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I read a lot of books and I write about them on here. Mummy Geek is sometimes a guest blogger....people seem to love her.....Oh and you can find me on Twitter.....@book_geek_says. Shortlisted for Blog of the Year by the 2015 Love Stories Awards...THANK YOU!!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Review: The Romulus Equation

Publisher: The Friday Project
Price: £ 2.99 Ebook

If you haven't noticed my love for all things Darren Craske yet then I ask, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN! I am a massive fan of everything he writes, yes I am a weird fan girl and now I have CQ to add to my list as well!! DAMN IT ALL!!!!

This is the fourth book in the CQ series, but don't worry, if you haven't read the others you will not be missing out or be behind...as far as I can tell. Nothing seemed to make me miss anything or not get what was going on in the story. The story of CQ and his hunt for answers about the death of his mum and dad.

This story still has the somewhat fantastical elements that the other DC things I have read had. However, there is almost a spoof element to this book, as if it is somewhat parodying the old victorian style of mystery writing. Certain elements and literary skills seem to be exaggerated. I found this to be most amusing and, despite the tense story line, it kept the book light.

This is a page turner once again and you have all you need in a mystery novel of good versus evil. There are characters such as Prometheus,Viktor and of course CQ that you will love and then there are the out and out baddies that are there to be despised and routing against. The formula is spot on. 

The plot is twisty and turny, the characters are cracking, there is constant action and intrigue and when you get to the end, you will, once again when it comes to a DC book, be itching to find out what happens next!

This man really knows how to write a series and he really knows how to suck a reader in to what ever world he has created!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Review: Perfect

Publisher: Transworld
Price: £ 6.74 ebook

A rather bizarre and moving tale of love and protection and worry and mental illness. I was intrigued to read this book when I read the blurb on NetGalley so I applied for it, got it and now I have read it!

Byron is worried about the two extra seconds that are going to happen, and when an incident does occur, it pretty much controls the rest of his life. Then there is Jim, he's in the modern day, but his life is a bit messed up and not exactly all that perfect.

The story is written from two POVs. That of young Byron and that of older Jim. The chapters alternate and both are very different in tone, content and style. Byron's passages seem so strange and alien to me, possibly because I have never been a young boy, however the love and care and protection that he shows for his mum is very tender. The passages surrounding Jim are written so very delicately and they really are beautiful despite his issues. All Jim wants is a normal life and he seems to have been through so much.

Despite having read the blurb I really didn't know what to expect from this book, and I didn't really know what I was getting in to until I was just over half way through. After that it all seemed to fall in to place. It's a very unique book and a very lovely one at that. I don't think it will be for everyone, but it took me by surprise in the end!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Monday, 29 July 2013

Review: Remember To Forget

No idea on price or publisher sorry

Many moons ago, when I first started my blog I read Malice in Blunderland from the lovely Mr Gibbings. It was a completely mental yet intelligent and funny book, this short story is a complete shock and is in total contrast to Malice, yet, I enjoyed it just as much.

Richard is in a coma, his family hate him and he wants another chance to sort it all out. Thanks to an 'angel' he gets that chance and what follows is a gorgeous story of love, family, trust and hope. The story will touch you...it really really will. It is beautifully written and you can see that there is emotion behind it and that this story means something to Mr G.

That such a beautiful piece can come from such a simple and almost everyday occurrence of a family at odds is lovely and it is truly great to see that Mr G can write in such a heartfelt and achingly beautiful way.

I know this is a short review, but this is a short story and I don't want to say more in fear that I will spoil the plot for you all.

Please, if you get the chance read it, and read Malice, just to see how talented this chap really is.

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Review: Swords of Good Men: Valhalla Saga Book 1

Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books/Quercus
Price: £ 20.00 (hardback)

I've not really read a book about vikings since I read that Eric the viking book that all the small people and tiny humans read when I was one also. This is VERY different to that, don't let your kids read it.....defo not one for tiny humans!

There are many, many characters with similar names and this is indeed a complex plot. But the complexity of it is so delicately wrought that it is indeed most impressive! Twists and turns and links appear that you don't expect or see coming and I always love it when that happens!!!!

This is the story of Viking clans who all have different Gods, different plans and different ideas of what is to happen in the future. There is the King who believes in the White Christ and Christianity. There are the raiders who want to keep Loki and Freya and then there are the defenders and towns people who well, don't totally appear to know what they want. There is a lot of politics, gore, religious debate, love, and much more. It proves for a complex and page turner of a plot. I think I also kept turning the pages as it has been such a long time since I read a Viking novel and I was excited to see what happened. Thankfully I wasn't disappointed.

When it comes to the characters they are many and varied. I of course had my favourites, namely Ulfar and Audun, they are incredible, dynamic and darn sexy. Also, have a bit of a soft spot for Thora, she RULES!!!

There is one warning I will give you, the levels of violence described are not for the feint hearted. It's brutal and bloody and gritty! It rules!!

If you like action, Vikings, a bit of blood, a slight spot of magic and complex plots then get a hold of this. With how the book ended, there is clearly a 2nd on the way and it is going to be based on some wonderful characters (I hope). Huzzah!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Indie Series: 15 Questions with Tom Gold

Mr G is the author of Wilderness of Sinners which I read a month or two back.
This is the book:
And this is the man and a bit about him:
Tom Gold is a writer, blogger and lover of all things outdoors. He grew up in rural Northamptonshire where much of his early childhood was spent camping in the woods, watching Westerns and imagining himself as a hero. Not much has changed although he now lives in rural Stirlingshire with his wife and two small boys. Sometimes he gets to indulge his hobbies of kayaking, climbing and skiing among the wild, rugged, lochs and hills of Scotland. That said, he is equally at home, chin-on-chest in front of the TV or surfing the web for outdoor kit he can’t afford.

And here are 15 questions with Mr G as part of my Indie Series:
1. What inspired you to write Wilderness of Sinners?
The events that took place there have been bouncing around in my head for fifteen years and all along I’ve known that they had the makings of a story. The difficulty with writing it it down has always been the fact that I saw things and did things there that I am not proud of. However, the act of committing the first few sentences to my laptop really helped me be honest about it all for the first time.

2. Have you seen anyone from your US experience since?
No. I left in a hurry and have not been back!

3. Do you think you would be who you are today without the experiences in the US?
Hard to say. I do know that when I first came back I had a lot of difficulty keeping the lid on my temper and empathising with people’s everyday problems. I upset a lot of folk too, especially my immediate family but bizarrely things actually came to a head just before the wedding of an old friend. His fiance was in floods of tears because the table decorations for the reception were not right and I just could not understand how this spoilt little girl could get so upset about something so trivial, and I told her as much, very bluntly. The reaction of everyone present, including her family, finally persuaded me that I was the one who needed to change, not the rest of the world. I’m a much nicer person these days!

4. Would you do it all again if you could?
Yes, although I might make one or two changes!

5. Do you regret how it all ended?
It was time to go so I don’t regret it all coming to an end but I’ll regret exactly how it happened for a good few years to come.

6. Which of the boys you worked with made the biggest impression?
Anthony Mason (not his real name) was a genuine hard case and a very complex character, gaining his trust was a big achievement for me. By the time he left I think he and I both thought he had turned a corner in his life and I foolishly believed that I had been instrumental in that process. He killed a fifteen year old girl in a drive by shooting a few short months after his release and I felt a deep responsibility for what he had done but also great sadness at what he had done to his own life. I looked him up on google and he is in prison again, this time for good. Very sad.

7. Did you try more 'conventional' routes before deciding to self publish?
Absolutely. I had some very colourful daydreams of signing a big book deal with a heavyweight publisher and having my work discussed by all sorts learned people. Maybe there are writers who don’t have this daydream at some point but I doubt it! The reality was that while I managed to get my MS onto the desks of one or two of the big players they were not for taking it further.

8. Would you recommend self publishing?
Yes I would. People used to say that everyone has a book in them, well nowadays they can publish it and market it in the exact same place as some of the most important and best selling works of all time. Technically its no harder than setting up and customising a blog, it just takes a bit of patience. Social media, used intelligently, gives you, arguably, the same reach and punching power as many publishing houses. Obviously, the opportunity to chat with reviewers like you is priceless and I’m very grateful for the opportunity!

9. What advice do you have for writers striking out in to the big bad world?
I’m flattered that you ask! My advice is take each rejection personally then move on. Don’t alienate the most important people in your life by ‘being a writer’ and above all, if you feel like quitting, remember why you started.

10. Are there any more books in the pipeline?
Yes, a fiction though next time.

11. Ebook or paper?
Ebook. Format is nothing without a story. I could read The Last Grain Race in alphabetti spaghetti and it would still be every bit as good.

12. Favourite place to go on holiday?
Durness on Scotland’s north coast. It has the most beautiful - and quiet - piece of coastline I have seen anywhere in the world.

13. What are your hobbies?
Kayaking, skiing, outdoor cookery.

14. Best book you have ever read?
The last Grain race by Eric Newby.

15. Favourite tipple?
My old friend Mr Stella Artois

BIG thanks to Mr G. for continuing my Indie Series and I hope you all enjoyed reading his thoughts on self publishing and now know a little more about his book which is indeed a cracking read!

Other parts of the Indie Series have looked at:

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Review: Galley Beggar Singles

Publisher: Galley Beggar Press
Price: £ 1 each

A story sadder than all the bruised whores in Holleywood - Tony O'Neil
A VERY eloquent and beautiful story which contrasts with the grimy, gritty and addled lives of prostitutes, drug addicts and pimps. The juxtaposition of the past life of a famous musician and famous other people is almost funny. The story is a dark look at how people fall, very hard, from a very high pedestal created by delusions of grandeur. 

The blue & the dim & the dark cloths - Michael Stewart
So incredibly bizarre yet so overwhelmingly compelling to read. Obviously the man has real problems but his adoration for the one person who brought him his moment of joy is lovely. A crazy and weird story, but it is once again touching!

Best friends - Samuel Wright
Horribly, horribly depressing but once again tantalisingly gripping.The story of kids and their fickleness and their need for belonging and friendship and happiness.

The other short from this collection is the gorgeous Snorri & Frosti by the wonderful Ben Myers.

A cracking collection of gorgeous short stories that for £1 each defo shouldn't be ignored!

Happy Reading
Book Geek

Monday, 22 July 2013

Review: The Written (Emaneska Series)

Price: £ 1.52 (ebook)
Publisher: Bengalley.com

I have just this second finished this book and I want to start reading the next one!!! (finished this book on Thursday last week...dely in publishing review due to holiday catch up) WAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! This is one epic fantasy novel that will not let you down if you are a fantasy fan!!

There are vamps, there are dragons, there is magic there are lycans, there are so many of my favourite fantasy things! WAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

I love a good quest and this book has a bloody great one. The badass mage hero Farden is off to save his world (and not for the first time) in the only way he knows how, alone and with some kick ass magick and fighting. The plot has action, love, betrayal and politics and will grab you from the start and not let you go until the end.

As well as Farden being a total dude, Farfallen is a legend. He is a wonderful character and one I love incredibly. Not only that but Durnus...how can a book not ever have him in it??!?!

If you love fantasy, action, intrigue, magic and all that goes with it then you need to read this book. There are characters you will love, ones you will hate and there will be a new revelation on each page. I am so, so, so excited to continue with this series! A wonderful surprise from a very young author...he is a talented man and I am most envious of his skills!

Happy Reading
Book Geek

P.S. I may adopt 'well met' as my new greeting. That is all!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Review: The Unquiet Grave

Price: £ 19.99 (hardback)
Publisher: Headline

So, let me begin. This isn't just one story, this is a mixture of murders and murderers and how one awesome arsed police officer (Brook) looks in to cold cases to see if he can in fact find out what the hell is going on.

In the beginning I found this book difficult to read. The first few chapters were all set in the past, at the times of three different murders. However, as time went on and we moved in to Brook's world, I was ok and began to enjoy the book. Brook is amazing, he is a total dude and really is one hell of a police man! His character was outstanding and I also really liked Noble, another cool cat police man.

I spent a long time trying to guess what would happen and who would be the murderer, however, I had absolutely no idea at all! The plot is woven with great care and I therefore couldn't even see a glimmer of who was guilty and who wasn't.

I was a tad disappointed with one aspect of the final resolution, I found it a bit too far fetched considering how down to earth and normal (if you can call murders normal) the rest of the plot was. However, the one final twist at the very end is fantastic and really did wonders!

It is rare for me to comment on covers but I will comment on this one as I don't really see how it has any relevance to the book. Did I miss something here?? I'd like to know!

Anyway, if you enjoy a good murder/mystery/thriller then pick this one up today. It's an interesting and intriguing read and you will end up wondering how anyone in Derby is alive or not in prison!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Friday, 19 July 2013

Review: The Argonaut's Almanac Vol 1: Mythbound

Price: £ 2.99 (ebook)
Publisher: Self published

Ahhhhh, Mr DC, how I love you and your books! I've been enamoured with the Train Driver series (can't wait for the third one) and I have delved in to Cornelius Quaint story, so, was totally thrilled to be presented with this little treasure by Mr DC. It may fall in to the children's book category but there is so much more to it than meets the eye.

Firstly, the jokes. There are so many jokes and innuendos that will go over any child's head that it is worth reading this book for them. It's funny and in places smutty, what more could you want.

Secondly, there is one hell of a sexy character in the form of Will Scarlet. He is a total babe and hotty and also a cracking character...seriously, what more could you need?

Anyway, this is the story of Ed and his travels in to another realm full of myths, not legends, but myths. This is a mystical and fantastical story with an ever so slight hint of realism. The levels of DC's imagination never cease to amaze me and this book is another tremendous example. I couldn't stop reading it due to the involving and intriguing plot as well as the fantastic style that DC writes in. So easy to read yet so intelligent at the same time (yes, even though this is a kid's book.)

I can't not pass comment on the illustrations. Yet again, Mr DC displays is never ending talents with illustrations of the characters at the end of the book. Is there really anything this man can't do???

Kid or adult, this book is defo a cracking read and I am so, so, SO, excited to read the next instalment!!!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Review: The Killing Game

Publisher: Harper
Price: £ 7.99

It may have come to your attention that I mainly took scary arsed books on holiday. This is because after I read a Tess Gerritsen novel when I first moved in to my flat I was so scared, I couldn't sleep with my window open for about a month, despite it being the height of summer! (let that be a lesson to you all). So, I took scary books on holiday as Boy Geek would be there to protect me from them....for all the good he is worth sometimes any way!

This book is creepy, scary and creepy and creepy some more. Carson is pitted against Gregory, a totally deranged serial killer who, due to his mixed up and torturous childhood, has decided to pit himself against the police force's figure head.

Gregory is creepy, creepy beyond words. His character is possibly the most unsettling and disturbing one I have ever come across ever in reading books...and I torture myself with a lot of scary books. He is completely counter balanced by Carson who is amazing. He is a dude, a renegade, but he gets the job done and he gets it done well. Another character I have to mention is Clair. I love her and have a massive girl crush on her.

I thoroughly enjoyed how the book is written. The portions through Carson's eyes were in the first person and the portions through Gregory's were in the third person. This kept you on your toes and I once again enjoyed the variety in view and stand point on each incident...somewhat like The Silent Wife you are exposed to two sides of the same (but very different sided) coin.

Not a book for the weak willed or soft hearted. This is a gruesome, intelligent and gripping read that is written in a fantastic style. It's defo one you will read quickly. Even though you know who all the pawns in this game is and where they fit in, you will want to know how and why and this will surely keep you as gripped as I was!

Happy Reading (but not alone and in the dark)

Book Geek

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Review: Joyland

Publisher: Hard Case Crime (Titan Books)
Price: £ 7.99

I wouldn't say I am the biggest and most die hard Stephen King fan in the world but I am indeed a fan!! I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I have read by him from Under The Dome to his short story collections and beyond. When Titan Books offered me this I was keen with a capital K, especially as it looked a bit different to other SK books and stories I have read in the past.

This book is all about Dev who joins the wonderful troops of Joyland for a holiday job...but it all goes a bit tits and defo doesn't end there. 

Once again, King draws you in to a slightly peculiar and alien world (this time due to the fact that this is the 60s) with a compelling and slow build up of plot, characters and constructs. SK never seems to fail in making a slow start a brilliant start to a book!! I think it's SK's descriptions that do it for me, they are always so vivid but they are never over the top. 

The characters in the novel are brilliant. Dev who narrates this entire book in the first person from a retrospective position as a dude in his 60s in the present day is a babe from start to finish. He looks back on his time tenderly and with humour and a twinge of nostalgia and maybe regret but it is lovely none the less. Lane was a bit of of a dude too to start with and I have to say I developed crushes on both.

I'm not sure if this is a thriller, a ghost story, a mystery novel or what to be precise. However, I am content that the genre is a bit blurred and I'm also content that it may not have one specific genre at all. 

The whole novel is gripping from start to finish. The characters are wonderful and vary so dramatically that you can't believe that that many have been crammed in to such a short book. Joyland is somewhere you will defo want to visit by the end of it and you will defo want to work there too. It is incredible to see a book that is so intense and dramatic but has room for some beautifully tender moments.

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Review: The Silent Wife

Price: £ 12.99
Publisher: Headline

Hmmmmm, what to say about The Silent Wife. Well, I'll start with the characters. I didn't like them. Todd is basically a bastard and Jodi is boring as hell, however, she does improve slightly when she tries to protect the life she has become accustomed to when it becomes threatened by Todd's actions.

I enjoyed the style of writing. It was incredibly involving and the flicking of POV between Him and Her was a great way to see two sides of the same coin. To an extent it reminded me of A Post Birthday World where two different spins are put on the same events. Due to the style of writing I think I was far more drawn in to the book than I would have been otherwise. The story, I am afraid was a bit too predictable for me in many ways. It wasn't as gripping and shocking and intriguing as the publicity surrounding the book led me to believe. This was a massive let down as I was so, so excited to read the book!!!! Maybe, I felt let down due to the massive hype and I was expecting more than the book could give.

This is an incredibly well written book and you can see that ASAH has deep involvement with the characters. However, I am afraid to say, that I am not enamoured with this book. I wouldn't not recommend it to people, however, it wasn't for me and I won't be shouting from the roof tops about it! SORRY!

Happy Reading 

Book Geek

Monday, 15 July 2013

Review: My Beautiful England

Price: £ 8.99
Publisher: Cutting Edge Press

Cutting Edge Press never cease to amaze me with the eclectic range of books they produce and MBE is just another book that adds another string to their VERY full and incredibly wonderful bow!

I had the total pleasure of meeting the lovely author of this book @MichelleFlatley at the CEP summer party in June, and as well as having lived in my original home town for a while, she is a truly lovely lovely lady indeed! So, when this book arrived on my doormat I was all over it!

MBE is the story of three VERY different women, from three VERY different cultures who have ended up in Burnley (of all places). They all meet at a local language school and, through their pursuit of a better and more fulfilling lives, become solid friends. 

MF has obviously done an incredible amount of research in to different cultures for this book and it is obvious in how confidently and fluidly it is written. The sense of sisterhood between the three women is gorgeous and by the end you really feel like you are one of their friends. I believe both of these are also achieved by MF's writing style. Sammy is just heat breaking and her story is beautiful. Lenka's life experiences made me really angry. And when it comes to Su, well I just feel let down for her. Three very different emotions that MF convincingly portrays and stirred in me as a reader.

The UK and British people like Bobby and Chelsea seem grotesque and monstrous and seem to embody everything that is wrong with the UK. I am not sure if this is intentional but that is how they came across to me. A complete antithesis of the three friends.

The book is full of joy, hope and gut wrenching sadness and is not at all what you expect when you first start reading. Yet another very unique and compelling read from a very unique publisher. Fantastic!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Review: Control

Price: Not sure sorry
Publisher: Strange Chemistry 

This is the sequel to the glorious Shift and continues to delve in to the world of Aubrey and Scott and their wondrous and mysterious ability to shift. If you haven't read Shift, you will have to read it before Control as I don't think this would make allllll that much sense without it. 

It was wonderful to be back in this world and I was delighted to be surrounded by the characters once again. There is action from the beginning and the recaps were so sporadic and infrequent that they were totally spot on for me!!! I once again enjoyed KC's descriptive and in depth style of writing. It always allows me to picture things SOOOOOO clearly and vividly and it kept me once again sucked in to the glorious story!

It was marvellous to see some new characters in the mix (specially the evil ones) and keep in touch with the old. CP and Jake returned which was much to my immense joy as I love them so very very much!

The romance didn't make me feel sick and didn't make me feel fed up of the book which was a tremendous feat and something I have to congratulate KC for! I think I was down with the romance as I am now completely attached to A and S as a whole as well as individuals. However, I will say that the line 'it felt like a shot of anaesthetic to my soul' is possibly the worst and most cheesy thing I have read in my life....sorry KC!!

However, despite that one line, this was another excellent addition to the YA world with more action and intrigue that you can shake a stick at. I need KC to write an release the next book now, this very second as I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! Fans of YA of any age should get in to this series as it is thoroughly enjoyable allll round!

Happy Reading

Book Geek