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hross42877 (Scotland)
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Beacon 23: The Novel
Beacon 23: The Novel
by Hugh Howey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent as usual!, 25 Nov. 2015
This review is from: Beacon 23: The Novel (Paperback)
For centuries, men and women have manned lighthouses to ensure the safe passage of ships.

It is a lonely job, and a thankless one for the most part. Until something goes wrong. Until a ship is in distress.

In the 23rd century, this job has moved into outer space. A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at many times the speed of light. These beacons are built to be robust.

They never break down.

They never fail.

At least, they aren't supposed to.

The job of a lighthouse keeper is a lonely one, day after day with only the sea for company, keeping the light lit to make sure ships have safe passage.

It isn't a job that I would want to do, Beacon 23 takes the job of the lighthouse keeper and places them in an even worse environment, deep space.

Now the thing I love about Hugh Howey's work is the fact he can take the most claustrophobic, inhospitable space and turn it in to somewhere I'd like to go, yes that is right I have an inkling to visit those silos from Wool and after reading Beacon 23, I want to visit the beacons.

Our keeper is ex-military, stationed in the deepest part of the galaxy making sure those spaceships don't come a cropper, he is all alone with only the occasional traveller darkening his door.

His job is to maintain the light and make sure it stays lit, of course very early in the book the light goes on the blink and this is when the story really begins.

Our keeper has to deal with the aftermath of what happens when the light goes out and the guilt that comes with it, being all alone he experiences a lot of emotions including a memorable moment with a talking inanimate object, is he losing his mind?

Maybe he needs some company? Before long he has more company than he needs, is his space getting too crowded? Does he maybe need to get back to Earth?

Atmospheric, beautifully imagined, great characters, an intriguing story plus a touch of humour, everything I have came to expect from Hugh Howey.

9ft Gold Foil Garland Christmas Decoration - 2 In A Pack (DP71)
9ft Gold Foil Garland Christmas Decoration - 2 In A Pack (DP71)
Offered by Balloon Shop
Price: £2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good but delicate, 20 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These look fine but you have to be careful as they do come apart very easily as my heavy handed kids discovered. Not to worry, they still look good split up.

The Ark (Children of a Dead Earth)
The Ark (Children of a Dead Earth)
Price: £4.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent start to a new sci-fi series!, 20 Nov. 2015
Ah space the final frontier, when the earth takes it last gasp we are all destined for the stars.

The Ark carries the last of humankind, having set off 200 years ago, generation after generation has grown up never setting for on solid ground. The cream of mankind has made the massive spaceship its home, the population is split across two distinct zones and policing one of those zones is Bryan Benson, ex sports hero and current detective of the Avalon zone.

A case comes across his path, one that has never ever happened - a crew member has gone missing.

Now this has never happened because everyone on board has a plant embedded which also tracks them. But this crew member has vanished of the face of the, well spaceship and it is up to Bryan to find them.

To make matters worse he has to do it quickly, after two hundred years the ship has nearly reached it destination, a new planet that will be their new home, Bryan has two weeks to wrap up the case.

So no spoilers here but what happens next is just incredible, as Bryan delves in to the life of the missing crew member he uncovers artefacts that where stolen years before, he also feels someone is sabotaging his case.

The deeper he goes the more he uncovers, his journey takes him from literally the top of the tallest tower to the sub levels in the bowels of the ship, aided by colleagues including his forbidden love interest Theresa and a very green new recruit.

What he uncovers may literally rock the boat.

Stunning world building, a plot that keeps you guessing and some totally old school in a new world case solving. This is a great start to the series as the ending does leave you wanting more.

Sci-fi at its best, a great read.

Thanks to Angry Robot for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Untamed (Thoughtless 5)
Untamed (Thoughtless 5)
by S. C. Stephens
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The man has an ego the size of a planet but he does have a heart too..., 16 Nov. 2015
I have faithfully read all of the books in this series and the one character who has consistently lived up to the rock n rock bad boy stereotype is Griffin Hancock.

For those not acquainted with this series, Griffin is the bassist in Seattle based band the D-Bags, the band led by the charismatic love god that is Kellan Kyle.

Griffin is quite frankly a dick, a bona fide, grade a dick. The guy is selfish, sex mad and has an ego the size of a planet.


He has changed a little, Anna his wife, who definitely has the measure of him has stopped his philandering ways, plus she is also the mother of his daughter Gibson.


He has it all and he still wants more, he wants to be lead guitarist and he wants to do it now. The rest of the band don't think he can cut the mustard but those balls as big as the moon think otherwise.


Things change, he feels overlooked mostly by Kellan, an opportunity arises to make Griffin a star in his own right.

Will he shine, or will he burn bright and fade?

Well I will let you find out for yourself, now I know I have probably painted Griffin in a bad light, but he is not a metro-sexual man, he is a hot blooded manly man and what he wants he usually gets.

Untamed does paint a different side to him, it shows him as a loving family man as his brood grows and it also shows a vulnerability in him as things don't go quite to plan.

This is a great addition to this series and it is nice for Mr Kyle to step back and for Griffin to shine.

Thanks to Sphere for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Luna: New Moon
Luna: New Moon
by Ian McDonald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Immense read, 13 Nov. 2015
This review is from: Luna: New Moon (Paperback)
I have heard this book compared to amongst others things Game of Thrones and The Godfather, this is high praise, does it deserve it?

Well I can see where the comparisons come from, ruling families fighting against one another though this is not on a battlefield but in the business world and that business is based on the moon, our moon.

Luna describes a chilling life where living will cost you everything, to breathe, to drink, you need to pay to get these basic life functions.

It is a harsh environment but if you have the money and the cunning you will thrive and if you don't you will struggle to your last gasping breath, selling bodily fluids to pay for the funds for much needed oxygen.

Luna is basically like a massive soap opera in space, there is a lot going on and thankfully there is a list of characters to remind you who is who.

I'm not going to be able to tell you totally what happens but the general idea is the major ruling families are constantly at war with one another, attempted assassinations, affairs, wheeling, dealing, plotting and scheming but this is all going on against a stunning background of the lunar surface and subsurface.

Ian McDonald has done a great job bringing to life the harsh, unforgiving environment of the moon. You can feel the constant pressure of the hostile atmosphere on every page.

This was an enjoyable read for me, the moon is often overlooked, in a lot of books they venture further in to the solar system and it was nice to see our neighbour so beautifully described as the setting for this excellent story.

Thank you to Gollancz for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review

Bryant & May - London's Glory: (Short Stories) (Bryant & May Collection)
Bryant & May - London's Glory: (Short Stories) (Bryant & May Collection)
by Christopher Fowler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection of stories that keep you guessing, 10 Nov. 2015
I will own up straight away, short stories sometimes fail miserably for me.

The problem I have is that you can have two good stories out of a book of twenty. A lot of wasted reading time that you can't get back, thankfully those charming figureheads of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, Detectives Bryant and May manage to fill an entire book with enjoyable stories.

I only read my first Bryant and May book this year but I fell very quickly for these two gents, their unique approach to policing is well....unique!

The collection covers stories from their years in the force and I don't mean recent years either! The stories have a great atmosphere around them, the snow and the fog that comes in to a lot of the stories really does make London the perfect setting for criminals, both deliberate and plain stupid to commit their crimes.

The best thing about Bryant and May's stories is that the outcome is not obvious, one especially for me which involved a woman being found dead in the snow with a cut throat but no footsteps nearby belonging to the killer, well the outcome of that was so clever.

Our gent's have proved that short stories can make for a cracking read and even though they are getting on in years, Bryant and May are sharp as tacks and a delight to read about.

I am looking forward to their next case!

Thank you to Doubleday for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

The Revolution of Ivy
The Revolution of Ivy
by Amy Engel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great finish to this series!, 8 Nov. 2015
This review is from: The Revolution of Ivy (Paperback)
So the long awaited sequel to the Book of Ivy has finally landed, was it worth the wait? Is Ivy ok after being thrown out in to the wilderness at the end of book one? Can she survive and can she be reunited with Bishop the boy she was supposed to kill but ended up falling for?

So answers, well yes Ivy is, well she is alive, I don't know about ok. As the book starts she is making her way away from the fence. Dangers are on both sides for her, she is hated in Westfall and who knows what horrors could await her on the wrong side of the fence.

Those horrors meet her within a couple of days but she eventually find safety in numbers coming across Ash and Caleb who take her to their camp. I don't want to spoil to much for you but Ivy has trouble being honest about what exactly she has done and seen, the arrival of Bishop brings everything out in the open.

Bishop does not appear straight away ladies, so prepare yourself for quite a few pages without him but when he appears, well he is worth the wait and the chemistry is amazing between him and Ivy but before they can have a happily ever after they need to go back to Westfall.

No spoilers for you reader dear but this is a fitting ending to this series and I really enjoyed the addition of Ash and Caleb who are genuinely good characters not just space fillers.

Amy Engel has done a great job creating this world and I am looking forward to seeing what she comes up with in the future.

Thank to YA Bound and Entangled for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review

Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good series, 30 Oct. 2015
This review is from: Spectacle (Kindle Edition)
So I really enjoyed Spectacle, it has a dystopian setting and like the tag line above says it does have hints of Avatar (blue, lots of blue!).

Set in a future where the world has been ravaged by earthquakes changing the landscape for the worse, Mira lives with her parents on what is left of the USA.

We first meet her as a young child during a time when her life changes for the worst. The discovery that her family, more specifically her father is not what he seems.

He is far from human, he is of alien descent and Mira discovers that he is covered in blue markings that will easily identify him from everyone else. He is a changer.

Not to spoil the story for you, due to events in the book involving her father, Mira ends up banished to island along with others like her who have been descended from the aliens. They are kept away from the human population, they are a threat.

Mira, we meet again as a teen still on the island, most of the residents live like it is the dark ages. Mira still has one foot in her old life, where others are now wearing animal skins she still wears normal clothes.

The story progresses with Mira getting the opportunity to prove the innocence of her father, how, well I won't spoil it for you but the government of New America are not known for their kindly nature and Mira is going to have a hell of a time clearing her fathers name.

This is a really enjoyable novel, dystopia of course is everywhere just now and a novel in this genre really needs to stand out from the masses out there. Spectacle does a good job with a interesting plot, characters you can root for and wonderful descriptions of those blue markings! Well worth a read!

Price: £5.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My book of the year, seriously good, 26 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Illuminae (Kindle Edition)
How the do I review the delight that is Illuminae??

Well I could start by telling you that this book is like nothing I have read, ever.

I could then tell you that it is set in the future, a future which sees a colony of humans mining on a remote planet called Kerenza.

I could tell you that the planet is an illegal mining colony and that it is attacked by a huge mega corporation aka the bad guys.

I could tell you that this is when the crap hitteth the fan.

OK enough of talking in sentences, long story short after the attack on Kerenza the survivors of the attack flee the planet taking refuge on three of their spaceships, the Alexander (the big daddy warship), the Hypatia (sleek and shiny science ship) and the Copernicus (big, bulky freighter ship). Illuminae tells the story of two of those survivors Kady Grant and her ex boyfriend Ezra Mason.

They are split up, with Kady ending up with her mother on the Hypatia and Ezra finding his new home on the Alexander. Their new homes are by no means safe, following the battle on and above Kerenza, they are being pursued by the Lincoln, one of the ships that helped end the colony.

They are fleeing for their lives, trying to outpace the Lincoln and trying to get to a portal to jump to safer space but the course of escape is not going to be easy. The crew and passengers of the Copernicus start to fall ill, the illness is spreading quickly.

Nobody is saying anything about anything but Kady has an ace up her sleeve, she is a computer whiz and she easily finds out what is going on. What she finds out, well you can read for yourself but she does need Ezra's help to try and make sense of it all. The vastness of space is not going to keep them apart.

Illuminae is truly immense, I am not going to tell you anymore about the story because quite frankly I don't want to spoil it for you, what I do what to tell you about is the layout of the book.

I have the paperback copy and it feels gorgeous first of all, inside it is truly a thing of beauty. This is not a normal book, the story is told through memos, journals, emails, surveillance footage and wonderful pages of artful text.

This makes for an incredible, all consuming read. It is really effective, there is a section in which the fighter pilots are out in their planes and the text really makes you feel a sense of urgency, it really is genius.

So much detail has gone in to this book from the schematics of the ships to the blacking out of all those swear words and the scoring out of the unnecessary details in the rookies reports.

This has been one of the most hyped novels I have seen in a long time, hype can mean an end result that is awful, it can be mean an anti climax but Illuminae deserves the hype, it is above and beyond the hype. It truly does, plus I feel it gives a little nod to some of my favourite sci-fi fandoms most notably Battlestar Galactica.

If you love sci-fi, you MUST read this, if you hate sci-fi, still read this - it has romance, young love, humour, horror, thrills and suspense. Oh and it made me cry too, be warned.

The worst thing about this book, well that has to be the wait for the next book in the series.

God I loved this book! I think this will be my book of the year by miles.

Allison Hewitt is Trapped
Allison Hewitt is Trapped
by Madeleine Roux
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great zombie novel, 22 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a blogger, I presume that if the world ended my blog would go bye-bye but Allison Hewitt, the kick ass, axe weilding heroine of this novel shows that not only can you survive a zombie apocalypse you can also maintain your blog presence and get new readers too, awesome!

Seriously though, this is a "bloody" great book, Allison works in a book store and when the dead start kicking off and picking off people, she holes up behind a great big thick door with some of her colleagues.

Nothing tests a work friendship more than being stuck together with limited food and toilet facilities, oh and clashing personalities, thankfully Allison seems to be the most level headed out of her colleagues. She keeps going and she keeps a record on her blog, documenting each day and event, and in the process keeping in touch with fellow survivors.

The comments coming in from fellow survivors paint a bleak picture and the more she reads, the more she realises they can't stay in the bookshop. The story follows Allison and her friends as they try and survive, as they find shelter and provisions, as they try and avoid the zombies all around but of course there are much worse things out there than zombies - other people.

Other people are a bunch of s***s, some are good but a lot are just plain crazy and Allison meets her fair share. To be honest though I think I would be more worried about my ass than my laptop but communication is the key to survival in this story and on each post you not only get a view of what Allison goes through you get to see how others are fairing via her comments.

I forgot to mention she picks up a dog on her travels too which I love and hate because I worry about the dog, will it survive, will it turn in to a get the idea, dogs in any books are a bad idea for me as it will make me flick to the end to make sure the dog is still alive. I mean I have seen Independence Day more times than I would care to admit and I still get tears in my eyes every time that dog jumps from the car with the fire ball behind him....anyway I digress.

This is a great addition to your zombie bookshelf, yes it has the usual blood and gore, but it also has humour, real issues like going to the loo when zombies are about, well written characters with personalities that come to life on the pages and it has a decent story with characters you can actually care about. Well worth a read!

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