Saturday, 29 August 2015

Wayward Son (Monster Squad) by Heath Stallcup

Bang and HS brings you straight back into the action with no time to breathe!

Apollo is still reeling from Sheridan’s disclosure about the love of his life, Maria and the decision he has made after that soon come to haunt him, in fact throughout the whole of this book, I feel so sorry for him, love is possibly the most dangerous emotion on the planet.

We get caught up on Paul and Rufus who after being blown to bits and some nasty dealings from Paul, well actually his normal self! They eventually heal, visit the vampire council to offer them an ultimatum.

And what an ultimatum as something BIG is coming; Lilith is now fully regenerated and calling for her maker, omg!

To the new baby squad there is a new unexpected member and the group is not finished yet! This looks like a great new squad coming together, I just love the gargoyles!

Tufo has changed; after having his guts ripped out all sorts of things are now happening to him! But the relationship he has with everybody is still on the edge of hysterical, love the humour that HS puts into these books. You may be about to have your head chomped off but HS will make one of his characters have a giggle about it.

There is so much crossing and double crossing in this book I was having to write notes to keep up with who was enemies with who! But with Werewolves, Gargoyles, Elves, Gnomes, Vampires and gosh knows what else in the mix who knows what will happen next – but something bad is coming and I am really looking forward to the next instalment. 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Cast in Blood by Christine Sutton, Lisa Lane and Jaime Johnesse

Lenny is a troubled girl but she has found salvation and a haven at Children of Light church, when Apollyon the demon comes into her life things start to become a little more complex for this untapped, talented shape shifter.

Not only is Apollyon a First Knight of Hell, an expert in torture and right hand helper to Lucifer (Lucy to her friends!), she is on a mission to a catch a djinn (very bad but lesser demon of hell) and find out who is stealing all the souls from both Heaven and Hell.

Drew is the final heroine that make up the (don’t say it – Charlie’s Angels!) trio, as a succubus you would think her life as a “working girl” would be perfect, but she is on the wagon and going cold turkey, much to the disgust of her demon pimp the purple fedora wearing J.D.

Hershel aka Father is a charismatic leader, and true believer, and he is willing to sacrifice to bring about the cleansing of the sin upon the earth. With his devout followers not being quite what they appear is Hell about to unleash on the world??   So what is going on the basement?

This book has some seriously powerful female characters, great ideas and interesting thoughts regarding humanity and the whole theory of Heaven vs Hell. It turns a few myths on their heads in some very amusing ways; I would love more of Polly and Lucy’s beginnings and journey.

Along with the splattering, then gushing of gore were some giggle inducing moments and some snort out loud lines too.

Whilst I found the beginning a little slow, the laying out of all the characters is steady and easily followed then the story starts to gather pace, I could not find a good place to stop as each chapter just leaves you on a knife edge of questions or battle.

Some of the character thoughts, sayings and ideals are a bit sugary and more YA in texture than the others but the gore element and subject matter soon take care of that. There was also some over repeating of the "Fall" explanation, not really done in a differing enough PoV in my opinion to be different enough, but by the middle of the book I was hooked and thought the overall story with the gore and great characters made up for any doubts in the start.

These authors rock individually with their own novels and characters but together they have blown me away! This is the start of what promises to be a brilliant series, so don’t let me down ladies, don’t let your characters become too perfect or too safe! !


Saturday, 8 August 2015

DEAD: Snapshot Portland by TW Brown

Ken is a grieving, gone to seed, ex-cop widow. Jason is a fresh out of jail convict who happens to help Juanita whilst she is being attacked. Rose is a freshly divorced dog lover.   Stupid (or Baily), Imp and Circe are the lovable dogs along for the ride.

This is the start of the zompoc, the start of the DEAD series (now on book 10) right back at the beginning with a huge bang.

Their stories quickly intertwine in the town of Portland, Oregon as the zombies pop back from the dead.

There is lots of gore in this book, lots of shooting, lots of heart break, some humour but always great writing and deep character building, TWB does his best to make you care for these people so you are also immersed in the story.

I was so upset when a certain above character died but even more devastated when a second character dies trying to save them. Yes, lots of people die in these books, it’s sad but as TWB often states no character is safe.

Zombies are never the all-out reason for the demise of humans, we manage that on our own, we just need the nudge and TWB paints a very frightening picture.

He deftly uses his DEAD series to highlight small towns and cities and I am delighted that he plans many more of these, promising anyone who writes to him with details of their town, friends and loved ones he will place into the zompoc and annihilate your town for you!

I really enjoyed the differing views of the same scene from various characters but did not enjoy the dogs PoV, it felt stilted and very anthropomorphised, more like how we would LIKE our animals to think of us not how they actually do.

I was also a bit concerned that the animals on the farm and the veggies they were originally growing seemed to disappear.

Whilst the ending was nicely wrapped up it did feel a little rushed in comparison to his other books but then maybe I am comparing 10 books to 1 !!

Overall I can’t wait for the next one. 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Lobsters and Landmines by Glen Johnson

Lobster Theodore:
Jim, his girlfriend the chain smoking Tracy and her fat son Theodore; a tantrum prone child.
Jim disagrees with the ADHD diagnosis recently bestowed upon Theodore, he prefers to think of him as just an obnoxious child, but then Jim has very set feelings about child rearing!

His day job is as a lobster boat man and he is struggling with his “familys” wants and his lack of buyers, thankfully he has Tracy’s benefit money to keep the business afloat.

Even the rest of his street are demanding of him, poor Jim, but then he does something that makes the lobsters happy!

GJ is a master at making characters appear real and with huge histories within moments of you reading about them, love or hate them you are involved in their lives.

Little Prick:
Jasmine is wasting away and watching her mother care for her 24/7 also waste away. She has all manner of skin and internal ailments all brought on by one deadly disease, HIV, but she has a plan.

Her story is heart-breaking but the plan she and her doting mother have hatched to end all their suffering is a poetic one.

I really enjoyed the ending, but it had so much sadness in this story I had to “walk” away from the book for a few weeks.

Man’s Best Friend:
Lennie is revolting individual that left the Army less of a human, if that’s possible, than when he went in thanks to an IED.

Now living in Thailand he is able to keep slave women, pigs and dogs with a side-line of child kidnapping into the bargain. The pigs and dogs are sold for meat the women fair much worse.

Whilst Lennie is living the life those around him are not, but Karma is a Bitch, literally as it turns out for Lennie.

I was sad to learn of the landmines that still pepper this beautiful country still causing death and destruction so long after the war.

GJ does such a wonderful job of describing the land and areas of beauty.

Towers of Fear:
Kerrie has lost her best friend and possibly her reason to live. 

She continues to relive the day that planes crashed into the Twin Towers destroying so many lives and changing the way we all now live our lives.

Whilst most of us will remember what we were doing, where we were, who we were with and some, many, more who we lost, seeing this close up personal view was very harrowing. Not all horror is gore, some if just pure fear.

Best for the Job:
Jenny is an air hostess with the mostess! Tall, beautiful and blonde she has fallen in love with Luciano and followed him to his native Brazil, again such beautiful descriptions of country and people by GJ.

But being a kept woman is not her idea of fun and there are only so many museums you can visit. So she sets off to find another job and lands a perfect role in a small new company doing charter flights.

She is aware of the bad safety record of flights in and around Brazil and takes care to ensure all her passengers are aware of the onboard safety instructions, not that it really matters in what is about to happen to them all.   Eeeeeewwww!

The Last Cake:
Grace is off to her final days work as a midwife and tomorrow she plans to bake her final award winning cake, she just needs to gather a few final secret ingredients.
Just revolting, but also very funny.

Don is a doomsday prepper and not just any old scenario he is prepared for everything! From economic collapse to volcanic eruptions he has it all planned for, or does he?

He has a daily routine of wandering his complex with its multidue of hidey holes, animals, windmills and plant growing sets ups. In his bunker at night he inventories his food and ammo leaving nothing to chance.

When the earth starts to shake he knows something has happened and goes into lockdown mode. His lack of compassion for animals and even his 14 year old companion dog made what occurs next make me smile. That lovely Karma again, plus can you really plan for everything?

I did a little giggle/snort when we find out what the rumbles and earth shakes were.

Nosey Parker:
Tim has survived his two days training at the new computer care job despite his over fussy mum and very cold ex-army father.

His new company uses a super computer that analyses chemicals to such a degree that no animal testing is required – perfect.

Perfect is also what Tim’s job is; go to work, pursue your hobbies, surf online, read books, eat free food, sleep or whatever you want – just don’t ask questions and get paid lots of money.

But Tim is a Nosey Parker and soon discovers first-hand what the company are actually upto.

Personally I loved the whole set and am filling in an application form!

Nicholas hates flying, he is also missing his sons football games, hugging his daughter and after a nasty fight with his much loved wife he is feeling guilty too.

A distraction at the cockpit soon distracts him. Such a sad ending, another 9/11 little glimpse.

I found the whole book more sad than horror, and overall,  whilst there were some humorous moments they were overshadowed by the sad bits, plus the odd missing letter/or misspelling and this is not GJ best work - a relook would do it some favours BUT he is still an amazing author with some serious skills!