Archive for » November, 2015 «

Mad Tinker’s Daughter: A Review

I happened to find this book free some time and thought it looked awesome, so I nabbed it.

Mad Tinker's DaughterFor starters, that cover, just brilliat. Secondly a steampunk story, so genre for the win. Thirdly, what an awesome title.

The book wasn’t totally perfect. I’ll be honest I was a little confused and there were a few mistakes here and there, but generally it was a pretty decent book. After I’d realised that most of the main characters had to personalities in two different dimensions/worlds and therefore had two names and two jobs etc, I got a lot less confused and into the book.

There were plenty of awesome steampunk style gadgets, although my favourite thing, I must admit, was a table, but it was a big circular table that seated oodles of people (I think it was 50, it might have been more) and everyone sat around the outside of the circle. The very middle of the circle was a stairwell down to the kitchens with space around it for servants to bring up meals and serve them. The inside part of the table spun around so dishes could move past people. It’s like epic Chinese style buffet tables crossed with steampunk. What’s not to love!

I thought the pacing was good in this story, not too fast that I was confused (apart from the two or more dimensions thing at the beginning) and not too slow that I was bored. The characterisation was decent, although not epic. I still don’t love any of the characters particularly, but several are interesting enough.

I’ll keep reading but as much for the genre and gadgets as the plot itself.

New release and New pre-order

The Invisible Amateur is out this Friday! If you haven’t pre-ordered the ebook yet you can do so here and make sure that you get yourself a copy as soon as it’s midnight! Only two and a half days to go.

TheFemaleCharmMediumThe fourth book in the Mycroft Holmes Adventures series is also now available to pre-order here and will be released on February 13th next year. Less than three months away!

Here’s a blurb:

Politics is Mycroft’s focus for the moment, but it calls him to Scotland, somewhere very much outside of London. When Sherlock refuses to help and instead enlists Amelia, Mycroft has to decide if his personal amateur is up to the task.

Despite all the scrapes and bruises, Amelia is still willing to learn from the Holmes brothers, but these latest lessons are on a whole new level. Does she have the skills she needs to survive? And is she really prepared for being in the Holmes world?

I’ve also almost finished the first drafts of 5 and 6 in the series and can confirm both will be out next year. Hopefully around early May and mid July respectively.

Ghostwalker: A Review

I picked up this ebook by Ben Cassidy because it was free and looked amazingly interesting. My bookclub had also read one of his shorts before and totally loved it, and I wrote a short fantasy piece for an anthology raising money for him when he was diagnosed with cancer last year.

GhostwalkerThis book was no less awesome. I was grabbed by the charaters and immersed into the story from the first page to the last page. Ben has a brilliant way of describing things and his action scenes flowed well and were easy to follow. And action there was plenty of.

The bad-guys felt a teensy bit black and white but they were still villians you could love to hate and I was very much rooting for the Ghostwalker to show them who was awesome (he was totally awesome). Some of the scenes were a bit damsel in distress from the other main character but she soon bucked up and tried to help as well.

I still have quite a few questions, especially about what exactly a ghostwalker is and what happened to this one, but I still felt like I had a few answers during this book so I’m not complaining.

I loved this book so much I put the next one on my to-read list right away.

NaNoWriMo 2015: Update 2

Just a little over half way through NaNoWriMo now and as of first thing this morning I’m at 48,609 words. If I was doing a normal NaNo count I’d be finishing today. Since I’m aiming for 69,000 that leaves me with 20,381 words to go. Not too bad although I’ve been slower the last week or so. It’s definitely not a level of writing I find sustainable.

I finished Mycroft 5 and have tentatively called it The Knight Who Started a War but I think that’s going to haev to change. As much as I like it it needs to be shorter I think.

As is normal I’ve learnt some intersting things. Not least all the symptoms of hypothermia. But the most unexpected – It seems protégé is the maculine form and for a female student you would call them a protégée. Had no idea about that until two days ago.

The hope is to finish Mycroft 6 by the end of this week or the beginning of next (I might actually take the weekend off). Then finish off a few other bits and pieces to get me towards the 69k I’m aiming for. Either way there’s still a fair amount to be written so I best get back to it.

Stardust: A Review

When I watched the film of this book I must admit I had no idea there was a book, but a few months later someone informed me there was. I finally got around to reading it.

StardustI was actually very pleasantly surprised how like the film this book is. There were a few subtle differences. It almost seemed like the film had more content in some places and a little less in others.

The ending was quite different and I prefered the book ending more. It was a little sad in places. Neil Gaiman also has a very special way of looking at things and I found myself highlighting quite a few different sentences for the cute way they phrased something.

It struck me as just one of those stories. The characters were only remarkable in that one of them was a star and they sort of ended up being rulers of something, but it was told in such a matter of fact, these things happen all the time, kind of way that it feels unremarkable and I think that’s one of Gaiman’s great abilities as a storyteller, he makes the fantastic sound like the everyday happenings, almost making you believe you too could meet a star or be swept away on a flying ship.

Two fantasy and sci-fi boxsets: Legends & Legacy

The first of two great multi-author boxsets is out today for only 99p/99c. Legends is a collection of Sci-fi and fantasy stories and has my very own Sherdan’s Prophecy among the 13 awesome books included.

Legends-SherdansprophecyThis is a total steal for that many fantastic books so grab a copy here.

Legacy promoAlso out in only two days time (and available to pre-order here) is the sister boxset with another of my ebooks in. This boxset has Wandering to Belong and is one of 10 great stories. Several of which feature dragons! What more could you want?

Interlude-Brandon: A Review

This is the third book in the Game series by Terry Schott. I reviewed the first one here and the second here.

Interlude-brandonI wasn’t sure that I’d enjoy a sort of mid series prequel, but I was so glad I was wrong. I think this is the best book of the series so far.

Without giving away spoilers there were a few nice surprises in this book and some great info about Brandon himself and how he got to where he is. I found myself confused at a few points by the events, but it’s probably because I’ve read so many books in between the books in this series that I’d slightly forgotten who everyone was.

It’s fairly fast paced again, and still has plenty of interesting action in it, although most of it is focused around games and virtual reality stuff.

I have to say though that the editing and formating leaves a lot to be desired. The last sentence of Chapter 55 just doesn’t finish and there’s two chapter 56’s, one of which is only a couple of paragraphs long and makes little sense in the context of the rest.

If all the mistakes were corrected this would be one of the best series I’ve ever read.

NaNoWriMo 2015: Update 1

I know I’m only a few days into NaNoWriMo but here’s an update of where I’m at so far.

Somehow in only two days I’ve managed to get about a third of the way into Mycroft 5. Still not a clue what the title is but I’ll probably figure that out soon.

As often happens my character’s keep surprising me and even themselves. Amelia turned out to be claustraphobic and it turns out Mycroft and Sherlock can sort of work together, but there’s evidently some history there I don’t know about yet. Daniels, the chauffeur, is also even more awesome than even Mycroft realised, and I even discovered that Mycroft does have a sense of humour! Who knew!

Research wise I plotted one heck of a route thanks to google maps. One of the most amazing tools as a quick way to be able to explain places. I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have access to such a detailed map of pretty much everywhere in the world. Here’s a link for those interested. Yup Russia is involved.

Over the next week I want to get this novella finished so I can take a day off to plot the next one, as I have no idea what happens except for a few series related scenes. It does sorta need its own plot as well. After that we’ll see. I’d like to be about this far into the next one in two weeks time, maybe a little further. It all depends exactly what trouble Amelia gets herself into between now and then!