Thursday, 23 August 2012

Vin Of Venus by Paul D. Brazill, David Cranmer & Garner Elliott

One of the joys of the kindle era is that speculative fiction such as Vin Of Venus can be published. Not the kind of work a publisher would have looked at prior to it and what a loss that would have been.

Two fantastically different genres dance together deliciously in this fusion of crime and science fiction plotlines. One of the most carefully and slickly edited e-books I have read in a while. The narrative flows wonderfully like hot butter from a pan. Intrigue follows intrigue and we slowly explores Vin's fantasies or are they, as he believes, memories?

The critical reviewer could no doubt pick holes in it but I had far too much fun reading it. A good old fashioned action/sci-fi yarn with a twist. If like me you miss the likes of Farmer and Niven but also like your crime fiction then this one is for you. More please gentlemen!

Genre: Science Fiction / Crime
Publisher: Beat To A Pulp
Format: E-Book
Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

Critics of Pratchett and Baxter’s Long Earth have said that it’s slow going and contains no new ideas. I’d argue vehemently on both points. It was enjoyable and refreshing to read a modern science fiction novel that had a sense of humour about itself due, no doubt, to the influence of Pratchett. What Long Earth did was take the time to explore the subject matter, both scientifically and philosophically. The action was relevant, never overdone and there was enough of it for me.
The characters had depth and personality again one of Terry Pratchett’s strengths. I am unfamiliar with Baxter’s work but it is clear there is more than one artist’s brush guiding the canvas of the Long Earth. The book used the idea of alternative Earth’s and cranked it up to the max. What IF there were an infinite number of Earth’s within easy reach? The book looked intelligently at the sociological aspect of that question and gave the reader plenty to think about.
I’m a huge fan of Pratchett’s work and I’ll now go an explore Baxter’s fiction with gusto. If you want a modern and intelligent science fiction novel you could do a lot worse than by Long Earth.
Genre:  Science Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday
Format:  Hardback & Kindle (Paperback to follow)
Rating:  5/5

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Hill Country by R.Thomas Brown

Hill Country is a good old fashioned crime caper. Gabriel Hill is left with lots of questions following the death of his drug addict brother, Mike. When some dangerous people come knocking and the gorgeous Abby seduces him Gabe finds his life spiralling out of control.

A novel full of action with a wise cracking main character. Brown injects plenty of dark humour and the story is richer for it. It seems everyone has their agenda and it involces killing Gabe. Any smart and sensible guy would run for the Hills but Gabe remains stubbornly determined to get to the bottom of the events that led to the death of his brother. With a fast pace and great dialogue Brown made this an enjoyable read from start to finish.

Genre: Crime
Publisher: Snubnose Press
Format: E-Book Novel (Also in paperback in the US)
Rating: 4/5

Friday, 3 August 2012

The Bird That Nobody Sees by Stuart Ayris

A story of angels and anger of alienation and friendship. A novel with a serious message but which also contains plenty of good humour.  The Bird That Nobody Sees is very much a book of contrasts.  Stuart Ayris has wowed this cynical old heart yet again with his unique narrative style. He tells of unfortunate events and of how small, everyday actions have consequences. He draws attention to the beauty and cruelty all around us in everyday life.

Rod Langford finds himself as an innocent man in prison due to an unfortunate event. Already embittered due to his short stature, this darkens his heart and he plots revenge against the world and plans events that may take him far beyond the grasp of redemption. Throughout the novel Ayris plays with words and our emotions like a master puppeteer. Upon release from prison Rod begins to make a record of his plans and his darkest early morning thoughts. It seems Rod will be walking the darkest of paths. However, a chance encounter leads to friendship and there is hope for our hero yet.

Ayris speaks truths throughout his narrative, truths that we all know but never speak of. There is bravery to his writing and you feel that this author is putting his heart into his novel. If you are unsatisfied with the world or this modern age and are seeking something with depth and a hint of spirituality (not religion) then this book will strike a chord with you. I could ramble on all day about this beautifully affecting novel but I’ll end it here and give it the five glowing stars it deserves. The Bird That Nobody Sees – A ray of light in the darkness.

Genre:  Literary
Publisher:  Indie
Format:  E-book Novel
Rating:  5/5