Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Harvest by Scott Nicholson

This is the story of an alien entity crash landing in the Appalachian mountains. It starts to take over the residents of the town and things can only get worse with a special festival being held in a few days. Visitors are due in town and it's up to a psychology teacher and two old 'codgers' to save the town from disaster.

I really enjoyed this. It started off quite slowly but it soon picked up and became extremely difficult to put down! It was the love child of 'The Tommyknockers' and 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' but on speed. The characters were solid and well rounded and there were the usual uber bad guys and also a couple that made me think were they or weren't they? it was sad in places, Scott managed to extract a lot of pathos - not easy given the subject matter. The ending was good and wrapped everything up nicely.

I recommend this for scifi/horror fans and for fans of Scott Nicholson. A great book with a great storyline.

                                                   I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.  

Friday, 23 December 2011

A Grim Pact by Adam Slade

This is a story about a Grim Reaper, Mal, who is trying to chase a demon serial killer. He is nursing a broken leg, in love with a succubus who used to be his partner and to top it all, his boss, Death has just woken up after many years asleep. Some Reapers have all the luck!

This was a little difficult to get into at first, and hard to wrap my head around the idea that there was one Death but many Reapers. This was somewhat helped by having 'Grim Reaper Myths Dispelled' at the beginning of some of the chapters. Once I did get into it though, I really enjoyed it. The characters were colorful and different and larger than life! The story went along at a fair clip and there was plenty of action. I liked the fact that it was tackling a long held belief and turning it on its head! This is the second 'Reaper' story and I think it would help to have read the first as there are many references to events in the previous book that at times left me a bit confused. That being said, I still recommend it but with the caveat of reading the first, which I would very much like to now!

This review was originally written for the TBR Pile.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

ZombieDead by Ian Woodhead

This is the story of Dean, a scientist working in a secret underground lab in London. Something has gone wrong and all his coworkers are turning into the undead. He returns home to the sleepy village of Seeton to try and work on a cure, unaware the horror is following him and that the villagers are highly suspicious and mistrustful of strangers. Together with another returnee, Alison, they work together to try and solve the problem.

This is another belter by Ian. He is fast becoming the master of the zombie genre, I have yet to read one of his that I haven't liked. Once again the characters are believable and tangible. The village of Seeton was lifelike and just sleepy enough to be realistic. The story flowed nicely, and I found myself rooting for Dean and Alison to get through the horror intact. There were the obligatory odious characters you just have to love to hate and Ian does seem to make them particularly obnoxious! The ending was satisfying and I wasn't disappointed.

I recommend this as a must read for fans of Ian's and also to newcomers as it is not your usual run of the mill zombie slashfest.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Day's End by Scott L. Collins

This is a story about a woman (Nysa) who is at the top of her field in DNA retrieval at UCLA. She is head hunted by a strange gentleman for a project she knows nothing about but will pay top dollar for her services. She agrees, on the understanding she must have no contact with the outside world for the duration of the project, and tell no one where she is going. When a series of natural disasters prompts her boyfriend (Alistair) to try and find her, the project and his search suddenly are not quite what they seem.

This was a great book. I enjoyed the fact that the chapters were short, it meant that I could read it quickly in short bursts. As it happened I found it extremely hard to put down. The basic plot (which I can't divulge as it would give too much away) is a good one, and had me gripped to the end.The characters were solid and although the story played out with only three main characters, I didn't feel the story suffered. The ending was as sudden as it was shocking, so be prepared for that. It was satisfying though and tied up any loose ends. It did, however, need work on the editing.

All in all a brave subject to tackle, that the author has done justice with and I hope he has more in the pipe line.

This review was originally written for the TBR Pile.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Something a little different, WistfulSkimmies Book Reviews has won a coveted award!!

What a lovely surprise I had today! The talented Sue Palmer of www.suepalmersbookreviews.blogspot.com has given me the award of The Versatile Blogger. I was so shocked, I was speechless! I had a whole speech planned but I want you to read my reviews, not turn you off in droves so I binned it and saved you all the torture!

The tradition for receiving an this award is to:

1. Thank the person who gave it to you and link them back to your blog ( Sue, among many other things, you are a true star)

2. Share seven things about yourself ( not entirely sure if I have seven things to share)

3. Pass this award on to 5 other recently discovered blogs and inform them of the honour.

Seven things about me:-

1. I always wanted to work for the UN

2. I once had a steamy affair with Sean Bean

3. I won Masterchef on no less than 4 occasions

4. I am related (albeit distantly) to the Dalai Lama

5. I am constantly being mistaken for Gwyneth Paltrow

6. My next challenge is to try for X-Factor

7. I am due back at the psychiatric hospital in a couple of hours!

I have talked your ears off enough now so onto the people who are just as deserving of this award......

1. Annarita's Readers Corner

2. Confessions of a Call Centre Gal

3. Mel Comley, Author

4. Vixie's Stories

5. Cath 'n' Kindle Book Reviews

Friday, 9 December 2011

Sin by Shaun Allan

This is the story of Sin. A young man who checks himself into a psychiatric hospital because he can kill people just by thinking about it. He then tries to commit suicide by teleporting out of the hospital but he ends up on a beach somewhere. Not knowing what to do or where to go - he is visited by his dead sister. She has come to show him that all is not as it seems and is his doctor as benevolent as he first appears or does he have some skeletons in his closet?

This was a fantastic story. Written in the first person (not an easy thing to pull off but the author manages it and then some) I was really able to get in Sin's head and feel his anguish as the revelations start to pile up. It was a good solid page turner and the ending was suitably explosive. For a story with so few main characters I was certainly gripped from beginning to end.

I totally recommend this because it's different. And that in and of itself is its appeal.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Crunk by Troy Kirby

This is the story of an ex-con granted early release due to a clerical error. Down on his luck he agrees to find some diamonds for his cell mate. What he wasn't told and doesn't realise is that he is not the only one after the diamonds. Before long his long suffering ex-wife is drawn into the hunt and he needs to keep her safe.

On the face of it this had such promise. It had the makings of a fantastic thriller - ex-cons, junkies (using sugar as a substitute!), old mob leaders and bent coppers all after a bag of diamonds. Sadly it all fell rather short of the mark.Too many editing errors and spelling mistakes made for confused and difficult reading. Plus the 'technical jail speak' left me baffled at times.

That said the characters were solid and I felt myself warming to Frank as he just wanted to right by his life and somehow constantly kept failing! There were some funny moments (not sure if this was intentional or not!), and some truly odious characters that were just crying out to be loved to hate!

I hesitate to recommend this, maybe with a caveat - if you can see past the errors and this is your sort of thing, go for it. Sadly it just didn't push my buttons.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review.