Monday, September 22, 2014

House of Horrors by Carole Gill

House of Horrors
Carole Gill
Creativa 2014

Quote: Father Satan, give me forth the woman, Anna
If you are looking for a book that you can read a few pages here and few pages there (especially on short commutes) this is not the book for you. Gill has put together a book with enough horror to fill you quota for the year. In these pages you will find vampires, werewolves, DaVinci, a touch of SF, zombies, and more.  

If you are a fan of Gill's Blackstone Vampire Series, you will love the prequel (although it is far too short and should be expanded into a novella, at least) and there is the return of Eco.

All the short stories in this collection are fresh and enjoyable. Some more than others and many have unexpected endings, for example Beacon. You'll love it and it opens the anthology.  

As a reviewer I was thinking of reviewing each story and judging each on its own merit, but this collection is too large with too much to enjoy. If I were to pick my favourite story, it would be: First. This tale kicks the rear of all the other tales in my opinion.

As with opinion, each has their own and with all these tantalising tales to devour, I'm sure you'll find several you'll like and a few you'll love.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Amped by Daniel H. Wilson

Finished AMPED by Daniel H. Wilson.

It was okay, but I kind of expected more due to critics praises. It was a good story of us verses them and it was a well written book and easy to read. One downer was the lack of empathy I had for the main characters. The bad guys were well done and all characters were well formed but something was missing. There was no spark between the love interest and the only REAL character was Nick, a kid with a Rubik cube.

Still, all in all, it was a fun and quick read and a glimpse into a possible future as technology advances.

What are Amps? People with an illness can get a computer chip attached to their frontal lobe and it cures almost everything. Naturally the military went overboard and created 12 super amps with five levels of tactics, speed, recovery, everything to be a perfect weapon.

Owen Grey was in an accident in high school which left his brain severely damaged. His father, an implant doctor, gets his hands on the only thing that can save his son's life -- a 13th military amp, called a Zenith. Whereas the other 12 Zeniths have 5 levels of skills, Owen's father added something special.

Now it's his time to prove himself as the world is turned on its head and people with implants (any implant) are legally discriminated against and forced into small groups to protect themselves as jobs, money and housing is stripped from them.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Tripwire by Lee Child

Originally published in 1999 and reprinted 2010 and 2011

This is the first Lee Child book I have read and I found it interesting and most parts were exciting. The only thing I didn't like was the amount of filler--I'm not talking about back story or important parts needed to tell the story but things like what Jack is eating, drinking and how able bodied man get dressed. Half a page of print for a character who plays a bit part in the entire book, I feel is not important.

The story however is good. Very good. A lot of planning had to go into this for the parts of the puzzle to finally fit together. And what a puzzle it is. I can't really say much about the guts of the story without giving it away and my reviews contain no spoilers.

It's about an elderly couple keeping hope that their son (MIA in Vietnam) may still be alive and if he isn't why won't the government and army admit he is dead and put his name on the wall? The couple hire a private investigator to creep into the jungle and find him. Three months later they get a photo of their son as a POW. For the investigator to get him out it was going to cost another 40 thousand dollars. Money they don't have.

Both are elderly and under medical care. Every week they go to a medical facility for check ups or whatever and they meet a retired MP (military police) and show him the photos and what-not. He investigates and some bad people are alerted.  But he dies of natural causes before the bad guys can find out what he knows. But the MP has a daughter. Maybe he told her what he had uncovered.

This sets into place a story filled with twists and turns and a lot of travelling for Jack and Jodie.

The writing is good and clipped (except for filler). Overall, this is a good book and Lee Child is a writer with MANY titles out there already and the Reacher books are good mystery thrillers, if Tripwire is anything to go by.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nightshade by Stephen Leather

Stephen Leather writes: The fourth Jack Nightingale supernatural detective series was always going to be difficult to write, as it was always intended to be a trilogy! And anyone who has read the first three will understand that while the third book tied up all the loose ends, it did make moving forward very difficult. Anyway, I gave it my best shot and I do think it’s a terrific story, mixing the supernatural with the real world in two cases that keep Nightingale on his toes. I do think Nightingale would make a great TV series and have asked my agent to push it hard over the next few months. Off all the characters I’ve created I think Nightingale is best-suited for the silver screen. Fingers crossed! -- from his website

I hope this doesn't mean there will be an end to the Nightingale books. There are always mysteries around the corner. However in Nightshade, there is little in the way of demons and hell but the story is still a great thriller that I finished in a week.

A farmer, nice guy in every way, walks into a school and shoots a bunch of kids, but it is not random shooting, he was picking certain students and knew which classrooms they would be in. When the brother asks Jack Nightingale to investigate the reason behind the shooting, Jack runs headlong into a sordid affair that stretches far and wide. Meanwhile a girl dies at the hands of a rapist and wakes up with words from Jesus to all who would listen.

This is a typical well written Stephen Leather novel and as he says above this series would make a nice movie, still I wanna read his Nightingale books. Nightshade is a great thriller and it doesn't tie up all the loose ends, there's still Mrs Steadman and Proserpine's warning about her.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Off World by Robin Parrish

This an awesome read with four astronauts returning from a trip to Mars where strange things happened to the commander lost in a sandstorm. On the trip to Earth they lose communications withHoustion and the International Space Station. Things go from bad to worse once they arrive home to a planet devoid of people--or so they think.

 Off world (although containing two major plot holes and one paragraph of omnipresent text) is a well decent read. Everything is there for an action packed adventure.Off world (although containing two major plot holes and one paragraph of omnipresent text) is a well decent read. Everything is there for an action packed adventure.

Don't let the fact that is writer is a Christian writer, nowhere will you find references to God or whatever stewn in the pages as with other Christian Writers.

Damn fine book. I will be reading more from this writer.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Door into Summer by Robert Heinlein

This is my first Heinlein book, and by god is it a cracker! I couldn't stop reading and I was keen to see what 1970 thought 2000 would be. Shame we are not there yet. The story is about Dan Davis a genius and inventor who has, along with his friend, form a small company to sell his inventions all based on making life easier for the housewife (at first) then for engineers, draftsmen and more.

Climbing to success, they hire a secretary but she has plans of her own and when Dan creates a robot (Friendly Frank, I think) she plots her devious plan.

Believing he has lost everything and no longer interested in the business (as he was fired--shares were unevenly stacked), he signs up for cryogenics, only in the book it is called Cold Sleep and Long Sleep.

Waking up in the future he is impressed with the new world, and in love with some of the designs and advances of engineering. This book is heavy on engineering.

Heinlein got a lot about the future wrong but who can blame him, no one can see the future and I remember in the late 80's thinking the future was going to be amazing (like Back to the Future) and I was looking forward to it until science turned from exploration to items to make life easier in the 90's.

This book is un-put-down-able. The writing is crisp, clear and the twists and time paradoxes are awesome. If you haven't read it yet, do so now.

4 stars


Project Mimic - (A Sci-Fi Action Thriller Novel) by John Black

I received this copy for a review.

The story line is very interesting, the sort of tale I love. Cryo-soldiers, near future, action packed. And action packed it is, almost from the get-go. But in saying that, I almost put the story down a few times but I promised a review so I kept at it. The main problem is the writing is bland, I felt nothing for any of the scenes or the characters. Every character seemed to lack emotion. The cryo-soldiers are different, they can't remember much, so we get to learn about them as they learn about themselves.

There were some scenes that took me out of the story, i.e. Broc denting a tank with his fists...Johnny Kyoto spreading his arms wide and the holo-girls. Plus they all seem to know how to use their new discovered powers instantly. However, this can be countered by the nanocells injected into them seconds spoilers.

There are a lot of twists in this book and that will keep you reading.

3 stars