Book Review: Empty Graves by CL Raven

The story of the grave robbers of that time isn’t something I know much about. I knew it happened but getting into the why and how was really interesting and CL Raven put in characters who have their conflicts they’re dealing with.

The Grayfriers Gang was fun and the banter between them is fantastic. I would happily read another book with them in it!

CL Raven do a lot of research for their books, and with these historical ones (The Malignant Dead, The Devils Servants, and this one) they really manage to put that research to good use and you feel like you’re in Edinburgh, whether in a graveyard or an inn you feel part of the city. Edinburgh is now definitely on my to visit list.

Empty Graves is a page turner. The characters are fun and have depth to them that leaves you wanting to know more, and I learned a little about our past that I hadn’t known before.

Book Review: Soul Asylum by CL Raven

Aside from a couple of places where it felt a little slow I liked this book a lot. The atmosphere created sticks true throughout and CL Raven give you a good feel for the Asylum. I think if they hadn’t then it would loose some of its impact because the Asylum feels like another character.

The characters are in part a little annoying but also engaged in trying to discover the secrets of the history of this Asylum.

I did find the protagonist, Phineus (yeah I know I’ve spelt that wrong!) particularly annoying, but in the way that makes me want to turn the pages and get to the bottom of the mystery.

I did suspect one of the big reveals, but not the other one. That one was bigger and I didn’t even have a clue, but it slots everything into place once you’ve realised.

This is one I’ll read again in the future so I can connect all the clues now I know the secrets of Raven Retreat.

Book Review: In Ashes Born by Nathan Lowell

I’ve listened to all six preceding stories of the life of our protagonist Ishmael Wong and I have pretty much loved each one.

With Nathan Lowell’s handling of these books I know I’m getting a quality story. What makes them really stunningly crafted is the fact that rarely does something hugely dramatic happen. In Ashes Born is no different. It’s just the next part of Ishmael Wong’s life and I was hanging on every word! In another writers hands none of these stories would work. Lowell keeps the same pace, tone, and quality of the previous six novels.

This is a solid continuation of this story, and I am looking forward to the next chapter in the life of Ishmael Wong.

I will just say I was worried about having someone other than Nathan Lowell narrate this universe, but Jeffrey Kafer got it absolutely bang on perfect!

Book Review: Werwolf by Matthew Cash

Werwolf is a very tight, well structured, and gripping read. The setting is quickly established. The characters motivations are in some cases presented clearly while others are subtle and not explained but reading between the lines and knowing a little of the era this is set in it doesn’t take much to make a decent guess.

One characters motivation kept me guessing till the last moment.

I’ll be start the novel FUR after this as I’m keen to see more of this world.

Book Review: King’s Justice by Maurice Broaddus

I’m liking this world that Maurice Broaddus has created here. I like how he’s weaving the myth into this world, it’s very finely done which works well and is nice to see.

The characters have some good depth to them, you get the feeling that each one really does have an agenda they’re trying to push.

I’ll definitely be checking out the final book in the trilogy in the near future.

New Release: Under The Weather

Under the Weather from Burdizzo Books and Back Road Books is now out in ebook  and paperback.

In this weather-themed anthology we have stories from C.H. Baum, David Court, Paul M. Feeney, Paul Hiscock, Kitty Kane, Dave Jeffery, James Jobling, Lex H. Jones, Christoper Law, Adam Millard, Dale Robertson, Nathan Robinson, Phil Sloman, Mark Woods, and myself.

It’s compiled and edited by Matthew Cash, Em Dehaney, James Jobling, and Jeremy Peterson.

When I saw the call for this anthology it really ignited my imagination. I think I had a good half a dozen decent story ideas which after brainstorming I got it down to one that really hooked me and I had a lot of fun with. (I’ve since written another short story from elements of one of those ideas).

This is a charity anthology, so all the proceeds go to Resources For Autism.

So, Please check this anthology out. I’ve put UK and USA Amazon Links at the bottom of this post so please check this one out.

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Under The Weather UK

Under The Weather USA

 

Book Review: The Complex by Brian Keene

I went into this not knowing much about it. All I really knew was that it was loosely inspired by Brian Keene’s former home.

So, I went into this book pretty blind and wasn’t disappointed. Keene gives us a broad range of characters each with their own depth and motivations.

There’s not a complicated storyline, it’s pretty simply about what the characters would do when thrown into the chaos of the events in the story.

Definitely worth checking out.

Book Review: Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski

This book rocked! I described it to a friend as being 1984 meets The Lego Movie! I didn’t really have any idea of what to expect. I hadn’t read the synopsis or any reviews of it. I just knew it was by an author I wanted to check out.
What really sticks with me is the tone throughout the story is pretty level regardless of what’s happening, but that’s just a thin covering of the real tone of the story.

I listened to the audiobook of this one and the narration by Steve Rimpici was perfect for the book. he got the tone just right.

Billy and the Cloneasaurus was right up my street and is a fantastic modern day dystopian that is gripping and memorable. Definitely worth checking out!

Forest Underground by Lydian Faust

Forest Underground was very interesting and gripped my attention pretty quickly. Some books can take some time for me to really get committed to them, but this one had me within five minutes.

I liked how Lydian Faust teased a lot of the world but stopped short of really revealing what was going on. I think that may have broken the pace of this novella up too much if there’d been a lot of scene setting.

The story is really interesting and splits into telling the story of the two main characters, and you end up feeling a little for each one and the trials that life has thrown at them.

Pippa Bailey’s narration is on point and works well for the story. She brings an energy that adds to the story incredibly well.

Definitely worth a read/listen, and left me wanting to know more about this setting.

The Silence by Tim Lebbon

I wrote a post about The Silence as I was about halfway through it. I talked about how it was getting under my skin, and how uncomfortable it was making me feel. It made me realise that’s what horror should do. It should make you feel uncomfortable, to the point where you don’t want to carry on with the story. Don’t get me wrong, the gross out stuff is fun but this touched a nerve I’ve only just started accepting that I have.

I’m glad I stuck The Silence out. It is a book that struck at so many of the fears that I have. There are characters that remind me of people I love. I could get on board with some of their motivations as well and decisions as well

I said in the post I wrote the other day that it felt like this book was written for me, simply because so much of it struck me. I understood the fear the characters had, I felt it as they feared for their lives. I felt the conflict when hard decisions had to be made. I felt their grief, and confusion.

Each time the protagonists were pushed by the events around them it felt like a punch in the gut each time. A few years ago I would have stopped listening (I have the audiobook), but the characters kept me going. I needed to know what happened to them in the end. I was cheering for them, hoping they’d get to safety.

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The movie The Ritual (based on Adam Nevill’s book) taught me a lot about horror last year. It gave me a whole new perception of what horror meant. The Silence did ten times more than that. It got under my skin and into my bones.

There is a movie adaptation coming this year, if it’s half as good as this then it’ll be a great movie.