Friday Face-Off – 5th June 2020

Friday Face-Off – 5th June 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 depicting flight: “The Guide says there is an art to flying”, said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” This week I’ve gone with Prelude to Space by Arthur C. Clarke.

And the winner is… COVER B!

In the week I sat transfixed to the TV watching the Falcon 9 launch, it felt only fitting to look for a cover with a spaceship. I have always been fascinated by space flight. Cover B just speaks to me, it screams of the era of the space shuttle.

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 cage or prison: “It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”

Friday Face-Off – 29th May 2020

Friday Face-Off – 29th May 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 featuring a silhouette: “As we drifted away from the Tower Bridge, I saw a single silhouette standing against the bright lamplight.” This week’s book is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

And the winner is… COVER D!

I love the simplicity of this cover. The monochrome cover. The little flashes of red. The design work all nodding to a circus theme. This is a cover that would catch my eye on a shelf in a bookshop.

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 depicting flight: “The Guide says there is an art to flying”, said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

Sanctuary of Lies by Chad Bishop

Sanctuary of Lies by Chad Bishop

There are 4.7 billion searchable sites make up 10% of the web, the other 90% is dedicated to the “Dark web”. Within that environment there is a thriving economy where everything is for sale: Sex, Armies and Code for hire. Well-known companies buy and sell for governments and NGO’s (non-governmental organizations). They appear as a benign legal boutique companies and consultants, but their true purpose is to be the middlemen/cyber lynchpin for these illicit goods and services.​

ISABELLA NUNEZ owns a computer firm in Brooklyn with her lover JACOB COSTA. Accepting her infertility they have a blue nose pit bull called Justice as their “child” and live simple lives as techy nerds. Isabella’s idyllic life is shattered when several days after her lover’s ex-wife, SIMONE JOHNS, reported death, Simone sends Jacob an email to come save their child, he didn’t know they had.

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

The opening of Sanctuary of Lies had me hooked. An act of terrorism with the potential to shut down the skies of the world. I had high hopes for an action packed cyber thriller from that part onwards. Sadly that’s not what I got. I struggled to keep going as the story limped from one thing to the next. The moments of tension were all too predictable, not nearly as tense as they should have been.

From that explosive opening, we hear little more about that subject. It seems to have been all but forgotten, or at least mentioned in different contexts. I struggled to invest myself in the characters. There was little to like or loathe about any of them – the good guys or the bad. They felt somewhat flat and insipid.

I struggled to engage with the plot. For all the tension ramped up at the beginning of the book, the story didn’t deliver. It seemed to meander all over too much. The tense moments weren’t as tense as they should be. Nothing occurred with the sense of urgency the situations merited. The worst part for me came at the end. The only real reference back to the climactic opening was a castaway one liner. It felt a real shame given the potential the book had in the opening.

My rating:

Friday Face-Off – 22nd May 2020

Friday Face-Off – 22nd May 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.

Things look a little different today! I am playing around with the new WordPress editor, and trying something different for the layout of the covers. Let me know if you prefer this to the old layout that showed one cover under the previous.

This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover featuring a cabin: “It is good to know that out there, in a forest in the world, there is a cabin where something is possible…”. For this theme I’ve gone with Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

And the winner is… COVER E!

Another classic I’ve not read but am very aware of. Cover E is really quite powerful. It really encapsulates the time period for me, and the life experienced by those in slavery.

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 silhouette: “As we drifted away from the Tower Bridge, I saw a single silhouette standing against the bright lamplight.”

To Kill a Shocking Bard by Paul Mathews

To Kill a Shocking Bard by Paul Mathews

When Upper Goosing’s premier poet, Percy Bishe, expires after scoffing a jumbo cream horn in the Tourist Trap café, foul puff-pastry play is immediately suspected. However, there’s a not-so-sweet surprise in store for Detective Inspector Clinton Trump, when his newly promoted deputy, Sergeant Dinkel, is handed the case and Clinton is left on the side-lines like a piece of stale shortbread. Will our detective genius manage to muscle his way into the investigation? Is Sergeant Dinkel up to the task of tracking down the bard’s killer? And will the murderer get his just deserts? Find out, in this final, lip-smacking Clinton Trump Detective Genius adventure!

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

To Kill a Shocking Bard brings the Clinton Trump detective trilogy to a close in spectacular style. Local poet Percy Bishe dies in mysterious circumstances, chowing down on his last ever jumbo cream horn during a poetry night in the Tourist Trap Cafe. Fingers are pointed in every direction. Is the baker guilty? The proprietress of the cafe losing customers whenever the poetry group meets? Was it rival poet Byron Lourdes? Or could the culprit be any one of a number of possible suspects with the slightest of reasons to kill him off?To Kill a Shocking Bard Paul MathewsSergeant Dinkel takes charge of the heinous murder much to the disgust of Detective Inspector Clinton Trump, Sout East England’s greatest investigator. While Dinkel heads out to investigate Upper Goosing’s latest murder, the bumbling detective stumbles his way through his own efforts to grab the glory all for himself. As the two cases converge through mishap and fluke another deadly situation befalls the investigative partners.

The third and final book in the trilogy rounds things off nicely. It’s full of comedic events and black humour as per the first two books in the series. The bumbling investigators and the outrages twists make this an entertaining read. There are plenty of little references to Paul Mathews’ We Have Lost series of books, and to himself, always in a humorous and self deprecating manner.

Though vastly different to the We Have Lost series, the Clinton Trump trilogy have been entertaining, silly, dark and enjoyable in equal measure. With Mathews moving on to a new series with new characters, I look forward to seeing what he produces next.

 

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 15th May 2020

Friday Face-Off – 15th May 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 is pink. For this theme I’ve gone with Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea.

Cover A:

Don't Believe It Charlie Donlea 1

Cover B:

Don't Believe It Charlie Donlea 2

Cover C:

Don't Believe It Charlie Donlea 3

Cover D:

Don't Believe It Charlie Donlea 4

Cover E:

Don't Believe It Charlie Donlea 6

Cover F:

Don't Believe It Charlie Donlea 7

And the winner is… COVER A!

I struggled to find a book with a range of covers for this theme. But Cover A really caught my eye. That vibrant pink sky is incredible, and a little ominous too.

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 cabin: “It is good to know that out there, in a forest in the world, there is a cabin where something is possible…”

Friday Face-Off – 8th May 2020

Friday Face-Off – 8th May 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 from  a graphic novel. Today I am dipping into Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez’s Locke & Key series.

Cover A:

Locke & Key 1 Joe Hill Gabriel Rodríguez

Cover B:

Locke & Key 2 Joe Hill Gabriel Rodríguez

Cover C:

Locke & Key 3 Joe Hill Gabriel Rodríguez

Cover D:

Locke & Key 4 Joe Hill Gabriel Rodríguez

Cover E:

Locke & Key 5 Joe Hill Gabriel Rodríguez

Cover F:

Locke & Key 6 Joe Hill Gabriel Rodríguez

And the winner is… COVER A!

Technically I’ve cheated this week by picking covers within a series rather than different cover versions, but I’ll live with that. I watched the Netflix series recently and absolutely loved it. So much so I immediately bought Volume 1. I quite like Covers D and F, but A wins it for me. That house is imposing and ominous. It also looks pretty similar to the one in the series. I am really looking forward to reading this series!

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 mostly pink.

Friday Face-Off – 1st May 2020

Friday Face-Off – 1st May 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 features a cat: “I meant,” said Ipslore bitterly, “what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?” Death thought about it. CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.” I’ve gone for The Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.

Cover A:

Doctor Sleep Stephen King 1

Cover B:

Doctor Sleep Stephen King 2

Cover C:

Doctor Sleep Stephen King 3

Cover D:

Doctor Sleep Stephen King 4

Cover E:

Doctor Sleep Stephen King 5

Cover F:

Doctor Sleep Stephen King 6

Cover G:

Doctor Sleep Stephen King 7

And the winner is… COVER C!

I read and absolutely loved this book. A worthy sequel to a fantastic novel. The cat in the book is somewhat ominious, a portent of things soon to come. Something about the cat in C is ethereal, ominous in a way. I love the way it seems to materialise out of the smoke. And the piercing blue eyes are mesmerising.

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 from a graphic novel.

Friday Face-Off – 24th April 2020

Friday Face-Off – 24th April 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 features armour: “Pretty armour doesn’t make a warrior.” This week I have picked The Red Knight by Miles Cameron.

Cover A:

The Red Knight Miles Cameron 1

Cover B:

The Red Knight Miles Cameron 2

Cover C:

The Red Knight Miles Cameron 3

Cover D:

The Red Knight Miles Cameron 4

Cover E:

The Red Knight Miles Cameron 5

Cover F:

The Red Knight Miles Cameron 6

And the winner is… COVER D!

Honestly, any one of these could have won it for me this week. I really liked them all. D edges it though. The composition is fantastic. The metalic heavy looking gauntlet grasping that large sword, the rich red cloak billowing, and the red splashes of blood on the metalwork. Eye catching, and intriguing. 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 features a cat: “I meant,” said Ipslore bitterly, “what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?” Death thought about it. CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.”

The Last Straw by Ed Duncan

The Last Straw by Ed Duncan

When a teenage girl witnesses a carjacking gone bad, she is marked for death by a crime boss with no apparent motive. A black lawyer and a white enforcer with an unlikely history forge an uneasy alliance to protect the girl from a hit man with an agenda of his own.

After they find out that the crime boss is the father of the black teenage carjacker, Paul Elliott – lawyer and close friend of the witness’s family – begins counseling them.

As the long-simmering feud between Rico and John D’Angelo reaches boiling point, bodies start to pile up in rapid succession… and old scores will be settled.

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

The Last Straw sees the return of hitman-for-hire Rico. He finds himself caught up in a mess he hoped to avoid. When asked to carry out a hit, he refuses. Somewhere deep down he has a moral compass, that firmly stops him from taking up a hit on a child. Even less so an innocent child whose only wrongdoing was to have witnessed a carjacking that ended in murder. Events conspire to throw a figure from his past into the mix making for a perfect storm Rico would much prefer to have avoided.
The Last Straw Ed DuncanPicking up where Pigeon-Blood Red finished, Ed Duncan transports the reader back into the murky criminal underworld, this time in Chicago. Rico cannot help but wade into the fray and uncover the mysteries that link the seemingly unconnected threads together. 

Duncan manages to thread multiple story lines together masterfully. The energy and pace is present throughout. Rico gains layers of depth throughout the course of this second book, making him a more enjoyable and engaging character. Though bringing back additional characters from the first book, they did not feel to have been shoehorned in.

I found The Last Straw to be a fast paced novel with plenty to keep the reader engaged. Ed Duncan hides very little from the reader in terms of plotline, but the way the book is written grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and pulled me along for a ride filled with twists. With a third outing to come for Rico, I look forward to seeing what scrapes he finds himself in.

 

My rating:
goodread