June eBook Review- The Vessel by Callum McLaughlin

The Vessel by Callum McLaughlin

Goodreads Synopsis:

Savaged by disease and riots, the world has descended into a state of chaos. Amidst the desperate remains of humanity, the American government has resorted to extreme measures to try and repopulate their now depleted country but one unwilling subject of their ruthless actions will not suffer in silence.

Escaping from a facility at the heart of their experiments, Eva Cole’s nightmare is far from over. Hunted at every turn, she must fight to survive so that she can expose the truth

Review:

I was excited to read this book as I had already read Callum’s incredible poems on his blog, and was wowed by his talent for the written word.

I didn’t even read the description before downloading this book to my kindle so didn’t know what to expect.

Well, I have to say that I was not disappointed. This book gripped me and my emotions from the very first line and took me along with the story and characters so deeply that I felt like part of their world.

The story is set in a rather bleak version of Earth’s future, a future that felt believable, which I think helped draw me further into the story. We are introduced to Eva, the main character in a rather intense moment, and from then we are along for her journey through the story. She faces a life of being chased and possibly never finding her home, and I felt her struggle and turmoil all the way throughout.

This story was intense and driven forwards by the characters, who were all striving to survive in the world that was around them.

The actual writing was of very high quality, with descriptions that had me in awe at some points.

I would thoroughly recommend this book (as I already have to my mother!). It is a genre I would not normally choose for myself, but I am so glad that I read this. It is going to one of those books that I will think of frequently and a story that will stay with me. Can’t wait to see what he writes next!

Links:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Goodreads

Info about the Blog and Schedule

I thought I would do a quick post today about my posting schedule and generally let people know when I’m around 😀 I will also add it to my About page and Contact and Connect page.

Posting Schedule:

Monday
Tuesday (Romance Weekly)
Wednesday
Friday

I do my end of month, self published eBook reviews at the end of every month, but apart from that and my Romance Weekly post, I have no set posts that I do every week. Just whatever I am feeling, though still writing or reading related 😀

If you want to get hold of me through email or facebook or twitter, etc, I am around during the week, but I take the weekends off.

I don’t even turn my computer on during the weekends, so if you email me or contact me and I haven’t gotten back on a weekend, then I will most likely do so on the Monday 😀

If I take any other time off, I will be sure to let you all know (like I did at Easter), just so as no one worries that I might have disappeared!

I comment on other’s blogs during the week, but again not on a weekend.

I will do honest book reviews if asked, just drop me a line 🙂 I have end of month reviews planned for next couple of months, but still post reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and wherever else you would like. But again, just so as everyone knows, I will only post honest reviews, plus they’re not as great as some others, as I am still learning how to write reviews properly!

If you have any queries, let me know! Back to normal posts Friday, just thought it was probably time I let people know how the blog works 🙂

Progress Report

Publishing status:
> Stolen- Formatting. (Still to do: Cover, blurb, marketing).
> The Queen’s Jester- Final edits. (Still to do: Cover, blurb, formatting, marketing).
> Third Manuscript- Final edits. (Still to do: Cover, blurb, formatting, marketing).

May E-Book Review: Read. Review written and ready.

February 2014 E-Book Review: Villainous by Jessica S. Carter

*I received this book for free through a Goodreads review group in exchange for an honest review.*

Villainous is not a book I would normally read, and it was not what I was expecting after reading the blurb. It was much darker than I thought it would be, but I have to admit, that feel suited the atmosphere of the story perfectly.

It starts off quickly and we get into the story straight away, I liked that. The way the set up of back-story was written at the start was well integrated and didn’t feel choppy or awkward. We are introduced to our main character, Henriette Andrews as well as another character, Miss Cofi very soon.

Henriette was a well written character, she had incredible strengths but also flaws. She was human even though she was an ‘Anomaly’, even though she was special. In fact, all of the characters were incredibly written, and I identified with many of them in different ways.

Though the events of the story start off quickly, the things that happen to Henriette are of a paranormal nature (think more super-powers then magic), and I found it a little odd that she just readily accepted everything that happened without being a little freaked out, but it didn’t break the story much and we were onto the next part of the story before I had time to really think on it.

It is a fast paced book, there’s little if any fluff to bulk it out, every event and scene moves the story along or adds something to the characters. That was something I enjoyed, as too much drabble can sometimes turn me off a book.

Even though the book deals in super-human abilities, the author wrote them so well. I think this is one of the best parts of the book; the way the powers are described in such (sometimes grossly graphic, in a good way 😀 ) detail makes you understand exactly how it looks and the effects. The paranormal aspects fit into the world easily, and I had no trouble believing that these ‘anomalies’ exist in the real world along with the people chasing after them.

Something that struck me about the book was that it had no chapters, instead the story flicked back and forth between the present and the past, all narrated by the main character. It caught me a little by surprise at first and I did struggle a little to remember where I was in the timeline, but I very quickly got used to it and found that the tid-bits that were offered about her current situation wanted to keep me reading to find out what was going on.

Now then, I have to say what a brilliantly fantastic premise for a story this is. Though I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it after the rather dark beginning (I’m more of ‘read happy things’ kind of reader), I was drawn into these characters. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I can’t go into great detail, yet I will say that the character growth and development was so well written. I found myself cheering these characters on in situations where I would normally have been routing for the other side and I could completely understand the path that their past events had led them down.

There are a few grammatical issues, the over-use of semi-colons instead of commas being one of them, and there are some spelling mistakes. Over all though, I could forgive it those few things as I really enjoyed the story and its characters. It was a strong plot, with great characters who were developed well. The relationships felt real and so did the fantastical events.

I give this book 4 stars out of 5. I would recommend it if you enjoy a darker, more mature story and possibly even if you don’t, after all, I enjoyed it and it’s not the kind of book I would normally read 😀

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

January 2014 E-Book Review: Awakened (Living Ink) by Shirley Bourget

As this is my first book review I thought I would explain a little more about why I’m doing it and the criteria I use to choose the books.

I am partly doing book reviews because I want to see what’s out there, and I enjoy reading! But, I am also doing it to open up anyone who comes across this blog to hopefully chance on a new book.

I am only choosing self-published e-books. This is because I am hoping to find new writers with their stories, but also to help encourage writers to self-publish and show everyone who is a bit unsure that there are GOOD self published books out there.

I have read some people’s book review blogs where they shy away from self published books citing things like bad spelling, obvious lack of editing etc, for their reasons. So, my reviews will be honest about every part of the book, but also show that not all self published books are the same. One bad read doesn’t mean they are all like that.

My plan is to review the books honestly, but without a lot of major spoilers so as I don’t ruin the book for whoever wants to buy it. I will provide a link to where I bought it (usually Amazon, as I read on a Kindle) at the bottom of the post.

So, onto the review!

Awakened by Shirley Bourget

The first thing this book does in drop you right into the middle of a scene. I liked that. I get bored very quickly if the action doesn’t start almost immediately so this was perfect. It set up the feeling of the book well and left a mystery so as when we moved on into the less mysterious next chapter and met the main character, I was already excited to learn how the beginning scene would work its way into her life and when she would learn some answers.

Awakened’s heroine comes in the form of Ivy Gillis, a red headed, beauty of Irish descent living in the US. As a character I liked Ivy, she wasn’t too feisty or strong but also wasn‘t weak or wall-flowery, she felt real. The other characters in the book were also very well written and developed. When you are introduced to the new characters I found Shirley Bourget managed to describe them so well I not only understood what they looked like but also the feeling Ivy got of them on first impression.

The book does feature a love triangle (or lust triangle it seems at times!), and I did like the two male love interests, though I did find them sort of similar, but that could have been because we didn’t get to learn or see very much of one compared to the other in this book.

The romance part of the story was written well, I loved some of the ways the author described the couple’s interactions and how it made Ivy feel. At times it was written so well I felt really into the scenes.

There were great moments of reality interspersed within the fantasy side of the story. Also there were awesomely funny parts at unexpected moments to break up some of the more serious sections (keep an eye out for the part with a Leprechaun in the Between! Had me laughing for a good while).

Whilst it is a fantasy book it is set in modern times. Yet the way it was written had me truly believing there was this whole other fantasy world that existed alongside our own that people were just oblivious too. When the fantasy aspects started to pop up I had no problem believing that it could happen.

Awakened is the first book in the Tangled Ivy series and I felt the ending left you wanting more, but wasn’t so much of a cliff hanger that it was frustrating. It was also a good sized book with short but well placed chapters. I’m a fan of shorter chapters because I like to feel I am progressing through the book quickly, so that could just be my biased opinion!

There were some spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, I found them pop up more towards the end of the book. Yet there weren’t so many that it spoiled my reading or put me off continuing. It just needs someone with fresh eyes to glance over and correct the minor mistakes.

It is partly set in Ireland, with Irish characters who were, don’t get me wrong, great but it was just that they were written with Irish accents. On the page, I could understand the lilt and strength of the accent but found it very hard to understand what the meaning of some of the words or what the dialogue in general meant at times. Yet, that could have been done on purpose, because at one point it is mentioned that Ivy had a hard time understanding such a strong Irish accent in one character. So maybe that was the point all along, to give the feeling that Ivy was struggling to understand the accent as much as the reader?

Overall, Awakened was a fun and worthwhile read. It set up the next book well, but was in its own right a good stand alone read. The characters were well developed and likeable with great relationships between them all. It was full of magic, passion and fun but also had a great story that flowed well throughout the whole book. There wasn’t a moment when it went off on a weird tangent or felt like there was an unneeded chapter.

I would give it a 3.5 out of 5. Very enjoyable and worth a read.

Amazon: Awakened (Living Ink) by Shirley Bourget