#BlogTour : We Other by Sue Bentley @suebentleywords : @rararesources #BookReview #WeOther

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I am delighted to be sharing “We Other” by Sue Bentley today as part of the blog tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. Huge thanks to both Rachel and Sue for my spot and also my e copy of the book. Purchase from  – Amazon UK – Amazon.Com it is available in paperback and eBook format.

Synopsis:

Family secrets, changelings, and fairies you never want to meet on a dark night.

Jess Morgan’s life has always been chaotic.

When a startling new reality cannot be denied, it’s clear that everything she believed about herself is a lie. She is linked to a world where humans – ‘hot-bloods’ – are disposable entertainment. Life on a run-down estate – her single mum’s alcoholism and violent boyfriend – become the least of Jess’s worries.

My Thoughts:

Jess Morgan’s life has never been “normal” as she has had her alcoholic mum Alice, to look after. Jess has always felt different to everyone else of her age and never really fitted in, with her scruffy charity shop clothing and her scavenging food bins doesn’t help. But things are changing for her and for all she knows, or thinks she knows.

This is a fantasy nook aimed at YA readers that I really did loose myself in. A story that tells of Jess and her life growing up is twisted seamlessly into a story with faeries. I love the way  that the author has not gone down the twee “Tinkerbell” faerie route but instead has a darker and sinister one. I am saying nothing much about the plot as I don’t want to give spoilers away, but I will mention that it has some great twists as the story is told.

The story really worked its magic on me as the author built up a vivid image of the main characters and also the faerie world. There is not a huge cast in this story to loose yourself with, instead a good amount that are gradually introduced. This for me is something that kept the flow of the story. All to often too many characters are involved and it can all get a bit confusing, but this has just the right balance. They all have their own personalities and some have some interesting traits.

The descriptive passages really worked well and I was able to envisage the scenes and characters described to me. An important factor in any fantasy book is the ability is to show the reader the world as it is imagined b y the writer.

I absolutely adored this book, it was like a dark faerie tale with a modern twist and mix, blending fantasy with social factors and creating a brilliant and absorbing story. This is a book that I would highly recommend to not only YA fantasy readers but also to those who like fantasy and paranormal mystery. A great way to escape for a few hours.

About the Author:

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Author Bio –  Sue Bentley discovered a love of books at an early age. She worked for Northamptonshire Libraries for many years, while teaching herself the craft of writing. She is the author of the worldwide bestselling Magic Kitten, Magic Puppy, Magic Ponies, Magic Bunny series for age 5-9 years. She also writes for children and adults under various pen names. A lover of English Folklore, her books often contain elements of the otherworld and the darkness within the everyday. Her books have been translated into around 20 languages. We Other is her first book for Young Adults.

Social Media Links –  Twitter – Facebook – Instagram – Website – Goodreads

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

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#BookReview : Night of the Taking by Scott Kaelen @ScottKaelen

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I am sharing Night of the Taking by Scott Kaelen today. This is a short introduction to his series The Fractured Tapestry. You can get a copy from Amazon UK along with many of his other books.

Synopsis:

The Volami opened the walls of their shining city of Midhallow and invited the surrounding tribesfolk to venture within. Decades later, the two races dwell together inside the city, not quite as equals, and watched over by the ever-present Retainers. A treaty, offered by the tribes to the Volami, was to seal their tenuous union during a long-held ritual. But it was a ruse. The celebrations became the bloodiest treachery the Volami would ever know, and set in motion events that would echo down the ages.

Night of the Taking is a short entry tale into the world of Verragos and the Fractured Tapestry series, and also serves as an introduction to characters which are destined to return later in the series.

My Thoughts:

This is a short, 28 pages, introduction into what I feel will be an exciting, maybe even an epic fantasy series.  It has the right vibes for me, I am always a little nervous when I read a really thrilling intro to a series like this.

Midhallow is a city where the Volami have opened and welcomed outlying tribes into.  They live side by side until a night of betrayal and bloodshed.

With a short and sweet novella like this it is difficult to write a full review, but I will share what I experienced without going into the story details.  What you get in this 28 pages is a real sense of emotion following an unexpected betrayal, it displays emotion, a sense of shock and disbelief and also anger that will lead on into future books.

There is a wonderful amount of detail and I was quite surprised at how quickly I got caught up in the story.  My only regret is that I finished it and would have quite happily read for many hours more if this is any indication of what is to continue.

So if you are looking for a new fantasy series then give Night of the Taking a look, it’s dark, descriptive, atmospheric and has all the hallmarks of being the start of a wonderful journey.  I have just bought the next book in the series and look forward to reading it  soon.   I definitely recommend this book.

About the Author:

A10I64KPHSL._SY200_  Scott Kaelen writes in the genres of epic fantasy, science fiction, horror, humour, spec-fic, contemporary fiction, poetry and non-fiction. His short stories include the dystopian urban sci-fi Moses Garrett and the apocalyptic horror The Lingering Remains. His current projects include a novel entitled The Blighted City – the first major release in the epic fantasy Verragos Tapestry series – and his second collection of poetry. As well as the pen, he is also modestly adept with the pencil; his work includes character concepts and sketches of famous personalities. His interests are all things sci-fi, fantasy and horror, as well as etymology, psychology, deep Earth history, palaeontology, geology, cosmology and computer RPGs. He’s also an ex-flosculator.

You can follow Scott on Twitter  Website

Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be great.  Better still go and get a copy of this book HERE 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : The Prole Soldier by Oliver Tidy @olivertidy @CarolineBookBit #BookReview

The Prole Soldier - Oliver Tidy - Book Cover.jpgI am delighted to finally get my chance to share my thoughts with you on this, the last day of the #BlogTour for “The Prole Soldier” by Oliver Tidy.  My thanks to Oliver for my eARC and also to Caroline for my spot on the tour.  This book is available to purchase in eBook format and can be purchased HERE.

Synopsis:

In Rainbow City your colour counts.

Theo lives and works in the Blue Zone of Rainbow City. He is almost sixteen at which age he will begin four years conscription – military or mines. He wants neither. He hates his life and despises the cruelty, injustice and inequality that prevails. When the opportunity arises for Theo to be involved in the fight for change he grabs it, knowing that failure will cost him everything.

My Thoughts:

The synopsis sums up this book perfectly, the injustice, inequality, cruelty and lack of hope in this brillaint dystopian story.  The first in the Rainbow City series, and what a start it is.  Theo is nearly 16 years old and is due to start a new chapter in his life, that is the rule, that is what must happen.  The only other choice is death! Not a choice as such, but it is a way out some may think about or even choose.

Oliver has written many books, I have some on my TBR and have read only one as part of the Blog Tour last year for “The Fallen Agent” and I thoroughly enjoyed it (this is where i hang my head in shame for not reading more).  The Prole Soldier is a journey into a dystopian world, one where sectors are zones, each zone is a different colour.  The colour of the zone denotes your role in society.  If you think of the zones in “The Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins, then you will get a good idea of how this works.  There are many believable aspects to this book and I found similarities to The Handmaidens Tale and also 1984, but the author has brought a new, more up to date and modern feel.  I loved the world through the eyes of Theo who wants more from his life.  He does not want to do what is expected of him, or what Rainbow City dictates. He is a character with hope for something better and has the opportunity to help instigate change.

The story depicts a very real feel to the city and the zones.  The way of life for Theo and those  in the Blue Zone is harsh, basic and very unforgiving.  Yes they have food, clothes, work, electric and the very basic things needed to sustain, but there is a catch.  If you don’t work you don’t eat.  If you are ill and cannot get to work, then you don’t eat. The focus on the social injustice is told in a very addictive way through the first half of the book, then as you carry on further you sense a real change.  I am not going into details but I will say that this change is dramatic, dangerous and potentially deadly.  It is a great twist and one that I really did not expect.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it has a great atmospheric darkness and depth that pulls you into a desperate and gritty story.  Where you live makes a difference in how you are treated, the difference between the “have’s” and the “have not’s”, even here the author has introduced an opinion from those that “have”, what you discover is that life is not all that rosy from their side of the fence either.

If you are a fan of 1984, The Hunger Games, The Handmaidens Tale (there are a couple of others, but I cannot give names here as it could potentially be a spoiler), then this is a book you really need to read.  It has a gritty well written plot with a cast of characters that compliment it in a very balanced and well opinionated way.  A book that I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND and also one I am excited and impatient to read more in the series.

About the Author:

Oliver Tidy Author Image.jpgCrime writing author Oliver Tidy has had a life-long love affair with books. He dreams of one day writing something that he could find in a beautifully-jacketed hard-cover or paperback copy on a shelf in a book shop. He’d even be happy with something taking up space in the remainder bin, on a pavement, in the rain, outside The Works.

He found the time and opportunity to finally indulge his writing ambition after moving abroad to teach English as a foreign language to young learners eight years ago.  Impatient for success and an income that would enable him to stay at home all day in his pyjamas he discovered self-publishing. He gave it go. By and large readers have been kind to him. Very kind. Kind enough that two years ago he was able to give up the day job and write full-time. Mostly in his pyjamas.

Oliver Tidy has fourteen books in three series, a couple of stand-alone novels and a couple of short story collections. All available through Amazon (clickable link to Am Author Page). Among his books are The Romney and Marsh Files (British police procedurals set in Dover) and the Booker & Cash novels, a series of private detective tales set in the south of England and published by Bloodhound Books. Oliver is back living on Romney Marsh in the UK. His home. He still wakes in the night from time to time shouting about seeing his books on a shelf in Waterstones.

For more on Oliver Tidy and his books, check out his website: Website

Or follow him on: Twitter ~  Facebook

Many thanks for reading my post.  A share or a like would be great.  Or go and get a copy of this book and see what you think 🙂 xx

#BookReview : The Truants by Lee Markham

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“The Truants” by Lee Markham is available in paperback, hardback and eBook, published by Duckworth OverLook.

Synopsis:

In a fresh twist on the traditional vampire narrative, The Truants is a startling, noirish tale of immortality, bloodlust and rage.

Following his lover’s suicide, the last of the ‘old-ones’– ancient immortal beings as clever as they are ruthless, and unable to withstand the light of the sun – has had enough of this world gone to ruin and decides to end his existence. Yet as he waits for the burning dawn on a bench near a council estate, he is held up at knifepoint by a youth and stabbed. While the old-one’s body turns to ash as the sun rises, his assailant scurries back into the estate’s feral underbelly with the knife in his pocket. The old-one’s blood is still seared into its sharpened blade, and as the knife does its menacing rounds his consciousness is awakened in the city’s children from the depths of the afterlife. Determined to die, he must find and destroy the knife to regain control of his soul. But someone is out to stop him…

A sharp and powerful new voice, Lee Markham has written an intelligent, visceral novel which uncovers the fragility and hopelessness of Britain’s social underclass – and the horror of their everyday lives.

My Thoughts:

The “Old One” is the last of an ancient immortal race, he is centuries old and is awaiting death with the rise of the sun.  Following in the footsteps of his lover, who has already taken this route.  But things go awry when he is stabbed, his blood carried like a plague ready to infect others in the inner city estates.  When his blood infects another, his consciousness is transferred across to it’s new host.

Now this is a hard to read at times book, there are mentions of cruelty to a dog and neglect of a child, be warned!  This story has a “hive” aspect to it, with a controlling leader over it’s workers, but it then delves a lot further than that.  As the consciousness awakens, it takes in the the way some people live their lives in a poverty, drink and drug ridden section of society.  The vampire aspect of this story is actually a “Trojan Horse” concealing a much darker, grim and depraved story.  It explores the filth, stench and grim ridden slums and the desperate people who inhabit them. Now this is bleak reading, but I found also quite addictive and compelling as there is a hint of hope.

The story is told from several perspectives, giving a “both sides of the fence” viewpoint, as well as giving first hand accounts of those living in the estates and the how they struggle to live.  This also has mentions of riots and I was reminded of the London Riots, and the child neglect, again putting me in mind of the case that was in the news headlines regarding Baby P a few years ago.

When I started this book I thought i was going to race through it, but that really was not the case, and it was not what I was expecting, I took my time over it.  I am annoyed that it has been sat on my shelf since I bought it back in May and it has taken me until now (December) to read it.

Now this is a little difficult to recommend to readers, I liked a hell of a lot, but I am also aware that there are things that will not sit right with some readers, and this I get.  Yes it has a horror / fantasy factor to it.  But also an Dark Urban Fiction ( if there is such a thing), but it is very dark, real, gritty and truthful about what happens in the world, just look at the news, (not the vampire bit though) !

About the Author:

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Lee Markham is author of the acclaimed novel The Truants, published by Duckworth Overlook. Inspired by the murders of Baby P, Jamie Bulger and Damilola Taylor, and by the London riots during the summer of 2011, The Truants is a visceral, intelligent, gripping novel which uncovers the fragility and hopelessness of Britain’s social underclass – and the horror of their everyday lives.

With a background in branding and marketing, Lee also writes copy and develops content and narrative architecture for agencies and businesses across all sectors. With an instinctive knowledge for what needs saying and – equally importantly – what can be left unsaid, he is happy to work either as a lone wolf, or to integrate into creative teams to build compelling stories that can be told across campaigns, media and platforms.

Lee is also founder and storyteller-in-chief of Chestnut Tree Tales. Chestnut Tree Tales is a captivating series of children’s stories that generates awareness and revenue for the children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House. The first Chestnut Tree Tale, The Rainbow Snowstorm, is available now, with the next tale, The Flappity Happening, coming soon.

More recently Lee has also started working with schools on a term-long programme that allows Lower School age children to develop and launch their own children’s storybooks. The first book in this project is called The Way Through Gildredge Wood and was created with the Lower School children of Gildredge House School in Eastbourne.

 

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Duckworth Overlook (20 April 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715651765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715651766
  • Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked give a share.  Better still go buy a copy of this book xx

#BookReview : The Risen by @TarnRichardson : @DuckBooks

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Before I review this book and then give an overview of this Trilogy, I would like to say i have loved these books immensely. I have been amazed and blown away by this incredible trilogy, is a huge story, well researched and executed.

MY REVIEW: 5*

The Risen is the final book in “The Darkest Hand” trilogy.  It is set in during The First World War, when war is ravaging Europe and its implications are felt across the world.  The Vatican is dealing with its own internal war, the implications of this will affect the populations across the world.  The Apocalypse is almost here.  Those loyal to the Church will have to draw heavily on their reserves and resources as they battle the hordes.  They will discover the truth behind a prophecy. That all is not as it appears and old foes will again play their part. The story takes you on a journey around the globe, showing how far evil and war can travel, but comes back full circle as the battle against the Antichrist reaches its climax.

With this book being the final in the trilogy, it pulls together all the subplots, previously unanswered questions from the earlier books.  A small detail or conversation mentioned in those books, suddenly carries a great weight.  A seemingly insignificant detail becomes a bombshell of realisation.  Nothing has been missed out in this gory, brutal, bloody and truthful conclusion.  The story has come full circle into an epic finale.

REVIEW OF THE TRILOGY:

I fell in love with a little e-book called “The Hunted”. It had so many things going on its 45 pages, I couldn’t help but wonder how it would transfer into a longer book, nevermind a trilogy of them.  Tarn Richardson has brilliantly put together a huge story with a vast array of memorable and unique characters.  I have loved some, loathed some and have been very wrong in my opinion of some.  For me this shows what a great author he is, he has managed to bring his characters and his books alive for me in the words he has written.  It is like reading a film.  There has been a huge amount of research gone into this book and it shows, through the way he has intertwined his world into our own world history.  For me he has pulled off one of the most amazing trilogies i have come across.  I agree with Cal Moriarty’s comment on the front cover, “Evokes the fantasy of Tolkien and the darkness of King” very deserving of this recommendation.  For me these books are second only to The Lord of The Rings books, and they are my favourite.

You will not be disappointed when you read these books.  Be warned however;  you will become addicted, you will not want to miss a single word or sentence, if you skim over any passage (I don’t think you will) you will miss a crucial detail. You will be immersed in a magnificently twisted and deep-rooted plot, that will be intertwined with treachery, conspiracy, immorality and also faith, loyalty, friendship and so much more.

I would recommend these books for readers of fantasy, dark fiction, horror, thriller and historical fiction.

THE BLURB:

The final, thrilling instalment of Tarn Richardson’s Darkest Hand trilogy (‘a remarkably original premise [with] damn fine characters’ David Moody), The Risen serves up a fittingly visceral, relentlessly gripping and action-packed climax to this epic series of dark fantasy.

1917. War and revolution are consuming the world, and the apocalypse is imminent. The world is desperate for a hero who can push back the relentless tide of darkness, and save humanity from the return of the Antichrist. But where is Poldek Tacit, the only man capable of defeating these terrifying forces? As old allies unite in a frantic race to unmask the Antichrist and thwart his plan to bring everything into his power, the Darkest Hand continues to terrorise the innocent – while in the Vatican’s vaults long-buried secrets are about to be unveiled, and humanity’s chance of redemption from the forces of evil hangs by a single thread…

BOOK DETAILS:

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 18th 2017 by Duckworth Overlook
ISBN13 9780715651704
Edition Language English
Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy these great books.  You will not be disappointed.

The Fallen by Tarn Richardson.

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Book 2 of The Darkest Hand Trilogy

MY REVIEW:  5*

Set in 1915 on the Italian Austro-Hungarian border during the 1st World War.  The war between armies are ferocious, battles are bloody. The focus is on the Italian front, the Soco River in Northwest Slovenia. With Poldek Tacit incarcerated after the killing of a cardinal in the first book, the Inquisitors are torturing him.  The Vatican is rife with conspiracy, no-one is to be trusted.  Many secret meetings are happening, rumours are rife and trouble is brewing.  The Darkest Hand has their own agenda, and their own  plans.  Demonic possession has increased, exorcism is getting more common, crows are massing in Vatican City, fountains flow with blood and a general feeling of wickedness and evil is creeping its way across Rome and beyond.

This story throws a lot of curve balls, and unexpected turns of events.  Old friends and allies still remain, new allegiances are forged.  Ancient rituals are once again being prepared for and performed. Races that have fought as enemies for centuries find themselves up against a common enemy.

This is the 2nd in the trilogy, I was concerned as to how this book would live up to the first, The Damned.  There was no need for concern.  It went straight into the fast paced action where the first book left off. There was no lull, no hanging around and at times no pause for breath.

This book is a slightly different beast to the first, it has less of its main character Poldek Tacit, he has his own battle to deal with. But you can feel his presence simmering away in the background as you read.  It is a chance to get more acquainted with the characters that still have a story to tell.  Again there are several stories twisting their way through the pages that culminate in a huge and explosive finale.

I love the fact that every character has a reason for being in this story, each person mentioned has a name.  No-one is a bystander or an extra.  This book puts you right in the midst of things, as I was reading, there were times I actually saw the fights and the chases.  Being able to create a world out of words, so that I can actually see as i read is outstanding.

It is obvious that a lot of  research has been done, as was in the first book.  The descriptions of battles fought in the trenches, battlefields and mountainsides, shows great care and attention to historical detail, it is a credit to the author.

This is another I would recommend if you love fantasy, horror, historical, thriller and mystery. A mashup of Dark Fiction at it’s finest.

How am I going to be able to survive until the 18th May 2017 for the 3rd book The Risen. (Only 6 days at the time of writting this, but it feels longer.) I would like to thank Tarn Richardson for my copy of this book, I was lucky enough to win it in a competition.

THE BLURB:

1915. As the second battle of the Isonzo Front rages on the Italian Austro-Hungarian border, war threatens to engulf the Inquisition as dark forces muster amongst the most fanatical servants of the Catholic Church.

Prior to his murder, a desperate priest sends a secret letter to his brother serving in the Italian Army. Now this young soldier, destined for the horrors of a frontline high above the clouds, carries with him a letter which holds the key as to why terrible satanic rituals are being committed and by whom.

Drawn into this conspiracy and hunted by agents of The Darkest Hand, old rivals must put aside their differences to discover the contents of the letter before it’s too late. But unity comes at a price for this unholy alliance. While the war rages, old enemies return from the dead and conspiracies weave tighter and deeper still into the heart of the Vatican. Only Poldek Tacit, the most determined and unhinged inquisitor of them all, can hope to push back the forces of evil and unite those for good. But what happens when Tacit finds that the path he walks has already been prophesised and that where it leads threatens the very future of a world already on the edge of the abyss?

BOOK DETAILS:

Paperback, 1st, 352 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Duckworth Overlook
Original Title The Fallen
ISBN13 9780715650592
Edition Language
English Series

The Damned by Tarn Richardson

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MY REVIEW:A definite 5*

Initially set in the First World War, in the city of Arras, France.  The barrage of artillery fire is the least of the British or the German forces problems.  There is something more dark and deadly under their feet.  The locals warn them, but the soldiers are deaf to their advice.

Then the reader is introduced to the main character of Poldek Tacit, a priest of the most unusual kind.  Trained by the Catholic Church to hunt down heretics and those wishing to undermine the Church.  He is moody, blunt, aggressive, uncompromising and often found drinking.

During the book Poldek’s life is laid out.  The more you learn about him, the more you realise that there is more to him than the fighting priest, whose reputation precedes the man himself.  There are hidden layers to him and gradually you find a heart and soul that is true and faithful.

There are more battles than those of men.  There are subplots and stories throughout this book that have kept me riveted.  From start to finish, the research that has obviously been done, shows.  The characters that are included have a reason to be there.  They have their own history and purpose in the book, the author has not just thrown them in for the thrill of it.  The book flits back and forth through the years, to achieve a brilliantly pieced together world and story to create a fantastic alternative reality.

This book expertly intertwines the genres of fantasy, horror, thriller,crime and history.  It also draws on fact, folklore, conspiracy and myth. The reader is taken on a journey of epic proportions.

I would recommend this book to readers who like a story they can get their teeth into, who want adventure, action, well written and researched books. The tag line of “Dark Fiction” is a deserved one for this story.

I would like to thank Tarn Richardson for sending me this book for my unbiased and honest review.

THE BLURB:

1914. The outbreak of war. In the French city of Arras, a Father is brutally murdered. The Catholic Inquisition – still powerful, but now working in the shadows – sends its most determined and unhinged of Inquisitors, Poldek Tacit to investigate: his mission to protect the Church from those who would seek to undermine it, no matter what the cost.

Yet as Tacit arrives, armed forces led by Britain and Germany confront each other across No Man’s Land. As the Inquisitor strives in vain to establish the truth behind the murder and to uncover the motives of other Vatican servants seeking to undermine him, a beautiful and spirited woman, Sandrine, warns British soldier Henry Frost of a mutual foe even more terrible lurking beneath the killing fields that answers to no human force and wreaks their havoc by the light of the moon. Faced with impossible odds and his own demons, Tacit must battle the forces of evil, and a church determined at all costs to achieve its aims, to reach the heart of a dark conspiracy that seeks to engulf the world, plunging it ever deeper into conflict.

Morally complex and fast paced, this is a gripping work of dark fiction set in an alternative twentieth century, where humanity’s desire for love, compassion and peace face daunting challenges in a world overwhelmed by total war and mysterious dark forces.

BOOK DETAILS:

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 28th 2015 by Gerald Duckworth & Co (first published May 21st 2015)
ISBN13 9780715649541
Edition Language English