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Birthright Volume 4: Family History
Joshua Williamson
The Exiled
Kati Hiekkapelto, David Hackston (Translator)
Postal Volume 4
Bryan Hill

Mikey's quest continues and gets help from an unexpected source

Birthright Volume 3: Allies and Enemies - Joshua Williamson


This collection continues the story of Mikey, kidnapped a a boy to Terrenos and now returned as a fierce warrior. This volume deals with his parents' search for him as he tries to defeat the mages on Earth; other characters from Terrenos are present to help or hinder. With quite a lot of bloodshed and death, this volume carries on this exciting story.

Engaging and well-written, this series is well-illustrated and quite entertaining.


An 11-year-old's insight into his life, the universe and many other things

See You in the Cosmos - Jack Cheng



This is the story of Alex going to launch his rocket in New Mexico at a rocket festival. With a dead father, uncaring mother and absent brother, he has learnt to deal with life on his own. The book is a journey in which Alex makes new friends and makes discoveries about how people behave.


Reasonably entertaining, this fits into this new genre of young adults telling their stories in a “charming” or “heart-warming” manner. It works well and is relatively engaging and well-written.


Fantasy comic collection about two worlds coming together

Birthright Volume 1: Homecoming - Adriano Lucas, Andrei Bressan, Joshua Williamson


It takes places on two worlds, ours and a fantasy world called Terrenos. Mikey disappears as a boy and returns soon after as a fully-grown man – and a warrior. He is back on Earth to take five mages back to Terrenos. His family help him but all is not as it seems.

Engaging and well-written, this series is well-illustrated and quite entertaining.


Edinburgh-based police procedural – well worth a read

Written in Bones - James  Oswald



This is the seventh Metcalfe detective novel and previous volumes are referred to during the book. Not having read these, I still found this novel accessible and an easy read. It deals with a body falling out of the sky and the repercussions of this murder: it uncovers police corruption, drug dealing, murder and other nefarious activities.


Characterisation is very good and the novel is engaging and enjoyable. The plot is well put together and original. I recommend this to all lovers of well-written detective fiction.


1990s adolescents and their problems – continued in this volume

Blue Monday Volume 2: Absolute Beginners - Chynna Clugston Flores



With cartoon-type illustrations, this comic collection deals with adolescents in the 1990s, their problems with relationships, with rivalries, with crushes and Bleu's crush on one of her teachers as well as an unfortunate incident at a party.


It's quite fun and reasonably entertaining although would suit the American reader more than others as there are many references to US culture / high school life. It all gets a bit tiresome unless you are into 1990s pop culture.


The girls find themselves in our time – their future!

Paper Girls Volume 2 - Brian K. Vaughan



The adventures continues as things get mighty complicated. The paper girls find themselves in 2016 with older versions of themselves. There is also inter-action with characters further into the future. It all gets quite confusing as they don't know who to trust as they try to find KJ.


Quite good but a bit confusing. Another cliffhanger ending as they move thorugh another rip in space to find themselves where? Or is it when? Or both?

Non-stop action thriller about a bounty hunter

Deep Down Dead - Steph Broadribb



This novel takes place in the eastern United States and involves a bounty hunter, Lori Anderson, out on a job to bring in her ex-mentor, JT. She has to bring her 9-year-old daughter along and thus begins a white-knuckle ride involving kidnapping, multiple homicide and a good deal of action.


With a little too much introspection for my liking, this thriller is truly engaging and exciting with good character development. In some places predictable, it is nonetheless enjoyable and well worth reading – it reads as if the author had a film scenario in place: it's easy to imagine as a film. Recommended.


1950s private investigator in plenty of trouble

Hawaiian Dick Volume 4: Aloha, Hawaiian Dick (Bird of Paradise Mystery: Hawaiian Dick) - B. Clay Moore



This comic collection deals with a private investigator in Hawaii in 1954 dealing with an investigation into a trumpet player, his brother and local drug dealers. There's bloodshed and death a plenty. There's some extra short stories to pad out the volume.


Not having read the first two volumes does not pose a problem with this collection as the characters are explained at the beginning. This volume's plot is generally independent of what has come before although reference is made to previous stories.


Cartoony illustrations work quite well here and the story is engaging and entertaining. Quite fun and worth a look.


Post-WWII New York thriller

Midnight of the Soul - Jesus Aburtov, Ken Bruzenak, Howard Chaykin



Joel, a WWII war veteran suffering from PTSD after the liberation for the concentration camps, has spent five years trying to become a writer and discovers that his wife has been leading a double life.

As he pursues her across the city, bloodshed and death ensue.


Beautifully-produced by Howard Chaykin, this tale is well-told and nicely-illustrated. Well worth a look.


First part of fantasy trilogy: so far, so good although a bit slow

Acacia: The Acacia Trilogy, Book One - David Anthony Durham

First part of fantasy trilogy: so far, so good although a bit slow

This first part of a trilogy takes place in a fantasy land where the island of Acacia has dominated life for other peoples for a while but all that is about to change. It is a tale of warfare, bloodshed and betrayal. There is not a lot here to make it a fantasy novel apart from the different races and cultures. It is character-driven and these are quite well-developed. This first part of the trilogy has 3 "books" (800 pages or so) and magical elements are gradually introduced.

OK so far but, if subsequent volumes are as long, I'm not sure if I want to undertake such a task.





Enigmatic fantasy tale – quite fun

One Week in the Library - W Maxwell Prince, John Amor



This volume takes you through a week in a fantasy library where books come to life and the librarian muses on his role and gets involved with the literary characters.


Nicely-illustrated and fun to read, this is well worth a look with all kinds of literary references, most of which I got!

Scandi-noir that is engaging and interesting

The Mine -  David Hackston (Translator), Antti Tuomainen

A Finnish thriller, this deals with an investigative journalist looking into a mine in the North of Finland and its environmental impact. His marriage is crumbling and his father enters his life after an absence of thirty years. This is a story of characters and their relationships rather than hard-boiled detective work and it works well. There's a fair amount of description and the author falls into the frequent trap of mystery writers, telling the reader about every street and district in Helsinki which is meaningless to anybody outside Finland (American authors do the same!). The book is engaging and well worth a read, only bleak regarding the weather and the cold. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Not for me - abandoned this one

Prince of Cats - Ron Wimberly

Not for me, this one. A hiphop version of Romeo and Juliet with very cartoony and colourful artwork. I gave up on this about a quarter way through as I wasn't enjoying it. For the lovers of hiphop perhaps

Fantasy novel, part of a trilogy, quite good stuff

Quicksilver Rising: Book One of the Quicksilver Trilogy - Stan Nicholls



The first part of a fantasy trilogy, this novel deals with Reeth Caldason, a seemingly immortal warrior trying to rid himself of a curse and the various characters that he encounters along the way. It takes place in a world of magic where two rival empires are constantly vying for control.


The book is well-written and engaging enough and there's plenty of action, particularly in the second half. I'm not sure that I'm enthralled enough to continue with the series. Fantasy fans should still enjoy it and they may feel more motivated to see it through.

Hiphop version of Romeo and juliet - abandoned, not to my taste

Prince of Cats - Ron Wimberly

Not for me, this one. A hiphop version of Romeo and Juliet with very cartoony and colourful artwork. I gave up on this about a quarter way through as I wasn't enjoying it. For the lovers of hiphop perhaps

Tokyo-based thriller – engaging stuff with plenty of action

Blue Light Yokohama - Nicolas Obregon



I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This novel takes place in Japan and is about a serial killer with ritualistic overtones. Inspector Kotsuke Iwata leads an investigation into the murders of an entire family and this leads into all sorts of area including police corruption, a cult and, along the way, he suffers a lot of injuries (maybe more than one might consider plausible). This long novel is very interesting and keeps the reader on their toes and the characterisation is well-developed. Iwata, like many fictional detectives, is a troubled soul with a troubled past which is brought to light as the book progresses. He has suffered a great deal emotionally. I'd recommend this novel to any fans of Patricia Cornwell or Jeffery Deaver