Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Review: Redemption Road by Lisa Ballantyne

Redemption Road - Lisa Ballantyne
 Redemption Road by Lisa Ballantyne

 My Rating:

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

Redemption Road felt a lot longer than it was. There were several different stories running through the book and it created the illusion of the book being a much longer read, it felt like several different books in one. While reading I kept finding myself thinking that I couldn't see how theses different events/stories would all come together, but come together they did.

It's classed as a thriller but I would perhaps class it more of a family drama, there wasn't enough tension for it to be a thriller. I have to admit that although I did enjoy it at the time, I'm struggling now to remember enough of what I read in order to write this review.

The different stories all came together nicely in the end but it never completely drew me in. It was an easy and enjoyable read at the time, it engaged my attention enough to keep me turning the pages but like I said previously, I have forgotten much of the book as it didn't stand out enough to make it memorable in any way.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Review: Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan

Burnt Paper Sky - Gilly MacMillan
 Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan

My Rating: 

I received a free copy of Burnt Paper Sky from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I loved everything about this book. I'm not a huge fan of police procedurals, they either tend to go into so much detail that I get bored or they just don't feel right. Burnt Paper Sky had just the perfect balance, the investigation felt very real and I was hooked.

The plot really plays on the fears of every parent out there. You can't watch your children 24/7, it's impossible to hold onto those reigns forever and as they grow up you need to slacken them to allow them that freedom they crave. What if in giving them that little bit of freedom your child vanishes? Does this make you a bad parent? How will the world see you? How do you survive knowing that your child is out there, alone and scared?

Burnt Paper Sky is full of fear, frustration and raw emotion. The characters feel real, their emotions and feelings just jump out the pages. The pacing was nice and steady and just when you think you have an idea who is to blame, something else is revealed that has you rethinking everything. The author does a great job of keeping you guessing. Everyone is a suspect but it's not clear who the guilty party is till almost the end of the book.

I particularly liked the social media aspect of the story. The blog posts and comments really show you how easy it is to judge someone when you don't know all the facts. Hatred and vicious online abuse are sadly a reality in this day and age when you are in the public eye, people are so fast to judge and it really opens your eyes to the effect this can have on someone.

Although Burnt Paper Sky is about the abduction of a young child, the story centres around the case itself, the suspects and the mother. For those who don't like to read anything that involves abuse towards a child, you need not worry when picking up this book.

I stayed up all night reading this in one sitting and I will be watching out for more from this author in future. Highly recommended.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Review: Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

Seriously Wicked - Tina Connolly

Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

My Rating:

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

While I can't say the plot of Seriously Wicked was great, it was a light and quirky read. There was some twists in the story that I wasn't expecting but I also felt like there was something missing. It was a fast read in a light hearted sense and the author obviously put a lot of thought into the witchcraft side and made it silly but fun.

I wouldn't class it as a young adult read however, it felt like it was aimed at a younger audience. I can see younger children having a lot of fun with the story and it sparking their imagination. It's full of magic and mischief, demons, dragons and werepups and has just the right balance for a younger reader. I feel that the characters and plot don't stand out enough for it to have the same impact on an older age group.

Would I recommend it? I would buy it for kids around the 10 - 13 age group but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone else.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Sunday, 3 May 2015

FREE short fiction from the Bad Apples crew

Reblogged from: Gregor Xane

Short story month continues and I felt it was appropriate to let folks know about some FREE short fiction available from the semi-humans behind the anthologies Bad Apples: Five Slices of Halloween Horror and Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love.

"Serving Spirits," by Adam Light (Download FREE from Amazon)

"Crawlspace," by Evans Light (Download FREE from Amazon)

"Easy Pickings," by Jason Parent (Download FREE from Amazon)

"Got Your Goat," by Edward Lorn (Read it FREE online)

"I Will Tell You About Knoist," by Gregor Xane (Exclusive to New Release Mailing List Subscribers)

"It Came From Hell and Smashed the Angels," by Gregor Xane (Download FREE from Amazon, B&N, Kobo, or iTunes)

Original post: ScarletAingeal.booklikes.com/post/1157429/free-short-fiction-from-the-bad-apples-crew

Review: Letters to my Husband by Stephanie Butland

Letters To My Husband - Stephanie Butland
 Letters to my Husband by Stephanie Butland

 My rating:

I received a free copy of Letters to my Husband from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Elizabeth loses her husband in a tragic accident, he drowns in a nearby pond while saving a young woman. Devastated and overcome with loss and grief she withdraws into herself and finds comfort in writing letters to her husband each night. Who is the young woman he saved? What was she doing at the pond that night? Is her husband really the hero he's claimed to be?

Letters to my Husband was quite an emotional roller coaster. Elizabeth's grief and loss touches your heart, she's lost the love of her life and her world is falling apart. The rawness of the emotion in the book will resonate with any reader who has lost someone close to them.

The story was a wonderful mix of a melancholy and emotion with an undercurrent of suspicion and mystery woven throughout. The pacing was consistent and it was an enjoyable read, it feels wrong saying I enjoyed reading about someone else's pain in this way but we all enjoy a good heart wrenching story every so often.

The book has a few twists but I have to say I worked out early on where it was going and I was rather disappointed that I found so easy to predict. I was expecting to be reaching for the tissues but it didn't have that effect, it did pull on the heart strings but I have to admit there were times later on in the book that I felt like Elizabeth had been grieving forever and I found myself thinking it was time she pulled her socks up and at least tried to put a smile on her face. That sounds rather harsh but it's quite a draining read and grief plays a huge part of the story for almost all of the book, I just felt like it became quite overwhelming at times and there was no light at the end of the tunnel for way too long. Despite this, it was a pretty good read and I would read this author again.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Review: The Curse Merchant by J.P. Sloan

The Curse Merchant - J.P. Sloan

 The Curse Merchant by J.P. Sloan

 My Rating:

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

I read book two before reading book one of this series but thankfully they kind of work on their own and reading them back to front didn't spoil my enjoyment at all.

The Curse Merchant really stands out as an impressive debut for J.P. Sloan. It's very well written and the plot is interesting and progresses at a nice steady pace. It did feel a little slow to start with but before long I was completely wrapped up in the story and turning those pages.

I liked how the world of hexes and charms worked in The Curse Merchant, the idea of them being worked with karma was a unique and refreshing approach. The characters were well fleshed out. I particularly enjoyed the character of Dorian, while I can't say I liked him much at the start, he grows on you, his wit and sarcasm made the book all the more enjoyable.

All in all it was a fun and enjoyable read and one that I would recommend.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Monday, 27 April 2015

Review: Scarecrows by: Christine Hayton

Scarecrows (Childhood Fears) - Christine Hayton

Scarecrows by Christine Hayton

My Rating:

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

I was really looking forwards to delving into this one. It promised scarecrows, corn fields, a mutilated body and a little girl who sees scarecrows murdering people in the dark of night. It had to be good, right?

I had a few problems with this one. The dialogue didn't come across as natural, especially that of Cathy. Cathy's dialogue was far more mature than I would have expected from a child of her age. At one point I went back through the book to check if I had mistaken her age but I hadn't, it was the dialogue that was giving the wrong impression.

The plot seemed a little all over the place. I had bother understanding the reasoning behind many of the characters actions, and the reasoning behind even having some of the characters in the story at all. The timelines worked well, to a point. I liked how the author jumped back and forth but the dialogue made keeping track a little hard as the timelines were told around Cathy's age which was all over the place for me.

Scarecrows had the potential to be a really creepy story but it didn't quite get there in my opinion. The whole scarecrow/corn field thing wasn't as effective as it could have been. There was too much else going on that kept bringing me out of the story and had me questioning if I had read parts wrong.

Not one I would recommend.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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