Category Archives: Books

Defender by G.X. Todd #review

 

Title : Defender
Author: G.X Todd
Published: 2017
Pages:: 464
Format:: Print

I requested a review copy of Defender from Hachette Australia as it had a premise that really appealed to me. I did enjoy this book however it was not a perfect read. The characters were well written as was the post apocalyptic world created by the author. The character of Lacey really annoyed me at first with her naivety however the reason for it with her isolation and lack of exposure to the world made sense. I loved Pilgrim, he is a character I can really enjoy.

The voices not quite right. Internal dialogue is common, we all do it often not so internally. The reason for the voices, where, the how, the why may come in one of the future books in the series but I felt that the story lacked with the not knowing in this one particularly being the start of the series and setting the tone. It would have especially appreciated considering that while there were points of the story that kept pace well other parts were slow and plodding with not much happening. As such I sometimes was not really into reading it and other times very much enjoyed myself. It is a good though uneven start to the series. I’m not sure if I’d read more and lean more to the not side, keeping to just this first book in the series. It may however gain steam and improve at holding the readers attention throughout. I think though that I’ll wait for the review of others before proceeding with with book two. Thanks to Hachette for the review copy.

 

Do you have an inner voice? How does it make you feel? Good? Anxious?

What if your inner voice didn’t belong to you? What if it had a purpose of its own?

And if it asked you to kill.
Would you?

Two heroes – the loner and the teenager.

And a world divided between those who hear and those who don’t.

Defender throws you into an age-old battle but this time the forces of Good and Evil are whispering in your ear.

Do you hear voices?

#HearTheVoices

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro #review

BuriedGiant

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Title : The Buried Giant
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Published: 2015
Pages:: 345
Format:: Print

 

An extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day.

“You’ve long set your heart against it, Axl, I know. But it’s time now to think on it anew. There’s a journey we must go on, and no more delay…”

The Buried Giant begins as a couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years.

Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in nearly a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge, and war.

This is my first Kazuo Ishiguro novel and didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to try an author who has such a brilliant reputation. I am not sure if this was the best of his to begin with however. While I enjoyed this book and the writing is excellent I found it slow at times. The older couple and their journey at times held my interest and some moments were delightfully rich and mythical. Some moments felt like the journey and therefor the tale just plodded along.

Memory and what it means, part of what makes us who we are was examined closely in the story and again while good at moments in the beginning in particular I feel unsatisfied with this book.

Recommended to smarter people than I, who are able to interpret symbolism to a far greater degree than I am apparently able.

 

Thank you to Allen & Unwin for the review copy.

The Kind Worth Killing by @PeterSwanson3 #review

Peter Swanson

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Title : The Kind Worth Killing
AuthorPeter Swanson
Published: 2015
Pages:: 320
Format:: Ebook

 

A devious tale of psychological suspense involving sex, deception, and an accidental encounter that leads to murder. This is a modern re-imagining of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train from the author of the acclaimed The Girl with a Clock for a Heart.

On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. But their game turns dark when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.”

From there, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they plot Miranda’s demise, but soon these co-conspirators are embroiled in a game of cat-and-mouse–one they both cannot survive–with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

I’d read The Girl With A Clock For A Heart by Peter Swanson as I thought it sounded amazing. I was disappointed by that one as I didn’t feel like it quite worked. When the chance to read The Kind Worth Killing came along I was hesitant as I was concerned about being in the same predicament. Sounds great but will I actually enjoy it. I’m glad I gave Peter Swanson another go as The Kind Worth Killing was the tight intriguing phycological thriller that I’d hoped his first one would be.

The story told from alternating perspectives pulls the reader in and makes one look at murder through the eyes of people who well don’t have quite an issue with it as the average Joe may. Everyone dies after all. With numerous plot twists the story could have fallen apart but it continued to be gripping and a highly enjoyable read. Great and diverse characters with a story that had me wanting more. I do recommend this one if you haven’t yet read Peter Swanson. Its the one to go with for sure.

Thank you to HarperCollins for the review copy.

Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne book tour #giveaway

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EVERYTHING SHE FORGOT
by Lisa Ballantyne

 

Lisa Ballantyne, international bestselling author of The Guilty One, delivers a compelling domestic thriller with impeccably observed characters and masterful edge-of-your-seat storytelling in a novel that leaps between past and present with page-turning finesse.

 

They’re calling it the worst pile-up in London history. Driving home, Margaret Holloway has her mind elsewhere—on a troubled student, her daughter’s acting class, the next day’s meeting—when she’s rear-ended and trapped in the wreckage. Just as she begins to panic, a disfigured stranger pulls her from the car just seconds before it’s engulfed in flames. Then he simply disappears.

Though she escapes with minor injuries, Margaret feels that something’s wrong. She’s having trouble concentrating. Her emotions are running wild. More than that, flashbacks to the crash are also dredging up lost associations from her childhood, fragments of events that were wiped from her memory. Whatever happened, she didn’t merely forget—she chose to forget. And somehow, Margaret knows deep down that it’s got something to do with the man who saved her life.

As Margaret uncovers a mystery with chilling implications for her family and her very identity, Everything She Forgot winds through a riveting dual narrative and asks the question: How far would you go to hide the truth—from yourself…?

 

 

CHAPTER 1

Margaret Holloway

Thursday, December 5, 2013

 

Margaret Holloway wrapped her scarf around her face before she walked out into the school parking lot. It was not long after four o’clock, but a winter pall had shifted over London. It was dusk already, wary streetlamps casting premature light onto the icy pavements. Snowflakes had begun to swirl and Margaret blinked as one landed on her eyelashes. The first snow of the year always brought a silence, dampening down all sound. She felt gratefully alone, walking out into the new darkness, hers the only footprints on the path. She had been too hot inside and the cold air was welcome.

Her car was on the far side of the parking lot and she wasn’t wearing proper shoes for the weather, although she had on her long brown eiderdown coat. She had heard on the radio that it

was to be the worst winter in the past fifty years.

It was only a few weeks until her thirty-sixth birthday, which always fell during the school holidays, but she had so much to do before the end of term. She was carrying a large handbag, heavy with documents to read for a meeting tomorrow. She was one of two deputy head teachers at Byron Academy, and the only woman on the senior management team, although one of the four assistant heads below Margaret was female. The day had left her tense and electrified. Her mind was fresh popcorn in hot oil, noisy with all the things she still had to do.

She walked faster than she might have done in such wintry conditions, because she was angry.

 

“Don’t do this,” she had just pleaded with the head teacher, Malcolm Harris.

“It’s a serious breach,” Malcolm had said, leaning right back in his chair and putting two hands beside his head, as if surrendering, and showing a clear circle of sweat at each armpit. “I know how you feel about him. I know he’s one of your ‘projects’ but—”

“It’s not that . . . it’s just that permanent exclusion could ruin him. Stephen’s come so far.”

“I think you’ll find he’s known as Trap.”

“And I don’t think of him as a project,” Margaret had continued, ignoring Malcolm’s remark. She was well aware of Stephen Hardy’s gang affiliations—knew him better than most of the teachers. She had joined the school fresh out of college, as an English teacher, but had soon moved into the Learning

Support Unit. The unit often worked with children with behavioral problems who had to be removed from mainstream classes, and she had been shocked by the number of children who couldn’t even read or write. She had taught Stephen since his first year, when she discovered that, at the age of thirteen,

he still couldn’t write his own address. She had tutored him for two years until he was back in normal classes and had been so proud of him when he got his GCSEs.

“He was carrying a knife in school. It’s a simple case as far as I can see. He’s nearly seventeen years old and—” “It feels like you’re condemning him. This is coming at the worst time—he’s started his A Levels and he’s making such good progress. This’ll shatter his confidence.”

“We can’t have knives in school.”

“He wasn’t brandishing the knife. It was discovered by accident at the gym. You know he carries it for protection, nothing more.”

 

Reprinted courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers.


 

Lisa Ballantyne ap1 (1)Lisa Ballantyne is the author of the Edgar Award-nominated The Guilty One. She spent most of her twenties working and living in China, before returning to the UK in 2002. She lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

 

 

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE      INDIEBOUND

 

 

Read a Latte 10/20/2015
Community Bookstop 10/16/2015
Celticlady’s Reviews 10/9/2015
Bookishly Me 10/13/2015
Prosecco in the Park 10/15/2015
Community Bookstop 10/20/2015
The College Life Stylist 9/29/2015
That Artsy Reader Girl 10/29/2015
The Well-Read Redhead 10/9/2015
Jess resides here 10/18/2015
Carole’s Book Corner 10/26/2015
Mrs Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews 11/10/2015
#NerdProblems 10/20/2015
everything distils unto reading 10/20/2015
BeautyLifeGeek 10/7/2015
Life, Army Wife Style 10/12/2015
Forever on a Lilo 9/22/2015
My Bookshelf 10/16/2015
Booksie’s Blog 10/15/2015
Finding My Yellow 10/30/2015
Silver’s Reviews 10/6/2015
Sweet Southern Home 10/27/2015
Mrs Mommy Booknerd’s Book reviews 10/29/2015

 

 

 

 

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Interview with SuperGhost author Scott Cole #bizarro #NBAS

Always pleased to feature a member of the New Bizarro Author Series, and when the proceeds from that authors book goes to charity well you can’t not share. I hope you’ll all check out the interview and give SuperGhost a try as all proceeds from the month of September goes to an excellent cause. Thank you to Scott for taking part.

 

SuperGhost

Dr. Griffin Rains is a mad scientist masquerading as a phantom limb therapist. When his patients realize that he’s stolen their phantom limbs and assembled them into a giant ghost-monster, they must band together to save the city from Rains and his latest abominable creation – the SuperGhost!

Part of the New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead Press.

Available now in paperback and ebook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

• Please tell me about yourself

Hello! My name is Scott. I’m fairly tall, unless I’m standing next to an extremely tall person. I have a pointy beard. I drink a lot of water, and I enjoy books.

• Please share if you would something about you that no one knows

Most people are surprised to find out that I hate bananas. HATE them. If something has even the slightest trace of banana in it, I gag, or at least, become very unpleasant to be around. Plantains are slightly better, but still deserve at least a percentage of my wrath.

• What are you reading now?

I just finished Violet LeVoit’s latest collection, I’ll Fuck Anything That Moves And Stephen Hawking, which was great. Now I’m finally digging into Jeremy Robert Johnson’s Skullcrack City, a little later than the cool kids did. So far, the hype is all true. It’s fantastic.

• Some favourite books and authors?

Pixel Juice by Jeff Noon, Eyeheart Everything by Mykle Hansen, Fantastic Orgy by Carlton Mellick III, Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis, Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, any collection of Thomas Ligotti’s work (although Teatro Grottesco immediately comes to mind), any collection of Ray Bradbury stories (maybe The October Country if I’m forced to choose), Uzumaki by Junji Ito, anything by comics creator Al Columbia.

Obviously I’m a fan of short stories.

• What is your work space and writing routine like?

Well, “routine” is a strong word…

Many writers will say you need one, and that it’s best to write every day, no matter what. But in reality – at least, in my reality – that’s just not feasible. So I write when I can, usually in spurts. I tend to focus on one thing, or a few things, for a while, then take a short break. That’s just the way things seem to work out. I hope to have more of a standard routine one day. I suppose I could do it if I quit my day job – but then I’d have to also quit eating and living under a roof. But we’ll see what happens down the line.

When I am writing, it’s usually on a laptop at my dining room table, which I know sounds very exciting. Occasionally it’s on a couch, or, even more rarely, in a coffee shop. I usually have music going, and it’s usually something electronic and instrumental. SuperGhost was written largely to the sounds of Aphex Twin and Ulrich Schnauss.

• How did you discover bizarro and why do you enjoy this genre?

I found bizarro (by that name, at least) back around 2006 or 2007. A friend had come across the term, and asked if I knew anything about it, since he knew I was into weird stuff. A few hours of internet time later, I had ordered a stack of books by CM3, Kevin L. Donihe, D. Harlan Wilson, and others.

I love bizarro simply for its lack of limitations. Anything can happen in bizarro, and usually does. Then things tend to get even weirder.

• How did you become one of the NBAS?

I had been interested in the NBAS for a while, and set a goal to submit something. I had actually planned to submit the year before I did, but things didn’t quite come together in time. I traveled to BizarroCon that year, though, and met tons of amazing people – writers, editors, and fans. And I kind of inadvertently soft-pitched SuperGhost to Spike Marlowe. A few months and a few revisions later, I officially submitted the book, and before too long, it was a real thing, out in the world.

• Please tell us about your book

SuperGhost is the story of a mad scientist who invents a way to steal phantom limbs from amputees, and then assemble them into a giant ghost-monster. The amputees then have to find a way to band together and defeat this phantom kaiju before the city is destroyed. It’s sort of like Frankenstein, by way of Cronenberg, Godzilla, and Monty Python.

• You are donating all proceeds from the book sale this month, please tell us about where the proceeds are going.

Yes, it’s SuperGhost September! I decided to donate 100% of my author royalties for the month to an organization that works to get prosthetic limbs for amputees who cannot otherwise afford them. In addition to that, I’ve got a bunch of fun prizes that people can win for purchasing and/or reviewing SuperGhost. All the details can be found right here: http://www.13visions.com/2015/09/superghost-september.html