Shiang by C.F.Iggulden @MichealJBooks #BookReview #Netgalley

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Today I have my thoughts on Shiang by C.F.Iggulden that is published today, the second in The Empire of Salt Series. I would like to thank Michael Joseph Books for my ecopy recieved via NetGalley, my thoughts are my own. You can purchase a copy of this book from good book shops and here is the link to purchase from AMAZON UK.

You can read my review of the first book Darien: Empire of Salt by C. F. Iggulden

Synopsis:

IF THESE STONES COULD SPEAK . . . THEY WOULD CALL FOR WAR.

In Shiang, the young king rules without dissent. Mazer swordsmen stand watch on every corner, looking for the first sign of rebellion. This city is a place of quiet and slow dignity, like a man eating rice with a razor pressed against his throat.

Yet with one sharp movement, order is overturned. The balance of centuries is undone in the sudden spill of blood – and in the darkness, something terrible returns to Shiang.

Far to the west, four Shiang masters approach the city walls of Darien. The sword saint and his companions have crossed a continent to bring an old man home for punishment. They will not be denied, even if the whole city stands in their way.

TWO ANCIENT CITIES. ONE FINAL WAR.

My Thoughts:

So this is the second in this series of books by Conn Iggulden. Shiang and Darien are ancient cities separated by many miles of rough, mountainous landscapes. So why anyone would want to make the journey across the mountains, especially in winter, must be for something important.

There are two groups making this journey, Hondo and his group are journeying to bring back a traitor, a man who disgraced the royal family in Darien, he now resides in Shiang. The other group is led by Gabriel and they are a more fearsome band, they are drawn to Shiang seeking power.

This is very much an action and well paced story, there are descriptions and histories that are filled in as the story unfolds. The journeys made by the two groups are interesting and the reasons for the trek was one that intrigued me.

This book gave me a chance to learn more about the ruling families and also how they rule. Also the way they use the power they posses.

Even though I did enjoy this story I found I was at a bit of a loss to find the links I would have expected between the first and second book. It did confuse me as I didn’t seem to have any memory of any of the key characters, once I kind of shrugged that off and decided to read it in the mindset of being more of a stand alone novel then I could enjoy the story. It was quite a long way in before I came across a character I could remember from the first book, he only makes a fleeting appearance.

So this book leaves me in a bit of a quandary, as part of a series I kind of expect characters to come back to me in the few chapters at least, but this wasn’t the case, this essentially left it as a book that had more of a stand alone feel.

I did enjoy the story and found it descriptive, it is full of action, a fair bit of blood, death and destruction, it also has magic, swordsmanship, warriors and honour. It is a book that I would recommend and I am still looking forward to the next in the series.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be great 🙂 xx

#BookReview |Bandit Country by Andrew Turpin @AndrewTurpin

51dVLYAL6mL._SY346_Bandit Country by Andrew Turpin, the third book in the Joe Johnson series.  Available from Amazon UK HERE in paperback of eBook format.  Buy the box set and read The Last Nazi, The Old Bridge and Bandit Country HERE.

Synopsis: 

A trail of high-profile sniper victims across Northern Ireland. Rising tension over the US president’s imminent visit. And the on-going bloody conflict driven by republican terrorists.
Ex-CIA war crimes investigator Joe Johnson quickly realizes there’s much more to it after he’s called to Belfast by a man who claims to be worried about the impact on his business of a long series of terrorist bombs and shootings.
The sniper’s body count rises, but with his motive remaining a mystery, fears mount as the president and UK prime minister’s visit for a G8 world summit draws nearer. 
Eventually, Johnson and his ex-MI6 colleague Jayne Robinson come to believe that the key lies in files, documents and secrets from nearly thirty years ago that certain high-flying public figures would rather remained unread.
Bandit Country—the third book in the Joe Johnson series—dives into the murky depths of historic conflicts between British security forces and the IRA, as well as the illegal US-based fundraising and weapons smuggling operations that armed the terrorists.
Meet Joe Johnson today and discover how he uncovers hidden truths from the past in an effort to prevent another devastating crime happening now.

My Thoughts:

Joe Johnson is back! This time in Northern Ireland. He has a freelance job offer that has connections to troubles in Northern Ireland from the 1980’s. Now 2013, the political stage has changed, Sinn Fein have political positions and there is a peace agreement in place.  Not all feel hopeful about the future and grassroots dissidents still make their feelings known with bombings and shootings, this affects business and is the reason why Joe has been called in.

I am a big fan of this series with Joe as the main protagonist, an ex-CIA war crimes investigator. This book feels a little bit different to the others, a slight step away from the war crimes investigations with more emphasis on events at the time of its setting in 2013, there are however many references to 1984, as well as other decades that are just as important.  Joe is soon in the thick of the action, his experiences, expertise and knowledge are all assets that he will need.

It is a story that covers many aspects of IRA, The Real IRA, Sinn Fein and also the thoughts and feelings of the people on the streets.  The mistrust, the distrust and the fear to hope things will actually change for the best as well as showing the frustrations of the dissidents at grass root level.

As the story moves forward the inclusion of arms shipments, smuggling and also US backers for the cause make an appearance as Joe tries to learn of an active sniper. This along with the added extra details that the author includes adds that believable factor I like in a story.  Things like how fast the helicopter flies rather than it just flying past, or why two guns of the same model have slight differences. These extras make me think that the author knows his stuff and done the research. The one thing I always enjoy with this authors work is the addition information he includes at the end of the story, where he found his sources, what books or sites he used. A great place for further reading and a great insight into the background of the book.

You could read this as a stand alone, it would work well I think, but I would definitely recommend reading the other books in the series. They give a great deal of information about Joe and importantly show his tenacious character.

This is a fast paced, action packed, thriller.  The author has created a balance of fact and fiction backed up with a huge amount of research and is the backbone of this book, add to that an amazing story that has been fictionally wrapped around events and you have a convincing read.  A Highly Recommended read from me.

About the Author:

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Andrew is a former journalist who has always had a love of writing and a passion for reading good thrillers. Now he has finally put the two interests together.

His first book in the Joe Johnson series, The Last Nazi, was published in August 2017, and the second, The Old Bridge, in January 2018. The third, Bandit Country, was published in February 2018.

Who is Joe Johnson? He’s an ex-CIA officer and former U.S. Nazi hunter with the Office of Special Investigations, part of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Johnson has a passion for justice and a drive to investigate unsolved war crimes in different parts of the world. In particular, he is frustrated by the sectarian and religious conflicts that generally lie behind such crimes.

The themes behind these thrillers also pull together some of Andrew’s other interests, particularly history, world news, and travel. They explore the ways in which events and human behaviors deep into the past continue to impact on modern society, politics and business.

Andrew studied history at Loughborough University and worked for many years as a business and financial journalist before becoming a corporate and financial communications adviser with several large energy companies.

He originally came from Grantham, Lincolnshire, and lives with his family in St. Albans in Hertfordshire, U.K.

Follow Andrew on Twitter ~ Website 

The Joe Johnson Thriller Series: Books 1-3 (The Joe Johnson Thriller Series Boxset 1) by [Turpin, Andrew]

 

 

The Joe Johnson Thriller Series 

Available from Amazon UK

 

 

Many thanks for reading my post, a share or like would be amazing 🙂 xx

#BlogTour | #GlimmerOfHope by Steve McHugh @StevejMcHugh |#GuestPost #BookReview @annecater

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I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for “Glimmer of Hope” by Steve McHugh, the first in The Avalon Chronicles.  Available in various formats and you can get a copy HERE. I am over the moon to have a Guest Post by Steve, he discusses his “Getting published” experiences, I wasn’t sure if I would have time to read the book in time for the tour, I should have a little more faith in myself as I can also share my thoughts on the book I did have time to read 🙂 xx Thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the tour x

Synopsis:

From Steve McHugh, the bestselling author of The Hellequin Chronicles, comes a new urban fantasy series packed with mystery, action, and, above all, magic.
Layla Cassidy has always wanted a normal life, and the chance to put her father’s brutal legacy behind her. And in her final year of university she’s finally found it. Or so she thinks.
But when Layla accidentally activates an ancient scroll, she is bestowed with an incredible, inhuman power. She plunges into a dangerous new world, full of mythical creatures and menace—all while a group of fanatics will stop at nothing to turn her abilities to their cause.
To protect those she loves most, Layla must take control of her new powers…before they destroy her. All is not yet lost—there is a light shining, but Layla must survive long enough to see it.

Guest Post by Steve:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published. 

Every author you ever speak to about how they became published has a different story. This is mine. 

I was 25 back in 2004 when my first child was about to be born, and I figured I should actually try this whole writing thing seriously. Turns out writing a book is hard. Who knew? 

It took me several years to get to a place where I had written something I actually thought worthy of publication, it was my second completed book, and was called Crimes Against Magic (spoilers, it did get published). 

I wanted to go the traditional publishing route. I just wanted to see my book in shops. I had no illusions about being a best-seller, or the next [Insert name of famous author here] I just wanted to write the best story I could, and get it out there. 

I sent query letters and synopsis to agents, making sure that I actually gave them what they asked for, and received quite a bit of useful feedback about why the book isn’t for them, but good luck. 

By 2011, I was beginning to feel a little downhearted. I’d spent the better part of a year trying to get the book published, I’d been writing other things in the meantime, and wondered whether or not Crimes was actually worthy of publishing. 

Several self-published friends of mine at the time spoke to me about how they’d been able to do well through self-publishing and that maybe I should look into it. 

Well, first I decided to send the book into the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award, and it ended up in the semi-finals (last 200 out of several thousand, I think). I found the whole process rejuvenated my thoughts that the book was worthwhile. I set about the self-publishing route. 

It took me a year or so to get the book properly edited, a good cover, and reading up on how to get your book noticed before I clicked upload and it was on Amazon. 

Then things got a bit unexpected. People started buying it. Quite a lot of people. 

By the end of the year, I’d published book 2, Born of Hatred, and by the January of the following year had 2 books that together had sold in the tens of thousands of copies. I was over the moon. 

Then things got even more unexpected. 

A publisher by the name of 47North (part of Amazon publishing’s own imprint) contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in working with them on relaunching the 2 Hellequin books, and also writing several more for them. I said yes. 

After the third book came out a year later, I also got an agent in the form of Paul Lucas at Janklow and Nesbit. 

So, in the end I did get my books in stores, and I did get an agent, and publisher, but I sort of took a detour to get there. And none of it might have happened if I’d never taken the chance on self-publishing the book. 

After 6 years of being published, by the end of 2018 I’ll have had 10 published books and 1 novella. It’s a staggering thing to consider that I’ve come all this way in such a short period of time, and that my journey from aspiring author to best-selling author was one with so many twists and turns, with so many lows and highs. But sometimes you have to take that chance, and sometimes it doesn’t pay off, but when it does, it can change everything in ways you can’t even imagine.

Follow Steve on Twitter ~ Blog ~ Facebook Author Page

My Thoughts:

This is my first experience with this author and what an absolutely brilliant introduction I had via Glimmer of Hope.  Layla is the main character in this book, a woman who has problems trusting and accepting people in her life.  She has a history and a story that is best kept secret, but she does have two good friends and she will need them as she discovers what this world and life holds in store for her.

Oh this book was a great read that hit all the right spots for me.  An Urban Fantasy with a whole range of legendary, mythological and folk-lore characters and above all magic, spirits and demons.  As Layla learns that there is more to her life than what she first imagined, she has hidden her past from others, but then others have also hidden parts of Layla’s past from her to protect her. She will discover that she does have a place and a role in life and believe when I say you don’t want to mess with her. The author has created a great mix of characters and has given enough details for the reader to see his “other” characters.

This is a fast paced, kick ass, saving the world, urban fantasy novel.  I did think it had a bit of a feel of being aimed at a YA audience. I am looking forward to continuing this journey  and read future books from The Avalon Chronicles, and also to start to read the Hellequin books. A great read that I would definitely recommend to those who like Urban Fantasy, Action and Fantasy genres, or a great start for those who want a bit of escapism.

If you want to see what others thought of this book, check out the dates and below

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Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be great if you liked it.  Get your own copy of this book HERE 🙂 xx

#BookReview : Night of the Taking by Scott Kaelen @ScottKaelen

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I am sharing Night of the Taking by Scott Kaelen today. This is a short introduction to his series The Fractured Tapestry. You can get a copy from Amazon UK along with many of his other books.

Synopsis:

The Volami opened the walls of their shining city of Midhallow and invited the surrounding tribesfolk to venture within. Decades later, the two races dwell together inside the city, not quite as equals, and watched over by the ever-present Retainers. A treaty, offered by the tribes to the Volami, was to seal their tenuous union during a long-held ritual. But it was a ruse. The celebrations became the bloodiest treachery the Volami would ever know, and set in motion events that would echo down the ages.

Night of the Taking is a short entry tale into the world of Verragos and the Fractured Tapestry series, and also serves as an introduction to characters which are destined to return later in the series.

My Thoughts:

This is a short, 28 pages, introduction into what I feel will be an exciting, maybe even an epic fantasy series.  It has the right vibes for me, I am always a little nervous when I read a really thrilling intro to a series like this.

Midhallow is a city where the Volami have opened and welcomed outlying tribes into.  They live side by side until a night of betrayal and bloodshed.

With a short and sweet novella like this it is difficult to write a full review, but I will share what I experienced without going into the story details.  What you get in this 28 pages is a real sense of emotion following an unexpected betrayal, it displays emotion, a sense of shock and disbelief and also anger that will lead on into future books.

There is a wonderful amount of detail and I was quite surprised at how quickly I got caught up in the story.  My only regret is that I finished it and would have quite happily read for many hours more if this is any indication of what is to continue.

So if you are looking for a new fantasy series then give Night of the Taking a look, it’s dark, descriptive, atmospheric and has all the hallmarks of being the start of a wonderful journey.  I have just bought the next book in the series and look forward to reading it  soon.   I definitely recommend this book.

About the Author:

A10I64KPHSL._SY200_  Scott Kaelen writes in the genres of epic fantasy, science fiction, horror, humour, spec-fic, contemporary fiction, poetry and non-fiction. His short stories include the dystopian urban sci-fi Moses Garrett and the apocalyptic horror The Lingering Remains. His current projects include a novel entitled The Blighted City – the first major release in the epic fantasy Verragos Tapestry series – and his second collection of poetry. As well as the pen, he is also modestly adept with the pencil; his work includes character concepts and sketches of famous personalities. His interests are all things sci-fi, fantasy and horror, as well as etymology, psychology, deep Earth history, palaeontology, geology, cosmology and computer RPGs. He’s also an ex-flosculator.

You can follow Scott on Twitter  Website

Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be great.  Better still go and get a copy of this book HERE 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : End Game by @Matt_Johnson #EndGame #RobertFinlay @OrendaBooks @annecater #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing m thoughts today on End Game by Matt Johnson. My thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for my copy of this wonderful book and also for my spot on the tour.  This is the final book of the trilogy and you can purchase all the books from Amazon UK in either eBook or paperback.  BUYING LINK

Synopsis:

Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout. Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services. End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.

My Thoughts:

This is the final instalment in the Robert Finlay series.  I do have a little confession here, and please don’t tell anyone, but I have not read any of the other books (hangs head in shame) but I have ordered them (raises head a little higher).  When an email from the wonderful Anne Cater dropped in I was not going to say no, reviews from other bloggers about the two previous books were wonderful and glowing, after reading End Game I can absolutely see why.

So to my thoughts, surely the fact that I immediately bought the other two books after finishing this one is testimony as to what I thought.  But in case you are not convinced by that…. With any book in a series, characters are important.  You follow them as they evolve and grow, you know their back stories, problems and history as well as their interaction with others (whether they play nicely in a group or not).  But as I have not had this experience (yes I know!) I found that the dynamics of the characters very evident, they have strong personalities and traits and have a great established believable feel about them.  It didn’t take long for me to remember them or to identify them within the story.

Right then to the plot, where to start, well there is an underlying plot from the previous stories, again something you would expect from a trilogy.  Matt has included great references to this and there is enough for this, late to the party reader, to get enough of an idea to understand.  It has also given plenty of intrigue and left me wanting to know more about the back stories, hence me the first two books.  For End Game, you are plunged into a world of British Secret Service and Police Investigations at an intense and breathtaking pace .  There are real life events that have been mentioned and incorporated into the story, I love this as it gives the reader a great reference point for the setting of a story.  These real events and also the authors own experiences give a real edgy feel to this story, the author knows his stuff.  It’s the lit details that add that extra element, these seemingly trivial little facts that are added are there because of the authors experience within the  military and police force.  This “insider” knowledge is what makes the story stand out and adds that important authentic and believable factor.

This was an absolute pleasure to read, it was intense and intricate in its plot and in the details but not at all confusing, fast paced and addictive.  The espionage aspect is devilish with a real edge of the seat feel.  A brilliantly woven tale and one that I Highly Recommend. Don’t just take my word for it, buy all three books and see for yourself.

About the Author:

Matt Johnson Author Picture.jpg  Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty-five years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game and now End Game, the final book in the Robert Finlay series, once again draw on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.

The Robert Finlay Trilogy by Matt Johnson

Wicked Game      ~    Deadly Game      ~     End Game

Click on the title and it will take you to Amazon.UK website.

Since writing this post I am happy to say, my copies of the first two books are now here,  now I  have the full set 🙂29243814_10214155310511089_6356634460884041728_n

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Or, go and buy yourself a copy HERE   🙂 xx

#BookReview : The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert @mimi_albert @penguinrandom @NetGalley #PublicationDay

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I am so delighted to be bringing you my thoughts on “The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert, it is due for publication today and available in various formats.  Published by Penguin it can be purchased from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate – the Hazel Wood – Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away – by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD.

To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began . . .

My Thoughts:

When you think of fairy tales it is often woods, wolves, castles, princes and princesses with a happy ever after.  The Hazel Wood is nothing like that, it contains fairy tales but they are darker with an underlying feeling of dread to them.  The reclusive and mysterious author Althea Prosperine published her only novel Tales of the Hinterland.  Her granddaughter Ella has never met Althea, never read the book, but is aware of it.  In fact not many have met Althea or even have a copy of the book.  Ella and her mum Alice have to move around a lot, they keep their heads down, always try to keep ahead of the bad luck that seems to shadow them.  This story is how Ella and the reader learns about The Hazel Wood, the book and the bad luck.

This is a brilliantly woven story using the basic premise of a fairy tales.  Twisting them into a dark and brooding journey for the reader.  As we follow Ella and Alice there are things that are seen out of the corner of an eye that gives feeling of the supernatural that have mysterious darker undertones, shadows that linger, people that don’t quite fit in, this all adds to a feeling of tense suspense.  As the story unfolds there are several twists that I didn’t expect, they are clever and make this an extremely addictive read. There are several characters in this story and they are easily remembered and play their parts well, they have good backstories, and while I didn’t like all the characters I found them intriguing.

Once I started this story I could not put it down, the descriptions give a vivid and imaginative picture.  I loved the style of the writing, at times it had the fairy tale feel you would expect, but also a darker much more intense feel that was far removed from fairy tales.  I would like to see follow on from this book as there were several characters that I would like to know more about, and some that left me with questions. But overall it has been beautifully put together and is one I would absolutely recommend.

So if you like a dark and twisty fantasy read that has some roots in magical fairy tales then this is a book for you.  It is a young adult read, that an older adult loved.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publishers for my eARC of this wonderful book, my thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

You can visit the author in Twitter and also find all the links to purchase the books HERE

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Or go and grab yourself a copy of this brilliant book 🙂 xx

#BookReview : The Wait For Shadows by Karl Holton @KarlHolton

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I have been eagerly waiting to share my thoughts on “The Wait For Shadows” the 2nd book in The Shadows Series, by Karl Holton. Published by Thuja it is available to purchase in paperback and eBook format from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US 

Synopsis:

An assassin wants revenge but doesn’t know who to kill. 
A drug dealer wants revenge without the muscle to kill. 
a ‘wild beast’ can help them both. 
Can anybody stop it? 

The last six days in ‘The Weight of Shadows’ were just the beginning. 
Danny Benedict and the whole team must get ready — it’s day seven. 
The second book in the ‘Shadows Series’. 

Every morning you can watch the sunbeams glitter, 
certain you no longer need to wait for shadows. 

My Thoughts:

I have been looking forward to reading this 2nd book in the Shadows Series.  Would Karl keep up the fast paced, explosive read I had experienced in The Weight of Shadows ? Well I read this book in one sitting ! So yes it did live up to my expectations as I was once again transported into the murky double-crossing underworld of the secret services, the underhand dealing of gangs, the high-end criminals in organised international crime and all the fall out, action and adventure that goes with it.

I loved the way Karl has, at the beginning of this book included a list of the main characters giving a brief description of their role, this immediately jogged my memory and the story began.  We are taken into a scenario where some departments use the useful, but slightly illegal resources of a certain boss, he is one of those grey area bosses.  He has been involved in illegal practices that has made him a billionaire, but his resources are the only way some people can be found.  He is a rogue, but one of those good baddies. Along with Benedict, Wallace, Watkins, Paddy and Pip the story leads you into money laundering, drug dealing on an international scale.

The pacing of this book is fast, well-balanced and keeps in well with the style of the story.  There are chases, ambushes, snipers and assassins that will add to a body count as the team work their way through leads, dirty cops, sneaky sly secret service agents and hedge fund management. Benedict and Wallace have a great dynamic as they work together, both brash but can see the professionalism in each other.  I like this combination and look forward to more adventures with the duo.

I would recommend to readers that reading the first book in the series would be beneficial, there is mention of the previous story. Even though brief explanations are given, reading the first will give essential background.  I personally don’t think you would get the same enjoyment from this one if it is read as a stand alone.

So to finish up, this is a book I would highly recommend to readers of fast paced action and adventure, with corruption, double-dealing in the murky underworld, and high-end organised international crime world.  This is a great book that took me straight back to the world that I loved so much in “The Weight of Shadows”.  Now then Mr. Holton, when is the next book out 🙂

About the Author:

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Karl Holton’s first book, ‘The Weight of Shadows’ came out in July 2017. It is the first in a new crime thriller mystery known as the ‘Shadow Series. The second in the series ‘The Wait for Shadows’ came out in December 2017. Both are available on Amazon.

Karl previously worked in financial markets for over thirty years, before deciding that he had to write. He couldn’t leave this dream any longer.

He lives in the United Kingdom with his wife and two children.

Follow Karl on Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website

My review  for “The Weight of Shadows

Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

Many thanks for reading my post, please give it a share if you liked it.  Better still go and get a copy of this explosive thriller and see what you think xx

#BookReview : Zenka by Alison Brodie @alisonbrodie2

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Zenka” by Alison Brodie. This book is available as an eBook and can be purchased from Amazon UK and Amazon.Com.

Synopsis:

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?

My Thoughts:

Jack Murray is a London organised crime gang boss.  Zenka is a Hungarian girl he saved, she know follows Jack everywhere.  She is his self-confessed guardian angel. News reaches Jack that he has a 26-year-old son, Zenka wants to help bring them together.  The son is Nicholas and he couldn’t be more different from Jack. Nicholas is caring, gentle supportive and a nurse, and to be honest a bit of a push over.  Zenka is aware of his character as she has been watching him, so a series of”events” are put in place to “toughen him up”!

Oh I loved this book so much.  A gangland boss with all the criminal elements you want to find in a story like this, a bit of an ugly lovable rogue.  Add into that the gentle nurse and you just know things somewhere along the way are going to go awry.  Then there is Zenka, I loved her character, her mannerisms and attitude. These elemants have been thrust together along with many other events and wrapped into a plot that I adored.  At times a little tongue in cheek, funny and some serious moments. This had me grinning like an idiot one moment, shocked at another and then at the end I had leaky eyes…..what the hell!!!

The characters were a great mish-mash of ratbags and villains, as well as those working legitimately to get on in life.  You will meet Zenka, Jack, Nicholas, Jason and Mrs Blanchflower who have a great range of traits making them memorable. There are others that you will make you own mind up about as you go.  But Zenka was my favourite by far,she comes across as very deadpan and it works at times hilariously, Alison has included letters to Zenka’s friend Alina, these give a little added extra to Zenka and are brilliantly amusing.

This is a story that is full of coincidences, but it has been put together so well that I didn’t care if these coincidences seemed a little too coincidental, they added to the pacing and the humour.

I would recommend this book to readers who like a crime, fiction, mystery that at times is humorous.  It is so well put together that I could not put it down.  I LOVED it and Highly Recommend it, a real corker of a read.

I wish to thank Alison for sending me a copy of Zenka.  My thoughts expressed here are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

51qW2E5DznL._SY200_  Alison Brodie is a Scot with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side.
Alison has lived all over the world, including Kansas City, Athens and Basque country.
Her first novel – “Face to Face” – was published by Hodder & Stoughton and became Good Housekeeping’s Pick of the Paperbacks.
Alison has now gone Indie!
“Brake Failure” has 28 five-star reviews from professional book bloggers + “Masterpiece of humor” -Midwest Book Review
“ZENKA” is releasing 6 November, 2017.

Follow Alison on Twitter Website ~

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy a copy of this great book xx

 

 

#BookReview : The Legend of Horian & the Dycentian Blade by Shah Jalal @LegendofHorian @gilbster1000 @AuthorightUKPR #BlogTour

Legend of Horian Cover

I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for the first in a series of books by Shah Jalal, “Legend of Horian & the Dycentian Blade” .  My thanks to Rachel at Authoright UK PR for my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

‘Long ago in the distant Kingdom of Dycentia, storytellers sang the legend of one of their own; a hero the likes of which were only born in forgotten lands, in forgotten times. This Dycentian’s name was Horian and although his life was cloaked in shadows, the secrets the storytellers sang have been passed down through the ages, known to only a select few and now preserved in these pages so that they may never be forgotten. The residents of today’s world can benefit from the lessons of bravery and duty in Horian’s quest. Few could have survived the soul-seething journey he undertook to access the most awesome weapon on the face of the earth. Few could be entrusted with the responsibility of wielding such a sovereignty seizing sword. However, it was only with the Dycentian Blade that Horian would literally govern the godly powers required to massacre the Mightiest and Most Malignant Monarch of Demons and Everything Foul, and to right the many wrongs that had been done.’

My Thoughts:

Horian has returned home after 4 years training. His home is a village in the Kingdom of Dycentia.  His father Juratan, is a wizard and also the craftsman behing the Dycentian Blade, a sword that has been imbued with the power of 9 elements, no ordinary man care wield it, it has to be someone who can prove his worth and pass the tests required by the Gods.

This is a really interesting fantasy read that the author has built around the kingdoms of Dycentia and Galleria, describing the differences between the inhabitants, building and structures, the landscape and also the history. These are told in conversations between characters and also in descriptive passages.  A book that leans heavily on the “good ‘v’ evil” plot, as well as the role the gods play in everyday life for some, but not all.  There is a build up to a large battle, though it is not featured in this story, but the foundations have been laid for what is to come.

I though the plot was good and is based around Horian’s journey, or quest that will lead to further adventures.  It is basic in some ways, but as this is the start of a series it is more about getting to know the people and their customs and traditions.  I did find the religion featured quite a lot, but it is part of the story and how the gods are involved in this world, but it has been balanced with the believers and the non-believers.

This book definitely hit a lot of the right notes with me and I am interested to see where this story leads to next.  It has introduced me to a new world, with different inhabitants, with history, religion and some interesting characters.

This is a book I would recommend to readers who want to start a new journey in fantasy.  It is well written with a lot of detail and explanation, has action,adventure and the promise of more to come. A book that has set it’s foundations down.

About the Author:

Although born in Bangladesh, Shah Jalal has lived most of his life with his family in England.When not writing he helps his father run the family retail business in Leytonstone, London.

Follow the author on Twitter ~ Website ~ Facebook

Check out other bloggers thoughts on this tour.

Monika Cover 2

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still, go a get a copy of this book and let you journey begin xx

#BookReview : Operation Hail Storm by Brett Arquette @brettarquette

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I am sharing my thought today on “Operation Hail Storm” by Brett Arquette.  Available as paperback, eBook and audio book formats.

Synopsis:

Marshall Hail was a husband, a father, a Physics Nobel prize winner and industrial billionaire. But when Hail’s family was killed in a terrorist attack, he became a predator and redirected his vast industrial assets toward one goal, removing every person on the FBI’s Top 10 Terrorist list. With the help of his MIT colleagues, Hail designed and built a devastating arsenal of attack drones of all shapes and sizes that are flown by the nation’s best young gamers. The world will come to realize that Marshall Hail possesses the capability of getting to anyone, anywhere, at any time, unleashing an operation so disturbing that the CIA has named it Operation Hail Storm.

My Thoughts:

Marshall Hail is a billionaire, he lost his wife and children in a terrorist attack two years prior to the story starting, now he is hell-bent on retribution.  Using his money, brains and intellectuals around him he is able to create super advanced weapons and technology to enable him to start removing those who were responsible, and stop further terrorist attacks and in doing so also make the world a better place.

This is a fast paced book, but I did find that some of the technical narrative was a little to intense for my understanding.  That being said, for the most part I did enjoy this book.    There were quite a few characters to get to know, and the main players soon became recognisable. I liked the basic premise of the story-line, a sort of modern-day Captain Nemo if you like, Hail is effectively an ultra rich vigilante, who in his heart wants to make the world a safer place and to also provide a cleaner safer energy source, the two ideas do work well together.  I also liked the idea of the American Government asking for his help to catch a weapons dealer.  If you are thinking why would they do this, well Hail had already proven his worth by assassinating a military leader who is on Top 10 Most Wanted, but also is also way for the US Governmental agencies to try to see what new gadgets and tech he has. So this then throws in an element of conspiracy and spying, adding another twist to the tale.

This is a book that I did enjoy, but found that I did struggle with a lot of the technological terminology, I think I needed a “dumbed down” version that would have made the story flow a little better.  After reading the book, I then had a read through the author’s bio, and found a mention of him being a “Chief Technology Officer” and also in cutting edge technology.  Given this background I think a reader who likes more technical genres would fare much better than I did.

If you like action advernture, military style fiction read with technical aspects, and government involvement, then this is the book for you.  I would like to thank the author for sending me an eARC of this book, my views expressed are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

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The middle child of five, Brett Duncan Arquette was born in 1960 and anointed with his mother’s pen name “Duncan”, given to him by Mystery Writer’s of America Grand Master award winner, author Lois Duncan. During her career, his mother Lois has written over 32 best selling young adult books, some of which have been made into movies, including the movie “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Hotel for Dogs”.  Brett was raised in New Mexico and moved to Florida on his 30th birthday.

Arquette spent most his career working as the Chief Technology Officer for one of the largest Circuit Court Systems in Florida. In 2002, Computerworld Magazine selected Arquette as one of the “Premier 100 IT Leaders” in the world, describing him as a “visionary” in reference to the cutting-edge technology. His books are peppered with technology acquired from his vast experience in advanced computers and audio/video systems.

Arquette is also the Editor in Chief of the Court Technology Forum, Contributing Editor for eWeek Magazine, columnist for ComputerWorld and SmartComputing magazines, all of which has helped to create a loyal fan base and lots of traffic on his website. Writing on the weekends, Arquette’s first book, “Deadly Perversions”, was published in 2002. His additional titles are “Seeing Red”, “Tweaked”, “The Pandemic Diary”  and “Soundman for a B-Band”.  He is proofing his new adventure into Young Adult writing with a series of “HAIL” books with the first one called “Operation Hail Storm”.  Mr. Arquette’s primary aspirations are to quit the 9 to 5 grind and become a best-selling author, following in his famous mother’s footsteps.

Mr. Arquette currently resides in the Sunshine State with his wife and three children.

Follow the author on Twitter ~ Website

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu.com (1 Jun. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1365452549
  • ISBN-13: 978-1365452543
  • Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

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