Friday Face-Off – 21st February 2020

Friday Face-Off – 21st February 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring dog: “It would perhaps not be amiss to point out that he had always tried to be a good dog.” For this I return to Stephen King and his novel Cujo.

Cover A:

dog1

Cover B:

dog2

Cover C:

dog3

Cover D:

dog4

Cover E:

dog5

Cover F:

dog6

Cover G:

dog7

Cover H:

dog8

And the winner is… COVER A!

This one is so intimidating. I can only imagine being the occupants of the car, trapped, unable to escape. I can imagine how awful it would be as the heat in the car would rise and only being able to see the snarling fangs of the dog in the mirrors. 

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover featuring a ring for the leap year: “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

Friday Face-Off – 14th February 2020

Friday Face-Off – 14th February 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a book depicting romance, seasonal for Valentines Day – “thus with a kiss I die.” I am not a fan of romantic fiction so thought I was going to struggle with this theme. That was until I twisted the theme and gave thought to the symbols of romance. And with that in mind, I selected Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill.

Cover A:

romantic1

Cover B:

romantic2

Cover C:

romantic3

Cover D:

romantic4

Cover E:

romantic5

Cover F:

romantic6

Cover G:

romantic7

Cover H:

romantic8

And the winner is… COVER H!

I gave this theme some thought, around the symbols of romance. Flowers, chocolates, hearts. That lead me here, to a book featuring a heart without being a romantic book. Cover H pipped the rest to the post for me. Simple and effective, without actually giving anything of the story away. 

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover featuring a  dog: “It would perhaps not be amiss to point out that he had always tried to be a good dog.”

Lockheed Elite by Tyler Wandschneider

Lockheed Elite by Tyler Wandschneider

Working to pay off a blackmailer who has learned that a certain genius mechanic isn’t as dead as he was made out to be, Anders Lockheed takes his team on their biggest salvage op yet.

Unfortunately, Anders has hired an undercover military operative bent on using them as bait to draw out a mastermind who has been attacking the public with deadly mechs. 

While on the scav op, things go from bad to worse as the crew of Elite One recover an abandoned woman aboard the claim. Now Anders must decide quickly—stay and fight or cut cables and run.

Either way, it’s too late. Someone has other plans for them. The trap has been set, they’ve rescued the woman and taken the bait, and before long Anders and what’s left of his dwindling crew must navigate with caution through the grips of the military and an especially vile outlaw.

But Anders doesn’t captain just another team flying the black. With a genius mechanic who uses his ragtag high-tech machine shop to aid them in getting in and out of trouble, they’ve earned a reputation as the best of the best. With Anders’s careful planning, this motley crew must band together and flip the military to use them on a monster heist and dig themselves out from the heat pressing in from both sides of the law.

Fly with them. They are clever, they are fierce, they are Lockheed Elite.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Science Fiction is a genre I love, but don’t read often enough. Too often sci-fi is over the top, or filled with cliches. From the description of the book I thought it sounded like a good, fun read. It ticked all of the boxes in terms of what I look for in a sci-fi read. And from the very first page to the very last, Lockheed Elite delivered. 35561062._SY475_Anders Lockheed is the best scavenger crew captain around, and his crew is renowned for being the best. He seldom involved himself in anything illegal, and when he did it was never anything massively criminal, more of a grey area. He commands respect wherever he goes. He gives respect back wherever it is warranted. 

His latest job offers him and his crew an opportunity for an incredible score to make a huge cash windfall. The chance to scav a decommissioned Galactic Command vessel. There would be a whole swarm of other scav crews looking to snatch a piece of the pie, but for Anders Lockheed and the crew of the Elite One this was a simple enough job. But nothing goes right for the crew from that point onwards.

Lockheed Elite offers a well-constructed sci-fi adventure. It has comedic moments that lighten the story without detracting from it. The locations are brilliantly described. The characters are well put together, relatable. This was a great read that I couldn’t put down, so much so that I found myself wanting another book to carry on the stories of Anders and his crew. This has ended up being one of the best books I’ve had the chance to read in a long time.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 7th February 2020

Friday Face-Off – 7th February 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

And in the blink of an eye, it’s February. This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover featuring a lion: “Is that a lion with horns and a pitchfork?” For this week’s book I picked C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Cover A:

lion1

Cover B:

lion2

Cover C:

lion3

Cover D:

lion4

Cover E:

lion5

Cover F:

lion6

Cover G:

lion7

Cover H:

lion8

And the winner is… COVER B!

It may not feature the lion, but this cover really caught my eye. It has an interesting art design. I also really like the way it only shows a small part of the wondrous world on the other side of the wardrobe. 

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover that is romantic: “Thus with a kiss I die.”

Friday Face-Off – 31st January 2020

Friday Face-Off – 31st January 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover that depicts First Contact: “Ack, Ack, Ack, we come in peace.” For this theme I’ve gone with Aliens by Alan Dean Foster.

Cover A:

alien1

Cover B:

alien2

Cover C:

alien3

Cover D:

alien4

Cover E:

alien5

And the winner is… COVER B!

To me the Xenomorph is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of aliens. It’s a simple cover with the horrifying visage of the alien. 

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover featuring a lion: “Is that a lion with horns and a pitchfork?”

Friday Face-Off – 24th January 2020

Friday Face-Off – 24th January 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover for the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat. For this theme I’ve gone with James Herbert’s The Rats.

Cover A:

rats1

Cover B:

rats2

Cover C:

rats3

Cover D:

rats4

Cover E:

rats5

Cover F:

rats6

Cover G:

rats7

And the winner is… COVER D!

A swarm of rats teeming out from under the bridge is a pretty unnerving. It’s a moody and atmospheric cover. 

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover that depicts First Contact – “Ack, Ack, Ack, we come in peace”

Face Your Demons (Tainted Blood #1) by Nina Hobson

Face Your Demons (Tainted Blood #1) by Nina Hobson

Jennifer’s young life has never been better. She has it all: family, friends and fun. That is until her terminally ill cousin comes to live with them setting in motion a horrific turn of events unlike anyone in the town of Cleveland has ever seen.

 


Oh yeah…and did she mention her best friend’s sister has a massive crush on her?

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Face Your Demons offered up a short horror story that really piqued my interest. As an avid reader of Stephen King, my love of the horror genre is huge. Face Your Demons follows 12 year old Jennifer and her best friend Ron, his twin sister Angie and Jennifer’s younger brother Tom. Jennifer is sure something is off about the back room of her house where her cousin passed away. She had seen things in there through the window that couldn’t be explained.
NinaHobsonTaintedBloodFYDebookcoverA mysterious man comes into their lives, clearly otherworldly and demonic, tormenting and terrifying the children. A spate of grisly child murders in town add to the horrors experienced by such young protagonists.

Sadly the story did not take off for me. More than once, Angie’s crush on Jennifer is referenced but in no way serves the story. In one case it rears its head in the immediate aftermath of a life changing, grisly terror which felt off. It left me feeling that the emotions of the children were fleeting and inconsequential. The ending felt unresolved for me – nothing was answered by the end really, certainly not in a satisfying manner. And to cap it off for me, the use of a demonic language seemed unnecessary – each word or phrase having to be translated in brackets before being slipped in amongst English speech as if it were the most normal prose. 

Perhaps it is just my perception, tainted by expectations. I have grown accustomed to my horror novels being layered with descriptive narrative, atmosphere and imagery, that such a short novel felt almost rushed and distinctly lacking. It may well appeal to certain readers, but did little to sate my love of horror.

My rating:
notforme