Tag Archives: Book Reviews

The Intervention by Patrick Gilbert-Roberts – Review

Next up for review is The Intervention by Patrick Gilbert-Roberts.

Here’s the blurb –

Genre – Science Fiction

Pages – 257

My rating – 3/5 Stars

A young woman, alone on the Stuart Highway, 250 miles from Uluru in the centre of Australia, it’s 110 o, if you’re looking for remote and inhospitable, this is right up there with the best! What is she doing there? Jeff Ridsdale wonders the same thing as he pulls up beside her. Of course, he rescues her and, in so doing, sets in train the most extraordinary chain of events.
On his way to Sydney to begin a yacht delivery, Ridsdale, a down-to-earth, practical man, is certainly not the sort to believe in UFO’s or alien abductions. Imagine his stupefaction then when, having been knocked unconscious on the boat in a storm, he comes-to on board a Kareeti interstellar vessel.
The Kareet have plans for Earth that the human race is not going to like. They have selected Ridsdale to be a conduit for communication. Implanted with a ‘channel’ he is returned to Earth to somehow arrange a meeting of the UN Security Council.
The Kareet demand that Earth nominate a top line micro-biologist. Lena Sandmeier steps forward. Can she and Ridsdale do anything at all to thwart the alien’s devastating intent?

Review

The Intervention follows Jeff Ridsdale as he’s whisked away and an extraordinary life changing whirlwind of an adventure that will change the world as we know it.

While out driving Jeff picks up a young lady.. her story is a bit strange but she’s in the middle of nowhere so Jeff does the right thing and gives her a lift. She tags along on Jeff’s latest commission, delivering a yacht to its new owner.. when the seas start to get stormy it’s the start of a wild adventure.

The truth comes out..aliens are real..and they have use for Jeff..he’s going to be their conduit to speak to the UN Security Council.

I really liked the thought-provoking plot when aliens arrive to deal with the human race. They have seen what we’ve done to the planet and they are here to set things right..but not everyone on Earth will like what they have planned..

There’s not a great number of characters in the tale which makes it easy to follow but I never quite warmed to Jeff and how what seemed a quite random abduction turns out to be the best thing that could have happened as the aliens need to get in contact with the UN…while Jeff can’t do this directly he just so happens to have contacts who can get him the access he needs.. it just felt a bit too easy for me and I never really connected with him.

Overall it was very well written with a plot that I quite enjoyed. There will be a few people including myself who will see the issues the aliens raise as something we are ignoring currently, it’s really a book to make you stop and think.

There’s a little twist in the direction of the tale which I quite enjoyed..the humans don’t really like the options the aliens are offering and come up with what they believe is a better option..but will everyone agree?

Definitely an author I’d follow to see where his work takes him.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work.

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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

Elji And The Galrass – By Colin Sinclair – Review

Next up for review is Elji and the Galrass book one in the Essence Sagas series by Colin Sinclair.

Here’s the blurb

Pages – 250

Genre -Fantasy/Science Fiction

Elji, a boy from a village outside the city of Mehem discovers a “Galrass” a tool usually wielded only by those who understand its power. Perhaps it was left for him to find or perhaps it was just a random happening?

The Galrass embroils him in a struggle he never expected to be part of or even imagined existed. Dregar, a being from a different planet and galaxy ‘feels’ the boys interruption of the universal essence and takes him under his wing and so his journey begins.

Friendships are made and lost and many lives must be put in danger to usher the civilization into its rightful place among the Universal essence. Will Elji fulfill his potential and help save his world or will it fall into darkness?

Review

Elji is a young boy whose life is about to be turned upside down when he finds a strange stone. This is no ordinary stone though..it’s a Galrass which has unimaginable power.

Dregar senses Elji and his Galrass and takes him under his wing. He’s not the only one who has sensed the presence of the Galrass and we learn of beings, The Four, from far away who watch and influence the development of other worlds to one day see them reach the same enlightenment they have reached. They don’t wish to push a civilization before it’s ready so their influence is subtle and over many years.

We also learn of a dark power that is growing, Framin, once part of The Four now falling…

With one of The Four turned to darkness and one, Ichancha lost years ago this leaves just two to influence pivotal pieces on the chessboard to ensure Framin’s plot doesn’t come to fruition.

These chess pieces turn out to be very specific individuals, influenced slightly at times by the remaining members of The Four, Elgred and Charina. They assemble for one final battle.. or is it?

There’s twists and turns as we learn the true capabilities of The Four and Elji and I found the plot quite riveting at times.

For me the tale is fun and interesting but with the sheer number of characters and the fact the tale is so fast paced there’s a lot to take on board. I would have liked to see the progression of the tale be a little slower at times so more time could be spent on developing the characters so they become ingrained in your mind. I just didn’t feel like I got to know the characters as well as I would have liked.

Overall I enjoyed the book, the characters were interesting, the plot well thought out and those twists when thrown in really did make me go ooo as I dreamt up the possibilities myself. It’s was well written and clear to read so It’s a great start to what could be a fun series if developed well. I’d be interested to see where this goes.

My Raring – 3/5 Stars

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work.

Unconvicted (Jack Kowalski #2) by Olly Jarvis (@OllyJarviso) – Review

Unconvicted is the second book in the Jack Kowalski series by Olly Jarvis. I must confess this review should have went up months ago but for some reason got stuck in drafts and never published like I’d planned. I’ll learn from that..double check then check again.

Here’s the blurb –
Genre – Crime Thriller/Legal
Pages – 318
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Junior barrister Jack Kowalski is crushed. His client Timothy Smart appears to have committed a monstrous crime while on bail – a bail application Jack fought hard to win.

When a high-profile Polish footballer is charged with rape and demands a fellow countryman represent him, Jack must overcome his guilt and get back to work. Before long he takes on a second case, a GBH for instructing solicitor Lara Panassai, who Jack remains desperate to impress. But neither case is what it seems, and Jack will face an extraordinary uphill battle to see that justice is done…

Review

So when I heard Olly Jarvis had another book out it was a no brainer, of course I wanted to read it!

We are back with Jack, a barrister who has a bit of a habit of getting himself mixed up in some tough situations. Hazard of the job.

Once again Olly delivers what I’ve come to expect of him. The perfect mix of plot development inside and outside of the court that makes it tough to put down. This is the type of crime book I love..while the action jumps from the case to Jack’s personal life effortlessly you never feel bogged down and if anything it left me eager for more.

As with the previous book Jack struggles to believe in himself and its up to others to help him along. I felt a bit for him, I wanted to give him a quick shake to bring him round.. he’s got the skills he’s just scared to make a mistake.

In this novel we see Jack come up against his biggest challenge.. himself..can he overcome his own guilt.

It’s a very gripping series of cases that at first seem clear-cut but become more complex throughout the book and add in the fact Jack’s nemesis Lionel Katterman rears his ugly face again you know it won’t be easy-going for Jack.

There’s plenty of twists and turns that you just don’t see coming , it’s subtle at times as we see Jack dig deep to learn the truth but it all adds to give the reader one hell of a plot line.

Olly Jarvis is a real treat for the readers and one I love to read. His personal knowledge of the legal system shines through and gives the book authenticity. I’m just sorry this review got stuck in “drafts” for so long!

I can’t give Olly any less than a 5* as he manages to tick all the boxes for me.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to Canelo and the author for the chance to read/review the book.

Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake #1) by C.J. Sansom – Review

Next up for review on David’s Book Blurg is Dissolution, book 1 in the Matthew Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom. Here’s the blurb :-

Genre – Historical/Crime
Pages – 464 Pages
My Rating 5/5 Stars

Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church and the country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers ever seen. Under the order of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent through the country to investigate the monasteries. There can only be one outcome: the monasteries are to be dissolved. But on the Sussex coast, at the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control. Cromwell’s Commissioner Robin Singleton, has been found dead, his head severed from his body. His horrific murder is accompanied by equally sinister acts of sacrilege – a black cockerel sacrificed on the alter, and the disappearance of Scarnsea’s Great Relic. Dr Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long-time supporter of Reform, has been sent by Cromwell into this atmosphere of treachery and death. But Shardlake’s investigation soon forces him to question everything he hears, and everything that he intrinsically believes . . .

Review

My wife picked this up for my birthday based on the cover alone..she thought it looked like a book I would like, and boy was she right!

Matthew Shardlake a lawyer by trade has been sent by Thomas Cromwell to investigate the death of Robin Singleton. Singleton was also under the employ of Cromwell and it’s Shardlake’s job to find out what happened to the man.

Shardlake was a great character, flawed but smart with it. He’s the Columbo/Quincy, M.E. of his day (Side note..I loved those shows, they don’t make them like that any more!) sent out to talk to witnesses and to dig out the truth no matter what.

The pieces slowly come together to bring you the full picture but there’s a few twists along the way to keep you guessing until the final reveal.

The book is set during the reign of Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries so you get a bit of a history lesson too. You might think you would get overwhelmed with the era but not so, there’s a perfect mix of historical reference mixed with plot.

Shardlake has his health issues which actually works in his favour sometimes as people dismiss him as no one worth bothering about but he’s as sharp as they come.

Great pace and a brilliant plot to match. This is a series I want on my bookshelf for sure!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

 

The Bone Collector (Lincoln Rhyme #1) by Jeffery Deaver – Review

Today I’m going to review The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver.

Here’s the blurb –

Genre – Crime/Thriller
Pages – 480
Rating 4/5 Stars

New York City is thrown into chaos by the assaults of the Bone Collector, a serial kidnapper and killer who gives the police a chance to save his victims from death by leaving obscure clues. The cops go to Lincoln Rhyme, an ex-NYPD forensics expert left paralysed after an accident on the job. Rhyme reluctantly postpones his ambitions towards suicide and puts together a forensic investigation team, enlisting as his eyes and ears young police officer Amelia Sachs.

Rhyme digs deep into the only world he has left – his astonishing mind – and slowly begins to narrow the noose around the Bone Collector. But the kidnapper is narrowing his own noose – around Lincoln Rhyme

Review –

Does the book sound familiar? It may well do..like me you’ve probably seen the movie adaptation staring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

I loved the movie so happily picked this book up while hunting in the local charity shops. I quite like the idea of comparing to see where the movie producers have altered the plot to make up my mind as to which is better, book or film.

Let’s focus on the book..what’s it about? Well Lincoln Rhyme is a famous criminalist but he’s a quadriplegic, bed-bound and has a negative outlook on life right now.

Just when he needs it an intriguing case pops up. While he might not be able to be there physically he’s still the best man for the job..add to the equation the best woman for the job Amelia Sachs and you’ve got one hell of a team.

I’ll be honest though..to start with it doesn’t seem like these two will hit it off..they are both stuck in their own worlds a little so find it hard to see things from a different perspective. Given a little time they find their way a little and the bonds between them start to grow. I can easily see them becoming a formidable duo.

There’s a lot to Lincoln and you get quite an insight to the mans mind…not everything you’ll like, sometimes you just want to slap him to tell him to get a grip but then remember it’s just a story and that would be impossible to do.

The plot is quite gripping as it’s a race against time to stop a murderer before any more bodies turn up. What the author gets spot on is the build up…it’s intense.

Overall I enjoyed the book although Lincoln is a hard man to love. The best news for me is that there’s plenty more tales from the author to get tucked into. That’s the issue with watching films over reading books..sometimes you miss the fact there’s a book already out there and more to read, I’ll start to make up for that today!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

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

Vitellius' Feast - Blog Tour Poster.png

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!