Category Archives: book reviews

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.
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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.

 

Review of Terry Ravenscroft’s Stairway to Heaven, Book 4, Still Hanging On.

 

 

BLURB

Yet another volume in the Stairlift to Heaven series. Terry Ravenscroft is still at it, accompanied by his faithful friend Atkins (although Atkins shows distinct signs of being unfaithful on at least one occasion). Similarly aged readers, and those approaching old age, will do well to heed the advice offered in these epistles. They will learn, amongst other things, how to deal with Men from the Orient who constantly plague you on the telephone, people who ring you up tell you there’s something that needs fixing on your computer if you don’t want your bank account to be emptied, General Election canvassers who arrive on your doorstep uninvited and unwanted, how to ensure that tarmac layers carry out their jobs in the manner promised and at the agreed price, and how definitely not to behave at a football match if you are seated amongst the opposition’s supporters. And lots, lots more. And, whilst doing all this, have a bit of FUN.

MY REVIEW.

I have recently finished reading Book 4 of Terry Ravenscroft’s Stairway to Heaven books. He has been writing these autobiographical books about his life and escapades for a while now, and they are very funny.

Terry Ravenscroft was, until he retired, a scriptwriter for many well known TV comedians and sit-coms, including such names as Les Dawson, the Two Ronnies, Morcambe and Wise and Ken Dodd as well as Alas Smith and Jones, Not the 9o’Clock News, The News Hudlines and many others.

This book does begin on a sad note when Terry tells of the sad death of his wife, The Trouble, from the earlier books. It is very clear he misses her immensely, and at first, he said he did not think he would write this book. I’m very glad he did,

Terry relates his escapades with his friend, Atkins, as well as tells of some letters he wrote to various pompous organisations. From trying to get Atkin’s neighbour, who has designs on him, to desist from her advances, to an incident with a letter Atkins wrote to David Beckham and Terry replied in Beckham’s place, we are kept laughing throughout the book.

I do not want to spoil it for anyone wanting to read it by saying too much of the events and escapades this book covers. Just let me say it is very funny and well worth a read.

This book is titled, ‘Still Hanging On.’ Keep on hanging on, Terry, long enough to write the next episode

I give it *****

Review of Judas by Roy Bright

jesus-501753_640

 

Judas Iscariot. A name reviled down the ages. It was thought he committed suicide when he realised the enormity of what he had done in betraying Jesus Christ, but his punishment is far worse.

God condemned him to walk the Earth forever, never able to die.

Now he has been given a task. He has to look after a small girl until she passes her seventh birthday. Just a few days. that’s all. A simple task, you would think, but, of course, it’s never that simple. This is a special girl. One who will prevent Lucifer from entering the world.

Lucifer actively seeks the child, sending his devils in disguise. Murder and meyhem ensue…

I am not saying any more about the plot of this book. I don’t want to spoil it for you.

The character of Judas is well drawn. He is complex, as one might expect, having lived 2,000 years. The other characters are believable, too. There is the policeman who is forced to re-evaluate his religious beliefs when confronted with the evidence of his own eyes, and also the hooker dragged into the conflict, who shows courage she didn’t know she had.

Finally, Charlotte, the little girl. She is very much like a typical six-year-old, except for the fact that the horrors she witnesses do not seem to faze her. Yes, she is afraid, but a normal child of her age would be traumatised. But then, she’s not a normal child, is she?
The writing is good. The pace keeps you on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next event. At first, I thought I would not like the fact that it is written in the present tense, but as I got into the book, I realised it adds to the immediacy and tension of the story. It also helps wit flashbacks, which are written in the past. You know that this is a previous event.

There is one thing that I found a bit disconcerting, though, Towards the cmimax of the story, the author does rather a lot of ‘head-hopping’, jumping from one charachter’s point of view to another.

All in all, a good read,

Review of Terry Ravenscroft’s Stairlift to Heaven 2. Further up the Stairlift.

stair-lift-1808512_1280

For those of you who have never heard of Terry Ravenscroft, he is a writer of comedy. He has written for such people as Les Dawson and The Two Ronnies, and has also been the script writer for such shows as Alas Smith and Jones, Not the Nine 0’Clock News and many others.

This book does not fail to live up to the expectations such a CV would lead one to expect. It is full of humerous anecdotes of his escapades with his friend, Atkins.

Atkins seems to be just the same kind of person as Terry Ravenscroft and the two egg each other on to all kinds of misdemeanours from misleading someone in a charity shop to believe he had found a valuable piece of pottery to annoying cold callers on the telephone.

This is the second book Mr Ravenscroft has written about his life in retirement and I am looking forward to reading Book 3.

Definitely worth a read. I award it 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 stars for Amazon.