begins a routine of stalking, well she wouldn’t call it that, but well, it is. She follows her to and from school every single day…until something happens.
If She Dies is the kind of novel that excels in masterful misdirection. Just when I thought I had it all figured out boom…Therme kicked a curveball off my skull. It’s the best feeling when an author can lead you down one path and you are totally satisfied that you know where its going, only for them to laugh in your face.
If She Dies is pitch black…a bruising drama that calls out to the reader’s human side. Psychologically astute....more
Damn if a trapped, suspenseful mystery doesn’t just tap into that inner flight or fight response. The Islanders delivers on everything it says it doesDamn if a trapped, suspenseful mystery doesn’t just tap into that inner flight or fight response. The Islanders delivers on everything it says it does. Think Love Island with the ultimate twist. A horrifying and bloody twist. The two shows are different but standing up together in proximity, they are created from the same primordial soup that humanity crawled from. A desire to escape from life, a hint of romance distanced from everyday life and some hot hot sun. S.V. Leonard plays with fire and peels back the layers of human emotion and greed. This debut will have you rushing through the pages in a race to the end.
The Islanders is the addictive and highly compulsive read that I have no doubt will be extremely popular as we skip into the summer months. We might be having some rather unpredictable weather at the moment, but Leonard’s writing doesn’t fail to transport to the sandy shores, the tropical climate…you can almost feel the warm sand in between your toes. The narrative left me speechless and at times it was like a train speeding towards you – on this occasion I was happy to let the train hit at full force, and it did so, Leonard knows how to get you!
The Islanders has some magnificent depictions. Imagine being on a TV show, the cameras are following your every move, it would be something that would take some time getting used to. The contestants are chosen at random and taken to this unknown Greek Island. The unknown is thrilling and anxiety inducing all at the same time. I really don’t want to say too much more about the plot because anything I did would be a massive spoiler. Just let it be known that things are not as they seem, and things do not go to plan.
Kimberley has been running from her decision to leave the Police Force. She is harbouring secrets and past events – I love deeply flawed characters; it just gives that deeper context and sharper edge to the protagonists. She is backed up by more realistic characters who on one hand may not be entirely likeable but does give a more dimensional take on the plot. Leonard really impressed me with her ingenious ways of introducing characters to the story until throwing a smoke bomb down to confuse and lead down a different track. The cracks and doubts slowly fill in and I was nearly tearing my hair out trying to connect the dots.
The Islanders is a claustrophobic, nail biting race to the end thriller. It is a super addictive debut. S.V. Leonard is an exciting new voice and will be one to watch....more
Right from the start The Underclass grabs you by the throat. Its spindly fingers reach out, the flesh dripping like a tap that can never be switched oRight from the start The Underclass grabs you by the throat. Its spindly fingers reach out, the flesh dripping like a tap that can never be switched off. It is an intriguing take on the zombie trope; the idea that a sense of consciousness and emotion can remain intact was one that initiated deep thought…is everything that we have seen in Hollywood zombie movies just glorified the creation as brain hungry street walkers? Imagine dying in some accident only to come to and realise that you are now an undead version of yourself, only your spouse and relations want nothing to do with you? That is the dilemma that is staring Lee Callows dead in the eyes.
The Underclass examines the change of the natural occurrence of dying. Gone are the days where an individual would pass away in the typical sense. People are reanimating back to life, they are the walking dead, they are dead, corpses amongst the living, an unnatural abomination. How on earth are these undead going to co-exist with “The Pulses” surely it is only a matter of time before one of the groups starts an uprising, wanting to get rid of the other.
The story that follows is one of pure terror. The line between the living and the dead is a path that just shouldn’t be crossed. We are supposed to have direct roles, the living, well, live and the dead are dead. They are no pass go, no going direct to jail, nothing. Nada. Imagine waking and finding out that you go against natural and biological norms. Forget looking in the mirror ever again, not unless you want to be faced with a rotting bag of flesh and bones. This was such an awesome and highly irregular take on the zombie story – I found myself transported to a world that didn’t give a fuck about social norms! The Underclass blew my socks off!
The Underclass has heart though, at its very core it is a story of acceptance – accepting what you cannot change and accepting of the person right next to you. Gone are the social norms, forget the heirs and graces. You get to the very core of someone’s personality, when you lose the pretense and the trying to be someone else you can see someone for who they are. Strip back the layers and you are left with the baring of a soul; it matters not if they have a pulse or not.
The Underclass has a definite uniqueness to it and it really was a race to the end to find out the suspenseful conclusion. If this was a paperback copy, I would have had multiple papercuts from the rate I flew through it. The narrative was ensnaring, and the atmosphere was palpatingly toxic. Weatherer has a masterful skill of yanking the reader in from one world to another. The descriptive writing perfectly served both horror and a true sense of humanity. The authors love for his craft seeped into every line and the reader was helpless but to go along for the ride. ...more
Some things just damn well intrigue me. History being one of them. The Roman Empire was always a dynasty that just got those creative juices flowing. Some things just damn well intrigue me. History being one of them. The Roman Empire was always a dynasty that just got those creative juices flowing. The riches, the military prowess and the fantastical world of Ancient Rome. Echoes of Germania is that perfect blend of fiction and history. This book blew every expectation or preconceived idea I had clean out the water. The prose and the dialogue were swift and laser precise, it didn’t take any time at all to fall hard for this superbly ambitious tale of love and mythology. The novel has the beating heart of a warrior.
Picking up Echoes of Germania was a gamble as typically I struggle with historical fiction. The chance paid off and instantly you get a sense of the labour of love this story was for the author…research and passion surely screamed to me as much as a baby calls for its mother in the middle of the night. From this point forward I will trust Ashman with my heart and my imagination. One thing is for certain – you are in good hands. Every second spent in this world is never a wasted moment. Time is a fragile construct whilst reading this story.
The prologue really sets the scene. We are transported back to around 9 BC with the celebrated General Drusus reaping the benefits of a victory against the Germanic Suebi tribe. After a brutal act of killing the tribes Seer’ daughters he is cursed from that moment on, a moment that will have significance when he falls from his horse and becomes crushed, he perishes from his injuries. Just as easy as these characters live and breathe, I could feel myself in that moment and Ashman could bring any scene to life with a mere sentence, a fleeting moment captured for all of time to witness.
The Echoes of Germanica is centred around the main protagonist, a nineteen-year-old girl living in the present day. Her life is plagued by wanting to be in another place, her father is extremely archaic and is living vicariously through her talent as a Judo competitor, her love however, lies in becoming an engineer. Amalia has been given more than she bargained for however, when she is transported back in time after trying to save an apparent drowning woman in a lake. She slips under and awakes in 1 AD a world that is ruled by Emperor Augustus.
The Echoes of Germania was seamless – the transition from twenty first century to 1 AD was flawless. The detailed descriptions and action-packed battles had me racing on to find out what would happen. I could smell the countryside, imagine the putrid scent of decaying bodies, blood-soaked tunics and battle cries. The political intrigue felt very real for the times and the backstabbing and personal agendas again breathed life into the story.
The Echoes of Germania is delightfully dark and historically brilliant. You can really feel the drive to it, the gearstick is put into high and you immediately just want to go with it. Its not a flowery tale but one with brutality and heart. I’m going to struggle to wait for book two! ...more