Saturday, 14 July 2018

Henry's Departure - KD Rye

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Synopsis:

KD Rye's short story 'Henry's Departure' tells the tragic tale of three sisters left to fend for themselves in the wilderness of their own home. Sue, Miley and Joyce find themselves abandoned by adults and left without food, they will need to rely on their wits to survive. But when hunger sets in, will the sisters be able to cling to their humanity?


Review:

So this story follows 3 sisters, Sue the oldest, Miley the child in the middle and Joyce, the youngest. Their mother never worked so money was non existent so after the tragic death of their mother, the girls are left to survive on what Henry can give them but it comes with a price. When Henry leaves for a while, the three children are left with no food, which he would always bring each week, they are left with absolutely nothing, their towels are unusable, their stockpile of food is non existent and they're hungry almost every second of the day.

Miley is the only child patient enough to go fishing each day and Joyce always goes with, pulling worms from the dirt to use at bait. It' hit and miss fishing. sometimes you're lucky, sometimes you're not. We do see the girls catch 2 fish, freezing one and gutting, cutting and cooking the other. The detail drawn out from that encounter makes the book feel even more real to the reader. 

I feel like this short story is all about the lengths people go to just to survive, about the level of dependence we have on others, really weirdly over thought deep things like that. It's a 5/5 from me without a doubt, it's deep and gnarly really. Not one for the kiddies really. I loved it from start to end, didn't see the end coming at all, pretty blindsided by it. I'll be keeping an eye out for more work by K D Rye, she's got something I cant quite describe when it comes to writing.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

The Good Son - You - Jeong Jeong

38896342

Synopsis:


Yu-jin is a good son, a model student and a successful athlete. But one day he wakes up covered in blood. There's no sign of a break-in and there's a body downstairs. It's the body of someone who Yu-jin knows all too well.

Yu-jin struggles to piece together the fragments of what he can remember from the night before. He suffers from regular seizures and blackouts. He knows he will be accused if he reports the body, but what to do instead? Faced with an unthinkable choice, Yu-jin makes an unthinkable decision.

Through investigating the murder, reading diaries, and looking at his own past and childhood, Yu-jin discovers what has happened. The police descend on the suburban South Korean district in which he lives. The body of a young woman is discovered. Yu-jin has to go back, right back, to remember what happened, back to the night he lost his father and brother, and even further than that.

The Good Son deals with the ultimate taboo in family life, and asks the question: how far will you go to protect your children from themselves?

Review:

This book review is going to be one of those where I want to hide as much from you as I possibly can about the book itself to help it keep its intensity and helping it keep its mystery and thrill level.

The Good Son is a book follows Yu-jin who wakes up in his own bed, afraid that he has had a seizure as he can not fully remember the night before and there is a particular substance all over him that then opens up the story, allowing us to follow Yu-jin over a period of a few days to help him discover the truth taking us with him and I can assure you, all is not really as it seems.

Set in South Korea, it is interesting and kind of cool to be able to notice and see cultural and behavioural differences etc.. As Yu-jin explores the apartment which he shares with his mother and adopted brother, he quickly discovers one surprise after another. There are triggered memories that fill in the blanks of the partial memories that are bought on by hearing a few words spoken here and there, some triggered by repeating certain actions taken by him on the night he cannon remember. As the story goes on it all begins to knit together, creating such a vivid image, it's incredible.

We begin to learn even more as flashbacks to Yu-jin’s early life are merged in with the present day. The plot thickens as we discover more about the relationship he shared with his mother and auntie and then with his father and brother too.

A Good Son is a physiological thriller that grips, teases and saddens, as the story comes to an end I can see how it all fitted together so perfectly, how much it all made sense for the story to unfold in the way it, how truly amazing it had been constructed. It's easy to give this book a rating, a solid 5/5 from me. I was gripped from the start and I had even had to take a moment to collect myself once I was finished with the book. You-Jeong Jeong did and amazing job with this book, crafting something unique and amazing with a thrill factor that I'd happily go back and experience all over again. You-Jeong Jeong would probably be a little amused to find that the morning following when I completed reading the book, I awoke tasting blood...

Saturday, 26 May 2018

A Path To Jupiter - Paul Richard Scott





Synopsis:

Arthur Kippax hates his name, but there's nothing he can do about it. He's a child of the 1950's, growing up in the 1960's in Sheffield - the Steel City. His parents are down-to-Earth, working class, as are most of his friends, but he will eventually go to Grammar School, learn to stand up for a principle, sit on his own chair and benefit from a good State Education. He will also learn that life is never fair, that God does not suffer little children but causes little children to suffer, in different and often insidious ways. The music of "The Swinging Sixties" becomes a soundtrack for his life, loves and adventures.


Review:

I found this book on an increasing pile of reads that my daughter had to review. From  the moment I picked this book up I found it impossible to put down.
I was born in the late 60's and grew up in a family with mom, dad, step brother and later on a baby sister. Close relatives lived around the corner and were there to pick up the pieces when my dad passed away when I was ten. Ok that's enough about me ,but I mention the close family ties as these are few and far between in todays society.

This book is written beautifully, and quite often I found myself in tears as I too felt the emotion that the main character Arthur felt. Without giving away the story, and believe me I could write for ever about this book as I loved every chapter. The musical quotes made me laugh and gave me greater enthusiasm to read more and more.

The story is one of childhood, love and loss which will touch your heart in the most endearing way .I was totally engrossed and could relate to dads brylcream and the faint whiff of Old Spice as he would dab it on to take nan to the weekly session of bingo. 

The irony is amazing, talking about the proverbial Larry who is always a happy chap to the reference to Lou Kemia and Roo Bella, each used in a way to show the innocence of a child who is affected by the loss of his first love. A truly brilliant read full of humour, the occasional ripe language which only adds to the read but is essential in order to truly immerse yourself into. 
I'd happily give this book a 5/5, I can only hope that there is a second book being written to follow this fabulous read.

Thank you, Paul Richard Scott, for the memories, and for the tears of sadness and laughter

Saturday, 19 May 2018

On Holy Ground - Louise Cole Blog Tour



Synopsis:

Saving the world was just the start.
In The Devil's Poetry, Callie gambled with her life to stop a war. And she won. But now the game has changed. A Reader who understands the Book's magic is either a savior or a curse - what she can't be is free. When Callie stranded in the US, hunted and penniless, she desperately needs allies. But whose agenda can she trust? She must re-evaluate everything she knows, and find a way to escape, or die trying.

Review:

Late in June of last year I was happily a part of The Devil's Poetry blog tour and back then I was ecstatic with the opportunity and absolutely loved the book and tour so when I was contacted about being a part of the On Holy Ground ( The Devil's Poetry Series #2) Blog Tour, I simply could not say no.

On Holy Ground started with one hell of an opening sentence, which I absolutely loved but will not post here because its sort of a bummer to share something you should read in the book first, and even that's after reading the first of the series.
As with the previous book the point of view switches between first person from Callie and third person from a range of other characters’ perspectives. With nearly a year between when I read the first book it took me a little while to find my way with remembering the characters but I managed easy enough once I settled.

While The Devil's Poetry was set nearly exclusively around Callie's home town and London, the second instalment of the series jumps locations several times, and we get to see a lot more of the Order and the Cadaveri. The location jumping and the wide focus we get which allows us to see more of The Order and The Cadaveri is one of the highlights of this book. As it shows us more of these two opposing teams per say, we have a chance to learn more about their aims, their motives and what they are and are not willing to do to achieve them compared to what we see in The Devil's Poetry. I found that throughout the book, the lines of good and evil and the choice between right and wrong become so hard to distinguish and more faded than ever. There's no denying that the moral complexity in this series alone, not just this book, is one of my favourite things, it reflects the real world around us much more effectively than anything that has the good guys fighting the forces of evil.

In On Holy Ground I absolutely loved seeing Callie having to deal with things on her own. In The Devil's Poetry she generally had the Order around her, a team of highly skilled operatives protecting and directing her in the way she needed to go. In On Holy Ground she's cut off, isolated and on the run and she's bloody brilliant! The 'chase' sequences are well written, dramatic and exciting and have the feel of a action movie to them as she changes disguises and tries to stay one step ahead of her pursuers. It's also very hard for her and me as the reader to be sure of who she can trust, as every one has their own agenda. Despite this, it is nice to see Callie keep acknowledging the help she is receiving, whether from strangers or her support network back home, and that wherever she is, knows that she is never completely alone.

There is no way on this god given earth that I can give this book anything less than a 5/5, it ramps up the action and drama in comparison to the first book, gives us more detail of the world of which its set within and allows the reader to interact with some morally complex characters. I must say that if you haven't read the first book of the series but want to read this one, definitely take the time to read the first book first, it makes a difference.





Book Information

Title: On Holy Ground (The Devil’s Poetry #2)
Author: Louise Cole
Release Date: 14th April 2018
Genre: YA Thriller
Publisher: Valkyrie Books
Format: Ebook & Paperback



Author Information


Louise Cole has spent her life reading and writing. And very occasionally gardening. Sometimes she reads as she gardens. She can be seen walking her dogs around North Yorkshire - she's the one with a couple of cocker spaniels and a Kindle. She read English at Oxford - read being the operative word - and hasn't stopped reading since.

In her day-job she is an award-winning journalist, a former business magazine editor and director of a media agency. She writes about business but mainly the business of moving things around: transport, logistics, trucks, ships, and people.

Her fiction includes short stories, young adult thrillers, and other stuff which is still cooking.

Her YA and kids’ fiction is represented by Greenhouse Literary Agency and she is also published on Amazon as one of the Marisa Hayworth triumvirate.





Don't forget to check out the other blog posts on this blog tour.



Saturday, 21 April 2018

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh (Matthew Connor Adventure series, #2) - Carolyn Arnold

Synopsis:

In Egypt’s Western Desert lies the tomb of an unnamed pharaoh that hides a secret so powerful, it could destroy the world as we know it.

Archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor has made a career of finding legends the world has all but forgotten. Though there’s one in particular that has fascinated him for years—the Emerald Tablets. Myth says that they possess the knowledge of the universe, allowing humankind to traverse Heaven and Earth, and have the power to bestow wealth and wisdom upon whoever possesses them. But if they fall into evil hands, it could cause a global disaster.

So when a former colleague stumbles across an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic map that promises to lead to a pharaoh’s tomb and the Emerald Tablets, there’s no way he’s turning down her invitation to join the dig. He only has one stipulation: his best friends Robyn Garcia and Cal Myers come with him.

The road ahead isn’t going to be an easy one, and their shared dream of recovering the Emerald Tablets is being crushed at every turn. And just when they think it’s all over, they learn there are a few clues they have overlooked. But they’re no longer the only ones searching for the Tablets. Now, the fate of the world hangs in the balance, and soon they’ll find out that when it comes to hunting legends, they can’t trust anyone.

Review:

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh is the second in the Matthew Connor series of books by author Carolyn Arnold. Matthew, a renown archaeologist, is contacted by an old friend who is currently working on a dig in Egypt. Having possibly discovered the tomb of a nameless pharaoh, this friend called Alex seeks Matthew’s expertise to join her in what may end up being the discovery of the fabled Emerald Tablets. Not willing to pass up the opportunity of a lifetime that would solidify his reputation, Matthew invites his best friends to tag along for the adventure. With the exploration full of mishaps and mystery and amongst whispers about “curses”, Matthew begins to wonder if the name he's made for himself is worth the damage that could be the result if the tablets fell into the wrong hands.
When I was first contacted to read and review The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh, I was immediately intrigued. Ancient Egypt has always been a fascination of mine, I loved Ancient Egypt when we often spoke of it in History classes as i grew up, and  wont lie, who doesn't love the mummy films from back in 1999 with Brendan Fraser. So I jumped at the opportunity to give it a read and give an honest review. The detail in which the dig site, underground catacombs, burial chamber and subsequent riches were described made me feel as if I were standing next to Matthew and Cal as part of the team, Carolyn has a way of doing that so it was so easy to sit back in a chair and sink into the story.
Like other time before now, I was a little concerned with this being the second book in the series that there would be gaps in the story or the characters because I had not yet read City of Gold and maybe I'd end up confused and lost. I shouldn't have even worried because although it's the second adventure, Carolyn crafted the narrative to focus on the present adventure, although we do hear about the team’s previous adventures/activities together as they are mentioned in the context of the story, but they are served with just the right amount of filler (which did make me want to read the previous book so badly.) There was never a moment I was lost or confused due to the referencing of previous encounters between the characters. 
If you like action-packed adventure books that’s that will keep you reading well into the early hours or in my case, right through them, I have no issue in recommending The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh to you. After this introduction to the Matthew Connor series, I am seriously considering picking up a copy of City of Gold, as well as any future books in the series. This is my 3rd time reading work by Carolyn and by the looks of it, its definitely wont be the last.
Its an easy 5/5 from me, maybe even higher if my scale went that high.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Radar Road: The Best of On Impulse - Nath Jones




Synopsis:

Radar Road: the Best of On Impulse highlights an exploration of twenty-first century narrative. In four collections that move from raw to refined, the On Impulse series invites the reader to contemplate how we use language now: online, in full-length books, and with each other. Morgan Kiger arranged this fifth collection to stand on its own while showcasing the series's original trajectory from catharsis to craft.

Review:

Nath Jones dissects human life through her work, showing us it all in his guts and glory. As a result we see many of the stories lying parallel with real human lives both witnessed and imagined.

In this collection we play witness to the beauty of ageing lovers, the magic of a child’s perspective, the blight of sudden change and the uncommon kindness of neighbourhood and community. Although there are so many people through this book there is a common thing shared by all the women, they are at first seen as the soft, couldn't hurt a fly type, harmless and innocent but they go to show their true hardness bought on by resilience and strength.

Through  the writing in all of these short stories which vary in length and mood, Nath allows us as a reader to look at lives intimately through a window which makes the read even more entertaining. Each person felt incredibly real to me, their experiences taking their toll on me as i read on and on.  I felt a few rang familiar to me, emotions i knew of, experiences that rang all too clearly in my head which only made me love Nath' writing more as everything was so accurately represented.

Some of the stories have some great lines and smart twists that come that kind of made me sit back going 'oh damn' for a solid six minutes... Having read this collection, I really want to read more of Nath' work because I'm so in love and intrigued with what other things Nath can make me feel and experience through her work.

 Without a doubt this book, collection of short stories and a few poem like entries deserves a 5/5. Its down to the relatability of all that was within and even then there is no reason to take the rating any lower.















Saturday, 7 April 2018

Wrecking Ball: A Big Lad From a Small Island - Billy Vunipola

36276151



Synopsis:

Wrecking Ball is a captivating and humorous memoir by Billy Vunipola, one of the stars of England's recent rugby renaissance, and will be enjoyed by those who have read the recent autobiographies by Jonny Wilkinson, Brian O'Driscoll, Dan Carter and Paul O'Connell.

Standing at 6 feet 2 inches and weighing almost 20 stone, Billy is a rampaging and unmissable presence on the rugby pitch, for both club and country.

Wrecking Ball is his captivating story so far, chronicling his remarkable personal odyssey of 10,000 miles, from the tiny Tongan village of Longo Longo to the imposing vastness of Twickenham.

Join Billy on his journey from the year-round sunshine of Tonga to the bitter cold of a British winter, from his favourite Pontypool kebab shop to finding himself eating broccoli for breakfast, and from carefree childhood games in the middle of the Pacific to the serious business of playing professional rugby in Europe.

Wrecking Ball is a wonderfully eccentric and witty book, written with bags of charm. It captures Billy's colourful family and upbringing, and creates a rounded and fascinating portrait of a young man finding his feet as a modern English rugby player.

Review:

I'm going to have to try and contain myself as I write this review, as some people may know I'm a huge fan of the England Rugby team and well Billy Vunipola is one of the members of the team so when I saw he had a book out about his life and his story so far I just had to grab a copy and ahhhh!!! Okay so I've wanted to read the autobiographies of Jonny Wilkinson, Brian O'Driscoll, Dan Carter and Paul O'Connell whom are some kick ass players but I never actually got my hands on any copies even though I'd see the covers everywhere but I couldn't not pick up Billy's book and I'm sure ill go an pick up copies of the other autobiographies some time.

So Billy plays number 8 for England and Saracens and if you saw him and his older brother Mako you'd probably have a pre judgement on them by their sheer size Billy is past 6ft tall and nearly 20 stone so already with that information you're probably sizing him up and backing away from the guy, but honestly although he makes big hits and can probably make severe dents in opposing teams defence he's actually a great guy.

This book about his upbringing from the moment his father set foot on English soil all the way to the 2017 British and Irish Lions Tour of which he had to miss due to injury, we watch as Billy grows up facing many challenges and a huge amount of running!
Before I even went into this autobiography I knew a few things about Billy, like he was born in Sydney and as he grew up could have played for either Australia, Wales or England professionally, I knew of some injuries he had sustained through his career and how some other very well known rugby players had grown up with him (which is always such a great thing to see) but this book kind of opened the doors wider, it showed us the Tongan culture and way of life that Billy and Mako grew up in as well as all the other issues like his first real fight, his debut at Wasps and more things alike.

Throughout reading this, I've laughed and cried with Billy, realising so many things about such a great player that I didn't know before, feeling every emotion he must have experience through each of his experiences as a kid. I've never really felt so attached to someone in such a way that I now do with billy because although I don't personally know the man nor have I met him, this book he wrote for fans and other alike really allowed us to see that even though he is a professional rugby player who is in the public eye a lot, he is still human who has had to fight to get to where he is and has struggled but fought tooth and nail for all he has.

Its an emotional read but intriguing and very eye opening, I loved getting to know more about Billy and his upbringing as well as his family and the culture of which he grew up in before coming to England. I can give this read and easy 5/5 without question and recommend it to any fans of Rugby to any degree. Now I'm off to binge buy every other rugby player autobiography I can and then binge read and fangirl for days.