Alex and Katija- high and mighty by Gordon Hooper
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Rating: One Star - Not good.
Alex and Katija are a pair of swindling con artists, relying on the good name of the Detective Agency that Alex’s late father started in order to recruit new victims/ clients. But this time, they might have bitten off more than they can chew. Quite literally. Broke and stoned in Amsterdam, the pair find themselves facing off against a Vampire who feeds in a way many people might not ever expect. Can these not so loveable rogues live to fight another day or will all
their constant drinking, drug taking and partying get in the way?
This was a strange book that was written in a very crude, uncomplicated and loose style featuring two unique characters who were almost instantly proven to be unlikeable within just a few pages. This pair of ne’er-do-wells share no redeeming features between them whatsoever, other than they are not child abusers, and I shudder to think that any truly discerning reader might actually connect with them. The plot in this particular book ,such as it is, seemed to
consist almost entirely of them trying to solve a case they were coerced into taking through lack of funds, not out of any sense of justice or personal accomplishment then, but merely in order that they could instead go back to living the hedonistic lifestyles they had become accustomed to at the expense of others.
I am not sure exactly whether this book was intended to be amusing but if it was, it failed. Much like the two main characters themselves, I found little here of any redeeming value and thought it a complete waste of my time reading this. I got nothing out of it at all and was suitably unimpressed. I suppose, in its own way, the book had character but if so, it was one I didn’t particularly like. For me, the whole concept, plot and general characterization
all seemed a bit shallow and lacking and I couldn’t really see the point of this novel. To be fair, I doubt very much I am the intended target audience though I struggle again to see what this might be. All I can say is that for me, nothing about this worked or came together and reading it was an experience I would not want to repeat in a hurry...
Curse of the twisted rose by Lee Lackey
Genre: Paranormal thriller
Rating: 1 Star - Yeah, it was that bad.
Marlie Franklin is a Cop who is also trained as a kick-boxer. As such, she doesn’t take any hassle from anyone and is known for not taking prisoners when making arrests. But when a witch curses her at the scene of a call she and her partner have responded to, she finds her life almost immediately turned completely around. Suddenly monsters are drawn towards
her with the intent of taking her out and when one of these disguises itself as an Internal Affairs Detective, Franklin loses her badge. Forced to seek employment hundreds of miles away in the small town of Lockwood, Franklin must fight to keep her son safe as she comes to terms with the true nature of the curse and battles an ancient evil that lurks just below the surface of the town...
I wasn’t sure about this right from the start but decided to give it a go as the plot did seem to show a little bit of promise. Unfortunately, for me, that promise was short-lived. This never really reaches anything near its potential. Marlie Franklin reads like a caricature of herself rather than a true and believable character and accepts too readily, for my liking, the paranormal events that seem to befall her in quick succession. She barely blinks an eye at creatures experimenting on humans at an abandoned petrol garage and her son is not much better. He seems to be much more worldly wise in magic and the paranormal than he initially lets on to his mother but that is no explanation for how quickly he just accepts this new world he and his mother soon find themselves in.
This book seems set in a world very much like our own but separated by just a few heart-beats. But it is not a very credible world and I could find little about this book that I actually liked. As a thriller, it failed to captivate my interest and was more than a little bit of a let-down...
Eve of Darkness by sylvia Day
Genre: Angels, Demons, Paranormal, Erotica
Length: Paperback – Purchased
TBR Reviewer: Brutally Honest
Rating: 1 star – Yeah, it was that bad.
I had high hopes for this book, especially considering I forked over twelve bucks for it. What a let down! This book was so damn annoying. The plot was a good idea but the execution was so horribly done. In between the story we get a page or two of explanations. This happened because of this and that, but the bible says this and then that. Stop explaining things and get on with the story. When we do read on, the story just gets more complicated and honestly, the characters become drowned out by the twisted, confusing plot. I really liked the characters and
was pissed when there was so much going on. It was like this was book eight of a series and you had to read the other books to understand a single thing going on. I was also surprised to find head hopping. With this author being so well known I thought she’d stay away from such an amateurish issue but in here, she head hops frequently. After trudging through the book, I gave up about three quarters of the way through.
I plan on trying to return it, because this was an absolute waste of time and hard earned money.
Forced Awakening by Bree Bellucci
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal
TBR Reviewer: Brutally Honest
Rating: 1 Star – Yeah, it was that bad.
Where do I even being with this? I’m simply going to list the issues with Forced Awakening. The beginning is jumpy. The writing has a juvenile feel to it. There were words used repeatedly to the point that they became annoying. Head hopping. There are little to no surrounding details. The forced seduction is amateurish. It could have been a powerful scene and it fell flat. There is insta-lust and insta-love. Also, Sophie has sex with a stranger who can shift into a wolf, emphasis on stranger! Oh, did I mention he kidnapped her.
Holy hell, why did I decide to download this book? Just skip this short.
Lovers Moan by Savannah Chase
TBR Reviewer: Brutally Honest
Rating: 1 star – Yeah, it was that bad.
This was a random pick from Amazon. It was a short piece about phone sex. At first, I thought this would be a hit. Lovers Moan did have potential but alas fell very far with a loud, harsh landing. There was head hopping. It desperately needed surrounding descriptions so the scene wasn’t so blank. Details would have really painted the picture. It also needed dialogue tags or else it can get confusing on which character is saying which line. Then there’s the switch in tense.
What this really needed was a major editing fix. I couldn’t even get around so many issues to enjoy the story.
Title: The mind-man by Peter Richmond
Genre: paranormal thriller
Rating: 1 Star
As a young boy growing up in a rural town in Australia, Adam is a bit of a misfit, constantly bullied by one of his peers. But when Adam dreams of his tormentor being killed in an accident, he is shocked to awake the next morning and discover it has come true. Decades later, a frustrated Police Sergeant across the water in America begins investigating
a series of seemingly unconnected mysterious deaths. The deaths themselves are not that mysterious, appearing to be simple accidents. What is strange is that the victims were all movers and shakers in big business and that just before they died, the same small Company bought up lots of their shares. Joined in his search for the truth by an eager, young reporter, he quickly discovers that sometimes the truth IS stranger than fiction....
This was a book whose premise intrigued me. Unfortunately dull, two-dimensional characters and a meandering plot did not exactly do this book any favors. The limits of disbelief were stretched to breaking point by a couple of apparently co-incidental events that
tested credibility and much of the dialogue between characters simply did not ring true. I am struggling to find something positive about this book as I hate writing negative reviews if I can help it but unfortunately in this particular case, the well is coming up dry.
What started off okay quickly became tiresome and the suggestion at the end of this book that a potential sequel is planned did very little to excite me I am afraid to say.
Title: The Hidden Valley by Leigh Lane
When a dysfunctional family with a series of problems decide to move to a small town, about as far removed from the bright lights of Vegas as you could get, they are expecting to make a clean break and experience a fresh start for them all. What they get is something completely different.....for something unspeakable, something evil lurks below the surface of this quiet
mountain town and once it has them in its grasp, it refuses to let them go! Too late, the family begin to realize that they have been trapped as this force for evil manipulates them all for its own ends....
The Hidden Valley is the third book of Leigh Lanes that I have read for review and is a very strange kettle of fish indeed! It is described thus: “THE HIDDEN VALLEY is an experiment in structure. The reader will find that nearly every chapter is, in itself, a short story. Also, each main character’s story may be read individually for a different effect. Read THE HIDDEN VALLEY by character, read the short story serial, or read THE WHOLE STORY” and this was enough to
immediately pique my interest but does it entirely work as advertised? The answer, unfortunately, is no...not really.
The short stories of each character are supposed to work independently of each other, each set of chapters giving the reader a different perspective of what is going on but, in my experience, I felt more as though that unless you read the book as a whole, you would be more than a little
confused. Even reading the whole thing together, I was left kind of puzzled exactly what was happening at times. Maybe collecting each individual character’s chapters together and telling each story consecutively rather than splitting them between the other perspectives might have worked better? I don’t know. What I do know is that laying out the book in its current form just made this read like any other novel.
I felt that the whole evil lurking below the surface of a small town idea has been done before and done better. I didn’t particularly think there was much new here and I’m afraid I felt a little disappointed as I was expecting so much more. The author seems to expect the reader to stump up quite a bit of suspension of disbelief to buy into this whole story presented here
and, for me, it was a bit more than I was willing to cough up! The whole background behind what occurs also felt weak and not properly fleshed out and this book ended up resembling a house built on very shaky foundations. Case in point: I may have missed it but at no time did I find reference to how the family decided to move to this area in the first place or how they chose this town over all of the other small towns or how they found the house they moved
into. This seemed like quite an important point to me and one whose absence was
sorely missed. I also found the characters very hard to connect with and not very believable either if I’m being brutally honest - though I did think that using an animal as one of the character perspectives is ridiculous.
It is interesting to note that this is the second of Miss Lane’s novels that I have read that has tried to do something a little bit different (the other was Finding Poe). The only one of her books that I have enjoyed so far, World Mart, has been perhaps the most conventional of the three I have reviewed. I am all for writers attempting something different but I’m not sure
that here, the idea really works as well as it could’ve. This is a book that I really couldn’t get on with and struggled to wade through to the end. I’m trying right now to think of something positive to say about this book but all I can say is that I’m falling woefully short.
The concept behind all this may have been a marvelous idea but it’s fair to say, that it didn’t really work at all and this really did get two thumbs down.
Sons of Thunder by James Rollo
TBR Reviewer: Brutally Honest
Telling was a real issue in this book. It was also hard to deal with the descriptions of people such as the first details of Pop Thunder. It was one paragraph of exactly what he looked like. There was no blending or careful weaving. It’s the like editor or publisher said this character needs some description and the author just threw a paragraph it in to please them. It’s also very jumpy. One minute Pop Thunder is looking at his boys trying to remember where he stole these tight boots and the next where TOLD that the thunders didn’t know they were seen by those they were following. Still with me? Then there’s the dreaded head hopping. This combined with the telling and let me tell you this was freaking hard to read. I barely made it through the first few chapters and that’s such a shame. I haven’t read a good western (non-romance) in a long time.
What happened to the days of Bonanza and Clint Eastwood wielding a gun and saying memorable one-liners? Oh well, Sons of Thunder was a bust.
The Huntress by Valerie Herme
TBR Reviewer: Brutally Honest
The cover was the best part of this book.
My goodness, an editor, please. He says, she says, he says, she says...Ugh. That’s just the first issue. Why is this woman asking a total stranger to lick her and then she’s surprised when he tries to force himself on her. She keeps talking about different women with no explanation on
who they are and then she manages to freeze this guy. What is going on? This needs a serious rework to be comprehensible! Chapter two is just a brief peek into something, we don’t know where, who these people are or why I should even care about them. There is no character development and it’s very hard to follow the story. Several times, I had read a passage over to try to sort everything out. It was a lot of effort with no satisfaction.
I can’t even give this two stars, which is ‘the story has potential’. This story had no solid plot, no details, and no order. Perhaps I’ll try this author again in the future because there was the smallest of lights behind a few of the scenes but nothing that burst through the cloud of
issues in The Huntress.
SLIPSTREAM by MICHAEL OFFUTT
TBR REVIEWER– MARK WOODS
After a car accident puts Jordan Pendragon in hospital, he awakes able to manipulate space and time and finds himself seemingly being followed by a mysterious British male with an unhealthy interest in Jordan. After tackling his pursuer, Jordan finds himself transported to an alternate dimension, put in peril by the Manhattan Projects Atomic experiments in our world way back in 1945. With an insane Super-Computer now in control of this new world, Jordan quickly discovers that events happening in this parallel reality have dire ramifications and consequences for his own dimension unless he can utilise his new abilities to alter the future. But time is running out...
This was a bit of a strange book that never really fully came together for me. Jordan himself is a bit of a contradiction - a sporty guy who loves Ice Hockey but who is also a bit of a science geek who spends his down-time considering Schrodinger’s cat in some detail. His sister as well remains something of an enigma for much of this novel and neither character ever really develops much beyond the first page. The plot felt highly derivative and a bit
of a mish-mash of ideas better utilised by other authors who have come before. This seemed to borrow heavily from such fare as Stephen King’s Dark Tower series with its themes of destruction able to cross between worlds. There are even two towers, one Black, one White, that co-exist (one in our world, one in Avalon, the parallel reality) and which seem to hold all reality together! Even though this book may have held a little shred of promise in its opening chapters, ultimately it never really delivered and the end result was something
of a disappointment!
I didn’t think it was possible to be offended by an accent, let alone reading it in a book, but the British character seemed to just spout as many generic and stereotypical British cuss words as was possible as soon as he was properly introduced. Think a cruder version of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins and you will come close! But that was just a small thing. Overall, this whole novel just felt a little clumsy and unstructured and I think it was about the half-way point that I realised that not only could I not associate or find it in myself to care about the characters, but that I still didn’t feel as though I really knew them. I felt no connection with them whatsoever and this made it very hard for me to even care what happened to them...
This is the first book in a series and I can honestly say that it has kind of put me off wanting to continue any further.