Friday Face-Off – 21st July 2017

Friday Face-Off – 21st July 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 robot: “Man is a robot with defects.”

For this theme I have gone for I, Robot from the father of the laws of robotics himself, Isaac Asimov.

Cover A:

robot1

Cover B:

robot2

Cover C:

robot3

Cover D:

robot4

Cover E:

robot5

Cover F:

robot6

Cover G:

robot7

Cover H:

robot8

Cover I:

robot9

Cover J:

robot10

And the winner is… A DRAW! Covers A and J spoke to me straight away. They stood out to me as they had a vibe that harked back to the glory days of science fiction.

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 knife: “The kindest use a knife, because the dead so soon grow cold.”

Dying to Live by Michael Stanley

Dying to Live by Michael Stanley

A Bushman is discovered dead near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Although the man looks old enough to have died of natural causes, the police suspect foul play, and the body is sent to Gaborone for an autopsy. Pathologist Ian MacGregor confirms the cause of death as a broken neck, but is greatly puzzled by the man’s physiology. Although he’s obviously very old, his internal organs look remarkably young. He calls in Assistant Superintendent David “Kubu” Bengu. When the Bushman’s corpse is stolen from the morgue, suddenly the case takes on a new dimension.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting a stop on the blog tour for Dying to Live. This is the sixth book in a series featuring leading man Assistant Superintendent David Bengu in the Botswana police force. I’ll confess I was a little mixed going into this book for a couple of reasons: first, with the entire book being set in such a different country, I was worried it may be heavy on references that might be missed or difficult to follow if you aren’t aware of the cultures. Secondly, the book is part of a series, and I was worried I would miss things with this being the first book in the series that I have read.
35098371I needn’t have worried thought. The cultural references were used sparingly, and to good effect, but not so much so that the book was difficult to follow. And equally, it didn’t matter that it is part of a series – Dying to Live worked perfectly well as a stand alone read. I felt the lead characters were introduced in such a way that the reader gets to know them even though the series is established by this point.

This is a well-crafted mystery novel, with a number of threads to the the story. This sometimes can be a negative, when a book has too many mysteries to be unravelled – that can lead to a contrived story. Dying to Live, however, ties all the threads together as the book develops leading to the finale, which is not obvious.
A number of possible protagonists are put forward for a range of crimes – the murder of a famous witch doctor, the murder of a bushman and subsequent theft of his corpse and the mystery of the Chinese girl whose body was transported from Botswana, who didn’t exist. But any and all could very easily be the guilty party. This is something I love in a mystery book – the ability to read the book without entirely being certain as to “whodunit” until towards the end.

Dying to Live is a brilliantly written mystery, with an exotic location that I felt I got to know things to the descriptive writing. The characters are colourful and described well enough that the book works as a stand alone even though it is part way into the series. The mystery is well-assembled with just enough twists and turns to keep the story entertaining, all adding together to make an enjoyable read.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 14th July 2017

Friday Face-Off – 14th July 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 the undead: “This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”

This week, my pick is another book I am yet to read – Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend.

Cover A:

zombie1

Cover B:

zombie2

Cover C:

zombie3

Cover D:

zombie4

Cover E:

zombie5

Cover F:

zombie6

Cover G:

zombie7

And the winner is… cover A!

This one was an easy pick. Cover A is dark and atmospheric. I like the representation of the undead 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 I will be looking for a cover featuring a robot: “Man is a robot with defects.”

Friday Face-Off – 7th July 2017

Friday Face-Off – 7th July 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 planet: “Any planet is ‘Earth’ to those who live on it”.

I’ve gone with a personal favourite comedy of mine – Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Cover A:

planet1

Cover B:

planet2

Cover C:

planet3

Cover D:

planet4

Cover E:

planet5

Cover F:

planet6

Cover G:

planet7

Cover H:

planet8

Cover I:

planet9

And the winner is… cover D!

I love this book, it’s one of my favourites. Cover D was my clear winner this week – it captures the zany, wacky mind of Douglas Adams, and the crazy elements of this fantastic, if silly story.

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 the undead: “This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”

Cover Reveal – Gravity’s Truth by AK Alliss

Cover Reveal – Gravity’s Truth by AK Alliss

Today I have the pleasure of revealing the cover for book three in AK Alliss’ Ouroboros Cycle series of books, Gravity’s Truth. Look out for it when it releases in February 2018. You can also find my review for book one, Frame here. as well as a guest post from AK Alliss himself here.
gravity

Jimmy, a former accountant charged with Fraud, now works the tube, an atmosphere breaking conduit that leads to the mysterious facility, Imago. There, the wealthy re-purpose their souls as Zeroes, robotic shells that effectively grant them immortality.

When Jimmy comes into possession of a briefcase containing personality chips of several prominent government officials, his life will become forfeit. On the run from a corrupt organisation dedicated to creating a Utopian society at any cost, Jimmy will have to make a decision that will mean either his redemption or ruin.

Gravity’s Truth is due out February 2018 through Amazon and selected bookstores.

Frame and Future’s Orphans, also part of the Ouroboros Cycle, are available on Amazon now.

Friday Face-Off – 30th June 2017

Friday Face-Off – 30th June 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 boat: “The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea, in a beautiful pea green boat…”

I have headed back to the classics for yet another book I haven’t read: Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome.

Cover A:

boat1

Cover B:

boat2

Cover C:

boat3

Cover D:

boat4

Cover E:

boat5

Cover F:

boat6

Cover G:

boat7

And the winner is… A TRIPLE THREAT!

Wow! This week was a hard one for me to call! I have had a few ties, but this is a first for me – three winning covers. And those covers are A, D and E! In A, I loved the cartoonish style that points to a sense of comedy in the story. Cover D, similarly feels like there may be some japery to be found. Cover E, meanwhile just felt fun and jolly, and all three winners this week are tempting me to try this book!

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 planet: “Any planet is ‘Earth’ to those who live on it”.

We Have Lost The Coffee by Paul Mathews

We Have Lost The Coffee by Paul Mathews

London, 2045. Three months into the Coffee Wars and Britain’s caffeine supplies are at critical levels. Brits are drinking even more tea than usual, keeping a stiff upper lip and praying for an end to it all. A secret Government coffee stockpile could save the day…but then mysteriously disappears overnight.

One man is asked to unravel the missing-coffee mystery. His name is Pond. Howie Pond. And he’s in desperate need of a triple espresso. Meanwhile, his journalist wife, Britt, is hunting royal fugitive Emma Windsor on the streets of the capital.

Can Howie save the British Republic from caffeine-starved chaos? Will the runaway royal be found? And just what will desperate coffee drinkers do for their next caffeine fix? Find out, in Paul Mathews’ latest comedy-thriller set in the Britain of the future…

‘We Have Lost The Coffee’ is packed with dry British humour, political satire, dozens of comedy characters and enough coffee jokes to keep you awake all night. It’s full of crazy action and adventure in London, and beyond, and is guaranteed to set your pulse racing faster than a quadruple espresso.

So, join Howie, Britt and friends – as well as some enemies – as you travel forward in time to 2040s London.

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

Today is my stop on the blog tour for We Have Lost The Coffee. And better still, today is also release day! We Have Lost The Coffee is the third outing in the series for Paul Mathews’ hapless hero Howie Pond. Once again our 007-dreaming secret agent finds himself stuck in the middle of a new Code Red Crisis.

We Have Lost the Coffee CoverBut worse than missing Presidents, lost pelicans and royals attempting a coup – the coffee is running out. To pay for his ridiculous campaign promises, President Zayn Winner needed a way to raise some quick cash. In all of his infinite wisdom, he decide to levy a tax on all countries exporting coffee to the British Republic.

This in turn led to a crisis. Brazil and the other coffee-growing nations placed embargoes on Britain, leading to caffeine shortages. A personal nightmare for me. A secret government stockpile of coffee from around the world in Romford has disappeared. Howie and Martha need to track them down urgently while the president is away in Las Vegas at a presidential summit.

Meanwhile, newly-married Britt finds herself disillusioned with constant reporting on the so called Coffee Wars and looking for the next big scoop to really catapult her career. With two out of three of the royal triplets who attempted to overthrow the government behind bars, Britt set out to catch the third running royal.

With a lack of caffeine the general state of society descends into deception and treachery to get their hands on some coffee anyway they can. And with just two days left on his 12 month contract as a secret agent, Howie needs this one solved sooner than soon.

The investigation uncovers political corruption, greed and stupidity all the way through. Blackmail and bribery become the order of the day in a desperate attempt to locate the coffee before the world gets wind of the situation. Britt meanwhile finds herself once again in a dangerous situation as she travels around the London area desperate to find the runaway royal.

As the coffee tax negotiations intensified, Howie comes up with a solution to the Code Red Crisis, and the entire Coffee Wars. And Britt has some tough career choices to make as she once again dodges the bullet at the hands of a deranged royal triplet.

Once again Paul Mathews has put together a fantastically entertaining book, and a wonderful return of Howie, Britt and Martha. As we speak he has started work on book four of the series, We Have Lost The Chihuahuas, which I for one cannot wait to read!

My rating:
goodread