Book Reviews

Fowl Play by Jay Spencer Green

fowl

What da cover says:  Ladies’ man Josiah Joshua Jordan King is a rising star for the Trafford Titans in the new and wildly popular sport of Chicker. But he’s also a professional hitman and union buster on behalf of the league’s management. With the European Championship final against Barcelona looming, he gets wind of a filthy commie plot to scupper the whole shebang. Can he lead his team to victory while neutralizing the Reds, or will his dreams of international glory be thwarted by a faceless conspiracy that threatens civilization itself?

A mutant cross-breed of Rollerball, The Wicker Man and Chicken Run, Fowl Play is satirist Jay Spencer Green at his weirdest and most outrageous, a laugh-out-loud dark comedy in which the headless chickens are not confined to the farmyard.

What I says: Jay Spencer Green’s third novel is one impressive story, part sports novel….part dystopian….part sex diary….part thriller. Jay’s biggest strength in his writing is his characters, they are always well developed and easy to love, the two stand-out characters here at Jo and the mighty mighty “Stumpy Sue”. Jo is our narrator, MVP of the game “Chicker”, assassin and connoisseur of women…and their knickers. Stumpy Sue was bloody brilliant, 11 year old girl with one hell of an attitude, I am certain she will one day grow up to have a dragon tattoo.

I’m not gonna say too much about the plot as it will give too much away, you’ll have to read the blurb to find out more. Jay’s humour is there throughout the whole book and also included are glimpses of his paranoia.

One thing I think is missing from the book is the rules of the game Chicker…How am I going to start my Chicker training without knowing the rules?

All in all another brilliant read.

4_stars

You can get the book from HERE>

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Book Reviews

Rubberman’s Cage by Joseph Picard

ubberCage

What da cover says:  Lenth grew up in a lie. Apparently there’s more than five people in the world. Four Brothers live their lives in an enclosed habitat as directed by the silent Rubberman above them. When they disobey, they get shocked. This is normal. It always has been. but when a Brother dies, they learn of death. When he is replaced by someone new, they learn they are replaceable. When the ceiling above the ceiling cracks open, Lenth plans a journey beyond the known universe: A third floor. Up.

What I says:  This was one awesome adventure, first time I had heard of this author, I was initially attracted to the title, “Rubberman’s Cage” sounds a bit kinky, right up my street….Unfortunately that isn’t the case, instead you get a very good dystopian novel, I got as much enjoyment out of it as I did out of 1984 and Brave New World.

It is going to be tough to review this book without giving anything away but here goes.

Lenth lives with his 3 brothers and above their cage lives the Rubberman, he controls their lives, tells them when to sleep, wake, shower, eat, exercise and work. That is his life and that’s all he knows. Until one day he sees somebody in the roof above the Rubberman’s room and everything changes.

It did take me a while to figure out what type story this was going to be. I thought it was going to be funny as on the first page you get instructions on the language (honour has U in it and z is pronounced Zed and not Zee) there are moments to make you chuckle but for most of the time it is quite moving as Lenth starts to learn and evolve.  Lenth’s learning is a major part of the story, it is very cleverly written, how he gradually begins to pick up new words and starts to develop his own independence really makes you love the character and you can’t help but cheer him on.

The great news there is going to be a second book, I will def be getting a copy to read… and I will also be watching the movie\TV series as there has got to be one.  I highly recommend this book, give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

5_stars

You can get the book HERE>

Check out the aurthor’s site HERE>

 

Book Reviews

The Lightning Stenography Device by M.F. Sullivan

LSD

What da cover says:  The first marketable thought to text device is released for public consumption in 2031. That same year, author Cassius Wagner will have a seizure. At least, that is what the novel says: the novel to which he awakens in fragments one morning after a late night of writing. This novel. Terrified to have a prophetic manuscript unfurling at his heels, his desperation to evade his fate prevents him from considering that his lover and editrix, Katherine Beauvoir, might be wrestling with a destiny of her own. Told in four psychedelic parts which peak with the fable of a sublingual Huntress as she fights to save her King, THE LIGHTNING STENOGRAPHY DEVICE blurs the speculative fiction and fantasy genres to explore the fabric of literature, and the boundaries of reality.

What I says:  Wow, what an epic book. Before you start this book I highly recommend reading MF Sullivan’s first novel “Delilah My Woman”, that book is linked to this one in little ways and having that knowledge of the first book makes those links more effective. There are four parts to this novel and each one manages to stand well on it’s own. Part 1 is about the creation of the device and discovering what it can do. The device is called the Lightning Stenography Device (Or LSD for short), it’s a headband you wear and it transforms your thoughts into text, a new form of writing. It is found that the device will write whilst you are sleeping…and that is where parts 2 and 3 kick in.
Part 2 follows Cassius, a renowned writer and his denial of the device and eventual acceptance. Part 3 follows Kitty, also a writer, who has already accepted the device but now is denying what it can do. There is much discussion of God, consciousness and whether anything is real or just God’s imagination. It is incredibly intriguing and whilst reading this I am working my way through The Brothers Karamazov at work, similar thoughts on God and I’ve gotta admit that this beats Karamazov hands down.
Then as we reach part 4, for this reader at least the LSD really starts to kick in. Kings and Queens and Witches and talking Animals and all kinds of madness. It took me a while to figure out what is going on, it is one of those things open to interpretation, each reader is going to come up with their own opinion of what is going on and that is the genius of this book. I don’t know if I’m correct but part 4 was very similar to Dante’s Inferno, travelling through the afterlife to get to paradise.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, even though at times it felt above my head, still taking things slow helped me keep up. If I were to be picky I do have one problem with the book, the jump between parts 3 and 4 is not smooth, it does feel like you are starting a brand-new story, a better link up would have helped this reader.
Top writing from a very talented author.

5_stars

Big Thanks to the author for sending me a signed copy, very very awesome of her.

You can find the book here>

Check out the author on TWITTER>

Book Reviews

The Miracle Adjuster by Simon Campbell

miracle adjusterWhat da cover says:  The thing about the truth is; it doesn’t get out much…

Colin Jekyll is an ‘Events Manager’. And a liar. Colin’s real name is Frank Canon, and his real job title is ‘Reality Enforcer’. And the lies don’t stop there; they only get bigger.

Canon works for the Agency, protecting the status quo. A multilingual lone wolf with an unreliable history and a fear of flying, Canon covers up continuity errors; those inexplicable events most other people call ‘miracles’. He adjusts outbreaks of clairvoyance and drunken weather, weeping statues and spontaneous dancing plagues before they become common knowledge, and before people begin to panic, because people’s faith in consensus reality needs to be enforced.

Fortunately for Frank and the Agency, most people are naturally suspicious of the truth.

What I says: This book has to be the funniest thing I read in 2016, it’s incredibly zany, it does remind me of Dirk Gently’s series, in fact if Douglas Adams was still around I reckon this book would get his backing. The story is complex, I’ll admit I didn’t get all of it, to fully understand every plot twist and plot hole then it is going to take a few more readings. One thing I always find funny is repetition, if a joke keeps getting mentioned again and again then I’ll laugh louder each time, this book does that a lot. As I said the plot is complex but if you pay attention you’ll be able to keep up, there are some well developed characters too, Rashid the lovable Terrorist was my favourite, his introduction into the story was the highlight for me. A lot of work and research has been put into coming up with theories that are believable and my favourite was the explanation of why you’re not allowed to smile in your passport photo, it makes so much sense to me now. A sign of a good book is if I have to tell people bits and pieces from it and with the angry looks my wife was giving me I must have been doing this a lot.

Coincidentally, whilst reading this book a lot of unexplainable things were spotted by myself in the news; “Donald Trump elected President” “Sunderland AFC won two premiership games in a row” “A woman has been banned from all UK cinemas for taking a dump in the pick n mix” and “A woman in Wigan gives birth to a chimp” It’s certainly a crazy world, so maybe this amazing book could just possibly be true!

5_stars

You can get the book from HERE>

And follow Simon on TWITTER>

Book Reviews

Buying Illegal Bugs with Bitcoin by George Billions

Bugs

What da cover says:  You can buy anything on the Internet these days. Books, electronics, and Chinese takeout are just a few clicks away. If you’re after something more illicit, all you need is a special browser and some bitcoin to spend. Every drug you might want is readily available on the darknet markets. You can also hire a hitman, get a fake ID made, or have an illegal bug delivered to your door.

Ben Samsa is a small-time weed dealer and amateur entomologist. He can’t resist buying a mysterious bug he finds on one of the black market sites where he gets his inventory. The splurge leaves him with only enough bitcoin to purchase lower quality marijuana than he normally sells. Unfortunately, Ben doesn’t realize one of his customers has been flipping his product to a murderous, one-eyed Nazi. He’s soon sucked into a hellish nightmare of dread, drugs and death.

Meanwhile, the bug is growing. Nothing will ever be the same when Ben learns the true, hideous name of the insect.

What I says:  Another fine story by Mr Billions, I can’t find any fault with this book, it has humour, drama, violence and lots of creepy crawlies.  I can say that this is a well researched book, because it seems that Mr Billions has a natural love for bugs,  check out his blog HERE> where he is opening a box of new bugs, watch the video to see just how much he enjoys them.

The plot is of the type where a series of events happens and things start to get crazier and crazier, you can’t help but get swept along with the story.  A great collection of characters help with the story, not sure I’m too happy about what happens to Jason though 🙂

Give this book a go, if you find the video on his blog good then you’ll love this one.

5_stars

Book Reviews

Between the Sunset and the Sea: A View of 16 British Mountains by Simon Ingram

btsatsWhat da cover says:  In the late 18th century, mountains shifted from being universally reviled to becoming the most inspiring things on earth. Simply put, the monsters became muses – and an entire artistic movement was born. This movement became a love affair, the love affair became an obsession, and gradually but surely, obsession became lifestyle as mountains became stitched into the fabric of the British cultural tapestry.

In his compelling new book, Simon Ingram explores how mountains became such a preoccupation for the modern western imagination, weaving his own adventures into a powerful narrative which provides a kind of experiential hit list for people who don’t have the time nor the will to climb a thousand mountains.

For some of these mountains, the most amazing thing about them might be the journey they’ve taken to get here. Others, the tales of science, endeavour and art that have played out on their slopes. The mythology they’re drenched in. The history they’ve seen. The genius they’ve inspired. The danger that draws people to them. The life that clusters around them, human and otherwise. The extreme weather they conjure. The adventure they fuel. The way that some raise the hairs on the back of your neck, and trigger powerful, strange emotions. And moreover, what they’re like to be amidst, under, on – just what that indefinable quality is that the British mountains wield which takes possession of you so powerfully, and never goes away.

Ingram takes us high into the rafters of Britain’s most forbidding, unflinching and unchanging wild places through all the seasons of the year – from the first blush of spring to the deepest, darkest bite of the mountain winter. From Beinn Dearg to Ben Nevis, he takes us on a journey spanning sixteen of Britain’s most evocative mountainous landscapes, and what they mean to us today.

What I says:  If you have any interest in hill walking, rock climbing or mountaineering then this is an important book for you to read.  Whether it helps you to prepare for your first walk or motivate you to take on a bigger challenge, this book will give you a better appreciation for a mountain and what has been done to make them available to us.  The book is jam packed full of history, geology, etymology, science, fun facts and personal experience.

Simon Ingram can only be described as a nutter, anybody willing to climb Ben Nevis in winter has to be pretty mad.  Simon has always walked with a partner in the past and for the start of this book he is walking on his own, his confidence is low to begin with but as he conquers more and more of the mountains you start to see the master appear.  As his confidence grows the writing style changes, the tangents he goes off on become longer and longer.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I’m sure the book would be quite dull if it was just talking about hill after hill. The tangents I mentioned before cover quite a range, the history of the hills, who reached the top first and who didn’t, things that have made their way to the top were all interesting.  One thing I knew nothing about was the right to walk, all those footpaths around the country we all take for granted had to be fought for which included prison sentences for some.  From now on I’ll be more aware when using these paths.  Also covered was the naming convention, mapping, weather, nature, sport and art.

This book has motivated me into getting off my arse and getting back into hill walking.  The last big walk I did was about 5 years ago with my 8yr old daughter, I was quite surprised that the second mountain featured in this book was in-fact the mountain we climbed, The Black Mountain.  A nice remote location with very few walkers and some of the maddest weather I’ve ever been in.  Horizontal hailstones, thick fog and gales fast enough to keep knocking me off my feet. Picture below is of my daughter at the top managing to stand against the wind.

blackmountain

Loved this book, it has a real epic feel to it, could have done with some more photos though as I spent ages on google.

4_stars

You can get the book from HERE> you can also catch Simon on TWITTER>

 

 

Book Reviews

Delilah, My Woman by M.F. Sullivan

delilah

What da cover says:  A work which beckons the reader into complicity with his own inner demons, DELILAH, MY WOMAN, M. F. Sullivan’s debut novel, tells the story of Richard Vasko, a troubled artist whose pursuit of fulfillment unravels down a depraved and bloody path. Obsessed by two women–the mysterious Susan Sinclair, and the effervescent Delilah Delacroix–as well as the morphing vision of his masterpiece, Richard must struggle to reconcile his quest for perfection with the reality of impermanence. A tragic exploration of the relationship between art, the artist, and its audience, DELILAH, MY WOMAN is sure to leave a lasting impression in those who dare to intimately know the mind of a serial killer, and delight those craving an altogether different sort of love story.

What I says: I’ve been completely blown away by this book, like the subject matter in this book it is a work of art. The author has put their all into this and as usual when reading an Indie book I have no idea why this hasn’t won loads of awards when the actual winners are not deserving of the accolades they get.

This is one of the darkest, most messed-up things I’ve had the pleasure to read, at one point there was a plot twist that left me with my mouth open, I was nowhere near expecting what happened to actually happen, it’s not often that a writer can get one over on me but it has happened a couple of times here.

The writing style flows well, you’re lead from one scene to the next seamlessly. The characters develop well and are complex, a large amount of the story is psychology and that really helps you understand the characters.

This book is why I read so many Indie books.

5_stars

You can get the book from HERE> You can find the author on Twitter.