Book Review – Supernatural

Book Review – Rasputin’s Supernatural Dating Service by David D. Hammons.

rasputins-supernatural-dating-service

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank the author David Hammons for offering me a free electronic copy of this book as,  quite simply, I love his work. Can one be in love with someone else’s imagination? Or is that just getting into the ultra-creepy cougar stalker zone?

Oh, and I also got offered a free electronic copy of the book, via Netgalley, by the publisher Curiosity Quills… so not totally stalker zone. 😉

Can you tell I really liked this book and truly do love Mr Hammons’ imagination? Such a funny, sarcastic and whimsical view of urban fantasy… seriously going to have to get myself signed up as an over 40’s fan girl.

I have read other works by Mr Hammons, starting with ‘Alice takes back Wonderland’ and I thought it was… okay. But his ‘Don’t Eat the Glowing Bananas’! Oh my goodness! I have not loved such a skewed view of a dystopian world – ever! The humour and intelligence in that book was just so me!

And so, we come to ‘Rasputin’s Supernatural Dating Service’ from the blurb I did raise an eyebrow as I wondered if it would be at Alice level or Banana level… it was at Banana level. A brilliant, funny and whacky look into the world of urban fantasy. I simply loved it.

The only reason I’ve not given it the top score is there was just something lacking… maybe the slow start, I don’t know? But I just didn’t go bananas over it as much. Though by the end I was getting antsy and preying this was the first book in a series as my goodness! We have found Mr Pratchett’s replacement! The humour, sarcasm, irony and skewed outlook on life that so resonates with me  – and will resonate with so many others – this is going to be a killer series. Hint hint there Mr Hammons!

Okay, enough gushing about the author – he’s probably getting a restraining order put together as you read this.

On to the book. ‘Rasputin’s Supernatural Dating Service’ did start a little slow for me and I did wonder if/ when it was going to get to the point. I mean, the plot was there and I got that… but our protagonist took a little too long to justify why he was the protagonist. Or maybe I was just too impatient? Who knows?

Loved the things to google mentioned throughout the book. I will not confirm or deny having used google to look up facts mentioned in the book… but, yeah, just adds that special level of humour within modern day reading. And what is it with Montana? Since I started reading this book I’ve heard a few similar comments on TV shows. Don’t tell me I may or may not have to google again!

The story was well worth it in the end as, when it got going, it really got going. The whole not exactly Men in Black, this is the reality of supernatural creatures in today’s society thing that ran throughout the book was fantastic. Made it a highly entertaining read. Just so glad the Winchester boys don’t know about RSDS!

Oh and Ivan… Just Yes. Is good for health. Yes.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Hell yes! Loved it, totally entertained by it and while you’re out buying it, go grab Mr Hammons other two books I’ve mentioned and thank me later. I like proper chocolate and free books. Just a hint. 😉

And, as much as I feel my 12 year old would enjoy ‘Don’t Eat the Glowing Bananas’ (she keeps hearing me go on about it and so wants to read my copy) I don’t feel ‘Rasputin’s Supernatural Dating Service is as age appropriate. I suggest more your New Adults, rather than Young Adults as an audience. As well as we old cougars with a love of both the NA and YA genre! 😀

Would I buy this book for myself?

Uhhhh, let me think on that for a moment. Yes! Huge fan, not a stalker, just a fan. Would most definitely buy this book – and any more of the series to come. You should too. Thank me later. Remember proper chocolate.

In summary: for lovers of quirky, sarcastic, tongue in cheek urban fantasy that is still an adventure and has a HEA ending… this is the book for you. I highly recommend it!

Until next time,

Janis.

The Curse Mandate (The Dark Choir #3) by J.P. Sloan.

curse-mandate

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

The Curse Mandate is book three in the ‘Dark Choir series’ and just as fantastic as the first two. Though, I do have to say I really should have re-read the first two before I read the third as there were moments I couldn’t quite remember who was who, who had done what, etc. But that was totally my fault and not a flaw in the author’s work! But, yeah, definitely not a stand-alone book – so go buy and read the first two first. Thank me later. 😉

Okay, back to the story – loved it. The whole plot and concept of the ‘Dark Choir series’ developed well within the Curse Mandate, though I did sometimes get the feeling a few too many things were being squeezed into the one book to line up the story for the series as a whole. Hey, this happens, many a good author and fantastic series can suffer this minor issue. Live with it, no biggie honest.

The pace and tone was smooth and consistent with the previous two books – The Curse Merchant and The Curse Servant – and I really did like how the characters all developed and grew in ways that has me curious to see what happens next with them – good writing. But there was a moment I went “WHY!!!!!” but knew it was all for the plot and so have accepted it and am moving on. I can’t tell you what my why was… spoilers.

I also want to put it out there to fans of the ‘Dark Choir series’ that a young Alan Alder looks like Dorian… or vice versa. I suggested this to Mr Sloan, but do feel he was humouring me in my fangirl moment. I don’t fangirl well, it’s against my nature. Yes I am a fan… but I like to be one of the silent types up the back doing her best to not look like a stalker. 😉

The swearing is still there, but I’m used to it now and it is never out of context – which is why I think I am now used to it. But, yeah, it has been an issue for me in the last two books. Now? Meh. I want to read about Dorian and the gang; I deal with the words they use.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. But I would also strongly recommend they go buy and read the first two books first. Yes, buy and then read – any true urban fantasy fan should own copies. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Yes I will be, once we have the funds once more. Though, sadly, as much as I would love them as paper books, as I own the others as eBooks, I would continue in that medium for now.

In summary: third book in the series that was well worth the wait. Consistent with the series so far, can’t wait for the next one. Highly recommend.

Until next time,

Janis.

 

Book Review – Once a Gypsy: The Irish Traveler Series-Book 1 by Danica Winters.

Once a Gypsy.jpg

2 out of 5 stars.

 

New disclaimer due to new Amazon rules: I was approached by Diversion Books and gifted a free electronic copy of this book, via Netgalley. I am not obligated, nor being forced, to post a review – I’m doing it of my own free will as I enjoy reviewing.

On advice from Amazon, and based on their emailed reply I can say – “My review is given voluntarily and the Author/publisher does not require a review in exchange for the book, or attempt to influence my review.”

My Review:

Please forgive my low score of ‘Once a Gypsy’ but this book was just one I could not connect with. I just found something lacking… the words were there but I failed to feel any emotion behind them that drew me into the work and connected me to the story.

The whole concept of ‘Once a Gypsy’ is definitely an interesting one. But I just found it very slow, laching the promised supernatural “similar to ‘The Veil'”, hard to read – the casual tone of infrequent typos – as well as not finding an emotional or curious attachment simply meant this book was not for me.

Would I recommend this book to other?

Sorry, but no I wouldn’t. There just wasn’t enough there to make me enjoy it enough to share it in a positive light with others. So I would much rather not say anything than say something negative about it.

Would I buy this book for myself?

No I wouldn’t. Nor would I seek out any other books in this series. Without that needed connection, it was just a dull book where I was waiting for something to happen and instead kept getting a jumble of a story with emotion words… but no true feeling behind them. Please note the fault is totally mine and not the book’s or the author’s. Sometimes you find a book that just isn’t for you and yet others adore it. It happens, we move on. 😉

In summary: An interesting concept, but not a story for me.

Until next time,

Janis.

 

Book Review – Fish Out of Water (Fred the Mermaid, Book 3) by MaryJanice Davidson.

Fish out of water.jpg

3 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank myself for this book as I bought it years ago, in paper form, for my own entertainment and enjoyment and don’t regret that at all. So, no one paid me for this review and it’s all my opinion and therefore my fault if you don’t like it!

And here we are with book three… and one I raced through in a matter of hours I enjoyed it so much and when done, like always, wished the series had been extended into more books.

As I really love the characters, enjoy the story lines and possibilities out there… but did feel this book was rushed, had too much crammed into it and was then chopped off, neatened up and finished as the required word count was met. (Oh Ms Davidson, please don’t hate me, I am a HUGE fan!)

But, yeah, there was just something about this series that felt like the author’s heart just wasn’t in it. Maybe too busy making the Queen Betsy series so awesome? I don’t know… but it was something.

I did like the twist and (sorry) red herrings thrown into this story, and maybe it is just me being greedy, but I felt it wrapped up all too quickly and posted itself off as finished before the readers had even gotten a chance to get into it. I did say it only took me a few hours to read, right?

As with all three books, the characters were great, very engaging, funny, annoying, etc. All the right mix needed in a supernatural series. The plot was a bit jumbled and seemed to take a long time to get going… hence me reading all night long. 😉

But a good book, I wish it wasn’t the final, and well worth a read.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. Again, like with book two, I would mention this is the third book in a series and would recommend people buy and read the first two books as well as ‘Fish out of water’.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Been there, done that and can’t say I’ve ever regretted doing so. Any fan of Ms Davidson’s would be silly not to own the three books in this series. They aren’t really stand-alone reads, so do ensure you get all three.

In summary: Final book in a good series – and one I feel could do with a few more books in it, but maybe that’s just me being too greedy? Seriously something lovers of the lighter side of a supernatural mystery series should buy as they would enjoy.

Until next time,

Janis.

Book Review -Swimming Without A Net: Number 2 in series (Fred the Mermaid Trilogy) by MaryJanice Davidson.

swimming-without-a-net

3 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank myself for this book as I bought it years ago, in paper form, for my own entertainment and enjoyment and don’t regret that at all. So, no one paid me for this review and it’s all my opinion and therefore my fault if you don’t like it!

As I just read the first in this three book series OF COURSE I would then have to read the following two books.

And, as they go, ‘Swimming without a net’ is okay… not amazingly brilliant (sorry Ms Davidson) but it was good. We learn more about the mermaids, erm Undersea Folk, we learn more about Fred’s past… we learn far too much about what Jonas likes doing… all in all it was a fun read and definitely works well as the second book in the series.

But – and this is me being my usually brutally honest self – it really did just seem like padding between book one and three. Yeah, I know, how dare I?! I am a HUGE fan of Ms Davidsons and I know I am making this out to be a terrible story – but it’s not. But if I had read it as a stand-alone, rather than as part of the series, I wouldn’t have been that impressed.

It had its moments, but they were far and far between in comparison to some of Ms Davidson’s other works.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Despite my seemingly catty remarks above – yes I would! I am a fan of her work, I bought all three Fred the Mermaid books and do recommend people buy and read them too. I just REALLY recommend they don’t buy and read this book on its own. It will put you off the whole series.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I did, I have no regrets and have read it a few times now. The series as a whole is fabulous… this book on its own, just padding. Sorry.

In summary: A good second book in a series, don’t read on its own, buy and read all three as it’s a great story, up to Ms Davidson’s witty, clever high standards and something any fan would proudly own.

Until next time,

Janis.

Book Review – Sleeping with the Fishes (Fred the Mermaid, Book 1) by MaryJanice Davidson.

sleeping-with-the-fishes

3 out of 5 stars.

 

I would like to thank myself for this book as I bought it years ago, in paper form, for my own entertainment and enjoyment and don’t regret that at all. So, no one paid me for this review and it’s all my opinion and therefore my fault if you don’t like it! 😉

Okay, so this isn’t the first time I’ve read this book but is the first time (I think) that I’ve left a review for it.

Now, I’m a fan of Ms Davidsons and many who know me know this. So, of course, I am going to be a bit biased. I will admit here though that I am a bigger fan of her Queen Betsy than I am her Fred the Mermaid.

Saying that though, this is a funny little book and a nice change from the Betsy chronicles. Not that I needed a change, but what I am trying to say is that this isn’t a carbon copy of it. Meaning the Fred the Mermaid series (as I call it) may share similarities due to being written by the same author, but that’s it. Different feel, different characters – no cookie cutter characters here – and all in all totally entertaining on its own merit, rather than by being “like those vampire books”. If that all makes sense?

The characters are engaging, the sarcasm is glorious and the balance of witty banter, mystery, adventure and romping in the bed bits is just right. A good start to this three book series.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. Lovers of authors like Angie Fox would enjoy this book. Lovers of Ms Davidson’s other books would enjoy it. Those into the quirky, entertaining supernatural mystery genre will love it too. Look, you like sarcastic protagonists, witty banter and a bit of the supernatural mixed with a mystery? Then you will love this. End. Of.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Been there, done that, proudly own it in paper and don’t regret it as it’s a book I can happily enjoy again and again. The main reason I’ve read it again now is due to all of South Australia losing electricity for at least several hours the other week… I couldn’t read off my electric devices as I needed to conserve their power. And so I was FORCED to read a paper book, by lantern… while eating cinnamon doughnuts for dinner. Oh the inhumanity. 😉 See, paper books have their uses and so don’t regret my purchase at all.

In summary: A funny, fast-paced supernatural mystery about mermaids, men and… other things. Love it, own it, highly recommend it.

Until next time,

Janis.

Book Review -A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny.

a-night-in-lonesome-october

5 out of 5 stars

 

I would like to thank Farrago for providing me with a free ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

Okay, I will make a confession… this was not the first time I’ve read ‘A Night in the Lonesome October’… But this was the first time I’ve read it as an eBook.

This is actually one of my all-time favourites and a book you could seriously read every year around this time. And, since first reading it back in my youth, I now always check when the moon is full in October. I think it has happened a couple of times… but as I am in the wrong hemisphere to the goings on, I guess it’s not as spectacular. 😉

Okay, so take all the well-known characters from tales of the supernatural written at the end of the 19th century and put them all in one book… add a few other characters the balance them out and give an excuse – that is also supernatural – as to why they are all together… and you get ‘A Night in the Lonesome October’.

Mr Zelazny has woven a great tale here that pays homage to the greats of days gone by. And he did it in such a way that makes it a fantastic way to welcome in the Halloween season each year.

This is a great book, I love that it is now an eBook to reach an even wider audience. ‘A Night in the Lonesome October’, like the characters it pays respect to, is a timeless classic and so a book the young readers of today can pick up and enjoy as much as those of us who have been around the library shelves a bit longer.

Would I recommend this book to others?

 I have done in the past and I will continue to do so. It is a classic in its own right and needs to be shared and enjoyed by all.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I already own a paper copy, but could see myself now buying an eBook version ‘just as back up’. 😉 I honestly feel this is an essential book to have in your library if you want to truly say you’re a fan of the supernatural and some of the original urban fantasy!

In summary: A timeless classic that weaves a tale that is not only entertaining but tipping its hat in acknowledgement to the classics that came before it. A fantastic read and one I highly recommend.

Until next time,

Janis.