Book Review: ‘Reaper’s Folly’ by Nikki Landis

A fascinating exposition of a truly evil mind.

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Nikki Landis Reapers Folly
Not since C.S. Lewis’ brilliant book ‘The Screwtape Letters’ have I read such a fascinating exploration of a truly evil, devilish mind, where even his demon followers are the victims of Darkness.

 

‘Reaper’s Folly’ delivers a powerful and emotionally charged story that brings the reader face to face with evil in its darkest forms. Landis’ writing  and story craft is magnificent, with some profound moments of macabre terror. The greatest horror, however, is the realisation that it may, in fact, be true.

 

Acorn Award I GoldenThis terrific book has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence.

 

Find it on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘The Clearing’ by A.M. Rycroft

‘The Clearing’ is a well-written short story that delivers some effectively developed moments of tension and mild horror.

A.M. Rycroft The ClearingWhen Anthony takes Suzanne on a picnic in a surprise location, they both get more of a surprise than either of them counted on.

‘The Clearing’ is a well-written short story that delivers some effectively developed moments of tension and mild horror.

It’s long enough to develop the ideas and dramatic tension effectively, but short enough to read and enjoy comfortably in a lunch break.

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Acorn Award II Silver‘The Clearing’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn as I would have liked it to be just a little longer.
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Book Review: ‘Christmas Miracle on Memorial Day’ by R.M.Gauthier

Enjoyable and easy to read, this novella—and the series to which it belongs— is sure to appeal to lovers of lighthearted and heartwarming romance. 

Renee Gauthier Christmas Miracle on Memorial DayThe fourth Christmas Miracle novella delivers the next chapter in the relationship of Jack and Charlotte in Christmas Town. As with the other books in this series, Gauthier tells the story in a familiar and comfortable manner that leaves the reader wanting more when the story comes to an end. While this book is set entirely on the one day, we see that there has been quite some development in the characters’ lives since the previous instalment of their story.
Enjoyable and easy to read, this novella—and the series to which it belongs— is sure to appeal to lovers of lighthearted and heartwarming romance.

Acorn Award I Golden

This book has been awarded one of Book Squirrel’s Gold Acorn awards.
Find it on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘The Lost Inheritance Mystery’ by Ben Hammott

An enjoyable Victorian-style mystery story.

Ben Hammott Lost Inheritance Mystery

This is an enjoyable gothic Victorian-style mystery story, fashioned in a manner that aims to emulate the style of Dickens’ portrayal of the people and society of the time. The writing and character development are infused with humour, and the story itself is interesting, although the pace of the story is at times a little slower than I would have preferred. The characters are likeable, even if their names are somewhat contrived, albeit in a humorous way. As the story draws to an end, Hammott delivers a series of clever twists that add to both the irony and the Dickensian humour of the book.

The final chapter, though, brought with it a complete change of pace, which I suspect the book may have been better off without – there is nothing wrong with this chapter in itself, but i think it may have served better as the first chapter of the next mystery misadventure for these characters.

Acorn Award III BronzeI did enjoy this book, although not as much as I have enjoyed others of Ben Hammott’s works, so I’m awarding it a Bronze Acorn.

Find ‘The Lost Inheritance Mystery’ on Amazon.

Book Review: The Riddle of the Gods – Shiva XIV Book 3 by Lyra Shanti

Space opera of epic proportions.

Continuing directly from the first two books in the series, ‘The Riddle Of The Gods’ follows the inter-planetary conflicts and politics that impact so powerfully on the lives of Ayn, Pei and Axis and their compatriots as they fight against the corruption and oppression that has placed their universe in peril. Their battles are personal as much as they are planetary, and as the drama unfolds, the urgency with which they must fight increases. Choices must be made, relationships and alliances are formed, and consequences can be significant far beyond individual circumstances. Through all this, the theme of honor and loyalty is pervasive.

One of the elements of this series that I really admire is the way in which Shanti leads her characters on a personal pilgrimage in which each must accept who they are as an individual before they can fulfill their destiny. It’s a powerful lesson that addresses the most crippling fear of many people: ‘Am I enough?’ in a resounding and positive way.

This really is an elegantly constructed universe, and its stories are compelling. Shanti has yet again demonstrated her prowess as a world-builder and architect of complex, deeply involving characters and storylines.

The Shiva XIV series really is a brilliant space opera of epic proportions. Get on board— it’s a trip you don’t want to miss.

Acorn Award I Golden

As with Shanti’s Shiva XIV Books 1 and 2, and companion novellas, ‘The Riddle Of The God’s’ has received one of Book Squirrel’s shiny Gold Acorn awards.

Find it on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Hope’s Well’ by India Emerald

A mysterious and interesting short story.

‘Hope’s Well’ tells the tale of Verity Buckthorne and her fascination with a mysterious well near her home.

The reader develops quite an insight into the working of Verity’s mind by reading her diary entries, which makes the story interesting on a psychological level as well as a fictional one.

The tale is crafted cleverly, with a slow build toward the climax and suggestions of other mysteries along the way. It has a lovely reminiscent sense of times gone by and old-fashioned charm, achieved by the author’s development of both characters and setting.

‘Hope’s Well’ is a short but substantial read that will please lovers of mystery and speculative fiction.

Acorn Award I GoldenBook Squirrel has awarded Hope’s Well a Golden Acorn.

Find this book on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘The Celtic Curse: Newgrange’ by D.J. Doyle

A gritty read for lovers of dark fiction.

This is a dark, gritty and fatalistic story of ancient beliefs, rituals and powers that grapple for control of the future of the world as we know it. Doyle builds the story masterfully, complete with twists that take the reader’s breath away and a sense of urgency that grows as the action escalates.

The contrasts between the different characters and their personal ethics are really interesting, and serve as a reminder that human nature is flawed and can, when devoted solely to an ideology or even to oneself, be truly evil without any additional help from the spiritual realm.

‘The Celtic Curse: Newgrange’ is a highly original and often macabre tale crafted from strands of legend, religion, ancient culture, sex, superstition, loyalty and friendship.

It does contain adult content and violence, so is suitable for an adult audience. If you like your fiction dark and your endings darker, this book is for you.

Acorn Award I Golden

Book Squirrel has awarded this book a shiny Gold Acorn.

Find it on Amazon.