Wednesday 19 June 2019

Salvation by Peter F Hamilton

'In 2204, humanity is expanding into the wider galaxy in leaps and bounds. A new technology of linked jump gates has rendered most forms of transporation--including starships--virtually obsolete. Every place on earth, every distant planet mankind has settled, is now merely a step away from any other. And all seems wonderful...until a crashed alien spaceship is found on a newly-located world 89 light years from Earth, harboring seventeen human victims. And of the high-powered team dispatched to investigate the mystery, one is an alien spy...'

Salvation is the first book in a new trilogy from Peter F Hamilton and also is a new setting for him (not Commonwealth). As such there is a lot of set-up in Salvation which can make it seem a much longer read at times than it actually is but stick with it, when the pace picks up it REALLY picks up.

What I most enjoyed about this, as is often the case with PFH is getting to know the characters and here he has something special - the Utopials. These are a non gender specific society who require their children to have their genome modified so they live in alternating male and female 1000 day cycles. It seems confusing at first but quickly feels normal with the different pronouns taking less thought as a reader.

The 3 different time lines also unsettles the flow of the story at times but I guess that's because I felt more invested in the main thread (I do like a good mystery to solve). All time lines are relevant though and I'm sure PFH will tie everything together.

The Jump Gates reminded me a lot of Stargate and I am glad they are there as instant travel has made for a lack of Starships (I guess I'm a minority but as a Sci-Fi reader I don't much enjoy large sections of story onboard ships)

So, a slow burn of a novel but worth persevering with. The end surprised me and now I can't wait to get hold of the second in the series Salvation Lost.


Thanks to Ellen Casey and Pan Macmillan for inviting me to review this book and providing the copy

Friday 14 June 2019

The A-Z of Skateboarding by Tony Hawks

 Welcome to Day 3 of the blog tour for Tony Hawks' The A-Z Of Skateboarding.

Imagine, if you will, two men separated by a single letter S. One is Tony Hawk, skateboarding legend, the other is Tony Hawks, comedian, author and a man approaching the end of his tether. The problem, you see, is that fans of the former keep contacting the latter for skateboarding advice, tips etc. Even though they have to go through Tony Hawks website. By this point they should realise they have the wrong Tony, but no...they persist.

So Tony the comedian decided to fight back by responding to these emails, requests etc. in the most ridiculous way and the results of this are the book here reviewed. It serves to highlight what Tony Hawks sees as the pointlessness and futility of Skateboarding and comedy gold at its best. I'll be honest, I laughed at this book and I laughed hard. I think you would too.

Thanks to Anne Cater, as always, for inviting me to take part in this tour and to Unbound for providing the review copy.

Please, if you get the chance, have a look at the posts by the other reviewers on this tour

Wednesday 12 June 2019

Chop Shop by Andrew Post

 Welcome to Day 3 of the blog tour for Andrew Post's Chop Shop.

Things are not going well for Amber and Jolene, friends and business partners at the Hawthorne Funeral Home. They are failing in one of the 'safest' jobs there is but just when they approach rock bottom a chance to save everything appears - someone wants to buy body parts. All is going well until... you know the drill... problems arise with one of the corpses they have sold. Then things turn nasty.

Add in gangsters, and a 'back room' Dr with a missing dead body that he could really do with not being dead at all and what you have here is a horror/thriller/farce with a very black sense of humour running through it. I found the two leads, Amber and Jolene a bit hard to get on with at first, to be fair but after a while I saw them as an incarnation of the tv show 2 Broke Girls and from there it just clicked.

There's a lot going on with this book and it was ridiculous at times but I actually really enjoyed it (more than I expected to when I started it). Would I recommend it? Oh yes, very much so.
 Thanks to Anne Cater, as always, for inviting me onto this tour and Flame Tree Press for supplying me with a review copy.

Please try and find time to take a look at the posts by other reviewers on this tour

Sunday 2 June 2019

Bold Lies by Rachel Lynch

 Welcome to Day 7 of the blog tour for Bold Lies, the 5th in the DI Kelly Porter series.

DI Kelly Porter is based in The Lake District and so far all the books in this series have been set in and around that glorious landscape. With Bold Lies though we get a change of scene (if only for a short while. When a dead body turns up on her patch and two more in a secret lab in London it soon becomes apparent that there are links so DI Porter is off to the capital and her old stomping ground. Waiting for her there is her old partner, a not very nice chap (but well written) who 'threw her under the bus' to benefit his own career.

This is, as always, a twisty, turny tale and the two different locations worked well with the London characters giving the series a bit of fresh blood. We also get to see more of DI Porter's back story and obviously how things are progressing in her life 'now' so plenty to get your teeth into.

I recommend reading the whole series to get the full benefit of the excellent storytelling but Bold Lies also works well as a stand-alone tale.

Many thanks to Ellie Pilcher and Canelo for inviting me onto this blog tour and please