Book reviews, Contemporary fiction, Dystopian fiction, post-apocalyptic, Science fiction

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

From a Tang Dynasty legend of a young girl trained as an assassin with the ability to skip between dimensions on a secluded mountain sanctuary to a space colony called Nova Pacifica that reflects on a post-apocalyptic world of the American Empire and ‘Moonwalker’ Neil Armstrong, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories is laced with  depictions of silkpunk fantasy, Sci-Fi and old Chinese folklore, wrapped up in a mesmerising genre-bending collection of short stories.
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MY REVIEW 

This is a collection of short stories by Ken Liu with the theme of Science fiction. 

These are tales of alien invasion, of the singularity ( the digitisation of human consciousness – a bit like the film Chappie), survival after the singularity, climate disaster and post apocalypse survival. There are some lighter moments but not many.

This is not a light happy read but almost a warning of letting technology take over and leaving us in a digital dystopia. 

I have to admit a couple of stories did go right over my head, I really missed the point I think and was left a bit puzzled, but this in no way detracts from this rather marvellous, dark and thought provoking collection. 

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Ken Liu is an American author and the winner of the Nebula, Hugo, Locus, World Fantasy, Sidewise, and Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards. He emigrated to the US from China at age of 11 and graduated from Harvard with a degree in English Literature and Computer Science. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Ken worked as a software engineer, corporate lawyer, and litigation consultant. His work includes the epic fantasy series, The Dandelion Dynasty and his debut collection, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories. His short story Good Hunting was adapted for an episode for Netflix’s science fiction web series Love, Death and Robots. 

Book reviews, Science fiction

Chasing Solace by Karl Drinkwater – Book Review

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The legendary Lost Ships exist, and they harbour nightmarish horrors. Opal knows. She barely survived her first encounter with one.

Despite escaping, she failed to find what she was looking for: her lost sister. Now Opal must board a second derelict Lost Ship to seek answers, and it’s even more monstrous, a sickening place of death and decay. To make things worse, the military government wants her, dead or alive. Considering their reputation, dead may be better.

To find her sister, Opal will risk everything: her life, her blood, her sanity. There’s always a price to pay. Armed with her wits, an experimental armoured suit, and an amazing AI companion, she might just stand a chance.

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MY REVIEW 

#2 in the Solace series by Karl Drinkwater. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I feel you are missing out if you haven’t read Lost Solace….

This starts with Opal and Athene (the AI on board the ship, previously called Clarissa, but she changed her own name to Athene…a warrior and wise) they are about to infiltrate a base on Exidris 3 to steal or fabricate supplies.

It seems relatively isolated, so while waiting for Athene to fabricate items, she has a nosy around the security feeds….what she finds is surgery being performed on people by robotic surgeons. These subjects are those who failed the purity tests and they find out that nobody leaves the facility…..Opal wants to save them…..Can she? 

When their mission is complete, they are finally on their journey to find the second Lost ship….still searching for Opal’s sister Clarissa.

They find the ship and Opal gets suited up and off she goes….and things get horrific.

The ship is a food production ship, they grow Chattel….animals for food, with less bone and more meat and something else is roaming the dark. When Opal finds something sticky and web like, my heart skipped at beat….not spiders!!!

No, not spiders exactly, but a mix of insect, arachnid and crustacean….a thing of nightmares..

There’s also an assassin. It’s never easy is it? Then she meets the Oracles!!

This is non-stop action, with a strong Ripley-esq female character and her relationship with the AI Athene, a real friendship and they rely on each other. Gruesome, fun and emotional too. Will Opal find Clarissa? Will she be what she expects? …..

Brilliantly immersive and entertaining. I can’t wait for #3 in the series.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials. This is my honest, unbiased review.

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Book reviews, Murder mystery, Police procedural

M For Murder by Keri Beevis – Book Review

Welcome to the Publication Day Party for M For Murder by Keri Beevis.


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Twenty-Six Letters. But only one Killer? 

In 1989 the Alphabet Killer, Professor Rodney Boone, murdered eight students. The victims, ‘A’ to ‘H’, were each found with their surname initial carved into their neck. Victim nine narrowly escaped and the murderer was left to burn to death.

Eight years later and rookie police officer, Rebecca Angell, is thrown headlong into assisting a murder investigation. A body is found floating in the sewer, bearing the initial ‘J’. The investigators are convinced they are dealing with a copycat killer, but Boone’s body was never recovered…

As Angell scrambles to uncover the truth, the body count continues to rise, and it soon becomes apparent that the killer is intent on completing the alphabet…

 

*** This book was previously published as Dead Letter Day ***

What everyone is saying about M for Murder:

“kept me gripped until the end”

“recommend to any fan of detective or crime fiction”

“Excellent storytelling, turns and twists and good mystery”

“Brilliant edge if your seat crime novel couldn’t put it down”

Keri Beevis is also the author of the bestselling psychological thrillers Dying to Tell and Deep Dark Secrets. M for Murder is a gripping crime thriller which will keep you guessing until the very end. It will appeal to fans of authors like Angela Marsons, Robert Bryndza and Patricia Gibney

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MY REVIEW 

Rodney Boone was a serial killer, known as the Alphabet Killer due to his habit of carving a letter into his victims skin. When one of his victims escaped he had been stabbed and the house set alight. He died in the fire and the killings stopped.

But now 8 years later, rookie cop, Rebecca Angell and her partner Vic, have found a body in the sewer with the letter J carved into his skin. Is this a copycat?

The FBI turn up to take over the investigation, and Rebecca and Vic are to help. She’s feisty and determined and takes no nonsense from anyone, but will this put her in danger? Can they catch the killer before anyone else dies?

With great characters, some likeable and some just downright creepy, this is a fast paced, twisty whodunnit and is completely unputdownable. 

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to take part in the publication day party,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Keri Beevis wrote her first novel at age twenty, but it was a further twenty years before she was published after winning a contract in the Rethink Press New Novels Competition 2012.

Born in the village of Old Catton, less than a mile from where Anna Sewell was living when she wrote Black Beauty, Keri had a passion for reading and writing from a young age, though her tastes veered more to the macabre.

Today she still lives in Norwich, along with her two naughty kitties, Ellie and Lola, and a plentiful supply of red wine (her writing fuel), where she writes a comedic lifestyle column for a local magazine. She loves Hitchcock movies, exploring creepy places, and gets extremely competitive in local pub quizzes. She is also a self-confessed klutz.

Keri joined the Bloodhound team in 2019 and her first release with them, the psychological thriller, Dying To Tell, which is set in her beautiful home county of Norfolk, has been her biggest success to date, with over 1200 four and five star ratings on Goodreads.
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Her new novel, Deep Dark Secrets (which was previously published as The Darkness Beneath) was released in January 2020.

Find out more about Keri and her books at www.keribeevis.com or you can follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/allaboutbeev or Twitter at www.twitter.com/keribeevis

Book reviews, Non fiction

The Dark Side Of The Mind by Kerry Daynes – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Welcome to the world of the forensic psychologist, where the people you meet are wildly unpredictable and often frightening.

The job: to delve into the psyche of convicted men and women to try to understand what lies behind their often brutal actions.

Follow in the footsteps of Kerry Daynes, one of the most sought-after forensic psychologists in the business and consultant on major police investigations.

Kerry’s job has taken her to the cells of maximum-security prisons, police interview rooms, the wards of secure hospitals and the witness box of the court room.

Her work has helped solve a cold case, convict the guilty and prevent a vicious attack.

Spending every moment of your life staring into the darker side of life comes with a price. Kerry’s frank memoir gives an unforgettable insight into the personal and professional dangers in store for a female psychologist working with some of the most disturbing men and women.

 

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MY REVIEW 

This is both absolutely fascinating and totally terrifying in the same measure. Not only because of the terrible crimes that have been committed but also the way people are treated by the prison system too.

Kerry Daynes gives an honest account of her career as a forensic psychologist, her experiences with some of the most dangerous people, regrettably some of those worked for the prison service.

There are some individual case studies, some general observations and background information on what it is to be a forensic psychologist.

She also tells of her personal life, a relationship with a controlling partner, a harrowing experience of being stalked and the day to day misogyny she had to deal with, all the while being professional and showing real empathy for her clients. An incredible insight into the world of incarceration and mental health. 

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Kerry Daynes is a Consultant and Forensic Psychologist, speaker and media commentator. For over twenty years her average week has involved working with everything from stressed-out parents to serial killers and she is a sought-after court-appointed expert witness. Kerry regularly appears on international television networks and in the media; she was ‘The Profiler’ over three series of Discovery’s top-rated ‘Faking It’ documentaries. Kerry is Patron of the National Centre for Domestic Violence and Talking2Minds. She is an advocate for better conversations about mental distress and alternatives to the culture of psychological ‘disorder’. Kerry lives in Cheshire with two huge dogs and yes, she is a proud natural ginger.

 

http://www.kerrydaynes.online/

 

Twitter @KerryDaynes

 

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Paperback: 304 pages

  • Publisher: Endeavour; 01 edition (20 Feb. 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1788402170
  • ISBN-13: 978-1788402170

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Side-Mind-Forensic-Psychologist/dp/1788402170