Book Review: Zombie Playlist by K.J Chapman

Release Date: 4th September 

Description:

Dagger has survived the zombie apocalypse with nothing save a metal bat, blades, and assholery. With the company of an IPOD she attained courtesy of Dead-Dude, and King, the Bunker-Boy straggler she somehow acquired on her journey, she travels to the coast, putting down zombies, blowing up high-grade assholes, and teaching King how to ditch his pre-apocalypse conscience and keep his yellow ass alive.

 

Review:

I received a free copy of this from the author herself (via Instagram) in exchange for an honest review.

Dagger is making her way to Cornwall. There is a house that she owns there and a safe haven, from the zombies (or bitey-assholes as  she calls them),  when she saves King, a man who has spent the last ten months in a bunker. He begs her to help him, which she agrees to, reluctantly

This book should really be called How a badass survived the zombie apocalypse. I loved this novella, so much so I read it in one sitting! (That doesn’t happen very often, I have the attention span of a goldfish.).

This book is funny, clever and even touching in places. The author has cleverly intertwined the music into the story with each chapter is the title of a song ranging from classics such as Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones to Milkshake by Kelis. I love the prickly Dagger (she’s a woman by the way and a complete and utter bad ass) who plays off the sweet hearted King.

I will warn people if you’re not a fan of swearing in books this may not be for you.  But I personally don’t think the author uses it gratuitously and if I were in an apocalypse, I’d be swearing too.

If I had any critique, it would be there could have been a little more detail and in places the story jumped a little bit quickly from one scene to another.

Also I just wanted more!!!

I don’t know if the author has plans for more stories featuring Dagger and King but I would definitely read them!

Rating 4/5

Author Bio:

16790663_1435766229808123_826990265_nK.J. Chapman is an avid tea drinker, writer, blogger, book lover, and author of the EVO Nation Series, and Thrown to The Blue.

Born and raised in Cornwall, England, and with an accent to match, she is a self-proclaimed fan girl and geek; lover of everything science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal.

Social media links:

Blog: https://writerlybookishstuff.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KJ86CHAPMAN

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KJ86CHAPMAN/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/k.j.chapman/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14136313.K_J_Chapman

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/K.J.-CHAPMAN/e/B011L8QOM2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1502004118&sr=1-1 

 

 

 

Book Review: Kingstone by Katherine Hetzel.

Genre: Children’s fiction, Fantasy

Description:

Temple novice Katia wants nothing more than to become a priest in the Temple of the Triple Gods. She tries hard to do the right thing, but she’s on her last chance to convince Elder Sevanya, the King’s Priest, that she can do the job. While she’s belatedly setting up the incense to prove she’s a competent acolyte, Katia overhears the king’s brother plotting to kill the king.

She steals the Kingstone to protect it and to deliver it to the true heir with a message: the killer is after him too.

Not knowing who to trust, Katia keeps her mission secret. Her theft of the precious stone puts a price on her head and she disguises herself as a boy to undertake the dangerous journey across sea and land to the true heir’s palace. Doing the right thing just got a lot harder.

Will the Triple Gods forgive her?

Review:

I was contacted by the author and received a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.

Katia is doing what she always wanted to, training to become a priest in the Temple of the Triple Gods, but unfortunately it seems she is not very good at it! She accompanies Elder Sevenya and the King of her world back to her homeland Indigon and must prove that she’s worthy of becoming a priest or they will leave her there.

She overhears the king’s brother plotting to kill the King but it is too late to save him, so she takes the Kingstone, sacred relic that only the King can possess, to deliver it back to it’s rightful heir and stop the death plot against him.

In order to complete her task, she disguises herself as a boy and stows away on a ship where she meets the mysterious Mynott, who agrees reluctantly to help her with her quest.

I have to be honest I wasn’t that taken by the cover, (it kind of reminded me of some old fashioned books I had to read as a child in school back in the nineties), but this book is a real hidden gem.

It may be a fantasy novel but at it’s heart this story is about adventure. There were some good twists and turns, which kept me turning page after page.

Katia is great character, full of self doubt, a tendency to speak her mind (even when she shouldn’t), but she has a good heart and knows when to do the right thing.

There were some religious overtones, which may not be to everyone’s taste, but the author managed to not let them over power the story.  Also I found the concept of the triple gods (the sun god, the moon god and the mountain god) intriguing but I would have liked to have known a bit more about the mythology surrounding them.

I also felt like I wanted to learn more about the fantastic world the author created.  Were there more lands than just Eraton and Indigon?  I would have loved have seen a map (I just want to point out here I didn’t see the final version, so I’m not sure if a map is included).

Rating 4/5.

Author bio:

Katherine’s had a variety of jobs, including egg-pickler, pic’n’mix sweet assistant, a pharmaceutical microbiologist, classroom assistant, and volunteer librarian.crop red top

She’s currently an author, with two ‘Granny Rainbow’ story collections and two novels- StarMark (May 2016) and Kingstone (June 2017) – published for children. She’s also published in a number of anthologies for adults, including Stories for Homes, A Seeming Glass, Something Rich and Strange, and was long listed and published in the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize 2017 anthology.

She enjoys visiting schools to share her love of creative writing with children and young people, and helps to run NIBS, a small creative writing group in her town.

Available to buy: Physical copies can be ordered from various chains in the UK – Waterstones, Foyles and Blackwells list it. via Amazon, also available from selected Barnes and Noble stores in the US, and via the publisher on their Book Peddler page. http://bbp.bedazzledink.com/ Also available as kindle or epub versions.

Reading guide available at : http://binkbooks.bedazzledink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Kingstone-ReadingGuide.pdf

Blog: https://squidgesscribbles.blogspot.co.uk/

Book Review: Dead Jealous by Helen H Durrant

Genre: Mystery/Thriller.

Description:

TWO MOTHERS HAVE LOST THEIR DAUGHTERS — SEVENTEEN YEARS APART. CAN DETECTIVE CALLADINE BRING THEM JUSTICE?

A teenage girl’s body is found in the back of a car on the notorious Hobfield housing estate. No one had reported her missing, but she’s been dead for a week.

Meanwhile, an old jar is brought into the station. It was found carefully wrapped in a blanket, with a child’s pink hairclip. The jar contains ashes and bone fragments.

Seventeen years ago, Detective Tom Calladine had been part of a team investigating the disappearance of Jessica Wilkins. Her mother had taken her to Leesdon Park one summer afternoon. She went to get the child an ice cream and when she returned her daughter was gone. Over the years there were no sightings, no witnesses — nothing.
Will there finally be closure for this unsolved mystery?

And why was the girl found in the car killed and why are her friends not telling the police the whole story?

Detectives Tom Calladine and Ruth Bayliss will unravel a web of lies and pain, in this fast-moving and gripping crime mystery.

Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the stunning conclusion.

If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Mel Sherratt, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will enjoy this exciting new crime fiction writer. 

DEAD JEALOUS is book seven of a new series of detective thrillers featuring D.S. Ruth Bayliss and D.I. Tom Calladine.

THE DETECTIVES
Tom Calladine is a detective inspector who is devoted to his job. His personal life, however, is not so successful. Having been married and divorced before the age of twenty-one has set a pattern that he finds difficult to escape.
Ruth Bayliss is in her mid-thirties, plain-speaking but loyal. She is balancing her professional life with looking after a small child.

THE SETTING
The fictional village of Leesdon on the outskirts of an industrial northern English city. There is little work and a lot of crime. The bane of Calladine’s life is the Hobfield housing estate, breeding ground to all that is wrong with the area that he calls home.

DISCOVER YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE MYSTERY SERIES NOW

THE CALLADINE & BAYLISS MYSTERY SERIES
Book 1: DEAD WRONG
Book 2: DEAD SILENT
Book 3: DEAD LIST
Book 4: DEAD LOST
Book 5: DEAD & BURIED
Book 6: DEAD NASTY
Book 7: DEAD JEALOUS

Review:

So this it the first Calladine and Bayliss novel I’ve read which being the seventh one, which was probably not the ideal place to start!

Don’t get me wrong, I liked the characters of Tom Calladine who’s only stable relationship is the one with his partner Ruth Bayliss, who is trying to grapple with motherhood, a distant partner and policing, but I felt like the author assumed every reader had read the last six books before this one and missed a lot of details out. I still am not entirely sure what either detective looks like.  I could have also really done with a brief recap or something of what had happened in the previous books.

I did feel like the plot relied a lot on coincidences. For instance, Flora Appleton, the teenager who is murdered at the very beginning of the book), happened to live, with her mother, in the same block of flat as the mother of the missing two year old Jessica Wilkins. How small a town is Leesdon? (There are more examples than that but I don’t want to spoil the plot for anyone reading this.)

Anyway the thing that saved it for me was the author’s writing style. It was so fast paced, I finished the book in around two days (that is fast for me I can tell you!) because I desperately wanted to know who the killers were.

I may have to go back to the beginning and read the first book Dead Wrong.

Rating: 3/5

I received a copy of this via NetGalley.

Review: No Plain Rebel by MC Frank

Genre: Young Adult/Sci-fi

Description:

A soldier is summoned to the North Pole, days before the year changes, told to fix a the great Clock for a celebration. He has no idea what to do.
A girl, hunted for the crime of being born, almost dies out on the ice. She is rescued by the last polar bear left alive.
A library waits for them both, a library built over a span of a hundred years, forgotten in the basement of an ice shack.
The world hasn’t known hunger or sickness in hundreds of years. It has also forgotten love and beauty.
The year is 2525.

Inspired by the short stories of Ray Bradbury, this futuristic novel is set in a world where Christmas -among other things- is obsolete and a Clock is what keeps the fragile balance of peace.

Written in three installments, this is the breathtaking and sensual story of how two unlikely people change the world, and each other, one book at a time.

Immerse yourself into the icy cold world of this scorching hot new novel.

In No Plain Rebel, Felix finds out the truth.
Or so he thinks. He’s trying to come to terms with that, as well as with the fact that the Clockmaster’s shack has been discovered by his fellow-soldiers, but he can’t exactly concentrate. The match girl’s fiery curls appear before his eyes every ten seconds, distracting him, and then he starts talking to her in his head.
Because she’s no longer there.
The Stadium is looming in the distance.
It’s ten heartbeats to midnight.

Review:

So this is the second book in the series, see my review of the first No Ordinary Star here.

We left Felix and Astra exploring the depth of the Clockmaster’s cabin, after discovering a secret basement full of banned objects including books, toys and Christmas decorations.

This second book takes the story to the next level and is one of the rare books I can say is even better than the first. Felix is no longer a ‘tin soldier’ and is beginning to wake up and see the world for what it really is. I like that we find out a bit more about the characters histories, including why Felix grew up in the Box (a terrifying prison) and Astra’s childhood in the rebel camp. Also the introduction character of Karim (he’s Felix’s adopted brother) made it even more interesting. He is a soldier like Felix although he is still under the control of the evil Chairman Kun.

I also love the developing relationship between Felix and Astra, (I am literally dying for these two characters to kiss but it’s forbidden by the laws of their planet).

I was a little sad that Ursa the polar bear didn’t make an appearance in this book, I would have like to have seen Karim’s reaction to her.

There are some fantastic twists and turns in the book, especially when you get nearer to the end, with another cliffhanger ending (you’re killing me, MC Frank). I know the final book in the series is out at the end of the year and I honestly can’t wait!

Rating: 4.5/5

I received a free copy of this via the author in exchange for an honest review.

On The Shelf Reviews: Blog Tour, Little Bird by Sharon Dempsey.

Genre: Mystery/Thriller.

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Book Description:

Some secrets are best kept quiet.

Declan Wells, a forensic psychologist, has a lot on his plate. He has been struggling with the aftermath of a car bomb, which has left him in a wheelchair, his wife has been dutiful but Declan is certain she is having an affair, and his eldest daughter Lara’s new property developer husband, has dubious business practices.

Meanwhile, Anna Cole is running away from her mother’s death and a stale relationship. On secondment to the Police Service of Northern Ireland from Wales, Anna hopes that she can throw herself into work to distract herself from her guilt.

Then the murders begin and the killer leaves behind some very strange messages.

Can Anna and Declan work together to catch this deranged murderer?

Will either of them be able to get over their turbulent pasts?

 

Review:

Anna is in the middle of a crisis, her adoptive mother has just died, so in an attempt to find her birth mother she takes a transfer to Belfast. She thrown in the deep end when the daughter of Declan Wells, former police psychologist, is found dead, quickly followed by another young girl.

So this story is good old police procedural, which is my favourite within the whole crime/mystery genre. It is written very well, keeping me turning page after page. I like both the main characters, Anna and Declan, who during the course book start an affair which almost costs Anna her job. It was also a nice touch that as well as being a policewoman, Anna is also an artist which is not something I’ve come across in all my years reading detective fiction.

A little word of warning to people with a sensitive stomach, there are few scenes describing taxidermy in detail that made a hardened crime fan, like myself, feel a little queasy.

But the story line does fall down in a few places. I know this is just me being picky, but there was only one real suspect and the killers motive was never really clear.

Still a good read and one I’d recommend to people who enjoy MJ Arlidge or Jane Casey.

Rating: 4/5

 

Author Bio: Sharon Dempsey.

Sharon Dempsey is a Belfast based writer of fiction and non-fiction books, with four health FullSizeRenderbooks published. She facilitates therapeutic creative writing classes for people affected by cancer and other health challenges and runs a creative writing group for young people, called Young Scribblers, at the Crescent Arts Centre.

Sharon studied Politics and English at Queen’s University and went on to City University, London to do a postgraduate diploma in journalism. She has written for a variety of publications and newspapers, including the Irish Times.

Through the Arts Council NI’s Support for the Individual Artist Programme (SIAP), Sharon was awarded funding, which she used to acquire mentoring from, bestselling Irish crime writer, Louise Phillips. Louise was a great support while Sharon was writing Little Bird, her first crime novel.

Links:

Twitter:@svjdempz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SharonDempsey13

Blog: https://1stchapterdempsey.wordpress.com

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Review: 23:27 by H L Roberts

So I’ve had a bit of a hectic week, my birthday was at the weekend and I went to visit my sister, so I missed my usual Tuesday post but I’m back and here’s my latest review:

Genre: Young Adult.

Release Date: August 2017

Description:

Fame.

Money.

Glory.

These were all the things that you would expect from being famous. The bait that the producers of the industry would tempt you with to get you on their side.

What they don’t tell you though are all the inner tragedies that come along just as quickly. They don’t tell you about the heartache that occurs when you realize that this wasn’t what you wanted at all.

They don’t tell you about the pressure that’s always on the verge of crushing you when you’re forced to do everything that the public demands for and not what you truly desire.

They don’t tell you about the self hatred that would soon take over your entire being at the thought that you will never be good enough.

No – they don’t tell you these things at all.

But, Lilith Rose will.

When Lilith Rose, lead singer to one of the most famous rock bands around gets tired of all the lies and secrets that comes with being famous.

She decides that it’s time for all of it to stop and ends up revealing everything on a Facebook live stream.

The result…

“Part of me wants to die tonight, part of me wants it to be an accident, and part of me wants someone to notice and save me.” – Lilith Rose.

Review:

I was given a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

So the story is all about Alec and Lilith who are forced apart by their dastardly record company. Lilith is forced into a ‘shomance’ with Markus and after two years of not being able to be with the man she truly loves, she wants to end it all.

Now, romance is not my thing,(as British person, I feel the genre contains far too many messy emotions!), but I ended up being quite surprised by this book. It nearly had in tears on several occasions. I also loved the character of Alec, the tough man on the surface with the soft squishy centre.

I did get a little frustrated with the story at times. Like for instance, I don’t think the author made good use of the character of Markus. I feel that he could have made a good villain, manipulating Lilith, getting inside her head and playing on her insecurities. I also found the character of Lilith a little annoying and felt like screaming at her several times, ‘just tell him how you feel woman!’.

Definitely an emotional roller coaster. I’d recommend this to fans of Nicola Yoon.

Rating: 3/5

About the Author:

H.L. Roberts is a short story writer and a contemporary novelist from a small town in Kentucky. She is currently in her third year of college where she is double majoring in english literature and marketing. When she isn’t reading a book you can find her raising awareness about mental illness, suicide prevention, and epilepsy. You can follow her and her writing ventures at www.facebook.com/hlrobertsofficial.

On The Shelf Reviews: Blog Tour; Before I Left by Daisy White.

Genre: Mystery/thriller.

Description:

A LONG HOT SUMMER, A CITY BY THE SEA, AND A SERIAL KILLER ON THE LOOSE.

Nineteen-year-old runaway Ruby Baker and pregnant best friend Mary escape domestic violence in London to find a new home in Brighton. They join a glitzy set of party girls, who are hell-bent on enjoying themselves in the new freedom of the 1960s.

But their new life soon comes under threat. Someone is watching Ruby. A tall stranger who Ruby keeps spotting in the shadows.  This man may have followed them from London. And Ruby fears her dark secret will be exposed.

Then a murder at a local beauty spot brings danger for the party-loving set, and the first murder is followed by a second. Rumours of occult sacrifices spread across town

In a breathtaking conclusion, Ruby faces a race against time to save someone very close to her, and her new life may be destroyed and her secrets exposed.

Discover a gripping new writer today. Great for fans of Lisa Jewell, Angela Marsons, or LJ Ross.

 

Review:

Ruby is running away from an abusive stepdad, her pregnant friend Mary, an abusive husband. They swap Croydon for the bright lights of Brighton, thinking nobody would find them there. But somebody is watching them, breaking into their flat leaving gifts and threatening phone calls. Then young women like themselves start turning up dead.

It’s a short book, only twenty three chapters with an array of interesting characters. I really did end up caring what happened to both Ruby, Mary and her baby. But, I’m just nit picking here, I didn’t think it was a psychological thriller. Well, to be more specific it started out as a psychological thriller, with the whole Ruby feels like she’s being watched and nobody takes her seriously thing,  but ended up being a good old murder mystery. I’m not saying that is a bad thing because I love a good mystery but it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

Another point is I still have no idea what year it was meant to be set. From the blurb it says the ‘sixties’ but the that was a whole ten year period and as someone who’s entire knowledge of the era comes from watching ‘Carry On’ films and listening to The Beatles I really would have like a bit more scene setting.

Overall an interesting book but I personally would have stuck with the murder mystery aspect of it and got rid of the stalker/psychological part but that, of course, is just my opinion.

Rating: 3/5

 

Links

http://daisywhiteauthor.co.uk/press/

www.joffebooks.com

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=daisywhiteauthor

 

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