Tag Archives: Book Release

ARC Review – Odin’s Game (The Whale Road Chronicles Book 1) by Tim Hodkinson

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing an ARC of Odin’s Game by Tim Hodkinson

Here’s the blurb

AD 915.

In the Orkney Isles, a young woman flees her home to save the life of her unborn child. Eighteen years later, a witch foretells that evil from her past is reaching out again to threaten her son.

Outlawed from his home in Iceland, Einar Unnsson is thrown on the mercy of his Uncle, the infamous Jarl Thorfinn ‘Skull Cleaver’ of Orkney. He joins forces with a Norse-Irish princess and a company of wolfskin-clad warriors to become a player in a deadly game for control of the Irish sea, where warriors are the pawns of kings and Jarls and the powerful are themselves mere game pieces on the tafl board of the Gods.

Together they embark on a quest where Einar must fight unimaginable foes, forge new friendships, and discover what it truly means to be a warrior.

As the clouds of war gather, betrayal follows betrayal and Einar realises the only person he can really trust is himself.

Not everyone will survive, but who will conquer all in Odin’s game?

Review

This tale follows Einar whose mother fled her past many years ago. Life seems settled but after a disagreement Einar must leave his home behind or risk death! Unn, his mother, feels there is little choice but send him to the home of his uncle, known as Skull Cleaver.

Einar sets out to prove his worth but ends up in over his head, captured and held hostage..what price will his uncle pay to see him free?

The relationship between Jarl Thorfinn ‘Skull Cleaver’ and Einar is wonderful to see unfold with quite a few twists along the way..the past won’t stay buried for long.

Along the way we meet the Wolf Coats..Fierce warriors who utterly engrossed me..the dark humour they have made it such fun to read.

The plot was well planned out and paced perfectly to keep on the edge of my seat..there’s no time to be bored.. you just get sucked into this one so easily.

A word to describe this tale is deception.. nothing is what it seems…backstabbing and plotting are high on everyone’s agenda..who can you trust.

What I really enjoyed was that on the whole this is a dark and gritty tale of deceit with war brewing but you can see some moments where the author really had some fun.

Odin’s Game ticks the boxes for me, plot is fantastic and when you add in the very likeable characters you’ve got a hit!

Tim Hodkinson has written an epic tale and I can’t wait to see where this goes..that ending has me itching for more! The scene has been set.. an earth shattering saga in the making!

My thanks go to NetGalley for the ARC! Certainly a book I’ll happily buy myself on release tomorrow!

5/5 Stars for me

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon!

The Forest Lord Collection by Steven A. McKay. (@SA_McKay)

Any follower of my blog with have heard the name Steven A. McKay, the brilliant author of the fantastic Forest Lord series. The series follows one of my favourite characters ever.. Robin Hood!

What really sucked me into the series is it felt real and fresh and that mainly came from the change in setting for the series, namely Barnsdale. I asked the author about this and this is what he had to say

When I started researching the Robin Hood legend I realised the original ballads were actually set in Yorkshire, not Nottingham. I knew I had to stick pretty closely to the well-known tales, but somehow stand out from all the other modern retellings – moving the setting away from Sherwood was the ideal way to do that while still remaining faithful to the earliest ballads.

McKay continue..

I wanted The Forest Lord series to be familiar to fans of Robin Hood, yet, at the same time, new and fresh and exciting and not just another rehash of the same old story.

I’ve previously reviewed the books separately but now the box set is out I thought it high time to update/combine my reviews 🙂

Here we go..

So we’ve all heard of Robin Hood yes? Of course we have. As a boy Robin Hood was always one of my favourite characters. This was one of my reasons for buying this series and I’m so glad I did! McKay gives us the Robin Hood we never knew we wanted.. and damn it’s good!

McKay has decided to revamp the whole Robin Hood tale, moving the location to Yorkshire when England was under the reign of Edward II. This makes the book quite refreshing as it’s moved away from the well-known tale set in Nottingham. From the authors notes you can see a lot of thought and hard work has went into this series and it shows.

The story starts with Hoods early life and the events that led him to become an outlaw. We see him climb the ranks to eventually lead this band of outlaws.

Along the way we see him deal will conflict not only with the rich people of Yorkshire but also himself and the outlaws where personalities clash.

Even though the setting has changed we still have the heroes we all know and love, Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlet & Much.

Chapter after chapter you see the tension grow as McKay takes you from one characters journey to another, friendships are made.. and broken… this isn’t a tale of merry men.. but desperate men who want only to live life or care for their family..it’s a struggle. There’s plenty of humour within the tale but the underlying struggle to stay alive keeps you on the edge of your seat!

We see Robin beaten, men killed, imprisonments, executions the works

The word that springs to mind about this series is “Growth” Not only does each storyline improve on the previous one but McKay has managed to grow his characters superbly throughout the series. You can really tell the author has put a lot of time and energy into his work.

What I really enjoyed about these books is that the author takes risks, the heroes don’t always live, it was gobsmackingly refreshing.

This series is dark, gritty and downright engrossing.. You never know what will happen next and when events play out your heart is in your mouth it’s pumped that fast!

The end of the series is a true highlight. Not only does it do the series justice but it also leaves fate to the reader.. read into that what you will 🙂

I strongly recommend the series..I bought 2 paperbacks of each book just so I could share with my dad who I knew would love it just as much as me.. do yourself a favour and get the 4 book set for £9.99… bargain price!

 

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

Blog Tour – Vitellius’ Feast by L. J. Trafford (@TraffordLj) #VitelliusFeast

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Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Vitellius’ Feast by L. J. Trafford the final book in the Four Emperors series.

I’ve been a big fan of the authors work since reading the first book in the series and I’ve eagerly been awaiting this installment.

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Historical Fiction
Pages- 464
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

AD 69. As this most dramatic year draws to a close, now is the time to choose a definitive side. Whilst Vitellius enjoys the trappings of power around him, machinations are afoot. In the East, Vespasian has his eye on the throne, but he needs help preparing Rome for his plans and, for his teenage son Domitian, protection from Vitellius’ agents. With her characteristic flair, and lashings of skulduggery, sex, brutality, and humour, L. J. Trafford brings her Roman quartet, tracing the Year of the Four Emperors, to a spectacular conclusion.

Now reading the first 3 books in the series is a must! check out my reviews here for more details :-

Book 1 – Palatine

Book 2 – Galba’s Men

Book 3 Otho’s Regret

Review

Vitellius’ Feast is the final installment of the Four Emperors series by L. J. Trafford. 69AD in Rome must have been a tough time with four emperors holding power within the same year after the suicide of the emperor Nero.

After the tragic demise of emperor Otho we now have Vitellius on his way to Rome to take his place of power, but little do the people know how utterly useless this man will be and within a few sort months will find himself in deep trouble.

During 69AD it seemed like anyone with a few men could try to make claim to the throne and after some questionable movements of troops Vitellius quickly loses any support he might have been able to get from the legions in the east who proclaim Vespasian their emperor.

With this in mind you know there will be a plot to remove Vitellius as quickly as possible with minimal bloodshed but planning takes time and it never goes smoothly. During this period we see who Vitellius really is, quite a vile man who is more interested in abusing his workforce than seeing the paperwork done to keep Rome running. He parties the nights away without concern until it’s too late.

What the author manages to do so well is weave a tale of known facts with her own input with the characters based right in the middle of the action. This serves to give you not only a cracking read but also helps you learn something about history that I for one never knew about until I starting reading this series.

My favorite character Philo is back and is caught right in the middle of a plot that could see him hanged for treason. He’s got a family to worry about now but Philo knows what he has to do.

Now if you follow my reviews you’ll know I love Philo the most but Vitellius’s Feast is a tale that belongs to another. Sporus…I’m not going to lie..I  never really took a liking to Sporus until now..but in this book he shines through as you learn more about him and the reason behind his attitude in life. His part in this tale is a tough read and I find myself with a new-found respect for the man, the pain he endures must have been unbearable.

Trafford manages to breathe life to history and gives a voice to those who no longer have one. As much as events in the previous books have been quite brutal I think this one is the darkest and most vivid of all and it really shows you the dark time Rome was facing.

It’s been one hell of a journey which I’m sad has come to an end but this is definitely a series to keep on the book shelf to read again and to rave about to friends and family. Trafford’s style of writing makes the book so easy to read and 400 plus pages goes by in a flash.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the publishers, The Book Publicist and the author for having me on the blog tour and for the advanced copy of the book for review! 

Bury The Bodies (Solomon Gray Book 4) by Keith Nixon (@knntom) – Review

You may have noticed I’ve been MIA for a while. I’ve been struggling with nerve pain for a while but I recently had an operation to hopefully fix things. It’s early days but after 3 weeks of just sitting around I feel it’s time to start catching up with reviews.

First up being Bury The Bodies by Keith Nixon, book 4 in the Solomon Gray a crime thriller series.

Here’s the blurb –

Genre – Crime Thriller
Page Length – 297
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

A missing son, a web of lies, a murder covered up.

Detective Inspector Solomon Gray is getting closer to finding his son, missing now for over a decade. He’s on the trail of a bent cop, Lewis Strang, who appears connected to the disappearance, all those years ago. But Strang is untouchable, a star of the Metropolitan police force. Once more, Gray must blur the line between right and wrong.

When the body of a young black man turns up on a Margate back street it seems to be yet another drug related crime. Margate is currently the focus of a special operation, codenamed Pivot, to take down local suppliers. But Gray discovers there’s more to the case than initially meets the eye.

And Gray has his own problems to deal with. First there’s the public investigation into the death of Gray’s ex-boss, DCI Jeff Carslake and then Gray’s estranged daughter, Hope, turns up on his doorstep – she’s pregnant and left the child’s father.

As Gray investigates he discovers the truth about Tom and who took him. A truth that is even more shocking than Gray ever expected…

The rest of the series is a must read! Check out my reviews for the series below –

Dig Two Graves – Book 1

Burn The Evidence – Book 2

Beg For Mercy – Book 3

If you’ve yet to read the books above my review will be a bit of a spoiler I’m afraid 🙂

Review

We are back with Detective Inspector Solomon Gray, past events still play heavily on Sol’s mind as an inquest is held into the death of Jeff Carslake, one time friend and superior. He was there at the end..he could have done something…after learning the truth Jeff was no longer a friend…

As usual the author seamlessly mixes a personal tale and a police case, both of which are utterly engrossing..so much so you get sucked in and for me it was a very easy book to demolish since I found it too hard to put down.

While Sol is trying to process his friends betrayal a murder of a young man occurs..This young man isn’t as innocent as he seems when links to drugs are found..but who murdered him a why?

As the murder case deepens Sol is also dealing with personal issues, his daughter turns up unannounced and there’s also a new love interest in his life. This makes it hard for him as he doesn’t know who he can trust and he’s scared to lose those he cares for.

The great thing about this book for the readers is we get a lot of closure as the author wraps up the disappearance of Sol’s son Tom, how he comes to get the information he needs will no doubt stay with Sol forever. The last few chapters had me on the edge of my sofa!

It’s another riveting read from an author I always have high expectations of..and he never fails to deliver.

The Solomon Gray series is more than just another crime novel. It’s about a father searching for the truth..with the answers being closer to home than he would have thought. I challenge any one to try this series and not get hooked.

One thing I really like is short, sharp, informative chapters that grip you and keep you reading, which Nixon gives you in bucket fulls. Along with this you get a mind boggingly brilliant plot that will stick with you.

I’ve been trying to think of anything I didn’t like about this book and there’s only one thing that comes to mind..it had to end. I’m not sure if we will see Sol again but if we don’t, his will be a journey I won’t forget and will happily reread.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

The Green Viper by Rob Sinclair – Review

Today I’m reviewing The Green Viper by Rob Sinclair the latest book in the Jame Ryker series. My thanks go to Boodhound Books for including me on the tour and for supplying an ARC of the book.

The Green Viper Blog Tour banner

Here’s the blurb:

Genre – Thriller
Pages: 326

I need your help. Call me.

Ex-intelligence agent James Ryker receives a coded message through a secret drop point, a means of communication known only to him and one other person. The problem is, that person is his ex-boss, Mackie… and he’s already dead.

But the cry for help is real, and it’s a request Ryker can’t refuse.

Travelling to New York alone and without official sanction, Ryker has a single goal in mind, yet even he couldn’t have bargained for the violent world he’s soon embroiled in. Caught in the middle of a spiraling chaos, with the FBI on one side and warring underworld bosses on the other, Ryker must put all of his skills to the test in order to come out on top and keep his word.

In a world full of lies and deceit, loyalty is everything, and it’s time for James Ryker to pay his dues.

Review

I’ve been a fan of the author the last couple of years or so. I came to his books a bit late but quickly devoured them. Each tale was gripping from start to finish and I had high hopes of the next book in the series.

The next book in the Jame Ryker series once again demonstrates the author’s ability to write a heart thumbing thriller. By now you’d think the author would have run out of steam perhaps..where else can he go with the character? Well let me tell you he’s wrote a cracker again!

As with the previous tales in the Ryker series things are personal. The events he gets sucked into are out of his control largely but let’s be honest..He’s a magnet for danger!

A message with links to Ryker’s past sets the wheels in motion on a tense thriller full of suspense. It’s the buildup of the plot that really hooks you in..never quite knowing what will happen next.

Now, not to give the plot of the story away too much Ryker is enlisted to help get someone out of danger..but this individual just can’t see the danger he’s in..or he’s just ignorant to it.

Ryker has his work cut out for him thats for sure and there’s multiple players in the dangerous game; Ryker needs to find out what their interest Is so he can anticipate their next move (easier said than done).

Will he make it out alive? Come on you already know the answer don’t you.. lets just say though Ryker will be haunted by this mission..he struggles to let go of the past and this will certainly eat away at him I’m sure..he needs an outlet for his frustrations and his ex boss may just be able to help.. lets see what the future holds..

A super tense thriller, the plot is great and I loved how it developed. The multiple angles the story was approached from kept me engaged and thoroughly excited to the very last page!

Another 5* for Rob Sinclair from me.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

The Druid by Steven A. Mckay (@SA_McKay)- Review

Today i’m reviewing The Druid by author Steven A. Mckay. Here’s the blurb

Genre : Fantasy/Historical
Pages : 290

Northern Britain, AD430

A land in turmoil. A village ablaze. A king’s daughter abducted.

In the aftermath of a surprise attack Dun Buic lies in smoking ruins and many innocent villagers are dead. As the survivors try to make sense of the night’s events the giant warrior-druid, Bellicus, is tasked with hunting down the raiders and thwarting their dark purpose.

With years of training in the old ways, two war-dogs at his side, and unsurpassed skill with a longsword, Bellicus’s quest will take him on a perilous journey through lands still struggling to cope with the departure of the Roman legions.

Meanwhile, amongst her brutal captors the little princess Catia finds an unlikely ally, but even he may not be able to avert the terrible fate King Hengist has in store for her.

This, the first volume in a stunning new series from the bestselling author of Wolf’s Head, explores the rich folklore and culture of post-Roman Britain, where blood-sacrifice, superstition and warfare were as much a part of everyday life as love, laughter and song.

As Saxon invaders and the new Christian religion seek to mould the country for their own ends one man will change the course of Britain’s history forever. . .

. . . THE DRUID.

Review

You should know who Steven A. McKay is..author of the Forest Lord series based around one of the best historical figures ever in my mind Robin Hood..after what seemed like forever the end of the series came hard like a punch to the gut.. I needed more.. but could the author ever live up to the expectations set..well lets see.

The Druid is a brand new tale for the author, this tale follows Bellicus. Religion is changing but Druids still hold some power..and as such when the King’s daughter is taken he sets out to rescue her. What he doesn’t know is that every corner he will be tested to his limits.

There’s twists and turns as Bellicus deals with the changes in the world around him. He’s been closed off abit in his own little bubble so he taken aback when people don’t give him the respect his station once demanded.. it’s doesn’t help that he’s a giant of a man..only his weapon makes him stand out as the Druid and as soon as people see it you seem them quickly decide to help the man out..for the most part.

He’s hot on the trail from the start but there’s numerous challenges ahead but Bellicus can handle everything..well at least that’s what he thinks..he either wins or will go down fighting.

The plot was good but I just know the author has more to give. It just proves McKay has a natural talent for storytelling, that he’s able to change the focus of his tales after such a well-developed series like The Forest Lord series. He still manages to give us a tale where there’s a clear ending but leaves so much open left to develop if he wishes. An ending like that just has me desperate for more.

Overall I thought it was well written, It flowed well and it seemed effortless..at no point did it feel like the story lost its way or that things didn’t make sense..it just worked.

Being such a fast paced action tale where the heat is on from the start it’s a wonder the author managed to develop the characters at all but he managed it perfectly.. at one point I even started to really like one of the kidnappers..that’s how easy McKay manages to control your thoughts.

Cracking read and a nice change from the authors previous work. Plenty of life left in the tale to see this develop further and I’d love to see how it continues.

5* .. I can’t give it any less.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.