Saturday 23 August 2014

George Hamilton

George Hamilton has a very readable style and like many a good indie writer, he isn't tied down to a single genre. I always find his work thought-provoking.

The Disease The Disease

My review -

This tells the story of Ludmilla, a doctor is an Eastern Bloc country and her dissident student daughter, Olga. Ludmilla is working hard to treat and inoculate people who are suffering from a worldwide plague. Her countrymen have discovered a cure but can't produce it in sufficient quantities. Perhaps a western country could do so? Olga and her student friends are determined to steal some to hand over to the West. This is a severe test of Ludmilla's loyalties. There is more to the drug than meets the eye, though, and this causes her more problems.

The story is gripping and exciting, challenging the reader's beliefs about the well-being of family versus the greater good. I felt drawn into the characters' dilemmas as the plot writhed its way to the end via several twists. I also felt that the title could convey another meaning. The dis-ease or discomfort experienced by someone wanting to do the right thing but finding that she has been lied to and the foundations of her belief and trust in her government have been shaken. A great story, well told.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

George Hamilton

This is a story based in the history of the Indies and their sugar plantations. Gripping and thought-provoking, it's a great read.

Road to Rebellion Road to Rebellion

My review - 

Charles Morley runs the Morley Estate sugar plantation in the West Indies. His father, now largely retired, wants him to marry but he's only interested in one of the slave girls. She doesn't feel the same about him. He's taken to London to find a wife but prefers the mulatto girl. He marries a woman who owns a rival plantation and both bear him sons. The story includes much of the history of the Indies and the shameful way a treaty between the British crown and the Maroons was broken.

It's full of action, excitingly told and the birth of the babies is particularly memorable and significant in the story. There was a lot of history in the text but it was necessary to the story and I didn’t find it intrusive. I began by like Dianna’s character very much then being turned off her by her attitudes, though I suspect they were common at that time. I also found my view of who was a weak and who was a strong character shifted as I went through the story. I was engaged by it all the way through and can really recommend it.

Nicola Palmer

Third in a lovely series for children. We've all felt different, haven't we? Not as different as Alice, though!

Alice Parker and the Secret of Arcanum Cove Alice Parker and the Secret of Arcanum Cove

My review - 

Alice, her brother and her grandparents go on holiday to Arcanum Cove where Alice discovers her remarkable new swimming ability. She meets her grandfather's friend, Felix, her enemy Hugh's grandfather. She learns that she has been left a legacy by a mysterious woman but to find it she and the group need to go to Aspen Island.

This book, intended for youngsters of around 9 - 12 years of age, is a thrilling adventure where discoveries are made, not only about the legacy Alice receives but about the identity of the woman who left it to her. Her grandfather is also left a bequest which the whole family enjoys. Alice now has the ability to know the future. If you could, would you dare use it? A great story for the young at heart.

Saturday 16 August 2014

Tim Arnot

I've been waiting for this one. It was worth the wait!

Hunted: Flick Carter Book 2

Amazon .com Hunted: Flick Carter Book 2

My review -

This second part of Tim Arnot's Flick Carter series is an exciting ride. Flick is pursued by a black-clad figure seemingly out to assassinate her. She hears him enquiring after the Carters. Later she finds that friends of hers have been killed by this man she calls Black Ghost. She is forced to make a bargain with Princess Jessica which results in her erstwhile boyfriend Shea running away from her in disgust. 

I enjoyed the pace of the story and meeting characters I liked from the previous book. Tim Arnot’s good people have flaws like the rest of us and his bad people are wonderfully hateful. Dialogue flowed well and there were new characters to love or hate. There's mayhem at the end. I really need to read Book Three to see how it all pans out in this splendid series. An excellent read all round.

Friday 8 August 2014

John Marrs

John Marrs is a new author to me. Here he takes the Nature-Nurture controversy and give us a viewpoint. I've found it's not necessary to like the protagonist to get really involved in a book!

The Wronged Sons

Amazon .com The Wronged Sons

My review - 

Simon walked out of his family home twenty-five years ago, leaving his wife and three small children. His keys, his car, his wallet were all left behind. He just vanished. No sign of their husband and daddy and no body to mourn. It was a total mystery. Then he walked back in. Meanwhile, his wife had rebuilt her life and made herself a good career. The children he abandoned did well in later life. Why did he leave? Generally speaking I find it hard to enjoy a story when I dislike or fail to empathise with the main character. I couldn’t agree with or approve of Simon’s actions but eventually, through the story he tells his ex-wife, who was forced to have him declare dead, we find out the influences on his life which turned him into the man he eventually became.

This is a story which slips back and forth in time and is told from two different points of view. That can be confusing but I didn’t find it so here. Teasingly, the fragments of their history are unfolded and only at the end, as they each give their own point of view, do we see what happened, and how damaged Simon was by his own background. Sometimes, you can’t find an excuse but you can find a reason. Amazingly good tale and I’ll happily read more from this author.