Friday Face-Off – 29th September 2017

Friday Face-Off – 29th September 2017

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a train: “Time goes faster the more hollow it is. Lives with no meaning go straight past you, like trains that don’t stop at your station.”

For this theme I have returned to one of my very favourite book series – The Dark Tower. More to the point, book three in the series, The Waste Lands.

Cover A:

train1

Cover B:

train2

Cover C:

train3

Cover D:

train4

Cover E:

train5

Cover F:

train6

Cover G:

train7

And the winner is… COVER A!

I absolutely love this book, especially Blaine the Mono – a sentient and suicidal monorail. That is the irony – that none of the covers featuring a train actually depict a monorail, but I love the menacing appearance in cover A, which makes it my winner this week.

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 I will be looking for a cover featuring a whale: “Stop telling such outlandish tales. Stop turning minnows into whales.”

Advertisements

Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed Duncan

Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed Duncan

For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

 

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Pigeon-Blood Red held my attention from the very beginning. The blurb caught my eye, so I had a hunch the tangled mess described would make for entertaining reading. The way it is written added a nice twist for me as well. Too often, we see things from the view of the innocent that are caught up in the mess, or the hunted party. What Ed Duncan has created here is a tense, fast-paced thriller of sorts and told it from the view of the hunter.
9781943549504
More than that, through the progression of the story, we come to learn a little of the background of the hunter, Richard “Rico” Sanders and how it informs his character. It gave reason to why Rico is such a closed off, independant character that seems to exhibit little or no emotion. Yet Ed Duncan has also developed his characters well. The way he has created relationships between his characters and added back stories adds to the emotional investment I felt I had with the main players throughout the book.

Although it became fairly clear how the deceitful ways of one of our victims was going to impact on the innocent parties in the story. Some level of empathy is felt towards Rico, while a sense of karma settles around the victims. The characters are written in such a way that Ed Duncan has lured the reader into feeling specific emotions towards them. The book is fast paced, and flows well thanks to their only being a handful of key characters, keeping things slick and well driven.

Decisions play an important role in Pigeon-Blood Red. Greed afflicts one victim, along with lustful choices. His choices drag his long-suffering wife into his ever-growing problems. An encounter between Rico and his marks’ wife leads to an important decision, with potentially life changing consequences.

In Pigeon-Blood Red, Ed Duncan has crafted a fantastic story with depth and brilliantly developed characters. The story is well paced, never feeling laboured or unnecessary, and the each individual character feels just that – individual. I look forward to seeing how this book ties in with its sequels, and how the main characters interact as they cross paths again.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 22nd September 2017

Friday Face-Off – 22nd September 2017

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a skull: “Sometimes skulls are thick. Sometimes hearts are vacant. Sometimes words don’t work. ”

For this theme I have selected William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Cover A:

skull1

Cover B:

skull2

Cover C:

skull3

Cover D:

skull4

Cover E:

skull5

Cover F:

skull6

And the winner is… COVER F!

This was a simple pick for me this week. I liked the simple layout of the cover, and the stylised appearance of the skull in this one.

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 I will be looking for a cover featuring a train: “Time goes faster the more hollow it is. Lives with no meaning go straight past you, like trains that don’t stop at your station.”

Friday Face-Off – 15th September 2017

Friday Face-Off – 15th September 2017

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a key: “Where there is a Key, there is yet hope.”

For this theme I have selected Dean Koontz’s The Key to Midnight.

Cover A:

key1

Cover B:

key2

Cover C:

key3

Cover D:

key4

Cover E:

key5

Cover F:

key6

And the winner is… COVER D!

I know I have stretched the theme a bit this week, with the link to a key being the keyhole on cover A. Cover D, however, intrigues me. The colours, the art style and the imagery – the lounge bar and hand with syringe. All of these things come together to draw me in.

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 I will be looking for a cover featuring a skull: “Sometimes skulls are thick. Sometimes hearts are vacant. Sometimes words don’t work. ”

Screams in the Woods by Michael R. Martin

Screams in the Woods by Michael R. Martin

One rainy Monday morning, private detective Christine Lynch is presented with an untitled lever arch file to review. It contains the detailed research of a 19th century local mining accident. The authors have been missing for over a year. Two unrelated facts, surely? Then she reads the file…

 

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.

Screams in the Woods on the face of things seems to be a good old fashioned mystery novel. A 19th century mining accident that appears to have more to it than a simple mineshaft collapse. The sudden and mysterious disappearance of two men researching the incident. Two relatively average incidents, albeit linked through somewhat mysterious secrets. Michael R. Martin has crafted a nice mystery here, uncovering pieces of evidence that help guide the reader down the path to the final answer.
Screams_KDP_Front_CoverAs the story unfolds, it becomes clear the two mysteries are intertwined at their core. As detective Christine Lynch delves deeper into the disappearance of the two amateur investigators, she cannot help but find more and more inconsistencies in the mining accident answer as to the deaths of so many miners.

Towards the latter half or so of the book, as Christine’s investigation deepens, and her belief that both mysteries solidifies itself, she finds herself drawn into events first hand. Torn between two warring sides trying to gain the answers to the mystery that stretches back centuries leads to a dangerous, bloody race for life, knowledge and answers.

By the time the conclusion of this mysterious tale rolls around, nothing is obvious or clear cut about the two core cases. While they are intertwined there is something dark and macabre underlying both, and tying them together. A sci-fi meets paranormal ending ties up the story nicely, making for a mystery that isn’t cast in the same mould that most tend to follow.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 8th September 2017

Friday Face-Off – 8th September 2017

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a city: “That great condensor of moral chaos, The City.”

For this theme I have selected Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines.

Cover A:

city1

Cover B:

city2

Cover C:

city3

Cover D:

city4

Cover E:

city5

Cover F:

city6

And the winner is… COVER D!

I love the colours in this cover, and the steampunk vibes that run through this cover. It draws me in, and makes me want to read the book all the more!

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 I will be looking for a cover featuring a key: “Where there is a Key, there is yet hope.”

Friday Face-Off – 1st September 2017

Friday Face-Off – 1st September 2017

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a horse:“Being born in a stable does not make me a horse.”

For this theme I have selected Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse.

Cover A:

horse1

Cover B:

horse2

Cover C:

horse3

Cover D:

horse4

Cover E:

horse5

Cover F:

horse6

Cover G:

horse7

And the winner is… A DRAW!

Covers F and G left me split this week. Cover F is striking with the white background and the vibrant red of the poppy flowers that make up the horse. With cover G I felt the monochrome palette visually striking, conjuring images of the bombs and mortars of war, with the few poppies creating a striking contrast.

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 I will be looking for a cover featuring a city: “That great condensor of moral chaos, The City.”