Book Review: Feet of Clay, by Terry Pratchett

833426

Review:

Since Terry Pratchett passed away recently, I’ve decided to post a review of the last book of his I read. To be fair, all his books are great – you really can’t go wrong! The reason his writing is loved around the world is because his stories and world-building are not only creative, but he’s really clever too. His books are easy to pick up and read but he challenges your thinking and perspective of the world. His novels will open your mind!

Feet of Clay is the nineteenth book in the Discworld series, but like all the Discworld novels it can be read as standalone. This entry deals with the curious nature of golems, relics of an ancient civilisation that were built to work and cannot stop working. It also deals with an assassination-esque attempt (you’ll understand what I mean if you read it) on the Patrician who rules the city. Terry Pratchett knows how to make a seriously complicated tale simple for a reader’s consumption. He juggles so many subplots that all come together so amazingly well, it’s impressive to read even if you’re one of the few who can’t like his stories. Why do people feel the need to place their faith in a king? Why are people afraid of something that has never hurt them? Terry Pratchett raises all the important questions societies need to ask themselves, all the while spinning a ripping whodunit yarn (and mocking the genre in the process).

Delightfully tongue-in-cheek, this is one of those rare stories where you are entertained and you learn a thing or two. We’ve lost a great man, and it’s time to read his books!

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Amazon buy link.

Feet of Clay, by Terry Pratchett

Discworld #19

Book Length: 416 pages

Fantasy Satire (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

‘Sorry?’ said Carrot. ‘If it’s just a thing, how can it commit murder? A sword is a thing’ – he drew his own sword; it made an almost silken sound – ‘and of course you can’t blame a sword if someone thrust it at you, sir.’

For members of the City Watch, life consists of troubling times, linked together by periods of torpid inactivity. Now is one such troubling time. People are being murdered, but there’s no trace of anything alive having been at the crime scene. Is there ever a circumstance in which you can blame the weapon not the murderer? Such philosophical questions are not the usual domain of the city’s police, but they’re going to have to start learning fast…

Indie Book Review: Empath by Becca J Campbell

18429929

Review:

This is like a double-dose of New Adult – Jade has to not only deal with the adjustment to moving from her parents’ home and going to college, but she also has to adjust to her hypersensitivity to people’s emotions. She’s been isolated for most of her life because of her unique ability and has trouble putting up the floodgates against a class full of nervousness, excitement, rage, fear and frustration. This book has a lot of self-discovery, a lot of rocky starts, and a lot of heart-to-hearts. I found a lot to enjoy in this book.

The ‘flawed’ idea was a fresh take on gifted people. Each character had intriguing abnormalities that hindered more than helped them, hence the whole ‘not a gift, it’s a curse’ tagline. This isn’t a paranormal story with ‘magic’ per se, and at first glance their ‘flaws’ have no use – they’re certainly not superpowers! That’s what kept it interesting though, the attitude that “this is what I’ve been given, and now I need to cope with it.”

The writing was comfortably paced from multiple perspectives, so the reader gets an insight into all the major players. The romance was appropriately romantic without being saccharine (so it’s my kind of romance), and I found the antagonist slant a surprising dose of variety. Becca J Campbell has rolled a lot of genres into this one book, adding the following minor genres to the majors of New Adult Paranormal Romance: family drama, crime, adventure, thriller, and self-discovery.

I’m going to read the sequel. Recommended for lovers of new adult with a fresh take on the paranormal.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Author Blog.

Amazon buy link.

Kobo buy link.

Empath, by Becca J Campbell

Flawed #1

Book Length: 298 pages

New Adult Paranormal Romance

According to the Blurb:

Supernatural empathy isn’t a gift, it’s a curse.

Anywhere she goes, Jade’s emotions are replaced by those of the people around her. Jade grew up in a suburb of Colorado Springs, protected from other people by her parents. Now she faces college-and the world-with nothing to shield her from unwanted feelings.

When Cam, a classmate with a major crush on her, unintentionally hijacks her emotions, Jade struggles to keep from being carried away in feelings of attraction. When Ethan, a psychopath with a thirst for fear, fixates on her, the emotional impact could be lethal.

Caught in a deadly trap, Jade must untangle the emotions and find a way to use her empathic curse to overcome this killer or be overcome by him.

Indie Book Review: But Thomas Aiken Is Dead (Part 1) by Alex McKechnie

24303456

Review:

But Thomas Aiken Is Dead deals with a lot of ideas, all of them fascinating. The story is written two ways: first, as an interrogation transcript from the future; second, as a diary written by a distraught father in the present-day.

It is deliciously trippy finding out how these two documents are related.

Atia is a sort of futuristic archaeologist, looking back on our time with increasing fascination. She and her species is much more than just robots, but I’ll let you read the book to discover that for yourself. She is feisty and opinionated in the face of her arrest, unabashed about her desire to be more ‘human’ (though that’s not what she calls us).

As the story unfolds, so does the lore, and it is FASCINATING. I’m fully geeking out about this because it’s pretty high-concept but it’s presented in a way that I can understand. This RARELY HAPPENS! Shit usually goes over my head but Alex McKechnie has managed to explain it in layman’s terms without making the future sound any less amazingly complex.

Think Matrix 2, but the ending makes sense.

I cannot wait for part 2. This is right up my alley. Highly recommended.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Amazon buy link.

But Thomas Aiken Is Dead (Part 1), by Alex McKechnie

Part 1/3

Book Length: 70 pages

Speculative Fiction (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

“Sometimes blunt tools construct beautiful objects.”

Two lovers are divided by seven hundred years; one living just a few steps from the end of history, the other already long dead. Present day, Thomas Aiken has little else left to live for but his journalist daughter. When she disappears without warning, he devotes himself to securing her return. He abandons life as an architect in exchange for obsessively collecting evidence and, in the evenings, writes her letters which he will deliver on her safe return.

Seven hundred years later, Atia – a conscious AI entity, discovers Aiken’s letters. She understands Aiken’s grief well enough, she’s lost a child herself. More than that, the Cadence, her home, is falling into anarchy. Pining for a time when life was imperfect and fragile, she insists on presenting as an original biological human. Fuelled by long-dead Aiken’s search for his daughter, she incites a rebellion that will alter life’s course on Earth forever.

Book Review #HBTour Hopebreaker by @deanfwilson blog tour by @MasqTours

I reviewed Hopebreaker with Masquerade Book Tours. Visit the other blogs on the tour!

hopebreaker2Bbanner

23698892

Review:

Steampunk! I don’t read it nearly as often as I should, mostly because I found a couple of pretentious books that tainted my view of the genre. Not this one! Hopebreaker made me think of a ‘western-style’ steampunk (I think it’s the deserts), but it’s so much more than that – a great blend of otherworldly fantasy comes into this tale that I think will appeal to lovers of demons and more urban-fantasy types. This could be a great book to introduce the steampunk genre to my friends.

Our main character is a smuggler with a reluctant conscious, who gets thrown in gaol with the golden-boy of the resistance. The world-building is done very well, explained in drips and drabs to provide enough context for the current situation without getting bogged down. I didn’t quite get the relationship between Jacob and Tabera, but that’s okay because neither did Jacob. Maybe there could’ve been more development of the secondary characters, but I see this first book as ‘setting it up’ while telling a ripping good yarn.

In essence, Hopebreaker is fun. I really enjoyed the overarching plot of the resistance and the tank-fighting scenes. The action and chase scenes were well paced within the story and the pseudo-engineering made it that much more enjoyable. The world of Altadas fascinated me and I’m looking forward to finding out more about it.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Author Website.

Amazon buy link.

Hopebreaker, by Dean F. Wilson

The Great Iron War #1

Book Length: 220 pages

Steampunk Adventure (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

In the world of Altadas, there are no more human births. The Regime is replacing the unborn with demons, while the Resistance is trying to destroy a drug called Hope that the demons need to survive.

Between these two warring factions lies Jacob, a man who profits from smuggling contraceptive amulets into the city of Blackout. He cares little about the Great Iron War, but a chance capture, and an even more accidental rescue, embroils him in a plot to starve the Regime from power.

When Hope is an enemy, Jacob finds it harder than he thought to remain indifferent. When the Resistance opts to field its experimental landship, the Hopebreaker, the world may find that one victory does not win a war.

button-mbt hopebreaker2Bbanner

Visit the other blogs on the tour!

Indie Book Review: Shallow Waters by @RebeccaJBradley

Review:

Crime isn’t really my genre (I like cozy mysteries, not so much the gritty stuff), but since I follow Rebecca Bradley on wordpress, I was interested in reading what she’d written and decided to pick up her book. Shallow Waters sucked me right into the cold and gritty world of British police procedurals, and I was surprised at how quickly my reading experience turned from a ‘just out of curiosity’ to ‘I have to know what happens next!’ The atmosphere and the characters were done so well, and the crime was so compelling: there was so little information at the start, then it seemed to be an open-and-shut case before it spiralled into something much darker and sinister. I really enjoyed getting to know the Detective-Inspector and her world. There was just the right amount of personal drama and drive, and the ending was suitably tragic.

I’ve become attached to DI Hannah Robbins, so I’m looking forward to where this series goes. Even though crime isn’t really my thing, I found a lot to enjoy here. Has it changed my attitude to the whole genre? No, not really, but I ‘get’ it now, and I find police-procedurals more appealing than I did before.

Recommended for anyone with even a passing interest in crime.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Author website.

Amazon buy link.

Shallow Waters, by Rebecca Bradley

Book Length: 370 pages

Police Procedural Crime (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

‘A gritty police procedural, with no-holds barred and a shocking insight to the reality of some. Dark and disturbing, yet exceptionally compelling.’ – Mel Sherratt, author of Taunting The Dead.

‘Tense, compelling and utterly absorbing. DI Hannah Robbins is a force to be reckoned with.’ – Jane Isaac, author of The Truth Will Out.

When the naked, battered body of an unidentified teenager is found dumped in an alleyway, post-mortem finds evidence of a harrowing series of events.

Another teenage death with the same MO pushes DI Hannah Robbins and her team on the Nottingham City division Major Crimes Unit, to their limits, and across county borders. In a race against the clock they attempt to unpick a thick web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind the deaths.

Book Review: Trancing the Tiger by Rachael Slate

24361900

Review:

I started reading this book expecting paranormal romance, but it turns out it’s solidly in the erotic romance genre. Whoops.

The sex and lust was abundant, and I can recognise that it was done well, but those are not the reasons I read paranormal or romance. I want other things going on, be it mystery/drama/lore/magic/character development, and I felt I didn’t get much of any of that in this book. It was just sex and lust scenarios with a fairly loose paranormal setting. I didn’t even like the hero and heroine’s romance because it was all based around their animal attraction towards each other – I couldn’t understand it on an emotional level, and didn’t really care what happened to the characters (the heroine annoyed me, so that made it difficult for me to be sympathetic to her). Actually, a lot of things annoyed me in this book, but they are all things I can attribute to my disinterest in the genre. I cannot hate a book that is doing a good job of things I don’t care for, because other people do care for them. Sure, I wished for more of a paranormal adventure, but other readers won’t need any of that to enjoy this book.

Recommended for fans of erotic romance with a backdrop of paranormal.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Amazon buy link.

Trancing the Tiger, by Rachel Slate

Book Length: 297 pages

Erotic Paranormal Romance (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

***WARNING: Contains Adult Content (explicit love scenes, profanity, and some violence)***

Delve into a world steeped in tradition and superstition…
After her parents become infected with the Red Death, Lucy Yeoh flees to Malaysia seeking answers. Everything in this closed-off section of the world is paradise—from the lush tropical climate to her sexy new neighbor, Sheng…who just might be delusional. He claims the Plague God unleashed the Red Death and only a circle of Chinese Zodiac spirit animals can cleanse the Earth. Even more, he insists she’s one of them: the Rabbit. Long furry ears and fluffy bunny tail included.

He’ll show her how to fight to save the world…
As the Chosen of the Tiger, the burden of restoring balance to the world has fallen onto Li Sheng’s shoulders. When he discovers that the ally he’s long awaited, the Dragon, is actually just the Rabbit, Sheng is quick to dismiss Lucy. If only she’d stay dismissed. Lucy’s Rabbit refuses to cooperate, undermining the authority of his Tiger at every turn…and seducing him to the limits of his darkest desires. He’s not supposed to want her. Not when he needs the spirit circle complete and she’s their weakest link.

She’ll show him a love worth fighting the world to save…
Sheng’s enemies draw closer, and not everyone wants Lucy alive. Together, they’ll have to navigate a treacherous world where a line between duty and their hearts has been drawn between them. They must either sacrifice one, or find a way to surrender to both.

Indie Book Review: Rangers by Chloe Gardner

Review:

Being a long time Supernatural fan, as I read Rangers I immediately recognised the inspiration behind the story. This isn’t just a fanfic though – the lore and characters are their own, and I had a lot of fun reading the paranormal adventures the twins and their tag-along got up to.

I did find the writing a little clunky, but the imagination was there, and I’ll take imagination over fluid writing any day. Having said that, I felt I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I wanted to, but I was still able to enjoy the ride. So many monsters, so much magic, so much action! I am interested in seeing where the series goes…

Recommended for fans of Supernatural. I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Like my review? Like it on Amazon too!

Author Site.

Amazon buy link.

Rangers, by Chloe Gardner

Sam and Sam #1

Book Length: 414 pages

Paranormal Adventure (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

Sam and Jason have been at this a long time, and they’re some of the best out there. Gremlins, goblins, ghosts of all kind, vampires, even the yeti that time in Cleveland, they go where they’re needed and they kill what needs killed. It’s that simple. And it’s a pretty good life, really.

Then there’s the girl. Samantha. She’s feisty and difficult and she knows next to nothing about what they do, but she’s pretty handy with a hatchet and seems to just keep tagging along with them, city after city, witch after ghost after spirit, despite Jason’s best efforts to ditch her along the way. If he’d had any idea just how complicated she was about to make their lives, he probably would have left her in Georgia.

It’s too bad, really. Sam appears to be in love with her.

Character Interview with @SusanLattwein ‘s Lily from the Arafura Series

24713706

My first ever character interview is with Lily, the boisterous and excitable sister of protagonist Kat Howard from Arafura.

Thanks for joining me Lily. Now, I’ve gotten to know your sister quite well these past few months, and she is obviously passionately in love with Adam. What’s your attitude to wuv, twue wuv? Are you going to search for it, or wait for it to fall in your lap?

True love? No such thing, babe! My sister, Kat, thinks there is, even love at first sight (I guess Adam is a catch but he’s not as hot as Ben). Knights in shining armour on their trusty steeds don’t exist, just ordinary (some less than ordinary) dudes trying to navigate their boats like the rest of us. Let’s face it, we all have issues. I do love Ben, (you have me worried now that I’m not demonstrative enough in public…). I guess he’s the one, but after watching my dad come out of the closet, well, that kind of threw me, made me careful, you know? I might have to talk to Susan, address that in the third book of the series….

Any previous boyfriends we should know about? Has anyone come close to being ‘the one’?

 I did date a Captain in the army for a couple of years before Ben. He was Hollywood handsome, flew planes, drove a sports car, but he was emotionally distant, reminded me of a tantalising chocolate with a rock hard caramel filling—not worth the effort or the calories. That’s where I learnt it’s not all about looks, and I’m not proud the way I ended it. Looking back, I was a bit of a bitch and have had the odd nightmare apologising to him.  

 ‘The one?’ Ben ticks a lot of boxes. Is there such a thing as ‘the one’, except in fiction?

 Okay, I know you and Ben are together, but your relationship reminds me of the ‘comfortable’ relationship Kat had with her (now) ex. Sorry Ben! Look, clearly you guys have a good, solid relationship but… ROMANCE, y’know?

 You guys seem a little more like really good friends with benefits.

 You can tell me to back off any time. And, I know, here I am, saying romance isn’t my thing either, but I’d rather not be in a relationship at all. Wow, okay, hope I haven’t ticked you off too bad.

 You’re a straight talker like me, Marigold. I like that.

 There’s a lot going on behind the scenes you don’t know about.

 Arafura is Kat’s story, I get that. Secretly, I think it’s ended up that way because Susan has the hots for Adam. She goes for the charming, rugged , playful, damaged types. For authors, types like Ben are boring. The worst that’s ever happened to Ben was getting tomato on his school lunches.

 As for Ben and my relationship – here’s the real deal. You remember the night Kat turned up at my bungalow on the dot of midnight with Adam? Well, Ben was  pressed up behind me at the front door, his hands discretely hidden under my sarong, exploring, doing things that happen in erotic fiction, not romantic suspense. Forget friends with benefits, that man has an imagination with benefits! I couldn’t talk, so of course the whole scene had to be rewritten.

 No there’s nothing wrong with Ben and my sex life, Kat is the prude, or should I say was? I’ve just got to get over my commitment phobia—you’ve made me realise that’s where I might be a little like Lucas? Oh, God no….

Hm, interesting! But  let’s go to another topic now. What was it like growing up in Darwin? Besides stinking hot.

Darwin is so hot and tropical, it’s cool. Temperatures mostly fluctuate between 30-32 degrees Celsius year round.

Kat and I are both only children, so when she came to live with us after her parents died, my best friend moved in and became my sister. Kat was real quiet when she first came, and it took her months to relax. My parents had an open house,  visitors all the time, a great pool, that’s part of the reason Dad wanted to start his  boutique resort. He loves socialising.

We went to school in bare feet, with Jess Mauboy’s cousin actually. There was a huge mixture of cultures in friends at school, no one cared back then where you were from. I liked that. In all honesty though, some kids had scary home lives.

 Darwin was and still can be red neck, but we weren’t in that orbit, thank goodness. You find your own level anywhere, I guess.

 Was trying to rescue your sister as fun as you made it out to be?

I was freaking terrified, Marigold. But with Ben, Dad and Robert there I felt nothing could go too wrong. Call me naive, but Mel’s chilli spray is ace, I keep some in my handbag all the time now.

Yes, rescuing Kat and Adam was dangerous that night, but remember I was waiting in Dad’s boat, not being shot at in the dinghy. I was on a high, and seeing Kat safe and in one piece was a huge relief.

Got any career aspirations? Big dreams?

I’m studying Tourism and Hospitality through Charles Darwin Uni, don’t think Susan mentioned that (it’s all about Kat and Adam, Adam and Kat…not that I mind, I know my place as a secondary character) 

Big dreams? What a scary question. Have kids, with Ben? Maintain a happy, healthy family, a fulfilling relationship with my partner?

I’ve inherited my father’s head for business so may buy him out one day.

Kat wants to help Indigenous kids with their literacy—I’d like to be involved in that although I don’t have a teaching degree (I think teachers, oh and police, are under-valued and underpaid).

22876142

 And the most important question, are you going to get a dog? C’mon…

No way, do you know how often Biscuit is at our place? That sooky mutt has issues the way he sucks up to Ben and Adam. I give him treats and he doesn’t love me half as much as he should.

Kat and my friend, you know Sophie? Her Jack Russell is having puppies, so don’t tempt me…

Thanks for answering my questions, Lily! You’ve revealed a lot, and I’m curious to find out what happens in your future (and I appreciate you didn’t mind me crossing a line there with your personal life). Here’s to more Arafura adventures!

Indie Book Review: Shattered, by Becky Durfee

18455522

Review:

Yet again Becky Durfee has managed to create a fresh and compelling mystery. This time, the spirit that visits Jenny Watkins can talk, and talks quite a lot, but Jenny can’t understand Russian! Going by the few words she can pick up, she once again uses her amateur detective skills to pursue justice for the dead.

While I had a niggling issue with how the protagonist searched for clues in the last book, this time Jenny’s got her head on straight. We also get to see some finality to what Jenny wants out of her marriage (that’s to say, she wants it to end), and it’s great to see Jenny take another step towards becoming the person she wants to be.

We also finally get to meet Jenny’s family, and get some shocking revelations to boot!

Another exciting and enthralling mystery with the most relatable woman in the world. Have I mentioned I love this series?

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Amazon buy link.

Shattered, by Becky Durfee

Jenny Watkins Mysteries #3

Book Length: 176 pages

Paranormal Cozy Mystery (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

Psychic Jenny Watkins’ world has been turned upside down. Everything she once knew to be fact has come into question, and she is faced with choices that could impact the rest of her life.

As she deals with the crisis in her personal life, she is contacted by a young murder victim who lived in America but spoke no English. Relying solely on timing and intuition, Jenny tries to interpret the clues and find justice for a woman stripped of life too soon.

Children’s Book Review: the Gift of the Quoxxel

23815146

Review:

This was a delightful read, the kind where the reading experience is just as fun as the plot. As you can probably tell by the book cover, this story screams ‘quirky’, and I don’t think I could adequately describe the book any more than the blurb (see below). It reminded me a little of Terry Pratchett’s tongue-in-cheek style (which I love) so I was so glad I decided to read this (after receiving a request from the author).

The ending was a little disappointing, but I suspect it’s being set up for a sequel, or at least another book set in the same universe. Although kids of 10-12yrs will love this book, it’s my kind of read too J

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

If you are interested in reading this book, the author is accepting requests for those interested in posting a review. You can contact him at richard.p.titus <at> gmail.com

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Amazon buy link.

The Gift of the Quoxxel, by Richard Titus (author and illustrator)

Book Length: 121 pages

Humorous Fantasy (Children’s Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

King Norr of Nibb was not content. He longed to know of the world beyond his tiny, island kingdom. Why travel elsewhere, said his people. What place could possibly be more perfect than Nibb?

What frustrated Norr even more, outsiders never came to Nibb. Foreign ships approached, hesitated, then sailed away. Why was that?

And that wasn’t the only mystery.

Who was the little girl who sang, but would not speak?

What kind of monster lurked in waters along the shore?

Had Dr Hinkus been devoured by woolly drumbkins?

And most importantly, what’s for lunch?

Drearily perfect Nibb was about to turn upside down. As King Norr often said, it’s enough to give one “haddocks.”