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

Friday Face-Off – 17th January 2020

Friday Face-Off – 17th 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.

With January well underway, here’s the third Friday Face-Off of 2020. This week’s theme is a cover featuring a horizon. I’ve returned to Wilbur Smith for this theme and his novel The Leopard Hunts in Darkness.

Cover A:

horizon1

Cover B:

horizon2

Cover C:

horizon3

Cover D:

horizon4

Cover E:

horizon5

Cover F:

horizon6

Cover G:

horizon7

Cover H:

horizon8

And the winner is… COVER A! A visually stunning and expansive horizon shot, awash with the wonderful orange shade. This is one of the more eye catching covers I’ve picked.

I found this quite an easy choice this week. It was a spectacular 

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 for the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat.

All The Dead Stars by A.K. Alliss

All The Dead Stars by A.K. Alliss

In the occupied province of De’Zhun, Ae-Tor, once a member of the sorcerous Tapestry, has betrayed his brethren to save his own life. Seeking redemption, he sets forth on a dangerous mission to recover an alien weapon which could overthrow the invaders.

The thief, Mischa the Sullen, is in trouble. Having stolen a mysterious artifact, she finds herself trapped within a ruin of alien origin. Imprisoned by the forces within, she seeks escape and freedom.

Echo, a genetically engineered assassin, awakens from an 800 year long hibernation aboard the crashed starship, Mistress of Infinity. Stranded far from home, she must learn the rules that govern the strange land she has found herself in if she hopes to survive.

P’Sult is a Republic spy with a tragic past. Learning of a potential threat to his government, he begins an investigation which may lead to his demise.

All The Dead Stars is an epic Grimdark Fantasy /Sci-fi that combines conspiracy and gritty adventure.

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

It’s time for the first book review of 2020. All The Dead Stars is a fantasy with sci-fi elements. It comes from cyberpunk author A.K. Alliss, writer of the futuristic Ouroboros Cycle series of books. This marks his first forray into fantasy. We follow a cast of diverse characters including Ae-Tor and P’Sult, thief Mischa, the curious Echo and an equally intriguing supporting cast.
49413398._SY475_With the nefarious Perditionist Republic pushing to expand their borders across the land our four protagonists embark on their own journeys. Ae-Tor seeks to save his own skin after double crossing so many people for his own gain. Mischa seeks her freedom having stolen an artifact of unknown origins that binds itself to her. Echo, having spent 800 years dormant in a futuristic space craft, her only directive to be an assassin, struggles to come to terms with her knew life as she seeks to understand how this strange, dangerous new world works. P’Sult is fleeing his past tragedies, knowing the journey he takes could be his last.

The lead characters are well constructed, while the settings are vibrant. While all four are on very different journeys, I enjoyed the way they intersect, everyone heading to the same location each for very different reasons. While there’s definitely a sci-fi feel to things, All The Dead Stars makes for a great first dip into fantasy. This first book sets things up nicely for the series to come.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 10th January 2020

Friday Face-Off – 10th 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.

Welcome back to Friday Face-Off! This week’s theme is a cover that is vintage sci fi. For this I’ve picked Have Space Suit – Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein,

Cover A:

scifi1

Cover B:

scifi2

Cover C:

scifi3

Cover D:

scifi4

Cover E:

scifi5

Cover F:

scifi6

And the winner is… COVER B!

This one screams vintage sci-fi to me. The two space travellers exploring an alien planet and its wildlife, it really invokes the spirit of adventure and exploration.

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 a horizon: “Your “beautiful” ship killed its crew, Doctor.”

Friday Face-Off – 3rd January 2020

Friday Face-Off – 3rd 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.

Welcome to the first Friday Face-Off theme of 2020. new beginnings: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” For this I’ve picked Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein.

Cover A:

new1

Cover B:

new2

Cover C:

new3

Cover D:

new4

Cover E:

new5

Cover F:

new6

And the winner is… COVER A!

When thinking of new beginings, especially with the given quote for this week’s theme, space travel certainly fits that bill. Cover A has all of the classic, old-school charm from the old sci-fi books, and I love it.

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 vintage sci-fi: “Live long and prosper.”

Friday Face-Off – 27th December 2019

Friday Face-Off – 27th December 2019

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.

Today’s Friday Face-Off is the final one of 2019, and the final one of the decade! So close to the festive season, the theme this week is something glittery or sparkly. I’ve gone with Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.

Cover A:

glittery1

Cover B:

glittery2

Cover C:

glittery3

Cover D:

glittery4

Cover E:

glittery5

Cover F:

glittery6

Cover G:

glittery7

And the winner is… IT’S A DRAW!

Covers A and F win it for me this week. Cover A is eye catching with the rich green cover and the splashes of gold. Cover F caught my eye with the colourful trails of fairy dust. Cover G earns a special mention too, very appealing.

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 for new beginnings: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”