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Book review: JB Michaels -The Castle

With his technology stolen and his robot beheaded, things didn’t seem as if they could get reviewany worse for Bud.  That was until the police arrested him, handing him over to FBI authority. The problem with being a genius, capable of amazing feats, is everyone wants your brain, especially the government. With promises of a lead on his grandfather Bud is tempted, however, soon more pressing concerns become paramount, concerns leading them to an ancient castle, and possibly their most dangerous challenge to date. A string of missing students, an ancient monster, and an abducted ally, Bud sure has his work cut out for him this time.

Our favourite fake-English boy genius is back, with his team of deadly beauties at his side in JB Michaels’ latest edition to Bud Hutchins Supernatural Thrillers, The Castle.I first picked up this series at The Elixir and straight away I have spotted growth in not only the characters but the author as well. This fun, tragically and deliberately comical tale is bound to keep you entertained. Bud is a good character, quirky, driven, and loyal, willing to push himself for those he cares for, a trait encouraged and enhanced by his supporting characters as they play the martyr to his eccentricities, but wouldn’t really change him. He may be stripped of his most renowned gadgets, but that’s not to say he’s out of tricks. With a bit of grace and the root of an old tree you’ll be surprised at how far he can go. I enjoyed The Castle, it has an air of classic charm to it and with no shortage of action, horror, monsters and mayhem it is bound to tickle the fancy of those who enjoy a well-woven tale with a promise of more to come.

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Book review: James Musgrave – The Spiritualist Murders (@englishmajorpub )

Clara was one of only two women practising law in San Francisco, as such she had a lot reviewto prove, but she also had good instincts. Instincts that saw her befriend Adeline, a young woman she found in distress. When finally she returned to her senses, Adeline confesses to witnessing a murder, in fact, of the witnesses called she was the only who witnessed it happen, and yet she was refused the right to testify, why? Because she not only witnessed the murder, she heard the thoughts of the one committing it. The killer was set free, and Clara is determined to use Adeline and her perfect recall along with her ability to channel other people’s thoughts and memories to get to the bottom of what happened. But how can you prove something when your evidence is only the word of someone who could be called crazy? You search for evidence of course, but Clara must be careful, the killer believes he can control anyone, but why commit these acts in the first place, is it to show their power, or is there something else afoot?

Written in a style suitable for the era James Musgrave’s The Spiritualist Murders:  Portia of the Pacific Historical Mysteries book 2 delivers an intense and vivid scene of San Francisco in the 1880s. While I can’t speak to historical accuracy due to unfamiliarity, the feel of the work if very authentic to the time. Musgrave possesses an enjoyable narrative that will appeal to a mature audience, as well as those who enjoy a well-worded and conceived plot. As a murder mystery, you are of course asking yourself the how and why, and the spiritual twists gives this book a little something extra. Controversy, challenges, sexism, manipulation, and agendas both concealed and visible drive the mysteries and the characters forward in a novel that is bound to please lovers of the genre who are looking for something just a little bit different.

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Book review: Alan W Thompson, Creation Abomination (@CrtnAbomination )

William Mears is working towards his doctorate at the University of Southern California. reviewBut he doesn’t want to take the easy road, he wants his thesis to matter, to impact the world, and be complete on presentation. He wants to take it beyond the lab rats to human applications. He wants to encourage the body to heal things that would otherwise be impossible. The applications are limitless, but there’s a catch. In order for the treatment to work, embryo stem cells are needed from the person needing the treatment. Impossible, unless he creates a clone. There is great interest in his work, from forces he could not even imagine. His project has the potential to change the world, but everything has a cost, will this one be too high? When one plays God, they must consider all things, including the potential for corruption, and ramifications man cannot even begin to fathom.

With accurate science, and a unique plot you can’t help but be pulled into Creation Abomination. I am quite well versed in many areas of science, but even for those who have trouble you’ll find it easily accessible, well explained, and whilst central to the plot it is not too overwhelming. There is a great balance to this book, one which is enhanced by Alan W Thompson’s well-crafted descriptive style and the attention given to character development throughout the plot progression. It addresses morals, even the possibility of interference from beyond the earthly planes. This is a book that flows with ease, a fun read that is easy to lose yourself in while boasting an engaging and unique plot. Once you open the pages be prepared to be pulled into a world with a unique blend of technology, genetic engineering, the supernatural and divine that will hold you tightly and not let go. A great first instalment with a promise for an equally compelling sequel.

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Book review: Monsterland by Michael Okon (@IAmMichaelOkon )

Monsterland by Michael Okon is a gripping urban supernatural/ horror. Vincent Konrad swept reviewinto the dying town of Copper Valley like a knight in shining armour. He brought the rights to the pipeline, ensuring people could have water, built a new medical centre, and breathed life and renovation into a dying town. There was of course a catch. He had selected this area for his new themepark, and the government had no objections to the rather unusual idea. Vincent proposed the display of victims of a plague to bring in the tourists. But this was not your normal plague, and no decision had been reached if these ‘people’ should have rights. Following a devastating event things Vincent referred to as Zombies began to appear, but that is not all Monsterland has to offer, oh no, vampires, and werewolves are also offered sanctuary, a place to be safe and thrive. Monsterland is about to execute a simultaneous opening all over the world, monsters and humans come face to face in real life for the first time, what could possibly go wrong? It is time to settle the debate once and for all, who is the better monster, vampire, werewolf, zombie, or human.

This book has a charm often lost in supernatural stories. Michael Okon sets a brilliant scene where you can hear and see the world coming to life before your eyes, you don’t read this book, you live it. Filled with atmosphere, horror, heart warming character interactions, and an excellent level of tension building and attention to detail. The book dynamics, down to the strife in Wyatt’s home, are perfect. Monsterland makes for a fun yet harrowing horror read, with injections of comedy, and masterful execution.

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Book review: Possessed by a Shadow by Ron Williams

Danielle doesn’t know much about her father, only that he must have been a bad man. reviewHer mother rarely spoke of him, only that he had hurt her. At the time she was too young to understand her conception had been the result of rape. On a visit to her uncle, her mother’s brother, Danielle’s life is changed forever. One minute she is telling her uncle how the other children tease her because of her unique eyes, the next he teaches her the real way to wish and something bizarre happens.  She finds herself somewhere else,  and something shares the  space with her. Time moves, and Death’s hand is cruel to Daniel as she grows into a young woman. But as the Death card in a tarot reading revealed, it could also signify a new beginning. Danielle is on the verge of losing everything, until she find something she had never expected, an ancient fetish, hidden away beyond sight, and if the book with is reads true, it could fulfil her every desire, however, everything comes at as price.

Wow, what a gripping and fantastic read. I  loved the portrayal of Danielle’s character, and  watching her pass from child to woman was great. Ron Williams writes with masterful poise and style, bewitching the reader with a thoroughly enjoyable tale. Heartbreak, love, magic, mystery, and horror collide to form a story that is nothing short of masterful. Without a doubt I’ll be keeping an eye out for more work from this author. Prepare to be whisked away in a tale that once it catches you in its thrall will refuse to let you go. I rarely openly recommend a book, but Possessed by a Shadow gets my full recommendation, it is a must read and a credit to the genre.

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Possessed by a Shadow

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Book review: Dying thoughts – Third Wish by Joey Paul (@msjoeybug)

Since the first day of the new term Tara has eagerly awaited the end of year summer reviewholidays. Six weeks of bliss, minimal study, and free time. She can barely wait for that final bell to ring, her mind was filled with visions of duvet mornings and joy. But her father had other plans. He decided, since next year is Tara’s last year in high school, and she has no desire to go to college, she needed experience, she needed a summer job. Her days of comfort are quickly replaced with police work, her new job, and coursework. After all, working full time for a charity means she can’t afford to slack off, otherwise she’ll never get the work done for school, and despite not caring about her grades there are some boundaries she won’t push with her father. The thing is this new job is with a charity that helps disabled and seriously ill children with conditions that affect their quality of life. By her second day she knows something is not quite as it seems, and if her latest vision is anything to go by, her instincts are right on the money.

This is another enjoyable edition to the series. Joey Paul gives the reader yet another thrilling adventure as Tara is dragged through her life with a gift that can feel more like a curse. From the first book as a reader you see growth, some of it reluctant on Tara’s part, and great development. Joey Paul certain has a talent for this genre. Her writing style is immersive, to the point where I start reading and, what seems like moments later, I glance at the clock and realise a few hours have passed. I look forward to reading the next book in the near future.

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Dying thoughts – Third wish

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Book review: Dying Thoughts – Second Sight by Joey Paul (@msjoeybug)

Tara is struggling to come to terms with her new gift, okay, well it’s not a new gift, she’s reviewhad it since she was six. The only thing is, she didn’t know exactly what is was, other than perhaps a crack in her sanity. Her father, who could have made everything much easier by talking to her about it, said nothing. He thought he was shielding her from pain. He hoped the visions his wife, Tara’s mother, suffered from had not been passed on. He clung to this hope even when she suffered from the same symptoms. He had lied to her about how her mother died, a truth that could have spared her so much confusion, and now it seems impossible to trust him. Fortunately she has Kaolin, the friend whose kinship came at the price of exposing her father’s lies, not to mention kidnap and murder. She had her concerns when the teacher once more added a new student to her group, she was worried something of Cassie’s would cause a similar drama and terror she had experienced with Kaolin. Cassie would indeed bring something to her, it just wasn’t what she had expected, although visions are certainly inevitable, their not like Tara has ever experienced.

A wonderful addition to what is quickly becoming a gripping series. I read book one on Tuesday night and picked this one up for my last night’s read. I am really enjoying watching Tara and Kaolin’s evolving friendship. I’m never normally one for first person narrative but this is certainly wonderfully written. I said it before, but it possesses a brilliant inner monologue, and once again the author whisks you away on an adventure where you are trying to put together the pieces, only it’s more complicated this time, for reasons I won’t reveal. I’ve picked up book three and can’t wait to dive in to see what new troubles find Tara.

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Dying thoughts – Second sight

 

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Book review: Venators: Through The Arch by Devri Walls

Venators: Through the Arch is a supernatural / epic fantasy written by author Devri Walls

There’s no such thing as vampires, and werewolves are a tale spun from the imagination 41jctselyrl-_sy346_of authors. The supernatural does not exist. At least that is what Rune thought, hoped. Yet every time she saw something portraying this mystical nature her body instinctively responded. She wanted to act. She knew something was missing in her life, but she just didn’t know what. There was another person like her, an old school friend by the name of Grey. Unlike Rune he didn’t suppress his desire, his thirst for knowledge on all creatures thought myth. He poured tirelessly over books, his obsession forcing him to become an outcast. But he knew something the others didn’t. The tales were true. The creatures were real. He had seen them with his own eyes. Years ago his paths had crossed with Tate, someone from another realm, a person to whom he owed his life. Their meeting was anything but accidental. Tate had been searching for someone just like him. But at the time he had been too young, and he had needed to choose wisely. The fate of his realm depended on the decision he made. The council, since separating their world from that the Venators resided in, had grown corrupt, wanting more power, more loyalty. But with the rising of a new and powerful nemesis the only way they can keep the reigns of control is to employ those their people most fear. The Venators. They must bend them to their will, display their talents as a fear stoking trophy of their supremacy. Tate could not let this be, his choice of which two Venators to return to his world could be catastrophic. He had to hope, pray, they would not fall to the councils’ manipulation. The two he chose, Rune and Grey, face a hard decision, to work for the people, the innocents being victimised, or protect their own lives by conforming to the councils’ desire.

I will hail Davri Walls’ talent with four simple words. I loved this book. These words I do not utter lightly. This tale has everything that makes an epic fantasy great. I was hooked from the first paragraph. The manner in which the tale is spun is magic itself. I loved the characters, the hardships, the pressure, both real and imagined, and their own personal journeys through the tale’s progression. Brilliantly written to invoke the perfect balance between descriptive writing and imagination as a new realm, thought only fable, is brought to life, everything from the magisterially pure to the hauntingly dark. There is much to this world, and Rune and Grey must learn to understand it, and its ways, quickly. As a huge fan of fantasy works I highly recommend Venators: Through the Arch, it won’t leave you wanting for anything, except for the second book in the series. This book gets my highest possible praises, it is a masterpiece, well deserving of five stars.

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Venators: Through the Arch

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Book review: Morium by S.J. Hermann

Morium by S.J. Hermann is an urban fantasy focusing on bullying and supernatural elements.

For a long time Lexi and Nathan have been the focus of the popular students’ hatred. Once an outgoing girl after the 51oj8y9w3uldeath of her mother Lexi became withdrawn, and those who should have helped her, her so called friends, saw her grief as a means to elevate themself in social status. Lexi retreated into herself. The only release from the torment became self-harming and part of her longed to join her mother. Nathan suffered at the hands of the football team, his skin condition making him easy prey. They tortured him without reprieve. Each day they reminded themselves the end was in sight, graduation was near. But it didn’t come soon enough. One night Lexi and Nathan saw something fall from the sky, curiosity enveloped them, leading them to seek it out. But the moment their fingers touched it their future was changed forever.

Morium is a well-written and moving read. Bullying is a serious issue, and anyone who has been bullied will understand first hand the emotional turmoil and suffering Nathan and Lexi are being forced to endure. Their support structure consists of each other, and their other friend Stacy. But having support doesn’t resolve the issue. S.J. Hermann’s writing style makes it easy to empathise with the characters, and presents a very real dilemma, if a victim of bullying was granted power, power enough to stop those who hurt them, power enough to change the world, how would it be used?  Lexi and Nathan have both endured the same harassment, the same mental torture, but will their view on how their new gifts be used align? This is an excellent plot, and a truly enjoyable read. Emotionally charged, and intensely gripping, Morium is one book not to be forgotten.

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Morium