Book Review: ‘The Library’ by J.V. Stanley

The Library: A story full of mystery and suspense.

Advertisements

J.V. Stanley The LibraryHow much of what each of us thinks we understand or know about ourselves is actually true? That’s the question that confronts James and Penelope when they discover The Library.

This is a fascinating and very thought-provoking story which challenges the assumptions we tend to make about our own lives and about other people. The reader is reminded that things are very often not what they seem, and that the truth can be very uncomfortable thing to confront, even though we think we know what the truth is.

Through their discussions and responses to different situations and experiences, the reader develops considerable empathy with James and Penelope, but also with their companion, an elderly man named Walter. By the end of the story, the reader finds themselves not only admiring the characters, but also cheering them on in the decisions and actions they take. The mystery and suspense is very well developed throughout the story, building to a surprising and satisfying climax.Acorn Award II Silver

‘The Library’ is a great read that can be enjoyed in less than an hour. It has been awarded a very respectable Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘The Drowned Woman’ by Jelena Dujak

A suspenseful and well-written story.

Jelena Dujak The Drowned Woman‘The Drowned Woman’ is a suspenseful read that grows increasingly darker as the story progresses. The story, more macabre and dreadful than overtly horrific, is well crafted and builds slowly and steadily toward a climax that leaves the reader both glued to the page and holding their breath. Dujak’s writing is rich and quite sensory, so that the reader is drawn into the story and fully immersed in the events as they develop.

This is a short book, easily read in about an hour, which is a form that I think really suits horror as a genre. That also makes the book an ideal read for busy readers who have to fit their books in around the demands of life.  Acorn Award II Silver

This chilling book has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: A Wolf in the Dark’ by S.E. Turner

S.E. Turner A Wolf In The DarkRather than being a sequel to ‘A Hare In The Wilderness’, this is the parallel story that converges in some places with the first book, although is never repetitive as it is told from a completely different perspective.

Once again, Turner explores themes of human nature, perseverance and overcoming in this action-packed story which is as original as its companion volume. While there are certainly moments filled with despair and fear, the author focuses the reader on the positive mental strength and determination of the lead characters in enabling them to endure their trials.

Unlike the first instalment of the story, a good deal of the action of this story takes place at court, answering some of the readers’ questions and heightening their involvement in both levels of the story. Once again, the story is full of engaging and likeable characters, along with a few who are easy to detest, while the occasional blurring of those boundaries makes the story even more interesting.

While the most central character is male, there is also a very strong and resourceful female lead character who personifies the qualities of loyalty and teamwork in a way that is inspiring for all readers. Something I really like to see in a story is people being united by their challenges and working together for good, regardless of gender, class or anything else that might divide them.

With many positives woven into the one compelling story, ‘A Wolf In The Dark’ would work perfectly well as a standalone, but is even better enjoyed in the context of its companion story. Acorn Award II Silver

I have awarded this great book a very solid Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Locksley Vol. 1 – Brotherhood’ by Mark Brownless

‘Locksley’ is an entertaining and very worthwhile read.

Mark Brownless Locksley 1 BrotherhoodThis book takes me back to the days of watching Robin Hood on TV in old black and white movies, and in the cartoon series in which Robin was a fox. The legend of Robin Hood is one I grew up with, and yet ‘Locksley’ delivers a fresh and interesting portrayal of the character and the stories that surround him.

This is only a short volume, but it is a most enjoyable one. It captures some of the history of the time at which the stories are set, framing legend with the history with which it is so richly entwined. It is well-written and the characters are nicely developed.

Acorn Award II Silver

‘Locksley’ is an entertaining and very worthwhile read which has left me keen to read the next instalment. It has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Cherry Pie or Die’ by CeeCee James

A mystery that keeps the reader guessing right to the end is always a great discovery to make.

CeeCee James Baker Street 1 Cherry Pie or DieA mystery that keeps the reader guessing right to the end is always a great discovery to make.

‘Cherry Pie Or Die’ is a cozy mystery with a great cast of characters, each of whom is carrying some relics of their own past while on a tour of historic sites in Pennsylvania. None are immediately obvious suspects, while the clues appear to make no sense at all. Georgie Tanner is a well-crafted and complex main character: likeable, smart, and flawed enough to allow the reader to both empathise with her and want to know more of her own story.

With deft strokes, the author draws the threads of the story together without giving too much away, and the reader keeps puzzling away while looking over Georgie’s shoulder.

By the end of the story, the reader feels right at home at the Baker St B&B, and is keen to return for the next mystery. I will definitely be back for another visit.
Acorn Award II Silver

‘Cherry Pie or Die’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

‘Moonlight’ by David Rose

A short read that is entirely unique and immensely satisfying.

David Rose Moonlight‘Moonlight’ is a beautifully written fantasy story that starts out with a simple meeting of children, but soon becomes something much more enchanting and compelling.

Rose writes with eloquence that gives his story poetic qualities that lure the reader in as he seduces the imagination with his words. It’s almost impossible not to visualise the characters and settings as one reads.

The alternating perspectives of Tadao and Yuzuki give the story depth of insight which may not otherwise be possible to achieve in a short work, helping the reader to appreciate the strength of the bond between the characters and their determination to overcome the challenges they face.

This is a delightful short read that can be read in less than an hour, so it’s ideal for busy book lovers, as well as readers who simply want a taste of something different yet immensely satisfying.

Acorn Award II Silver

I’ve awarded this book a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Country of Daughters – Daughters Inn’ by Bijou Li

An interesting cross-cultural read.

Bijou Li Country of Daughters Daughters InnThis is a story of cultures confronting one another and the tension between tradition and innovation that follows. When a young woman travels to work in a traditional community that has just begun to embrace tourism, she discovers the different interests and motivations that cause ripples and turbulent undercurrents in Lugu Lake.

Written from the perspective of a Chinese woman who studied these communities, the reader can sense the authenticity of the both the narrative, which offers a profound exploration of the experiences of the people and the problems caused by significant differences in thinking. This is a fascinating study of the development of a traditional Chinese town and its people, something that most western readers certainly have very little idea about, yet at the same time, it reminds the reader that human nature doesn’t actually change much wherever you go. It’s also a timely reminder of what happens when economic concerns take precedence over environmental and social considerations, and the impact that has on both place and people.
Acorn Award II Silver

It’s an intriguing and thought-provoking story, which I very much enjoyed. I’ve awarded it a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.