Friday, 28 October 2011

Summer Camp:A Memoir by Diane Hanks

This is the true story of the author's appallingly sad childhood at the hands of her alcoholic it she lays bare all the horrors she endured and the impact her childhood had on her and her siblings.

This is a very heartbreaking and moving story. But it is also a story of hope. I identified with the author, having had an alcoholic father and a mother who was too sick to look after me properly. The courage that the author showed throughout the book was nothing short of a miracle. The story flowed nicely and (through blurry eyes sometimes) I found it quite hard to put down. my heart goes out to the author and I hope she found some sort of peace in writing this.

I recommend this if you like this sort of book. It is moving but uplifting in places and is a story of survival first and foremost. This book will stay with you for a long time.

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

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Wizard of Time by Sue Owen

This is a time travelling story. 3 teenagers are abruptly taken from their own times and brought to a wizard who needs help returning Excalibur to King Arthur, after it was stolen. They are given animal companions and new powers to help them on their quest.

I am a great fan of this type of story, I think the possibilities are endless. I also am very interested in the Arthurian legend, so to me this was a winner before I had even started! I loved the characters, and their animal companions were very endearing. I particularly liked the white tiger. the story moved at a good pace, and my fingers were constantly clicking the next page button to see what happened next.

This is aimed at the YA market but I think it would appeal to readers of all ages. I recommend it, particularly if you like the sort of dungeons and dragons type of story. This will have you gripped from page one.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Men Dancing by Cherry Radford

This is the story of Rosie, a wife and mother slightly discontented with life. Her husband has a habit of cheating on her, she has an autistic son and her oldest son is starting to become an 'enfant terrible'. Her main love in life is the Ballet. A chance meeting with a ballet dancer on a train sets off a chain of events that will change her life forever.

For a debut book this was amazing, and endorsed by Sir Bruce (Forsyth) himself! Rosie was a very likeable and identifiable heroine. I am a partner and a mother myself so I could relate to her problems especially as my youngest has attention problems. The characters were all well-defined and I had no trouble imagining them. The storyline was believable and went along at a fair pace until just before the end when it took a shocking twist. I am sitting here with hanky in hand just thinking about it!

In short this is a very good book - if you like the Ballet and dancing you will love it. For a debut novel it shows great promise.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Spores by Ian Woodhead

This is the story of a fungal spore that has wiped out everyone over the age of 40. It is essentially the recounting of them rebuilding their lives thinking all is well when the spore cloud dissipates. Is everything ok or not?

This didn't start off like a typical 'Ian' story. The build up was quite gradual, lulling you into a false sense of security because about half way through...WALLOP! You are smacked around the face and the pace is totally unrelenting.I was carried along by the story and just had to keep reading. There were some decent characters and I was rooting for them to survive. There were the obligatory obnoxious characters and it was SUCH a relief for them to get their comeuppance! There are some quite shocking points and the imagination that went into the creatures was amazing.

In short this is well worth a read. An absolute must if you are a fan already but still worth a read if not.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Through a Dark Mist (Robin Hood Series #1) by Marsha Canham

This was a really enjoyable romp through history. Based on the Robin Hood legend but using different characters (although some were the same, such as Prince John, Richard the Lionheart & Sir Guy of Gisbourne). At it's heart was a story of revenge between two brothers with the thread of a story running through it.

This was so much fun! It started off fairly slowly but soon picked up pace. The back story of the rivalry between 'The Black Wolf of Lincoln' and 'The Dragon of Bloodmoor' was supenseful and action filled. The love story between Lucien and Servanne was tender and and teased out - almost to the point of torture but when they eventually got together it was beautiful. Of course no story is complete without a lunatic bad guy, played wonderfully by a woman, Nicolaa. She was deliciously evil and completely without conscience.

This was a wonderful book and I can heartily recommend it for all lovers of historical romance or if you just fancy a rollicking swashbuckling romp!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Trafficked:The Diary of a Sex Slave by Sibel Hodge

This is the story of a young woman who, promised the job of a lifetime, ends up being trafficked to Italy and being sold as a sex slave. It is written in diary form and tells of her life therein and what happens to her.

First off, may I issue a warning? This story is utterly heartbreaking. Some of the things that happen to Elena are truly horrific but somehow she never quite loses hope that she will be reunited with her daughter again. Being written in diary form I could see her in my head and I truly felt the things she was going through. I am not ashamed to admit I was in tears in places.

This is somewhat of a departure for this author as she is best known for her chick-lit novels. All I can say is 'Well done Sibel. This is an amazing novella and the jump from chick-lit to serious has been made successfully!'

I urge everyone to read this so more people are aware of this terrible trade in human lives. It must be stopped and can only be stopped if more are aware that it is going on. Well done, and thank you Sibel for opening my eyes.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Honk Honk My Darling by James Finn Garner

This is the story of a clown, down on his luck, now working as a detective. He has been tasked with finding the wife of one of the high fliers. Then the bodies start piling up....

This is the first time I have read a 'clown noir' and I hope it will not be the last. I found it to be achingly funny. It reads like a 'gumshoe' novel but set in the fictional town of Top Town which is where all the circus folk live. It reminded me a little bit of 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' in its approach. The characters were all larger than life and had fantastic names. The story was well paced, and a great page turner.

If you have never read a book like this you are missing a treat. I urge you to give it a go, you won't be disappointed.

Cruel Justice by Mel Comley

This is where Final Justice and Impeding Justice began. Bodies are piling up and Lorne thinks she has a serial killer on her hands, someone with a personal vendetta against her.

This takes us right back to the beginning. We begin to understand the reasons between the different relationships in Lorne's life. The characters are fleshed out a bit more in this and as ever it was a complete page turner. I read it very quickly as it was so hard to put down. It was nice to be taken back so we could see the relationships unfolding, somehow it made the other two books make a lot more sense!

I can recommend this as an opener to the series. If you have read the other books, its a must read. if you haven't then it is an excellent place to start in a series of thrillers that are utterly impossible to put down!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Pure Justice by Linda L. Barton

This is the story of an Vietnam vet, bent on revenge for the brutal murder of his friends, turns vigilante. He then devotes his life to ridding the streets of 'scum'. On the flip side is the cop who is trying to catch him, who has also known great sadness in his life.

This was a very thought provoking book. It deals with the subject of an eye for an eye. Does Doug the cop turn in Ted the vigilante even though he is essentially doing his job for him and clearing the streets of rapists, thieves etc? Having known terrible sadness in his own life he is torn between doing his job and giving in to his real feelings. This was a great paced novel, with a good theme. It is not for the faint-hearted however as some of the scenes are pretty graphic. The characters were solid and I understood and agreed with their feelings and the motives behind their actions.

Having read this authors previous novel, I felt this was much better. It is not easy to deal with such an emotive subject and do it justice (pardon the pun!) but this author has achieved that and then some!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Doodling by Jonathon Gould

This is a wonderful tale of a man – Neville – who found the world was moving too fast and fell off. He found himself in an asteroid field with all manner of quirky and interesting characters. Then he finds out the world is moving too fast and is going to leave its orbit and fly straight into his new found home and friends. Does Neville stop the world and save the asteroids? Well that would be telling wouldn't it?

This was a quirky little story. Neville mad me think a bit of Arthur Dent with his no nonsense approach to that which made no sense. It was funny in places and endearingly heart warming. Underneath it all was a deeper message to take things slowly and not let life rush you by.

I loved this. It is a nice quick read and would appeal to all ages I think.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Dying of the Light:End by Jason Kristopher

This is the story of the ultimate zombie apocalypse. A man survives a zombie outbreak in his home town. The whole town is destroyed, including his fiancee and stepson. He is the only survivor. He is asked to join an Army Special Task Force assigned to seek out and destroy the zombie threat. The secrets he learns there are far more horrifying than the job he is charged with undertaking.

This is the authors first novel I believe and it is an absolute cracker. The characters were very vivid and their emotions came through exceptionally well. Especially the baddest of bad guys, I really loved him! The nice thing about this book was the story was more focused on the fight and the relationships (good and bad) between the characters and not so much on the zombie gore. The story flowed at a good pace and I was kept interested throughout the whole book.

This was an excellent first novel from the author and I understand a sequel is in the works as an excerpt was included at the end of the book. If it is as good as this one then I shall most certainly be reading it!

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