Thursday, 31 January 2013

Ty Patterson

The Warrior
Genre: thriller

The cover spoke thriller, and although not a genre I'd head for, the author got the cover right if it TOLD me the genre without reading the blurb. It was strong, no-nonsense and I liked the fact that the guy on the front had his shirt undone!
The blurb was a little long, and I think it lost strength. I don't think the opening line quite worked, either: Zeb Carter is almost your average Private Military Contractor. Almost. If the author cut the first 'almost', it'd make it stand out more. The blurb, imo, needs to match the no-nonsense cover. Short, sharp and strong. 

I checked the look inside feature and found the first line promising, but then it went into monologue about an instrument called a tabla. It could be relevant to the story, but to me, it was the author intruding into the story. From first chapter I could see that the book is written in the present view-point ('he goes outside' as opposed to 'he went outside'), which will give the reader the action as it's happening--a good idea for a thriller, but hard to pull off.

Half way through chapter one I think this author WILL pull of the present view-point. The first chapter is powerful and very visual. It's a thriller in the military world (think Rambo), and the 'The Warrior' is a military contractor Zeb Carter, who is haunted by the violence he witnessed in Congo. He's out for vengeance and hardened (but damaged by his memories), and I can tell he's a well-rounded character.  

But I'll pass on buying this book. Not because of the way its written but just because the genre isn't for me, but I can tell this is a solid book and well-written. No score as I didn't read the entire book.


Zeb Carter is almost your average Private Military Contractor. Almost. 

When working for a WDE (We Don't Exist) Agency, Zeb witnesses a gruesome crime in the Congo and tracks the perpetrators down to New York. Only to discover that not only are they protected by the FBI, but also are closely connected to a very high profile politician.

Ordered to stand down by the FBI, Zeb finds that his hunt brings those close to him in the sights of the killers. 

A thriller that spans Congo and New York, The Warrior is dotted with gritty action, a central character that fuels imagination, and a supporting cast of great colorful characters.

The Warrior is about relentless determination and a burning need to avenge and to deliver retribution against all odds. The Warrior is not just about action but also about character build up and the clash of differing values and how those clashes affect outcomes. Lastly, The Warrior is about the brotherhood of warriors.

The first in the Zeb Carter and Broker series.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Mandy Rymill

That Old Devil 
Genre: chick-lit

The cover didn't appeal to me (I actually went looking for the WORSE cover in the chick lit genre) just to see if the blurb redeemed itself. The all-red cover shouts cheap and worse, sluttish. I wouldn't buy.

The blurb is better, but the line That Old Devil” is a romantic comedy which will appeal to women everywhere who have lost the ‘Love of their Life’ and have been trying to find him ever since. makes me think I'm about to read about loss and sadness and that's not what chick lit is all about. In the following paragraph is says:  her daughter is keeping secrets from her, she doesn’t get on with her parents, and, oh, yes, at 35, Is that the mother that's 35 and who doesn't get on with her parents, or the daughter? Slight confusion.The rest of the blurb does redeem itself though, and so I take a 'look inside'.

The writing is engaging and 'chatty' in classic chick lit style, and although the opening didn't grab me straight away by page two I realised I'd like to buy this book. The main problems with this novel is I think the author tried too hard to be 'chick lit', or rather, funny. Some of things the character gets up to is so slapstick it's not funny at all (especially as she is supposed to be a mother and a business woman). And for a small seaside town there were a lot of 'dishy men' and parties - and sex! (Nothing explicit though.)

There are a few editorial problems, but nothing too amiss. And over-all the writing is tight, the characters engaging. I fell out with main character Jenny at times. I found her sloven and selfish, but she redeemed herself by the end and I was hoping she'd have her HEA. In fact, by the end, I'd like to have her as a friend. She'd be great to party with!

Would I buy another novel by Mandy Rymill? Yes, I would. You'd be guaranteed lively, fun characters anyway!

“That Old Devil” is a romantic comedy which will appeal to women everywhere who have lost the ‘Love of their Life’ and have been trying to find him ever since.

Jenny Dunwood doesn’t have it all. Her café business in the small seaside town of Bickley is rapidly going down the pan, her daughter is keeping secrets from her, she doesn’t get on with her parents, and, oh, yes, at 35, she still hasn’t found Mr. Right. Correction, she did find him and, in fact, had a two-year affair with him, but Sean walked out of her life nearly twelve years ago and hasn’t been seen since.

Until the day he turns up at her café and turns her world upside down forever. Will the ever-sensible Jenny fall for his persuasive charms again and, if so, will it work this time? After all, she’s single and, let’s face it, he is the love of her life, so what’s to stop her? Perhaps the little matter of his wife, the gorgeous Sally? And let’s not forget Jenny’s best friend, Kate, who is not, as she puts it, “the lying, smarmy bastard’s” biggest fan.

And then there’s David, Bickley’s sexiest, well only, greengrocer and Jenny’s friend. He has designs on Jenny himself, although Jenny can’t see past the huge shoulders of Sean to recognise this. And, anyway, it looks like she’s missed the boat there; didn’t she see her daughter, Carrie, sneaking out of his flat at midnight? Not that she’s interested anyway, is she, because she’s got the gorgeous Sean back. Or has she?

Thursday, 10 January 2013

John Hudspith

Kimi's Fear

Genre: YA Fantasy

Had I not been asked to review Kimi's Secret I'd have missed out on a great book just because it's something I don't normally go for. So I thought I'd use the sequel, Kimi's Fear, to kick off my new review policy!

The cover was very similar to the first book so I felt I knew what I was about to read. I'd have maybe liked a picture of Kimi or one of her friends on the cover instead of the enemies. Would I have bought in on book cover alone? Probably. It's very eye-catching, and the alien (greylian) on the front sparks my sci-fi interest.

The blurb told me what I was about to let myself in for. I was about to meet all the old characters from the first book again, and that was good.  It asks if Kimi can thwart a bounty hunter (keen to turn her over to the greylians so they can use her brain - yikes!), and of course, I know she can, but the line: not without help lets me know I'm going to go on another trip with these madcap characters. Could the blurb make me buy the book? Definitely!

Over all: Kimi's Fear was BETTER than Kimi's Secret and you can't usually say that about sequels. It was fast, funny and very visual, but at times I did wonder if it was too gruesome for the age group it's intended (probably not. I'm a wuss!). You don't have to read the first book to get an understanding of the second, but I think it'd help.

If you like Harry Potter and all his crazy adventures, then you WILL enjoy the Kimi books. Totally different in story and characterisation, yet full of larger-than-life characters, fearsome enemies and wonderful heroics, which is what make the Potter books so successful. Kimi's Secret and Kimi's Fear deserves to be out there on the shelves alongside Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and the rest. It was a pleasure to read and review.

Blurb: Kimi’s secret is out – her brain is the key to successful time travel - and a ruthless greylian bounty hunter will break every bone in her body to get at it. As if that isn’t bad enough, the best looking boy in the world turns into a cannibal intent on devouring every last bit of her. Sometimes life really does suck.

Can Kimi thwart the bounty hunter, kill the boy of her dreams to save her own life, tame her greatest fear and keep herself from becoming greylian toast? Not without help. 

Tulpa Bentley returns with old favourites the famoose, Big Sue the giant with OCD, madcap mentor Stella, and chief of fuzz the monkey Rehd along with a whole host of new crazies in an adventure bigger and bolder than before.

“Kimi’s Fear is magical but dark, sad but romantic, and meaningful but bonkers all rolled into one.” 

“Deep, profound, scary as hell, and all the makings of a classic.”

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Why is it so hard to get a book review?

Because your book sample is so crap that no one wants to  continue to read it.

Harsh? Maybe. More than likely. And probably not true. It's maybe because, after reading the blurb, it's just not to someone's taste. But since starting this review blog I am getting a lot of requests, but like most, I'm particular with my time. If it doesn't appeal to me I won't read it--even if it's free.

All the blog posts that claim Win a copy of my book! Download my FREE book! must be getting loads of reviews, right? Er, no. Free book fatigue has hit a lot of people and unless it's something they want to read it'll stay unread--and undownloaded.

My new "review service" will replace my current the good, the bad and the ugly reviews of Louise Wise. The name won't change, but as from 2013 my policy will have changed.
  • will sample most Kindle books.
  • do not want to read poetry, *non-fiction, misery lit, biographies film scripts or erotica.
  • I only want to read books in *book form or as a free Kindle download.
If I like your book, all well and good, I will ask for a free download/Amazon token to read and review your book. Hey, I may even BUY it if it hits my WOW factor! If I DON'T like your book I'll tell you why in the review of the sample (this 'sample' review will ONLY be posted here).

Why am I doing this? Well, I turn a lot of books down because the sample doesn't grab me enough: weak story, poor writing, no oomph and I'm sure authors would love to know why their books aren't bought after the sample is read--I know I would!

If I do commit to reviewing your entire book I will personally read it and submit an honest review to Amazon.UK ( I can also use Goodreads, and Smashwords if preferred) and to the good, the bad and the ugly reviews of Louise Wise.

Sample reads will be posted here only. 

If you have read all of the above and would like to submit your review request to me, please contact me via the contact button top left of the screen with a link to your book (where I can download a sample. If the sample length is inadequate I may ask for a free download/Amazon token) and I'll let you know if I want to continue to read it, or whether I will review on the basis of the sample.

Please put "review" in the subject heading.

* I will sample a select few of non-fiction if the subject matter is relevant to me. *If you send return postage I will post the book back, if not I will donate it to my local library.