Saturday 28 September 2019

The Regret by Dan Malakin

OK, I'll start by making it clear that the author contacted me, as a reviewer and blogger to ask if I would be interested in having a look at his book. I agreed and he sent me a copy. I also bought a copy for kindle as it was on offer and I was going on holiday (and prefer to use my kindle then)

Anyhoo, onto the book itself. This is an, at times, dark read. The lead character, Rachel, is a recovering anorexic who was stalked as a teenager (which lead to her problems). The stalker was sent to jail but now he's out and the stalking starts again but online this time. Her life quickly spirals downwards and old habits return. But is it her former stalker ruining her life or someone else?

Several times I worked out 'whodunit' and each time I changed my mind again and only sussed out the culprit just before the reveal. It did get a little bit silly towards the end to be fair but I didn't mind that as the story kept me hooked. How hooked? Well, I started it poolside on Thursday afternoon, read all the way on the flight home, then the train journey. I was exhausted by the time we got back but I had to keep on reading, so I took it to bed with me (but had to stop as I kept dropping it). Eventually, just short of 24 hours after starting it I was done - that's how hooked.

I guess this book should maybe come with trigger warnings for those that need them but I enjoyed the darkness of it and the author obviously knows what he is talking about.

Would I read this author again? Damn right I would


Friday 27 September 2019

Fuck Yeah Video Games by Daniel Hardcastle

 Welcome to Day 9 of the Blogtour for Fuck Yeah Video Games

Subtitled The Life and Extra Lives of a Professional Nerd this book does exactly what it says on the cover. This is the life of Dan as he approaches his 30th birthday, looking back at his time through some of the video games, friends, people he's met etc. Looking back at some of these weird and (sometimes) bizarre games brought back a lot of good memories of hours spent playing them myself so it will certainly appeal to all gamers, not just the hardcore.

But it's not just the games, there's a history of the hardwear too, looking at the consoles that have enabled us to play the games we love.

This book is fun, funny, entertaining and a real love letter to gaming. And gorgeously illustrated too. Highly recommended
 Thanks, as always, to Anne Cater for inviting me to this tour, Unbound for providing the copy and please, if you can find the time to have a look at the blog posts of the others on this tour.

A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie

Welcome to Day 5 of the Blogtour for A Little Hatred, the first book in a new series by Lord Grimdark himself, Joe Abercrombie. 

A Little Hatred is set in the same world as his First Law books but things have moved on slightly. We are now in a time where machinery is starting to become more of 'a thing' so I'd say Industrial Revolution. Machinery and Magic in a Grimdark setting... maybe this will start a genre offshoot - Grimdarker.

As it starts we meet Rikke who has the gift of foreseeing, 'the long eye' and a prophecy...but hey, I wouldn't have it any other way, I love prophecy in my fiction. And as that prophecy comes to fruition things take a turn. There is war coming, there is politic s and wrangling - basically there is everything you would expect from a Joe Abercrombie novel with the added joy of knowing there is more to come. 

Where Abercrombie excels is his characters, even the horrible ones you kinda like. From lords and nobles to lowly soldiers and the mad Hill-woman all have their part to play and all feel they deserve their place in the story. 

Now, I have to go finish the last 100 or so pages (it's been a busy couple of weeks) 

Thanks to Patricia Deever for inviting me onto the tour and Gollancz for the copy. Please, if you can, try and have a look at the blog posts by the other bloggers on the tour

Sunday 22 September 2019

Bloodlust and Bonnets by Emily McGovern

 Welcome to Day 5 of the Bloodlust and Bonnets Blogtour.

I don't often read graphic novels, solely because I find they are over too quickly. This tale of vampire slaying in early 19th century England intrigued me though.

Our heroes in this tale are Lucy, a young lady who wants more from life than the prim and properness expected at that time, Sham, an androgynous person and Lord Byron (yes, THAT Lord Byron). Between them they traipse the length and breadth of the country killing vampires, raising mayhem at society events while flirting and winding each other up. It felt very much like Buffy written by the Brontes

The banter between Lucy, Byron and Sham is good fun but what really makes this is the artwork. The character drawings seem fairly basic at first glance but the colouring makes it look gorgeous.

As I said earlier, I don't often do graphic novels but in this case I'm glad I did
 Thank you, as always, to Anne Cater for inviting me onto this tour and I hope you can make time to have a look at the blog posts by the other lovely people on the tour.

Thursday 19 September 2019

The Story of John Nightly by Tot Taylor

 Welcome to Day 1 of the Blogtour for The Story of John Nightly. Before we start let me just say, I have not finished this book yet so I'm only commenting on what I have read so far. The only reason I haven't finished it though is time. I recieved the book a week ago and it is a big one. 800+ pages big.

Right, down to the important stuff...

The Story of John Nightly is a biography of a non-existent musical genius featuring real people and made up characters. Confused? Don't worry, it all becomes clear early on.

John Nightly comes to us as a shy chap when we first meet him but he has musical talents that rank him as a genius. As his talents are recognised and fame beckons so too does the high life and then he disappears from the limelight to live a reclusive life in Devon with his friend/carer John (believe me there are a lot of Johns in this book, and I do mean A LOT! I don't know if this is just a running joke by the author or something that will be explained later on)

The story slips between the Swinging Sixties and The Noughties and a lot of it is made up of interviews, newspaper and magazine articles etc. which makes it all seem as if John Nightly was real. The different sides of JN, the slightly obnoxious wunderkind of the 60's, the reclusive character of the 00's are well defined and relatable.

It's very obvious from reading this that the author knows a lot about music and the recording industry but this adds to the story rather than baffle the reader with 'industry-speak.

As I said earlier this is a huge book but it flows really well and I found myself doing the '1 more page' thing many times over.

This was a book like no other I've read before and I highly recommend it.

Thank you, as always, to Anne Cater for inviting me onto this tour and I hope you will try and find time to read the posts by the rest of the bloggers on the tour

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Jaffle Inc. by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

Welcome to Day 2 of the Blogtour for Heide Goody and Iain Grant's latest novel Jaffle Inc. 
Set in the near(ish) future this is a world where 97% of the population are fitted with a Jaffle port. This is a device which allows each person to give the unused capacity of their brain power to the upkeep of the infrastructure of the country. It feels very much like the next step from mobile phone obsession really.

Our protagonist, Alice, works for Jaffle Tech Inc. and is on one of the lower level Jaffle packages. Due to a series of events Alice accidentally ends up doing a 'favour' for the head of Jaffle Tech which results in her getting all her brain capacity back. This results in her seeing the world in a much better light...but how long can she keep her secret.

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Goody and Grant, their madcap sense of humour makes their books a must read for me, but with Jaffle Inc. the humour isn't as much 'front and centre'. This isn't of any detriment to the story. What we have here is a top-notch near future sci-fi thriller with a dash of humour. There are moments that really stand out, such as when Alice discovers real food and music (before she had been eating beans and watching bland TV).

Throw in corporate espionage and what you have here is Grant and Goody's best work to date and something that deserves to be noticed.

Thanks, as always, to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the tour and please, if you can find time, have a look at the posts by the other bloggers on the tour

Friday 6 September 2019

The Nursery by Asia Mackay

Welcome to Day 6 of the Blogtour for Asia Mackay's The Nursery.

This starts off as an espionage/thriller tale, all guns and high speed chases but once the initial action is over our hero, Lex Tyler, is off across London on a second, equally important mission - to pick her daughter, Givi, up from daycare. And that, more or less, sets the standard for the rest of the book.

Assassination attempts, the Dark Web, keeping your career secret from your husband and managing your little one's love of biting - all in a day's work for Lex.

This is the second book in the series (I haven't read the first yet but I will) and with it's mix of edge of your seat action and the more humorous family side of  things this was a very entertaining read. I could see this being televised soon.

As always, please try and find a few spare moments to have a look at the other blogs on this tour