Review: The Story of Lucius Cane: Book One

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The Story of Lucius Cane: Book One by Vanya Ferreira 

London, 1794. Lucius Cane, a peculiar sort of vampire, comes upon an opponent the likes of which he has never seen before – a brute with remarkable abilities. But not all is as it seems as their encounter unfolds in a manner that neither of them expected.

Purchase Link: www.amazon.com

The Story of Lucius Cane: Book One on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 3 stars

Lucius Cane is a vampire living in late 1700s London. Book One introduces the reader to the title character as well as antagonist Jack ‘The Hound’ who is trying to kill him.

This is a short, but enjoyable read. Lucius is an intriguing character with a certain amount of empathy for humans. I do prefer vampire novels where the supernatural beings are given a more human side, but still connected to their vampire natures too and this certainly is the case here. Lucius’s vampire side comes across as an inner voice inside of him, which he tries to dismiss, most of the time successfully.

There is a good use of description within the novel and the fast pacing swiftly concludes with the inevitable showdown. This ends on a cliff-hanger and I’m looking forward to reading what happens next!

Review: You Have Been Murdered and Other Stories

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You Have Been Murdered and Other Stories by Andrew Kozma

You Have Been Murdered and Other Stories is a collection of weird, speculative fiction containing four stories dealing with the end of the world, both in terms of the death of the individual soul and the running down of the universe as a whole.

The title story presents a woman who’s been murdered and still has a dinner party to prepare for. In “Teller of Tales,” a young girl must take on the responsibility of being the necessary conscience of her city. “Breach of Contract” describes the plight of an oil man who just wants to insure production quotas, but is roped into saving the world. Lastly, “The Trouble-Men” details what happens when a man trying to survive the end of the world meets up with those who are ending it.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

You Have Been Murdered and Other Stories on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 3 stars

You Have Been Murdered and Other Stories is a collection of four short and strange stories.

The first ‘You have been murdered’ is my favourite of the tales. It tells the story of a woman who has been murdered and tries to cover up this fact and her denial by still continuing to prepare for a dinner party that she had planned before her death. The author conveys her feelings regarding her death and her anxiety very well and you get a real sense of the pain and confusion that she is going through.

I enjoyed reading the other stories in the collection too, told through the eyes of a variety of different protagonists.

The collection is well-written and the author knows how to build plenty of atmosphere. The twists are surprising and unexpected. A great short read for fans of speculative fiction.

Review: Beyond the Storm by Adam Jones

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Beyond the Storm by Adam Jones

Man tries to remember his past while Jude tries to forget hers.

Years after the nuclear holocaust decimated Britain, Man wakes up, naked and alone but for the murdered corpses whch surround him. Struggling with amnesia, Man travels the wastes trying to piece together his past.

Across the crumbling remains of the city, Jude flees a depraved fiend, running for her life. Beyond the Storm is a journey of horror and suspense which paints a broken future world and the events that made it that way.

Beyond the Storm is the brutal and disturbing new novel from cult bestselling author, Adam Jones.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Beyond the Storm on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 3 stars

Beyond the Storm is a post-apocalyptic thriller set in Bristol, England. It follows the stories of Jude and Man, at first on separate paths and then when they come together. Jude is on the run from a monster who abused her terribly, and Man is suffering from amnesia and has no idea who he is or how the nuclear war almost destroyed the planet.

Whilst I did enjoy reading Beyond the Storm, I did find the description generally in excess and my attention was prone to wander, especially in the first half of the novel, and I felt that perhaps less would have been more in places. However, the second half of the story was more captivating and, eager to find out just who Man was and the fate of the rest of the cast, I found it difficult to put down. The truth about Man I never saw coming and there were plenty of twists that did not fail to disappoint. Beyond the Storm is dark, gritty and certainly not for the faint-hearted!

Review: Mercy’s Prisoner (Life Prison Volume 1)

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Mercy’s Prisoner (Life Prison Volume 1) by Dusk Peterson

“‘You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'”

A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men’s worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies.

A runner-up in the Rainbow Awards 2014, the book bundle “Mercy’s Prisoner” can be read on its own or as the first volume in the Life Prison series. Friendship, desire between men, and the costs of corruption and integrity are examined in this multicultural speculative fiction series, which is inspired by prison life at the end of the nineteenth century.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Mercy’s Prisoner on Goodreads


*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 3 Stars

Mercy’s Prisoner (Life Prison Volume 1) is set inside a 1800s prison called Mercy. It is a life prison and those who are sent there have committed the worst crimes imaginable. They will die in prison; escape is impossible and they will never be freed.

Mercy’s Prisoner is a dark read. The prisoners have committed horrific crimes (such as child murder) and due to this the guards feel it gives them the right to treat them appallingly (they beat and rape them on a regular basis).  This raises some interesting questions in terms of morals; yes the prisoners have done truly terrible things, but does this give their guards the right to treat them terribly in turn?

It’s clear that the author has done their research and has cleverly woven this into an atmospheric and gritty read.

The novel consists of several interlinking stories. The first of which I really enjoyed, but after that I found myself getting lost. By the end I was struggling to understand how the stories all fitted together. However, this is Volume 1 so the ambiguous ending is most likely intentional and will be further explained in later novels.

Overall I did enjoy reading Mercy’s Prisoner. It’s a dark novel with plenty of atmosphere and I would very much like to read later volumes in the series.

Review: Five Suns of Treason

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Five Suns of Treason (Five Suns Saga #1) by Jim Heskett

Kellen’s tired of politics and the back-stabbing that accompanies it. As a senior staffer to a US senator, he’s privy to all kinds of information, like details about the meteor hurtling though space on a collision course with earth. He also knows what the public has been told isn’t the whole truth, and now he’ll have to decide if exposing the lie is worth trading his life.

Part dystopian epic, part espionage thriller, Five Suns of Treason features six interconnected short stories before, during, and after the downfall of society, with each one unlocking another piece of the mystery of how the world collapsed.

Purchase Link: www.amazon.com

Five Suns of Treason on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 3 Stars

Five Suns of Treason depicts the collapse of society through six short stories which comprise the entire novel. It is an original and clever idea that gradually pieces the mystery together as each story is told. However, for me I felt that all the stories needed to be longer. As they stood they were too short and I just found myself stumbling in various places as I was distracted from following the main storyline with the continuous shift in characters, events and locations. As a result for me as a reader I wasn’t able to make a connection with any of the characters. This was disappointing as I really enjoyed the author’s style of writing. There was a good balance of description and dialogue so you could really get a sense of the fear and chaos of the collapsing world.

Many readers of dystopian fiction will really enjoy the snapshot of viewpoints and the mystery of how society has fallen (not to mention the twist at the end!) but personally I would have preferred each story to have been longer so I could have really gained a sense of who all these characters were and formed more of an attachment to them.

Review: Project Ark

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Project Ark by L.T Gibbons

Fourteen year old Mia McAdams’ world is turned upside down when she finds herself torn from her life on Earth and transplanted onto the planet Usonia – a secret utopic world colonised after the second world war to safeguard the human race.

Submerged into this new reality, Mia quickly falls in love with the glittering planet and its alluring, other-worldly inhabitants. But when the future of Usonia comes under threat, it soon becomes clear that Mia holds the key to its survival.

Purchase Link: www.amazon.com

Project Ark on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 3 Stars

Project Ark tells the story of Mia McAdams who is uprooted from her life on Earth to live on the secretly colonised planet Usonia. The novel shows how Mia adjusts to her new life and the very different way of living on the utopian-like planet.

I really liked the concept of Usonia, the whole new society and way of life, which is greatly different to that on Earth. There were amazing and very creative technological advancements. Project Ark high-lights environmental issues, and I like how it addresses them and also heightens the awareness of climate changes that we face today.

However, for me the pacing and the characterisation of Mia was disappointing. I felt as though it needed more chapters to expand on some areas. I would have liked to see more of Mia’s life before leaving for Usonia and also seen more of an interaction between her, her parents and best friend as I felt that her back-story and relationships were somewhat side-lined. The conflict later in the novel was brought to a rather rapid conclusion and I would have preferred this to play out for a bit longer.

I liked Mia’s character, but found myself wishing for a bit more depth to her. At times her swift adjustment to life on Usonia was frustrating. It felt as though she was now looking down on people from Earth and had forgotten that it wasn’t too long ago that she use to live there and be one of them. Perhaps Mia could have been used to bridge the gap that I felt existed between Usonia and Earth as there is lots that the two planets’ societies could have learned from each other.

Overall I did enjoy reading Project Ark. L .T Gibbons is very talented and has a great imagination. In my opinion it could have been longer and expanded on in some areas but this doesn’t detract from it being a good read.

Review: Death Defiant

death_defiantDeath Defiant by Paige Reiring

When humans began hunting them thousands of years ago, demons locked themselves away in their own dimension, leaving their half-demon spawn to wander the earth. Abandoned, alone, and outcast from all societies, half-demons formed their own small cities or learned to live, mutilated and hidden, from the humans who wanted them dead.

After saving a stranger in a busy New York street, Cherifa reveals to the world her two biggest secrets: she’s a half-demon, and she can’t die. With humans, demons, and everything in-between wanting to harness her power, Cheri must go on the run with the eccentric person she saved. But her death has sparked waves of revolution in the half-demon community, and if she wants to stop an interdimensional war, she’ll have to go through Hell to do it.

Purchase Links: www.amazon.com

Death Defiant on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 3 Stars

I had mixed feelings about this novel as I reached its end. Some things I enjoyed and others I was not so keen on.

The concept and characters I really liked. The author has clearly taken time to develop her ideas and characters. Cherifa, the protagonist, is a half-demon who cannot die. By saving the life of a stranger Cherifa places herself in the middle of a war where all sides wish to use her to their advantage. Not knowing who to trust Cherifa must make decisions that not only affect her but possibly the outcome of the war.

The characterisation is excellent and as the novel progresses you see Cherifa and the supporting cast growing and developing further. I really enjoyed the beginning of the relationship between Cherifa and Belkor. It happened so naturally and wasn’t rushed at all so you can really appreciate the little moments between them and recognise them for what they are even before they do!

However, I did feel that perhaps there could have been some further description of the dimensions in some places as I was left trying to fill in a few more blanks than I would have liked too. I also did feel that the pace was hurried and that a little more time could have been taken to develop the story-line in places.

Overall Death Defiant is a good fantasy read with an engaging plot and interesting characters, but there are some things that I felt could made it even more enjoyable for me. This is probably more for readers who prefer a faster pace, but I would definitely like to read more of Cherifa’s story in the future.