Friday, 23 October 2020

The Loch by Steve Alten

The LochThe Loch by Steve Alten
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 5 days

Pages - 541

Publisher - Tor books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads


Incorporating the latest research and new evidence, that leads to real answers concerning the Loch Ness monster's identity, bestselling author Steve Alten weaves a tale of horror about the most publicized and controversial creature ever imagined.


My Review

A marine biologist Zach has a long history with The Loch heads down on a dive that ends in tragedy. Escaping death, screwed over by his colleague, career down the pan - when a blast from the past comes calling he heads back, to his past and The Loch. Something is attacking folk, Zach cannot escape from his past and now a huge problem with the water, not great for a marine biologist. Everything seems linked, Zach is going to need to face his fears and address his past if he has any hope of a future.

The underwater scenes on the initial dive I thought was brilliantly done, very atmospheric, spooky and then your worst nightmare. The flashes to the past and Scottish history I didn't get nor see the relevance but stick with it and all becomes clear, eventually.

I think this would make great for a movie on the horror channel, a creature feature. Lots of family drama, character issues as well as the man eating horrific monster. I like Alten's writing, well what I have read from the Meg series (who doesn't love a shark). I didn't love this but I liked it, if you are looking for a monster book and some theories for Nessie, give it a bash, 3/5 for me.


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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Lost Souls by Dean Koontz

Lost Souls (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein #4)Lost Souls by Dean Koontz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 350

Publisher - Bantam

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

FRANKENSTEIN: LOST SOULS

The war against humanity has begun. In the dead hours of the night, a stranger enters the home of the mayor of Rainbow Falls, Montana. The stranger is in the vanguard of a wave of intruders who will invade other homes . . . offices . . . every local institution, assuming the identities and the lives of those they have been engineered to replace. Before the sun rises, the town will be under full assault, the opening objective in the new Victor Frankenstein’s trajectory of ultimate destruction. Deucalion—Victor’s first, haunted creation—saw his maker die in New Orleans two years earlier. Yet an unshakable intuition tells him that Victor lives—and is at work again. Within hours Deucalion will come together with his old allies, detectives Carson O’Connor and Michael Maddison, Victor’s engineered wife, Erika Five, and her companion Jocko to confront new peril. Others will gather around them. But this time Victor has a mysterious, powerful new backer, and he and his army are more formidable, their means and intentions infinitely more deadly, than ever before.


My Review

Book four in the Frankenstein series, if you haven't read other others you could get away with starting here but you will have missed so much. Victor survived - well in a fashion and his plan is back, worse than before, humanity is at risk and they don't even know it.

The invaders, mimics, replacers, replicas are back, more effective, organised and primed to do what Victor initially set out to do. With only a handful of people aware of what is going on humanities chances are slim but we have Deucalion and an unlikely couple of allies.

The book isn't really giving us anything new from the last three, we know the plan, we know the players and this is I think two years on from the last book. Its the earth shaking just as it had settled and the players involved thought everything was ok. It is almost, I felt, like a bridge book, bringing in a few loose ends, bringing everything from the previous together and building up to prepare for the grand finale. They have changed tactics a bit from the original series so that is new and all so brutal and methodical. If you liked the previous books I think you will "enjoy" this as part of the series. I have high hopes for the last book, I liked this I just didn't love it, 3.5/5 for me.



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Sunday, 18 October 2020

Dracula by Bram Stoker

DraculaDracula by Bram Stoker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 5 days

Pages - 382

Publisher - Signet Classics

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Dracula is perhaps almost as interesting regarded historically as the product of a specific time as it is engaging to continuing generations of readers in a 'timeless' fashion. In her introduction Byron first discusses the famous novel as an expression not of universal fears and desires but of specifically late nineteenth-century concerns. At the same time she is entirely attuned to the ways in which, however much Dracula is a Victorian text, Dracula is a very twentieth-century character, a representative of modernity and of the future.


My review

Guys this has been on my shelves for donkeys years! Cannot believe I hadn't read it before now :O We all know the story, we have saw the movies. Jonathan Harker is headed to meet and stay with Dracula as part of his job and Dracula is the client. This is a huge task for Jonathan and he is committed to doing a great job. As we all know who and what Dracula is but poor Jonathan does not and we follow his journey via his diary entries. We also hear from Mina, his fiance's through her diary entries, in fact all the entries/stories/sides of the tale are in diary format.

Atmospheric, spooky and although a bit of a slower pace than many of the books we devour nowadays it keeps your attention and the suspense throughout. I have just watched two of the movies (I had seen before) and it is interesting to see the changes and takes from the book, mostly it stays true to the important parts.

I am no a fan of the classics at all, I find them a struggle to get through yet I did enjoy this one, took me a wee bit longer than a normal book would, espesh one so thin. A different time and style of writing but I think if you are a fan of Dracula and don't mind diary entries style of writing you will also enjoy the book.

Perfect for this time of year, revisiting an old fave and of course Van Helsing is in it (I won't eve be able to visualize anyone but Price when I read him in books, indeed why would you want to). 4/5 for me this time, if you struggle with the classics but want to read one, look no further!





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Friday, 16 October 2020

Dear NHS 100 Stories to Say Thank You - Adam Kay and various celebrities

Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank YouDear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You by Adam Kay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 3 days

Pages - 408

Publisher - Orion

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads


Created and edited by Adam Kay (author of multi-million best seller 'This is Going to Hurt'), 'DEAR NHS' features household names telling their personal stories of the health service. Contributors include Joanna Lumley, Naomie Harris, Kate Tempest, Lee Child, Tanni Grey Thomson, Bill Bryson, Trevor McDonald, Jack Whitehall, Michael Palin, Stanley Tucci and many, many more.

All profits from this book will go to NHS Charities Together to fund vital research and projects and the Lullaby Trust which supports parents bereaved of babies and young children.

The NHS is our single greatest achievement as a country. No matter who you are, no matter what your health needs are and no matter how much money you have, the NHS is there for you. In 'DEAR NHS', 100 inspirational people come together to share their stories of how the National Health Service has been there for them and changed their lives in the process. By turns deeply moving, hilarious, hopeful and impassioned, these stories together become a love letter to the NHS and the 1.4 million people who go above and beyond the call of duty every single day - selflessly, generously, putting others before themselves, never more so than now.

They are all heroes, and this book is our way of saying thank you.



My Review


Someone said to me, if you work in the NHS and read this don't you think it is a bit self serving (or something to that effect). No! Yes the book is a Thank You to the NHS but it is about the people sharing THEIR stories, it is THEIR experiences and they just happen to be celebrities.

Working in healthcare, in any setting, if you don't work in it it is hard to explain. You are blessed, challenged, pushed, stressed, happy, sad, privileged and get to experience and share things that you otherwise, in any other job or walk of life you would not.

This book is a collection of many peoples stories, what happened to them and their experience in and with the NHS, there are poems too. The actual stories, some are heartbreaking, frightening, breath taking, very personal glimpses and snapshots into what these people experienced in their time with or appreciation of the NHS.

I would recommend this book to anyone, whether you work in the NHS, like healthcare stories, have an interest in celebrities - this book offers something for everyone. I felt quite emotive reading the personal accounts, peoples brushes with the NHS, no matter how you feel currently, the NHS is a special and precious service to many, 4/5 for me this time. I read tons of books across many genres but I do find true stories in health settings so interesting. Accounts and experiences are so varied, life is so precious, the old but for the grace of God go I.

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Wednesday, 14 October 2020

The End of Her by Shari Lapena

The End of HerThe End of Her by Shari Lapena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 1 day

Pages - 352

Publisher - Bantam Press

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

It starts with a shocking accusation...

Stephanie and Patrick are recently married, with new-born twins. While Stephanie struggles with the disorienting effects of sleep deprivation, there’s one thing she knows for certain – she has everything she ever wanted.

Then a woman from his past arrives and makes a shocking accusation about his first wife. He always claimed her death was an accident – but she says it was murder.

He insists he’s innocent, that this is nothing but a blackmail attempt. But is Patrick telling the truth? Or has Stephanie made a terrible mistake?

How will it end?


My Review

Stephanie is exhausted, new born twins and her husband Patrick is working hard, the weans have colic and sleep is rare. They have always been a team and whilst things are trying they are managing until someone from Patrick's past comes back. She is beautiful, her accusations are horrific and Stephanie can't help but start to wonder if she knows Patrick as well as she thinks she does.

It is pretty well known, if you follow my reviews, I really really enjoy Lapena's books. I think she pulls you in and engages you quickly and has a knack for creating characters you either want to punch in the face, distrust, hate or sympathise with. The End of Her is no different, she creates a world of characters you fall into quickly, I felt for Stephanie, I hated Erica and the book spins the darker and selfish side of some people and look at folks morals or lack thereof.

There are a lot of subjects in the book that are hard hitting especially when the siren that is Erica shows up, she has zero morals and everything is there to be used to her advantage. Stephanie goes though a pretty tough time, two beautiful wee twin babies, sleepless nights, stress, self doubt as a mum and then the bombshell thrown at her wee family by Erica, ooft. My attention was grabbed very early on, if you have enjoyed Lapena's previous books you will this one too, 4/5 for me this time. Very much looking forward to her next and hoping it won't be too long a wait til we get our paws on it!


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Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Wee October giveaway

Happy October guys, I LOVE October. It is the month of horror, scare & all things spooky.




I am the same come December but then it is Criimbo stuff. My o/h isn't into horror at all but indulges my love of tat and horror because it makes me happy. My Halloween decorations from last year are still MIA but I managed to get some stuff for the bathroom, so it begins.




October is one of my themed reads months so my current read is Bram Stoker's Dracula, I could have sworn I had read it but it turns out I have not, hoping to finish it today.




I know not everyone loves October/horror/spooky so I thought I would do a wee giveaway not horror related. For my spooky lovers there is still time to enter the competition for x1 horror character bookmark (winner chooses from those available which one they want), over on our INSTAGRAM page, as pictured below.




For this wee October giveaway I have the newest offering from author Katerina Diamond, a standalone, crime fiction, x1 paperback "The Heatwave" and one metal cat shaped bookmark, both as pictured below. To enter, just use the Rafflecopter below. As always, the more entries you complete the more times you name is entered. Please only complete entries you have actually done, all winning entries are checked. Good luck and happy October xxx



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 28 September 2020

Drop Shot by Harlan Coben

Drop Shot (Myron Bolitar, #2)Drop Shot by Harlan Coben
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 357

Publisher - Orion

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

In the second Myron Bolitar novel from Edgar Award–winner Harlan Coben, a young woman’s tragic death spirals into a shattering drama of menace, secrets, and rage. Suddenly Myron is in over his head—and playing the most dangerous game of all.

Once, Valerie Simpson’s tennis career skyrocketed; now, the headlines belong to a player from the wrong side of the tracks. But when Valerie is shot dead in cold blood and dropped outside the stadium at the U.S. Open, sports agent Myron Bolitar investigates the killing and uncovers a connection between the two players and a six-year-old murder at an exclusive mainline club. As Myron is drawn into the case—along with a dirty U.S. senator, a jealous mother, and the mob—he finds himself caught between a killer and the truth.


My Review

LOVE Bolitar and Win books although I am the first to admit, crime of readers here, to not reading them in order :O shock horror. This was on a cheap Amazon deal but they had me at Bolitar/Win. If you haven't read the series before you totally can read this as a standalone - you get enough snippets to know the chat. Bolitar was an athlete but an injury cut his career dead, he then studied as a lawyer and now has a small rep business for athletes. He is invested in his clients, does what is best for them and doesn't use them as cash cows. His associates is a beautiful ex wrestler, she has attitude, smarts and looks. And his very rich bestie Win, he has money, brains and despite his smaller size he is pretty lethal. Him and Bolitar get involved in crimes/investigating so there is always threats and trouble galore.

This book is no different, a tennis super star who burned out before she hit the top is about to make a come back. The day she has desperately tried to get Bolitar she is gunned down. Police seem to be looking at all the wrong angles, Bolitar and his sense of ?honour has to get to the truth. However there are so many secrets/scandals and big names/money in her past some people aren't happy and Bolitar finds himself (and co) in trouble.

Action, guessing along the way and different themes I did enjoy the book, I do like Cobens writing. However I worked out a good bit of it early on, I never manage that and it kind of spoiled the book a wee bit for me. Always enjoyable reading about this wee team, mostly doing the righteous thing and looking out for the wee people - Win has different chains of thought but as he is on the good guys side you can forgive his very big flaws. 3/5 for me this time, can't wait to read the others - not sure how many there are and how many I haven't read - need to check FantasticFiction and my Goodreads account.

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