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A Cheshire Lad (Rural Cheshire, UK)

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Isolation
Isolation
Price: £3.56

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tale of bio-mayhem that may be around the corner, 14 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Isolation (Kindle Edition)
Isolation by Denise Stephenson.

Isolation :"..a novel about the dystopian future which is just around the corner... "

Hard-hitting in its aims from the outset and certainly pulling no medical punches, Isolation is a strong atmospheric debut novel that takes on a serious issue. This is a highly researched and detailed bio novel but despite this no medical knowledge required from the reader. The reader's cold feeling of paranoia begins with images of where people seem to be ubiquitously wearing masks and then develops further as the post-1984 Orwellian type government Sanitizers and Enforcers make their presences felt. Perhaps like me you might find yourself increasingly worrying about why your neck is itching while you read Isolation.
Strong realistic free flowing dialogue continues right through a novel that is easy to read even through jaunts between scenes.

"Then she proceeded to push her hair behind her ears, repeatedly. This was before the Touch Ban, but it was disgusting nonetheless..."

For the UK reader, it takes a little time to adjust to the American spelling and grammar throughout but this all adds to the atmosphere. I soon began to enjoy this as I got drawn into the increasing medical anxieties of Isolation's main characters.
Much time and love has obviously been spent putting Isolation together. This is a meticulously researched novel. Five stars are deserved and I hope there is a sequel.

" It might not be the nuclear Armageddon promised by the cold war, but it is no less deadly. "

Recommended.


The Yoga Sutras: A tale of sex, lies and spiritual enlightenment.
The Yoga Sutras: A tale of sex, lies and spiritual enlightenment.
by Jackson Radcliffe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertainingly different., 6 May 2014
The Yoga Sutras is a rich story. Driven by faultless, tightly packed dialogue the central character Dave, a forty something man embarks on a necessary voyage of discovery.

Dave is positioned at the centre of a triangle of three differently powerful women comprising his six year old daughter, his yoga teacher and his wife. Dave also has a trio of more ineffectual ( but no less amusing) men around him of whom he can't rely.

As Dave attempts to balance domesticity with his journey to spiritual enlightenment, Radcliffe uses sarcasm and irony throughout even the most kitchen-sink moments of Dave's journey:
"It was Dave's turn to feed the goldfish. It was his turn every day. Marlene couldn't be [bothered synonym] and Charlotte didn't care whether they lived or died....'If we don't feed them how long will they take to die?'asked Charlotte....Dave didn't know. 'If they get hungry will the big ones eat the little ones?' ..'When they die will they float or will they sink?' Dave didn't know the answers to any of Charlotte's questions. Or any of his own. He knew as much as the goldfish."

The Yoga Sutras is a polished intelligent book that could easily have come from one of the few big publishing houses and deserves to be an alternate choice for those who would normally choose to read from the same old names.
I like original books. That is why I read it. If there had been any paranormal vampires in this , it would have been in the recycling within five minutes. Instead I joined in Dave's entertainingly different journey.

Recommended.


The Almond Tree
The Almond Tree
by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising perspective., 7 April 2013
This review is from: The Almond Tree (Paperback)
Written from an interesting perspective, in The Almond Tree, author Michelle Cohen Corasanti writes surprisingly through the first person's eyes of a young Palestinian boy and his experiences of the conflict with the Israelis.

What makes the perspective more remarkable still is that the much travelled author is Jewish herself.

Destined to do well, The Almond Tree is both tender and includes cruelty in places, accessible and flows well. Based no doubt on many of the author's personal experiences it is sometimes easy to forget that this is a fictional novel.
Five stars.


The Blake Curse
The Blake Curse
Price: £1.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh flavoured writing., 30 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Blake Curse (Kindle Edition)
Very English without being in any way traditional or predictable, the Blake Curse is both a modern and energetic tale to suit the younger adult.

Interestingly, IC Camilleri's cultural origins add a pleasant flavour to the narrative of the Blake Curse.

Throughout the story there is always a lot going on with plots within plots that unravel regularly throughout the entire book. Perhaps it is a sign of modern times that I felt that The Blake Curse delivers in only one story the content equivalent to what would have previously needed several books of slightly different genres to get across.

Introduced by Twitter while looking for new talent, rather than the same names again and again, I was pleased with the Kindle version which was easily digestible, yet both hard and soft in theme.


Not Utopia
Not Utopia
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars More Velvet than Silk, 9 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Not Utopia (MP3 Download)
Not Utopia by Doris Brendel & Lee Dunham

Not Utopia gives you the best of several worlds.
In Doris Brendel's joint venture with multi-instrumentalist Lee Dunham , Not Utopia brims smooth production throughout utilising Brendel's power vocals with flawless musicianship. Many bases are covered from soft piano to hard guitar in a nicely rounded CD which true to Doris Brendel will always refuse to be pigeon holed.

Knowing exactly where to step on and off the pedal, strong vocals are never for a moment anywhere other than where they should be (and can only be) from someone with the experience of Brendel.

Kitchen sink opera lyrics in tracks such as Ebay and Going Out add to the accessibility of the album naturally where a current crop of manufactured artists would fall short.

The CD's most instant tracks for many will be the more mainstream title track and the memorable Going Out.

Not Utopia as an album fits into a clever niche by building progressive rock arrangements to suit modern instrumentation techniques. For this alone it makes great driving music in particular.

More sensitive, (but no less powerful) tender tracks such as Thank you and You're So Not show off the artists' folk origins to round the album off skilfully with a little surprise as a dessert.

I'm looking forward to seeing some of these songs live.

I discovered Doris Brendel's music online later than I should have and now I'm a fan, I'm going to work through her back catalogue. It might be a while before I remove Not Utopia from the car CD player, though.

Five stars.


Alison Wonderland
Alison Wonderland
Price: £3.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever genre-crossing novel, 14 April 2012
This review is from: Alison Wonderland (Kindle Edition)
Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith

A contemporary English novel yet flavoured almost as American as a first-person present-tense radio drama such as Sara Paretsky's "V.I Warshawski" manages to stay true to its roots through its distinct chapters with the many quintessential London references from start to end.

Alison Wonderland is deeper though.
Throughout the story, running alongside the narrator Alison, fine attention to detail is paid to the cast of bizarre characters' (and cleverly) their movements between the real and the surreal.

This is an intellectual novel intended for adults amongst us rather than youngsters, without it being an 'Adult' novel, a female novel without being 'chick-lit'.

Any negative reviews of Alison Wonderland might stem simply from the unusual fact that Helen Smith's novel crosses distinct literary genres.

Polished with defining chapters which move with strong modern dialogue.
Recommended.


Kiss the Darkness
Kiss the Darkness
Price: £2.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Crossing a minefield sensitively, 10 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Kiss the Darkness (Kindle Edition)
Kiss the darkness

A hospitalised sergeant already haunted with feelings of guilt over his wounded comrades quickly has to come to terms with the life-changing news that he'll be blind for the rest of his life.

The only distraction from his anguish comes in the form of Holly, the nurse lieutenant whose affection gives him a reason to live.

Although subtitled "An erotic romance", Kiss the Darkness is more of a sensitive, tender fusion of Wacaster's military novels such as Frigate: November with his lesser-known romantic works such as A Writer's Romance and will appeal more to the readers of romance than those expecting adult content.

At a nice length for Kindle, former serviceman Wacaster again sensitively balances rugged military dialogue with tenderness when crossing the professional minefield of a nurse-patient relationship.

Five stars.


Uncanny Valley
Uncanny Valley
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A polished short from the author of "Becoming", 25 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Uncanny Valley (Kindle Edition)
Marc Johnson's first outing since his atmospheric 2010 novel "Becoming" is this time a short story "Uncanny Valley."

Just as French-polished as his novel (and of the same flavour), and perhaps not for minors, "Uncanny Valley" builds up the story of Admiel from his fond but vague memories of the sweet sights and smells of any other normal childhood to shocking developments and revelations in his life, which eventually reveal Admiel to be someone hugely different than we expect. A quality story from Johnson which fits just nicely into a Kindle-break.
Five stars.


Hell Bound
Hell Bound
by Robert Wacaster
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Quick Fire, 10 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Hell Bound (Paperback)
Robert Wacaster is best known for his semi-autobiographical raucous novels based around the Las Vegas Casino scenes followed by his military novel and his lighter "Writer's Romance" series of books.
This time Wacaster departs far from the Earthly realities of love, gambling and life in the military. He returns with an unusual novel based on a man who wakes up to literally find he's in Hell, with absolutely no recollection of what he did to deserve to be there.

Straight to the point throughout and with the free-flowing dialogue that made his military novel Frigate: November prove an unlikely Kindle hit on both sides of the Atlantic, Hell Bound follows the central character's (also called Robert) journey to find out the truth. Wacaster shows his sensitive side too as he treads the path through an ultimate destination.
Never a dull moment in this book for grown-ups! 5 stars


Otoli
Otoli
by Bryony Allen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A sleek addictive tale., 8 May 2011
This review is from: Otoli (Paperback)
As someone who has worked one-to-one with victims of serious bullying for some time, I was particularly eager to read Bryony Allen's new novel "OTOLI". Bullying is serious cancer that can affect the entirety of youngsters' lives if left untreated. It is a subject that needs to be handled seriously and sensitively.

Following her razor-witted first novel "Mystery, Deceit and a School Inspector", Bryony Allen, a teacher herself, uses more of her classroom experience to venture into the "Young Adult" book sector with this polished outing. Told simultaneously from the perspectives of intertwined victims' often difficult experiences fitting in to the social jungle both inside and outside of school, "OTOLI" is bang up-to-date for her target audiences.

Sleek and paced for the modern market and far from a Stephen King "Carrie"-type revenge tale, "OTOLI" takes quite an unusual path that will appeal to teens, while I hope at the same time will give adults an insight into the minds of young victims who feel they are not being listened to and have nowhere to run.

In addition to being a quality novel, a portion of the proceeds from sales of this book will go to the important charity, Bullying UK.

Five stars.


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