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The Bastard Cadre by Lee Carlon – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing The Bastard Cadre by Lee Carlon

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Epic Fantasy/Dystopian

Take a stand. Defy the gods.

Avril was raised salvaging tech in the dead cities left behind after the apocalypse. He was happy, living quietly and avoiding the chosen’s holy wars, but a chance encounter reveals people are coming for him. Whether he wants it or not, he has a role to play in the holy wars and life will never be the same again. Neutrality is not an option for Avril as forces on all sides of the conflict learn who and what he is and set plans in motion to use him to gain the upper hand.

The Bastard Cadre is an ambitious science fantasy saga set in a futuristic dystopia where dragons soar above cities of technological splendor, and what’s left of humanity must choose between kneeling to malevolent gods and risking annihilation to fight them.

Review

I actually read The Bastard Cadre series some time ago and loved it..my only comment to the author was the covers lacked the first impression to make a reader buy the book.. well the author has clearly took that on-board and has released the series with fab new covers..not only that but book 1 in the series has had a rewrite… and to tease me there’s also now a book 5 to the series I’ve yet to read. To do the series justice I thought the best idea was to read the series again from the start to enjoy the ride once again J

What originally caught my eye was the author’s tag line.. epic fantasy without the word count. At 178 pages it’s perfect for a quick read and a great way to test if a series is for you.

The Bastard Cadre is the best series I’ve read and the rewrite for book 1 served only to improve on what I deemed perfection.. as if that was even possible.

The tale follows Avril.. he’s being raised (or rather protected) by Ethan Godkin but why?

After Avril and Ethan are attacked while on the road their life is turned upside down and Ethan does everything in his power to protect Avril… and that means calling someone he’d rather not..he’s stuck in a hard place and there doesn’t appear to be an easy way out.

Set in a futuristic dystopia era where cities are now wasteland you can’t trust anyone as most are struggling to survive… only the rich thrive while the gods play their little games.

A series of events lead Avril to the conclusion he’s not just another lost soul..he’s part of something bigger…but what…. there’s a connection to the gods themselves.. but why was Ethan hiding this truth?  Who can he trust?

I really enjoyed the setting along with the futuristic technology used by Avril to stay alive. I’ll be honest.. the plot was great and the setting perfect.. the detail given in under 200 pages sucks the reader in and leaves so many questions open setting the series up perfectly.

5/5 stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

The Scathing (King’s Bane #3) by C.R. May – Review

Next up for review is The Scathing (King’s Bane #3) by C.R. May

Here’s the blurb –

Genre – Historical Fiction

In an epic tale of courage and ferocity, the kingdom of Mercia is born.

More than a year has passed since the English crossed the German Sea to settle the island of Britain.
Secure now in their Anglian fastness, their gaze turns to the West.
But other kingdoms also covet the middle lands.
Sweeping down from the western hills Cynlas Goch and his army of Powys lay waste the valley of the River Trenta, burning, killing and enslaving as they go.
Heavily outnumbered but trusting to their valour, can Eofer king’s bane and his war band slow the onslaught until the English and their allies wrest a final victory from the ashes of defeat?

The Scathing is the third book in the Bestselling King’s Bane series, the genesis of England.

Review

The Scathing is the 3rd and final book in the King’s Bane series and we are back with Eofer and his loyal troop.

Years have passed since Eofer earned the title of King’s Bane.. he’s older but also a little wiser.

With the Powys on the attack our heroes are tasked the unenviable task of putting an end to their rampage..and they’re heavily outnumbered…they must do what they can to protect those that can’t defend themselves.

This story really develops Eofer for me, many friends have come and gone and he’s haunted by his past as it walks beside him..he will never let the memory of those lost be forgotten. Not only were these moments quite moving but I thought it linked the books together well. Eofer’s memories tugged at my own and I found myself reliving past events in the series.

May sets a vivid scene of tumultuous times..people are dying horribly and something must be done.. many more lives will be lost…it’s a tale of camaraderie and hard-fought battles..

What the author did superbly for me was the connection between Eofer and his men…not only is it believable but each member of the team has value and is developed in their own right… they really are a tight team of loyal men who would die for each other.

The main storyline of war was vivid and engrossing but so emotionally charged..each chapter tearing at me as the tale progressed. So much so that the ending left me shattered..heartbroken..what a cracking ending to a very detailed and exciting series.

The Scathing has the perfect mix of plot and character development, there’s a big picture but lots of personal titbits to make you fall in love with the characters..their humour..I’ll truly miss them.

There’s something to keep everyone happy with this book..it just ticks so many boxes.

I can’t give it any less than a 5 star rating.. that ending.. just wow. Top marks!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Blog Tour – The Nudge Man by Keith Nixon

Hi!!!!

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Keith Nixon’s new book – The Nudge Man.

Follow the tour! Show your support 🙂

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Here’s the blurb –

Genre – Crime Thriller

A washed up reporter, an escaped convict, a sociopathic gangster. All are hunting the Nudge Man…

Wheelchair bound, born again, ex-gangster, Eric Hennessey offers down on his luck reporter, Harrison Vaughan, a job. Track down the Nudge Man, a mysterious vigilante who’s stolen most of Hennessey’s money, ill-gotten gains which now Hennessey wants to use to do God’s work. Trouble is, Harry has no desire to work for a sociopathic murderer, even if he is an apparently changed man.

Harry is estranged from his family since a fabricated scandal destroyed his career. Hennessey tells Vaughan it was the Nudge Man who set him up for the fall. Find The Nudge Man and Harry has the chance for redemption and maybe even his family back.

However, Hennessey has another objective in mind. Unknown to Harry his family were taken into witness protection and had to cut ties with everyone after Harry’s son saw a murder – carried out by Eric Hennessey. Hennessey has been looking for them ever since and now may have a way in – Harry himself.

And others are on the trail of the Nudge Man, including the British government and an American secret service agent. Then there’s the lawyer who offers Harry £1m to stay away from The Nudge Man.

With more questions than answers and hapless guard dog Bonzo, whose bark is definitely worse than his bite, at his side Harry begins his search.

Can Harry find the Nudge Man and save his family? Or will Hennessey exact his revenge?

Review

I’m a massive fan of Keith’s work so jumped at the chance to read/review the book as part of the blog tour.. did I do it for the free book? No! I’ve bought a copy too.. it’s well worth the £1.99 kindle price tag.

Harry hasn’t seen his family in years..he beleives his wife left him after a scandal but we soon learn there’s more too it than that.

Hennessey employs a down and out Harry to track down the Nudge Man..why you might ask..well there’s a personal connection. Hennessey says it’s the Nudge Man who set Harry up all those years ago and cost him his family.

Harry’s not quite sure how he feels about all this..he’s stuck in-between a rock and a hard place and at every turn someone is trying to control his next move. Who can be trusted?

Keith Nixon weaves an exciting tale with some very spectacular turns..it’s riveting and perfectly paced to build up the suspense I like in a gritty thriller.

The plot was exciting but for me the idea of the Nudge Man is what had me sold.. the idea someone can influence events towards an outcome they desire without you even knowing anyone was even involved..brilliant. Keith knows how to develop his characters to make them appeal to his readers and once again the cast in this one were spot on.. special mention has to go to Bonzo the loveable hound.. his attitude had me smiling from ear to ear.

Keith never fails to pack a punch in his work..everything works..nothing is out-of-place or rushed..just perfectly planned and executed pure brilliance. This is the first in a new series for the author so I’ll eagerly be awaiting the follow up to see where this one goes.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Young Warlock by Mathew Bridle – The One Saga – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg is Young Warlock by Mathew Bridle.

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Epic/High Fantasy

On his graduation day at the University of Elements Dekor is shown how to conjure fire, an art forbidden to mages. He immediately succumbs to the lust of the flame. Now a battlemage Dekor is expected to climb through the ranks and become a great mage. His experiments with fire lead him to a confrontation with the Archmage resulting in Dekor becoming a wanted criminal.
He sets out on a night of lust driven destruction securing his transformation to warlock. Now he must flee for his life, pursued by hunters who will stop at nothing to bring him in. He heads north, through dark, spider infested forests, over mountains and through dangerous swamps where he encounters Icthus, a truth provoking creature who becomes his friend. Icthus guides Dekor to a place of refuge but first they must scale vast cliffs and traverse the plains of Oumtuk before they can reach the safety of Gamran Mire where the next part of his journey begins.
Dekor is asked by the enemy of the mages to help them open a magical doorway into the Cavern of Souls though what they really want is something different. With Icthus as guide the party sets out on a simple quest. When he returns Dekor finds he has something unexpected.
War has come to lands of men. Dekor’s homeland is laid waste by armies of goblins and the undead. The people of land flee to the neighbouring kingdom of Grimlaw where they live as refugees. The mage guild is no more, Dekor is a free man. Now he must put his inner demons rest and to put right the wrongs of his night of lust.

Review

From the outset I had a feeling I would like this book, the blurb screams potential.

Dekor is a battlemage, training to offer his support wherever he may be needed..but as with all magic there’s a dark side to tempt you and Dekor is unable to keep his lust for fire in check and turns to the darkness.

All is not as is seems though, there’s a plan and the One has his eye on Dekor and others. With the aid of allies the One sets up the chessboard ready for the war to come. A prophecy long ago foretold is about to come to fruition but many are blind to the danger they are in.

This is most certainly the kind of book I want to read when I think of epic fantasy, there’s gnomes, dwarfs, goblins, orcs and trolls to name just a few! plus the gods they pray too.

The pace of the tale for the most part works well and builds up the plot nicely but at times it did seem things progressed rather fast so didn’t get much page time, one major event stands out.. I’d love to be specific but that would ruin a big piece of the plot… The chapters could have probably done with a timeline of sorts.

What the author gets spot on for me is the setting and its characters..both grew nicely as the tale progressed helping me as a reader understand the bigger picture. I particularly found Icthus and Gestorn highly fascinating. Dekor himself has the most page time and therefore the most growth throughout the tale and it worked pretty well. I’d loved to have seen more inner struggles with the fire.

One of the best things about the book is the build-up, you never quite know who to trust and what their true motives are.. even the One. It made for an exciting read.

Easy 4* for me! I’ll definitely add Mathew Bridle to my authors to look out for list as I’d like to see where the story goes as the ending leaves me in no doubt the adventure will continue.

My thanks go to the author and Charles at Publishing Push for the chance to read/review the book.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Carina by Alison Morton – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg is Carina by Alison Morton.

Here’s the blurb

Carina Mitela is still a young inexperienced officer in the Praetorian Guard Special Forces of Roma Nova. Disgraced and smarting from a period in the cells for a disciplinary offence, she is sent out of everybody’s way on a seemingly straightforward mission overseas.

All she and her comrade-in-arms, Flavius, have to do is bring back a traitor from the Republic of Quebec. Under no circumstances will she risk entering the Eastern United States where she is still wanted under her old name Karen Brown. But when she and Flavius discover a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of Roma Nova, what price is personal danger against fulfilling the mission?

Set in the time after INCEPTIO but before PERFIDITAS in the Roma Nova series, this thriller novella reveals hidden parts of Carina’s early life in Roma Nova. And North America isn’t quite the continent we know in our timeline…

Review

Carina is part of the Roma Nova series by Alison Morton. I came late to the series but was instantly hooked in by the uniqueness of the plots.

Think alternative fiction and strong female leads mixed with intriguing and well planned plots.. yeh you’re on to a winner.

This novella is perfectly suited for someone who hasn’t read the other novels in the series yet.. It’s got the detail to make you want read the rest of the series but there’s noting that isn’t explained that would confuse the reader so it’s a perfect standalone read.

Carina is part of the Praetorian Guard.. she’s young and headstrong.. this can only lead to trouble when tasked with a mission to bring back a traitor. Carina must stay under the radar but things quickly start to go wrong…something smells funny..but can Carina figure it out?

I’m always amazed by Alison’s plots, so believable, perfectly executed..real page turners!

Overall another cracking read from the author who has a very unique setting for her tales, Alison Morton challenges female stereotypes and gives the reader a fast paced thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed.

My rating – 5/5 Stars

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Blog Tour – Russian Roulette by Keith Nixon.

Next up on David’s Book Blurg It my turn on the blog tour for Russian Roulette by Keith Nixon!

B L O G T O U R (1)

Here’s the blurb

Meet Konstantin Boryakov, the enigmatic ex-KGB agent and tramp with a dark history and darker future.

Trouble has a habit of seeking out Konstantin, whether he wants it or not. Starting with small time drug dealer Dave the Rave from the moment he arrives in the seedy seaside town of Margate where he’s supposed to hide, to Nikos the loan shark and Fat Gary, all round idiot. Then there’s the so-called good guys, the councilors and lawyers who are worse than the criminals.

But Konstantin isn’t alone, despite his wishes. Fidelity Brown, aka Plastic Fantastic, dildo wielding dominatrix who has her own mélange of secrets and lies, and nightclub owner Ken who’s connected to all the wrong people, help the Russian with the heap of problems delivered to his doorstep.

Cue deception, murder, mayhem as Konstantin settles into his new life. Margate will never be the same again.

Review

I’ve read a lot of Keith’s work and I just love his books!

Konstantin Boryakov is an ex-KGB asset… he wants to stay below the radar..but trouble just seems to find him..

A couple of things I really enjoyed about the book were that the tale is broke up into nice small chunks so you can easily fit these in when you have a quick lunch break. I also really loved the style of writing.. it was like Konstantin was telling the story himself..quite dark with a hint of humour..short but informative sentences.. no bullshit..and throw in the fact it’s a quick read makes this a very easy book to devourer.

It’s quite a grizzly and dirty tale at times..the detail given not only sucks you in but also ignites the receptors in your brain..you really imagine what the characters look like, feel and smell.. I was totally immersed in this world.

Russian Roulette leaves you wanting more.. so much more..Konstantin’s so closed off.. the author holds back divulging too much but just enough to make you want to read more.. I need to see what happens next… I want to know everything!

If you want a book that grips you and won’t let go its this..I just need more!

I can’t give Russian Roulette any less than 5 stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

River God by Wilbur Smith – Review

Now, you might wonder why I’m reviewing a book that was 1st released so long ago..Well here’s the thing.. I’ve only been reading properly the past few years..I’ve lots to catch up on and one thing I want my blog to be is a true reflection of my reading journey…old and new books it doesn’t matter to me.. it’s the journey those books take me on that counts.

Genre – Historical Fiction

Taita is a humble slave; an expert in art, poetry, medicine and engineering, as well as keeping important secrets. He is the most treasured possession of Lord Intef. Yet when Intef’s beautiful daughter Lostris is married to the Pharaoh, Taita is commanded to follow her, and swiftly finds himself deeper than he ever could have imagined in a world of deception and treachery.

But outside the palace, the great kingdom of Egypt is divided, and in even greater danger. Enemies threaten on all sides, and only Taita holds the power to save them all . . .

Review

I picked up a bunch of Wilbur Smith books cheap.. I’m late to the party I know but I thought it was about time I gave his work ago.

River God follows Taita, a slave who ends up helping the most important man in Egypt.. The Pharoah.

Taita used to be the property of Lord Intef and Intef is not happy to let him go even if it is to serve his daughter Lostris. Taita know’s Lord Intef’s secrets and Intef wants nothing more than to quieten Taita permanently.

If that wasn’t bad enough Taita’s troubles increase when it’s clear Lostris does not love the Pharoah and never will.. not so bad in itself..the issue is she loves another..Tanus, the fair-haired warrior..most trusted of the Pharoah..ooh it’s getting good isn’t it. Can Taita keep this secret from the Pharoah? and at what cost?

There are bigger problems afoot too as an army approaches.. This army uses tactics unknown to the Egyptians and many will fall in the battle. The survivors flee but vow to return to take back what was once theirs.

The tale was quite graphic at times, dark and disturbing all of which had me hooked.

My only issue is the main character Taita. It’s claimed he is a humble slave but he is anything but humble. He’s the bloody best at everything and seems quite happy to make sure everyone knows that. He’s got so many talents the list goes on – surgeon, tactician, weapons designer, political adviser, lip reader.. he even designs a wheel and learns to ride a horse in the blink of an eye. He simply grated on me at times.

The other thing that didn’t work for me was the style of writing. To start with it felt like 1 chapter of plot, then 2 of detailed description then back to 1 chapter of plot progression then back to 2 chapters of description. It took too long for me to get to the good stuff. Once it did though I was hooked and I plan to continue on with the series to see where things end up..

I have the feeling Taita will never grow on me though.. time will tell… I do hope I’m wrong.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon