Showing posts with label first book in series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label first book in series. Show all posts

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Book Review: Revenge of Zeeka - Zeeka and the Zombies by Brenda Mohammed


"This whole thing is so bizarre. I don't know what to think."

Mark, talking to Raynor, trying to make sense of what he has just witnessed.

Synopsis (from the author): Revenge of Zeeka - Zeeka and the Zombies is the first book in a mystery thriller series set in the year 2036. 
Twenty years ago in 2016 a virus epidemic raged over the scenic small island of Gosh off the coast of South America. 
Hundreds of pregnant women who were infected with the virus, produced still born babies at the end of their term. 
Twenty years later in the year 2036, at the island's national Carnival celebrations a small band parading as sailors wreaked havoc on the spectators killing and maiming several of them. Why did this happen? Who was the person or persons behind this violent act and how will this all end? 
If you love thrillers with a mix of love and romance, don't miss this action-packed read


I like weird stories. Not everything has to be set in a world you know, and perhaps my favourite author, Stephen King is my favourite because he turns the normal into abnormal effortlessly. For author Brenda Mohammed's latest work, we are pulled into the genre of zombie horror, which has seen a massive resurgence in recent years.

What I love about this first short story in the series is how, like King, the author has her characters Mark and Raynor going about their normal lives when eyes really start to play tricks on them, and the question is for us, dear readers, is positioned thus:-

Can we trust what we see with our own eyes, or is this a vision, hallucination, or some other mind trick being played on us by some evil entity?

Possibly the answer is yes to each element of that question. 

Rather than being a full blown horror, this first story serves as a tasty morsel (I really shouldn't use such lines in a review about flesh eating zombies!) to what is to come. Who is the mysterious Zeeka? Why does he want revenge? Not everything is answered here, but will be in future stories in the series. At its relatively short length, it is the perfect introduction to this author's writing, which I am seeing a great growth with each work she pens.

My favourite character is actually Detective Jack Wildy. There is so much that cold be done with this charcter, he reminds me of Jack Lord of Hawaii-5-0 (original, people!) fame:-

This is an action packed novella that has several plot lines running, but at no time did I feel lost. Each character seamlessly interacted with others, and there's an interesting man hunt happening which will stretch resources of the said Detective to breaking point. Raynor's impending marriage to long-time love Janet might not happen after all.

"It is the perfect introduction to this author's writing."

These different plot lines keep you reading, and keep you guessing. Despite its length I did not read this book in one sitting. I wanted to absorb the cleverly interlinked plotlines. In fact, there's not a lot of the mysterious Zeeka of the title in this first story, and I think that's a clever decision by the author.

Buy it before the next installment is released!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Book Review: Beneath the Rainbow by Lisa Shambrook

Beneath the Rainbow

Review: "It's those silly dreams that keep us alive." 

Dreams define us, shape us and realise our potential...they make us who we are. 

Freya won't let death stand in her way. When she dies Freya knows she needs to move on, but is caught within her mother's grief and the discovery of terminally ill Old Thomas. Finding she can affect the lives of those beyond her heaven she fights to reach her mother and wants to help Thomas realise his final dream. Meanwhile, her family finds her own list of goals and soon discovers that Thomas has a burning desire to ride a motorbike.

Freya intends to create a rainbow, the last item on her list, to reach her mother, but her pale arcs won't achieve closure. She needs scarlet like remembrance poppies then sunset orange and sunflower yellow. She makes green like her willow and blue like daddy's t-shirt. Finally conjuring indigo, the shade of deepening night and violet to match Purple Ted... 

Beneath these colours will Freya reach her mother, wait for Old Thomas and be ready to move on? 

Discover the importance of dreams and fulfilment in Freya's heart-breaking and uplifting tale of grief, hope, triumph and joy.

Review: The first thing to say about a book review is that I believe the review is more important than the rating. However, I have given Beneath the Rainbow a strong four stars because I believe this book would reward us with repeat readings, so this four could easily become a five in due course.

As for the review of this dreamlike, spellbinding book that opens with a hell of a sequence, which I won't mention here (just read it and you will be hooked), the book moves onto a possible version of the afterlife, and I have to say that in order to remain connected to the story, it is best to read it in one go.

 The author has taken time to make it a stunning experience for the reader.

The book is not that long, so you should be able to do it. What author Lisa Shambrook has done so well is give us a convincing, well detailed version of an alternate reality; a state of being that we don't understand because our days are filled with finding the pounds to pay for stuff that society says we needs.

To hell with all that!

Sometimes, an author comes along with a rare and special talent. The author has also penned further books and it will be a treat to get around to them one day.

Another thing to mention is how beautifully the whole book is presented. The author has taken time to make it a stunning experience for the reader.

Bring Beneath the Rainbow to the top of your reading list.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Book Review: The Legend of Zyrah (The Legend of Zyrah Series Book One) by Joseph Machney


There's a been a recent trend for fantasy epics to become as over-the-top with its depictions of violence, profanity and sex. But what's a good fantasy writer to do? Where can the genre go, only darker? If they didn't, we would be stuck with the old good versus evil story with various plot devices that don't raise the story above the mediocre. Having read a number of fantasies of late that were average to extremely good, I wondered what author Joseph Machney could do with his epic. After all, The Legend of Zyrah is the first in his epic series.

I had to read books of other genres so that I could look at this one with fair eyes. And I have to say - I enjoyed it.

The MacGuffin in the story centres around a wizard who has become dictator in all but name. He has control of two magical devices that help him keep a grip on power, often ruling with an iron fist while he does so.

Fortunately, not everyone accepts his take on things, and our hero soon pops up to secure the remaining artefacts, thus stopping the despot from becoming even more of a tyrant than he is already.

Around this central theme are an array of characters that develop beautifully as the story progresses. In fantasy, the genre has been done to death so to bring something new, you're going to have to do a 'Tolkien' or make your characters engaging. It's here where I think the author has done a stellar job.

Kion is obviously set up to be the best character, but as I read others, I really warmed to Akin, Teagan and Jade. The whole quest, therefore, is to see exactly how balance can be restored to the realm of Zyrah, not essentially to remove the evil ruler from power. Is there a commentary on the current world's status being formed by the author? That's one of the things I pondered as I reached this first book's conclusion. Ultimately, you will have to read the book to understand why the quest / mission / task has to happen, but I promise you that you will enjoy the ride.

The Legend of Zyrah is a strong first book in the series. The second book is out now. So if you want to immerse yourself in a well drawn fantasy world but with especially well drawn characters, give this book a try!