Saturday 2 December 2017

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The Regional Office is Under Attack - Manuel Gonzales

Release Date: 13/07/17
Publisher:  Del Rey UK


The Regional Office and its band of super-powered female assassins protects the world from annihilation. But a prophecy suggests that someone from inside might bring about its downfall. And now the Regional Office is under attack…

Rose is a young assassin leading the assault, eager to stretch into her powers and prove herself on her first mission. Defending the Regional Office is Sarah - who may or may not have a mechanical arm - fiercely devoted to the organisation that took her in as a troubled young woman.

On the day that the Office is attacked, Rose’s and Sarah’s stories will overlap, their lives will collide, and the world as we know it just might come to an end…


I'm a huge fan of authors like Tom Holt who manage to wonderfully blend humour alongside cracking Urban Fantasy storytelling, so I had high hopes for this title from Manuel, thinking that I was going to get a tale that would not only be reminicent but bring a new voice to the genre that I could keep an eye out for and love.

What unfurled however was a story that sadly let me down, I felt that whilst a lot of the plot elements were carefully constructed that the language used within was badly put together in places and rather than help move the story forward had you sitting down, scratching your head taking you out of the moment.

Sadly for me, this book left me feeling flat and when I finally finished it, I have to say that I won't be heading back to Manuel's work for some time.

Friday 1 December 2017

HISTORICAL FANTASY REVIEW: Dark Ages 1: Pendragon - James Wilde

Release Date: 13/07/17
Publisher:  Bantam


Here is the beginning of a legend. Long before Camelot rose, a hundred years before the myth of King Arthur was half-formed, at the start of the Red Century, the world was slipping into a Dark Age…

It is AD 367. In a frozen forest beyond Hadrian’s Wall, six scouts of the Roman army are found murdered. For Lucanus, known as the Wolf and leader of elite unit called the Arcani, this chilling ritual killing is a sign of a greater threat.
But to the Wolf the far north is a foreign land, a place where daemons and witches and the old gods live on. Only when the child of a friend is snatched will he venture alone into this treacherous world - a territory ruled over by a barbarian horde - in order to bring the boy back home. What he finds there beyond the wall will echo down the years.
A secret game with hidden factions is unfolding in the shadows: cabals from the edge of Empire to the eternal city of Rome itself, from the great pagan monument of Stonehenge to the warrior kingdoms of Gaul will go to any length to find and possess what is believed to be a source of great power, signified by the mark of the Dragon.
A soldier and a thief, a cut-throat, courtesan and a druid, even the Emperor Valentinian himself - each of these has a part to play in the beginnings of this legend…the rise of the House of Pendragon.


I've loved this authors work for a number of years, firstly because he brings cracking characters to life and secondly because of his top notch action sequences that are written in such a way that you feel like you're watching a movie.

As with the others, this new series also brings delightful prose as well as a cracking arc that fulfills exactly what action reading junkies are looking for. All round a magical beginning to a brand new series and one that will make an ideal christmas present for many readers.

CRIME THRILLER REVIEW: Playing With Death - Simon Scarrow and Lee Francis

Release Date: 13/07/17
Publisher:  Headline


'This fast, furious, twisty thriller kept me on the edge of my seat' Chris Ryan

'If Stephen King had collaborated with Michael Crichton on a thriller, it might have been as good as this' Peterborough Evening Telegraph

FBI Special Agent Rose Blake has faced evil and survived.

Haunted by a failed undercover mission, Rose can't shake the memory of her close encounter with a ruthless serial killer - one who could strike again without warning.

Then comes the call to investigate a suspected arson attack that's left a man dead. Rose fears the worst: that a cold-blooded killer has carried out the perfect murder. A killer with a terrifying imagination and the intelligence to stay one step ahead at every stage. She knows only one thing about him: that he will kill again.

Rules will have to be broken. And the clock is ticking...


I have to say that I was looking forward to this title from Simon Scarrow and Lee Francis as I've loved spending individual time with each author. However I have to sadly say that for me, this title really didn't work. The principle character was not one I could associate with, I felt that she was flat and all round as many readers of my reviews will know, that's a massive deal breaker for me.

Add to this an overall arc that was fairly flat, bringing nothing new to the Thriller genre and feeling like it was overly simplistic as well as being to predictable finally left me wondering why I even took the time to finish it.