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Apocalypse – Diary of a Survivor: A Review

I was given a copy of this ebook by the author, Matt Pike, in return for my review.

ApocalypseThis is one of those books that isn’t particularly original in terms of the idea for the plot. Let’s face it in the apocalypse genre there’s not much new and the meteorite idea has definitely been covered. But something about this book is fresh and new. I think it’s the main character and the style of telling, but I am really glad I picked this book up.

It’s written in the form of diary entries, something I don’t think is easy to do well, but the author pulls it off (and in the back info mentions being inspired by a relative’s diary of surviving war) so serious kudos there. The protagonist is also pretty awesome. There’s been a massive focus on YA dystopian fiction lately and almost all of the ones I’ve read have had a female lead. This one has a male lead and does a great job of it.

I have a very slight gripe with where the book ended. It doesn’t feel quite complete, although it’s not really a cliff-hanger ending either. It was a little sad, but in this case I think that’s more realistic and to be expected. I think there really needs to be a sequel to continue the story as this part and chapter of the tale has come to an end but there’s still more before the main character has reached the final resting point.

All in all, a brilliant YA diary style book and I can’t wait to read more.

Skid 2 – Rivals: Cover Reveal

A while back I read and reviewed the very awesome book Skid, by Doug Solter. There’s about to be a sequel out on September 23rd and I get to be part of the big cover reveal fun! So here it is!

You can be pretty sure I’m going to be after a copy of this book as soon as I can get it! For those curious, here’s the blurb:

Eighteen-year-old Samantha Sutton is back for a new racing season in Formula One. The hot new racing star of Wolert Porsche has everything she wants. An awesome team. An awesome car. And the perfect boy. But her optimism sinks when her boss steals arch-rival Emilio Ronaldo away from Ferrari and makes the sexist jerk her team’s premier driver.

Stressing about Emilio, Samantha struggles with her new public life as a teen sports star. Finding time to be the best girlfriend to Manny proves more and more difficult. It also doesn’t help that Manny’s ex-girlfriend Hanna shows up. The girl who was just released from a mental hospital.

The pressure on Samantha becomes unbearable. Paranoia, mistrust, and jealousy take over. She lashes out at everyone as the world seems determined to bring her down.

Can Samantha rise above it all and win the world championship? Or will this be the end of everything?

There’s a handy goodreads linky to add it to the to-read list ahead of the release date and if anyone wants to make sure they don’t miss it, they can subscribe to Doug’s newsletter and claim a free ebook or audiobook file of the first in the series too.

Seriously, if you’ve not read the first one and don’t have a copy yet, do grab it. It is one of the best books I’ve been asked to review to date.

Finally there’s some paper versions up for grabs so be sure to enter into that!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Dog Hunters: A Review

I was gifted a copy of this ebook by the author, David Bell, in return for a review.

When I read the prologue of this (told from the point of view of the dog) I wasn’t expecting this to be 100% serious and adult, but that’s normally fine. I like a good laugh as well as the next and I love dogs so no issues there.

The plot in general is a pretty interesting one and I didn’t have any problem with that side of things. It’s a pretty awesome medievil sort of adventure story that spans a big part of the globe. I also thought, for the most part, that the characterisation was pretty good. A few of the characters were a little cardboard cut out ish, especially the bad guys, but it could have been a lot worse.

I did find myself jarred out of the story a few times though. I don’t know whether it was because the target audience was younger kids or not, but there was the occasional historical oddity, where I was a bit unsure whether something existed back then, especially a reference to a curriculum vitae.

I also found there were a lot of references to bodily fluids of all sorts of kinds (mostly vomit and crap) and while I found this amusing once or twice, felt it was over done how many times someone got covered in one or the other or ended up with a mouthful of someone elses. I don’t know if it is because I wasn’t the target audience, but I’m not a squeamish girl and got up to all sorts of mischief with my brothers so I’m thinking even for most kids it would be a bit much.

Finally, the thing that most ticked me off about this book was the ending. It didn’t end, it just stopped while the main characters were in the middle of a disaster. Then there was an epilogue by the dog where we’re told there’s more to come in the form of another book. This seems to be a trend in indie publishing and I really really really hate it! Seriously, if you’re story isn’t finished don’t publish the fricking book! I don’t get the logic behind putting out a half finished book, especially when being indie means you don’t have to fit within the word count guidelines of a publisher.

I’d rather have an epic to read than get to the end of a story and find I either have to wait or pay more money just to continue. In those circumstances I usually refuse to buy any more books by that author on principle. I don’t mind a bit of a cliffhanger in a series, where the over arching plot isn’t entirely finished with, but the beginning hook of the book should be satisfied, the adventure that begins should at least be at a good stopping point, like a safe place, the destination (even if more adventures happen at the destination). There should be some satisfaction.

As such I find I can’t really recommend this book, which is a shame, because it’s not badly written and I think a lot of younger male readers will enjoy it, but wait until more books are out, or the series is finished before starting.

Fracture: A Review

I was given a copy of this book by the author, D. D. Chant to review. It’s the first book in the Chronicles of Discord series.

I totally loved this book!

There were a few tiny niggles so I will start with those and get them out the way. Firstly there was the same omnipresent viewpoint in this book again which confused me a little again and felt a little too head hoppy for my liking but for the most part it was handled well and I only got a little confused as to who’s POV it was. I am definitely a fan of scene breaks and chapter breaks in between POV changes though, and I also found it was a little too descriptive in places, but it really is a minor niggle.

The characters were amazing. Their depth and little characteristics made it easy to get to know them and I felt my self tensing up when Astra did and feeling Kai’s desire to protect.

The plot was nicely fluid and although a tad on the predictable side didn’t have me feeling disappointed at all. I also completely loved how all the sayings of the old world were woven into the plot as well as all the references to what came before the current situation and wars. Those were all nicely drip fed and kept me wanting more.

I really hope the next book in this series comes out soon. This is by far my favourite book by this author so far.

The Promise: A Review

I was given a copy of this novel by the author in return for my honest opinion of it. It’s the first book in the Lady Quill Chronicles.

Let me start by saying I love the olde worlde sort of setting so I was fairly sure I’d enjoy this book and enjoy it I did. The characters were all varied and interesting and I adored Adele.

The premise for the books plot was interesting, although I felt it resolved a little too quickly and easily for my liking. All the characters seemed a little too quick to forgive but it was only a small niggle. The book has a pretty fast pace, not dwelling long on any one thing which may have lent itself to feeling too fast over some bits, but I felt the pacing was justified for the most part.

The book also seems to be written in a very omnipresent sort of viewpoint (as I believe this authors previous book was) and moved between the thoughts and feelings of all the main characters. Very occasionally this was confusing but I think it may have been because there were quite a few more characters in this book as I know I didn’t get confused in the previous book that had the same style.

I also noticed an improvement in the writing of the author and look forward to reading more, especially in this series.

Broken City: A Review

I was given a copy of this book by the author, D. D. Chant, in return for a review.

I really enjoyed the setting on this book and the tribe like structure of the world. Post apocalyptic novels fascinated me in the way so many authors can write such a similar theme in so many varied ways, and this was yet another really interesting take on what society would do afterwards.

The characters were great and there was the usual YA blend of action, romance and focus on who’s partnering up with who and who’s wearing what etc.

The plot had some great twists and I really didn’t see the book ending quite the way it did, which was great. I like those kinds of surprises.

My one moan about the book has to be the lack of detail of the final battles. I really wanted to know what was happening outside and follow the POV of one of the other chracters and be involved but we stayed with the MC and only saw things from her POV which was more limited during that section of the book. Unfortunately I felt it took some of the tension out of the climax of the book.

I will definitely be reading the next book in this series.

The Moon Dwellers: A Review

I was given a free copy of this Young Adult Sci-Fi ebook by the author David Estes in return for my review.

It’s taken me a little while to figure out exactly what I think of this book. I got into the storyline very quickly and adore the characters, even though I feel a little old to be reading this genre now.

The style threw me for the first page or two and then again every time I picked the book back up again. It was a sort of present tense first person which struck me as a little odd because most books are written in third person and a mix of predominently past tense with a little present tense in description and action. I also noticed almost all dialogue had some kind of tag like says, asks etc. but oddly enough this didn’t break up the flow of the dialogue like it normally does and I think this quirky style had something to do with it.

Had I been looking to buy this book myself and tried the sample as I usually do I don’t think I’d have bought the book, but I actually think I’d have missed out. The style makes it feel like it’s a young kid who wrote it and I have to admit I checked out the author’s bio to check for sure that an adult had written it. For its target audience it’s perfect, which is why this book got the full five stars from me.

I also liked the hunger games/city of ember style vibe and plot and I’ll be adding the rest of the series to my to-read list. If you liked reading the hunger games books this is a pretty good equivalent in terms of writing style and setting.

A Class Apart: A review

I was given copy of this eBook free in return for a review. It’s the first book by the author Stephen Henning and also the first in the Class Heroes series.

When I opened myself up for people to request reviews from me I was a little worried I’d get spammed with all sorts of not so well done self published indie books. occasionally I do find myself reading a not so great one but this was one of those books that makes being a reviewer a delight. I totally loved this book from the first word to the last.

The main characters were delightful and I loved the nature of the twins. They felt like they matched their ages well. Sometimes with YA written by adults the kids don’t always feel like kids but they really did here. Mature kids but they still came out with the odd teenage phrase that just let you know they were still kids even if they were slightly more sensible than normal kids.

The super power concept is not a new one but still felt fresh while reading this. Some of it was a little predictable but only because it fit within the genre, but it didn’t feel like it was trying to be something it wasn’t and in this case having what I expected was a good thing.

I also have to admit that I liked reading a book that had settings and places mentioned that I’ve been to. So many books are published from US writers and they are set in a country I’ve only spent a short amount of time in so it was refreshing to know what it might have been like when they arrived at the farm in Suffolk, seeing as I grew up right by a farm in Suffolk.

I’m also very impressed with all the extras that have been created around the book and the main characters. These sorts of details show the passion of the writer for their story and I love getting to have these extras that aren’t included in the main book because they aren’t completely necessary but are there for those of us who want a bit more. Well I definitely want more!

Butterfly Porcupine: A Review

I was given this Young adult ebook by Susan Francis to review, so here’s what I think.

The book started off following Tasha as she got ready for her prom at the end of high school in Trinidad. It talked of them all saying goodbye and laid the groundwork of the book and the plot well. Tasha had decided to come to England to continue her education under her father’s roof and was saying goodbye to her mother, friends and brother to do so. I was intrigued right away, although I had one small moment of confusion when the dresses were talked about in terms of 1920’s and 1950’s and I had to try and work out when the book was set. The date’s made me think this might be a historical fiction book but it wasn’t, as I found out when the usual technology was mentioned.

I really liked Tasha and her prickly personality as well as Kai and his extroverted nature. The two were wonderful opposites and as we all know opposites attract.

On top of that I loved the way the estate they lived in worked. Aintree Court, being a closed off area where every neighbour is meant to look out for every other neighbour was the perfect example of good intentions not going quite right. I loved all the little quirks this brought to people’s behaviour and expectations and the way the upper middle class area looked down on anyone not part of their special ‘club’.

I did have a few niggles with the book, however. Mostly, the ages of the children. Half the kids were doing AS levels, including Tasha but all of them were 17 before they started and had 18th birthday parties throughout the year and following summer holidays. It confused me at first because that’s a year too old. English children are normally 16 and have 17th birthdays in their first year doing A-levels. This confusions continued with the kids in the year above, all of them were 18 before they even started their second year. At that point English kids go off to University, even if they only turn 18 in the summer holidays before hand. It just kept me confused a lot of the time, trying to work out who was in what year. I was surprised when Kai went to high school with the others for example,. He’d turned 18 before the book started so I expected him to be off at Uni and the only birthdays that were mentioned all seemed to happen in the summer holiday too.

My final niggle is actually the title. While it’s meant to describe the personality of Tasha, I didn’t get that until the last few pages and didn’t feel it entirely added to the sense of the book. It’s a YA romance book that I think would be served better by having a gender neutral title.

The book was still good and the romance was very sweet but I got a little put off by the lack of research. I still think I’d check out the sequel, however, now that I know the author had everyone a year older for where they are meant to be.

Elsa’s Reality: A Review

As I mentioned before on my blog this is the debut ebook from a fellow author with the same publishing company as me, red feather writing.

The book is a young adult fantasy with a hint of paranormal and is about a little girl called Elsa and the weird and slightly scary things happening in her world and it starts off with Elsa in a carriage travelling to a new home.

Slowly the novella reveals the reason elsa has to move and then more strange things happen, leaving elsa wondering what the cause of it all is.

I totally loved this little book and read it extremely quickly. Elsa is a gorgeous character and I could really relate to her confusion and attempt to fix things.

It’s fast paced, heart wrenching and very well written and I fell in love with the teddy bear even if I was also simultaneously a little creeped out.

My only warning is it’s not really a happy ending but there is the possibility of a sequel, although I think it’s best left. I know most people want happy endings but I think this book actually works best without.