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verdigristwist (UK)

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Moonlight (Pact Arcanum Book 3)
Moonlight (Pact Arcanum Book 3)
Price: 3.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Sticking with it..., 29 July 2014
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If you are up to book 3 of this series then you pretty well know what to expect, and it does not disappoint. Starting with a bang (and the usual suspects) it undergoes a sea-change about half way through by introducing a new entity to influence events. This will change the way the story moves forwards, adding new complexity. So, what else do we have here? Duplicitous politicians, secrets you don't tell the wife, underground resistance movements plus a new life form.


Sunrise (Pact Arcanum Book 2)
Sunrise (Pact Arcanum Book 2)
Price: 3.13

5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the ordinary, 8 Jun 2014
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An extraordinary blend of fantasy and si/fi. Vampires, and their natural enemies the Sentinels, have lived within, yet separate from, human society for thousands of years. A terrorist incident is interrupted, live on air, by a vampire, setting in motion the outing of these all too real creatures. How does humanity react? What about the ancient vampire Courts? They've hidden within the midst of their prey, but will they now go for all out war against them? And what about the Day Walkers - vampires with souls? I love the complexity of this world view, with its differently effected humans, once-humans, magicians, shapeshifters, telepaths. The vampires with their elaborate titles, their arcane rules of honour, the Sentinels' hi-tech innovations and the Night Walkers' trad gothic environments. There is complexity within the interpersonal relationships too, with an abundance of characters, the main one in this book being Nick, who displays split characterisation between his private and public persona. Brilliant.


Dark Geist
Dark Geist
Price: 3.92

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting characters but very fluffy..., 5 May 2014
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This review is from: Dark Geist (Kindle Edition)
...considering the contents that is. Here we have an insecure, nerdy outsider, who can link telepathically to murder victims. He is with them while they are dissected, taking their pain, holding on to the last moment so they are not left alone and in fear. He is being coerced/mentally abused/controlled by his father. Out walking he comes across a busker who's music is spellbinding. (A succubus of sorts.) Together they start to track down a serial killer. This could have been very edgy, instead it borders on whimsey e.g. when a wave of a hand changes a homophobic bully into a dazed somnambulist, which was just too easy. It wasn't that I didn't like the characters, I just wanted to give them a good shaking before the world they were living in did it for me.


The Vampire from Hell (Part 1) - The Beginning
The Vampire from Hell (Part 1) - The Beginning
Price: 0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Frothy as a cappuccino., 5 May 2014
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I can see this doing well. Starts off (prologue) in Hell. Things happen, quickly, going from the boredom of an office job to the exasperation of another training session with dad (Satan)and a bitch-out with sis. Hey, next thing you know dad's dripping something nasty into your drink and you are transform into something a bit uncontrollable before being whisked away into a Californian tooth whitening commercial, where the view of the sea from the balcony is perfect, the guys in charge wear seriously smart Italian suits, the guys that come visit wear gym shorts that show to perfection their perfect legs, and even Death comes across as a bit of a tussled, wannabe bad boy who's only just given up the black leather jacket on advice from the boss.
Light, fluffy, totally non-threatening. Heaven, hell, Satan, hell hounds, Death, zombies, a vampire struggling to come to terms with her new, untested super powers. What's not to like? The pacing is good enough, description better on the pretty stuff than the bad. The impression of a young person finding herself out of her depth in a room of (sort of) adults is well done. The baddies - well - this to me is the problem. I like my well rotted meat falling from the bone, my angels to sound like they've experienced eons of creation (as in Angels Over Berlin) and therefore have a certain depth of perception, my Satan to be at the very least creepy.
I can see this series becoming very popular. A New Adult audience will, I'm sure, lap it up. Nothing wrong with that, all the best to you Ally, I wish you nothing but success. In the meantime I shall be searching cobwebby corners for something that gives me the frisson of edgy darkness I haven't yet found in this book, something heavy with the heft of ages behind its slow breathing shadows, and the clammy feel of breath on the neck.


Someone to Keep Me (Collars and Cuffs)
Someone to Keep Me (Collars and Cuffs)
Price: 3.96

3.0 out of 5 stars Unfocused, 1 May 2014
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This didn't do it for me. Almost but not quite. Scott, main character one, was too naive to be true. Ben, main character two, was far too indecisive, especially for a Dom. (One change of mind too many.) The cardboard cut out parents were simply not believable, and more to the point distracted from what could have been a brave and gritty plot line involving the reason Scott was not picked up at the airport in the first place. Disappointing.


Special Delivery
Special Delivery
Price: 2.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Hot and tender, 7 April 2014
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This review is from: Special Delivery (Kindle Edition)
Well what's not to like
Twenty year old Sam is miserable and his life is stuck on hold. Working for his sour puss aunt and paying to live in her basement is doing nothing for his self esteem, his so called love life sucks desperately, and its taking him forever to get through college part time. Madness strikes in the shape of one hot trucker, and the next thing you know he is off on a tour through the states discovering as much about himself as the wide open spaces of America. Loved it. Hot from beginning to end combined with a tender relationship that has its patches.


Fanged: An M/M Erotic Anthology
Fanged: An M/M Erotic Anthology
Price: 1.86

4.0 out of 5 stars Short, sharp and pointy, 6 April 2014
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Five short shorts.
vampires as you really can imagine they would be. Not a soft touch between them. Not a book I will read once and discard but one to read and keep.


Sheila (A Short Story)
Sheila (A Short Story)
Price: 0.61

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written SF short, 24 Feb 2014
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Well - it is about a robot dog so counts as SF, but mainly it is about relationships and duties, between man and other animals, between man and society, man and his perceived obligations to those he relates to, those he has loved. Yes - you can see where this is going. Yes - you can guess the ending. It still hits home. That encapsulation of a wider society's indifference to the plight of an individual, is presented to the reader in a few short, poignant pages. Well crafted. One to keep.


CyberStorm
CyberStorm
Price: 2.05

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark urban survival, 11 Oct 2013
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This review is from: CyberStorm (Kindle Edition)
Seriously dark page turner, or how to frighten yourself to death while reading with a torch in a power cut.
The apocalypse is here - well maybe not quite in the biblical sense, but near enough if you are in NY when the perfect storm of snow, freezing temperatures, lack of electricity, food, water - but with increased levels of disease, starvation and violence - leave you, your pregnant wife, and little child stranded on the 6th floor of your low rise block of flats. So it's not just the cyber attack that's wiped out the services that the metropolis depends on then? No, and it doesn't help if your paranoia is peaking at 11. Just as well your friends are here to help. Not a jolly little number then, but one I just had to keep reading. In a way it's a familiar story, it doesn't matter what the cause of the disaster is (think 28 Days Later, which again is a version of Day of the Triffids) it's the breakdown of society. Human kind is our worst enemy. The weak get strong or one way or another they get eaten. The situation is one that's frighteningly easy to imaging and sympathise with. Mike is not a strong man, he's neurotic, imagining what isn't there, not really socialised but surviving in an urban environment as most of us do, by doing what he must and ignoring the rest. It's a survival trait in a big city where people may or may not be your friends, your competitors, your murderers. Not quite ghosts in the machine we are still dependant on it, so what happens when the machine breaks down? One of the worst things to imagine for me was the high rise buildings. No lifts. No light. 30 plus floors of stairs. No heating, food, water. True horror. And this book does that for you. It leads you hand in hand with Mike as society crumbles, hinting at how much worse it could be. Then tightens another notch, as he does with his belt. I was tempted to give it 4 stars, 3 seems ungenerous, and have wondered why 3 it is. I suppose it was because I wanted to slap Mike very hard on more than one occasion. As I said, he is not a sympathetic character. If I was his wife I would have dumped him well before this, and if life had followed it's expected course so would she. Even allowing for his obvious need to protect his child, and understandable deterioration as things breakdown, I couldn't understand any woman making this marriage last long term. Maybe that was it, the strong women (and they were strong)were tolerant and patient as saints, while Mike was trying to live up to an ideal he couldn't match and didn't even understand, a combination of matcho protectionism and inability to communicate. Maybe I'm being hard on the guy, and his wife is a nicer person than I am, but I can see no long term happy ending and maybe that was the final, invisible nail in this bleak tale


The Woman Who Sparked the Greatest Sex Scandal of All Time
The Woman Who Sparked the Greatest Sex Scandal of All Time
Price: 1.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep digging..., 10 Oct 2013
This futuristic story is packed with references: to old gods, old films, thick with allusions to the cynicism of our own porn addicted age, where politics and the creative arts walk hand in hand, where sex is the opiate that blinds or upholds us. Where spin is everything.
Reading like a trippy version of 1984, or more accurately Metropolis, it uses words to lie to us, peeling away the comfort of ignorance, replacing it with knowledge of wider evil and duplicity. Apart from one info-dump, which I though could have been broken up a bit, I found it easy to read and interesting. But then it was ticking the right boxes for me being SF, referencing myths, gods, films, and also hinting at something else behind the facade.
So, where does it begin? It s a normal working day for Ishtah as she gets into her car, drives to the office, enters the lift, ready for her job as a wordsmith in the Written Chronicles department. Only today isn't a normal working day. Unexpectedly elevated into a heaven sent job she delights in the luxuries that go with her new role as a scriptwriter; only something isn't right. For one the man she is lusting after has disappeared, and, a dealer in fantasy herself she can sniff out a lie when she's in one.
We are off to a good start. Ishtah (Ishtar) goddess of sex, love, fertility and war is one of my favourite gods. There is most definitely sex, lots of it told in off-hand, unemotional language that robs it of excitement. (In Ishtah's story sex may be spectacularly imaginative but for her it is also everyday normal, after all, it's her job to write about it.) There is love as she searches for her man, fertility of the mind, and as for war - give the girl a chance.
As she meets new people, experiences the highs and lows of her society, and is forced to view her world in a different light we too take on board her suspicions, picking up clues, seeing with new eyes through the wordsmith's deception. The style in which this book is written itself hints at the final denouement, the story behind the story, and as we know, all utopias are built on unholy ground.
Favourite quote: `Love always comes back to the scene of desire'.
Would I read it again? Yes. Seeing behind Ishtah's divine eyes, I would.


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