Showing posts with label Sci-fi/fantasy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sci-fi/fantasy. Show all posts

Monday, January 8, 2018

Queen's Gold by Melissa Bowersock

AMAZON UK
Melissa Bowersock Queen's Gold has featured frequently in my reading list…and managed to very deservedly find her way into my favourite-authors list.

Her stories flirt with fantasy/paranormal in a way that makes you think twice about things of which you might say, ‘Nah! No way!’ And in this particular story, one of the main characters says exactly that: it’s a tale in which both reader (well, this one!) and protagonist find themselves in agreement.

Widower Hal Thompson’s two children strike a bargain with him: fervent believers of hypnotic regression, they promise to stop trying to convince him that there really is something in it if he will just agree to one session. If it doesn’t ‘happen’ for him, then Brian and Wendy promise they’ll never raise the subject again. Backed into a corner, Hal agrees. The experience proves to be unsettling for Hal when he ‘remembers’ not only the whereabouts of some ancient Aztec gold, but also…disarmingly…a long-lost love. Reluctant to admit to his children his scepticism might have been misplaced, he is soon shocked into shedding his misgivings when things get gravely personal. His 'memories', it appears, are of crucial importance to some ruthless people.

This story changes gear dramatically after the first few pages: it starts off at a very pleasant, leisurely pace, and suddenly, it’s ‘sit up and take notice’. 

I must confess, however, of all the books I've read by this author, I'm not so sure I'd put this one at the top of the list. I fell in love with the wholesomeness that was the Thompsons, but parts of the plot were just a teensy bit unsubstantial, hurried even. That said, the ending is climactic and gripping.

Notwithstanding, this was an enjoyable read and a very welcome addition to my collection of this author’s books.

See also:

Burning Through
Fleischerhaus
Stone's Ghost 
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Monday, December 25, 2017

Beyond The Milky Way by Aithal

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AMAZON US
I should point out straightaway that this is a ‘to be continued’ book. Now, I’m really not too fond of books that don’t ‘end’. I don’t mind the hint of sequel, but I just don’t want to have to read another book to get to the conclusion. A personal bug, but if you like books in a series to stand alone, perhaps you'll want to know that this one doesn't!

That aside, the book was a rather compelling read: a sci-fi adventure but a story with social commentary. One that has you feeling a little uncomfortable (because you know it's true) at the message being conveyed.

Three astronauts are on an important mission. It’s the last for one of them and the first for another. They are heading for a planet that may have water, and if there’s water, there may be other discoveries to be made. The journey is bumpy. Very, very, very bumpy. Loss of contact with control is beyond distressing, but they manage to land, albeit unconventionally. They've landed somewhere. Not back at baseit’s obvious from their surroundingsbut terra firma at least. American terra firma. Or is it? All they have to do is find some people, some civilization, some means of communication to let base know the mission was incomplete but that they are safe. That’s all. Can’t be too hard, can it, despite the unfamiliar terrain?

Despite the fact I couldn't engage with the charactersthey were a little blandit wasn't hard to be drawn into the story. The author has obviously thought very hard about something he needed to say and used his creativity and imagination to do so.  It worked.

And of course, it perpetuates that ever-present question…do we really know what's out there?

See also:
India Was One


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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Class Action by Chris James

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

This is my second rendezvous with this author, my first with The Second Internet Cafe - Part 1 The Dimension Researcher. My opinion of him then was that he's an excellent and intelligent writer, one who can make you turn pages faster than you ever thought possible. Class Action was, in fact, his debut novel and my goodness, he certainly knew how to make an inaugural splash.


The story is set in a Warsaw courtroom. A man is in prison for the murder of a young woman, but it falls upon a young Polish litigator, Alex Moreyl, to prove that he committed the murder after seeing a violent film: that a powerful message during the film was relayed to the culprit, telling him to commit the crime. The proof? Advanced technology that enables every thought that’s ever entered a person’s head to be extracted and read. With convincing evidence from an expert in the field, the case looks as if it will be done and dusted in no time. But a catastrophic event throws Alex into a dangerous, ruthless, political battlefield between powerful entities, one in which he almost loses his life and those of his wife and family are in grave danger.

This is a futuristic thriller, brilliantly written. It’s original and clever; clever, because although the process of compulsory brain scanning is an almost unthinkable eventuality, the events of the political arena and dangers and threats of terrorism, however, are not so far removed from the present day. Technology, it seems, may advance in leaps and bounds, but nothing changes in politics or in the fight for supremacy between major states. This is a book that takes a glimpse into the future but touches base with present-day reality.

Action, intrigue, excitement, thrills, complexity, vision. This book has all those things.

Oh, and authorial genius.






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Fleischerhaus by Melissa Bowersock

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AMAZON US
This was a superb little package. I really enjoyed it.

Julia Martin decides a long holiday in Europe, visiting her best friends in Germany, will be just the ticket to help her get over her divorce after her cheating husband’s infidelity. The Bavarian chocolate-box countryside is just what she needs. One afternoon, when out cycling with her friend, they come across a concentration camp. Insignificant in terms of notoriety, but just as significant in terms of the well-known atrocities that took place in such camps. A tour round the museum-converted camp turns out to be a shocking experience for Julia. Horrifyingly, she realises that, in a past life, she was murdered there as a young girl. With the help of her good friends and a very handsome doctor, she tries to unravel the mystery of who murdered her. As the facts slowly reveal themselves, the truth is quite shocking.

I don’t believe in the concept that we all have a past-life. As far as I’m concerned, we’re the product of an egg and a sperm, end of. This didn’t make a scrap of difference to my enjoyment of this book, however. It’s a story well told with a balanced mix of elements: the developing relationship between Julia and Theo, the doctor, was tender and endearing and provided a mellow contrast to the horrors of the Holocaust. There are also some surprises: in Julia’s love life and in the outcome of the research into the events of her past life.

There’s passion and emotion in Melissa’s writing. You can feel it both in the romantic part of the book and in the portrayal of events in a war which will never be forgotten.  Talent, indeed.

Highly recommended.

See also:

Stone's Ghost




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Monday, November 13, 2017

Read The Man in the Black Hat by Melissa Bowersock

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The Man in the Black Hat by Melissa Bowersock


Ah, the enjoyment-sure experience, courtesy of Ms Bowersock, who always manages to put a glint in your eye for her leading man, somehow. It's Clay Bauer this time, an actor who doesn’t have a pretty enough face to get good-guy roles. But, he has bills to pay, so villains it is. After the final shoot at the end of yet another B-rated movie in Sedona, Arizona, he wanders off on his ‘stage’ horse to find the vortices he's heard so much about. He finds himself passing through a vortex to a Sedona a hundred years earlier. 

The Man in the Black Hat by Melissa Bowersock

Having not long read Bowersock’s Being Travis, another time-travel novel, I was having a bit of déjà vu. But I should have known that the very talented Ms B would have something up her sleeve. And she did. But I’m not telling, I’m afraid.

Clay’s become a bit Hollywood-superficial, but his experiences in early-twentieth-century Sedona and a certain Ella reveal a warm, caring, decent man, who ultimately makes a decision that turns his life around dramatically. And by ‘around’, I mean…no, sorry, shan’t. Read this and find out. Wonderful.




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Monday, November 6, 2017

Life First by R. J. Crayton Book Download

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Life First by R. J. Crayton Book Download



Wow. Just wow.


There, that’s my review. Can I leave it at that?

!!!

Well, this was my maiden voyage into the dystopian genre. I really struggled with this book…I struggled to find the opportunity to lock myself away for half a day to read it in one sitting!

As a dystopian first-timer, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was hooked from the first page. The story is set in post-pandemic America, a hundred years in the future, in which the twenty percent of survivors are obliged to donate organs when ordered to do so. Kelsey Reed does not want to donate her kidney: she must flee before she’s under the surgeon’s scalpel, but escape isn’t easy, when first, she has to extricate the tracking chip in her arm. She is helped by a doctor, who treated her mother just before she died and who feels obliged to look after Kelsey, and her boyfriend, Luke. Her escape has to be successful: to fail will result in heinous consequences.

I’ll admit to not being a great fan of present-tense novels, but this was so well written, the characters so well drawn, I barely noticed. It’s packed with tense moments, gripping moments, tender moments. The unexpected jumps out from behind a door, and there you are, unable to turn the pages fast enough.

Brilliant.

Life First by R. J. Crayton Book Download





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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Daedalian Muse by Jamie Crothall Download




Daedalian Muse by Jamie Crothall

This was rather quirky and a lot of fun. 

Tempus Fugit is, in his own words, “an independent agent in the investigation of scientific anomalies” and believes ghosts and goblins have no place in our “ever-so-tangible world, as all have valid and reasonable explanations.”

Tempus is called in to investigate some rather perplexing occurrences in the ruins of a building in a rural English village. Preferring to use his scientific logic to explain events, Tempus does his best to dispel the conception that the ruins are haunted. He firmly believes the truth is often cast aside, because fantasy is so much more attractive. 

However, even an expert of his calibre, can find himself everso slightly out of his depth…

Tempus is almost a victim of his name: time has passed him by, and he hasn’t quite caught up with modern day morals or technology. He really is a bit of an oddball, but he finds an unlikely ally in a teenager, wise beyond her years, who assists him with his strange assignment. There are some humorous moments provided by his encounter with a young lady with a voracious sexual appetite and his rather quaint interpretation of ‘homosexual’.

This doesn’t take long to read. There’s a lovely mix of characters, a dollop of eccentricity, and the author has an intelligent style of writing that doesn’t pretend to be supercilious or condescending.

Great fun.


Daedalian Muse by Jamie Crothall


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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ghost Walk by Melissa Bowersock

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US
Let me start with the end of this book and the closing words: Coming soon: Skin Walk, Another Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud mystery. Surely the best words to read when you’ve enjoyed a book so much, you want more, and thankfully, there's the promise of a sequel!

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all Bowersock’s novels…she’s an author who can turn her hand to an eclectic array of genres…but I have to say this probably earns the title of 'my favourite'…or, at least, one of my favourites. It’s a whodunnit with a difference: an ex-detective, Lacey Fitzpatrick, who can’t get crime-solving out of her blood, joins forces with Sam Firecloud, who has a gift for communicating with ghosts. Lacey is more used to dealing with facts and physical evidence, so probably not her typical choice of partner, but when he manages to solve an old case, she’s confident that together they’ll be able to solve their latest tough case. Tough because there’s no evidence to suggest a murder has actually been committed.

As ever, Bowersock’s style is spot on: her words are carefully chosen. There’s no over- or under-use: the picture is efficiently painted, yet you feel that no expense has been spared. Lacey is a strong, well-rounded character…and Sam…well, Sam couldn’t be more different: mysterious, quiet, intense, deep. But they couldn’t be a more perfect match, and it’s going to be great fun accompanying them on their crime-(ghost)-busting journey. I can’t wait!

See also:



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Monday, July 25, 2016

Being Travis by Melissa Bowersock

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

It was such a delight to get between the covers with Travis again. And you can take that smirk off your face because I know you know I mean the book covers!

I thoroughly enjoyed Book 1 in the Travis series, and was thrilled to find I didn’t have long to catch up with him again in Book 2. 

Two years after finding himself 140 years in the past, in the nineteenth century, Travis is now married to Phaedra, with a baby on the way and building a home and life…a happy one. His striker, the enigmatic Riley, is still with him. But Travis is finding it increasingly difficult to hide what he knows of the future, afraid that if Phaedra finds out the truth, his happy new life will be shattered. 

It’s very hard not to be completely invested in Travis. He continues to be so…wholesome and, well, nice. Bowersock presents the reader with wonderfully developed characters, whom you can almost imagine being in front of you, in person. As for Riley…I don’t think he needs words. His expressions say it all. That’s how good Bowersock is…she can make a character come to life without actually having to say anything very much at all.

Despite the progress that 140 years have brought (some of it good, some of it…not so good), Bowersock portrays a simple, cosy, unencumbered and dare I say, almost desirable community life, despite some of the disadvantages of not having the as-yet-to-be-available medical and technological advances…the lack of some of which are a cause of exasperation to Travis. 

A trick of time transported our lovely Travis to 1877. The same trick could just as easily transport him back to his own time and he would lose more than he could bear. I do so hope there is a Book 3…I desperately need to know what happens!

If you haven't read Finding Travis, then do and then waste no time with this sequel.  Delightful.

See Also:
Burning Through
Finding Travis
Fleischerhaus
Queen's Gold
Sonnets for Heidi
Stone's Ghost 



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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Finding Travis by Melissa Bowersock

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US
Another wonderful and compelling story from the prolific and talented Melissa Bowersock. Axl Rose of Guns 'n' Roses has, I gather, one of the widest vocal ranges. If Melissa was a singer, she would be Axl Rose, such is her talent and flair for penning a wide range of genres.

What I love about Bowersock’s books is that you always seem to like nearly all the characters. She has a knack of making them so very likeable. The Travis of the title is especially so. Poor chap…he can’t settle into a job and his marriage is a bit kaput. Whilst he’s trying to sort himself out, he volunteers at the historic Fort Verde, donning a cavalry surgeon’s uniform (I like him already) for the visitors. Not the most stimulating of jobs, he settles into a chair for a bit whilst on his shift. And wakes up in 1877. His authentic uniform gets him mistaken for an actual surgeon. Not only does he have to bluff his way through medical procedures of which he has no knowledge, but he has to play the part of a nineteenth-century cavalry man for real; no room here for iPhones and LOLs. One thing doesn’t change though: love. Despite desperately hoping he can get back to the twenty-first century the same way he found himself in the nineteenth, a certain Miss Welles stops him in his tracks. Well, what's so wonderful about the twenty-first century, anyway?

Oh, I did like Travis. I think I might have fallen in love with him. He’s what can truly be called, a jolly good egg...a handsome one. Corporal Riley, his right-hand man, was a superb character: virtually inscrutable. He never gave away what must have he thought when he saw a set of keys (car) and a mobile... The very lovely Phaedra Welles reminded me of one of Jane Austen’s heroine’s: determined, independent with a smattering of assertiveness.

I won’t need any convincing whatsoever to read the next part of Travis’s story (Being Travis) which I really, really hope will be available soon.





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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Johnny Roberts and the Guardians of the Sun by Andrew Noble


Johnny Roberts and the Guardians of the Sun by Andrew Noble

This is quite a speedy read, not just because it’s not that long a book, but because it’s a rather compelling page-turner leaving you no option but to read swiftly to the end!

Johnny Roberts is a thirteen-year-old who lives in Johannesburg with an alcoholic and abusive father. A father-and-son outing ends dramatically with a revelation that stuns Johnny. It’s a revelation that impels him to flee from any further abuse from a violent parent. With the help of some unusual transport, Johnny flees good and proper…to South America, no less, where he finds a lost tribe, who treats him like a god…literally. While the CIA are enlisted to trace the vanished young teenager, Johnny finds himself as the only person able to help his newfound tribal friends, suddenly under threat of attack from a power-crazed drug lord. The only thing that can help him is his rather extraordinary transport…

Johnny Roberts and the Guardians of the Sun by Andrew Noble

I’m not an avid sci-fi reader: I’m not very good a suspending my disbelief. But this story moved along at a decent pace, the villains were well and truly villainous, Johnny was exceptionally likeable, and there was a nice little substory going on with the two members of the CIA, who are doing their utmost to find the missing teenager. Although the story ends with a climax, there’s just a hint that there could be more to come.

An enjoyable teen sci-fi.


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