Book Review – The Kalbrandt Institute Archives (Book 1 – Hauntings) by Chris Chelser

This is a collection of scary ghost stories spanning hundreds of years. The interesting thing about this is the way they are told. Eva has the ability to ‘read’ objects.

Essentially, from touching an object from the archive she has just started working at, she experiences the story first hand as if she was there originally. It’s a clever and satisfying tool that drives the story forward.

The stories themselves are interesting and varied and it’s only really revealed what it all means in the last few pages with a terrifying twist that I didn’t see coming.

This is a fantastic and unique read.

Check it out now on Amazon.


Book Review – Medium Wave by Rose Zolock

This is some seriously spooky story telling. It takes a lot for a book to scare me, but Rose Zolock’s debut novel Medium Wave certainly did.

It tells the story of radio presenter Becky who fronts a show about the supernatural and the mysterious.

Within a few chapters there’s shadows appearing, faces coming out of the walls and a malevelont force pursuing Becky. The story is fast moving and doesn’t let up on the tension until a rather satisfying conclusion that hints at another book to follow.

There’s a particular section near the beginning where Zolock talks about the nature of fear in the modern world which is really eloquently and succinctly done.

A terrifying triumph. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

Check it out now on Amazon.

Book Review – Hawthorne (Chronicles of the Brass Hand Book 1) by Christopher C. Meeker

I was really intrigued to read this one from the cover to the description which seemed to point to a classic tale woven with steampunk and fantasy elements. I was not disappointed.

The key word is classic. This is a lovingly crafted ode the books from a bygone era. I could easily have been reading H.G Wells or Herman Melville. It’s quite a feat to write in this style and tell a gripping, fast moving story at the same time but Meeker pulls it off with aplomb.

The airships were a great way of telling the story and were more integral to the story so as not to be a gimmick. Hawthorne is a fascinating take on the classic hero and you’ll be gripped until the end to find out what happens next.

Fingers crossed for more soon.

Pick this up now on Amazon.

Book Review – The Lora Trilogy by Paul Magrs (Lost on Mars, The Martian Girl, The Heart of Mars)

It takes something special to keep me interested enough to read a whole trilogy. Especially within a few weeks like I did with this one.

This is such a fun series of books. Its light and funny in parts but emotional and heartfelt in others. It focuses on Lora and her family who are third generation settlers on Mars. A peaceful prairie life is soon shattered when people start to disappear and within a couple of chapters the story really takes off. Seriously, it doesn’t hang around at all and the pace never let’s up until the last page of the third book.

Special mention to old servo robot Toaster who is actually a sunbed from earth that has been tweaked and reprogrammed. The journey Toaster goes on throughout these books are alone a reason to read. In fact I could easily envisage a spin off series based around him.

But of course the hero of the hour is Lora. A brave young girl who is full of life and a determined will to succeed. It’s an emotional rollercoaster of a journey which leaves me thinking why can’t I be more like Lora? Why can’t everyone be more like Lora?

Check this excellent series out now.

Book Review – Room 119 (The Whitby Trader) by T. F. Lince

I received a message a few weeks back from T. F. Lince telling me he’d only ever read 11 books and got an E in English and asking if I’d be interested in reading Room 119 (The Whitby Trader).

If anything I was probably more intrigued to read the book knowing this about the author. It couldn’t be that good could it?

Wrong. First things first, it’s absolutely brilliant. One of the best I’ve read this year, in fact. And I’ve read a lot of books so far.

The main character Dean Harrison is a successful trader on the London stock exchange with a massive house and a beautiful wife. But his life is turned upside down when he is stitched up by a young rival at work and he misses his daughters birthday party.

This is where things get interesting. Dean checks into Room 119 of the Welnetham Hall Hotel on the advice of an old couple he’s never met before and told it will help to get his life back in order. All is not as it’s seems and soon there are creepy clowns, time travel (kind of) and a game of chess against death himself.

This is a deep, interesting tale full of twists and turns that made me question my own relationships with family and friends and actually teaches you to not take these things for granted. A particularly poignant chapter involving Deans parents was a real highlight.

About half way through the book I still had no idea which way the story was going to go. It kept me guessing until the last page with some shocking twists along the way.

This is a fascinating tale of one man’s attempt to redeem himself of his past mistakes. This is not the work of an amateur, this is is the work of a master storyteller. Truly inspirational. Highly recommended.

Check it out now on Amazon.

Book Review – Creation Abomination by Alan W. Thompson

This is a very imaginative sci-fi story filled with convincing characters with an interesting idea at its core.

A scientist is trying to develop a way for the human body to repair itself using stem cells. He makes a breakthrough but it becomes clear that an evil malevolent force has a part to play. The story is very believable in the current scientific climate. The involvement of an ancient evil force in proceedings and the way it nudges events throughout the book is actually really terrifying.

The characters are realistically drawn and there intentions are not always what they seem. Particularly Don who’s descent is one of the most gripping things about the book.

There’s a second volume to complete the story so there are threads left hanging. I would definitely recommend this book as an exciting quick read. The second volume promises to be the ultimate battle between good and evil.

Check it out now over on Amazon before the next volume is released.

Book Review – Crystal Deception by Doug J. Cooper

A one of a kind 4th generation crystal sits at the centre of a taut, quick moving sci-fi story. A crystal that has the ability to observe everything happening all over the world.

This is a book that I thought might be a bit dense with sci-fi jargon for the casual reader but it’s very well done and the concepts are slowly and cleverly introduced. The author is a great world builder too. Everything is colourful and easy to imagine.

The characters and their interaction with each other keeps things interesting.

The alien threat is palpable and without the help of the aforementioned crystal or Criss as he/it becomes known, the humans don’t really stand a chance.

This is a great introduction to the series and I can’t wait to read more.

Check it out now over on Amazon.