Showing posts with label Sci-fi/fantasy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sci-fi/fantasy. Show all posts

Monday, January 8, 2018

Queen's Gold by Melissa Bowersock

AMAZON UK
Melissa Bowersock Queen's Gold has featured frequently in my reading list…and managed to very deservedly find her way into my favourite-authors list.

Her stories flirt with fantasy/paranormal in a way that makes you think twice about things of which you might say, ‘Nah! No way!’ And in this particular story, one of the main characters says exactly that: it’s a tale in which both reader (well, this one!) and protagonist find themselves in agreement.

Widower Hal Thompson’s two children strike a bargain with him: fervent believers of hypnotic regression, they promise to stop trying to convince him that there really is something in it if he will just agree to one session. If it doesn’t ‘happen’ for him, then Brian and Wendy promise they’ll never raise the subject again. Backed into a corner, Hal agrees. The experience proves to be unsettling for Hal when he ‘remembers’ not only the whereabouts of some ancient Aztec gold, but also…disarmingly…a long-lost love. Reluctant to admit to his children his scepticism might have been misplaced, he is soon shocked into shedding his misgivings when things get gravely personal. His 'memories', it appears, are of crucial importance to some ruthless people.

This story changes gear dramatically after the first few pages: it starts off at a very pleasant, leisurely pace, and suddenly, it’s ‘sit up and take notice’. 

I must confess, however, of all the books I've read by this author, I'm not so sure I'd put this one at the top of the list. I fell in love with the wholesomeness that was the Thompsons, but parts of the plot were just a teensy bit unsubstantial, hurried even. That said, the ending is climactic and gripping.

Notwithstanding, this was an enjoyable read and a very welcome addition to my collection of this author’s books.

See also:

Burning Through
Fleischerhaus
Stone's Ghost 
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Monday, December 25, 2017

Beyond The Milky Way by Aithal

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US
I should point out straightaway that this is a ‘to be continued’ book. Now, I’m really not too fond of books that don’t ‘end’. I don’t mind the hint of sequel, but I just don’t want to have to read another book to get to the conclusion. A personal bug, but if you like books in a series to stand alone, perhaps you'll want to know that this one doesn't!

That aside, the book was a rather compelling read: a sci-fi adventure but a story with social commentary. One that has you feeling a little uncomfortable (because you know it's true) at the message being conveyed.

Three astronauts are on an important mission. It’s the last for one of them and the first for another. They are heading for a planet that may have water, and if there’s water, there may be other discoveries to be made. The journey is bumpy. Very, very, very bumpy. Loss of contact with control is beyond distressing, but they manage to land, albeit unconventionally. They've landed somewhere. Not back at baseit’s obvious from their surroundingsbut terra firma at least. American terra firma. Or is it? All they have to do is find some people, some civilization, some means of communication to let base know the mission was incomplete but that they are safe. That’s all. Can’t be too hard, can it, despite the unfamiliar terrain?

Despite the fact I couldn't engage with the charactersthey were a little blandit wasn't hard to be drawn into the story. The author has obviously thought very hard about something he needed to say and used his creativity and imagination to do so.  It worked.

And of course, it perpetuates that ever-present question…do we really know what's out there?

See also:
India Was One


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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Class Action by Chris James

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

This is my second rendezvous with this author, my first with The Second Internet Cafe - Part 1 The Dimension Researcher. My opinion of him then was that he's an excellent and intelligent writer, one who can make you turn pages faster than you ever thought possible. Class Action was, in fact, his debut novel and my goodness, he certainly knew how to make an inaugural splash.


The story is set in a Warsaw courtroom. A man is in prison for the murder of a young woman, but it falls upon a young Polish litigator, Alex Moreyl, to prove that he committed the murder after seeing a violent film: that a powerful message during the film was relayed to the culprit, telling him to commit the crime. The proof? Advanced technology that enables every thought that’s ever entered a person’s head to be extracted and read. With convincing evidence from an expert in the field, the case looks as if it will be done and dusted in no time. But a catastrophic event throws Alex into a dangerous, ruthless, political battlefield between powerful entities, one in which he almost loses his life and those of his wife and family are in grave danger.

This is a futuristic thriller, brilliantly written. It’s original and clever; clever, because although the process of compulsory brain scanning is an almost unthinkable eventuality, the events of the political arena and dangers and threats of terrorism, however, are not so far removed from the present day. Technology, it seems, may advance in leaps and bounds, but nothing changes in politics or in the fight for supremacy between major states. This is a book that takes a glimpse into the future but touches base with present-day reality.

Action, intrigue, excitement, thrills, complexity, vision. This book has all those things.

Oh, and authorial genius.






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Fleischerhaus by Melissa Bowersock

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US
This was a superb little package. I really enjoyed it.

Julia Martin decides a long holiday in Europe, visiting her best friends in Germany, will be just the ticket to help her get over her divorce after her cheating husband’s infidelity. The Bavarian chocolate-box countryside is just what she needs. One afternoon, when out cycling with her friend, they come across a concentration camp. Insignificant in terms of notoriety, but just as significant in terms of the well-known atrocities that took place in such camps. A tour round the museum-converted camp turns out to be a shocking experience for Julia. Horrifyingly, she realises that, in a past life, she was murdered there as a young girl. With the help of her good friends and a very handsome doctor, she tries to unravel the mystery of who murdered her. As the facts slowly reveal themselves, the truth is quite shocking.

I don’t believe in the concept that we all have a past-life. As far as I’m concerned, we’re the product of an egg and a sperm, end of. This didn’t make a scrap of difference to my enjoyment of this book, however. It’s a story well told with a balanced mix of elements: the developing relationship between Julia and Theo, the doctor, was tender and endearing and provided a mellow contrast to the horrors of the Holocaust. There are also some surprises: in Julia’s love life and in the outcome of the research into the events of her past life.

There’s passion and emotion in Melissa’s writing. You can feel it both in the romantic part of the book and in the portrayal of events in a war which will never be forgotten.  Talent, indeed.

Highly recommended.

See also:

Stone's Ghost




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Monday, November 13, 2017

Read The Man in the Black Hat by Melissa Bowersock

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AMAZON US

The Man in the Black Hat by Melissa Bowersock


Ah, the enjoyment-sure experience, courtesy of Ms Bowersock, who always manages to put a glint in your eye for her leading man, somehow. It's Clay Bauer this time, an actor who doesn’t have a pretty enough face to get good-guy roles. But, he has bills to pay, so villains it is. After the final shoot at the end of yet another B-rated movie in Sedona, Arizona, he wanders off on his ‘stage’ horse to find the vortices he's heard so much about. He finds himself passing through a vortex to a Sedona a hundred years earlier. 

The Man in the Black Hat by Melissa Bowersock

Having not long read Bowersock’s Being Travis, another time-travel novel, I was having a bit of déjà vu. But I should have known that the very talented Ms B would have something up her sleeve. And she did. But I’m not telling, I’m afraid.

Clay’s become a bit Hollywood-superficial, but his experiences in early-twentieth-century Sedona and a certain Ella reveal a warm, caring, decent man, who ultimately makes a decision that turns his life around dramatically. And by ‘around’, I mean…no, sorry, shan’t. Read this and find out. Wonderful.




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Monday, November 6, 2017

Life First by R. J. Crayton Book Download

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Life First by R. J. Crayton Book Download



Wow. Just wow.


There, that’s my review. Can I leave it at that?

!!!

Well, this was my maiden voyage into the dystopian genre. I really struggled with this book…I struggled to find the opportunity to lock myself away for half a day to read it in one sitting!

As a dystopian first-timer, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was hooked from the first page. The story is set in post-pandemic America, a hundred years in the future, in which the twenty percent of survivors are obliged to donate organs when ordered to do so. Kelsey Reed does not want to donate her kidney: she must flee before she’s under the surgeon’s scalpel, but escape isn’t easy, when first, she has to extricate the tracking chip in her arm. She is helped by a doctor, who treated her mother just before she died and who feels obliged to look after Kelsey, and her boyfriend, Luke. Her escape has to be successful: to fail will result in heinous consequences.

I’ll admit to not being a great fan of present-tense novels, but this was so well written, the characters so well drawn, I barely noticed. It’s packed with tense moments, gripping moments, tender moments. The unexpected jumps out from behind a door, and there you are, unable to turn the pages fast enough.

Brilliant.

Life First by R. J. Crayton Book Download





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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Daedalian Muse by Jamie Crothall Download




Daedalian Muse by Jamie Crothall

This was rather quirky and a lot of fun. 

Tempus Fugit is, in his own words, “an independent agent in the investigation of scientific anomalies” and believes ghosts and goblins have no place in our “ever-so-tangible world, as all have valid and reasonable explanations.”

Tempus is called in to investigate some rather perplexing occurrences in the ruins of a building in a rural English village. Preferring to use his scientific logic to explain events, Tempus does his best to dispel the conception that the ruins are haunted. He firmly believes the truth is often cast aside, because fantasy is so much more attractive. 

However, even an expert of his calibre, can find himself everso slightly out of his depth…

Tempus is almost a victim of his name: time has passed him by, and he hasn’t quite caught up with modern day morals or technology. He really is a bit of an oddball, but he finds an unlikely ally in a teenager, wise beyond her years, who assists him with his strange assignment. There are some humorous moments provided by his encounter with a young lady with a voracious sexual appetite and his rather quaint interpretation of ‘homosexual’.

This doesn’t take long to read. There’s a lovely mix of characters, a dollop of eccentricity, and the author has an intelligent style of writing that doesn’t pretend to be supercilious or condescending.

Great fun.


Daedalian Muse by Jamie Crothall


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