Cherry Mischievous

for the love of SciFi/Fantasy

SHELTER

 

The Book

 

Shelter by Sarah Franklin
Genre: historical fiction / romance

 

 

About Shelter:

Spring 1944. Connie Granger arrives, alone, in the Forest of Dean. Fleeing her blitzed home and the war that’s fiercely raging on, she will train with the Women’s Timber Corps as a lumberjill. Deep in the heart of the forest, Connie’s duties will include felling, snedding, loading and crosscutting.

As she is drawn to the healing rhythms of the ancient forest and its remote local community – the forester and his wife, the shepherd, – Connie battles with the knowledge that she must soon make a life-changing decision.

Also arriving in the forest is Seppe, an Italian Prisoner of War, who is haunted by the past. Amongst the trees of the forest, he finds a strange kind of freedom and when Connie and Seppe cross paths in the forest, their meeting signals new beginnings. With the support of one another they will find the means to imagine their own lives anew and to face the fears that haunt them.

In this explosive moment of history, everything is changing. Women just like Connie – brave, uncompromising and strong – are finding opportunity and liberty like never before. But is the price Connie must pay for her freedom too great?

Source: Info in the About Shelter was from the press kit from the publicity team.

 

Buy Link(s):
 

 

Meet The Author

 

About Sarah Franklin:

Sarah Franklin grew up in rural Gloucestershire. She lectures in publishing at Oxford Brookes, is the founder and host of Short Stories Aloud and a judge for the Costa Short Story Award. She has written for The Guardian, Psychologies, The Pool, Sunday Express. In 2014, Sarah was awarded a Jerwood/Arvon Mentorship on the strength of her opening pages of SHELTER, and worked on the novel for a year with Jenn Ashworth, amongst others.

twitter

 

 

www.bonnierzaffre.co.uk | twitter | facebook | instagram | pinterest (aus) | pinterest

 

Advertisements

02/04/2018 Posted by | Bonnier Publishing UK, book promotion, Imogen Sebba, Midas PR, Sarah Franklin | , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: NIGHT STUDY

 

Night Study by Maria V. Snyder
Narrated by Gabra Zackman
Book 2 in the Soulfinders series / Book 5 in the Study series / Book 9 in The Chronicles Of Ixia series
Genre: fantasy

 

 

About Night Study:

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear. Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek… secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realise it’s far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.

Source: Info in the About Night Study was from the press kit from the publicity team.

 

Buy Link(s):

 

My Thoughts:

The worldbulding and character development are still great! But the story telling style is also the same “multiple threads” chop shop which drives me up the wall. And cliffhanger ending. I reckon that this book is better read when you already are in possession of the third book of the Soulfinders series. This book is also so not good to read before Shadow Study or you will get royally lost.

I find Night Study the most emotional of all the books in any of this book’s serieses. So keep a box of tissues in hand.

When the first book, Poison Study, came out some ten years ago, I remember that I loved it but naught else. So when this book mentions some past character or event which appeared or happened in previous books that I’ve read ten years ago, I couldn’t remember him/her/it anymore, which was a bit frustrating. I should have re-read the previous books in this series before I started reading Shadow Study and this book.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 2
Ending = 3.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = 3
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books in the Study series:
Book 1: POISON STUDY   Book 1.5: ASSASSIN STUDY   Book 2: MAGIC STUDY   Book 3: FIRE STUDY   Book 3.5: POWER STUDY   Book 3.6: ICE STUDY   Book 4: SHADOW STUDY   Book 5: NIGHT STUDY   Book 6: DAWN STUDY

 

About Maria V. Snyder
Maria V. Snyder

Meteorologist turned novelist, Maria’s been writing fantasy and science fiction since her son was born. Maria has won numerous prizes for her writing including the Golden Leap Hall of Fame, Wirral Paperback of the Year Award, Compton Crook Award and the Salt Lake County Library Reader’s Choice Award. She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list and earned her Master’s degree in Writing from Seton Hill University. Traveling is one of her biggest distractions from writing and Maria hasn’t said no to a trip yet. She has visited China, Dubai, Malaysia, Europe, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada — all provided wonderful fodder for her stories. Maria lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

 

w | t | f

Thank you!

Thank you to the publicity team for the review copy received.


t | f | g+

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
The paperback review copy of this book was received for free in exchange for an honest opinion. The audiobook copy of this book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

30/03/2016 Posted by | 3 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: SHADOW STUDY

 

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder
Narrated by Gabra Zackman
Book 1 in the Soulfinders series / Book 4 in the Study series
Genre: fantasy
 

 

About Shadow Study:

Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.

Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands — and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job — and his life — are in danger.

As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.

A CHRONICLES OF IXIA NOVEL

Source: Info in the About Shadow Study was from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16130758-shadow-study on 03/02/2016.

 

Buy Link(s):

 

My Thoughts:

Like any other author, Maria V. Snyder has her ups and downs. I love the Yelena Zaltana trilogy! The Opal Cowan one however… not so much. In fact, that one was a disappointment. But, it seems that the author has gotten her groove back, because this book is a very good start to a fresh new trilogy in the Yelena Zaltana world!

So the world building and the chracter development had been established long ago. And those books were such a success that Maria V. Snyder decided to write this new trilogy, to the joy of all her fans! (including me!) And this book has the same of that fantastic world building and character development. I liked reading about old characters I loved in the previous serieses in this world. It’s like meeting old friends again. Had I had a chance, I would have re-read my old copies of the Yelena Zaltana trilogy and the Opal Cowan trilogy before reading this book. As it is, I had to pause for, like, a minute or two to remember who Fisk was. Anyway, it all came back to me eventually, and the world of Yelena Zaltana bloomed once again in my mind’s eye! Wonderful reading experience!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 3.5
Plot = 4
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books in the Study series:

 

Book 1: POISON STUDY   Book 1.5: ASSASSIN STUDY   Book 2: MAGIC STUDY   Book 3: FIRE STUDY   Book 3.5: POWER STUDY   Book 3.6: ICE STUDY   Book 4: SHADOW STUDY   Book 5: NIGHT STUDY   Book 6: DAWN STUDY

 

About Maria V. Snyder
Maria V. Snyder

Meteorologist turned novelist, Maria’s been writing fantasy and science fiction since her son was born. Maria has won numerous prizes for her writing including the Golden Leap Hall of Fame, Wirral Paperback of the Year Award, Compton Crook Award and the Salt Lake County Library Reader’s Choice Award. She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list and earned her Master’s degree in Writing from Seton Hill University. Traveling is one of her biggest distractions from writing and Maria hasn’t said no to a trip yet. She has visited China, Dubai, Malaysia, Europe, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada — all provided wonderful fodder for her stories. Maria lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

 

w | t | f

 

Thank you!
 

Thank you to the publicity team for the review copy received.

 

t | f | g+

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
The paperback copy of this book was received for free in exchange for an honest opinion. The audiobook and ebook copies of this book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

15/02/2016 Posted by | 4 cherries, book review, Cherry's reviews, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DCI FRANK MERLIN Series Audiobook Giveaway

 

The Books

 


Princes Gate by Mark Ellis
Narrated by Matt Addis
Book 1 in the DCI Frank Merlin series
Genre: historical crime fiction

 

 

About Princes Gate:

January 1940. London. DCI Frank Merlin and his team are called in to investigate when a scientist is killed in a hit and run and the body of an employee of the American Embassy is discovered alongside the Thames.

Merlin’s investigation leads him to the office of the American Embassy and Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, a well-known supporter of appeasement. When another Embassy employee dies, Merlin, the charismatic detective, finds himself exploring the seedier parts of wartime London. A corrupt night-club owner, high-flying diplomats and the Ambassador himself appear to be linked to the events surrounding the deaths.

DCI Frank Merlin must solve the case without ruffling feathers at the embassy, or straining Anglo-American relations, at a time when America represents to many Britain’s only hope of salvation.

Source: Info in the About Princes Gate was from the press kit from the publicity team.

 

Buy Link(s):
          Audible Books         Buy from fishpond   The Book People

 


Stalin’s Gold by Mark Ellis
Narrated by Matt Addis
Book 2 in the DCI Frank Merlin series
Genre: historical crime fiction

 

 

About Stalin’s Gold:

December 1938. Moscow. Stalin has lost some gold. He asks his henchman, Beria, to track it down.

September 1940. London. DCI Frank Merlin investigates the disappearance of a Polish RAF pilot while battling an epidemic of looting unleashed by the Blitz. A compelling story of treasure, treachery, and murder unfolds.

Eventually, as Hitler reluctantly accepts that the defiance of the RAF has destroyed his chances of invasion, a violent shoot-out in Hampstead leads Merlin to the final truth…and Stalin to his gold.

Source: Info in the About Stalin’s Gold was from the press kit from the publicity team.

 

Buy Link(s):
          Audible Books       Buy from fishpond

 

Meet The Author

 

About Mark Ellis:

Mark Ellis is a thriller writer from Swansea and a former barrister and entrepreneur. He is the creator of DCI Frank Merlin, an Anglo-Spanish police detective operating in World War 2 London. His books treat the reader to a vivid portrait of London during the war skilfully blended with gripping plots, political intrigue and a charismatic protagonist. Ellis’ books regularly appear in the Kindle bestseller charts. He is a member of the Crime Writers Association.

www.markellisauthor.com | twitter | facebook | amazon | goodreads

 

Meet The Narrator

 

About Matt Addis:

Matt Addis has worked extensively on stage and screen, most recently seen in the international tour of War Horse and in hit BBC comedy W1A. He’s also a well-known voice to radio listeners, having appeared in hundreds of dramas, comedies and documentaries. He has narrated over a hundred unabridged audiobooks.

www.mattaddis.com | twitter | goodreads

 

Giveaway

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

1. Entry is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over (including Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Northern Ireland), except Audible.co.uk and Cherry Mischievous employees. Proof of age, identity and eligibility may be requested.

2. The competition will run from 27 July 2015 to 02 August 2015. During this time, entrants will be invited to answer a question about Princes Gate or Stalin’s Gold by Mark Ellis. The competition question will be provided by Cherry Mischievous.

3. The competition question will be live and accessible on Cherry Mischievous for the duration of the competition.

4. Entrants will be asked to fill out an online form hosted on Cherry Mischievous with the correct answer. Entrants will also be asked to provide a contact name and email address.

5. All answers will be judged and collated by Cherry Mischievous personnel. One winner will be chosen at random from the correct entries by Cherry Mischievous at the end of the two week competition period. Details of the competition winner will then be forwarded to Audible.co.uk in order to process the prize; TWO CREDITS from Audible.co.uk for Princes Gate or Stalin’s Gold by Mark Ellis.

6. In order to win the free audio download of Princes Gate or Stalin’s Gold by Mark Ellis from Audible.co.uk, competition winners must have an Audible.co.uk account and be able to provide a valid Audible.co.uk log-in email address with a UK billing address. Creating an Audible.co.uk account is free.

7. Winners will be notified by email on the day of the draw. Winners have five (5) business working days to respond in full to the email or another winner will be drawn.

8. This Audible.co.uk competition is free to enter and run. There is no cash alternative and the prize cannot be sold or transferred in any circumstances.

9. Audible.co.uk reserves the right to remove competitions from any host website at any time if they display offensive, abusive or any other kind of unsuitable content.

10. Audible.co.uk will only ever use personal details for the purposes of administering this competition.

11. Audible.co.uk reserves the right to: (i) amend these terms and conditions and vary the competition opening times; (ii) disqualify any entrant who breaches the rules or has acted fraudulently in any way; (iii) where applicable, withdraw or substitute any prize, at any stage, should any winner exhibit inappropriate or dangerous behaviour (iv) cancel the competition, at any stage, if in its opinion it is deemed necessary or if circumstances arise outside its control.

12. Audible.co.uk, its sub-contractors, subsidiaries and/or agencies cannot accept any responsibility whatsoever for any technical failure or malfunction or any other problem which may result in failure to complete the prize audio download.

13. This competition accords with the Audible.co.uk Conditions of Use, details of which can be found at: http://www.audible.co.uk/mt/Conditions-of-Use?ref_=mn_anon-h_f6_cou

14. Once a winner has been chosen, the winner will be notified by email from Cherry Mischievous.

15. Privacy Notice: All information submitted to Audible in connection with this Competition will be treated in accordance with these Official Rules and Audible’s Privacy Notice available at http://www.audible.co.uk/privacy-policy

15. Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by them when entering.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Hosted By:

 

 

27/07/2015 Posted by | contest, sponsored post | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: FOXGLOVE SUMMER

PC Grant book 5: FOXGLOVE SUMMER

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch
Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Book 5 of Peter Grant series
Genre: urban fantasy, police investigation
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Foxglove Summer:

In the fifth of his bestselling series Ben Aaronovitch takes Peter Grant out of whatever comfort zone he might have found and takes him out of London – to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can’t take the London out of the copper.

Travelling west with Beverley Brook Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops and local gods. And what’s more all the shops are closed by 4pm…

Source: Info in the About Foxglove Summer was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20499240-foxglove-summer on 03/01/2015.

 

My Thoughts:

It took me a lot of time to get into this book. But it did pick up about halfway through the book.

I understand the summer bit in the title as the events in the book occured in the summer. But what does the foxglove got to do with the story? Just becuase it was mentioned twice in the book? With no connection to the plot whatsoever at that. WTF?! On top of that, the foxglove mystery was never explained. This was just one of many loose threads left hanging. Just like the ending that stopped abruptly. Although there was resolution to the main dilemma, the book ended so abruptly that it’s like running headlong into a dead end wall when you are still expecting a mile of road ahead. My nose hurt in sympathy. However, because of the humour in the telling of the story this book can never be a less than 3. Foxglove Summer showed the same fun story telling quality that I like so much about this author!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 3
World building = 5
Cover art = 2
Pace = (10 hrs and 45 mins listening time)
Plot = 4
Narrator = 4

 

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Rivers Of London
Series
/ Peter Grant
Series
:

 

Thank you!Thank you to Audible and the publicity team for the audiobook review copy of Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch received.
 


 

FTC Disclosure:
The kindle ebook copy was purchased with private finds. The audiobook was received for free from the publicity team.
No money received for this review.
 

16/01/2015 Posted by | 3 cherries, audible.co.uk, audiobook, audiobook review, book review, review, review copy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SEARISE Blog Tour

 

GMT: Writing the first draft of SeaBEAN
Sarah Holding

The reception I’ve received for my Blog Tour from this blogsite has been absolutely fantastic, and I was thrilled to see how much people have been tweeting and retweeting far and wide about my new book SeaRISE over the past week. So I wanted to give Cherry Mischievous’ loyal followers the inside track on how my story came about in the first place.

It’s exactly six years since I first had the idea for my YA science-fiction story SeaBEAN. I was working at the University of Greenwich in a small office that practically straddled the Greenwich Meridian. My daily commute involved floating down the Thames in a catamaran from central London to Greenwich, and it is perhaps these two factors that most contributed to the project, namely to combine an idea about time zones and portals with a new kind of time travel device – a ‘C-Bean’ – that took inspiration from seabeans found in nature, that is to say, seeds which fall from a tree in the rainforest, travel downstream and drift out to sea in search of a suitable place to germinate.

I wrote every day during my lunch hour and after four months I had a first draft. In order to give SeaBEAN a final edit, I then took a week off work with a view to sending it off to Floris Books, an Edinburgh-based publisher that runs an annual competition to find a debut author with a manuscript that’s set mainly or wholly in Scotland and is suitable for 8-12 year old readers. Since I had chosen St Kilda as the setting for SeaBEAN, an uninhabited archipelago to the far north-west of the Outer Hebrides, and was aiming it more or less at this target audience, my novel seemed to fit the bill perfectly. As time elapsed after the submission deadline and I realised I hadn’t won, the manuscript for SeaBEAN went into a drawer somewhere, and I comforted myself with the thought that I had at least completed my first full-length work of fiction.

It was a full three years later, at the suggestion of my partner, when I dug SeaBEAN out again and re-read it with a view to sending it off to some other publishers. What struck me was the strength of the main character, Alice, and when I reached the end of the book, I could suddenly see her caught up in a much larger story arc, which fell quite naturally into a trilogy format. SeaBEAN deals with the present, and takes place in Alice’s terms in the near future between 1 January 2018 and 1 May 2018. SeaWAR picks up the narrative from 1 May 2018, but when the C-Bean device is being fixed it gets reset and is accidentally flipped back in time to 1918 with Alice and Karla Ingermann, the C-Bean’s supposed designer, stuck inside. SeaWAR is therefore the story that deals with the past – tapping not only into the real past of St Kilda, but also featuring other wartime scenarios, for example when Alice and Charlie rescue a pilot from 1944, get caught up in the Cold War in 1957, and at one point, travel even further back in time.

The final part of the trilogy, SeaRISE, picks up the story from 1 September 2018, when Alice is supposedly done with all their adventures in the C-Bean, and in any case it is about to be taken away from them because of undisclosed but ‘suspicious circumstances’. They decide to have a sleepover in the C-Bean before it is turned over to the authorities, but in the middle of the night they get abducted and find themselves trapped inside it. When Alice eventually manages to escape she finds a world that’s flooded, the sky is an angry orange colour, and there’s a fierce windy blowing but not enough oxygen to breathe. She is shocked to discover this is none other than her own island St Kilda but in 2118, and realises she somehow needs to find a way to get herself and her five classmates back to their present and more importantly, find a way to put things back to rights.

In the end, and before I’d even finished writing the whole trilogy, a publisher found me. I consider myself very lucky to have come full circle, with all three books out in print now, and what’s more that each of them has the most amazing thermo-chromic or colour-changing cover, making it completely unique – there are no other children’s novels in the world whose covers turns from black to reveal a mysterious underlying image when you hold them. So the SeaBEAN trilogy literally is science fiction from cover to cover!

 

The Book

 


SeaRISE by Sarah Holding
Book 3 of the SeaBEAN Trilogy
Genre: YA Science Fiction

 

 

About SeaRISE:

In the thrilling final part of The SeaBEAN Trilogy, Alice and her five classmates are – for reasons they have yet to discover – abducted to 2118 in the C-Bean, their time-travel device, only to find the world is a difficult and alienating place.

How will they survive their terrifying ordeal? Who can help them figure out a way to get back to their own time? Will they escape before their captor Commander Hadron catches up with them? Who is he anyway and what’s his connection to the mysterious Dr Foster?

Unsettled by the devastation they find everywhere in the future and armed with new knowledge about the C-Bean’s ultimate purpose, Alice and Co scour the planet, confronting many challenges in pursuit of answers to their questions. But can they figure out a way to restore the Earth’s delicate ecological balance for good?

Source: Info in the About SeaRISE was from the press kit from the publicity team.

 

Buy Link(s):

 

Trailer:

 

a Medina Publishing title

 

medinapublishing.com | twitter | facebook | pinterest

 

Books In The SeaBEAN Trilogy:

 

Meet The Author

 

About Sarah Holding:

Sarah is a full-time children’s author, juggling writing with looking after a family of three children. They live in Surrey in a funny old house with a leaning tower. When she’s not writing she’s singing, and when she’s not singing she’s playing sax in her jazz band. She says she knew there would always come a time when the abandoned island of St Kilda would feature somewhere in her life, little thinking it would be the setting for her first children’s book.

sarah-holding.com | twitter | facebook | goodreads

 

 

Midas PR

 

05/12/2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: NEVER LOOK BACK

NEVER LOOK BACK audiobook


Never Look Back by Clare Donoghue
Book 1 of the DI Mike Lockyer series
Read by Karl Prekopp and Imogen Church
Genre: crime fiction
Debut author/novel
Format: audiobook

About Never Look Back:

A chilling and compelling debut crime thriller set in South East London. For all those who enjoy Peter James, Mark Billingham, and Peter Robinson. Three women have been found brutally murdered in south London, the victims only feet away from help during each sadistic attack. And the killer is getting braver…. Sarah Grainger is rapidly becoming too afraid to leave her house. Once an outgoing photographer, she knows that someone is watching her. A cryptic note brings everything into terrifying focus, but it’s the chilling phone calls that take the case to another level.

DI Mike Lockyer heads up the regional murder squad. With three bodies on his watch, and a killer growing in confidence, he frantically tries to find the link between these seemingly isolated incidents. What he discovers will not only test him professionally but will throw his personal life into turmoil, too.

Source: Info in the About Never Look Back was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21533674-never-look-back on 01/06/2014.

NEVER LOOK BACK hardcover

My Thoughts:

The psychokiller (or PK) is targeting vulnerable and kinda stupid women. Or maybe it was just the way the victims’ points of view were painted to the reader that made them sound stupid. Or maybe it might even be the writing technique used in an effort to add a bit more flair and drama to the story that made them seem stupid. Either way, I find the stupidities annoying.

Now, I am not really a crime fiction reader. I’m more of an urban fantasy geek. However I am known to go to the dark side from time to time. And I understand that a crime fiction book gotta have a “crime” in it. But I do not like the dark, gory details. Maybe that is one of the reasons that I do not read much crime fiction. But this book did not have much of the gory, so I was alright.

Other than the annoying aspect of the story, this book would have garnered a 5 out of 5 with me. As it is, I would give this book a 4.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 3.5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 3.5
Ending = 4
World building = 4
Cover art = 3
Pace = (8 hours, 50 minutes and 16 seconds listening time)
Plot = 4
Narration = 4

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Books In The DI Mike Lockyer Series:

Midas PR

Thank you!

Thank you to Audible and the publicity team for the review copy received.


FTC Disclosure:
This book was received for free from Audible in exchange for an honest review.

16/08/2014 Posted by | audible.co.uk, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, Clare Donoghue, crime fiction, debut author, debut novel, DI Mike Lockyer series, Imogen Church, Karl Prekopp, Midas PR, police procedural, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: UNLUCKY 13


Unlucky 13 by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Book in the Women’s Murder Club series
Read by January LaVoy
Genre: crime fiction
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

About Unlucky 13:

“The Women s Murder Club is stalked by a killer with nothing to lose.”

San Francisco Detective Lindsay Boxer is loving her life as a new mother. With an attentive husband, a job she loves, plus best friends who can talk about anything from sex to murder, things couldn’t be better.

Then the FBI sends Lindsay a photo of a killer from her past, and her happy world is shattered. The picture captures a beautiful woman at a stoplight. But all Lindsay sees is the psychopath behind those seductive eyes: Mackie Morales, the most deranged and dangerous mind the Women’s Murder Club has ever encountered.

In this pulse-racing, emotionally charged novel by James Patterson, the Women’s Murder Club must find a killer before she finds them first.

Source: Info in the About Unlucky 13 was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21483885-unlucky-13 on 20/04/2014.


My Thoughts:

Circle-of-friends-professionals-solving-crime theme has been around the block a few times already. Although each take took a slightly different angle from each other. Kathy Reich‘s took it from a forensic point of view in her Temperance Brennan series. Charlaine Harris took the librarian’s point of view in the Aurora Teagarden series. The writer and the cop in the Castle TV series. This time around, it’s a multiple points of view (POV). The cop, the journalist and the judge, each on a different thread of the story. Originality-wise, it’s not exactly raking in high marks. However, what makes the difference here is no longer the theme but how the story is told. I gotta hand it to James Patterson though, he has a compelling author’s voice! Plus January LaVoy sounds awfully a lot like Thérèse Plummer, the narrator in the Aurora Teagarden series audiobooks, that at first it was like listening to another Real Murders Club installment. It gave me a feeling of déjà vu and got slightly disorientated at the start. Or maybe it was the flu. Or too much cough syrups? I don’t know.

I also don’t know why the book is titled Unlucky 13 because I could not relate it to the story at all. If anybody out there who have read this book, could tell me why, I would appreciate it….

I believe that the use of “multiple threads technique” in this book did not mesh well. There are three major threads, the bomber thread, the Morales thread, and the ship thread. The bomber thread and the Morales thread went well together. But the ship one, not so much. In fact it detracted the tension from the other two. I disrupted the flow of the story. It didn’t complement the rest of the story. Which contributed to the book’s slower pace. But despite that, I couldn’t give this book a low rating. Not with the good story telling quality.

At the end of it, I would give this book a 4 out of 5.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4
Cover art = 4
Pace = (7 hrs and 18 mins)
Plot = 4
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

AudibleThank you!Thank you to Audible Ltd. for the audiobook review copy of Unlucky 13 by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro received!

FTC Disclosure:
The audiobook copy of this book was received for free from Audible UK in exchange for an honest review. The ebook copy was purchased with private funds.

04/05/2014 Posted by | audible.co.uk, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, crime fiction, ebook, James Patterson, kindle review, Maxine Paetro, Midas PR, review, review copy | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Re-Read Review: THE RITHMATIST

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Book 1 of the Rithmatist series
Read by Michael Kramer
Genre: urban fantasy | steampunk | YA
Format: paperback & audiobook

About The Rithmatist:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson: his debut novel for the young adult audience.

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings — merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing — kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery — one that will change Rithmatics — and their world — forever.

Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings his unique brand of epic storytelling to the teen audience with an engrossing tale of danger and suspense — the first of a series. With his trademark skills in world-building, Sanderson has created a magic system that is so inventive and detailed that that readers who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world.

Source: Info in the About The Rithmatist was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17454731-the-rithmatist on 15/07/2013.

Re-Read Review:

I had trouble with the audiobook version of this book but was pressed into listening to it quickly because it was a free review copy and the publicist was emailing me about my review so I rushed through it the first time around. And here is my review. I still enjoyed it at the end thus the 3 cherries rating, but I was very conscious that I skipped on a lot of the finer details of the story. So I borrowed the print copy from the library. I still stand by my claim that this is not the kind of book which translates well into an audiobook because of the very technical and too detailed magical system of this world. Brandon Sanderson obviously poured a lot of brain power into creating the world building and thus it is intricate. However I think Brandon Sanderson got too carried away and went at it too much. I like intricate world buildings. But I am not fond of a physics lecture, for example, the Rithmatics diagram inserted after every chapter. It disrupts the flow of the story which induces me to stop reading. I needed a break from the info dump after every single chapter! This contributes to making the pace of the book quite long. Therefore can’t call this book a page turner. So I think that the world building should be intricate enough to substantiate the story, but not too much that it overwhelmed the entire book, overshadowing the characters and the plot. And that is the main reason why this book would never be a 5 out of 5 for me. However if you take the info dump away, it is quite a fascinating read! And that is also the reason that this book would never get a less than 3 rating.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 2
Character development = 4
Story itself = 3.5
Ending = 3
World building = 3.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (10hrs & 26mins listening time)
Plot = 3.5
Narrator = 3.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Rithmatist Series:

macmillan audio

RCT LibraryThank you!Thank you to macmillan audio and audible for the audiobook review copy received and to RCT Library for lending me the paperback copy of this book.


FTC Disclosure:
No money received for this review.

18/04/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, audible.co.uk, audiobook, book review, Brandon Sanderson, Cherry's reviews, macmillan audio, Michael Kramer, Midas PR, review, YA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: TOUCH OF POWER

Touch Of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Book 1 of the Healer trilogy

Genre: fantasy
Publication Date: 6th January 2012

About Touch Of Power:

The Fifteen Realms is in a state of turmoil, reeling from a ruthless plague that has ripped through the lands killing thousands. Now the realms are on the brink of war as potential leaders vie for power, using whatever horrific means possible.

At one time revered for her healing abilities, Avry of Kazan is in hiding from those who wish to manipulate her powers to further their own cause. But when Avry heals a sick child, she is captured, facing the guillotine for using her forbidden magic. That is until she is rescued by the mysterious Kerrick and his band of men, who need Avry to save their dying friend, Prince Ryne. Having heard of Ryne’s various atrocities, Avry is more than reluctant, but with a bounty on her head, she needs their protection. In a quest across the Nine Mountains, encountering man-eating ufas, armies of the undead and gangs of mercenaries, the group battles to reach Ryne before the armies of the power-hungry Tohon and the evil Estrid can capture any more land.

With Kerrick promising that Ryne is the answer to peace for the Fifteen Realms, Avry must make the ultimate decision. Either way she faces a certain death – but should she trust Kerrick and heal Ryne, or die a martyr to a lost cause

Source: Info in the About Touch Of Power was taken from the blog tour press release.

Review:

I thought that this would be another series in the Yelena Zaltana world just like the Opal Cowan trilogy was. But no, the Healer trilogy is a totally different world from the Yelena Zaltana one. Still of the fantasy genre though, but totally different worlds. Although I find the magic system is somewhat similar.

Having read the previous work of this author, I knew that she has a real weakness in the plot building, i.e., Opal Cowan trilogy (I blame it on the weak plot anyway). So even before I started reading this book, I was kinda dreading what kind of plot this book might have. But I worried for no reason! The plot is good and the story ended with a satisfying resolution. Although the ending also made room for more in the story, but we know already that this is gonna be a trilogy. However despite that, the ending did a good job of resolving the main dilemma in the story.

Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to be developing a fixation for bad guys. Tohon is sounding like an anti-hero I could like… I think Alexander Skarsgard would make a good Tohon… for those of you who’ve read this book, don’t you think so?

Another thing I can say about this book is that it retained the wonderful story telling quality that I’ve come to know with Maria V. Snyder. It made the reading time whiz pass and before I knew it, I was at the ending and I wanted to read more! Unfortunately I have to wait until next year for the next book. Next year!!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Plot = 4
Cover art = 4
Pace = 4

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Author Link(s):
Maria V. Snyder

Book Link(s):
www.touchofpower.com
GoodReads

Publisher Link(s):
Mira Ink
Mira at Facebook


Thank you to the publisher/PR team for the review copy of Touch Of Power by Maria V. Snyder received.

29/12/2011 Posted by | book review, Cherry's reviews, fantasy, Healer Trilogy, magic, Maria V. Snyder, Midas PR, Mira Ink, review | , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments