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Review: ‘Melophobia’ by James Morris

Genre: 
Length: 265 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Synopsis: Melophobia: fear or hatred of music.

The time—now; the place—America, but in a world where the government controls all forms of art and creativity. Any music sowing the seeds of anarchy is banned—destroyed if found—its creators and listeners harshly punished. Merrin Pierce works as an undercover Patrol officer assigned to apprehend a fugitive musician who threatens the safe fabric of society, only to confront everything she thought to be true – her values, upbringing, job, and future.

Can love survive in a world without music?

Review: I’d like to begin my review by saying I love the cover for this book. Simple but portrays the subject of the book brilliantly!

At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of this book. The synopsis screamed ‘Footloose’ at me, which I love, so I wasn’t sure if this book would be for me. I’m so glad I gave it a chance though! I was definitely wrong.

I loved the concept. It was well thought out and interesting, with elements of humour injected in. I really loved the characters, especially Merrin; we really see her grow throughout the novel. There were plenty of twists and turns throughout the novel that I honestly didn’t see coming. Very clever writing! I look forward to reading more.

★★★★★ – A well thought out and cleverly written novel. Plenty of twists and turns and great characters. Highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Review: ‘What Dreams May Come’ by David Hadley

Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 386 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this book 4 stars.

Synopsis: Dreams are dangerous things. After a mental collapse forces him to sell his software company, entrepreneur Stephen Parker retreats to the quiet coastal village of Stoneyhaven, hoping to rebuild his life. Soon Parker discovers how dangerous dreams can be, as the world of his nightmares threatens to break out into his waking life and destroy the new happiness he finds in Stoneyhaven.
To save the lives of those he loves, and perhaps even the world itself, Parker must enter the Dreamlands to rescue the ghostly woman haunting his dreams and solve the mystery of the Manor House before it is too late.

Review: This is a little different from Hadley’s usual work, but still a great and interesting read!

I found the subject of this book fascinating. Could there be a world running parallel to our own? The thought is certainly intriguing! How would this world differ from our own? I really liked the characters and enjoyed how the author left me with more questions than answers, allowing me to try and piece the story together on my own. What are the Dreamlands? Has Stephen really solved the mystery?  The story is quite complex and things that I hadn’t taken much notice of while reading suddenly made sense when I was thinking about the book afterwards! I can’t wait to see how the author will follow this up!

My only issue with this book was the sex scenes. They were not detailed, so this was not the problem. It was just that sometimes the sex scenes felt unnecessary. I was so drawn into the story that I wanted answers, and these scenes didn’t provide any. I can understood why the author included them, particularly at the beginning of the story, but they just didn’t work for me as the story progressed.

★★★★ – An intriguing read! This complex story will leave you thinking for days afterwards! Very highly recommended!!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Review: ‘What We Left Behind’ by Peter Cawdron

Genre: Thriller / Sci-fi / Dystopian / YA (Young Adult)
Length: 192 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Synopsis: Hazel is a regular teenager growing up in an irregular world overrun with zombies. She likes music, perfume, freshly baked muffins, and playing her Xbox—everything that no longer exists in the apocalypse. Raised in the safety of a commune, Hazel rarely sees Zee anymore, except on those occasions when the soldiers demonstrate the importance of a headshot to the kids. To her horror, circumstances beyond her control lead her outside the barbed wire fence and into a zombie-infested town

Review: This was such a breath of fresh air from previous zombie apocalypse novels that I have read!

I will admit that when I began this book, I wasn’t sure if it was for me or not. There was nothing that stood out about the characters (except their age) and I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it (or finish it!). However, I had to keep reading due to the authors new theory about zombies! Plus, the character’s analysis of their actions and situations were great – “Sunsets are cruel, I think. They’re just as beautiful as they’ve always been. It’s as though nature didn’t get the memo. The apocalypse has come, but the natural world hasn’t noticed”.

As the story progressed, I really got drawn in. The characters became interesting and believable and aware of their flaws; they all had roles in the commune that played to their strength, and Hazel and her friends are more than aware of who should be in charge when they leave the commune! Hazel was a great character, as were her friends, and the way that the author crafted them made it impossible not to like them. Cawdron really captured the shyness, awkwardness and vulnerability of the teenagers.

So much happens in this book! I spent a lot of this book thinking ‘No way did that just happen!’ and devoured this book in an evening. Not only was this more focussed on the characters and their survival than the blood and gore of the zombies (though there are plenty of action scenes and zombies to keep the story moving at an interesting pace), but an explanation was offered for all the aspects that are usually overlooked in films which was an excellent touch! It was obvious that a lot of thought had gone into crafting and creating this book. I will be starting the second book tonight!

★★★★★ – A fresh take on the zombie origins story. Character driven but fast-paced and interesting with plenty of action and gore! 

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Review: ‘Juggling Balls’ by David Hadley

Genre: Sci – Fi / Comedy
Length: 388 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this book 4 stars.

Summary: Martin Laws hates mysteries. So why has someone sent him a bag of juggling balls? Why has he no memory of buying a new computer? Why has that new computer decided Martin needs to go shopping? Why does a hairstylist he’s never met before keep saluting him? Most of all, why are so many Elvis impersonators trying to kill him? Juggling Balls – a science fiction comedy featuring time travel, mind control implants and a future religion that claims an Elvis Presley clone as its saviour. Oh, and an interplanetary terraced house.

Review: This is the first book that I have read by this author and it was absolutely nuts… but I loved that about it! I spent the whole time that I was reading thinking ‘is this really happening?’ and it was great. The world that Hadley has created is utterly surreal, yet at the same time, insanely intriguing. At times I had to keep putting this book down because it was a little too surreal, but I did enjoy it. The characters were well developed and unique and the plot was very clever – every aspect was well thought out, plausible in this world that Hadley has created (though completely crazy!) and linked together beautifully. Definitely recommended!

★★★★ – Utterly insane and surreal, but with well developed characters. Definitely recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Review: ‘Gravity’ by Melissa West

Genre: Young Adult / Sci-fi / Romance 
Length: 400 pages (approx.)

This is book 1 in the Taking series. 

I have awarded this book 3 stars.

Summary: In the future, only one rule will matter: Don’t. Ever. Peek.
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Review: I did enjoy reading this book, though it is not without it’s faults.

To begin with, I found this book a little difficult to get into.  There’s quite a lot of information delivered in the prologue that I found hard to get my head around (though that could be because I don’t read much sci-fi). The world that Melissa West has created, however, was so bizarre and intriguing that I had to keep reading. The author does a good job of conveying Ari’s fear of ‘the taking’ (which I would have liked more information about), both in the prologue when she is a child and at the beginning of the book when she is a teenager. Unfortunately, the book felt like it was written in two parts at times, and I wonder if the author should have considered making it into two books. I found myself losing focus during the middle of the book, though the ending is very fast-paced and I was quickly drawn back in.

I really enjoyed the mix between the history of the world, the science of the aliens (known as Ancients) and the action of the plot, and found it fascinating learning about the differences between the humans and the Ancients and the reason behind ‘the taking’. However, there were details that felt a bit unconvincing to me, which did impact on my enjoyment a bit. The technology that is frequently mentioned in the book is never really explained and I found myself guessing what it was or looked like a lot of the time. The reason that the Ancients came to Earth was completely unbelievable to me and felt almost as if the author has included this as an afterthought. The same can be said with the food pill explanation, in my opinion. Also, there was an instance where Ari shocks Gretchen, her best friend, which confused me a little (again, I don’t want to spoil anything) and really wasn’t explained well.

I found the love aspects a little unconvincing, too. I felt that Ari trusted Jackson too quickly and that their relationship started too quickly. After all, they are supposed to be rivals and have been all their lives. Also, Ari never seems to be disgusted that she has fallen for an Ancient, even though she has grown up both fearing and hating them. There is another love story in the book (that I won’t go into as I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone) that I felt should have been developed a little further. It felt very sudden and there doesn’t seem to be any clues until nearly the end of the book.

★★★ – An interesting concept. I enjoyed reading this and quickly got sucked into the story, though there were quite a few aspects that were unbelievable or not explained well enough

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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‘Hunted’ by Tim Arnot

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Summary: Hunted is the second book in the Flick Carter series, and things really aren’t going well for Flick in this instalment. Still in 23rd Century Britain but devastated by the loss of her family, Flick turns to alcohol to drown her sorrows. However, when her friends turn up dead and attempts have been made to kill her, she realises that she must do everything she can to stay alive, even if it means things that she really does not want to be a part of.

Review: I really enjoyed reading this. From the first three chapters that were released online as a teaser (found here) I knew it was going to be a good read. There was lots to enjoy about this book, from how well written it was, to the enjoyable flow of the authors writing style. I ended up reading this book in one sitting! There was a lot happening that I just didn’t expect and left me wanting to know more.

I loved how real the characters felt; the dialogue was believable, and the characters took time to learn how to do things, rather than being brilliant at it first time. I enjoyed seeing the way that Flick handled each situation, and felt genuinely sorry for her on multiple occasions. I also thought that Shea was a well written and likeable character and hope to see more from him in the future.

Also, there is a release party for the book on Saturday! (Details can be found here) There will be give-aways and competitions, so please check it out!

★★★★★ – well written with believable characters. Can’t wait for the next book, and hope to read more about Shea. Also a cool launch party on Saturday! 

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Review: ‘The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Doomsday Tour’ by Darren Humphries

Genre: Sci-fi / Fantasy
Length: 168 pages.

I have awarded this book 4 stars.

Summary: A Clint Eastwood lookalike, Storm Troopers, the Underworld, Sewer mutants, a bodyguard angel and a pushy agent (plus loads more!). What more can you want from a story? Quite honestly, this is the craziest story that I have ever read.

Review: I found this story to be well written and coloured with humour (sayings such as ‘cold as a penguins backside’ and plenty of jokes had me smiling and laughing – earning me a few odd looks on the train!). The bizarre situations had me shaking my head in disbelief (also earning a few odd looks, even causing one lady to ask what I was reading!). However, while I did really enjoy this story, at times, I felt a bit lost. Occasionally I had to flip back a few pages to keep track of the story. Maybe that was because I was dipping in and out? Or maybe it was the craziness of the plot? Because of finding it a bit difficult to follow in places, I have awarded 4 stars.

Even though the plot felt a bit clumsy at times and was hard to follow in places, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and will definitely be looking for more from the author. I found the story to be well written for the most part and the main character, Douglas, to be believable. I had originally written that each character was believable, but (through no fault of the author) I had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I was reading about a world of Storm Troopers, Angels and Mutants! Instead, I will tell you that I found all characters to be well written and well thought-out. I definitely found myself feeling very sorry for Douglas and the world he was thrown into.

★★★★ – Thoroughly entertaining and wrapped up nicely. I would definitely recommend! Very bizarre!!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US  (Kindle)