Saturday, 24 June 2017

Chuckles Weekend Roundup


Welcome to my new feature Chuckles Weekend Roundup where I will be looking at what books I've received, anything interesting I've done or bought or watched and other random stuff. I'll be taking a look back at what happened in my blogging world too, sort of like The Sunday Post that some of you do! 

Please note that I'll be visiting your STS/SP as normal, but I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow DISQUS to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I am the only one who does that on my social media! Sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me because I deleted my account with them but I will persevere as it only happens the odd time!
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 It's been a good reading week. I got a few read off my June list and went back to the Morganville Vampires series. These books are actually pretty quick to read and I'm getting through one per day which is great for both tbr and series catchup! Can't complain about that then. I'm hoping to get this series finished this month which would be great or the start of next. It would be a big win for my series catch up! I'm a full week ahead in my blogging so I hope to keep that going as it gives some leeway if things get busy. We'll see how long it lasts anyway. 

Of course I showed no restraint on the book buying side of things (shock!!!) and grabbed some shiny new books in the horror, apocalypse and urban fantasy genres. I read and enjoyed the first book in Sonya Bateman's Deathspeaker series. I had books 2 and 3 so I just had to buy the rest (4-6). I also grabbed a new Darrell Maloney (book 10), a new Grace Hamilton book (book 3) and a new Franklin Horton book (book 5), a new apocalypse series I want to try by William H Weber, a new Sonya Bateman UF book and a totally new-to-me author Orlando A Sanchez. I'm literally waiting for the Amazon packages to arrive! Ooh wait, one has arrived and need the other! Hurry up!!! *fidgets*

PAPERBACKS:











DVDS:
Decided to treat my dad to The Great Wall which he watched and LOVED, plus I just had to get the last Resident Evil film for both of us and a sci-fi film I loved many years ago when I first saw it. Finally got a copy from Poland with English audio!


Chuckles Blogging World:
  It was a pretty good blogging week overall. I managed to visit some new blogs and follow a few new ones too! *waves* to Darlene, Eve, Lillian, Kati...Hope to be lurking round more new blogs soon! I've joined a new meme to hopefully connect with more people, and today I'll catch up with a couple of days of comments after I post this. I'm ahead of schedule with most of my blog posts for next week done. Things are going nicely! As always, click on the links for any post you might have missed last week and say hi! All comments will be answered.

Book Reviews:
Why am I so SLOW at writing book reviews? I'm hopeless! The good news is that I think I have finally finished writing my reviews from March. I know I keep saying that and finding more but I am confident that I can move on to uploading reviews for what I read in April which includes The Morganville Vampires and Bigfoot War! 

JG Faherty-Cemetery Club

Rick Chesler-Hotel Megalodon

Brennan Beard-Devil Of The Forest

Jonah Buck-Carrion Safari

Dane Hatchell-The Lost World of Patagonia
http://chucklesbookcave.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/book-review-lost-world-of-patagonia.html 

Regular Features: 
  This week my Top Ten Tuesday was about series I need to start, I started my first Can't Wait Wednesday, went around the blogs to spy on all of you again, did my Cover Love featuring JA Cipriano, continue my new one called Feed My TBR where I post a topic and we all recommend any books we know to each other. Nice! This week is the Loch Ness Monster so check it out for book ideas!

Top Ten Tuesday-Series I need to start

Can't Wait Wednesday-Wendigo 

Chuckles Cover Love-JA Cipriano

Around The Blogs With Chuckles

Feed My TBR!-The Loch Ness Monster

Discussion Posts: 
Chuckles Chat this week was about Scheduled Posts and my Game of Thrones gossip looked at Theon Greyjoy in the first two seasons.

Chuckles Chat-Scheduled Posts

Game of Thrones Gossip-Theon Greyjoy
http://chucklesbookcave.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/game-of-thrones-gossip-21-theon-greyjoy.html 

Special Features: 

none this week

Book Tags:

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Book Challenge Updates:

  My Goodreads Challenge total currently stands at 129/250. This was a much more productive week for getting books read.

TBR total of books I own but haven't read yet stands at 820.*sigh* My utter loss of control on Amazon really didn't help matters! On the bright side, shiny new books!

Currently Reading: 
Today I'm reading a short story and then book 10, both of The Morganville Vampires. I can get through roughly one of these novels a day and I'm hoping to finish the series by the end of the month which would be great!

Next Reads? 
Morganville Vampires books 11-15

That's all for this week! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to visit my blog and leave comments. You guys are great! 

 

Friday, 23 June 2017

Book Review: Lost World of Patagonia by Dane Hatchell


An earthquake opens a path to a land hidden for millions of years. Under the guise of finding cryptid animals, Ace Corporation sends Alex Klasse, a Cryptozoologist and university professor, his associates, and a band of mercenaries to explore the Lost World of Patagonia. The crew boards a nuclear powered All-Terrain Tracked Carrier and takes a harrowing ride into the unknown.

The expedition soon discovers prehistoric creatures still exist. But the dangers won't prevent a sub-team from leaving the group in search of rare jewels. Tensions run high as personalities clash, and man proves to be just as deadly as the dinosaurs that roam the countryside.

Lost World of Patagonia is a prehistoric thriller filled with murder, mayhem, and savage dinosaur action.


My Review: 
Gerald and Will are part of a team digging for red diamonds in an isolated valley, for multi millionaire Henry Lear. Their progress comes to an abrupt end when the men are attacked by a pterodactyl. A team member gives the shocking footage to a magazine which raises interest in the area and a joint mission is organised between Lear's people and a cryptoid expedition. Some are searching for diamonds, others for dinosaurs but all are going to be on the menu.

The dinosaurs have been trapped in their own lost world deep in Patagonia, fenced in by geography but an earthquake allowed Lear's team to get into the valley to survey for anything useful. They found red diamonds and a lot of vicious predators. Lear is determined to get the diamonds and decides to send another more prepared mercenary team but hopes of keeping things quiet are ruined by the man who releases the footage and attracts the attention of the whole scientific community including cryptozoologist Alex. He is unsure if it is a hoax but he is determined to take his best students on the trip to find out.

The inter relationships between the team feature heavily in this book. Alex is having an affair with his student Natasha who is also going on the trip, but their cosy plans are ruined when his wife Susan decides to come along in case they find something. Logan is gay and interested in Matt who wants Natasha who wants to take Alex from Susan, who will report Alex for unethical behaviour in his past if they get divorced, so everybody is unhappy. These relationships dictate some of the action in the book as each person decides the best way to further their own interests. Coop is leading Lear's team and they are to protect the scientists before taking a secret side mission to get the diamonds.

It is a bit like Jurassic Park in the beginning as the team start to see the dinosaurs and marvel at what they are seeing, while Coop plans the best time to take his team to find the diamonds. Coop was actually my favourite character. He was the capable leader of the group who doesn't fit the steriotype of the asshole merc, instead being a nice guy who happens to do the dirty work for his boss. When a sudden and unexpected death occurs in the group, the scientists are ready to turn on each other over what they think happened and this makes for interesting choices as the book progresses. It is here that the real dinosaur action starts. There are some good dinosaur scenes in the latter part of the book.

This was a decent read overall but I feel the first two thirds of the book were a bit too heavy on the relationships between the characters which did slow it down a bit. It did still keep me interested enough to want to see what happened though and the last third of the book did not disappoint as the dinosaurs decide it is time to feed on the annoying humans. There are a few little twists that make it really interesting too. There is a follow up book which sounds a bit out there but I already have it and will probably read it as there are dinosaurs again. 
Read March 2017.
3 stars.


Chuckles Chat #22 Scheduled Posts

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

Today I'm looking at scheduled posts and blogging in advance.

You know how it is when life gets busy and you are frantic because you haven't posted anything for two whole days and you just KNOW that all your blog followers are tutting about your utter lazyness and ready to desert you in droves like rats on a sinking ship for other shiny productive blogs instead as your precious blog starts to slide into blogger oblivion and you will be forever jeered online as a failure...

OK maybe not quite so dramatic but there are times when blogging gets on top of you because of illness, accident, family stuff, work issues and general slothery, and you do worry that you aren't able to post anything until you sort things out. It can get a bit stressful sometimes can't it and hey, we'd all love a blog break but we can't seem to find the TIME to do it...It feels like we don't have time to do anything on the blog yet we can't find the time to stay away from the blog either, y'know?

This is where scheduled posts and blogging ahead can be such a relief. If you have extra posts to dip into, you can post something on a day that is busier than you expected that you created a few days ago or longer. Having that safety net so to speak, can be really useful if an unexpected busy day hits you and you still want to post something. If you are ahead by a good number of posts, as soon as you start to feel ill, you can schedule the things to cover a few days, letting you crawl back into bed to have some duvet time to sleep and read and recharge your batteries a bit. And the great thing is, even technophobes like me can use scheduled posts without making a royal arse of things! 

Of course with such a great thing comes The Problem. In order to be ahead on your blog posts like that, you somehow have to find the time to write all the darn things and store them on blogger or wherever, ready for use. The disorganised blogger like myself can barely find time to write todays posts never mind get a whole weeks worth ready to go in advance! It's true, finding the time to get ahead can be a bit of a problem and it does require a bit of hard work but if you can do it, it is pretty satisfying and you can reap the rewards later. For example, two weeks ago I put a lot of extra computer time in and got five days worth of blog posts ready for the week ahead. It allowed me to take a few days off to read and relax, with two posts a day covered until I was ready to go back online and I so much enjoyed that stress free reading time! Of course the down side to it was that when I came back online I was five days behind on my blog comment replies and blog visits! Haven't worked out a solution for that!

So how DO you get ahead??? I can only speak for myself of course but the weekends are a quiet time for me so I use Friday and Saturday to start getting my regular posts done for the week ahead which for me starts each Sunday. I have a quick browse to decide which author will feature on my Cover Love posts and it's a very quick one to put together so I do that first. It is usually posted on a Sunday so within ten minutes I've got half of Sunday ready. I know what I want my discussion post and Game of Thrones posts to be about and I can usually get each one done in half an hour or less. So I immediately have one post for three days of the week covered, which is a great boost! Then I tackle Top Ten Tuesday which can take several hours to do depending on the topic. When it is done I have a post for Sunday to Wednesday covered and I look at completing book tag or special posts, before getting on to tackle book reviews. By the time I do that, I have most of next week covered. My Around The Blogs post is posted each Monday but as soon as I do it I start a new one for the following week, adding each new post link as I see it each day.

How do you STAY ahead though??? Having got ahead for that one week, I'm determined to stay ahead this time so today, Friday 16th, I've posted my last post from those I did last week and I'm working on posts for the week ahead so this will be my second organised week in a row! My advice is if you have a quiet day or your other half is reading or binge watching something you don't like, use the time to try and get some posts done. Every time you have a spare computer hour try and get a review or something done. Having that leeway does make blogging less stressful if you can do it. After all, blogging is meant to be fun and being ahead can make it feel less of a chore!

Do you blog ahead? Do you schedule posts?

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Book Review: Carrion Safari by Jonah Buck


Denise DeMarco wants to retire from the big game hunting business, but she's received one last job offer she can't refuse. All she has to do is capture a monster. Soon, Denise finds herself on a cursed and sweltering island with a team of elite hunters. Her employers want her to find the legendary ahool, a species of bat large enough to carry away a human being. Knee-deep in Komodo dragons and danger, Denise soon discovers that things aren't as they appear on the island. Someone is murdering Denise's partners, turning the hunters into the hunted. The killer isn't the only threat, though. Night is about to fall on the island, and the real monsters only come out after dark.

My Review: 
Denise is a skilled hunter who has let her business go bust so an offer of $10000 to go to an island and $90000 to capture creatues alive proves too good to pass up, even if one is a legendary giant bat. The island has locals who hide behind a big wall and don't want strangers there, and the other hunters are an obnoxious bunch who all want to win the big prize at all costs but the hunt begins. And then it gets dark and all hell breaks loose...

I liked this one. Denise is very much the hero figure and a strong woman who needs a bit of good luck and it looks like she has found it with this mission. She can even put up with her nemesis Balthazar, vile racist Jubal and sexist pig Marlow as the island is big enough to stay well away from everyone else. She teams up with Gail and Harrison to explore the island and make camp but don't see anything unusual, and no sign of giant bats. But as night falls, a human scream draws them all to a small camp where Kazan is found shot dead. Did one of the hunters do it or is someone else stalking them? Why can none of them contact the ship? The following day someone takes a shot at Denise when she becomes seperated from her friends.

It is not just the unknown sniper that is going to be deadly. After a run in with komodo dragons, Denise finds evidence in the caves of mutant monsters and previous visitors to the island who did not survive. She decides that it is time to tell the others what she has found out and a meeting takes place that night in the jungle. It is then that the mystery of the island is revealed to them all...as the moon comes out, everything on the island mutates into huge deadly beasts...komodo dragons the size of a T Rex, mega snakes, giant spiders and bugs, huge bats and crazy monkeys and every one of them wants a piece of hunter for dinner. Now they are the ones being hunted through a terrifying night that not everyone will survive...

Heh got to love this one! You think that the mad sniper is going to be the worst thing when the worst the island seems to have are the komodo dragons but it all changes when it is revealed that the animals are all affected by the moon and are basically weres that grow to massive sizes. Suddenly even the smallest animals become a threat and everyone is being chased by various nasty beasties. I did enjoy that element a lot. Also when they think they have escaped the beast chasing them, they still have the sniper to worry out. It gives a lot of action and tension to a pretty exciting plot. You don't really know what is coming next and there are a couple of nice plot twists nearer the end which were fun.

The male characters are really horrible! Balthazar seems to really hate Denise and she has no idea why. The behaviour of the men at the breakfast table when they meet her was appalling and I wanted to climb into the book and headbutt them all. They were the worst sexist pigs you could imagine meeting. Characters like that make me want to DNF but it is worth trying to ignore them for the short journey as everyone splits up when they reach the island and the plot takes over. There are a few questions that you want answered and I'm happy to report that you do find out everything by the end.

Overall this was a good lost world type story with a few twists. There is the were aspect to the animals which I enjoyed. I also liked that it was set in the 1920's so the weapons they have are older, meaning they need to use their skill as hunters to kill the creatures. No AR-15 to bail you out in this story! It added something a bit different to the plot. Lots of monsters and lots of action. What else do you want in a monster book? 

Read March 2017.
4 stars. 

Game of Thrones Gossip #21 Theon Greyjoy

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Gossip, where all of us fanatics get the chance to discuss everything we love about this amazing TV series. I did a few spoiler free posts about the series last year but I found that there were other bloggers out there who were also itching to talk more freely about favourite characters and events without spoiling things for those visiting the blog. So I decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! The topics may talk about a death, an event, a character or be season reviews and so on. Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

I have to warn you that it is important that you have seen all six seasons before reading any of these posts because these posts and blogger comments will be oozing and exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned that it's a bad idea to be here right now! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you nor do I take responsibility for any mistakes on the pages I link you to.

For those of you who stuck with me through my season one posts, thank you loads! Now I'm going to look at the main characters introduced in season two, what our season one characters were doing in season two and looking at all the bests bits. Enjoy the season two posts! 


Theon Greyjoy is the last surviving son of Balon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands. Balon was a supporter of House Targaryen during Robert's Rebellion and in later years, he rebelled against King Robert. Robert and Ned defeated the uprising killing Theon's older brothers Rodrik and Maron. The terms of his defeat saw Balon agree that Theon would be taken as a hostage to Winterfell, where he would be Ned's ward, to ensure the future good behaviour of Balon. Theon was brought up with the Stark children, becoming best friends with Robb and coming to view Ned as a father figure.

When we meet Theon, he is an arrogant and cocky young man and not a nice person. He throws his weight around, and aims most of his barbs at Jon Snow, pointing out that it is fitting for Jon to receive the runt of the dire wolf litter to raise. He spends time in the company of Ros, his favourite prostitute but treats her as if she is his personal property, getting angry at the thought of her being with someone like Tyrion. He has the same attitude to other women as we see him trying to abuse Osha and grope Yara when he meets her. It is obvious that he is burning with anger and resentment every time someone reminds him that he is a hostage at Winterfell, not part of the family, and should be grateful for everything he has been given. It is difficult to feel any sympathy for how this makes him feel as he is frankly obnoxious, and talks down to those around him. It is also obvious that he is full of his own self importance, putting forward his opinions on everything, which often leads to a reminder of his actual status.

When Robb decides to raise an army to gain the release of his father, Theon is right by his side as a loyal friend, offering advice. He is also one of the first to hail him as King in the North and calling Robb brother. He offers to be Robb's envoy to the Iron Islands, to gain an alliance and the use of Balon's ships against the Lannisters. We see his arrogance again when he believes that he can persuade his father to make a deal, despite Catelyn's doubts over the idea. She has little time for the Greyjoys and even Jaime Lannister tells Jory that he doubts that Theon is a good lad. Theon gets a few unpleasant surprises when he arrives home to no joyous welcome and a father who despises him for being too much of a Stark and no longer a Greyjoy. Balon isn't interested in deals with Starks and starts planning an uprising in the North, led by Yara, not his son. Theon's embarrassing bragging and attempts to seduce Yara alienates him from his sister. The only moment where he shows his spine is when he rails at Balon for giving him away to the Starks, something that visibly upsets his father.

Theon is considering warning Robb about his father's plans but at the last minute decides to be loyal to his family. It turns out to be a fateful decision which will lead to the destruction of Theon and the Starks. The lack of respect from his crew leads to a desire to prove himself to everyone by disobeying his father and taking Winterfell instead. The betrayal of Robb is complete when Theon takes the castle. A furious Ser Rodrik rails at him and his men insist that the man be killed for his disrespect and Theon is forced by his mocking prisoner to do the deed himself as Ned would have done. Bran and Rickon are distraught by what Theon has done and they escape with Osha and Hodor. Theon is angry at being tricked and seduced by Osha to achieve their escape and sets off in pursuit of them. Unable to find them, Theon murders and burns two orphan boys to pass off as the Stark boys, knowing that Robb is going to kill him for his betrayals.

Maester Luwin tries to help Theon as the castle is surrounded by Ramsay Snow's men, offering to help him escape and urging him to go to Castle Black to join the Night's Watch but Theon believes that it is too late for him. He prepares himself to die with his men, trying to inspire them to fight with him, but they knock him out and prepare to hand him over to Ramsay in return for the freedom that Robb promised them. Maester Luwin tries to intervene and is murdered.

In the books, Theon is an even worse character who was waiting for a chance to get away from the Starks who he thinks of as his jailors. However he has no great love for his own family, plotting how he can further his own prospects as he returns home. He has no qualms about killing innocents, raping women and torturing people, fearing only failure. He considers Luwin's advice to join the Night's Watch, thinking of the glory he could achieve as First Ranger and Lord Commander. He is a vile character! 

There will be more about Theon and the Greyjoys as the posts progress through the remaining seasons of the show.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Book Review: Devil Of The Forest by Brennan Beard


SOMETIMES IT TAKES AN ABOMINABLE THREAT TO AWAKEN THE MONSTER WITHIN…

Hailey Card is a tenacious young science journalist with big plans for her career, but when her magazine looks to attract new readers with stories beyond the fringe of established science, Hailey is sent to the mountains of the pacific northwest, where she’ll join a group of grizzled researchers in pursuit of America’s most notorious cryptozoological creature…

Three-thousand miles from her civilized New York life, Hailey’s skepticism soon turns to terror, and when she and the crew find themselves hunted by monsters both human and otherwise, all of Hailey’s city-slicker sophistication yields to the most primal of animal instincts:

Fight or Flight.


My Review:
You know how you see a book that talks about being a Bigfoot story but turns into the story of a whiny useless female instead? Yes, this is that book.

Hailey has convinced herself that she is going to get promoted to junior editor of the magazine, despite being in big trouble two weeks earlier for an article she wrote that upset some very influential people. She was so confident that she told the office gossip about it and now everybody knows what is going on when Hailey is called in to see the boss. Imagine her shock in finding out that the boss never even considered her for the position which embarrassing for her, has gone to her lover. She behaves like a complete idiot in the interview, protesting about it, whining, declaring that she believed she was right for the post and the whole time I was gritting my teeth and willing her to shut the hell up!

So instead, Hailey is being sent on a Bigfoot hunt with her scientific hero Preston, who of course is a repulsive, drunken, leering moron. She isn't interested in in but isn't happy when the airline stewardess is giving him preferential treatment and ignoring her. When she arrives at the place where the Bigfoot chasers are, she manages to racially offend one man and delares her intent to investigate them to see if they are charlatans, annoying everyone as you can imagine. She moans about being stuck in a backwoods place, whines about being asked to get coffee and excluded from further discussions, and is basically a pain in the arse.

By the time they are travelling out to the actual woods and getting set up ready for a monster hunt, 50% of the book was already gone and nothing at all had happened. It was very dull and I didn't even care enough to see if anyone died. I noticed that some reviews talk also about psycho drug dealers which makes me glad that I didn't venture on.

I couldn't say that I found anything to like about this.  

Read March 2017.
1 star.

Feed My TBR #2 Loch Ness Monster


Welcome to Feed My TBR, my new feature. Each week I'll select a specific subject or theme and recommend books that I've read or share books I've heard of or have on my tbr and wishlist. I invite all of you to also share your recommendations on the subject chosen...and if you could, please say what kind of book it is ie PNR, horror etc. In the comments section you can also ask for specific types of books on the subject and see if someone can help. Hopefully we can share lots of book ideas and flood each other's tbrs with new book grabs! NO EROTICA please! I don't have that at all on my blog!

This week: Loch Ness Monster fiction! 



I haven't read any of these but I have bought Loch Ness Revenge and I REALLY want to get Steve Alten, Donovan Galway and Monster. They sound most promising! Has anyone got other Loch Ness Monster books to share?

Can't Wait Wednesday


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at http://www.wishfulendings.com/ to spotlight and discuss books we're excited about but haven't read, which may not even be released yet. 

My first week! I'm so excited that I'm actually sprouting fur! Well not quite but I'm looking forward to another excuse to lurk on other blogs and say hi. Now, what have I chosen for this week's book? 


Algonquin legend tells of the Wendigo, an evil spirit sent to punish mankind. It can possess a person and turn them into a monstrous creature consumed by a need to eat human flesh. For John Bear the Wendigo was merely a scary story his grandfather used to tell him. That is, until a man is found dead in the deep northern woods of Maine, butchered like an animal and with his heart cut out. And the only tracks they can find are massive footprints that couldn’t possibly be human. Now, John is sure that what is stalking the inhabitants of their remote outpost is a Wendigo, even if no one else believes it. He must stop a monster he once thought was nothing more than a tale to warn children.

It is described on a Goodreads review as a fast paced thriller and it has a WENDIGO in it! What more could you want as a horror fan??? The good news is that I only need to wait until July for the book release, assuming the paperback also comes out at that time.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag


I saw this book tag over at http://bookertsfarm.blogspot.co.uk/  and decided to give it a go. This tag was originally created by Ely Jayne at http://www.teaandtitles.com/

1) Best Book You've Read So Far in 2017
GRRM's 'A Game Of Thrones' has to be right up there.

2) Best Sequel You've read So Far in 2017 
It would have to be the Extinction Horizon series by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. Every one has been brilliant. Also really liked GRRM's 'A Clash of Kings'.

3) New Release You Haven't Read Yet But Want To
Hunter Shea-Just Add Water. I'm waiting for the paperback for mail order horror fun!

4) Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2017
Kevin Hearne-Besieged. New Atticus and Oberon anthology with extra Owen! Oh and the last books in my two favourite zombie series Michael Stephen Fuchs 'Arisen' and Nicholas Sansbury Smith's 'Extinction Horizon' WANT!!! NOW!!!

5) Biggest Disappointment
A few really bad NF this year including Sue Perkins 'Spectacles' and Dan Hodges political parody 'One Minute to Ten'. Big DNFs. Brennan Beard 'Devil of the Forest' was a poor Bigfoot book too. Wanted much more from that.

6) Biggest Surprise
Nothing has really surprised me yet. I'm not one to experiment greatly with the genres I read, sticking mainly to my favourites.

7) Favourite New Author
Based on the zombie series I'd say Nicholas Sansbury Smith but I haven't read his other series yet. Hope to start 'Orbs' this week. Hunter Shea looks quite promising as well on the horror side of things.

8) Newest Fictional Crush
Not interested in this book boyfriend thing.

9) Newest Favourite Character
Fitz and dog Apollo from Nicholas Sansbury Smith's 'Extinction Horizon' and of course Tyrion Lannister from GRRM's 'ASOIAF' series. Myrnin from The Morganville Vampires.

10) Book That Made You Cry
A few favourites bit the dust in Extinction Horizon series. Darn you Nicholas Sansbury Smith! Blubbed a bit over a death in The Morganville Vampires too.

11) Book That Made You Happy
Can't say any made me really happy but I was amused by Sarah Andersen's books this year. The cartoons are funny and I relate totally to her.

12) Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation You've Seen So Far in 2017
Haven't watched any films really this year. Can I count Game of Thrones??? Great first two books read this year turned into awesome TV!

13) Favourite Review You've Written So Far in 2017
I don't rate my own reviews. I don't really think any of them stand out.

14) Most Beautiful Book You've Bought So Far in 2017
I've bought so many this year. Lots of Indie apocalypse books with great covers. I was hoping the answer would be 'The Winds of Winter' but lets not go there...!

15) What Books Do You NEED To Read By The End Of The Year 
Heh, LOTS! I have to finish The Morganville Vampires series. I'd like to catch up on a lot of long running series by Carrie Vaughn, Rob Thurman, Jennifer Estep, Darrell Maloney, George RR Martin, Benedict Jacka and John Marsden but time is already against me!

Want to take part in this book tag? I tag you! Just tell me in the comments if you join in so I don't miss your post.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!  http://www.brokeandbookish.com/   

This week it is Top Ten Series I meant to start...but haven't yet. My problem is more about FINISHING the ones I have started! Still, we'll give this a try!


1) JA Cipriano-Kill It With Magic (Lillim Callina #1)
Lillim's half demon ex wants her help, her rival has risen from the grave and a dragon plotting to take over the world wants her to work for him. OK all of that and the great cover makes the book sound pretty intriguing! Hope to get to this next month with other new-to-me authors!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31208015-kill-it-with-magic 

2) James Wesley Rawles-Patriots (The Coming Collapse #1)
A financial crisis causes society to collapse and a small group of friends in Chicago prepare themselves to survive when the city falla apart. I love these apocalypse books where you follow the people trying to survive against all odds!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6280504-patriots 

3) Simone Pond-Hidden Sight (Coastview Prophecies #1)
Sibyl was blinded in an accident but can now see into the supernatural realm. She has a vision of a coming catastrophe and she and shifter guide dog Vago set out to save the town. OK love the cover, love the diverse heroine AND a shifter guide dog! Want to read this!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32861547-hidden-sight 


4) MV Stott-Familiar Magic (London Coven #1)
When her three fellow coven witches, the most powerful in London are killed, Stella is tasked with protecting the city alone and destroying whatever did it. Another great cover and intriguing sounding UF!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34007038-familiar-magic 

5) Kate Morris-The McClane Apocalypse (McClane Apocalypse #1)
Reagan ia a pre Med student at University when economic and social collapse occurs and she has to get back to the family farm. This one is the kind of apocalypse one I like plus for those who like a bit of romance there are Army Ranger men in it!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21901592-the-mcclane-apocalypse-book-1 

6) Mike Kraus-Final Dawn  
Different people struggle to cope in the aftermath of a bomb attack-a sanitation worker, an accountant, a millionaire and a wife and mother. I can never get enough of these kinds of books and I've just read a great short story by the author which makes me want to read this more!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19413299-final-dawn 


7) Steve Alten-Meg (Meg #1)
Jonas is the sole survivor of an attack by an ancient shark and he suffers the trauma afterwards as he seeks to prove it exists. But when he finally gets back into the water, it is waiting for him. Ooh yes, sharks! Love them! I had this book years ago but never read it, and with the film coming out it seems like a good excuse to read it this summer.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/105744.Meg 

8) Sonya Bateman-Wrong Side Of Hell (Deathspeaker Codex #1)
Gideon's job was hauling bodies around for a living and the corpses start talking back to him. The rescue of a werewolf and a message from a dead man will change his life forever. I've tried and liked this author before and have been planning to read this all year but not got to it yet.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28920576-wrong-side-of-hell 

9) Rob Thurman-Nightlife (Cal Leandros #1) 
Cal and his brother Niko are on the run from an elf race who are chasing Cal as he is the key to unleashing Hell on Earth. I've wanted to read this series for so long and I really want to get to it sometime this year. I did start it and liked it but got distracted from it.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/421007.Nightlife 

10) JK Walker-Glacial Eyes (Salt Lake After Dark #1)
After a party that went wrong, werecat student Jasmine is starting to attract attention from the police, council and campus as well as a supernatural serial killer. I read the short story prequel which I enjoyed and look forward to reading this diverse sounding series.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13077781-glacial-eyes


Monday, 19 June 2017

Book Review: Hotel Megalodon by Rick Chesler


An underwater luxury hotel on a gorgeous tropical island is set for an extravagant opening weekend with the world watching. The only thing standing in the way of a first-rate experience for the jet-setting VIPs is an unscrupulous businessman and sixty feet of prehistoric shark. As the underwater complex is besieged by a marauding behemoth, newly minted marine biologist Coco Keahi must face off against the ancient predator as it rises from the deep with a vengeance. Meanwhile, a human monster has decided he would be better off if Coco were one of the creature’s victims.

My Review: 
The Triton Undersea Resort is an exclusive new hotel complex built on a coral reef. The day before the guests arrive, Coco the marine biologist is test driving the small sub and has an encounter with a megalodon, something James White the resort manager does not want to believe. As the guests arrive, something has destroyed the air conditioning system and as the guests decide to go back to the surface, the shark decides to feed...

I'm a big fan of the films Jaws and Deep Blue Sea and I can never resist shark stuff so I just had to get my hands on this one. It is another of those plots that you can imagine on the SF channel but it is good b movie fun! Our main character is a stong woman called Coco who is an expert diver and the resort tour guide and marine biographer. She is sure that she saw a megalodon but convincing others of what she saw is more difficult, especially when her boss is obsessed with the upcoming opening. Her best friend/potential boyfriend Mick is the only one who seems willing to help her through the book. James White is the typical bad boss-obsessed with making money, willing to compromise safety to save some money and throws his weight around when he doesn't like what he hears. He finally realises that Coco was right when guests are already dying and his focus beomes covering up his mistakes.

The plot is interesting. A megalodon has been attracted to the new resort and we first see it when it hits Coco's sub and damages it. Coco reports the incident, and despite several dolphins also going missing, James is more concerned about the sub not being available for tourists to rent. The next day when the guests arrive, the shark has damaged the air conditioning unit, leaving it uncomfortably hot below the surface and guests are keen to get back up to a cooler climate. It is as the underground transport starts to go up the tunnel that the shark attacks, flooding the tunnel area with water, which is witnessed by Coco who rushes to help.

Things are going to get bad for everyone else in the hotel with their only exit flooded and damaged. James is already seeing his project falling apart and is trying to think of a way out of the mess, and with Coco knowing that he failed to react to her warnings, he is seeing her as a loose end that he wants to tie up. Coco is more focused on how to get herself and the guests out of the hotel. Several ideas are possible but the shark is continuing to attack the building, creating more flooding and destruction. There is always something happening in the plot and Coco seems to face one crisis after another. While some reviewers are not impressed by a lack of reality, I found it entertaining to read which is more important to me than reality.

We know that the shark is constantly lurking in the dark depths around the hotel, so there is plenty tension through the book as you wonder where it is going to pop up next. There are frequent shark attacks on the building which disrupts their plans and leads to the resort gradually becoming flooded. How are they going to get back up to the surface? Adding in the lengths James is willing to go to to silence Coco adds a different sub plot to enjoy. (pardon the pun)

If you enjoy a bit of mad monster mayhem, you might well enjoy this.
Read March 2017.
3.5 stars

Around The Blogs With Chuckles


We all enjoy snooping and lurking on other people's blogs right? Why not share those entertaining things you found with other readers and bloggers too! Welcome to Around the Blogs with Chuckles, where I take time out to show you some of my favourite blog posts from the previous seven days and link you up so you can check them out.

This Week! One of the reviews-Shadow Run, was posted May 26th but I've only just seen it this week so that counts as this week doesn't it? Just this once...!

1) Audiobook Review-Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Mogsy does another excellent review of 'biopunk' sci-fi space opera with mutated and evolved smart spiders. I'm intrigued...are you?

https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/06/12/audiobook-review-children-of-time-by-adrian-tchaikovsky/ 

2) Book Review-Smoke by Dan Vyleta
AJ gives her thoughts on a part historical part dystopia book with great world building that promised much but failed to deliver.

http://ajsterkel.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/review-smoke-dan-vyleta.html 

3) Book Review-Grit by Gillian French
Greg at Book Haven reviews this YA drama.

http://gregsbookhaven.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/grit.html 

4) Bite Sized Reviews
Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction reviews a group of books in one post-YA contemporary and sci-fi along with a giveaway!

https://feedyourfictionaddiction.com/2017/06/bite-sized-reviews-giveaway-eliza-monsters-fix-gauntlet-goodbye-days-sun-also-star.html 

5) Book Review-Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
Another one from Mogsy this week, reviewing a bit of Michael Crichton for your enjoyment!

https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/06/15/book-review-dragon-teeth-by-michael-crichton/ 

6) Book Review-Shadow Run by A Strickland and M Miller
Maddalena reviews this cross between Dune and Firefly.

https://spaceandsorcery.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/review-shadow-run-by-a-strickland-and-m-miller/ 

7) Blogging Expectations and why I hate them 
Austine at Novel Knight looks at the changing expectations on book bloggers

http://novelknight.com/2017/06/blogging-expectations-hate/