Category Archives: Book Reviews

Review of “Awake”, by Matthew Blake

AwakeAwake by Matthew Blake

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lee Fenton, successful novelist, receives disastrous news from his physician after having a recent medical. It appears that he has a terminal form of insomnia called FFI.
Realizing that he optimistically has only a year at most left to live, he opts to cash in his assets, buy a state-of-the-art RV and tour America with his best friend, Ben, picking up a couple of curvaceous and very beautiful hitchhikers on the way.
The foursome pair off, and the book begins to feel like a typical road trip and an advertisement for all of the great tourist spots in the US, which is no bad thing, because it does indeed make the reader want to grab their passport and hop on a ‘plane!
What Lee doesn’t tell his fellow travellers is that he has begun to have hallucinations, or so he thinks.
Dogged by the “hallucination” in the form of a scarlet demon, the reader witnesses Lee’s deterioration, both physically and mentally as his sleeplessness gets worse and he begins to doubt his sanity increasingly so – until the others begin to see the demon too.
At nearly 400 pages, it’s quite a lengthy book, but as I reached the end, I felt that Matthew Blake had pulled his punches with the ending somewhat, and rather than being able to say it was a great book, I can only say that it was a good book, yet I still urge others to give the book a good read through.

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Review of Strange Way Out, by Troy Blackford

Strange Way OutStrange Way Out by Troy Blackford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great tale from the “pen” of Troy Blackford that begins in a bizarro style, but by the time the reader gets to the end all is revealed as to what’s been going on, and it all makes perfect sense.
I’d figured out the issue that Sammy, the main male character had quite early on in the story, but really had no idea of the ending, which was a real “Ta-dah!” moment.
Enjoyable reading as ever, Troy Blackford never fails to entertain, and this short story is yet another of his books that I have no hesitation in recommending.

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Review of Booster & Reeves: Night of the Revenants, by Troy Blackford

Booster & Reeves: The Night of the RevenantsBooster & Reeves: The Night of the Revenants by Troy Blackford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful pastiche, as the author himself says.
Anyone who has read P.G. Wodehouse, or even watched Jeeves & Wooster on the TV and has a thirst for zombies too is in for a royal treat, as Troy Blackford combines the two elements with superlative ease in a tale that one can read in a single afternoon.
Follow Brodie Booster and his gentleman’s gentleman, Reeves as they set about putting the world to rights and rid the city of marauding zombies that have been created through the inappropriate use of spells from a book that was stolen from Brodie’s deceased Aunt Gertrude.
Another surefire winner from Troy Blackford, and absolutely deserving of a 5-star rating!

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Review of Blackbrooke II: The Guardian, by Emma Silver

Blackbrooke II: The GuardianBlackbrooke II: The Guardian by Emma Silver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After the cliffhanger at the end of the first book, I just had to purchase this second volume in Emma Silver’s marvellous trilogy to find out what happens next.
I really don’t want to spoil the book for anyone, but I will say that the reader will not be disappointed, as Emma Silver builds on the action and the suspense created in the first volume of Blackbrooke.
There are reunions to be had, dark secrets to be revealed, well-sprung surprises, and lots more to learn about not only the Crits, but of all the major characters that we all thought we knew.
A wonderful companion volume that sets up the reader for the final thrilling book in the Blackbrooke trilogy, and I for one can’t wait for Emma Silver to announce that it is available to buy!

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Review of The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although being rather disappointed that the illustrations in the printed book do not show at all in the e-book version that I have, it takes nothing away from a remarkable book that gives the reader an insight into the world of Christopher Boone, who is autistic and also someone who has Asperger’s Syndrome, in my humble opinion.
Written in the style of Christopher himself compiling his own book, it tells the tale of how Christopher leads his everyday life, coming to terms with the death of his mother, and of how he takes it upon himself to try and find the killer of Wellington, his next door neighbour’s dog.
A portion of the book deals with the fact that Christopher has an uncanny affinity for numbers and mathematical equations, and in the sections where equations are shown, I found myself skipping over those passages. I want to be entertained when reading, not have my brain dragged over a mental assault course.
Apart from that issue, I would wholeheartedly recommend the book to anyone who wishes to have their eyes opened and be given a glimpse of the world as Christopher views it.
A wonderful read, and highly recommended!

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Review of “Blackbrooke” by Emma Silver

BlackbrookeBlackbrooke by Emma Silver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I began reading Blackbrooke a few months ago, but my own writing got in the way of my finishing it until now, but, I’m delighted to say, I’ve spent the last 2 days avidly devouring this fantastic first volume in Emma Silver’s trilogy, and I can’t wait to get hold of volume 2.
The premise of a town populated by both humans and monsters that is an attraction to the outside world, rather like a theme park is great, but Emma Silver goes much deeper than this in her mythology, and there are a whole lot of other goings on that become apparent right from the beginning of the book, as The Rules that residents of Blackbrooke have to live by are outlined right at the beginning.
It’s a fantastic read, and set in a fictional town here in the United Kingdom, which is rather unusual in itself, seeing as books tend to be either set generally in the USA or in a completely fictionalized world, so it’s great that I can relate to the book more closely, because I’m a UK resident myself.
This is a YA book that has a smattering of language (only one f-bomb towards the end of the book), but it is quite visceral when it comes to describing just how the monsters of Blackbrooke, particularly the Hunters and the Queens, treat their victims, so if the reader has a delicate stomach, you have been warned!
Liberty Connor and her friends will take you on a journey that will have your heart pounding in your chest, and like me, you will be dying to read the next volume, because the ending is a wonderful cliffhanger, something which I didn’t see coming.
I was fortunate to read an advance copy of Blackbrooke, and I did notice some glaring grammatical errors, which I hope have been corrected in the retail version. Still, Emma Silver has written a book that promises to be a gripping and very entertaining trilogy, and I look forward to reading and reviewing each book as they are released.
Recommended, and very worthy of 5 stars.

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Review of “Devil Inside” by William Cook

Devil InsideDevil Inside by William Cook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Devil Inside is the tale of a young, underachieving boy who suffers abuse at the hands of his drunken father and a lack of attention from his mother, who is also a heavy drinker. Taunts from his teacher compound the issue, and on top of all this, he is having nightmares about a terrible, dark creature as black as night, with red piercing eyes. Is this creature only a dream, or is it a demonic protector sent to watch over the boy and punish those who do him harm?
A wonderful tale, told with William Cook’s usual attention to gory detail. There are 4 bonus poems and an excerpt from his novel, “Blood Related” too, so I urge any potential reader to take a look into the dark world of William Cook’s imagination. You won’t be disappointed in what you read!

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Review of “The Bell Witch” by John F.D. Taff

The Bell WitchThe Bell Witch by John F.D. Taff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

John F.D. Taff once again weaves a delicate, complex tapestry of words that unfolds into a glorious work of art, in a style that is uniquely and unmistakably his own brand of storytelling.
The original legend of The Bell Witch is a true American horror story, and rather than tell you about it here, I advise the reader to source other books if they wish to research the historical documented case, something which John Taff himself did before fictionalising the event in this remarkable book.
The story that John Taff regales us with here is not actually a ghost story, as the entity, the Witch herself, states that she has never lived or died, and therefore can not be considered to be a ghost.
Although the Witch exhibits behavioural patterns akin to those of a poltergeist, it soon becomes clear that there is a much deeper purpose behind her violence towards Jack Bell and his daughter, Betsy, though other members of the Bell family suffer to a much lesser extent at the hands of the sometimes vengeful, sometimes playful entity.
Rather than the book just being about the Bell family and the effects that the Witch has on the Bells, the Witch is brought into the heart of the book as a major character that interacts with members of the local community, holding conversations with them and singing in church, and such. The dialogue throughout is masterfully written, and totally believable.
I offer no spoilers here at all. The Bell Witch is a story with a very dark theme indeed; it is a mystery that is unfolded to great satisfaction as the story progresses, it is sprinkled with well-timed elements of humour, and the consequences of the Witch’s insertion into the life of the Bell family changes the lives of all who come into contact with her.
Once again, John F.D. Taff shows us that he is a true master of his craft, and I cannot recommend this book enough.

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Review of “Sociopaths in Love” by Andersen Prunty

Sociopaths In LoveSociopaths In Love by Andersen Prunty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fantastic, disturbing, brutal and, at times, taboo-breaking book that will leave the reader enthralled and yet disgusted, thoroughly entertained (if that’s the correct word to use; maybe I’m just as sick as Walt Haha, the male half of this unusual pairing) and yet wondering just how to carry on “turning the page” to find out what happens next.
Erica and Walt’s “relationship” is a strange beast, and as soon as you begin to read, you just know it’s going to end badly, and it really does end badly, though I won’t say how.
Recommended reading, if only just to see what the human animal is capable of.
This book is a real eye-opener, and I’m surprised that I’ve not read other works by Andersen Prunty before now. It seems like I’ve been missing out on so much; it’s a mistake I’ll be remedying asap!

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Review: Badass Zombie Road Trip, by Tonia Brown

BadAss Zombie Road TripBadAss Zombie Road Trip by Tonia Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This review is a mirror of the review i left on Amazon.co.uk

Jonah and Dale are long-time buddies, but are complete polar opposites: Dale is good looking, a real ladies’ man, and really rather rude and obnoxious, whereas Jonah is introverted, the thinker of the two, and lacking in experience with the ladies. Our unlikely duo are on their way to play a gig in Reno, but while Dale is asleep in their red Ford Focus, Jonah decides to help Dale to be re-united with his estranged father and instead drives to California.
Upon waking, we learn why Dale was so insistent that he should never return to California.
Enter: Satan, and the beginning of a rip-roaring, riotous road trip to return Dale’s soul to his body while traveling the breadth of America from West coast California to North Carolina! And all before Dale’s re-animated corpse begins to rot and stink!
We follow Dale and Jonah on their adventure, discovering what it’s really like to be a zombie, and what the pitfalls are to travel with the undead by your side.
Picking up the ravishing Candy along the way adds another layer of difficulty to their already seemingly impossible task, and throw in a run-in with Californian Mafia wannabes, Dale’s father and multiple revisits by the hilarious and deeply devious Lucifer, and you have a truly satisfying and side-splittingly funny read ahead of you.
As to how it all ends up–you’ll just have to read the book!
Tonia Brown has written one Hell of a zombie tale, and I highly recommend that you read it!

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