Monday, 6 July 2015

Review: Fire Girl by Matt Ralphs.



Fire Girl - Matt Ralphs

 Fire Girl by Matt Ralphs.

 My Rating:

I received a free copy of Fire Girl from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Hazel who has been living in a beautiful magic glade has never ventured out into the real world but when her mother gets kidnapped that's exactly what she has to do. On her journey she comes across many scary people and demons and finds herself in some dangerous situations, but with her grumpy familiar by her side and a few friends she makes along the way, she's determined to save her mother.

I had a lot of fun with this book. The interaction between Hazel and Bramley, her grumpy sarcastic little dormouse familiar, brought a smile to my face every time. The author creates a wonderful easily visualised world full of witches and demons, that has both a dark and sinister side to it but at the same time is full of adventure, love and promise. The characters came alive in my mind while I was reading, I can easily imagine a child being completely captivated by this story.

Fire Girls is Matt Ralphs debut novel and I have a feeling kids everywhere are going to love this book. I'm always on the look out for good childrens books and this is one that's going right onto my to recommend list.

My immediate thought on finishing this book was that I hope there is going to be a sequel and I'm so pleased to see there will be. I also now want a grumpy little dormouse all of my own!

I'm looking forwards to continuing with this story.


Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Sunday, 5 July 2015

Review: Hope for the Wicked by Edward Lorn



Hope for the Wicked (Larry Laughlin, #1) - Edward Lorn

 Hope for the Wicked by Edward Lorn

 My Rating:

Well I am never going to unsee those scenes!

I have to admit that this book has been on my to-read list for a while as I'm a huge fan of the author. I have really enjoyed everything I have read from this author so far but I'm not a fan of PI stories so it kept slipping down my list. I wish I had picked it up sooner, it was brutal and I flew through the pages.

As always Lorn's characterization is brilliant. The plot grabs you and packs many well aimed punches that will stick with you long after you have finished. The book is full of the wit and dark humour that I have come to love in Lorn's work, while at the same time full of shocking and hard hitting scenes that worm their way into your brain and can't be unseen.

Highly recommended. I loved everything about this one, so much so I can forgive the sacrilege of what was done to poor Rabbie Burns!!


Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Saturday, 4 July 2015

Review: Night as a Catalyst by Chad Lutzke



Night as a Catalyst - Chad Lutzke

 Night as a Catalyst by Chad Lutzke

 My Rating:

I received a free copy of Night as a Catalyst in return for an honest review.

I enjoyed the shorts in this collection, they were unique, creepy and fun to read. I liked the small afterword at the end of each individual story where the author spoke a little about the inspiration behind each tale. It's always nice to get a peek behind the scenes and know what inspired a story.

I did have a few niggles however. There was a few instances of switching tense, occasions where words like lie were used instead of lay/laying/lying, a few typos, and parts where the wording could have been a little better but I overlooked those as the stories themselves were good.

There were a few stories that really stood out from the others and some that were just ok but all in all this is a nice collection.  Perfect for picking up when you only have a few spare minutes to read. This author has a lot of potential and I'd be interested to read more as his writing progresses.


Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Review: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.



The Invasion of the Tearling - Erika Johansen

 The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.

My Rating:


I received a free copy of The Invasion of the Tearling from the publisher in return for an honest review.

There was a lot I liked in book two and a lot I disliked. As before the author does a wonderful job of characterization, each character was strong and stood out as an individual with more of their back story and motives being revealed. What I didn't like was how quickly Kelsea changed in part two. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed seeing her grow bolder, more confident and a little darker in nature. What I didn't like was how her character went from being the average sweet naive girl next-door to a stunning beauty with a mean streak trying to fight it's way out. The way it was done didn't sit right with me, she loses a lot of weight, becomes more ruthless and now all of a sudden she's seen as more attractive? That's giving the wrong message.

Book one in the Tearling trilogy left me rather confused about the time period the story was set in. Even though the story line takes place in the future, the world the author created was medieval and there wasn't much of an explanation of the how and why everything had changed so much. Book two explains the reasons behind this change and gives us a glance into both the past and the present(future). I enjoyed both the stories from the different timelines despite them being so different from each other but the time hopping did get a little bit much at times. The author seemed to switch at the most tense moments of the plot line or just as I was getting back into the swing of the era the story was in. It got rather frustrating at times, especially when it happened during an important part of the plot, the temptation to skim quickly to get back to where it picked up again was hard to resist at times.

Despite the above I still enjoyed the book. I enjoy the writing style of this author and the rich characters and worlds that she creates. The plot held my attention and it answered a lot of the questions that I had from book one. I'm looking forwards to the final book in the trilogy.


Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware



In a Dark, Dark Wood - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

My Rating:


I received a free copy of In a Dark, Dark Wood from the publisher in return for an honest review.

"Someone's getting married. Someone's getting murdered.
In a dark, dark wood...
Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house...
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room...
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room....
Some things can’t stay secret for ever."

Sounds good right? Creepy, mysterious, thrilling and full of suspense? It wasn't. I was really looking forwards to this one, it sounded like it would be right up my street. I was expecting a dark tale, a thrilling page turner but I was disappointed.

The plot was predictable and dare I say it, laughable. There was none of the suspense, mystery, chills and thrills that the blurb hints at. It was like watching a lame teenage movie with the usual predictable cast: insecure girl, insecure girls outspoken friend, mean girl, mean girls duff and of course the token gay male BFF. The dialogue was petty, shallow and repetitive and certainly not what you would expect from characters that are all in their late 20's.

The characters were all very one-dimensional and acted more like immature whiny teenagers rather than the grown women they were meant to be. I found them annoying and disliked each and every one of them. As for the MC Nora, ugh! Get a grip woman. 10 years, get over it. Nora's story was so cliché and unbelievable. I just wanted to shake her and tell her get a grip.

Not one I would recommend.



Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Review: We Are Monsters by Brian Kirk



We Are Monsters - Brian Kirk

 We Are Monsters by Brian Kirk

 My Rating:

I received a free copy of We Are Monsters from the publisher in return for an honest review.

We Are Monsters is cleverly told, it's multi layered and paints a very dark picture of all the different aspects of mental illness: from the patients themselves, to the doctors treating them and the methods used. It's psychologically complex and really delves into the horror of the human mind. The book opens your eyes to the complexity and treatment of those with a mental illness and delivers a hefty dose of reality throughout it's pages. Although that reality may not always be what it seems.

There were times that I felt a little lost and wasn't quite sure what was happening but all was revealed as the story unravelled. The author had thrown me into the same turmoil as the characters and I had to find my footing along with them.

The characterization in this novel is what really stood out for me, it's extremely well done. The characters felt real, each individual character so well developed that I feel I got to know them as a person instead of just characters in a book.

We Are Monsters is a book I would definitely recommend, although if your squeamish about needles, be prepared!


Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Monday, 22 June 2015

Review: Car Nex: Trailer Park by Shaun Hupp, Terry M. West.



Car Nex: Trailer Park (The Car Nex Story Series Book 4) - Shaun Hupp, Terry M. West

 Review:  Car Nex: Trailer Park by Shaun Hupp,  Terry M. West.

 My Rating:

I received a free copy of Car Nex: Trailer Park from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this instalment in the Car Nex series, it was full of the carnage and violence that I have come to love about the Car Nex. I have to say that so far this one is my favourite, the author drew me in effortlessly and I was easily swept up in the atmosphere and fear in the pages. At just 58 pages it's a quick read but there is so much in those 58 pages, the way it's written makes it feel like a whole book is condensed into a novella without the feeling of something being left out or lacking.


Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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