Goldilocks by Laura Lam @LR_Lam @annecater #randomthingstours #Goldilocks #thriller #dystopian #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Goldilocks by Laura Lam. This is not the Goldilocks that you will know from childhood stories, this Goldilocks refers to a Zone deep in space…

Let me show you more about the book…

A bold, thought provoking and high-concept feminist dystopian thriller.


Ravaged by environmental disaster, greed and oppression, our planet is in crisis. The future of humanity hangs in the balance – and one woman can tip it over.


Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.


It’s humanity’s last hope for survival, and Naomi, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity like this – to step out of Valerie’s shadow and really make
a difference.


But when things start going wrong on the ship, Naomi starts to suspect that someone on board is concealing a terrible secret – and realises time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared…

This book was more than just a story about space travel and sci-fi. For me it was about the relationships between 5 women who basically steal a space ship, as you do, to start a new base on a far distant planet, it is their relationships with each other that made the story work so well for me.

It is set in the future, Earth is dying, climate control has left harsh conditions, diseases are rife and ever-evolving strains are becoming harder to treat… this sounds terrifyingly real at this point in our lives.

The story is set out in a before and now style and is set out in shortish chapters as it flits between the times. They are very easy to follow as they have been marked with dates and days.

Women are gradually being side-lined as men take the first steps into space travel to potentially find a new world where the human race can begin again, and hopefully not make the mistakes of the past. The five women are scientists and experts in their field, they are the ones that know the ins and outs of Atlanta, a space hub that will take them to a new planet called Cavendish.

The story starts well and I gradually got to know the two main characters of Valerie and Naomi. Valerie is the expert and leader of the group, Naomi is the biologist who is tasked with growing the food in her lab and then on their new home.

With any group, no matter how small in size, there is going to be some questions asked. There will be one who wants to take the lead and make decisions, there will one who blindly follows, one that sits on the fence and one that asks questions and these roles are soon realised as the story unfolds. This brings mistrust and threatens plans and adds a thriller style to the story. The dynamics between the women is really interesting and I liked how the author wove it well into the story.

With the current climate in the world, this is going to be a book that many may shy away from. There are mentions of disease and climate change and these are so relevant at the moment as we look at unprecedented changes. But I have to say I really enjoyed this book, it does have a little politics, there is some science but as I mentioned earlier this for me was a story about how the roles of five women change over a period of time. There were also some shocks along the way that added tension to the story.

It was a story that I could have easily read in one sitting. I found it to be quite addictive as I became more aware of little things creeping in to cause uncertainty. I really enjoyed this and it is a story that is quite easy to read and therefore would suit a wider audience that may not necessarily look at this type of book or genre as being part of there usual reading. I enjoyed it a lot and I would definitely recommend it.

Laura Lam is the author of several science fiction books, including Radio 2 Book Club selection False Hearts. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in anthologies such as Nasty Women, Solaris Rising 3, Cranky Ladies of History, Scotland in Space, and more.
Originally from California, she now lives in Scotland with her husband, and
teaches Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University.

Follow Laura on Twitter

Order your copy today from Amazon UK

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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Betrayal by Adam Croft and Steven Moore @adamcroft #politicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Betrayal by Adam Croft with Steven Moore. This is the second book in the Sam Barker series, and as is my usual, I have not yet read the first so I can say it works well as a stand-alone.

Let me show you what this one is all about…

In Edinburgh, the British Prime Minister prepares to launch a worldwide project to tackle climate change. But there’s a far more sinister motivation behind her plans.

After successfully thwarting a terrorist attack in London a few months earlier, Sam Barker is tasked with investigating a scheme which will turn his life — and the world — upside down.

As he delves deeper into the network of players, Sam uncovers a conspiracy which leads to the one person he loves the most — his son.

But in revealing the facts, Sam risks flushing out a far more sinister, unknown enemy — a rogue agent inside The Firm who will stop at nothing to stop Sam from exposing the truth.

This is the second book in the Sam Barker series, and yes as is the norm for me I have not read the first. The advantage is that I can say that Betrayal works well as a stand alone, in fact when I started the book I had managed to convince myself this was the first book!!!!

Sam Barker works for The Firm, he has been tasked with looking into the main supporter of Ecohope, and umbrella for several countries to unite and help with the climate change problem. From the outset the course is set as it emerges that there are some that will benefit from this union and there will be those that sadly loose.

Sam, it seems is ideally placed as his son Benji is a student of the man he is supposed to be looking into. As Sam delves further the waters muddy and not everything is as it seems. Power, corruption and political gain are the front runners in this not so eco friendly venture.

I liked the style of this story and its quick pace. The first chapter is fast and to the point before handing over to the second chapter and the story that follows. Yes this is about climate change but there is not too much. The main focus is on Sam and his search for the people at the controlling end.

This is the first time I have met Sam and I do like him, there are other characters that I don’t trust. My mind always mistrusts people that are a little slim with the facts, especially when it against a character I like, I will let yo find who that is!

AS I said this is the second book and it worked very well, I didn’t feel I was missing any vital details. It is a crime thriller with a political and environmental slant that was very enjoyable reading. It is one I would recommend.

With more than half a million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past year.

Following his 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow, his psychological thrillers were bought by Thomas & Mercer, an imprint of Amazon Publishing. Prior to the Amazon deal, Her Last Tomorrow sold more than 150,000 copies across all platforms and became one of the bestselling books of the year, reaching the top 10 in the overall Amazon Kindle chart and peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.

His Knight & Culverhouse crime thriller series has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.

In 2016, the Knight & Culverhouse Box Set reached number 1 in Canada, knocking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also number 1 in Canada.

During the summer of 2016, two of Adam’s books hit the USA Today bestseller list only weeks apart, making them two of the most-purchased books in the United States over the summer.

Before writing full time, Adam had previously worked as an internet marketing consultant, delivery driver and professional actor.

Adam has been featured on BBC Radio, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlet.

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

American Dirt by Jeannie Cummins #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for American Dirt by Jeannie Cummins. I read this book a few weeks ago and am just now sharing it. I do have quite a few books from my own TBR to get caught up on…

Let me show you what this book is all about…

También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams.

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

This is a book that has a political aspect to it, it is about immigration into North American from South America. It is the story of a mother and her 8 year old son having to leave their home and make a 2,600 mile journey to start a new life.

Lydia and her son Luca are the only members of their family that have survived a brutal attack. Lydia realises that in order for her and her son to survive they must leave their home in Acapulco and make there way to North America.

The author has created a fictional account of a journey that many thousands have made. It is a story I enjoyed, even though it sounds very wrong to say this, I found it to be very compelling and very hard to put down.

Lydia and Luca meet several people on their journey. Some are very happy to help and give them and other travellers little food parcels, or turn on a hose pipe so they can wash, brush their teeth and refill water bottles. A simple show of humanity that is the difference between life and death.

The story takes the two across the countryside, through deserts, town, villages and cities. Travelling on top of a train, in the back of a truck or walking miles is part of what they have to do to survive.

This is a story that shows that determination, a story that shows what a parent will do to make sure her child has the best that can be given.

A book that was an eye-opener for various reasons, there are mentions of how cartels, smugglers, border patrols and officials all have a hand in this aspect of life. Some are good and turn a blind eye or give water and food, others are just there to take whatever they can.

A story that I would definitely recommend.

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

The Afghan by Andrew Turpin #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Afghan by Andrew Turpin. I have been a fan of this Author’s Joe Johnson series and this latest instalment takes the reader back to where it all began for Joe.

Such a fabulous and eye-catching cover!

Let’s see what the book is all about…

A Cold War attack by Soviet helicopters on an Afghan village. A knife-edge CIA operation that goes wrong. And a vengeful mujahideen tribesman, armed with Stinger missiles. 
When CIA officer Joe Johnson is handed the tough task by his boss of capturing a Soviet helicopter and forging better contacts among the mujahideen, he unknowingly finds himself up against a sinister KGB rival who wants him dead.
But after coming under fire, Johnson comes to suspect that his difficulties stem not just from the Soviets—but from a traitor on his own side.
To extricate himself from the web of deceit in which he finds himself, Johnson comes to rely on a female colleague from Britain’s MI6, Jayne Robinson, to whom he grows unexpectedly close.
As pressure mounts on Johnson from CIA headquarters at Langley and politicians in Washington, DC, the story reaches a climax during a life-or-death shootout in Jalalabad.
The Afghan, set in 1988, is a thriller that forms a compelling prequel to the Joe Johnson series as a whole. It also creates the backdrop for book four in the series, Stalin’s Final Sting, set in Afghanistan, New York City, and Moscow in the present day.

Having read the three previous books by this author, and enjoying them all, I have to say it was nice to have a slightly different feel to the latest book. It took me on a journey back in time to the days when Joe worked for the CIA. It is a prequel to the series, also an intro to the 4th book Stalin’s Final Sting, and yep I have that one as well.

So, Joe is caught in the conflict between Russia and Afghanistan 1988 in a complex plot that pulls in a myriad of elements and deceptions. To be honest I expect deception and mistrust when the CIA is involved in anything!

The story see’s the meeting of Joe and MI6 agent Jayne Robinson. This aspect of the story I really enjoyed as the two form a friendship that extends into the future, so it was good to see how they first met.

One thing that I have come to expect from this author is the meticulous attention to detail. This is a large part of his books and they are brilliantly wrapped into each story in such a way that keeps each story flowing and not getting bogged down with an overload of facts and info. This story is no exception.

The action for this is relentless and Joe finds himself in a minefield of political pressure, a country in turmoil, arms deals, KGB, CIA and undercover double crossing. With all this going on, it creates a fast paced and intense flow to the story. It keeps the tension and the suspense building.

As always there is a fabulous section after the story ends, in this section the author presents his research and bibliography.

If you are after a gritty action packed read then you will find it in this authors books. The Afghan is the perfect place to start for a series that I highly recommend.

P.S…The Afghan is FREE on Andrew’s Website !

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, The Last Nazi, was published in August 2017, and the second, The Old Bridge, in January 2018. The third, Bandit Country, followed in February 2018. In January 2019 the fourth, Stalin’s Final Sting, was published along with a prequel to the series, entitled The Afghan.

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. 

All of Andrew’s books draw strongly on these themes. They feature Joe Johnson, 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.

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.


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Divided We Stand by Rachel McLean @rararesources #BookReview

Divided We Stand Ebook.jpg

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Divided We Stand by Rachel Mclean as part of the blog tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. This is the third and final installment in The Division Bell Trilogy. My thanks to Rachel for the invite onto all three tours and also the author fo re-copies of her books.

Synopsis:

Britain is a country under surveillance. Neighbours spy on neighbours. Schools enforce loyalty to the state. And children are encouraged to inform on their parents.

Disgraced MP Jennifer Sinclair has earned her freedom but returns home to find everything changed.

Rita Gurumurthy has been sent to a high security prison. When a sympathetic guard helps her escape she becomes a fugitive, forced to go into hiding.

To reunite her family and win freedom for her son and her friend, Jennifer must challenge her old colleague and rival, the new Prime Minister Catherine Moore.

Will Catherine listen to reason and remove the country from its yoke of fear and suspicion? Or will Jennifer have to reveal the secret only she knows about Catherine, and risk plunging the country into turmoil?

Purchase Link:-  Amazon UK –  Amazon US

My Thoughts:

This is the final book in The Division Bell Trilogy. This is also a trilogy that really should be read in order.  The Trilogy itself is set a few years in the future and the government has been active in segregating people, turning them against each other. Racism is rife and sets people of all races against each other in a big brother, whistleblower style surveillance system. The author has created a series that is quite chilling in some of its realism.

Jennifer is a disgraced Mp, she has finally been released from the British Values Centre, a place where its “patients” are brainwashed into the correct and more acceptable way of thinking. For Jennifer however, there are those that are aware of corruption and the many miscarriages of justice and are willing to help.

The culmination of this trilogy shows a country that has been held by fear gradually coming to its own realisation. The initial herding mentality that has gone on has now passed and people are starting to make little steps towards making a stand. The fear that authorities can come into your home and remove what and who they want, whenever they want is realism that many feel and don’t like. It is this and the sense of mis-justice that drives people for a change. This final book is like a political game of chess or cat and mouse.

I have enjoyed all the books in this trilogy. I like the dystopian, Big Brother, Orwellian style to it. This trilogy worked well for me, and I think it was due to it only just being set in the future, we have Brexit as an ever-present theme in all media outlets, racism and segregation are things that do still happen, peoples values and ideals are changing. I think it is the present climate that adds to this book.

If you are reader who likes political, big brother style dystopia, or a reader of general fiction then this is a trilogy I would recommend.

About the Author:

rachel mclean

I’m Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I’m told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories – well, I’m sorry but I can’t help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They’re inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub.

Social Media Links –  Twitter –  Facebook –  Instagram

 

 

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

 

 

A House Divided by Rachel McLean #BookReview @rararesources

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on A House Divided by Rachel McLean. This is the first in the Division Bell Trilogy and I am excited to be part of the tour for this. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite and also the author for my e-copy of the books.

You can purchase your own copy at  – Amazon UK –  Amazon US

Synopsis:

Jennifer Sinclair is many things: loyal government minister, loving wife and devoted mother.

But when a terror attack threatens her family, her world is turned upside down. When the government she has served targets her Muslim husband and sons, her loyalties are tested. And when her family is about to be torn apart, she must take drastic action to protect them.

A House Divided is a tense and timely thriller about political extremism and divided loyalties, and their impact on one woman.

My Thoughts:

Jennifer Sinclair is a MP, wife and mother. A terror attack escalates fear within the government and the country. Muslims are blamed and her husband and children become targets of racist attacks. Her husband is a Muslim.

Wow! I devoured this book in one sitting as the author wove her magic. This political thriller had me totally hooked. It has a sense of realism to it and then the author has taken it further. It begins in 2019 and is from Jennifer’s point of view giving me a great behind the scenes look as I followed her through the corridors of power. These corridors are fuelled with corruption, backstabbing, lies and liars who are intent on only saving their backsides and remaining in the job and position they want. It is good to know that there are those with principles, a conscience and a sense of what moral obligation is.

Jennifer’s home-life suffers as she has to spend more time dealing with ad meeting the demands of her job. The author shows that having a family and a very demanding work schedule is tough, but when a crisis escalates, then the pressure starts to show and cracks appear.

This is a great book that looks at not only the politics, but also takes into account the feelings of people. These feeling do incorporate racism, prejudice and hate but also that there are those that do have a sense of right and wrong.

As the story progresses from getting to know the characters and to then understanding the characters, the author also weaves in their personalities and their beliefs. It is a balance that I think she has successfully achieved and shows different points of view.

The tension that gradually increases in this book is great and there were several jaw dropping moments as I started to discover where this story was heading. The realisation that politics can be used and manipulated is used to great effect.

If you are after a story that brings all the corruption that is expected in politics then this is a book that you really do want to read. The story-line is effective and has plausibility to it, it captured my attention very early on and held it to the last pages as I was drawn deeper in.

A fantastic political thriller and first in a trilogy that I am really looking forward to reading. It gets a highly recommended from me.

About the Author:

A House Divided - rachel mclean - Copy.jpg

I’m Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I’m told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories – well, I’m sorry but I can’t help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They’re inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub.

Social Media Links –  Twitter –  Facebook –  Instagram

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the tour

A House Divided Full Tour Banner.jpg

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

#BlogTour : The Prisoner’s Wife by Gerard MacDonald : @AuthorightUKPR @gilbster1000 @Authoright #BookReview

Today I am pleased to be sharing my thoughts on the blog tour for “The Prisoner’s Wife” by Gerard MacDonald.  Available in hardback or as an eBook. 

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312591802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312591809
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

From the CIA headquarters to the danger zones of Morocco and Pakistan, undercover agent Shawn Maguire is embroiled in a sinister conspiracy and an unlikely romance in this exhilarating debut spy thriller.

Shawn Maguire, unemployed American spy, has been paid to find a young Iranian now being interrogated in one of the CIA’s black prisons. The prisoner’s location remains unknown – he may be in Fes, Cairo or even Peshawar – but Shawn has every confidence that he’ll find his man eventually. Based on his time as an agent, it’s an assignment he knows he can handle. But there’s one person he’s not sure even he can handle: the prisoner’s wife.

The Prisoner’s Wife is a political thriller ripped from today’s headlines; a tense trip through the murky worlds of state–sponsored terrorism, nuclear politics, secret American jails and lawless rendition. Conspiracies abound in this sophisticated and suspenseful novel, with its crackling dialogue and evocative, lawless landscapes. Maguire is a first-rate protagonist, complicated and heroic, and writer Gerard Macdonald does an expert job of capturing the casual ambivalence of the American intelligence officers in their rendition campaigns and keenly observes the cynical manner in which operatives prop up or depose criminal leaders depending on Americas own needs.

My Thoughts:

Shawn Maguire is an ex American spy who has problems with whiskey, women and a whole lot of other things.  As he is unemployed he takes on a job that will call on his previous experience to find a missing man, Darius Osmani.  During this he will meet Danielle, to see what she knows of her husbands disappearance.  The journey will take them to Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan, with a lot of twists and danger.

Now I have to admit that I really struggled to get going with this book.  The information was intense, a mass of names, places, agencies, and back stories.  But I persevered, there was hints of things I liked, conspiracy, underhanded and illegal government agency involvement and with that obvious corruption.  As the story progressed  I found I was becoming quite addicted with it, the pace quickened, or maybe it was reading that quickened as my understanding improved, and with this the story began to unfold. When I had finished I had thoughts of an almost Jack Reacher style character with strains of John Le Carre, and it makes an interesting mix.

There are many characters with Shawn being the main protagonist, who initially I wasn’t that taken with, but did have a change of heart by the time I got to the end of the book.  They do become recognisable the more you read.  Back stories are discussed as the current story unfolds, it does add another angle and gives some good depth to the main characters.

This is a book I think that readers that like political thriller, action, government conspiracy and manipulation would enjoy.

About the Author:

Author Gerard Macdonald lives in West London and is currently working on a short series of political fiction books.   Author Website

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