Sunday, 19 July 2015

Becky Bookworm Book Review: Hybrid by Nick Stead (Debut Horror/Werewolf Author)

HybridHybrid by Nick Stead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From a debut horror author this werewolf tale takes a pinch of inspiration from Interview with a Vampire, a dollop of teenager issues from BBC Wolfblood and all the raw gore from every decent horror film possible. It is also what some may call a personal fantasy reliving of someones life to a degree or two.
There is a teenage with the usual problems of family feuds, bully fights and GCSEs and then there is the teenager werewolf who has a horid passion for meat both cooked and raw and a dual of minds and wills with the Inner Wolf inside. Oh and the extra challenge in that he is the last of his kind and is being hunted by a mysterious secret faction call Demon Slayers who know its more than werewolves that go bump in the night.
The reader gets on a truly wild ride with this story that I think really rewrites the image of the werewolf. You enter the story literally in the prologue with a direct 2nd person narrative. From Chap 1 it's all about Nick the teenager with a fascination of wolves and then following the bite which comes the reader gets to know the Wolf within Nick and that is a refreshing non-human twist on the myth. That Werewolve are in fact homosapien and lupine blended together in a freakish mental combination.
I particularly liked one chapter, after the discovery of a horrific and devestating murder (there is a lot of violent deaths in this book so readers had best have a strong stomach) Nick out of anger mentally attacks and argues with his Inner Wolf and the argument is really quite insightful into how a predator sees and acts when compared with that of humanity.
The first half of the book is all about a teenager adjusting to a very unusual sudden set of conditions but as the body count rises and his normal life becomes more and more fragmented by the impact of his actions under the full moon the second half leads into a savage and viscous mindset where Nick may have to loose his idea of humanity to stay alive as the Slayers pose an ever increasing threat.
Although I would have preffered more action and bloody drama from the go the slow first half does help as a poignant reminder of the boy Nick no longer is by the end of the book.

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Monday, 13 July 2015

Becky Bookworm Book Review: The Apple Throne by Tessa Gratton (United States of Asgard Book 3) 
Since discovering the wonderful world that is The United States of Asgard created by the magician that is Tessa Gratton - I have been a fan! As a passionate lover of all things vikingy, in particular their mythology, why wouldn't I want to live in a parallel world where all of America is pagan, Odin hangs out with the Presidents, there is a Council of Valkyries as well as a special few Valkyries that deal with the death, where Beserkers are people with very real and dangerous anger problems to put it simply and where Lokiskin are the travellers of the countryside, visiting towns, hosting fairs and trading. All topped off of course with the wonderful power of Seeresses like Astrid who you meet in the first book, Lost Sun. Well Astrid is back and although she finds herself at the centre of all things, quite literally, she won't let the ribbons of fate bind her when her lover Soren is in trouble.
With all the action, adventure, mystery, danger and even more powerful magic than the first two - this is Astrid's story... click on the  cover for my full review.

Becky Bookworm Book Review - Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell (Saxon Saga 8)

The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8)The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another superbly brilliant historical adventure with Uhtred and our favourite historical heroine Athelflaed. Lots of battles, intrigue, danger and surprises especially at the end. This book has a particular hint of the older Uhtred in term of reflection on the events taking place.
Very much looking forward to the Dark Warriors sequel out later this year as the Vikings make even more trouble for both Mercians and West Saxons alike. After reading this I will be amazed if Uhtred survives to attend the Battle of Brannaburgh. Which as he says in historical comments is the key defining moment for England as newly united country.

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Becky Bookworm Book Review - King's Assassin by Angus Donald (Outlaw Chronicles 7)

The King's AssassinThe King's Assassin by Angus Donald

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading this excellent additional historical adventure with Robin and Alan. I soon realised that this may be the first book that centres more on Alan then on his role as accomplice with Robin. We see him struggle with his role as a Father and as a Lord to protect and safeguard not just his family but the people of his lands against the growing financial tyranny of King John.
This historical adventure revolves around the creation of the Magna Carter and through the book the reader comes to realise it was more than some unhappy nobles that brought it about. As witnessed in the other books King John was never as good a King as his brother or others but even Robin remarks that not all Kings are perfect.
Yet amongst the backdrop of the Great Charter past decisions made by Robin and Alan have arisen in the form of traitors and danger both on and off the battlefield. It is a nice reflection of how the Kings past choices have built up the demand for Magna Carter and how even on an individual level can resonate years later and impact those closest to you.
It was another truly exciting read and I particularly liked the new turn with the narrative technique used between each section. It is a worthy end for one character and also a worthy start for the end of the series. I believe many a tear will be shed as we follow the Lord of Sherwood one final time.

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