Have a nosey through some highlights of what ‘Liz Currently Loves’ here… or take a look at the whole shebang over at lizlovesbooks.com. Liz is a very good friend of mine who, I am just certain, can read in her sleep – and she is always a lot nicer than me with her reviews!
Publication Date: Available Now from Hodder and Staughton
Source: Purchased copy Paperback.
They are our neighbors, our mothers, our lovers.
When government agents kick down Claire Forrester’s front door and murder her parents, Claire realizes just how different she is. Patrick Gamble was nothing special until the day he got on a plane and hours later stepped off it, the only passenger left alive, a hero. Chase Williams has sworn to protect the people of the United States from the menace in their midst, but he is becoming the very thing he has promised to destroy. So far, the threat has been controlled by laws and violence and drugs. But the night of the red moon is coming, when an unrecognizable world will emerge…and the battle for humanity will begin.
So I read this a few weeks ago now, only just getting around to a review due to extreme book reading, but looking back I’d quite like to read this one all over again. And probably will a few times over the next few years.
It was an absolute genius of a story really – a Werewolf saga that is so much more than that, a real romp of a tale, with plenty of thrills and plenty of emotion, which is hugely satisfying and has a social message at its heart.
In a world where Werewolves exist alongside us, we follow an eclectic and brilliantly imagined cast of characters through a time of huge upheaval – as communities fracture, the government takes a suppressing stand and, well, we all know what tends to happen when you try and dampen the human (or werewolf for that matter) spirit. Each “side” believing they are right, soon there will be a reckoning and the world after the Red Moon will look very different..
The story really is utterly addictive from start to finish – What Benjamin Percy has done is take the world we live in today, the prejudices, the divisions, the good and the bad and endowed it with a slightly different stance, a little twist in the tale in order to spin a yarn which will entertain you, engage you, give you a lot to think about, whilst also providing you with characters you will never forget and a distinct desire for him to write a book a week.
I like that it is mostly a character piece – werewolf or not, all the people you will meet within are extraordinarily well drawn, very authentic and as events occur around them they grow as the story does, the ever changing landscape of their lives affecting them in many different ways. I was fond of Patrick, stuck with Claire all the way but honestly I think that Chase Williams was probably the character that made this for me. He is just so beautifully normal but then, not so much. How he copes with what is happening to him made up some of my favourite portions of the whole. Overall though, every character will have you feeling something – be it distaste, love, hate or indifference, with a huge spectrum in between. Even the ones who don’t appear that often.
The mythology is elegant, feels terribly real and utterly possible – I lived in this one for the entirety of the reading experience, not at any point did I FEEL like I was reading a fantasy novel. The author has a great complexity to his structuring and descriptive prose that makes it a wonderfully flowing page turner, he throws unexpected little gems into the story that make you sigh and the whole thing really is beautifully done.
Overall definitely a book I would happily recommend to anyone, no matter what their favourite genre may be. One for the favourite author shelf. Don’t miss it like I nearly did!
Find out more here: http://benjaminpercy.com/
Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Benjamin_Percy
Happy Reading Folks!
Publication Date: 3rd Febuary 2015 from Headline.
Elsie Bovary is a cow and a pretty happy one at that. Until one night, Elsie sneaks out of the pasture and finds herself drawn to the farmhouse. Through the window, she sees the farmer’s family gathered around a bright Box God – and what the Box God reveals about something called an ‘industrial meat farm’ shakes Elsie’s understanding of her world to its core. The only solution? To escape to a better, safer world. And so a motley crew is formed: Elsie; Shalom, a grumpy pig who’s recently converted to Judaism; and Tom, a suave turkey who can’t fly, but can work an iPhone with his beak. Toting stolen passports and slapdash human disguises, they head for the airport …
If by any chance you fancy a novel of total hilarious insanity with a touch of emotional resonance and a unique twist then Holy Cow is absolutely the book for you.
Completely crazy – yes. Fun? Absolutely. Eminently readable and definitely unexpected? Yes again. I loved it, read it fast (it is not a long book) and thoroughly fell in love with Elsie, Shalom and co. ESPECIALLY Tom the Turkey who is certainly far more intelligent than most humans I know including myself.
David Duchovny has managed to send a little social message without actually preaching at anyone, has created a wonderful little world here that will have you both laughing out loud and looking at the Cow in the field next to you in a contemplative fashion, it is a totally bonkers adventure, beautifully written with a touch of insanity.
Fairly sure after reading this that the author is slightly bonkers as well in the best way possible of course. I hope he writes more! Not an awful lot more to say so I’ll keep this short and sweet.
You can follow David on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/davidduchovny
Happy Reading Folks!
Publication Date: Available Now from Tor.
Source: Publisher Review Copy
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to findher book. Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own. Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.
This was absolutely the best fun I’ve had with a book in ages. Brilliant characters, magical world building and a whole load of adventure.
Irene is sent into one alternate London to retrieve a dangerous book – shadowed by new assistant Kai, this mission is anything but straightforward and what follows is a rip roaring race to find the book, involving Vampires, Werewolves, Fai and, well, alligators….
I absolutely adore the world the author has created here – it is a brilliant mix of mundane and magic, the mysterious “library” having a life all of its own, spreading out throughout the many different worlds that exist. The librarians are an eclectic bunch, although we only meet a small section of that society, I definitely want to find out more in (hopefully) future adventures. The London that Irene ends up in is very different to our own, and the people she encounters there are a heady mix of hero and villain – even those closest to her are not always what they seem and it is highly engaging throughout, with some laugh out loud moments, some edge of the seat thrills, with some real emotional resonance mixed up right in there.
The mythology is intelligently created, it really is beautifully written, a real page turner where anything can happen and often does – right at the heart of it though is Irene and her love of books, which of course for any reader is a magical thing. It makes her highly relatable and you will be with her all the way as she tries to work out who is friend and foe, fights the good fight and maybe discovers more about herself along the way.
Absolutely and utterly sparkling. Highly HIGHLY recommended.
Find out more here: www.grcogman.com
Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/GenevieveCogman
Happy Reading Folks!
Publication Date: Available Now from BookBaby.
Source: Author Review Copy.
Eighteen-year-old Emily Heath would love to leave her dead-end town, known locally as “The Sham”, with her boyfriend, Jack, but he’s very, very sick; his body is failing and his brain is shutting down. He’s also in hiding, under suspicion of murder. Six months’ ago, strange signs were painted across town in a dialect no one has spoken for decades and one of Emily’s classmates washed up in the local floods.
The Sham was a book that surprised me. I expected one thing, got quite another, it was a terrifically eclectic and weirdly wonderful read exploring some haunting themes at its heart.
Emily meets Jack, a strange enigmatic character and falls for him. So much so that she glosses over his odd proclivities and rather weird ways and is willing to go a long way to protect him from the suspicions of the town. Meanwhile her own family is causing her grief, old signs are appearing all over “The Sham” and girls are disappearing..
Admittedly I was very nearly put off this one by a very violent bullying scene right at the start of it – however this was simply the jumping off point for a really clever tale that is not all that it immediately appears to be and this scene is integral to that and important. Ellen Allen keeps the suspense going throughout – Just who is Jack and where did he come from, what is happening with the disappearances, all enthralling and engaging stuff.
Added to that we have a hint of family drama, some very well drawn characters some of whom are immensely unlikeable but still very authentic. I loved Emily, she is ruled by her heart rather than by her head a lot of the time, but its still very practically minded. There are some humerous moments to offset the dark side of the story, some of which made me laugh a lot…the jam for example, ha.
Clever writing, a weird and wonderful feel to it and a story that will take you in often astonishing directions, I thought it was terrific. It will get into your head and stay there!
Find out more here: http://www.amazon.com/Ellen-Allen/e/B00NBSMRYK
Follow Ellen on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/EllenWritesAll
Happy Reading Folks!
Publication Date: March 26th 2015 from Tinder Press
Source: Publisher Review Copy
In the golden 1900s, Harry Cane, a shy, eligible gentleman of leisure is drawn from a life of quiet routine into courting and marrying Winnie, eldest daughter of the fatherless Wells clan, who are not quite as respectable as they would appear. They settle by the sea and have a daughter and conventional marriage does not seem such a tumultuous change after all. When a chance encounter awakens scandalous desires never acknowledged until now, however, Harry is forced to forsake the land and people he loves for a harsh new life as a homesteader on the newly colonized Canadian prairies. There, in a place called Winter, he will come to find a deep love within an alternative family, a love imperiled by war, madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism.
An absolutely remarkable novel, I loved every single minute of it. Old School storytelling at its best, Patrick Gale weaves a heartfelt and emotive web around the reader as we follow a man called Harry Cane through life, love, war, insanity and redemption.
When we meet Harry he is a gentle soul who drifts through life, facing problems as they arise but mostly having a quiet and routine existence with nothing hugely significant going on. He meets Winnie, marries her and seems set to carry on meandering along. Then an encounter leads to a passionate affair, which when it ends leaves Harry in an untenable position – so he departs for Canada, seeking a new path.
It is beautifully written, atmospheric and with a magnificent sense of place and time, undeniably addictive I was enthralled throughout. Fascinating looking back at the differing attitudes of the time, the characters pop from the page and it is all brilliantly authentic and often very emotional. I was up and down like a yo-yo with my feelings whilst reading this, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, always utterly enchanted with the people and the places, by the end I was in tears. The good kind.
It is kind of hard to know what else to say, sometimes I guess less is more. I have joined the growing mob of readers who are going to throw this novel at everyone they ever met once it is released – a marvel of a story that you will both relish and adore, I really cannot recommend it highly enough.
Find out more here: http://www.galewarning.org/
Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/PNovelistGale
Special Edition Signed by Author (I want one!) http://www.goldsborobooks.com/books/a-place-called-winter-4260.html
Happy Reading Folks!
Publication Date: 9th April 2015 from Mantle
Source: Advance Reading Copy.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia; the rainy season. When a French man, Hugo Quercy, is found brutally murdered, Commandant Serge Morel finds his holiday drawn to an abrupt halt. Quercy – dynamic, well-connected – was the magnetic head of a humanitarian organisation which looked after the area’s neglected youth.
Opening his investigation, the Parisian detective soon finds himself buried in one of his most challenging cases yet.
So “The Lying Down Room” was one of my favourite debuts of its year, so I was very excited to revisit Serge Morel in the second book in the series – it was absolutely worth the wait, another beautifully written crime novel with a decidedly intriguing main protagonist at the heart of it all.
Here we find Morel on holiday in Cambodia, hoping to reconnect with family, but the brutal murder of a French man finds him thrown into the centre of another mystery. Dealing with the rather eclectic ways of the Cambodian police, local politics and French politices with a distinct lack of resources, this will be a huge challenge.
There are a lot of things to love about this story – not the least of which is the absolutely evocative sense of place Anna Jaquiery brings to her stories. As a snapshot of real life in Cambodia, it is done with a practical eye and a real sense of authenticity that puts you right there with Serge as we see it through his eyes and that of others. There is a beauty and an emotion about it all that pops off the page and gives this a distinct edge when it comes to immersing the reader in the tale being told.
There are some beautifully drawn characters, the mystery itself is intelligent and evocative – this is not so much a rush to judgement or a thrill ride of a tale, but more of a gentle uncovering of the many layers hiding the truth. The lack of resources Morel faces works to give this a more psychological side, this will not be solved by a lucky fingerprint found but by talking to the people involved, knowing them, understanding their motives, feelings and actions. A Russian doll type tale where Morel unlocks one part of Hugo’s life which leads to another then another then eventually to a killer – It is all exquisitely achieved and absolutely addictive.
On top of all that we get some excellent insights into Morel himself as his own story continues, some small peeks back into what is going on in France, so as a book two it works so well, I loved every minute of it and cannot wait to find out what is next.
Overall then a most terrific read. Definitely highly recommended for fans of Literary Crime stories.
You can follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/AnnaJaquiery
Also Available: Read First (Not imperative)
Happy Reading Folks!
Publication Date: Available now from Headline
Source: Publisher review copy
Syl Hellias: an Illyri, the first of her kind to be born on Earth. Paul Kerr: a human, dedicated to his people’s resistance of the alien invasion. Brought together by chance they formed the strongest of bonds. Now they are to be punished for that love.
Exiled to the outermost reaches of the universe, Syl and Paul must each make journeys that will lead them to the horrifying truths harbored at the heart of the Illyri Empire. And to a force with the power shake the the universe to its very core.
I was a huge fan of book 1 in this series – Conquest – so to say I was excited to read Empire would be putting it mildly. The great news is that Empire is brilliant – taking the initial imaginative concept and expanding and even improving on it as things move forward for Paul, Syl et al, this was a magnificent read, utterly compelling, beautifully written with some visionary world building and totally cool characters.
Syl and Ani are with the sisterhood, Syl determined to find out Syrene’s secrets whilst Ani begins to find herself feeling at home. Paul and Stephen are off on enforced service within the Illyri military – separated by distance but working towards the same goal, all of them will make frightening and horrific discoveries about the conspiracy at the heart of the Illyri empire.
This is a series aimed at Young Adults – it is intelligent, superbly done and could equally have been written for adults – in that sense it defies a genre tag or a “target audience”. Realistically speaking, anyone who enjoys fantasy, science fiction, adventure or almost anything reading wise for that matter, could get a lot out of this. There are some thrills and spills, mystery elements, a gorgeously drawn romance, extravagant and ingenious worlds to explore and bang at the heart of it simply a darn good yarn.
I am in love with all the characters, the good, the evil, the downright enigmatic and one of the best things about both Conquest and Empire is the intricate weaving of interpersonal relationships between all the players – in the case of Empire, the slow but sure downturn of the previously solid friendship between Syl and Ani is one of its strengths – a “coming of age” arc where the heart and soul of that particular pact is threatened by outside influences and I was totally absorbed by it. Emotionally speaking all the character arcs pack a heck of a punch – Syrene is such a compelling and wonderful character, to pick at random one of the many others you will find here, she is so terrifically evil and yet absolutely engaging.
As for the Universe they all inhabit, it is magnificently drawn. Whilst Conquest was set mainly on Earth, Empire goes beyond the horizons and takes the reader on a fast, furious and brilliantly engaging rollercoaster ride around the galaxy – brought vividly to life and often horrifically scary, right there is another element to the story as a whole that will often have you on the edge of your seat.
I was considering baking John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard a cake for writing such a fun, sometimes dark, always thrilling yet deeply emotional fantasy tale but then I read the end and realised I had to wait. WAIT for more. Not on. So instead they get a glare from me, all be it one with a hint of a smile, plus this review. Consider me one happy reader. Mostly. Ok, completely then.
Sparkling stuff. Highly Recommended.
Find out more here: http://chroniclesoftheinvaders.com/
Follow John Connolly on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/jconnollybooks
Follow Jennifer Ridyard on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/JennieRidyard
Purchase Information: Special signed edition: http://www.goldsborobooks.com/books/empire-chronicles-of-the-invaders-2-john-connolly-jennifer-ridyard-4214.html