Category Archives: book reviews

Review of Silent Payback , by Jaye Marie.

A serial killer roams the streets of Brighton, hunting for his next victim.
When the case lands on detective David Mallory’s desk, will his personal demon prevent him from bringing this vicious monster to justice?
As the body count rises, Mallory finds himself sinking under the weight of his heavy secret – one that could jeopardise his job and his reputation.
With the pressure building, can the troubled detective reconcile his issues and solve the case before more women die?

Overview.
This is an excellent story that kept me reading, wanting to know what happens next.

Plot.
The plot deals with two detectives trying to solve a series of murders in Brighton, England. But this is not all. Both David and Anna have their own individual problems to solve, and what these are remain a mystery until around half-way through the book. From then on, we follow them in their attempts to resolve both their individual personal problems and find the murderer.
The plot moves at a good pace, keeping the reader’s interest throughout.

Characters.
The main characters of David and Anna are drawn well. They are likeable, but with believable flaws. They develop nicely throughout the book.

Writing.
Sadly, this is where the book falls down. There are numerous editing errors in the text. Although this sometimes makes me not want to finish a book, the story here is strong enough that my desire to know what happens overcame my irritation at the mistakes. There are also a few plot holes. As a result of this, I have only given it 4 stars.

Review of Off Centre in the Attic by Mary Deal

 

I gave this book 5 stars on Amazon.

 

This is a book of short stories and flash fiction. The tales vary in length some of which are only a sentence or two,

The common thing about them is that they are all about some quirky character or event. Some of the characters you would love to meet, and others not so much.

A few of the stories I thought could be worked into complete novels. They left the reader thinking about what happened to the people in the tale. Others are complete in themselves.

I particularly liked the characters in the trailer home. That one could be made into a novel. Then there is the one about the goats. What did happen to them?

Some of the stories are sad and some happy, but all are fascinating reading. Mary Deal is an excellent judge of character, and has obviously spent much time watching people and learning from her observations.

The writing is good. Just a couple of places where she uses ‘lay’ instead of ‘lie’, but this is not enough to detract from the rest of the writing. She builds the characters well and the reader empathises with them.

A good read. As a book of short stories, it can be read in bits, or one after the other. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in people, and in quirky tales.

Review of Relissarium Wars, Part 1 by Andrew C. Broderick

 

I’ve just finished reading Book 1 of The Relissarium Wars and found it an excellent read.

It is, in fact, more of a novella than a book, but it is the first part of a series, and so is probably simply an introduction.

The characters are introduced in this book, along with the main storyline, which will, I presume, continue through the other books to come.


Theo is a farmer on the moon of Reliss, but is persuaded by his brother to pick up a package for him on his regular trip to the market. Little does Theo realise that this simple favour will land him into something much bigger and more dangerous than he thought. He is in over his head, but has to take part in a rebellion as there is no way out for him to get back home. Especially as his moon home has been annihilated, and so, with a price on his head, he has no choice but to help the Carbonari.

The book is well written. I was delighted not to come across typos and grammatical errors! There is plenty of action and the characters are believable, if not much development, but this may come in later books. This is after all a very short book taking place in a very short time. Hardly enough time for anyone’s character to develop.

I would recommend this book to any scifi fan and fans of action adventure.

A Review of Dangerous Alliance by Randall Krzak

I have just finished reading the book below. Thoroughly enjoyable. Read my review below.

 

Dangerous Alliance by Randall Krzak
Dangerous Alliance
by

Randall Krzak (Goodreads Author)

The story is set in present day North Korea, Somalia and London. It tells of how an alliance is made between North Korea and Somali pirates. Of course, everyone cheats everyone else, and to add to the intrigue, the Somali pirates kidnap an important personage who is working in a refugee camp.
An undercover group, working for MI6 (or is it 5, I forget) is sent to both rescue the prisoner and to capture the pirates.
Of course, there is the North Korean ambassador, being forced, under threat, to bring about the trade between his country and the pirates.
Randall Krzak is an accomplished writer, and tells the story with authority. He brings the places and characters to life. His prose is excellent.
There is a twist at the end, when some of the relationships of the people are brought to light.
The story is full of action, and keeps you turning the page.
An brilliant read. I have no problem with giving it 5 stars.
Please feel free to leave a comment.

A Review of The North Star by Killian Carter

thenorthstar

The version I read of this book had loads of errors. Spelling, grammar, syntax, you name it. I therefore was intending to give it a low rating because of it. However, I have been assured that it was published in error, and a new version has been released. As I haven’t seen this version, I cannot give the book the full 5 stars, but have only deleted one.

Synopsis
Clio is a cadet on a starship carrying secret ‘super-troops’ called Aegis to a laboratory Colony 115. Commander Grimshaw is in command of this operation .

When the starship sights a strange ship never before seen, and it attacks, they crash-land on Colony 115 only to find an invasion by strange creatures going on.

The crew has been scattered all over the planet, and they need to come together to leave. But Clio is the only pilot left alive. They must fight these aliens in order to get to the starship in the laboratories.

Characters.
The characters are believable. They all have their good and bad points. Clio has a violent temper, but also a softer side which is shown by her care for a sentient creature she befriends.

Commander Grimshaw has his anxieties, too. He must do what he can to ensure they leave the planet to tell the rest of the galaxy of these aliens.

Then there’s Randai. He’s a dropout on Sentinel. It is obvious he was once more than he is now, but he has drowned himself in drugs and alcohol, as well as getting involved with criminals.

I thought the characterisation very good.

Plot.
An excellent and original plot. It is exciting and moves rapidly.
The jumps from one character to another were done well. Making you want to continue reading to find out what happened to the ones you’ve just left.

Writing.
Aside from the errors, the writing moved the plot along, and kept you reading. The author set the various scenes well, and the reader can imagine the places and visualise the characters.

Summary,
I have deducted one star, due to the fact that I’ve not seen the latest version of this book, otherwise it would have got a resounding 5 stars. It kept me on the edge of my seat while reading, and I am looking forward to reading book 2.

Please leave a comment in the comments box.

Review of Neil Gaiman’s retelling of the Norse Myths

Thor’s hammer symbol

 

I enjoyed this retelling of the Norse Myths. The tales were easy to read, and I got a picture of what these gods were actually like. Thor, strong, but not very bright. Odin, wise and thoughtful. Loki, mischievous, clever, sneaky and enjoying chaos.

I would have liked to learn more about Freya and Frey, her brother, as well as Frigg, who was portrayed as Odin’s wife, although, I understand that some authorities think she and Freya are one and the same since their stories are similar.

There was little about them or any of the other female gods. nevertheless, it was an enjoyable read, and I would say it’s an introduction to the Norse Myths rather than a definitive book.

Looking for reviewers

Vengeancecover
Is anyone willing to do a review of Vengeance of a Slave in return for a free copy of the book? Please let me know if you would do this. I can send you a file in any format you wish.
There will be no obligation to review the book, but if you do, please say in your review it was a free copy. Amazon gets a bit sniffy sometimes.
Let me know if you would do this and what format you would like by emailing me at vivienne.sang@gmail.com
If you are unsure about what to write in a review, I did a post about it on Nove 20th Follow this link here.
Thanks.
Here’s a bit about it.
Adelbhert is only six years old when he is forced to watch his father and other men from his village being crucified in revenge for an attack on the Roman city of Modiglianum.
Then he and his little sister are taken as slaves. They are sold to a merchant who takes them to the distant and mysterious island of Britannia. Here he is treated like a pet until he grows up and is no longer a pretty child.
His experiences make him hate the Romans and he resolves to escape one day and have revenge. but his hatred is eating away at his soul.
Will he get the chance to escape, and if so, can he remain free? And how can one ;young man take on the might of the Roman Army and win?

Review of Until We Burn by David Kummer

 

Until We Burn: A Psychological Thriller by [Kummer, David Duane]

 

Cyrus Street returns to the town where he grew up. He returns to try to solve a mystery that had ruined his life.

15 years previously, the church in the town had burned down, killing, amongst many others, Cyrus’s young son. The fire had been arson, and he wants to find out who did it.

Helped by a young man from the town, he sets about trying to find clues as to the perpetrator of the crime. This becomes more important as murders begin to take place in the town, seemingly of people who were witnesses. Cyrus’s probing has worried someone.

David Kummer is a very talented young author. I found I couldn’t put the book down once I’d started it. He manages to grip the author and carry them along with him. It is a dark story, described as ‘psychological horror’, and I would go along with that description.

David Kummer has an insight into character unusual for one so young. His characters are real, and have both flaws and virtues. We find ourselves sympathising readily with them.

The ending is surprising. I thought I’d guessed the perpetrator, but I was wrong.

If I have a fault to find, it’s that at the end, we know who, but not why. There are also a couple of places in the book I was unsure about what had happened, but this did not spoil my overall enjoyment.

This is a young man to watch.

 

I gave it 4 stars on Amazon

 

Review of Echo. Approaching Shatter by Kent Wayne

 

Blurb

In the late 21st century, humanity left Earth due to multiple resource shortcomings aggravated by an acceleration in climate change. They settled Echo, a planet that was nearly a carbon copy of Earth except for being devoid of all but the most basic life forms. Fast forward 1200 years later. Echo has endured over a thousand years of dark age. Corporations and government merged early on, becoming the oppressive authority known as the Regime. Military and police merged into the Department of Enforcement, their only mission to crush the huge network of rebels known as the Dissidents. Over half the planet is covered by decaying cityscapes and the elite live high above, removed and remote from the greater populace on the moon-city of Ascension. Hope lies in one man, a former Enforcer named Atriya. But before he can break the cycle of darkness and ignorance on Echo, he has to do it within himself.

 

 

Review.
I read this book a few weeks ago and I have to say, I enjoyed it very much.

The main character, Atriya, is a man who pushes himself to the limit. During the course of the book, he comes across a variety of things that make him question what he had accepted previously. An encounter with a previous officer, under whom he worked, and who hated him, is the trigger for the change that begins in Atriya. A conversation with a friend also sows seeds of doubt in his mind.

The writing of this book is excellent. Wayne gives a clear impression of the unpleasantness of the world of Echo, and how the people, and even the enforcers, are treated as of no account. He clearly shows the changes beginning in Atriya.

The book ends at this point, with Atriya setting off on a mission that might well be fatal, but which he has no choice but to take. the alternative is not acceptable.

I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

I have no hesitation in giving this book 4 stars.

A review of A Pimlico Boyhood by L.A.Myers

I read this book this month, having received a copy for Christmas. I loved it. It was well-written, and gave a clear picture of what life was like in the 1940s in Pimlico. London.
At the beginning of the book, the author gives a little of the history of Pimlico and where it is, as so many will not know this. It is interesting to learn of the wages people were earning in those times, too.
He goes on to tell of the games they played as children in those days, and how girls’ games differed from boys’. How people got around was also of interest. Mr Myers describes the Hansom Cabs that people used before cars became something other than the preserve of the rich. The food they ate and the life of children in school. You name it, and it’s there.
There is so much of the rich life led by the working classes in those distant days that I cannot begin to describe it all. You should read this small book for yourselves.
The only thing I would criticise is the price, which seems rather high for such a small book.
I gave it a 5* review on Amazon.