Rebecca Bryn, Touching the Wire
Harrowing and Realistic
Touching the Wire is about
guilt and shame. It analyses complexities that we habitually manage to avoid.
It’s about surviving under impossible conditions – or chose the only way out. It’s
about facing life when you wish to die. This book takes its readers down the
abyss and leaves us no option but facing the horror that is deep inside every
Shame and guilt are hard
taskmasters. Rebecca Bryn shows the agony and regret, the love lost and the
emptiness – the pain — and the forgiveness. Her strong prose makes the protagonist’s
humanity realistic. She creates a balance between his background and remorse. Here
is a vivid and absorbing read that will make you think — and think again.
James Donaldson, Witching Hour
An Entertaining take on Cults
A doomsday setting, a blood
cult, a damsel in distress. A hero who takes on an entire village in an
endeavour to debunk the myth that holds the cult together. The elements of
Donaldson’s Witching Hour are simple,
but he adds some unexpected twists. The proverbial brawny henchmen add comic
relief, but the protagonist, the hero, Nash knows how to fight. Nash’s thoughts
sustain the plot in an entertaining read that will keep his readers enthralled.
Kate McGinn, Winter’s Icy Caress
FBI, Vengeance, Ice, Love,
McGinn is a good writer – I read one of her short articles, which was
brilliant. In the hope that her novel writing would have the same standard, I
bought Winter’s Icy Caress. There is much to say for her writing, the prose flows
and the storyline benefits from her skill. On a personal note, her heroine’s
obsession with her love interest’s looks became repetitive. Other than that, the
plot was engaging with many twists and turns. McGinn keeps her readers
Cindy Davis, Final Masquerade
to Escape the Mob
her fiancé murder his best friend pivots Paige Carmichael onto a headlong
flight. Without time to consider the danger, she takes some money and a
precious coin out of her fiancé’s safe. Then she absconds with her booty. Her
hope that clever disguises will help her gain safety backfires again and again.
So far, this novel doesn’t distinguish itself from most suspense fiction. What
makes it stand out is that the protagonist learns that there’s more to life
than shopping and looks. At first, a shallow character, Paige learns that friendship,
honest work, trust, and love for pets,
as well as humans, enriches life. Recommended
Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps,
Wham is a fitting title to a dystopian
scenario that hits you between the eyes. There are elements of Margaret Atwood
in the class divisions, but the authors have their own style. They bring across
their message with compelling prose. The characters, be they elves, fairies,
wizards, potentates, or ‘ordinary’ school children, are convincing and real.
The world building is as strong, and the wasteland of the ‘normal’ world
contrasts resoundingly with the hidden fairy country. As the first book of a
series, it sets the scene for coming adventures. Here, my personal view is that
‘Wham’ is too short.
me, the problem with series is that the necessary hook often leaves the reader
without a sense of closure. True, if the ending is definite, there’s no reason
to continue. All the same, there are several examples of series (e.g. by Guy
Gabriel Kay or Ursula Le Guin) where every part has a conclusion, although the
readers want to know what happens next.
doesn’t detract from the excitement and heart-stopping agitation that Wham gives its audience.
Soleil Daniels, Halfborn
Confrontation with Guilt
hides. Her occupation is staying away from people — unless her needs force her
hand. That’s when she seeks society, knowing that she must clean up afterwards.
Money isn’t a problem, but her cravings are. Mostly she is in control and does
only what is necessary. Enter Marshall Kevin O’Neal, and Coral’s life changes
forever. She loses control for the first time in her life and there’s no way
back — neither for her nor for him. His suffering makes her aware that there
are questions to answer. The only problem is that she doesn’t know where to
find the necessary knowledge.
then on Coral’s life becomes one long trip. She must tackle her guilt, although
she has no idea of the reasons behind her action. She and Marshall go on the
road, to escape the consequences of their actions and to find out what they’ve
is strong meat and an unusual twist on vampire mythology. Daniels presents an
allegory that shows how lack of knowledge can pull people out of their comfort
zone. Bonded in their lust and guilt, Coral and Marshall must learn who they
are or face the consequences.
characters are believable and engaging, but more than that, their troubled
journey creates a brooding backdrop for the conflict they face.
William Gareth Evans, Within the Glass Darkly
Traditional Vampire Tale.
draws on the original vampire mythology, as narrated by Sheridan Le Fanu and Bram
Stoker. Their inspiration partly originates in Hungary, with Countess Elizabeth
Báthony (1560-1614), a serial killer of
magnificent proportions. It may not be the greatest wonder that the vampire
idea caught on in the nineteenth century, when female sexuality was ignored,
and male sexuality was repressed.
spins his tale, using some of the well-known Le Fanu characters, as well as
Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Van Helsing. The action takes place around the
Parisian Vampire Theatre that Anne Rice celebrates in her vampire series.
all these references, it is astounding that WGE manages to present his personal
take on the mythos. He does it with panache and conviction, adding his own
ideas and bringing his celebration of this bloodthirsty chapter in literary
history to life. The introduction of a male counterpart to Carmilla, works
wonders. The age-old vampire is a formidable fiend. His first killings make
your hair stand on end. To find out more, read Within the Glass Darkly.
Millie Thom, Shadow of the Raven
Balance among Vikings
Mercia, the Vikings raid with impunity. That makes it easy for an envious
brother to stage fratricide and usurp power. The true king’s family suffers the
consequences. Millie Thom brings the political tensions, the greed and
resentment to life. There is a gallery of believable characters, led by to
boys, Eudwulf and Alfred. Through his captivity and thraldom, Eudwulf becomes
familiar with Danish everyday life. To survive, he gets involved and learns to appreciate
that Vikings aren’t all monsters. That doesn’t mean that he stops wishing for
revenge, both against the Viking that killed his father and against the Mercian
Traitor. Back in Mercia, Alfred lives a
toddler’s life, although he early develops an awareness that not everybody can
Ms Thom shows her deep understanding of the historical period and presents her readers with a vivid tapestry of heroes and villains, Christianity and Norse mythology, day to day life, festivities, and raids. The battles are brutal. The love scenes are mesmerising. In short, nothing is missing in this glimpse of ancient times. A well-rounded read that is engrossing from the beginning to the end. Highly recommended.