Thursday, 28 November 2019

CTRL+S by Andy Briggs

Welcome to the blog tour for Andy Briggs' debut novel for adults.

CTRL+S is firmly in the cyber-future arm of the Sci-fi genre. The story concerns Theo and the search for his shady (or so you're led to believe) mother - but that's just the simple version.

To go deeper, the setting is the thing. It is the near future and things are looking up for the human race - global warming is reversed, the bee colonies are in great condition and smoking is illegal. The main entertainment is an online virtual world called SPACE and, to be fair, SPACE is the star of this book. As a virtual world it is one of the best created in Sci-fi.

Anyhoo, back to the story. Theo (our hero) is pulled from a trip to the virtual London of SPACE by a call on his mother's rig (think vr headset amped up to the max). It's not good... "Bring me what you owe me by tomorrow or we'll start taking it out on your son - in many and varied painful ways" Not knowing what his mother has got into Theo and his friends are on a hiding to nothing but somehow, in this world and in SPACE, they must get answers, escape the bad guys (real and virtual) and handle all the peril both worlds can throw their way.

So, in a story like this, the world is all and Briggs has done a cracking job here with both the real world and SPACE. Where SPACE is all futuristic and shiny (everything you'd want from an online existence really) the real world feels kinda grubby... and I like it.

It's fair to say the pace never really lets up and the feel is rather cinematic (not surprising as the author is a screenwriter among other things) so I wouldn't be surprised to see a big screen version of this soon.

A cracking debut and an author to watch

4/5 stars

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Into The Dark by Karen Rose

  Welcome to yesterday's stop on the blog tour for Karen Rose's latest thriller (sorry, my bad, I got the days muddled up).
This was a book of two halves for me. It starts off as a murder mystery coupled with a will they/won't they romance angle. The main story concerns two young boys that see their step father murdered (don't worry, he deserved it) and go on the run. They end up with Dani (a doctor) and Diesel (a hacker/journalist). He loves her, she him but keeps him at arms length for reasons that become obvious soon enough. For the most part this early part of the book gripped me. The plight of the brothers was edge of the seat stuff and the way the older looked after the younger kinda makes you want to crawl into the book and look after both.

As for the romance angle, well, that's where I struggled. The first part worked really well with the tension and the 'need' but when they (SPOILER ALERT!!!) finally get together it just seems to be all about his muscles, his tattoos, his bald head and I did find myself losing interest for a while.

Thankfully though the murder mystery angle saved it with a very interesting bad guy. The main reason being that when it started out he didn't kill anyone who didn't deserve it though that did change later on.

All being said, I enjoyed the story but feel it may appeal more to female readers.

Thanks as always to Anne Cater for inviting me on to this tour and please, if you get chance, check out the posts from the other bloggers on the tour

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Eye of the Observer by David Tallerman

 And so, with a happy heart I return to the world of Tallerman's Black River Academy. As you may know by now The Academy is the place would be Dungeoneers and Questers go to learn their craft (well, let's be fair, D+D can be a very risky pursuit so it's good to get your necessary skills learnt and honed beforehand rather than just blundering in with a rusty poker that might, just might, one day turn into Excalibur)

Anyhoo, EotO sees our heroes from the previous books, Durren, Tia, Arein and Hule up to their necks in adventure and peril as they embark on their level 3 journey. This time round magic has gone awry - in a bad way. And it might just be our heroes own fault.

As with the previous books in the series this is pure D+D style fun that feels just like someone has taken a table-top gaming session and turned it into a book (and a blooming good one at that). With different classes, races, monsters, quests and all the peril a group of aspiring Dungeoneers can handle this is Tallerman doing what he does best - telling wondrous tales (Maybe he should be known as Tallerman the Teller an 🤣)

Highly recommended 6/5*