Saturday, 17 March 2018

Dancing feet by Tabitha Ormiston-smith

If read a few novels and shorts by this author and I do like her easy and entertaining style. She does write a female character well and this short is no exception. Unlike some of her other work this one is aimed at young adults. As it is the reworking of the fairy tale Cinderella it would suit the younger YA too. 5 stars

This reworking of the Cinderella story is a fun, modern, YA short. Ashley is a plucky heroine who always sees the good in people despite being treated appallingly by her new stepmother. She is single minded in her desire to go to the Melbourne dance academy. When one dream is shattered she picks herself up and explores another avenue, helped along by her fairy godmother in the shape of a big hairy Deer hound. Recommended.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Book review of two horror shorts

This time you’re getting two reviews for the price of one. Both horror shorts and both excellent, with a good blend of gore and comedy. And both by women writers.  

Christ on a Bike! by D.J. Doyle

I loved the title of this book; Christ on a bike. It is an expression which is used a lot around the British Isles. I liked that the Irish writer has used her native language throughout and has created some great characters. It reminded me somewhat of ‘Father Ted’ with its flawed priests and the use of the word ‘feck’. It was a series I loved and I rather liked this book too. Tense horror, but also very funny.

Necrozmancy: A Short Horror Story by Lucretia Stanhope

This one was a horror reworking of the wizard of Oz. All the characters were there but Dorothy has a knack of raising the dead, aided by her familiar Toto. The bringing to life of a squirrel was as funny as it was gory. Some strong language which I didn’t mind as it fitted with the story. Witty, gory and strictly for an adult reader.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The English Sombrero: The Little White Ball by Doug Goddard and Anthony Randall

It's been a while since I've read the fist book in the series; Nothing to do but run. But it certainly was a book that stayed on my mind and I wanted to go back to. Second books are always difficult, the writing in the follow up was good and the dialogue funny, but I found myself a bit less engaged with the story. Maybe because I'm not a mad football fan and used to run myself. Maybe it was a dislike for people throwing money about. Anyhoo a 4 star plus.

I loved the first book in the English Sombrero series, where we met the brash but lovable character of Don Simmons. There he set himself the seemingly unattainable task of running the marathon. Here he buys, after a rather large windfall, a struggling non-league football club. Armed with a squad of semi-professional no hopers he sets out to win the FA cup; the highest price in English football. You have to love and admire Don as he sets about building a winning squad, deals with the press and the football authorities. Don is a self-made man who does things in his own way, which wins him as many friends as enemies. I still found this book hugely entertaining and some of the problem solving inspired. Where it lost me a little was that it was just a bit too beyond the realms of possibilities and that a lot of the problems were solved by just throwing huge amounts of money at it. Would I read the third book if it was released? I probably would and if the writer is in the process, I’d say to make it more about personal struggle and less about the money. Well written and great fun, especially if you like English football.

Monday, 19 February 2018

The Severaine (The Forgotten Legacies Series Book 2) by K.J.Simmill

This is the second book in the forgotten legacies series. It was a while since I read book one, but a few chapters in it came flooding back. These books are quite complex but now more familiar with K.J.Simmills style and universe I found this book more enjoyable. I did give it 4 stars like the previous one as it was still a lot to take in. Lots of new characters and worlds and 600 pages, it is a big meaty read.

This book follows on from Darrienia and is the second book in the forgotten legacies. It was a while since I’ve read Darrienia but she puts handy reminders in so I got up to speed quickly. I think for this reason this book could be read as a stand-alone. Like the first book it is an epic fantasy adventure set in complex alternate universe. We meet up again with Daniel, but he has much changed. Plagued by nightmares caused by the events in book 1 he is a determined but troubled young man. On a quest with his friends Acha and Eiji to reseal the Severaine he encounters many dangers but also new allies. What I liked about this book is that nothing is clear cut. For instance is Daniel just sleep deprived, or are there really things lurking in the shadows? As with life, things are often varying shades of grey.
This would suit someone who likes a big, epic adventure full of strange new worlds, magic and mythical beings. It would not suit someone who likes a quick easy read at 600+ you need a good attention span as things change quickly and many new characters get introduced. Well written and plenty of action.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village by Ronesa Aveela

I've been reading a few fantasy novels of late and I'm reading another one soon. This is not my favourite genre so it needs a lot of action to keep my attention. This one moved at a good pace and had plenty of action to keep me entertained. The Slavic and Bulgarian myths were unfamiliar to me, but it didn't get in the way of the story and all the mythical beings were explained. (Dragons and mermaids are familiar to us all.) An entertaining 5 star read.

Unborn hero is a magical adventure story that is steeped in Bulgarian and Slavic myths. A young boy, Theo, sets out on a quest to rescue his sister, when she is kidnaped by a dragon. Along the way Theo is helped by a Samodiva (a young woodland nymph) and many other magical beings that inhabit Dragon village. I like the central character of Theo as he is a modern boy who is used to having a mobile phone at his fingertips, rather than surviving in nature. We understand his struggle and his journey into self-discovery. This is a book that will appeal to both boys and girls as it is filled with adventure and magic. Many positive messages can also be taken away from this story such as; together you’re stronger and that love is a more powerful force than hate. There are some gruesome and violent scenes so it might not suit the very young reader, but it certainly entertained this older reader.