Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Camp Lenape: It’s supposed to be a fun summer... (A Kahale and Claude Mystery Series Book 1) by Timothy R. Baldwin

Just on the cusp of 2019 another review bringing the total of books reviewed to a measly 13. Lets see if I can do better in 2020. As always I blame work as I tend to be answering emails rather than reading in my breaks. Anyway a teen adventure that I gave 4 stars. I think I'm a bit old and jaded to be truly gripped by this book, but a younger reader probably will be.

I think this book will appeal to all teenagers (young adults) that like an adventure story. For both boys and girls there is a likeable hero in the form of Alissa and Marcus. Alissa is an independent, tomboy who isn’t afraid to fight off a bad guy and my favourite character. I think this will mostly appeal to the early teens and it is a good clean read.

Friday, 29 November 2019


I'm having a few days holiday so I'm trying to get a few books read. This was rather a breezy crime novel which I enjoyed reading. The plot wasn't overly complicated and our heroine Happy, likeable enough. A good holiday read which I gave 4 stars. Click on the picture to take you to Amazon.

Of all the names a woman can pick when she goes into witness protection, our heroine picks “Happy Holiday” Once we lower our raised eyebrows we can get to enjoy our murder mystery.
There is much to like about this book; a good pace, action and a plucky but stubborn heroine. She is a woman with a dark past, which threatens to catch up with her at any point. She struggles with her new secret identity but enjoys her new life as a snowplough driver, well until she ploughs up a body.
The romantic story line made perfect sense to me; Jimmy the state trooper is one of the few people she can be herself with as he knows her background. But if everything in life was straight forwards we wouldn’t have much of a story.
Even though this book deals with murder, gang violence and addiction, I wouldn’t say this is a heavy read. There are some good comedic moments, mainly in the shape of Christine; the ditsy waitress Happy befriends.
This is the second book in the series, but much is explained about “Happy’s” past and I didn’t feel lost at any time. It reads well as a stand-alone. Recommended for crime lovers who don’t want anything too gritty or violent.

Friday, 22 November 2019

The Unity Game by Leonora Meriel

I must say that I was a bit hesitant to pick this book up as philosophical works are not my preferred genre. But I ended up really liking it, mainly because the 3 story lines were so different. It wonders about the afterlife without being religious (far from it, at one point we have a class of alien lifeforms giggling about the concept of religion.) Dark and with at times explicit sex and violence, I gave it 5 stars.

I rather liked this book as it took a fresh look at the meaning of life and what steers humanity. It is told through 3 very different stories.
There is David the money hungry stockbroker who wants it all. I probably preferred this story as it was quite dark and macabre at times. The character development of David was well written; his gradual descent into paranoia and madness.
The alien Noe bouk (it’s spelled different in the book, but I can’t seem to find the right character on my keyboard!) who is coming to the end of its life, lived as a dutiful worker.  It discovers it wants to live on and forms a powerful connection with another being called the Admiral. The style of writing is wildly different and it suits the alien story line well.
Then there is the young Edinburgh girl who searches for meaning in her life after her grandfather Alistair passes away. Through Alistair we get the view of the author into her vision of the afterlife. The story of Elspeth and also David is unresolved, I might have wanted a little more threads tied up, but some readers would be happy to fill in the rest themselves.
The three stories and the different styles they were told in, all worked well. I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it to anyone wondering about life and the universe.

Monday, 30 September 2019

John Bowman's Cave: Dystopian Urban Fantasy Action Adventure: Archery, Spirituality And Redemption by Erron Adams

I think by the very long subtitle this was a book that doesn't easily slot into a genre. I found the action adventure part the most enjoyable and that's why it got 4 stars. Click on the picture to take you to Amazon.

I found it quite hard to place this novel; Adventure, Metaphysical or something else? I think this one doesn’t fit a niche. The writer maybe wanted to explore what happens to you if you die when you still have many unresolved issues with a loved one. (Did John die looking for his wife while looking for her after a fight?) This book poses as many questions as it answers, which is a good thing if you like your books to have a deeper meaning.
I found the parts I enjoyed the most were when John joined the tribe of the Rory. He learns their ways while remaining an outlander (Outsider) This universe the writer has created is a fascinating one, with different Tribes and well developed characters, and we set off on a cracking adventure trying to find a captured tribeswoman. Maybe the metaphysical was a bit over my head, but if you a lover of adventure you will still enjoy this book. Take from it what you want as it is well written, at times very poetic, but also some fast paced action.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Surviving the Press-Gang: 70 Crazy Years in Journalism by Leslie Watkins

This book interested me as I do like to keep up with the latest news and are concerned where the media is heading (Especially in Trump's America.) So here is a look back at the golden age of journalism. Some great anecdotes and a snapshot of 1950's politics to now. I gave it 5 stars.

Leslie Watkins gives us a unique glimpse into his life and career as a journalist that started in the late 1940’s. Needless to say, but he knows how to write a story as he must have written hundreds of them over a career spanning 70 years. It is nice being taken back to a time where news had to be fact checked before being printed, although I was surprised that fake news was nothing new. But then making up a few letters allegedly send into the paper is a bit more innocent then the blatant twisting of facts we see these days. I could have done with a bit less of Mr Watkins own views on political events, but it is his book and not a newspaper. Everyone is entitled to his or her views; I just preferred his own story, career and especially the unusual characters in the industry. This is a timely book as most newspapers are struggling and the news mostly comes to us now via online media. A look at a world that is quickly disappearing, and an excellent read.

Monday, 29 July 2019

Red Winter by Julia Underwood

I rather like this author as she just shown me that she can write about a range of topics, but easily captivates the reader with her very readable style. The first book I read by this author was about a heist set in seventies Britain, this one is set in Russia during the revolution. I gave this 5 stars. Click on the picture to take you to Amazon.

Red winter is the Russian revolution seen through the eyes of a young woman; Sophie. Privileged and of Russian and English descent her life is to be changed forever. We see her growing from a naive teenager, head over heels in love with Tolya, an idealistic and serious man, into a rather formidable woman. She is not afraid to make difficult choices and rather heroic when it comes to her husband and family. The historical details are well researched and form an excellent setting to this story, but it never becomes a history lesson; it’s all about how the events of the time impact on Sophie and her family. Very well captured is the changing relationship between Sophie and her former servants. I enjoyed this well written epic of love, war, revolution and above all survival.