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Unconventional who-dun-it – recommended to all

Fault Lines - Doug Johnstone



An unusual thriller, this novel takes place in an imaginary Edinburgh where a volcanic island, the Inch, has materialised in the sea off the coast. Surtsey, our narrator, gets involved in a series of deaths, some of which are murders.

The story is well-told and is quite gripping. Characters are well-developed and interesting as well as being diverse. If the reader is sensitive to stories involving alcohol, drugs, sex etc .., then this is not for you. The book is not long at 215 pages and it makes for a worthwhile holiday read if nothing else. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Comic collection of short stories to support Bitch Planet

Bitch Planet: Triple Feature Volume 1 - Cheryl Lynn Eaton, Conley Lyons, Andrew Aydin, Kelly Sue DeConnick


In this collection, there are a load of short stories by a variety of writers and artists to back up the Bitch Planet series. They show the fascistic dystopian world of often violent oppression of minorities and women. With such a collection, some stories will work better for the individual reader than others so it's a matter of personal preference.

Gruesome and reasonably entertaining, worth a look. Quite good.


Entertaining and original last part of a fantasy trilogy

Forest of Ruin (Age of Legends Trilogy) - Kelley Armstrong

This third part of the Age of Legends trilogy obviously brings the story to a close and it's possibly the most satisfying part of the trilogy. Moria and Ashyn continue their respective journeys, meeting all sorts of characters along the way, both helpful and treacherous. At the end, all are brought together in the imperial capital for the conclusion.


The story is well-told and the characters are developed further and the fantasy element increased. Fantasy book lovers should enjoy this trilogy which is original and entertaining.

Good second book of a fantasy trilogy - worth a look

Empire of Night - Kelley Armstrong

This second volume in the trilogy takes the story of the twin sisters, the Seeker and the Keeper, further along as they confront new adversaries and try to find meaning to their lives. They face one peril after another while also getting romantically involved with major characters. There's a touch of "soapness" about the book when the young ladies ponder about these suitors. The fantasy element is well-written and original and I recommend the trilogy to any fantasy lover. Characters are developed furtherand the book ends on a cliffhanger. The storyline moves along quite nicely and keeps the reader engaged 9which is why I've now ordered the third book!).

Fantasy novel, first of a series, based on the War of the Roses

The Queen's Poisoner (The Kingfountain Series Book 1) - Jeff Wheeler



Perhaps aimed at the young adult market, this novel takes the War of the Roses and transposes it into a fantasy version with an interesting plot involving an 8-year old boy called Owen and the manipulations by those at court to gain favour and bring justice. Characters are developed well and the plot moves along at a good steady pace, making the whole experience worthwhile. A quick complaint: why do all fantasy novels (nearly all) have to include a bully to pick on young main characters? (See Harry Potter et al.) The book is fairly original and I recommend it to lovers of fantasy novels.


The plot thickens - who can be trusted?

Throwaways Volume 2 - Caitlin Kittredge



Abby and Dean continue to try to survive as various government agencies, some open, some secret, pursue them or attempt to manipulate them. It also becomes evident that nobody can be trusted.

The artwork is reasonably clear and the story is quite clear. I’m not over-excited by it but found it well worth a read. The story will continue in a further volume (or two ..) Read Volume 1 first otherwise it really won’t be clear.


Daisy and Rock continue their criminal spree with surprising consequences - very good series

Violent Love Volume 2 - Frank J Barbiere



This second and final volume takes our two adventurers further along their criminal and avenging trail. There are plenty of surprises, bloodshed and betrayal. The comic collection is nicely made and the story moves along at a good pace with large colourful clear illustrations. Surprisingly good stuff and recommended to lovers of action comics with a story to tell.


Straight-forward detective thriller - quite good

Absolute Liability - Jennifer Becton



In this detective novel, Julie is an insurance fraud investigator who gets involved in cases concerning murder, arson and corruption with inevitably dramatic results. We learn a lot about her family and friends in preparation for 5 further novels.

The pace is steady and engaging and the book is good enough as a simple thriller.


Review of all Volume 1

Angelic #1 - Simon Spurrier, Caspar Wijngaard

Post-apocalyptic series with plenty of action

In this first volume, we encounter three distinct races, the monks (former monkeys), the mans (former manatees) and dolfs (former dolphins) with different levels of intellectual ability, scientific know-how and priorities. This results in various levels of conflict and leads to discovery and surprising alliances.

Quite good but it didn't really inspire me much. Reasonably clear artwork and plotting with another volume to follow (at least).



Volume 2 of the relaunch - enjoyable and gory

Cyber Force: Rebirth Volume 2 TP (Cyber Force Rebirth Tp) - Marco Turini, Khoi Pham, Marc Silvestri



I haven’t read Volume 1 of this relaunch by Marc Silvestri but Volume 2 is entertaining enough and quite engaging. It’s a shame that Silvestri is not illustrating it (there’s a cover gallery of his work) but the comic is still well-drawn.


I had read some of the original series and this compliments it nicely. It’s about Ripclaw, Stryker and others and the “resurrection” of Killjoy and the damage that she can cause. It all ends in a post-apocalyptic future and could herald another volume.


Recommended to fans of the original.


The last of the Jon Shannow books perhaps - a good read, worth a look

Bloodstone - David Gemmell

Presumably the last of the Jon Shannow novels, this book includes a fast-moving plot, plenty of characters (sometimes hard to remember who is who) and a lot of action, including a lot of death, shooting and injuries as well as a healthy mix of the supernatural and a wee bit of science-fiction. Probably only worth reading if you've read some of the previous David Gemmell Shannow novels. Quite a good read and preferable to his barbarian novels which get a bit samey after a while.

Fantasy novel about twin sisters, monsters and allies – engaging stuff

Sea of Shadows - Kelley Armstrong



This novel centers around two sisters, Moria and Ashyn, the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood, whose role is to administer and deal with the spirits of the dead in the neighbouring Forest. Both become involved in all sorts of problems when their village is attacked by shadow stalkers and, as they flee and look out for each other, they meet various characters, helpful or aggressive, with different agendas as well as mythical monsters.


Well worth a visit, this fantasy novel is the first part of a trilogy (I've just ordered the second part) and flows nicely from one sister to the other, keeping the reader interested.


Cyber Force returns in a not-too-distant future – quite good stuff

Cyberforce: Rebirth, Volume One - Matt Hawkins

Cyber Force returns in a not-too-distant future – quite good stuff


This relaunch of the Cyber Force series has covers by Marc Silvestri but the artwork is not by him so fans might want to take a step back. However the writing by Silvestri and Matt Hawkins has produced an interesting plot with all sorts of twists and turns, many unexpected. The colours are just right, reasonably subdued and the artwork is clear and detailed. The story involves many characters from the previous incarnation of Cyber Force which should please fans.


Recommended to fans of the original.


Fantasy version of King Lear - a bit long but quite readable

The Queens of Innis Lear - Tessa Gratton


This fantasy novel is basically a take on King Lear with all the main characters, often with similar names, the fantasy element coming through the magic of the land as manipulated by key characters.

Quite engaging, especially if you're not familiar with the original play (as in my case) but too long at 560+ pages. I don't need as much repetition nor a description of what each character is wearing in most scenes. Characters are well- developed and the descriptions are lush and vivid. If you know the play, I am sure that the ending is different so no spoilers here! I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.



Witches rule small-town America – but for how long?

Redlands #1 - Jordie Bellaire, Jordie Bellaire, Vanesa Pérez-Sauquillo, Vanesa Pérez-Sauquillo


A small coven of witches rule a small town in the USA, administering the law and catching local criminals but there is more going on and they face an increasing amount of challenges.

This is engaging stuff with flashbacks (possibly too many) but, if you're easily offended, stay away as there's plenty of bloodshed, nudity, sex and swearing. Volume 1 moves along at a good steady pace and the artwork is reasonably clear and nicely-executed. I quite enjoyed this and look forward to Volume 2.


Vietnam War-based comic collection – hard-hitting stuff

The Other Side - Jason Aaron, Cameron Stewart


Telling both sides of the conflict from the view of reluctant soldiers, this collection does not hold back on the awful truth of war waged by those who do not understand its causes or reason. Soldiers die apparently from illness, war and mishaps and the senselessness of war is the main topic, told by the average grunt.

Not an easy collection, it is important for those who were not around for the Vietnam War (and most other similar conflicts) to see what a waste of time, money, resources and, of course, humanity war can be. Reminiscent of Marvel's “The 'Nam” series.