Friday Face-Off – 19th July 2019

Friday Face-Off – 19th July 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.

This week’s theme is a cover that is grainy or looks like white noise: “You can’t choose between life and death when we’re dealing with what is in between.”

For this week’s theme I have gone with Don DeLillo’s White Noise.

Cover A:

white noise1

Cover B:

white noise2

Cover C:

white noise3

Cover D:

white noise4

Cover E:

white noise5

Cover F:

white noise6

Cover G:

white noise7

And the winner is… Cover D!

This one was a stand out winner for me. It was simple, but the silhouette intrigued me greatly.

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 upside down: “Ludo ….. down.”

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Friday Face-Off – 12th July 2019

Friday Face-Off – 12th July 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.

This week’s theme is a wrap around cover – a cover whose artwork runs across front and back covers,

For this week’s theme I have decided to do something different. Given the nature of a wrap around cover, it is very unlikely that any one book will have multiple wrap around designs. With this in mind, I am going to offer up a series of covers from different books.

Cover A:

wrap around1

Cover B:

wrap around 2

Cover C:

wrap around 3

Cover D:

wrap around4

Cover E:

wrap around 5

Cover F:

wrap around6

Cover G:

wrap around7

Cover H:

wrap around8

Cover I:

wrap around9

And the winner is… Cover E!

I think I made this tougher on myself by choosing covers from a variety of different books. Those from Bradbury, Lovecraft and Wells are eye-catching in their designs. The Stephen King Dreamcatcher cover just pipped it for me though this week. Simple, clean and uncluttered like some of the others, this one is more pleasing to the eye in my opinion.

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 grainy or looks like white noise: “You can’t choose between life and death when we’re dealing with what is in between.”

13 Dark Tales (Collection One) by Michael R. Martin

13 Dark Tales (Collection One) by Michael R. Martin

A shocking event on an evening train only revealed by hypnosis, a man driven to extremes to rid himself of nightmare neighbours, and a rural driving holiday stopped in its tracks by a mythical creature. Just three of the 13 Dark Tales, inspired by macabre urban myths and sinister folklore, in this first collection. Read them in the dark hours when they might call to mind a disturbing story you can’t quite place or a strange shape glimpsed from the corner of your eye; things you dismissed as too fantastic to take seriously but left nagging doubts, nonetheless. Some of them may be true.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.
13 Dark Tales is a collection of short stories from British author Michael R. Martin. Each story falls into one of three genres: thriller, horror or science fiction, each linked by the common theme that they are all dark in some way. The stories are well built given their brevity, and distinct enough from one another to not feel like they are all a similar tale.

Dark_Tales_Coll01_KDP_Front_Cover01Some short story collections are an unfortunate collection of stories that feel rushed or incomplete, but Martin has clearly put a lot of thought into this collection, ensuring he uses a vastly limited word count wisely to build characters, locations and the story themselves.
This made for a nice collection, with stories short enough to dip in and out of while also being thoroughly enjoyable and feeling every inch the product of the author; with all the tells his longer works have running throughout.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 5th July 2019

Friday Face-Off – 5th July 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.

This week’s theme is a cover that features something or someone historic: “The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe… has been answered”

The subject I’ve chosen for this week is in itself historic and famous, as is the author, let alone the cover imagery: Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy.

Cover A:

historic1

Cover B:

historic2

Cover C:

historic3

Cover D:

historic4

Cover E:

historic5

Cover F:

historic6

And the winner is… Cover B!

I found this a close call this week. In a near-second place is cover A, and iconic and famous piece of artwork depicting the legendary poet Dante. That said, B won the day for me – having only read Inferno to date and not the complete Divine Comedy, this haunting depiction of one of the circles of hell was my favourite.

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 wrap around cover.

Friday Face-Off – 28th June 2019

Friday Face-Off – 28th June 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.

This week’s theme is a cover that is striped: “And who decided which people wore the striped pyjamas?”

This week I’ve gone with a book I’ve wanted to read for some time now: The Boy in the Stiped Pyjamas by John Boyne.

Cover A:

striped1

Cover B:

striped2

Cover C:

striped3

Cover D:

striped4

Cover E:

striped5

Cover F:

striped6

And the winner is… Cover D!

Another win for cover D. This particular cover is haunting to me. Knowing a little about the premise of the book, though I have yet to read it, only adds to this. A dark atmosphere dominates in this 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 something or someone historic: “The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe… has been answered.”

Friday Face-Off – 21st June 2019

Friday Face-Off – 21st June 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.

This week’s theme is a cover for the Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year.

This week I’ve gone with Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Cover A:

solstice1

Cover B:

solstice2

Cover C:

solstice3

Cover D:

solstice4

Cover E:

solstice5

Cover F:

solstice6

And the winner is… Cover D!

The bright and vibrant colours are massively eye catching. They scream summer to me.

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 striped: “And who decided which people wore the striped pyjamas?”

The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone

The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone

A gripping new thriller debut that asks the question, how deep in our hearts does evil lie?

When critically ill Jacob Wilson is given a life-saving heart transplant, his parents are relieved that their loving son has been saved.

However, before long, his family are forced to accept that something has changed in Jacob. Their once loving son is slowly being replaced by a violent man whose mood swings leave them terrified – but is it their fault?

Jacob’s girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced the man she loves is suffering from stress. But when his moods turn on her, she begins to doubt herself – and she can only hide the bruises for so long.

When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family are forced to confront their darkest fears. Has the boy they raised become a monster? Or is someone else to blame?

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

The Darkness Within as a debut thriller from Lisa Stone promised wonderful, deliciously dark things from it’s blurb. I was really looking forward to an exciting thriller filled with twists and turns and a seam of excitement at its core. Unfortunately I find this book wanting by the end. The story itself had potential, the concept of personalities transferred during organ donation. The darkness that takes over the new host is so out of character it must be a result of the transplant.
34066358This element of the book presented an interesting dynamic, something that has been hypothesised with some anecdotal evidence, but nothing medically concrete. The story charts the last days of the donor alongside the days prior to the transplant for the recipient. The story flips post-operation to chart the change in personality of Jacob and the all consuming darkness that takes over his persona.

This is the part of the story that really let it down for me. I found the “twists” to be predictable, the direction and destination visible very early on. The characters started to grate on me – as the books progressed their attitudes and motives never wavered even when presented with evidence making them feel a touch unbelievable. The story itself was okay, but lacked what I look forward to when I dive into a thriller – a thrilling story.

My rating:
okaybook