Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Super Spud Trilogy

4/5

by 

Michael Diack



The things that go on in the world that we, as humans, are not even aware of! Super Spuds live in rubbish dumps all over the world fighting wars with discarded lolly sticks, water bottle bombs, lusting over one another, marvelling over other flavours, which, by the way, signifies a Super Spud's personality.

The trilogy was contained all in one book; not quite separate stories so can’t be read out of sequence, but it was such a strange book--I wasn’t sure if I'd enjoy it, to be honest, and it did take me a while to relax and get into the story. I think the author explained too much in the beginning, which took me from Mt Hiba (a fictional ‘city’ in which the main Super Spuds lived) and back into my human world, but once all that needed explaining was over, I did start enjoying The Super Spud.

Basically, these ‘super spud’ crisp packets, once discarded at the rubbish tip, developed internal organs (the actual crisps) and sprouted arms and legs. Their life span is short because once their packets are punctured they die, and fighting seems to be their sport so many crisps die. And that was my problem. I couldn’t become attached to a character because so many died and so many new characters were brought in, but then, this isn't a book with rules. The characters, or crisps, were all unique, and the generals (steak crisps) with their eagerness to become heroes, even if it meant death, were hilarious at trying to get the upper hand of other generals and dying for their cause. 

So suspend belief, enjoy the comedy, and general silliness, and this book will delight you. It’s quirky, weird and on Mt Hiba lives garlic flavoured crisps discarded by their fellow, other flavoured, crisps for being ‘stinky’.

Blurb:
Genetic engineering has accomplished many things, one of which has been to create the Super Spud! 

The humble potato elevated to new heights, creating the most flavoursome crisps ever known to humankind! But that's not all - A magical transformation occurs to all Super Spud crisps not eaten before their use-by date. They take on a life of their own. And so long as they remain undetected by humans, they enjoy life in their own Super Spud cities, take part in major Super Spud sporting events and even start the odd Super Spud war or two. 

Join Colin, Cougar, Hannibal Vector, Generals Rock, Jock and Strap and all the others in their rollicking adventures. You'll never look at a packet of crisps in the same way again! 

Fun, quirky and totally original, Michael Diack's d├ębut is strictly for those who are still big kids at heart.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Secondhand Sight

5/5
by 
Rocky Leonard

Amazon.UK
Amazon.com

I 'met' Rocky Leonard through BK's VBT where I hosted Rocky on my blog and his book attracted me straight away (I wasn't obliged to buy it, or offer a review). 

The lead character Dan Harper is a likeable, ordinary guy with a pregnant wife. He begins getting visions of murders before they happen, and as he unravels them, he realises they match up to actual murders. This is where the character becomes even more likeable and real because you can taste his worry and indecision. He isn't a super hero he's just the guy next door. The author doesn't 'big him up' but keeps him slightly flawed all the way through--that's why I liked Secondhand Sight so much.


At first, Dan Harper panics because he thinks the visions are something he's done while asleep, then the police think he's a suspect, then he's visited by a ghost of one of the murdered and well, it's a very intense horror thriller which kept me turning the pages.


The book evolves slowly (a little too slowly, in some parts) but that makes the climax all the more exciting, especially as you HAVE to keep reading to find out how Dan and the killer are going to meet. 


It's very well written and researched. Indie writing at its best!


Blurb: 
Dan Harper is just an ordinary guy, having an ordinary day…until he ruins his tie during lunch. When he visits a thrift store near his office for an inexpensive replacement, merely touching a secondhand tie triggers a flood of gruesome images only he can see. Are they hallucinations, or suppressed memories?

Dan desperately wants these visions to be nothing more than a product of his imagination, but soon enough, he discovers real crime scenes and murder victims. Dan can no longer ignore the unseen powers forcing him to confront the demons of his past. Dark forces prod him to seek the identity of the faceless murderer haunting his dreams.

Dan’s worst fear is the suspicion he’ll eventually confront the face of this brutal killer in last place he wants to look – the mirror.

This suspense thriller is a mix of police procedural with a paranormal twist.