Lessons in Humiliation by Timothy Edward

The wit of the writing in this novel is absolutely sublime and made me laugh out loud continuously.23270033

My rating this book ⭐︎⭐︎⭐︎⭐︎

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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2655 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Matador (24 Sep 2014)
  • ASIN: B00NX11LBK

Ebook available to buy from:  Amazon UK, Amazon US,

Book:  Book Depository, Waterstones and more

Synopsis

Henry Robson is suffering. He is a balding, failing actor living all alone in rural Dorset. When two choices present themselves, he inadvisedly selects both…

Initially, a torrid affair seems to tick all the boxes, but any happiness derived from the liaison soon unravels when Henry, untrained as a teacher, accepts employment at a school run by a madman. Finding himself surrounded by specialists in humiliation – professional, public and private – will he learn his lesson?

Follow the adventures and misadventures of this lovable but hapless rogue, a man all the more endearing for his weaknesses. Laugh as slapstick jostles for supremacy with the surreal, and cry twice over at moments of utter poignancy.

An Aga-saga for men (and for women wishing to know what men are really thinking), Lessons in Humiliation falls headlong towards a most unexpected dénouement. Fans of humorous fiction will find themselves crying both with laughter and out of sympathy for the plight of the narrator.

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My Review:

Some writers just have a gift for seeing a bizarre characters in an otherwise normal people and bringing them to life, and Timothy Edward’s has this gift.  A novel based around the author’s own experiences it is heartbreakingly hilarious.

What is different about this book: It is a tale of negotiating a way through relationships told from a man’s perspective, the highs, the lows, the failures and triumphs, the humiliation. This is what makes this book special along with the authors wonderful little illustrations at the beginning of each chapter.

I enjoyed this book very much, it made me laugh, it made me sad, it made me feel anxious and depressed. I love the style of the writing which was straight from the humiliated soul!

So here we have Henry, in the a cottage in the Village of the Damned, a failing actor unable to somehow secure a major role talking or non talking. We first encounter him auditioning for an advert, whereby he is required to drop his trousers and take a dump in a street! He somehow fails to get the role.

His life does not get better when he accepts a part time job as a drama teacher at St Gussage’s school, a privately run boarding school ruled by the mad Piers Halliday, who was undoubtedly my favourite character. As the Headmaster, Piers is a wonderful caricature of a man whose lack of sensibility and political correctness knows no boundaries. He is a self: admired and appointed king of his domain – the school. Meanwhile Henry falls in lust love with Valerie  who is a queen emasculator , and thereupon ensues a tortuous affair which he is unable to wean himself of. I wanted to take Valerie and banish her from being anywhere near men forever.

I am going to admit to feeling somewhat exasperated at Henry as he accepts yet another emasculation from this woman, I wanted to take Henry by the shoulders, shake him and tell him to ‘grow some balls man!
Each time Valerie turned up again, I found myself sighing and thinking no not again, ‘just say no, because you just know this is not going to be good’, but painfully he was eager for some more abuse from her, you just want it to stop.  But at the same time Edward’s gives it immense humour.  An astute observation of some relationships: you know its going to be bad but you can’t help yourself from repeating it hoping that this time it will be different, but of course it never is.

Then Henry a failure as an actor and a failure as a man, embarks on seeking his birth mother and finds a family with which he can call his own. This is the one good thing about his life, to be loved with the ability to have a relationship with his mother and uncle. On the up side and home; he has a wonderfully sardonic wit which gives him the superiority in being able to deal with the mad headmaster much to the awe of the other cowering staff and pupils.

I just have to give you a little snippets of the part when the Visiting Examiner (VE) comes to the school to assess the drama students. Having just learnt that the school’s old horse, smelly dog, and boy who looks after them in the stables are all called Oscar, Henry continues to enlighten the VE further about the school’s animals.

HENRY:  “…in fact, there’s another equally smelly dog who’d love to meet you; he’ll be with Matron somewhere.”

VE:  “The School Matron is in charge of a dog?”

HENRY:  “Of course. She’s besotted with that animal….She ’s also the school’s designated peacock keeper…”
“We have rats too,” I add, warming to my theme. “Usually dead though – in the wall behind the accounts office.” ….
“Mice too, but we don’t mind them because we need mice to feed the snakes.”

VE:  “Snakes?” she crackles……

And on it continues in the same vein!!

This book is so funny, but so achingly cringeworthy at the same time.

Who should read this book? 
1. Any man who is unable to leave a bad relationship
2. Any woman who needs to see how ugly it can look when emasculating harmless men.
3. Any Headmaster with grandeurs above his level of standing.
4. Anyone else who loves an intelligently well written wit and a good laugh.

Who is Tim Edwards? I ask this because this book makes you want to know who the author is and hope that he there are more like this. I so want to read more from him.

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Many thanks to the Publisher for a digital copy of this book via NetGalley in return for my honest review

Red Rose, White Rose | Joanna Hickson

 

20892659A beautifully written historical novel about the War of the Roses. Joanna Hickson presents this novel crammed packed full of historical facts, from events, people and places. I always think that reading historical novels, written accurately is the most enjoyable way of learning. Maybe high schools should encourage pupils to read this way and then discuss what they have learnt in class?

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Expected Publishing date:  4 Dec 2014
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007447019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007447015

 

Synopsis

The powerful story of Cecily Neville, torn between both sides in the War of the Roses. Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory.

Richard, the thirteen-year-old Duke of York, England’s richest heir.
Told through the eyes of Cicely and her half-brother Cuthbert, Red Rose, White Rose is the story of one of the most powerful women in England during one of its most turbulent periods. Born of Lancaster and married to York, the willowy and wayward Cicely treads a hazardous path through love, loss and imprisonment and between the violent factions of Lancaster and York, as the Wars of the Roses tear England’s ruling families apart.
So nearly queen herself, Cicely Neville was the mother, grandmother and great-grandmother of kings – and her descendants still wear the crown.

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My thoughts on this book

The book is both interesting and entertaining, showing the strength and politic mannerisms of historical figures during that time. I often think about what it must have been like to live in the 15th Century with the tentative relationships between families stretching loyalties, and risking displeasure of others. Especially when loyalty to the King who was weak could be seen as disloyal to your own family and the risk of that could mean being killed as a traitor.

I loved the women characters, especially Cicely who matures from a child into an influential woman of her time. There is a great feel to the way each of the characters are portrayed in a way to give an authentic feel to what I was reading.

The bits that did not work for me:

There was such a lot of information that I couldn’t manage to hold it all in my head. Not only does Hickson give copious amounts of accurate details she also includes minor information such as pet names for each person which totally confused me. Because I was struggling to remember it all I lost the excitement of story.  Having said that I am sure that most people wouldn’t have the same problem.

Would I recommend this book: Yes definitely, it is well worth the read.

Joanna has written numerous well received historical novels, you can check out her Goodreads profile here: Joanna Hickson 

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Many thanks to the publisher for a digital copy of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

How The Light Gets In | Louise Penny – ☕️☕️☕️☕️

Rating:   4 ✭17447507

I don’t understand how I haven’t read any of Louise Penny’s books in this series before!

What have I been missing out on!  This book is the #9 in the series and I wished I had started at #1 it was that good.

 

Synopsis:

A DETECTIVE

As a fierce, unrelenting winter grips Quebec, shadows are closing in on Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department and hostile forces are lining up against him.

A DISAPPEARANCE

When Gamache receives a message about a mysterious case in Three Pines, he is compelled to investigate — a woman who was once one of the most famous people in the world has vanished.

A DEADLY CONCLUSION

As he begins to shed light on the investigation, he is drawn into a web of murder, lies and unimaginable corruption at the heart of the city. Facing his most challenging, and personal, case to date, can Gamache save the reputation of the Sûreté, those he holds dear and himself?

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This is my Review:

I just love the quilt of characters that make up the characters in this book. I think my favourite is Ruth with her duck, has she dementia or is she just a cantankerous old biddy with sharp eyes?

I realised that the main plot had been seeping into the series culminating in this book, but there was enough for me to understand exactly what was going on.

A brilliant mix of suspense and thrills kept me on the edge of my seat. I love how this multi layered crime novel presented a completely new crime to solve to get my teeth into.

I am a real sucker for brilliantly written lines and Penny didn’t disappoint me one bit. For a start it is set in my favourite scenery of all – snow, I knew it would only get better from there! Just listen to this, can’t you just picture two women sitting on a bench in a snow filled village:

“Constance laughed, a puff of humour that floated over the village green and joined the wood smoke from the chimneys.”

She also got me right there.. with the description of the snow I could identify with:

“This was the snow of her childhood. Joyful, playful,bright and clean. The more the merrier. It was a toy.”

I also enjoyed the wonderful humour Penny shares:
Constance thinks:

“Four days. And she had two gay sons, a large black mother, a demented poet for a friend and was considering getting a duck. It was not what she’d expected from this visit. “

There is a real cosy feel to the writing about the inhabitants of Three Pines who each have an interest the Chief Inspector solving the crime and I loved the feel of this book because of that.

This was a well paced story and I did not feel too cheated that I hadn’t read the previous 8 books because of the new crime that was being investigated which felt equally as important as to the historical corporate crime.

There was a great mix of old fashioned crime solving in a place due to lack of technology that added to the story, and the addition of the same technology to complete it.

To those who haven’t come across this author before – definitely worth a read.

Many thanks to the publisher for a copy via NetGalley for my honest review.

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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 633 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Source ISBN: 0312655479
  • Publisher: Sphere (27 Aug 2013)
  • ASIN: B00CBFPRPA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  •  Series Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #9
  •  Literary awardsGoodreads Choice Nominee (2013), Left Coast Crime Award for Calamari (2014)
  • urlhttp://www.louisepenny.com

The Prophecy of Bees | R. S. Pateman – ✭✭✭✭

18804882☕️☕️☕️☕️  FANTASTIC!!  (based as a YA novel)

Izzy is teen, trying to find her own identity kicking back at Mum, Lady Lindy GiffinClark. A fresh start sees Lindy move the household to Stagcote Manor in the middle of nowhere.  A move that turns out to be more sinister than refreshing.

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Publisher Synopsis 

Moving to Stagcote Manor was meant to be a fresh start for Lindy and her teenage daughter Izzy. A chance at a new life in the country after things went so wrong in London. But for Izzy it is a prison sentence.

There’s something about the house that she can’t quite put her finger on. Something strange and unnerving. As Izzy begins to explore the manor and the village beyond its walls, she discovers the locals have a lot of bizarre superstitions and beliefs. Many of them related to the manor . . . and those who live there.

When Izzy begins to investigate the history of the estate, her unease deepens to fear as the house’s chilling past finally comes to light.

The Prophecy of Bees is a tense, gripping psychological suspense novel that explores the dark power of superstition and folklore.

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What I liked best about this book?

I love the character of Izzy I because I have met ‘her’ many times when I was a support worker with young adults. When you love a guy who is exciting, in a band and wrapped up in music, it is hard to cope emotionally when he is no longer around. Cosmo understood Izzy, and made her feel like she was a special someone. The agony of being misunderstood is very well portrayed in her character. I love the way Izzy describes her struggling relationship with her mother and how she feels:

Me looking the way I do is all about me, not her…

….because it made no space for who I wanted to be.

There are so many beautiful passages in this book that has real resonance with the difficulties of being a young adult, I could pick out many but reading them would be more enjoyable, I promise you. Pateman has great way of capturing the essence of each of the characters which is pleasurable to read.

Now, her mother is taking her away from London into the countryside, away from the buzz of the city into the countryside and enrolling her in a private school to ‘start afresh’ where she knows she will not fit in.

This a tense suspense and horror story, the manor they move to is exactly how you want a spooky manor to be, with a village and villagers to match. Lindy, her mother thinks life is going to be better for two of them but she knows nothing yet! I was on the edge of my chair eager to read what happens next.

The village is so full of weird folklore customs and rituals that it scares the daylights jour of housekeeper Olga when she is told of the things she must not do to incur the ‘curse’; and then the bees need to be told every piece of gossip going to keep them happy and old Cedric sees to that.

Twin sisters, Brenda and Glenda the help for Olga the housekeeper are wonderfully odd and dark, and Cedric (who incidentally sounded in my head like Joe Grundy from BBC Radio 4 The Archers!) was crazily eccentric but they all had an undercurrent of something hauntingly unwholesome about them.

Stagcote Manor is a hodgepodge of a building with bits added in different centuries adding to the dark spaces and undercurrents, and when Izzy hears noises in her bedroom at night she embarks on a journey she feels compelled to follow unearthing some dark secrets that have serious consequence.

The description at the beginning of Stagcote Manor is the start of what’s to come.

It’s so remote and empty that night snaps over it like a lid.

I love a good spooky tale and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I read this novel.

The bits that didn’t quite work for me:

The very start with ‘The gun doesn’t make me feel any safer…’ felt alien to the rest of the novel, I couldn’t connect the gun scene to anything specific in the book so it seemed out of place.

I also felt the the title was a little misleading as I was waiting for the bees to swarm or be malevolent and become a major part of the story but it didn’t happen.  I love the title and the novel but not together!

Although this is marketed as an Adult book it more suited as a Young Adult psychological/folklore and suspense genre, and is clearly a great novel for that market.

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All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Would I recommend this book!  –  YES Definitely

Many thanks to the publisher via NetGalley for an early copy in return for my honest review.

  • Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
  • Expected publication: November 20th 2014 by Orion
  • ISBN139781409128618
  • edition languageEnglish
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 520 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (20 Nov 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L845OGM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled

Blue Mondays | Emily Dubberley ✭✭✭✭

23281087

☕️☕️☕️☕️  FANTASTIC !!

Erotica that stands out from the crowd, this intelligent steamy novel is a cracking read!

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Synopsis:

Sensual and romantic, shocking and arousing, BLUE MONDAYS will change the way you think about your commute forever…

When Lucy Green sees a stranger drop his wallet on the Tube, it’s the beginning of a cat-and-mouse relationship that enlightens, frustrates and arouses her in equal measure.

She follows him to give it back, and is soon drawn into a situation she never dreamed possible, behaving in a way she never thought she would. She seems to respond to Ben at some animal level, and it’s frightening. Should she follow her head, say goodbye and carry on her way to work? Or go with him and explore her adventurous side?

Contemporary romance with a sizzling erotic element.

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Erotica is often just that, and somehow I was not expecting this to be such a great story!  For those of us who appreciate a great story AND great writing then Dubberley does not disappoint. Yes, we do want intelligent steamy novels, we want our characters to be lusciously delectable but emotionally real.  We don’t want simpering women whose lives are all about waiting for a man to make them into a stronger person, no we don’t.

We want what Dubberley gives us.

Lucy is a real character who has made some bad choices, and allowed her ex boyfriend to make her into what he wants. How easy is it to become the person that we think others want to please them and not realise it. The story starts from there, she must now find who she is and learn to be her own person.

I love the fact that there are whole lives involved, family, work, trauma and it has been woven together so wonderfully. The story is set in three places: London, Brighton and Cornwall each giving a different pace to Lucy’s life.

Dubberley paints Lucy’s work place so well, you just know some of those characters for real, the fashionistas and the way colleagues are judged by how well they fit in.

Sorry, haven’t I mentioned the sex yet?  Phew! what can I say? Well, we can all identify with bits of it at some point can’t we? 😉 Does Dubberley descriptive scenes fulfil the fantasy? Oh yes, definitely and some! This is real, delicious, oh so naughty, and hot. It is exciting, raw, and then again beautifully romantically staged. Ben is the fantasy male most women dream of, not perfect but not some screw up either.

I connected with the characters, I loved the plot which is good and will keep you gripped throughout and I loved the ending which left me with just enough conclusion, and curiosity to want to know what happens next.

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Many thanks to the publisher for a paper copy of this book in return for my honest review.

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (23 Oct 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444793543
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444793543

Available in Paperback and Kindle edition

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Emily Dubberley

Click on here to visit the author’s page and see her other novels - Emily Dubberley

Firestorm by Tamara McKinley | ✭✭✭✭

20052729

☕️☕️☕️☕️  FANTASTIC !!

Beautiful, poignant and touching! I had forgotten how much I love reading this genre; it moved me and the tears flowed!

Synopsis

Becky Jackson’s family has been managing the bush hospital in far-flung Morgan’s Reach for three generations. When Becky’s husband is tragically lost at war, she and her young son Danny must leave the city where she’s been living since marriage and return to her birthplace to start over.

But for all its charm, Morgan’s Reach is a divided community, where blood is thicker than water and grudges run deep. So when a mysterious stranger appears in the bush outside the town and Danny begins to act strangely, it is not only Becky’s newfound stability that’s threatened.

And what of the fact that there’s not been a drop of rain in over three years? The risk of firestorm looms large and the hospital is already pushed to breaking point. A single spark could level the area in minutes – burning away everything for which the town has worked so hard; exposing the secrets they’ve fought to keep so close.

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My Review:

Set after WWII all the men who were returning were home, and for those whose families without their loved ones, life had to go on.

Such a powerful drama about the lives of families struggling to live in the harsh conditions of Australia. The tight knit families lives are tested when storms and fires rage threateningly out of control, wonderful reading!

A superb plot, a boy waiting for his father who will never return, with a mother who is unable to move on because of it. A son returning back to his home town with a wife who is blind with grief seeking solace in a bottle. Another who seeks refuge from a brutal husband finding peace in a relationship that is concealed from everyone. Then there is the dead soldier who never returned from the war who goes home secretly to die following his beloved aboriginal spirits. Excellent stuff!

What I liked best:

I love the weave of families with their nuances and local histories.

There was real excitement with the storm, and the fire. A boy being lost in the bush looking for the stranger seen wearing soldiers clothes, hoping he is the father he cannot believe is dead, that somehow a mistake has been made and he will return home.

Gwyneth, is the great grandmother; grandmother and mother of a prominent family in the town who knows everything thats going on. Sitting on a veranda watching the townsfolk she orchestrates her guidance appropriate moments. A great wise and feisty character.

When the fire is fuelled by the dry storm, tragedy is all around them, even though this is something that is already known to them in conditions they have battled before, it is no less shocking when death claims lives. My excitement mounted with the fire racing towards the towns 10 year old Danny goes missing and with his mother needed at the infirmary with the casualties she fears the worst.

Just look at this wonderful line – got me right…here (places hand against heart):

And, as she stood there, the silence enfolded her as a long-held dreams shattered like fine glass.

What is different about this book?

This could have been just a run of the mill story about Australians trying to recover after the second world war in the outback, keeping their people and towns alive and thriving in harsh conditions in Queensland. But no, the real backbone to this story is of a man travelling on foot in solitude and secret towards Morgan’s Reach. All we know about him is that he is dying from cancer and that he wants to get to the town before the end, but does not want to be seen. He certainly is a mystery. His story is heart wrenching and I got a sense of a ‘kind of driven peace’ that surrounds this man in his final journey. His talks with a small boy and the peace he gains from it made me cry.

If you want a book with love, sorrow, courage, tragedy, and overcoming adversity, along with something beautifully spiritual then this is the book for you.

This is the first of Tamara McKinley’s books I have read and will be certainly looking out for her other books.

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Many thanks to the publisher via NetGalley for a copy of this book in return for an honest review

  • Kindle Edition, 336 pages
  • Published:   December 24th 2013 by (first published 2012)
  • Publisher:  Quercus 
  • ASIN B00GGGRKI2

The 100 | Kass Morgan ✭✭

17332969

 

 

 

 

☕️☕️  IT WAS OK.

How was it?    Okay but underwhelming, yes, I was disappointed.

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Synopsis

In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth’s toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland… before it’s too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they’ve only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they’re haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust – and even love – againThe 100 – by Kass Morgan

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My Review

I was really looking forward to reading this book. I watched the TV series which just got better and better so when I saw the book I just had to get my hands on it.

So, I then thought the trick to reading this book is to forget about the TV series and read the book as if I have never heard of the story. A better plan because there appeared so many differences in the book which you can’t help but compare whilst reading.

Start again….. What was the book about in a nutshell. 100 young adult criminals under 18 were sent back to earth to see it was habitable again after nuclear contamination.  The different areas they came from onboard meant that there was already a class hierarchy. Faintly reminiscence of Lord of Flies, ensued with such unruly reprobates. Most of the book was learning about the main protagonists; their crime, circumstances, and friends.

The bits I liked about the book?

I love this genre so much, and enjoyed the background setting that Morgan painted in a way that so plausible. (Or was I thinking about what I had watched on TV?) I liked the characters with a great mix of emotional confusion with Wells and Clarke/Bellamy, typical YA behaviour told with each POV.

I enjoyed how the characters remained so plausible, with young adults complete with their inexperiences and angsts trying to be responsible though a rage of hormones. Morgan also gets the moral thoughts racing; No, how could they do that! Were their deaths necessary? But what if they didn’t – how do you choose?  Who are the real criminals here?  So much to question after you put the book down.

I liked the hierarchy of the classes having an impact on their perception of each other, especially the way life became expendable for the greater good the lower class you were. Nicely done.

What didn’t work for me?

I didn’t like the way the POV was told in a block of flashback in each of the characters chapter. It felt very disjointed and almost like the real story was the flashback parts, and the current-day was a fill-in waiting for things to get more excitingly active towards the end.  I would have preferred for the story to have started with everyones story, the excitement building slowly towards being back on earth when their fearful adventure begins.

Had I not seen this fantastically imaginative story on TV I probably would have felt it to be a very slow book that cheated me out of the excitement I craved and possibly would have given up reading half way through. I believe I filled out gaps with my imagination from watching it earlier.

Overall, it’s an okay book but lacks any true excitement or goal. I understand this book was written after the series – sorry just didn’t work!

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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 409 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • ISBN: 0316234478
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (29 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BJ5AE24

Available from Amazon, Book Depository and other online stores.

Peril, The Legend of Sedrak | Jackie G Mills ✭✭✭✭

23164380 ☕️☕️☕️☕️ – FANTASTIC!!!

An exciting fantasy novel by Jackie G Mills

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Synopsis by Goodreads

Category: Action, Adventure, Legends & Folk Tales, Fantasy, Paranormal, Splash of Romance

When Raki travels with her clan for their annual visit to the Homeland, she has no idea it would be the last time. An evil lurks in wait, seeking more than just death!

In her pursuit of the ancient darkness that changed her life, she discovers a truth hidden beneath layers of deception.

Her reluctant travel companion Jakail hides his own secrets. Who is he and why is he hunting the creature? Together they face terrifying dangers in search of the wizard who can change their fortunes.

As Raki creeps ever closer to the person she was born to be, their destinies intertwine. They must face the peril that awaits them—no matter what the cost

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What I liked best about the book?

I love the fact that the names are easily read and remembered. I really connected with the characters loving Raki, such a sweet girl, and the lovely Jakail 😏  All of the characters throughout the book came alive for me bringing a sense of thrilling intensity and I just loved the Wizard of Light, such a likeable and clever character in a bumbling kind of way.

It was a great start with the would be warriors as just ordinary people without throwing powers about. I loved how I was not overwhelmed with more ‘fantasy’ than I could handle, there was a great balance to it.  I do love a fantasy that transports me to another place where everything is new to me. There is a good sense of time and place throughout the book that flows effortlessly.

The story becomes exciting as the two youngsters start a journey together which could result in their deaths, creating an uncertainty as I read on.  Each part of the adventure brings a new height to that kept my interest high throughout their journey.  Jackie G Mills shows great imagination which is complex without being complicated, a great skill to have.

I loved the fact that it is not overly violent, or sexual and this was an important like for me, it did not detract from the battle/fighting or the most tender scenes.  Such a breath of fresh air to read.

What was a niggle for me?

For me at the beginning there was a little too much descriptive prose, a little less would have enabled me to form my own images in my head.  I really enjoy picturing mental images from a story bringing it alive as I read.  No matter though, because as the story progresses Mills gets into her stride and brought the land alive and I saw it clearly.

Not sure about the cover as it does not immediately show it is a fantasy type genre.

Would I recommend this book?Absolutely

I would recommend this fantasy as a thoroughly good read for any age especially YA.  As a very much long past YA (more of a young senior!) it held my interest and excitement right up till the end which was not disappointing.

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Many thanks to the author who gifted me a copy of this book for my honest review. 

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 283 KB
  • Print Length: 152 pages
  • Publisher: DJM Publishers; 2nd edition (1 Sep 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00N96QSJO

Available at Amazon

 Check out the author on her website  -  http://jackiegmills.wordpress.com

Endgame: The Calling | James Frey ✭ ✭ ✭

☕️☕️☕️ –  It’s Good !

Worth a read and a try to work it out!

Synopsis by Goodreads:

Twelve thousand years ago, they came. They descended from the sky amid smoke and fire, 20510241and created humanity and gave us rules to live by. They needed gold and they left. But before they left, they told us someday they would come back, and when they did, a game would be played. A game that would determine our future.

This is Endgame.

For ten thousand years the lines have existed in secret. The 12 original lines of humanity. Each had to have a Player prepared at all times. They have trained generation after generation after generation. In weapons, languages, history, tactics, disguise assassination. Together the players are everything: strong, kind, ruthless, loyal, smart, stupid, ugly, lustful, mean, fickle, beautiful, calculating, lazy, exuberant, weak. They are good and evil. Like you. Like all.

This is Endgame.

When the game starts, the players will have to find three keys. The keys are somewhere on earth. The only rule of their Endgame is that there are no rules. Whoever finds the keys first wins the game. Endgame: The Calling is about the hunt for the first key. And just as it tells the story of the hunt for a hidden key, written into the book is a puzzle. It invites readers to play their own Endgame and to try to solve the puzzle. Whoever does will open a case filled with gold. Alongside the puzzle will be a revolutionary mobile game built by Google’s Niantic Labs that will allow you to play a real-world version of Endgame where you can join one of the lines and do battle with people around you.
Will exuberance beat strength? Stupidity top kindness? Laziness thwart beauty? Will the winner be good or evil? There is only one way to find out.

Play.
Survive.
Solve.
People of Earth.
Endgame has begun.

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Many thanks to the Publisher via NetGalley for a SAMPLER of this book in return for my honest review

(Firstly have not read The Hunger Games, which I understand may be similar to this book, my review here is purely on what I have read without comparison to any other book)

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I always find these type of things an interesting concept, but looking at the ‘codes’ I had no idea how this was supposed to be worked out.   I am guessing a full copy of the book would include instructions. I can see some people wanting to try it out, but I have always had difficulty cracking ‘codes’ and such, so not for me.

I found the style a bit difficult to read with such a lot of very short sentences which didn’t flow, although it did get better.

I liked the characters introduces so far and it would be interesting to see if any of the characters grow enough to feel connected to them.   The few introduced at start showed promise and the start of the Endgame was quick with the players getting lethally competitive.

I like the fact that what I read so far did not have complicated names or places as often used in fantasy books, this makes it easier for a younger audience.

Sadly though it left me a bit underwhelmed, and so I will not be reading the full book.

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  • Hardcover, 477 pages
  • Published October 7th 2014 by HarperTeen (first published January 1st 2014)
  • original title:  Endgame: The Calling
  • ISBN 0062332589 (ISBN13: 9780062332585)
  • edition languageEnglish
  • series Endgame #1

Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble plus many other bookstores

Milk-Blood | Mark Matthews – ✭✭✭✭✭

21980694I rate this book a fantastic 5 stars!

What a brilliantly disturbing read!

This book is so ‘wrong’ on so many levels, but in a great read way. I was disgusted, outraged, shocked, horrified and still could not put it down.

Zach, his mother and his daughter Lilly live in an area that you would not go to voluntarily, burnt out houses and human decay all around in the people who survive there.

When Zach’s girlfriend tells him she is pregnant by a guy he hates, he has no problem in killing him, in fact she likes the way he ‘takes care’ of things and Latrice tells him to take care of new born Lilly, born with a heart defect and cyanosis.

With no food and no parenting Lilly is left to fend for herself, and at 12 is introduced to heroin by uncle Nelson next door. This makes disturbing reading as the guy shoots H into her visible veins through her translucent skin telling her that it cures her sickness. The shock of seeing this in words struck me deep inside.

Across the road in the burnt out house, home to the ‘red man’ he paces around watching Lilly and listening to her dead mother’s, and Oscars voice. Lilly is his and he wants her in his head.

What I liked about this book

This is a brilliantly clever book, I love that Matthews uses the ‘author’ saying the story is true and not to believe the disclaimer at the beginning. Mark Matthews totally messes with your head because you don’t want to believe anything can be even remotely close to being true and yet you all know what he is describing is from real life. Having worked with addiction and mental health Matthews introduces us to the real horror living amongst us like none have done before.

So the real horror of this book is the truth within it. Matthews does not use monsters to chill us but the possible lives of real people, the terrible world in which drug addiction, poverty and abuse resides. The paranormal just tops it off all of a real treat.

I love the spunk of this young girl against would be bullies, loving her Dad unconditionally. The brutal honesty of how she seeks heroin.

The horror of milk-blood is dark and disgusting and provoked a reaction in me that churned my stomach.

There is just enough detail of each character meaning that you never totally know them adding to the uncertainty of what will happen.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way Matthews writes, his words fill you with horror without the need to overwork it, simple and yet stunning. Wonderful sentences such as these that says more than any detailed description could ever do:

The sound was sharper than any piece of glass he’d ever stepped on. And the little pieces got stuck in his skin just the same.

He hit something, he felt it, not something solid, but something squishy. The clothes hanger got stuck in the muck………A scream echoed from upstairs.

This is a book that will certainly stay with me because I it feels so real.

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Thanks to the Author for a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.

Available from Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble and other stores

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1398 KB
  • Print Length: 159 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0692207953
  • Publisher: Wicked Run Press (23 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L978UN2