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andy angel (Sheffield, England)

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Black Mountain 1: The Red Key
Black Mountain 1: The Red Key
Price: 1.85

5.0 out of 5 stars A spooky (but oh so promising)beginning, 15 Mar 2014
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This slightly creepy and disturbing little volume from Spectral Press is, thankfully, only the beginning.

It starts with the Simon getting a call to visit an old friend, Rob, who he hasn't seen in many years. It seems Rob has had some kind of breakdown, is hospitalized and will only talk to Simon. Simon will come to wish he'd ignored the call.

As an opening chapbook this has everything I'd want, good job I've got volumes 2 and 3 ready to go on my kindle


Unwoven (The Tethers Trilogy)
Unwoven (The Tethers Trilogy)
Price: 1.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to expectations, 7 Mar 2014
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Unproven is the follow up to last year's 'Tethers', set 18 months after that book.
It is obvious that since returning from their first adventure things have not been good between our heroes, Esther and Karl. They will be thrown together again though when tragedy strikes their village and they must set out to solve a riddle and try and exact vengeance.
This was another strong volume from Jack Croxall, good characters, good storytelling and nicely setting things up for the final volume. My only gripe is that it was over too quickly and now I have to wait for book 3.

This is a Young Adult novel that will be enjoyed by all ages.


A Rotten Core
A Rotten Core
Price: 0.77

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairytales with a twist (4.5 stars), 4 Mar 2014
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This review is from: A Rotten Core (Kindle Edition)
This collection recalls the fairytales you grew up with but maybe not quite how you remember them. First and foremost of them is a version of Snow White that shows many of the characters in a different light to the one you would have expected. The seven dwarves are all in there along with the step mother, the hunter and Snow herself but this beautifully told tale actually seems more plausible than the Disney version you are most likely to recall.

Among the other stories, my personal favourites were 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' (best last line in a story for a long time - still makes me chuckle now) and 'Elixir' a tale of the perils of eternal youth.

Also in here you'll find, among others, Narcissus, The Three Little Pigs, A fairy who owns and runs a brothel and mamy more.

A quality collection that will make you think again about the stories you grew up with


King's Artesan: 3 (Artesans of Albia)
King's Artesan: 3 (Artesans of Albia)
by Cas Peace
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An end and a new beginning, 20 Dec 2013
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This, book 3 in the first of the 3 trilogies, picks up from exactly where the second ended. Major Sullyan (Sully)has won her battle but is suffering severe injuries as a consequence. With help she manages to remove the majority of the poison on her body but there is still a small portion within her she can't reach and if it is left there it will kill her.

The answer turns out to be that to cure her completely she needs the staff, the 'maguffin' from the first book, which is still in Taran's cellar back in their home realm but Sully, due to the poison in her system is unable to cross between realms so it is up to her friends to retrieve the staff before the enemy get to it.

This is a very good end to a quite remarkable story and the author has done a very good job of tying up the loose ends here while setting things in motion for the next series in the trilogy. The whole world (or series of world's if you want to think of it like that)is well realized and the lead characters are the kind of people you want to spend time with. Add to that a quite clever magic system and you're onto a winner.

As a lead character Sully is probably one of the best there is at this moment in time. She is a leader who cares for, and about, those under her command and her friends but is prepared to do what is needed to get the job done.

So, the next up will be a new trilogy and hopefully it won't be too far away as I can't wait to travel in Cas Peace's realms again


The Broken Shore (#5 - The Craig Modern Thriller Series)
The Broken Shore (#5 - The Craig Modern Thriller Series)
Price: 1.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Catriona King, 19 Dec 2013
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The fifth book to feature Superintendent Marc Craig and his squad is more of what I expected - an intriguing murder to keep you guessing (even when you think you have the answer you'll find you are doubting yourself), a good feel for Belfast and the surrounding area, and the company of characters that feel like old friends.

The Crime this time involves the murder of a young woman where method and location have startling similarities to a murder 30 years ago, at the height of The Troubles. There is also a side Story that is a lot closer to home for one of the characters.

There is reference to events from earlier in the series and appearances from at least one character from a previous story so it would be of benefit (although not essential) to read the other books first.

As with the previous books in the series the storytelling is top notch, making you want more when the book is over. There is insight into the lives of the squad members, sometimes little things, sometimes momentous, but even the little things feel like they matter.

I am looking forward to the next book and seeing where things go for Marc Craig and his team. One thing is certain - Catriona King is a writer who deserves to be up there with the best of the crime writers -I see a bright future ahead for her


Nine Lives
Nine Lives
Price: 0.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just the ticket, 12 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Nine Lives (Kindle Edition)
I must say that until recently I haven't been a massive fan of short stories but here is another collection that has helped to change my mind.
I have been a fan of Terry Tyler's long fiction so trying the "short stuff" didn't take too much thinking about.
What we have here are nine excellent slices of human life, each slightly different but all well told. The author, as she usually does, gets you right under the skin of her characters. The stories, as you would expect, are not over long but that doesn't lessen the enjoyment factor.
A good solid collection suited to both male and female readers. Hopefully there will be more like this in the future.


Shot Through The Heart
Shot Through The Heart
Price: 0.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric spooky tale, 12 Nov 2013
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Ed James will be better known to his readers for the (quite excellent) Cullen books, a series of detective stories set in and around Edinburgh.

This latest from him moves him firmly into supernatural/ Hammer House of Horror territory - and, boy, has he done it well.

The story revolves around Mark Campbell who is writing a book on 'The Clearences' - not a good time in Scotlands history. Having a wife and new baby Mark uses an assistant to do some of his research but gets a call to say she is missing.

Mark goes up to the village of Ruthven to search for her but (as you may expect) all is not as it seems. Some of the villagers will talk to him, some won't, but there are certainly 'things afoot' in the Highlands of Scotland.

I do not want to give too much away so all I will say is, the book is very atmospheric and ramps up a lot of the tension by suggestion rather than blood and guts on every page. We see a man slowly seeming to fall slowly apart as he tries to come to terms with what is happening both to him and around him.

As I mentioned earlier, very much in the Hammer vein but also rather reminiscent of mid career James Herbert (when I felt he did his best work)

4 and 1/2 stars


Starers
Starers
Price: 1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The 'alternative zombies' are here, 18 Oct 2013
This review is from: Starers (Kindle Edition)
Well, this was a pleasant surprise. Imagine, if you will, the usual zombie/ heroes under siege story.....then turn it on it's head!!

The heroes, such as they are, are Dylan Keene, his wife Kirsty, daughter Lucy and his brother Lennon. It starts, innocuously enough, with Dylan and Lennon heading home from a night in the local pub. What they do not notice is the guy at the bus stop who just sts and watches them......he is just the first.

By the morning there are more. Many more. They are on the lawn, they are surrounding the house. Throughout the town everybody seems to have just stopped to stare at the Keene house.

The 'family under siege' aspect of the story is one that has been done many times before but always, you know something is going to happen. The zombies, or whatever the threat is (and let's be honest, these days it's nearly always zombies), are going to attack at some point and start with the ripping and tearing and flesh eating. And that is where this story is different, the antagonists, the people outside, do..................absolutely nothing! They just stand outside the house and throughout the town, and just .................stare.

It really is quite unsettling for the family, they cannot leave, and the people outside continue to do......nothing!!

Something is coming, but no-one knows what and when the something arrives, things will surely take a turn for the worst.

This is a good turnaround for the genre, the unzombie novel and a good tale it is too. Nathan Robinson is certainly a name to watch for the future - you'll be hearing a lot more from him.


Six of the Best: A Hellish Half-Dozen
Six of the Best: A Hellish Half-Dozen
Price: 1.93

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sx wondreful short stories, 18 Oct 2013
A couple of weeks ago I entered a competition on facebook, the prize was a copy of this book - thankfully I won. This is a really good collection!

As you would expect from the title their are six short stories in this collection, three zombie tales and three general horror.

The book opens with Mother's Milk, a truly disturbing tale of mother and child in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. I had become a little tired the whole zombie genre before reading this story but this author has really made me change my mind. It has moments that will truly set the reader on edge, horror as it should be.

Next comes 'The Shoot' where a wrestling fan gets to interview The Masked Marauder, the first interview the MM has ever done, and learns a secret he wasn't expecting.

Next up, '53 Minutes' another zombie tale, set in the same universe as Mother's Milk. The 53 minutes in the title is the time between death and reanimation. The story is set in what is left of a hospital and shows another angle to life after the apocalypse.

Roots, story 4 is set in the Old West with a father and two sons under siege from..........tumbleweed

The Wren is in the style of a folk tale set around Christmas but certainly not with a Christmassy ending.

The final story, Hooked, is another zombie tale but this time with a nautical leaning and set in the mid 19th century.

All these stories are of a very high quality. Horror, as a genre, can seem a bit overdone at times but this collection gives me hope for the future. I will certainly be looking out for more from this author and I suggest that, if horror is your thing, you do too, but for now I am heartily recommending this collection to you.


Congress of the Dead
Congress of the Dead
Price: 1.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Topical, and a good laugh too, 18 Oct 2013
What a brilliant idea....America was in shutdown at the time this short story was written, politicians bickering over the budget, people not being able to go to work in certain sectors. In a time of gloom and despondency one man set out to have some fun and put a smile back on peoples faces by doing what he does best.......sending the zombies to Congress.

What impressed me first and foremost was that although this is only a short story there is still time for the author to give a reason for the start of the zombie outbreak (so few zombie authors do that these days).

Timothy. W. Long is one of the leaders in the field of both zombie fiction and comedy zombie fiction. This falls firmly into the latter catagory and is a must read.


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