My Fave Books!

Below are quick links and reviews to some of my favourite books.
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5 STARS

In a former life I used to write short stories and having picked up a couple of other works by this author, I figured this was worth the gamble.

The two characters are well written and the plot, although simple, is detailed and very clever, as our intrepid captain and his nervous pilot take their ship into forbidden space with the captain offering no explanation to his crewman.

The scene that greets them as they reach their destination is excellently described and it becomes so easy to visualise everything that happens to them.

The unexpected ending is equally well conceived and made the story.

Short indeed, but full of quality and exactly my sort of thing. Loved it!

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I started this book three times in two days. Not because I had difficulty as such, but because I struggled to get my mind to get past the opening sequence with the whirlpool bath. I'm not a squeemish person, but the descriptive was quite exceptional and I found myself visualising a scene that made me very uncomfortable. Having eventually made it through that, I read on... and I am SO glad I did!

The exquisite writing style opened up a new world to me... and having not read this genre prior to reading this book, I found myself buying the second book long before I had reached the halfway point in this one.

I guess I should actually give you more than my own meanderings!

The plot was excellent, and well devised, with Bowers and his colleagues facing a seemingly invisible opponent, who was quite literally able to kill at will. Even I didn't figure out who the bad guy was until it was too late and Bowers' daughter was by then already in deep trouble.

Did I mention the writing?? Steven James has an incredible talent for the descriptive and the mystery, the people and the places. Everything was 'real' from page 1 right through to the finish.

Excellent, highly recommended book!
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Ian Fraser has pulled off a serious coup in superb fictional writing with Flies For The Mayans.

Heaven may not be the place we think it is... and the author cleverly puts the afterlife into a most uncomfortable place, with terrorism, death and destruction being just as real for those who believe they have attained eternal life, as for those they left behind.

This is excellent work, well written, brilliantly envisioned and creatively thought through. Probably not the book for everyone, but for me, this was very enjoyable and deserves a read.
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I read this in a single sitting and I must say, as a book that was recommended to me, I was very impressed.

The story takes you, following a former CIA agent in pursuit of the agent who betrayed him, into the world of what may have happened to specific persons in the aftermath of WWII... Using the rumours that were widely circulated for several years, it takes the lead character through a brief, but intriguing adventure where he comes to meet and speak with an aging man who has a hoard of stolen Nazi gold in his possession. (No spoilers!)

This was a very impressive piece of work for a 99c short story. It flowed well and managed to give an entire story, rather than throwing out a gaggle of facts that could have been anything. Fiction? It could be...

If it's on your wish list, you should look forward to this one!
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Tracking Magic (Max Killian Investigations) $1.99 - US Link
Tracking Magic (Max Killian Investigations) £1.32 - UK Link

Many moons ago, I started life writing short stories for comps and things to earn pocket money... I once tried to do a story about a paranormal detective and failed miserably, but I was young and I'm sticking to that excuse.

I got this after it was recommended to me, along with another book by the same author and I wasn't disappointed. Max Killian is a P.I. of the old school, and Schneider's world where the people of fairytales are back amongst us and vying for the same jobs and the same pay... it's inspired and brilliantly written.

Of the 5 stories, I liked the third and the last one best, though every offering was well written and entertaining in a slightly different way. Although it would have been nice to see greater character development as the stories progressed, I didn't feel this detracted from the stories - indeed, it made it more viable that they could stand alone and not confuse a reader picking them up in a varied order - and so I understand why the writing follows the pattern it does troughout the book.

This is a good book and a nice little escape from the normal read. Personally, it took me three weeks to read all the stories, as I fitted them in when the fancy took me rather than ploughing through the whole book and missing the subtleties of the stories.

Very enjoyable. Very nice book. 5 deserved stars.
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Ripple - A Dolphin Love Story $2.99 - US Link
Ripple - A Dolphin Love Story £1.95 - UK Link

I purchased this book out of pure curiosity, as I had seen a few of the reviews and despite the wonderful accolades, I still felt that this might just be a little too far outside my comfort zone to finish it.

The fact that it has taken me 10 days to deliberate how to go about this review is indeed a testament to just how good this book is.

* * * THERE ARE SPOILERS INCLUDED BELOW * * *

The birth of Ripple as an inquisitive dolphin born with an ethereal spark of spirit and a seemingly impossible mission to accomplish is the backbone of a story that leads you through the undersea world of dolphins when they first inhabited our world.

While the "beings of the hereafter" watch over them, the dolphins of Ripple's school are joined by a young fighter, Cosmo, who will grow to be a great astronomer and leader, as well as Ripple's life-partner. However, their initial meetings are mired by a combination of his own disturbed and haunted past and Ripple's mission/search for something she initially believes is totally beyond her.

I found the descriptive writing throughout all these early stages of the story was superb. There was little doubt of the pictures the author wished to create in your mind, from the flowing lines and relationships of the dolphins, to the strange but adorable Octopus, Squelch, and even to the worst of the monsters that lived in the deepest, darkest recesses of the ocean beneath the dolphins, there was no end to the wonderful use of Allen's exemplary writing talent.

When Ripple's mother dies, the use of descriptive moves to a whole new level. The way the dolphins grieve their loss and how it affects Ripple far more than her siblings is an almost tangible piece of emotional writing, but how that then focuses onto the new life that is Ripple's niece and her apparent success in creating the first music, and the subsequent effects of music on the dolphins, as well as those ethereal spirits beyond, is really quite magically described.

The ending takes place in the future, and is a hard-hitting bite at the hand of humanity and what we are and what effect we have within this world we call Earth and which, quite rightly, the ethereal beings and the dolphins know as "Azure".

* * * END OF SPOILERS * * *

In general, this is a work that should appeal to anyone who enjoys good strong writing and an equally good story. I read certain sections of this book twice - not because I didn't understand it, but because I wanted to "see" the vivid pictures it created all over again - and I was as absorbed the second time around as I had been the first.

This is a must-read and possibly something that would appeal to teachers with reading groups as well as those looking for a book to "escape into".
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