Friday, 30 December 2016

2062: The Year of Transition (Human Obsolescence Book 1) Greg Vitrano

In 2062: The Year of Transition (Human Obsolescence Book 1) the future has already arrived.
Technology has overtaken the need for human labour, children are genetically engineered and, as predicted, sex with a human being is unthinkable and this is down to humanoids with supreme sexual prowess.
It is always captivating to read an imagined future and I was quickly sucked into reading this book. Our protagonist is Axel, designed to be brilliant, and at this point in his life is anxious and hoping to get into one of the top five schools.
I like how the introduction segues seamlessly to the middle part of the book and was gripped by the finish, with the idea of humans fully transferring themselves over to becoming humanoid and able to live for many years. The idea is startling.
2062: The Year of Transition (Human Obsolescence Book 1) shows the isolation technology puts us in, the invasion to our privacy, obsession and, as a young man, Axel puzzles over the is this love or sex conundrum.
It is interesting to read and ponder the question do the humanoids have rights? In this book they are still regarded as property but I was ticked off that they are relied on to cook and, being man made, the sex is on tap and never dull. Women are objectified.
I think my main issue with this book is the way it is written. We whiz through events in his life, as he matures and grows suspicious of government involvement and ZZ, his female humanoid companion.
Instead of telling us that Axel became more mature, why does the writer not show us this?
2062: The Year of Transition (Human Obsolescence Book 1) works better when events are taking place, not when it is blocks of description.
Sci-fi and fantasy lovers will enjoy this book, which is a terrifying look into a future that might actually happen

(Be aware this book does have bad language and some sexy bits) 

I am Sleepless: Sim 299. Johan Twiss.

Thursday, 29 December 2016


I cannot say much about this book. I wouldn't want to give away the plot twist that has bite.
Oedipussy has a feel of excitement to it. Some of the sentencing is iffy. The description of the band member characters was so eloquently described.
Set in the 90s, a high schooler starts a band, with his girlfriend to be the ‘eye candy'
They practise, make a demo tape and perform at their first gig, which is a success.
By a hundred pages in I felt as if something was creeping up on me, as if something was going to happen and everything is too perfect. Cue, the plot twist.
This is nostalgic, sexy, surreal, slick, something you can vibe with and also desperately sad but it does have a gloss of unreality to it, which lets this down unfortunately. However, it is an excellent coming of age story.
This is for fans of bands, music and the 90s.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The Wish Thief. C.D.Verhoff

 The Wish Thief.  I spent an entire Sunday reading this fab fantasy book. Read a review here

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Rise of the Horde (Zombie Attack #1)

This is a paint by numbers book. There is a religion cult, Nazi sympathisers and a heroin addicted rock guitarist. With a lot of gore, zombies and bullets being shot. I do think there is fatigue by the time this book finally ends but the ending is a happy one and I am glad the goal of our main character was achieved and that the reader was not sold short on that. The suspense in the book is also fantastic, the action is appealing to those of an age between 12-21 and is a page turner that is easy to read in one sitting.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Forests of the Fae : Devlin's Door

This is a slow, unfolding mystery, with magic, faeries and intrigue, and which alternates between the past and present.
I love the opening pages of this book. Great description, an interesting character dynamic and dialogue that is realistic.
I also like the genuine shocks this has. The book gave me a jolt on more than one occasion and I feel creeped out after finishing it.
You don't know where this is going to go. The metaphors are marvellous. This also has more female characters than male, which is no bad thing as I don't think there is enough fiction with female perspectives.
The only criticism I have is the infuriating cliff-hanger and the wait for part two.

The Gallery of Wonders (Magora #1) Mark Remus

I like the idea of the gindars that can paint anything and make it come alive. Magical. As are the horrifying unfinished.
This is similar to Harry Potter. Too similar for me to get really into this. Similarities include: the street that is forbidden, the corridor that is closed to all students, the MSP, the nasty teacher that they suspect of wrongdoing, the bully, hearing voices, the prophecy and so on.
I like the underlying message that this has of believing in yourself. Art cannot be created through what other people expect from you.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Jamyria (The Entering #1 )

There is exquisite description at the start of The Entering and for the first fifty pages or so this book reminded me a little of Alice in Wonderland, in that our character, Margo, finds herself in another world. These fifty pages are captivating and for the next half I felt the language switched to formal and its sudden gear change of Margo going to save the people did catapult this into your typical YA novel. Author, Madeline Meekins, does quite wonderfully bring this novel back into its own.
The companions that Margo picks up along the way I like and, in one case, a surprise. I'm not too sure about the sub plot of her sister, as this does seem to carve into a lot of the book but then it provides Margo with her motivation.
A brilliant first novel, with a cliff-hanger ending that piques my interest.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Book Review. Holly. Mary Hooper.

A realistic story about families and the secrets people keep from one another. Holly is a sixteen year old and, when gifts begin to turn up at the cafe where she works, her life then slowly starts to unravel..
I think this book goes some way into explaining how missing persons are searched for, and with the mention of teletext this book does show its age.
I thought the ending too sweet but overall Holly is a good afternoon read, with twists, turns and a teenage narrator who actually gets on with her parents and has a lasting relationship with them.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Book Review. Looking for JJ. Anne Cassidy.

What stands out for me in Looking For JJ is that Anne Cassidy made me feel empathy for a murderer and actually not so much care for the victim. 
This is a slow burner of a book and I feel oddly unsatisfied after finishing it. It may be because Looking For JJ is more of an account and not a story set in the present.
I believe the book shows us what really goes on when a murderer is reassigned a new identity, the risks and unsettlement. Plus what if you fall in love, do you tell that person about your past?
Also of interest is the impact a neglectant parent can have on the psyche of a child. Jennifer Jones, it appeared, was a frustrated child and, prior to murdering her best friend, there are incidents that lead up to it. It indicated that it is not necessary for there to be one isolated event, as is often not the case. 
The dialogue can be cringy and it is difficult to target this at any one specific age group. I think the subject matter is not suitable for young children and yet adults might not find the style of writing Looking For JJ is written in too appealing either. 
I re read Looking For JJ quite a bit and I like I discover something new in the text on every read. 

I recommend this if you haven’t read it already. 

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Book Review. Franny the Fearless Firefly. Christina Murphey.

Franny the Fearless Firefly is a book for children, written and illustrated by Christina Murphey.
My favourite part of this book are the full colour illustrations. I especially like the illustrations of the children. 
I like the story of Franny and her wont to needlessly put herself in harms way. This is an excellent book for teaching children a lesson that isn’t immediate and obtrusive. 
Franny the Fearless Firefly also concentrates on the letter F and that makes the book an additional educational supplement.
The bonus content lists the words in the text that begin with the letter F, as well as definitions, questions to open discussion on the story and firefly facts. 
I hope there will be more books in a similar vein forthcoming from Christina Murphey, Franny the Fearless Firefly is a promising start. 
Buy now 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Article. Books Similar to Sarah Dessen.

A tongue in cheek article, where you can find my book recommendations on books that are similar to Sarah Dessen.

The fault in our stars by John Green. 
Published in 2013.
“I fell in love like you fall asleep, slowly and then all at once” is the oft repeated quote from this. John Green has written quite a few novels in the YA category but none had an impact like this one (even I cried whilst reading this and I have a heart of stone)It sold over 9 million copies, has been translated into 43 different languages and had its own movie, which made stars of singer Charli XCX and actress Shailene Woodley.
The story is that of a teenage girl named Hazel. She is depressed, moping around the house and has cancer (not necessarily connected, teenagers are naturally gloomy) During a cancer kid support group she sets eyes on a cute guy named Augustus and gradually over the chapters they fall in love, but with Augustus also diagnosed with cancer, will it return and will she end up alone?
(I’m not going to spoil that for you, go read the book!)
Similarity match 98%
John Green is the female Sarah Dessen. 

Read the whole article at 

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Christmas Book Deals

These are all 99p / 99c or free on Kindle unlimited

A Christmas Kerril. Denise Jaden.

Looking for a young adult alternative to The Christmas Carol?
Try A Christmas Kerril by Denise Jaden.

Book Review. Dynomike – Come at me, bro. Frankie B.Rabbit

​Dynomike – Come at me, bro
By Frankie B.Rabbit 
Is a children’s book and the first, of any genre, that I have read that is perfect for the Kindle app. It is laid out in a way that is almost like a stage play. 
Visually, this is a stunning book. There are illustrations on every page and they put a smile on  my face. I like the quirky characters and the overall story, about standing up to a bully. 
My one criticism would be that the wording, on occasion, is stilted. For example 
‘I hope he’s not in town
I hope he’s not around 
He makes our day scary
And gives us all a frown’
Many of the rhymes in this book are perfect chants and may just fill children with confidence. I was cheering by the finish of this book.
Ultimately Dynomike – Come at me, bro is a great book to read and share with children, that will send out a positive message that bullies are simply afraid themselves. This will raise a few chuckles. I think this will also provide an opening into discussing with children the many forms that bullying comes in and how wrong it is. 
A perfect book for children and the best news is there are more in the series! 

Monday, 5 December 2016

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Book Review. Cole's Perfect Puppy. Frances M.Crossno.

​Cole’s Perfect Puppy has gorgeous cover art. It gives a clue to what this book will be about, and may appeal to those who are fond of dogs. 

Despite this aimed at 8-12 year olds I was surprised at how adult in tone this is.
Set at Christmas, the story opens with Cole and his brother, Caleb, shopping at the mall. What Cole really would like to do is look at the puppies, one of which Cole has his hopes on receiving for a Christmas present. The two boys both must be home before it becomes dark. 
I like how it is mentioned ‘it is dangerous to ride our bikes at night. People driving cars might not see us on the road’ and ‘you shouldn’t call people names. It’s hurtful. It might make you feel important but it really just makes you mean’ 
Cole’s Perfect Puppy has these subtle lessons for those younger readers and also shows us Cole is a responsible person.
There are plenty of themes in this book. It greatly impressed me how they all neatly aligned.
Religion plays a part, so does friendship and the sacrifices we make for those we befriend.
The parents of Caleb and Cole, and their friend Rachel, have important roles. Their absence in part gives their children independence. I think the circumstances of the parents goes some way into explaining to children, who may be reading, the dangers in the world and possibly opens, and makes easier,  a difficult discussion.
There is a slow reveal of characters: The puppy, uncle Bobby, and Rachel. Back story is written well and doesn’t detract from the story.
I do feel characters, in particular uncle Bobby, could have been fleshed out more. Maybe given more characteristics. I am curious as well to the age of these boys. I do think the ending was rushed, with some characters that we didn't get to say goodbye to.
The book begins to wrap up and you could predict the conclusion but it was a touching moment.
Cole’s Perfect Puppy is a superb book and suitable for those of any age or reading ability.