Thursday 30 August 2018

Cold Iron by Miles Cameron

I'll admit, I've always been a sucker for old school 'farmboy to hero' style fantasy tales. And this one really hits all the buttons. Right from the early set up scenes where Aranthur (the protagonist in this yarn) is traveling home to his village from the city where he is a scholar stops off at an inn and, due to events, meets up with characters you guess will become part of his story, it already feels like you are with old friends. From this point he, kinda 'levels up' and starts on the path to 'Hero-dom' The world feels more 'Dickensian' era than medieval which I enjoyed a lot, there is plenty of plotting and 'scheming' and a good cast of interesting characters (and it's not all about the men being heroic while the ladies fill the minor roles - all feels fairly equal here. All good points.

What threw me was that, again early on, it became obvious that guns/firearms are starting to make an impact into this world. As a general rule I'm not a fan of guns in FF, give me swords and axes any day of the week. But it soon became clear that Cameron knows what he's talking about and I really bought into it.

And, obviously there is magic (there HAS to be magic!) and this system works well.

 Following Aranthur from student to whatever he will become is a journey I'm looking forward to continuing so this, as book 1 (of 3, I believe) is a cracking read and sets the story up well.


Thanks to Stevie Finegan at Gollancz for inviting me onto this blog tour and for providing me with a copy. Please try and take a moment to look at the other posts on this tour

Wednesday 29 August 2018

 Welcome to Day 3 of the 'The Mouth of the Dark' Blog Tour.

This is a story of the strange. At times, VERY strange. And, when it comes to Horror Fiction, that is just how I like it.  Emory has gone missing somewhere around the area of town known as The Cannery and her father, Jayce, is desperate to find her. The thing is, The Cannery is the place where 'weird' is the order of the day. Things happen there that are unexplainable, dog-eaters roam the alleyways (and, yeah, does what it says on the tin).

Jayce will do whatever it takes to find his daughter and, maybe, in doing so he will find himself too. He has a lot of memories that he has kept hidden from himself and they may just be the key he needs to unlock The Cannery.

I really enjoyed this book. It's nice to get Horror Fiction that just goes for the same old thing. This is more in the vein of Clive Barker and Paul Kane, horror of the weird where the differences are on the edge of sight as well as in your face.

I have never read Tim Waggoner before but after this I certainly will now.

Really enjoyable Horror Fiction that hooked from the beginning and didn't let up (in fact the weirder it got the more I enjoyed it.

 Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto this Blog Tour and for providing the copy to read.

Please try and catch the other stops on the tour

Sunday 26 August 2018

The Genes of Isis by Justin Newland

 Firstly, many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this Blog Tour and supplying me with a copy of the book for review.

The Genes of Isis is part Fantasy novel, part Sci-Fi and part Historical Fiction. The setting is recognisable as Ancient Egypt but, at the same time, with its turquoise sky and waters that 'hang in the sky' it also feels rather alien too.

The main protagonist here is Akasha, a young girl who may well be the instigator of the next step in evolution. There is also Horque, a member of the Solarii, a tribe of angels sent to ensure everything goes in the right direction. As I guess you might expect the two meet, romance blossoms... but will they save the day or doom the world?

I must say I enjoyed this book more than I expected to when I started it. Over the first quarter or so I found myself looking back on what I had just read as some of it seemed a bit 'baffling' but once I got into the flow of it the pages just rattled by (so persevere with it, my readerly friends, it's worth it). The central characters carried the story well and the threat of the Biblical flood certainly helped ramp up the tension.

A good effort for a first novel and I shall certainly be on the lookout for more from this author

Again, many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto this Blog Tour, please check out the other review posts on the tour when you get the chance.

Wednesday 22 August 2018

The Bad Neighbour by David Tallerman - A Blogtour Review

 When Ollie Clay comes into some money from an inheritance he decides to buy a home. Unfortunately the amount puts quite a limit on what kind of home. After looking at several rather squalid properties he 'panic buys' a rather run down property on the outer edges of Leeds. As it turns out though the squalid state of his new home is the least of his problems (I guess the title kinda gives that away).

Ollie's neighbour is Chas, a knuckle-headed thug with a penchant for loud music, drugs and beating people up for fun. Not a nice chap. He and his associates are very much of a 'Britain For The British' frame of mind so the fact that Ollie's new girlfriend, Yasmina, is of Iranian descent doesn't help matters along.

When the story starts Ollie, by all accounts, is a bit of a 'wet lettuce', spending most of his time cowering in the dark, hoping it will all go away. Obviously it won't and as the stresses and strains get to him we see him unravel and 'man up' a bit. When a local shop is firebombed and people go missing Ollie is certain his neighbour and his equally brutish and intimidating friends have links but trying to find proof might just be the worst idea he has had.

I must say, I was lucky enough to read an early version of this story a couple of years ago. I enjoyed it then and have enjoyed this newer, tightened up version just as much. Maybe with Brexit and the rise of the far right movement it is a tad more relevant now.

Before reading this I had only known David Tallerman as a writer of (rather excellent, in my opinion) Science Fiction and Fantasy but with The Bad Neighbour he shows he can turn his hand to Thrillers too.

Dark, unsettling and relevant - 4.5/5*
 Thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and please, if you get a moment, have a look at the other reviews and reviewers on the tour.

Friday 17 August 2018

Darksoul by Anna Stephens - A Review

Coming to the second book in a series can often be a daunting experience for a reviewer. When the first book (in this point Godblind) was more than a bit special then it can become even more so. Thankfully, in this case, there was nothing to worry about.

Godblind put a lot of the characters in a similar area, in or around the city of Rilporin. The invaders want in, the defenders want to keep their city and survive. And the Gods are getting involved...

This is Grimdark as it should be. The characters are really put through the wringer (as, to be honest, so is the reader), the pace never really lets up from page 1 and there certainly came several points where I thought "She's not going to do that" (she did though!!).

Anna Stephens has done a cracking job again and I really am looking forward to seeing how this finishes in book 3.

Also, a nod to Sophie E Tallis for another excellent map.

A cracking sequel and certainly a contender for book of the year for me