Monday, 30 May 2016

Sword of Shadows by C N Lesley

Had to set my excitement aside for just a few hours to catch up with my second life as a writer. Work at the airport is now finished for two weeks while we take a deserved break in New York (hence the excitement!) Next to writting there is always a lot of other things to do like; posting to and reading news groups, reading books and posting a review. I hope NY will be inspiring and I will come back with a few stories for the bundle I'm currently working on.(working title: Ordinary People) So before we jet off tomorrow here is a five star read to consider:
Sword of Shadows by C.N. Lesley on

Arthur and his brother live in a brutal world where a cruel species ; the Nestines have enslaved the land dwelling humans(Terrans) A wrist band makes sure the humans aren’t even aware that the Nestines exist and use them for food. Arthur leads a small band of rebels who are free. During a battle they realise that they might have come on the radar of the Nestines and that the technology protecting them has been compromised. They flee to Avalon; the underwater city of the submariners and where their mother lives. At first I found the world the writer set the story in bewildering. There were many species, warring factions and character. I was not aware that this book was the second in the series and that put me in the early chapters at a disadvantage. (Note to author, it is a good idea to put next to the title on Amazon book 1 or book 2 so it is clear the book is part of a series) As the book was so well written I read on and started to thoroughly enjoy this epic adventure. The Nestines are spine chillingly evil and the book is action packed. I liked the mix of Arthurian legend with the futuristic. We have Arthur on a quest for a sword while being hunted with space ships. I appreciate as well that the writer has gone the route of using more medieval morals (Kidnapping woman from other tribes to start a settlementJ) rather than going the more mainstream YA route of young women having an equal role. Like it or not, it makes the world Arthur lives in seem more brutal and dangerous.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Nano Man by Dean C Moore

This was a well crafted book, but just not my genre. I'm not big on violent futuristic comic style books. One reviewer mentioned the film Sin City, which I hated for its style and violence, but if you loved said film; this will be the book for you. I gave it four stars as it was well written and I can imagine a fan of the genre loving it.
Nano Man by Dean C Moore on Amazon

Nano man is set in a cut-throat world where big business has taken over from the government. Ruthless companies will do anything to thwart the competition. Jane Macelvey is a bio chemist, struggling to keep her research secret. Then Mike comes into her life and he claims he wants to protect her. She injects him with her serum of Nano bots and Mike becomes something neither of them could have predicted. As the corporate foot soldiers close in on them, bodies start to pile up. Mike and Jane are now on everyone’s radar.
I did like the character of Mike, he is part hot blooded male, part robot. Even as the Nano-bots play havoc with his system, he can’t fail to wise crack. The banter between him and Jane provide a lot of the humour. This is an overblown futuristic comic book tale of greed and technology, but it is also a satire on our current times. I think fans of comic books and sci-fi will like this, especially if you don’t mind graphic violence. I understand this is part of the genre, but I found the at times sadistic violence somewhat hard to digest. But if you don’t mind a gang of red necks being flattened by their own truck, this is the book for you. Well written, original and action packed.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The Burden of Truth by Peter Best

I always appreciate when a writer is trying to do something different. Even though it is a fairly conventional action adventure, the fact that Peter has interwoven several other stories and a generous dollop of Buddhist teachings makes this an unusual book. The main thing is that it was enjoyable and readable. I gave this a 5 star.
The Burden of Truth by Peter Best on

This book had so many facets to it, that it is hard to place it into a particular category. If I had to try I would say; action thriller with a deeper message. Peter Best has woven a complex tapestry of different tales that slowly merge. We meet Brent Sadler; a survivor of the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster. The experience of near death has led him down a path of living live to the full. This choice eventually leads him into debt and into trouble with some very shady characters. Then we meet Peter Cannon in India; he is a man with a secret and painful past. We slowly uncover how these two men have affected and are affecting the people around them. Brent finds out that actions have consequences; disastrous consequences. Interwoven with this very readable action adventure is an insight to Buddhist teachings as some of the characters are Buddhist and some of the story is set in India. I found this interesting as I don’t know much about Buddhism. Rather than getting in the way of the story, it added to it greatly.
This is an unusual book, but very well written and it kept my attention throughout. The character of Brent is great as we see him grow as a person. I wanted to like him at the start as he had gone through the ordeal of nearly drowning. I went from disliking him as he stumbled from bad to terrible decisions to applauding him at the end as finally did the right thing. Peter says at the end of the book that he wanted to create a book comparable to vintage wine. I think he has succeeded. This is a book with rich and complex flavours and it does linger in the mind. I wouldn’t mind opening the next bottle of Chateau Best.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Borman Factor (A Nick Borman Thriller Book 1) by Robert Lalonde

A clear sign that summer is approaching; the increase in transport strikes. Yesterday it was Lufthansa, today it is a national strike in France. Ports blocked, flights cancelled and hardly any trains and busses. I just thank my lucky stars that I live close to my work and can take my scooter past most things blocking the road. I don't think we will be very busy at job as I work at the airport in duty free. The approach of summer has also lead to some quality reading time on the beach. I flew through this book in a few days. It doesn't hold any big surprises but it is a well written fast paced crime thriller. I gave it five stars.
The Borman factor by Robert Lalonde on

The Borman factor is set in Toronto Canada, not a city known for its high murder rate. When a journalist is murdered and the police fail to investigate and dismiss the crime as a robbery gone wrong, the journalist’s family call in the help of Nick Borman. Nick usually investigates industrial espionage, but as he knows the victim’s wife he takes the case. He begins to uncover a web of bribes and property deals that leads right to the top of local government.
I like the way the book is written in a series of short chapters. It builds tension and keeps the reader engaged. Robert Lalonde switches from first to third person sometimes in the same chapter. It is unusual but I didn’t mind it and I think it works in a crime novel. I would have liked to have found out a bit more about Nick Borman the person, but I think we might in the next book as this is the first in the series. I felt more empathy with Detective Novak who tries to investigate the case despite pressure from above to drop the case. He seems an interesting guy and I hope he will make an appearance in future books. This is a promising start to a series of crime thrillers. Well written and with scope to explore the main character and his intriguing assistant. There is a hint that his next case might take Nick Borman to Europe and the world of industrial espionage; a prospect that has already wet my appetite for book two.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Tacenda by Christine Jayne Vann

I'm not a huge fan of Science fiction as they can be a bit up themselves and techy, but this one was right up my street and I gave it 5 stars.
Tacenda by Christine Vann on

What a weird and wonderful world has Christine created in Tacenda. Colourful and alien but still a world full of characters we can relate to. To use the old cliché men are from mars and woman from Venus; I think this is illustrated here in the relationship between Kerris a human female and Arucken a nestling male. The two have been paired by the Nestling race and work as messengers, delivering goods and information intergalactic. The pairing is viewed sceptically and at times hostilely by both races. For Kerris and Arucken the bond works and the two are very closely connected telepathically. I found their relationship beautiful and it relates closely to the old cliche; you can love and trust someone completely, without fully knowing or understanding them. The story line will appeal to readers of most genres; there is enough intrigue and intergalactic politics to keep you hooked. Kerris is an interesting strong female character. She has gone her own way; committing her life to an alien race and exploring space. She struggles with the loss of her sister; murdered by space pirates, while hiding all of it from her parents. When the pair gets stranded with a group of colonists under attack, she shows she is an excellent diplomat with a lot of courage and tact. I do hope to read more of Kerris and Arucken and the ending of the book was left temptingly open. There is also a lot of humour to lighten the tone; some of it provided by Octavia the space ship, which has a mind of its own. I liked the comment about them getting Octavia to a refuelling station as running out of fuel was not only embarrassing but could lead to a fine. Why did we never see the Star ship Enterprise pull up to a petrol pump? I like a science fiction writer that keeps the tone realistic while creating a completely alien world; it helps the reader connect to the characters and in Tacenda Christine has succeeded admirably.