Sunday, 31 July 2016

IT'S ARRIVED!!!


Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.


Arrived at my door by courier at 16.30pm!!!!!! Excited!!!

Reading With Chuckles


I have renamed my TBR Reading Challenge and changed it back to Reading with Chuckles as it sounds better, especially at times when I have no specific challenge running. So this is where I'll share what I read and abandoned each week, and I'll give the odd update on the state of my poor TBR! It does suffer at times...! The link under the book takes you to the Goodreads page for that book so you can decide whether to read it, and see my reviews when they are posted.

Well, I finally got some decent reading done and a few things off the tbr which is nice. The books are not keepers but the mountain books go over to my uncle to read and the others are going to a local charity shop so that is pretty productive. I'm getting a lot of book reviews ready over the next few days so I have stuff to blog each day, letting me concentrate on the upcoming Olympics. STS will be Saturday as normal. Not sure how much reading I can fit in around my favourite events but it should be a good month overall for entertainment!

FINISHED:

Felice Benuzzi-No picnic on Mount Kenya
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1121565.No_Picnic_on_Mount_Kenya 

Stan Berenstain-Berenstain Bear Scouts & Giant Bat cave
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/728491.The_Berenstain_Bear_Scouts_in_Giant_Bat_Cave 

Donnie Eichar-Dead Mountain
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20706708-dead-mountain 

Rachel Braverman-The journals of Beth Jordache
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7046422-the-journals-of-beth-jordache 

Barry Woodward-Brookside: Changing Lives
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4087681-changing-lives 

Kathleen Potter-Brookside: Weathering the Storm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5736134-weathering-the-storm 

David Roberts-Escape from Lucania
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2636425-escape-from-lucania 


ABANDONED:

Colin Northway-Brookside: Moving In
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15998835-moving-in 


So how did your reading go this week? 

Book Review: Monsterland by Shaun Whittington


In the north of England, Gordon Burns is on his way back over to the Scottish borders, but before he can make it a strange and horrific scene takes place. After abandoning his car, and stuck in the middle of the Pennines, running for his life, Gordon reaches a guesthouse and meets up with the owners as well as other guests.

After watching the news on the television, Gordon and his guests realise that the country has been thrown into bloody chaos, and are on the verge of a possible apocalypse. Nothing seems to be stopping these things, as the infected that the media are calling "Runners" are running amok and spreading the virus.

Join Gordon, Joan, Sue, Lloyd, and Junior to see how this turns out for our characters. Who will manage to avoid the infection that is ravaging the country? 


My Review:
Gordon is driving home to Gretna after a family funeral and takes a shortcut in poor weather over the Pennines to get to the M6. He stops to assist another couple who knock someone down but recoils as the victim attacks and bites the pair. As they also become violent, Gordon flees, knocking the maniacs are following on foot. A landslide means abandoning his car and taking an uneasy refuge in a guesthouse...

I loved the idea of this-zombies loose on the moors and attacking people in remote locations. There was nothing wrong with the ideas and the actual plot was quite well written. There was plenty of tension as Gordon inched along through the storm, trying not to go off the road but being aware of fast moving zombies behind him. The scenes of the people stuck in the guesthouse, under attack were also well written and tense. It is the sort of situation where you wonder what you would do in that situation as options for escape are limited. The survivors also pick up news of the attacks on TV which gives them an idea of how big their problems are.

So why did I not finish the book? It came down to hating the characters I'm afraid. Gordon, frankly, is a complete arse who got on my nerves before the zombies even appeared. He moans about everything-the family he has visited, the travel, the weather. He doesn't really want to stop and help the other couple and does so reluctantly, and manages to bite the head off the female passenger when she asks if he can see the man they knocked down. Gordon goes into full moan mode about getting wet looking for a body and why he is bothering to help. All I could think of was shut up and stop moaning!!! His habit of putting the word 'pissing' in front of everything to show his annoyance also annoyed me. 'pissing car' 'pissing squirrel' 'pissing hell' Arrgghh!

The characters do not improve at the guesthouse. Gordon and James both think they know everything and are battling to be the Big I Am in front of the others, and neither will back down. It gets old very quickly. Sue is a complete and utter bitch who I wanted to slap. Joan is one of the most foul mouthed women ever and John is a spineless coward. Seriously, these are the last people in the world that you would want to be stuck in a basement with! It is my idea of Hell. I can forgive them doing dumb things like going outside to bury a dead body with the zombies out there in the fog because it is done for plot reasons but having them moaning and fighting with each other non stop really started bugging me.

Then the plot switches to characters who are even worse. The lovely Marvin and Agnes who have just slept together. Both are drunken foul mouthed morons and by this stage I had decided that I really did want the zombie things to kill the whole cast. That is the moment when I just could not bear these characters for one more page. It is a pity that a decent plot has been yet again spoiled by obnoxious characters. Such a pity.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Stacking the Shelves #142


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click on the link under the book to find its page on Goodreads or Smashwords. 

Please note that I always leave a message on your STS/SP if you visit me, but if you use DISQUS or a similar third party I will not be able to leave a comment on your page. I don't allow any company access to my social media accounts and I certainly don't allow them to edit and take over my accounts the way DISQUS does. So if you use DISQUS, I can't leave comments on your page so I can't really follow you back, sorry! I'm noticing that some blogs set with Google Plus are trying to force you to open a Google Plus or Facebook account before you can leave a comment. Well, I have no interest in rejoining Google Plus or joining Facebook so if your blog uses this set up, I won't be following it or commenting! And sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me so there might not be a message from me some weeks or you might get a double message sometimes! Blame them, not me!
     
So another week has passed...seriously can you believe that July is ending and the Olympics are around the corner? I'm so looking forward to that! It'll keep me amused while I blog! This week I did a bit more reading and finished a few books and abandoned a few more so progress was certainly made. The new computer is fully up and running and I finally got news about the blood tests. The kidney test is still slightly off but I don't need it checked for another three months so I can forget about it for a while. Still having a few insomnia issues but I do get that quite often and just need to put up with it.
 
On the book buying side of things, I did grab some more freebies but it'll be a few weeks before they make it to STS! I'm still adding books from that massive retail therapy grabathon that I did! There are some great urban fantasy covers this week and I am so keen to get reading them! I'm not sure what to read next but I'll decide that as I go along.
 
DOWNLOADS:
 
   
 









Friday, 29 July 2016

Book Review: Beyond Hades by Luke Romyn


What if mythology isn’t myth? The ancient Greeks told fabulously detailed stories involving unbelievable creatures - monsters dominating all tales from that time. Were they just highly imaginative, or was their inspiration from somewhere else?

Doctor Talbot Harrison, a professor in archeology, receives a phone call one day which will destroy everything he perceives as reality. His brother has been mysteriously killed and within moments the United States Military appear at his door, literally dragging him from his home. Thrown into a helicopter under intense armed guard, it doesn’t take long until they are attacked by something which cannot possibly exist, something drawn to destroy the one man who can stop the beasts from a land beyond Hades....


My Review: 
The first thing that really annoyed me was the tiny print. I really hate it when the print is small like that as it stops my normal brisk reading speed and I have to slow down and take much longer over every word. It really does bug me and those with issues in their sight might find this a difficult book to read for that reason.

Getting on to the story, I liked the concept of the MC battling various mythology monsters. I figured it would be a fast paced monster battle type of story but I found it quite disappointing. To be fair, it was fast paced and it was full of monsters to battle but it still felt a bit bland and boring to me. It was such a shame because I wanted to like this book so much but I felt it just didn't deliver on the promise in the plot. I hate it when that happens!

You see, Talbot is a professor of archaeology and is told that his twin Thomas has been killed. The military want him to replace his brother on a top secret project and he gets no choice in the matter. Within minutes the first creature is attacking them. This is the problem for me-Talbot attracts the monsters to him so wherever he goes, monsters suddenly appear and he is spirited away to some other safe place...where he attracts monsters and they are attacked and someone saves him. And so on, over and over. He is a passenger in the book who is needing to be saved by others giving their life to get him to safety which never really exists. It is very repetitive and after a couple of chapters, this loses its appeal quickly.

Talbot is not a character that I greatly liked. I didn't dislike him but I didn't connect with him enough to be that bothered what happened to him. He was ok but not the most interesting MC to have. He also has little opportunity to interact with those looking after him when he keeps dashing off so another chance to develop his character is lost.

The monsters should have been really great but again it just didn't work. I think the problem I had is that Talbot is being rushed away from each battle so we don't see enough of what is happening, hearing about it from the odd survivor. It is strange to have a book with a ton of action leaving me feeling my attention wandering. I also felt that we were just being drip-fed the plot...just as we thought Talbot was getting a few answers, a monster would arrive and he'd run away to safety and the questions he wanted answering were just abandoned. I found it a bit frustrating that the monster attacks kept interrupting the information that Talbot and the reader wanted.

This paragraph contains a huge early plot spoiler so if you don't want to know, stop reading now and go to next paragraph. OK here it comes. The one character I did feel I liked was Chuck, assigned to protect Talbot. He had some personality about him and was the best bit of the book so when he died a few chapters in, I was angry and felt cheated. It was the last straw for me and I threw the book aside in disgust. Spoiler ends.

OK it is safe to read again if you had looked away. This seemed to have all the elements I thought I would like in a book-fast paced, plenty of action, mythology monsters...but it just didn't seem to work for me, which was a bit annoying. It is not a bad book and others might have a better time with it. However this is the second abandoned book for me by this author and I've decided that his writing is not the kind that I enjoy
 
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Book Review: Unhidden by Dina M Given


It’s not always easy to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys, especially when your heroine is a trained killer and she may be falling in love with her evil hunter…

Emma Hayes, a former military Special Forces Operative turned mercenary-for-hire, finds her tightly controlled world turned upside down when she is attacked by horrible monsters. Emma must use every skill in her arsenal to stay alive as she tries to solve the mystery of why she has been targeted. Her list of enemies keeps growing - from Zane Shayde, an evil Mage, to a secret branch of the US government - and she doesn't know if there is anyone left she can trust.

To complicate matters further, Emma is inexplicably drawn to Zane in a way she doesn’t quite understand, even knowing her life is forfeit if captured. Who is he and why does he have this affect on her? How can she fight a being that calls to her, body and soul? Emma is left haunted by questions, doubts and fears as to why she has been targeted, when they will come for her next, and how she will possibly be able to survive against an enemy she doesn't understand.


My Review: 
Emma is a mercenary for hire and is captured by the man who hired her to find his daughter, as he wants to use Emma in a blood ritual. Thanks to the intervention of her team she is saved, but trouble seems to follow her around.

This book seems to be more about Emma and her string of men than anything else. After her rescue, team member Jason wants to rekindle their former relationship and during the flirty conversation she seems to change her mind constantly about whether she wants him back or not. It was quite annoying so poor Jason must have been clueless about what she wanted as well. She might be telling the reader she doesn't want him but she does enough to lead him on. And you just know that some kind of love triangle or worse is coming along from the way she is acting. Zane? Probably. Alex? Possibly. Jason? If she is still playing games with him, who knows? Daniel? Ruling nothing out. *sigh* One of my pet hates is the line up of men for possible romance. I didn't get far enough to find out though and didn't really care in the end.

The story was just confusing. On the mission we witness she steals an amulet from the witch at the ritual and is wondering how best to research it. Then she is attacked by a guy called Zane who is angry with her, calling her a traitor to her people and she has no idea who he is or what he is talking about. The dangerous looking Alex that she had just been flirting with in a bar arrives to save her and he seems to know what is happening.

Pity the reader didn't know what was going on. 70 pages in and I am no further forward. Who is Emma? What did she do? Where is she from? Who is Zane? Who is Alex? What is happening? Is the amulet story relevant? No idea on any of this and I was bored waiting for answers. 


It's a pity all the so called hot men appeared so quickly in the story. In the opening chapter on the mission, I was quite enjoying the action scene but I just hate it when the focus quickly switches to the female MC needing to be surrounded by men and romance choices. Come on, does every book need to have so called strong female characters who NEED to be drooling over every man they meet? It distracts from the story and it just bores me. I like urban fantasy to be action packed and plot based. As soon as it goes into romance mode, I find something else to read.

Nice cover though. Read 2015
 
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Book Review: Zombie Crusade Snapshots by JW Vohs


Zombie Crusade Snapshots are quick glimpses of critical locations around the world as the zombie pandemic begins to unfold. While the snapshots connect to the main storyline of the Zombie Crusade novels (some in obvious ways, others in ways that will become apparent as the series continues), they may also be read as stand-alone stories. 

This volume includes: "Israel" An Israeli professor brings back more than artifacts when he returns home from an archeological expedition in the Hindu Kush Mountains. "Ontario" As the bizarre zombie pandemic sweeps across North America, residents of a large island on Lake Superior prepare to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. "POTUS" General Mathew Barnes ingratiates himself with the President of the United States in the early days of the global disaster. "Maine" A community of the super-rich hire the best protection money can buy to avoid being overrun by scores of infected as well as hordes of frightened citizens in search of a safe haven in their crumbling world. "Tennessee" An organized and self-sustaining settlement has to choose between the lesser of two evils when faced with an army of evolving, flesh-eating monsters.

My Review: 
There are five short stories in this snapshots selection. I previously reviewed 'Ontario' so I'll review the other four here. Thank you to the authors for sending this book to me to review and I apologize for taking so long to review it. These snapshots mention events and characters in the novel series as they follow different groups of people dealing with the start of the outbreak where they live. I hope to see more of all these characters as I progress through the novels!

1) Israel: Jesse is in Tajikistan to assist jews there in moving to Israel but on a hike he is attacked and bitten by sick locals. Concealing the fatal bite, he returns to Israel and takes the zombie virus with him. Sophie and her family watch events unfold on TV and decide to flee to their other home, helping a Palestinian family escape from zombies. Now everyone in Ein Gedi prepares to defend it from the zombie hordes while working on a backup plan to flee to Masada if the defences fail.

I so much enjoyed the opportunity to be with zombie survivors in a totally different environment from the usual UK or USA locations. Sophie, her son Mick and parents Avi and Lina are ordinary people and worry about other family members in different countries. It was also good to see the Israeli, Palestinian and Bedouin characters putting aside differences and mistrust to work together against the zombies. It adds a new dimension to the traditional fight the zombie story. The link to the main series here is talk about the US soldiers attacked by the virus in Afghanistan. This starts off apocalypse prepping for the MCs in book one.

2) POTUS: The President seeks expert advice on the outbreak and Barnes is happy to oblige, arriving at the safe bunker and claiming to have a vaccine for the disease. The President is more than happy to use this on everyone in the complex.

I don't want to say much on this story in case I spoil things but it was really good! The link to the main series is Barnes who features heavily in the opening of book one and there is the full story of what happened in the village featured in book one.

3) Maine: Colonel Longstreet works now in private security for rich clients and is tasked with protecting their island hideout by stopping other refugees from crossing the bridge. However, stopping the scared civilians is going to be morally tough as the zombies get closer and things on the island are going to take a serious turn when a select group of rich men prepare to leave for a new safe haven.

There is sooo much I want to say about this one but I can't without spoilers! I loved the moral dilemma of whether to do your job or show compassion to frightened people. I enjoyed the twists which lead directly from the POTUS story so make sure you read POTUS first. The link to the novel series here is Colonel Longstreet who was the commanding officer in the village outbreak at the start of book one.

4) Tennessee: A settlement of survivors have built a fortified compound and are living in relative safety until the arrival of General Jackson, who is offering the option of a vaccine and he isn't planning to take no for an answer. Do the people put their trust in him or take their chances with the mass of zombies heading their way?

Again this one really follows on with the vaccine story from the last two stories and I can't say much about the plot. I did like seeing a group of survivors who had started a new life from the chaos and who are unsure whether to give that up when the government calls. The link to the novel series here is Charlotte, sister of one of the MCs in book one, who refused to join him in a compound, instead staying near her home.

These short stories were exciting, well written and you cared very much about the people you were introduced to. I very much enjoyed all five, along with the first novel in the series which I have also read. I would advise reading the first novel 'Zombie Crusade' then reading the snapshots as extra information. Traditional zombie fans should enjoy this series!
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Book Review: Escape Velocity by Mark Walden (HIVE #3)


Pupils and staff at HIVE are horrified to discover that Dr Nero has been captured by the forces of HOPE, the Hostile Operative Prosecution Executive, the world's newest and most ruthlessly efficient security force. Three months pass without any news of his fate, and Number One has decided to appoint a sinister new headmistress for the school, somebody that the pupils and staff had thought that they'd seen the last of.

Meanwhile Otto is also struggling to cope with new abilities that are starting to manifest themselves; can he really be unconsciously interfacing with computers without physical contact? And if he is, what exactly do these new powers really mean?

The only way to find Nero and the truth behind the lies is to escape HIVE. Otto must get out, and take the risks which come with being a rogue agent. Then he just has to break into MI6.


My Review:
A secret meeting between old friends leaves Gregori dead, Raven missing and Nero being held hostage by a group who want to know about Overlord. The students get a real shock when The Contessa is revealed to be their new headteacher and the staff are ready to rebel. The Contessa sees the opportunity to exact her revenge on Otto, Laura, Wing and Shelby while they try to find a plan to rescue Nero.

This was another action packed adventure in this great series about the school for villains. I love the characters in this book so much. Otto is the 'good guy' version of Artemis Fowl who puts his intelligence to the test this time to rescue Nero and save the staff and students from The Contessa. I love his friendships with Laura, Wing and Shelby whose combined talents give them every chance of coming up with a viable plan. I also love the hapless Franz (who is the Neville Longbottom of the school) and his long running battle against the school bullies and nasty teachers. More Franz please! I also love HIVE mind and it was great to see the AI computer so heavily involved in the plot.

We also get more about the teachers as they struggle to protect the students with Nero missing. Ms Leon and The Colonel feature heavily, which is good. With their plans against enemy forces and Otto's plots to rescue Nero, there is not a dull moment in this book. The action is so well written and should appeal to children and adults alike. I find that when I get started on one of these books, I just get sucked in and want to read the whole book without stopping. With the right casting, these would make good films. You have the huge plans and James Bond gadgets, Ai and sci-fi, evil characters, good villians, action and humour. Please make these into films!

There was so much to love about this book! We finally get to see the story of the mysterious Number One and it was nice to have guessed part of it right. The twist at the end with Otto was pretty mindblowing and I certainly didn't see that reveal coming! It explains a few thoughts I've had about Otto and was a great twist. We get more information about Overlord which was also a great plot. There are a few surprises cropping up in the form of a friend of Raven which was another great twist. So much to enjoy yet the book keeps the perfect blend of massive action scenes, humour and the development of a lot of characters.

Best bits? It has to be poor Franz in gym detention with the Colonel, dressed in lycra shorts and a Born To Run T shirt! I was laughing so much at that! Also the scene with Franz and Tackle where payback occurs was brilliant. HIVE Mind-his coolness reaches epic proportions in this book as if I didn't already love him to bits. I want my very own HIVE Mind!!! We get answers to a lot of questions we had and brilliand plot twists that come thick and fast. What was not to love about this book?

I would recommend this to anyone who likes a fast paced and character driven story.
 
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

Book Review: The Overlord Protocol by Mark Walden (HIVE #2)



HOW FAR WILL OTTO GO TO PROTECT HIS FRIENDS?
Otto Malpense and his friends thought their first year at the Higher Institute of Villainous Education was the most adventurous and exciting that they would ever encounter. They were dead wrong.

When Otto and Wing are allowed off campus to attend Wing's father's funeral, they have no idea it's a trap, all part of a lethal plan organized by Cypher, the most ruthless supervillain any of them have ever known. He intends to use them to retrieve the Overlord Protocol, a device that has the capacity to help him take over the world. But when things go terribly wrong, Otto will stop at nothing to hunt him down and make him pay.

With the help of Laura, Shelby, Raven, and his former nemesis, Dr. Nero, Otto must find a way to defeat an enemy that has overcome some of the planet's most infamous villains without even breaking a sweat. Because if he doesn't, the world as they know it will be changed forever.

My Review: 
Otto agrees to put his escape plans on hold to go with Wing to his father's funeral. Nero gives the boys permission but sends Raven along to ensure Otto doesn't try to escape. Laura picks up a transmission about the assassination of Otto and tells Nero but it is too late to warn the trio and the attack has terrible consequences. Meanwhile back at HIVE, an uprising is about to take place.

Ooh the action comes thick and fast in this book again! The drama unfolds when Laura discovers the impending attack but it is too late to warn her friends, who are attacked in the Tokyo safe house by agents of the evil Cypher. As the shellshocked Otto seeks revenge on his enemies, HIVE itself is under attack from Cypher, who is using teachers and students at the school to help them take over. It is now up to Laura, Shelby, The Professor, Franz and Nigel to save the school. This was such an exciting subplot, running beside Otto and his mission out in the real world.

The plot revolves around The Overlord Protocol. Overlord was designed to be the smartest ever AI but the project goes wrong when Overlord decides not to obey and wants to be free to rule the world. It is missing one protocol which has been hidden and even when the project is terminated, there are people out there who want to get hold of the protocol-like Cypher, and Nero is determined to keep it safe so it can never be used to activate Overlord.

The teachers are involved on both sides fighting for control of the school. In the first book you sort of didn't really like Nero for holding Otto against his will but here you see how much he cares about his students and how he will do whatever it takes to keep them safe. So I like him now! There is some supreme evil taking place in this book amongst the teachers but I can't spoil it for you by saying who is in the plot-but nothing is what it originally seems! I really liked the plot twists that were coming throughout the book and I so much wanted Cypher to get what was coming to him!

The characters are so good. Franz and Nigel are two of the most unlikely villains of the future and they are going to have to put pure terror aside to help save the school. It is a scary thought! I loved their scenes which were highlights in the book. The huge twists at the end with Cypher were brilliant and very unexpected. You just never know what is coming next in this series, which is why it is so addictive to read. Laura and Shelby are just as smart as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter books but twice as tricky and I love seeing the girls get such a big slice of story to themselves.

This series has been so enjoyable. There are the gadgets from James Bond, a mixture of magic and science, the smartest MC ever and a mix of action and humour that all ages can enjoy. If you like Artemis Fowl, you should like this hopefully!
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

Book Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid #1)


The first novel in the Iron Druid Chronicles—introducing a cool, new, funny urban fantasy hero

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.


My Review: 
Atticus, last of the Druids, runs an occult shop in Arizona and is in hiding after a Celtic God decides he wants to obtain his magic sword. Morrigan, goddess of war warns Atticus that he is in mortal danger as his enemies are closing in on him and plots are happening. With her advice, his werewolf and vampire lawyers and his faithful wolfhound Oberon, Atticus has to worry about his enemies finding him and a coven of witches who want to hire him to do a potion against the same Celtic God.

This was a great book! Atticus is a character that you can really like. He looks like a young man but is an experienced Druid who deals in earth type magic and is constantly on guard in case his hiding place is discovered. He has friends and contacts who are gods and goddesses and his faithful dog Oberon who he can communicate mentally with. Oh I love Oberon! He is a dog obsessed by orgies with French poodles and what is for dinner, but becomes a target when he is framed for murder on a sheep hunt. Atticus is determined to hide his friend safely until he can prove him innocent. The relationship between the two is touching and full of very funny dialogue.

There are other excellent supporting characters. I liked Morrigan, who is the nearest thing to a friend and ally that Atticus has. I love his Irish neighbour Mrs MacDonagh who hates the British with a passion! She is very funny and belongs in an episode of Father Ted! When she witnesses Atticus killing an enemy, she is quite relaxed about it when Atticus lies that he was British. Her response is "have y' buried the fecking tea bag yet?" and insists on the burial being in her garden! She is brilliant and I hope to see more of her in future books. There are quite a few Celtic gods and goddesses popping up in the story and even those friendly to Atticus seem to be using him for their own agenda, which keeps things interesting.

There is lots of excellent action and a variety of monsters in the book as well. Atticus has to fight the vicious Fir Bolgs along with his vampire lawyer Leif in the middle of the street, giving his obnoxious nosy neighbour the chance to call the police on Atticus. The whole scene starting with Mrs MacDonagh and ending with the Fir Bolgs was so well written and exciting. There are Ghoul clean up teams, the coven representative who hates Atticus and keeps trying to trick him into trouble, the angry werewolf pack who are searching for missing pack members, demons and a barmaid Atticus fancies who shares her body with an Indian witch called Laksha. On the action side of thing, I loved the final big battle and all the plot twists that occur in the book.

It is a good mix of urban fantasy and various mythologies with lots of action and humour. There are also several stories entwined here-the Laksha story where she is seeking freedom from the barmaid's body, the witch coven and their plan, the kidnapped werewolves, Atticus and his Celtic enemies...but the stories are all connected and flow together in one excellent narrative. I love the action, the funny bits, the mythology and the Characters, especially the brilliant Oberon with his poodle fantasies! In fact, there is nothing about this book that I didn't like.

I recommend this book for fans of urban fantasy, mythology, magic and fantasy. 
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Book Review: The Shining Mountain by Peter Boardman

My Review:
Having read a book by Joe Tasker and not been greatly impressed by his writing, I decided to try a book by his climbing partner Peter Boardman. Sadly I did not enjoy this book any better.

I just found it so boring! There was endless descriptions of everything in the expedition including endless conversations between the climbers and their liason officer, and with every person they meet. It was not needed and added nothing to the book at all. It felt like unnecessary padding to make the book a certain length rather than being of interest to the reader.

It doesn't help when one of the three main 'characters' in the book is the rudeness that is called Joe Tasker. In the books that I have read where he features, I have not liked him at all. He has a level of contempt for people that don't go off to pursue dreams like him and decide to work in boring jobs to look after their families. He doesn't seem to get that because he does things different, he is not better than other people. He is rude and ignores the Indian liason officer on the trip because he doesn't believe in having one-well here is the scoop Joe, it was the RULE that each expedition must have a liason officer to ensure rules are followed so stop moaning and get on with it or go home and climb elsewhere. I really detest his attitude problem.

Pete is a nicer guy who actually realises that being rude to the liason officer is counterproductive as this is the man who can solve logistical problems on the trip and make problems go away. Pete makes an effort to get to know the man who seems nice enough and is just doing his job. But all this Joe angst and the over descriptive waffle just bored me and I had lost interest before they even reached the mountains.

I didn't finish the book and I'm afraid I won't be reading anything else by this author or Joe Tasker.
star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Online with New Computer!!!


Those of you who follow me will know my computer woes recently but I am happy to report that I am back online with a new machine and I hope that the computer issues are finally behind me. So for the rest of today I will be setting up my web pages and getting everything sorted. I'll be back to posting as normal from tomorrow morning. Yea!

Hopefully I can now put the stress behind me of a crap few weeks and get my blogging and reading back to normal and chilling out a bit more. Fingers crossed!

Thanks to all my followers (jeez I sound like a cult!!!) for their kind words and support through my woes and tantrums. You guys are brilliant and now I can visit you more without my computer self destructing! Double Yea!

Thanks for your patience and very valued friendship!

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Stacking the Shelves #141


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click on the link under the book to find its page on Goodreads or Smashwords. 

Please note that I always leave a message on your STS/SP if you visit me, but if you use DISQUS or a similar third party I will not be able to leave a comment on your page. I don't allow any company access to my social media accounts and I certainly don't allow them to edit and take over my accounts the way DISQUS does. So if you use DISQUS, I can't leave comments on your page so I can't really follow you back, sorry! I'm noticing that some blogs set with Google Plus are trying to force you to open a Google Plus or Facebook account before you can leave a comment. Well, I have no interest in rejoining Google Plus or joining Facebook so if your blog uses this set up, I won't be following it or commenting! And sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me so there might not be a message from me some weeks or you might get a double message sometimes! Blame them, not me!
        
Firstly, thank you all so much for your kind messages and support through the last two weeks...it has meant a lot to me and has been a huge help during a bit of a down time. I am feeling much better today thanks to getting a few good nights sleep, and finally getting my computer issues sorted. I'm getting a new upgraded one hopefully before next weekend. A lot of the issues I had with weird menu and webpage behaviour turned out to be a wonky mouse of all things! I'm stuck with that and an old computer which I'm sure Noah used as a boy-it is a slow dinosaur but it keeps me online for the moment so I'll keep my swearing under control! No word on the blood tests but I think if there was something wrong I'd have heard by now so I'm not going to worry about it. So again, thank you all for your kind messages and I do feel so much better now!

Sadly this week was a washout when it came to reading. I didn't read anything, I watched serial killer docs on TV and Celebrity Masterchef and leafed through magazines. I hope this coming week gets me back to normal! I need to get reading and catch up on some blogging!!! I'll continue to visit blogs and answer comments until the new computer is ready though I might just post the odd blog post. Depends how slow this machine is! I did manage to grab some more books to read *ahem* so I won't be short of reading material. The downloads are from the mega pile I grabbed. during my retail therapy and some of them are a bit different from my normal reads as they feature romance-but I do need more urban fantasy in my life and most were free so it's rude NOT to grab them...! Oh and I want to let you guys know that this blog is fully moderated so I have to approve each post before it appears, so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up straight away!

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