Press F5 to Load Game

* * * * * * * * * 9/10

LeVar Ravel

24740309The concept here is brilliant. Using time travel to win an election… I mean, it’s not something that would have occurred to me, that with a time machine I could make sure ‘my’ guy always wins. It has occurred to Frannie Upwood, who works toward that goal, while Lars Uxbridge tags along for the ride in the hopes that he can get the time gadget away from her.
I love the way the machine works, like saving a computer game, and I love the characters. Lars is such a small-minded, petty fool and yet there is still room for him to grow, if he can just let his greed go. Frannie is far too nice for her own good, and completely unaware of Lars’ desire to put her out the picture. Someone here has no idea of what’s in store for them.

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The Papyrus Empire

***All the Stars***

Niels Saunders

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This one is not like the author’s other two books. While it’s as well written and hard to put down, it’s far darker and without the fluffiness, leaving me feeling the same as when my cute little kitty comes for a cuddle with her claws out. While the writing remains the same, the depth isn’t hidden behind humour.

On a night out, Tommy finds ‘perks’ instead of cash at the cashpoint. While he’s sure it’s a joke, he has a go at spending them anyway… and the story flies away from there. It gets more and more extreme, darker with each page, and while any single event, to describe on its own might sound ludicrous, within the story and seeing how events unfold, everything works. It all makes perfect sense.

Of course, there is more to the story than the story being told. The way the characters see each other, how they interact with each other and the way they choose their sides, follow their leaders sometimes rabidly, showed not just a conspiracy-nut dream but a society within society, functioning the same way, and showing the maggot-rotten side of us we don’t like to admit exists.

It’s set in the same universe as Grand Theft Octo, and leaves me wondering/hoping we’ll see more of those characters in the future.

An Alien’s Guide to the Human Species

* * * 3/10

Deb McEwan

Alien's Guide Cover

While the idea behind the book is a good one, the writing itself is very matter-of-fact and flat.
There’s a subtle but important difference in being told a story and being told of a series of events. The characters may as well be cardboard cut-outs they are so 2-dimensional and the plot is lost in a tedious list of things these characters do. They don’t do much.
The plot itself is an interesting idea, it is well-edited with no errors, but the writing needs a lot of work and perhaps some rethinking.

Holidays!

I’m starting off 2018 with my summer holiday already booked and paid for. YAY!

2018 has got off to quite an insane beginning. The madness of 2017 looks set to continue on a downward spiral but that’s OK. I have a week away already sorted. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to save enough to get another week away for the winter.

Plans for this year include trying to shout louder than the kagillian other authors all shouting about their books. Trying to get a handle on this marketing thingy. There’s that game I released, lost the files for and am now redoing with improvements. At some point I swear I will totally get back to Youtube with reviews. I will read some books and leave reviews. I will attempt to get Faye to do more stuff… get her to leave her pit at least once this year.

Buy my books. Please buy my books?

Oh, aye. If you’re in the UK, be careful on the roads for the next few months. I’ve applied for a drivers licence.

J. Cassidy

 

YAY!

The Christmas tree is up, a few of the presents are wrapped, almost all the Christmas shopping is done and everything is looking sparkly and glittery and fluffy and pretty. And there’s snow! Snow, snow, snow, snow! YAY!

I like this time of year.

I have got back to writing. I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m back to taking on too much, trying to do too many things and spreading myself too thin. For now, I’m being all lazy and taking things easy.

Pencil Lead

* * * * * * * * 8/10

Fran Heath

pencil-lead-book-cover-largeLyle was a character I found surprisingly easy to sympathise with. He’s uncertain of what he wants, in life or anything, with no hope or prospects coming his way. This is of course mostly due to lack of effort to make anything of himself, but then, what do you work toward if you don’t know what you want? He’s a character so uncertain of himself that he comments on how he is a different person for certain people, because that’s who they think he is. He makes a show of his life and makes a show of being… himself.

A good deal of the book is getting to know Lyle before he meets Holly, and from there focusses on their destructive relationship which doesn’t really get any oomph until they involve escorts. While anyone else might look at that as being the beginning of the end and unhealthy while it lasts, neither of these two are able to see beyond their own confusion and certainly in Lyle’s case, selfishness.

I wasn’t very fond of the ending. It went quite quickly and suddenly from a couple hell-bent on ruining their lives as fast as they can, to a rather heavy moral lesson on the dark side of ‘escorts’. I wouldn’t describe it as a happy ending in particular, though I suppose that would depend on how you see happiness coming out of a relationship like that. I’m not too sure the choice Lyle and Holly made in the end was to the benefit of either of them.