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Sea and gruesomeness

The Contract of Maddox Black Book Cover The Contract of Maddox Black
The Chronicles of Maddox Black
E Earle
Sci Fi & Fantasy
BooksGoSocial, CreateSpace
Pub Date 3 Jan 2017

Determined. Daring. And soon to be Dead.

Hanging for witchcraft is the least of Maddox Black's problems. Becoming sworn to a demon Hunter is another…

Thought dead for seven years, Maddox returns home to Greyport, intent on claiming her deceased father’s infamous travel journals.

Before she can lay her hands on her inheritance, she discovers her drunkard cousin has already promised the journals to the Grim. To make things worse, the bankrupt Earl of Greyport is blackmailing her to race for them across the Damned Seas and a Hunter is knocking on her door, claiming she’s to join his Demon-exorcising Order.

Running out of options, Maddox does the unthinkable and strikes a deal with the unnatural Hunter, leading her down a whirlwind of walking corpses, using dismembered fingers as currency, burning down plague-ridden villages and bribed to find a mad prince’s kidnapped sister.

To survive, she will have to become the very thing people feared her to be...

I initially had a problem with this book – I was about to give up about 10% of the way through – much sooner than normal, but then suddenly the story improved and much that had been obscure began to make senses. All after she met The Hunter.

Maddy’s father was rather more than he seemed and thus his journals were rather more than just journals of his travels. Thus they became very important and more than The Grim were after them. Although it was stated that only Maddy and her father could read them as they were in a special code. And her mother was more than just a woman from the Half Woods too. And over the course of this story, Maddy begins to learn that she is more too. Powers have been inherited from her father as well as her mother.

Is it a good story? Well it is a gruesome story and not one to read at bedtime unless you want nightmares. The author has let their imagination run riot in the ‘how awful can this creature be?’ vein of story-telling. Will I read more of this story? Probably not as it is just a bit too gruesome for me, but I would like to know that the children are rescued unharmed, more than that doesn’t bother me. 4 stars in the end.

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Don’t Wake Up

Awakening Book Cover Awakening
8th Dimension
Carissa Andrews
Science Fiction, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Independently published
Nov 12th

The final five angels have been located and averting the apocalypse means somehow recreating the birth of Christ. 

Morgan never expected total annihilation would come down to the actions of five misfit angels. But as each one’s hidden angelic power unfolds, so does the sinister truth… the entire Jesus storyline has been wiped from the collective consciousness, leaving a tear in the fabric of reality.

The final five need to figure out how their gifts are meant to fit together in order to set things right. However, coming to terms with the responsibility resting on their shoulders doesn’t come easy. To make matters worse, the demons have found them and unless they get on the same page quickly, the darkness will consume them all. But how can they make things right when the thing that’s missing happened more than 2000 years ago?

One thing’s for sure. If they fail, existence ceases.

 Before I read this book for the BlogTour I read the 2 previous novels in the series and quite enjoyed them. Awakening, not so much.

For me I found the story dragged rather. The writing is competent but when changing characters for each chapter the writing voice remained the same. There was no variation in tone, thinking or sentence/paragraph construction.

And then the story turned into Christian proselytizing. That is, the reality they wanted didn’t work without Christianity.

I carried on reading just in case and initially thought OK, just adding one more religion to the mix, but then there was the single entity over all and clearly we are heading for the Second Coming in the next book.

So for me – how to spoil a book – and series.

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Enter the AI and the Apocalypse

Emily Eternal Book Cover Emily Eternal
M. G. Wheaton
General Fiction (Adult) , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Hodder & Stoughton
23 Apr 2019

Meet Emily - she can solve advanced mathematical problems, unlock the mind's deepest secrets and even fix your truck's air con, but unfortunately, she can't restart the Sun.

Emily is an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.

So, her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome. But before her solution can be tested, her lab is brutally attacked, and Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions - college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra.

As the sun's death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. But before long it becomes clear that it's not only the species at stake, but also that which makes us most human.

So the Apocalypse actually happens and money is no longer of any value, just barter. And Emily, an artificial intelligence was designed to interface with, and de-code human minds. She was designed to become not a maths genius, but rather a non-human psychiatrist. It was reasoned that people would open up more to a program than a human and thus more would be learnt about the human mind and emotions that way. Of course, she needed a body to undertake her work but the sun’s failure somewhat interrupted everyone’s intentions. Emily can eat, wash, sleep and alter her appearance despite requiring a Caucasian female personality for the experiment.

So, if the human race can no longer live on Earth, what can be done to record their lives, their endeavours and hopes? And how can Emily help?

An interesting idea within a set of ‘books’ within the book as Emily and her protocols evolve, and as the Earth dies but…

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Something Magical?

The Wolf, the Wizard and the Woad Book Cover The Wolf, the Wizard and the Woad
(Highland Healer Book 4)
Florence Love Karsner
Sci Fi & Fantasy , Women's Fiction
BooksGoSocial SeaDog Press, LLC
(12 Sept. 2018)

This prequel to the Highland Healer Series takes readers back in time, to the beginning of the line of healers from whom Caitlin—the fiery, determined protagonist at the heart of the series—has come. Who were these people? Where did they come from? And most importantly, who was this grandmother, Ci-Cero, that is spoken of in the series? What was so special about her? Does Caitlin possess some of her traits, her character, or her abilities? How is it that Caitlin finds herself in Scotland?The Wolf, The Wizard, and The Woad is a magical tale, unique in its presentation, and delves into even greater questions that have been with humanity since the beginning of time. This exciting story will engage you on page one. The time period is the 1600s and the story opens on a desperate note. Caitlin’s father, a Viking, and her mother, a Woad, have traveled from their home in the isles of Scotland—land of ancients and druids—to a new land seeking a better life.Their journey to this far away land has been an arduous one. Many have died, and death is anxiously waiting to wrap its arms around their young daughter as well. In order to save her, a desperate father and mother leave their small daughter on the shores of North America–a dangerous and primitive land—with only a wolf to protect her. This beginning, though heart wrenching, is necessary and sets your thoughts afire wondering what comes next. This coming of age tale, the story of a Chosen Child whose destiny was written eons ago, moves quickly and takes many unexpected detours and follows unmapped territory. This special girl must survive, though her chances are slim as she is alone in her quest to find her place and reason for being. Fascination abounds when we meet her mentor—an old wizard, a shaman— who resides in a cave. Who is this warlock? His spirit has been with her since her birth. Is he psychic? Telepathic? Or is he simply a figment of her imagination? How does he fit into the overall picture? Why is he of such importance for our healer, Caitlin, later on?The favorite character in the Highland Healer Series is the wolf. He is an integral character in this prequel as well. His sole purpose is to protect this child, a task he was assigned the moment she was born. Like Caitlin’s grandmother, Ci-Cero, this wolf is the first in his line and his offspring are present in each novel in the series. Follow them all—the wolf, the wizard, and the woad—and you’ll engage on a most interesting and exciting adventure that will stay with you for an eon or more!

An interesting preview to a series I am not familiar with.

However, whilst I liked the Native American Lore and the mix with some Viking theology, the actual ‘magic’ element seemed rather thin.

Yes, there was a wizard – one must suppose that as he turned out to be white skinned with blue eyes, tat he was in fact a Druid. Which didn’t fit with all the other theologies.

I did wonder if it was aimed at a YA audience, but it seems not, which surprised me, as the level of knowledge seemed at this level.

In the end, I found it a little disappointing. Too many pantheons and theologies mixed up together.

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And death has it secrets

Secrets in death Book Cover Secrets in death
Dallas, Eve (Fictitious character)
J. D. Robb
fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, crime fiction
Piatkus Books
September 5, 2017
384

No one is going to miss Larinda Mars. A ruthless gossip queen with a lucrative sideline in blackmail, there's no lack of suspects when she's murdered in a fashionable New York bar. With so many people wanting her dead, it's going to be a tough case to crack. Lieutenant Eve Dallas may not like this particular victim, but it's her duty to bring the killer to justice. As she digs deeper into Larinda's mysterious past, it becomes clear the reporter had a unique talent for uncovering secrets. Including ones very close to home for Eve and her husband Roarke... Someone was willing to commit murder to keep their secrets hidden. And with Eve now working to uncover the truth, she and her team are heading into serious danger.

Dallas rides again in a New York winter, with a hat with a pompom, which rally embarrasses her, but… there is a murder to be solved and Roarke and his eGeek friends have plenty to do.

Gossip columnists have lots of secrets and they hold secrets on others too it seems, secrets that make them a lot of money and give them a lot of power. So lots of enemies to comb through. Perhaps not quite as original as the earlier books in this series, but still, always worth a read.

As always, Peabody makes us smile, Roarke makes us lust, and we all want to be Dallas. And we’d also quite like that week in the Mexico hideaway she offered Peabody – especially if we fly by one of Roarke’s private planes.

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