Nights Of Hell (A Night Audit Series Book 2) by Bruce Knapp- Review

Working nights can mess with one’s head…

nights of hell

Working nights can not only be hell but they can mess with one’s head. Zach is back for the second chapter of his story as he delves into night work at the hotel. Again he seems to fall into various problems of not only the day to day running of a busy hotel but the perils of working during the night. He faces tiredness on a constant basis while also running important reports which seem to go wrong… that is while juggling extra jobs that don’t get finished during the day.

This part of Zach’s journey is greeted with difficulty as he tries to adjust to life of the nocturnal persuasion while trying to prove himself as the night auditor. He tackles this uphill struggle while also pondering whether this job is for him.

Overall an enjoyable and very quick read – I managed to complete it in one sitting. Looking forward to seeing what’s next for Zach in part 3 of this original and fun journey!

4 Stars 

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So It Begins (A Night Audit Series Book 1) by Bruce Knapp – Review

A fun and intriguing but very relatable short story…

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Zach is having a bad day. His car has run out of gas and the local gas station only takes cash. That’s how this story starts and like the best of us when it rains it pours. His job is no better, it’s physical menial work that could probably be best described as back breaking and with a supervisor like his it was only a matter of time until he did what all of us sometimes dream of doing.

Soon enough Zach’s luck begins to change as his best friend advises him to apply for a new job opening; that being a Night Auditor for a hotel. He begins training and just when everything looks towards even more intrigue I found myself at the end of this book and chapter…

Everything is set in motion for what will become a journey of discovery for both Zach and the reader. Looking forward to reading more from the 5 part Night Audit Series.

4 Stars

 

 

Prophecy Girl by Ravin Tija Maurice – Review

An interesting combination of crime mystery which eventually moves towards magic and vampires…

prophecy

Main character and narrator Camille Bishop is a private investigator who has just been given the responsibility of taking on solo cases. There is a lot going on in her mind and life; from being involved with a good for nothing junkie boyfriend to still going through the motions of grieving for her deceased parents. Although Camille appears as tough she can’t seem to break away from the toxic relationship with ‘Jesse’ and always seems to give him another chance until events out of her control force her to break away.

The story unfolds slowly with the introduction of multiple characters that revolve around Camille from father figure/uncle ‘Ted’ to computer whiz ‘Q and even rockstar and latter love interest ‘Fray’ ‘; I found the greatest strength this book had was it’s array of characters and their interaction with each other. Very early on readers are teased that something is lurking in the shadows and watching Camille which eventually begins to suggest the existence of vampires.

Much of Camille’s journey reads and feels like a crime mystery which struggles to find a destination with the vampire stuff only briefly mentioned (although clever in execution) while the MC tries to move on in life. It isn’t until the final quarter that everything twists and becomes way more interesting. Revelations lead to answers about Camille’s mother and finally we see the prophecy part of ‘Prophecy Girl’.

From what begins as a very realistic crime caper becomes a story of magical powers and vampires; something I struggled a little to believe seeing as it was quite late introduced but overall made for an interesting read. The ideas of realistic crime being fused with magic and vampires is an odd but unique pairing. Author Ravin Tija Maurice has obviously worked hard to execute this and has done so by way of a well written novel. 

4 Stars – A thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for a review. Looking forward to reading the sequel. Review also published on Amazon UK and Goodreads – Rock and roll man! 

 

3 Reasons why you should read Indie Books!

It’s another review post of my reviews and by that I mean recent indie book reviews but this time the number of reads is a little smaller; this is because all three of my recommendations in this edition were a little longer. But here at the Hall of information we don’t discriminate by book length, novel, novella, short or even a sentence or two is welcomed here so let’s take a look at what I’ve read and reviewed recently…

Quantum Series #1 - Black Sunrise 2019 - frontBlack Sunrise by Christina Engela is the first of 6 space travel/ science fiction books set in the Quantum series.

Last year Christina got into contact looking for a review of ‘Demonspawn’ which I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend – review here – so naturally she reached out again this year in search of more reviews so I agreed to read all 6 books of the Quantum series!

Black Sunrise, as quoted from my 5 Star review is A fun and enjoyable quirky multi-character story that carries an important message…’   That message which is intertwined with some action, comedy, and overall fun is all about diversity and inclusion. There’s even a talking plant!

Very soon I shall be delving into the second book in the series ‘the time saving agency’ so watch this space for a review!

Continuing with the space travel science fiction theme my next review is of a book which is set for release very soon so I consider myself pretty lucky to be asked to take a look. Of course I am talking about ‘Kau D’varza: A story in the ChaosNova universe’ by David Noë.

kau d'varza

This is the first ARC review for the Hall of information and having already reviewed another book in the ChaosNova universe called ‘Seeker’ – review here  I didn’t hesitate in taking a look into what is a growing universe of high end science fiction, here’s a quote from my 5 Star review, Engaging and immersive high end sci-fi that follows multiple characters along with their antics of journeying through space…’ 

I found myself immersed in what is a concise and well imagined realistic universe that almost felt like a fly on the wall documentary. There’s deception, investigation, sabotage and even an epic space battle in the latter stages of what is a story I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys this type of thing!

Kau D’varza: A story in the ChaosNova universe’ will be released on the 7th of June! 

My final recent read is probably situated directly opposite space travel and science fiction but it was still just as immersive and enjoyable. I am talking about ‘A Squatter in London’ by Irene Pylypec. 

squatter in ldn

As quoted from my 5 star review this book is ‘An enjoyable well written memoir about a young lady who embarks on a travelling adventure…’

As someone like me who is from London I found this story sentimental and nostalgic even though I wasn’t around in the 1970’s. The story perfectly captures everything for the times, the sights, the sounds, the tastes and experiences of a truly multicultural city.  It was even insightful to local history and politics providing not only a journey of one woman’s travels from Canada to the UK but a factual account of everything she experienced . This book can be read by not only Londoners but anyone who enjoys immersive and personal travel experiences with a hint of history through the eyes of a young person in the 1970’s.

And that wraps up my recent reads. Look out for another review very soon and of course tomorrow is the season finale of my Sci fi epic ‘Jack Thorn’ you can read the previous edition here.

Thanks for reading, rock and roll man!

 

 

A Squatter in London by Irene Pylypec – Review

An enjoyable well written memoir about a young lady who embarks on a travelling adventure…

squatter in ldn

I found myself completely immersed in what is a diary style account of Irene Pylypec’s travels from Canada to the U.K in the 70’s. Although she spends some of her time travelling around the country her residence in London is the focus as she lives a free spirited life of squatting while experiencing everything there is to experience of the times.

In this account she befriends many colourful characters who are in the same situation; young and trying to figure out life in a multi cultural capital. The whole essence of her experiences, the sights, the sounds, the tastes and the people are captured perfectly in what is a fantastic story of highs and lows for a young person trying to survive and figure out life.

Having lived and worked in London during my youth I was reminded by this story of what it is like and the city even back then was a lively place full of people from near enough everywhere; this is also very well documented and includes Irene befriending the Irish contingent during a very testing time for their country. The story pretty much touches on everything that happened during the era such as politics, films, culture and especially the housing crisis which is why there were so many squatters.

What I enjoyed the most about this book was the intertwining of history to real life experiences all of which is delivered in a personal and thoroughly readable story. It’s a fun roller coaster of a journey about people, places and life experience that also serves as a great advert for travelling and meeting people.

 

5 Stars 

 

Kau D’varza: A story in the ChaosNova universe by David Noë – ARC Review

Engaging and immersive high end sci-fi that follows multiple characters along with their antics of journeying through space…

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In the ChaosNova universe the depths of space can be filled with near enough unlimited scope for mystery, deception, risks and reward as this book focuses on ‘Kau D’varza’ a space station where something is always happening. 

Elise Rivera; a relative newcomer to the station in search of a new life soon becomes entangled first of all into some trouble before the realisation comes that she can be of great use. After an early conversation with station’s arch commissioner Elise rides her luck in some senses towards becoming an External Investigations Specialist where she finds herself rubbing shoulders with other specialists of ‘Kau D’varza’ whether that be to help with traitorous engineers or even assisting on bigger space missions. Her journey is intertwined with other specialist’s as they all go about their duty in keeping the station safe; from incoming unknown ships, the threat of ‘Reclaimers’ or the scourge of space; pirates. 

We see these other stories which display the multitude of believable and likable folks such as the eventual romance of specialist Kaska Stone and Specialist Joseph Raffa which added to the many depths this story contains. I enjoyed the realistic approach and even somewhat clunky-ness of Raffa while he tried to do his best to court Stone; even if Ikarus did intervene to begin with.

The reading experience overall feels like a fly on the wall documentary in some places; which is a compliment to the very well constructed and detailed universe this story resides in. In the latter stages of what is a long but immersive read I particularly enjoyed the space battle which carried notes of the space adventures all sci-fi fans will know of along with cutting it’s own unique path. Pockets of action or deceptive investigation for the station specialists will keep any reader immersed in what is an original and highly detailed entry to the science fiction world.

5 Stars

I would like to take this opportunity to thank David Noë for providing an advanced copy of the book. I shall place my reviews in the usual places – Goodreads and Amazon. 

Kau D’varza is out now!

 

Black Sunrise by Christina Engela – Review

A fun and enjoyable quirky multi-character story that carries an important message…

Quantum Series #1 - Black Sunrise 2019 - front

Black Sunrise is about a lot of different things and the author has done a great job of linking them all together by way of a story that is not only funny, it’s also strange in a good way and carries a positive message. The diverse array of characters range from a bounty hunter to a talking plant called ‘Fred’ who in some senses stole the show considering this ‘Arborian’ seemed to be more of a secondary character.

Set mostly on the planet of Deanna; this holiday destination see’s the arrival of an alien spaceship helmed by the ‘Ruminarii’ a race of hostile lizard type aliens looking to send a message. Along the way we see the story from many different points of view; including these aliens who (spoiler alert) fail in a sense to send said message.

Cindy Mei Winter; a former government agent is trying to put the past behind her and provides the important message this story carries. What first appears as a suggested undertone comes center stage in the latter part of the story as Cindy is revealed to be transgender; something that is portrayed in a positive and modern way. In fact there are two transgender characters in this story. This message extends to many of the other characters who are all different in their own way questioning the concept of what an alien really is. 

Overall I found this story enjoyable with a positive message that puts the ‘conscience over paycheck’ concept into practice. There are some parts I found to be genuinely funny while in other moments it was thought provoking.

Seeing as this book is a part of the wider ‘Quantum’ series I will be sure to check out the others.

5 Stars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indie April Book Review Wrap Up

Indie April so happened to be my most successful month as an author, book reviewer and blogger. Although I love to just talk about me, the world is a better place when I share the spotlight so during April I also found time to support fellow indie authors by reading and reviewing their stuff. Here’s a rundown of my Indie April reads…

within dark places

First up came probably what is the most scared and on edge I have been whilst reading for well, ever and I am proud to say ‘Within the Dark Places’ by Duncan Thompson happened to be a great and terrifying read.

This shorter novel as quoted from my review ‘follows a small group who decide to spend their weekend in a woods with chilling results. From the very beginning there’s a stack of mystery and intrigue as to what exactly is lurking in the shadows which starts to play on the readers imagination more than anything; something which is text book horror and also very effective in a book like this.’ 

If you are looking for a good text book horror scare then I highly recommend this one and the great news is, there’s a sequel, but more on that further down…

‘Original page turning action with a powerful voice that speaks of prophecy, coming of age and warriors’ is how I described my next read Daughter of Kali: Awakening by Shiulie Ghosh.

kali

This young adult action tale is indeed a journey down the rabbit hole of an original premise that follows the ‘chosen one trope’ of one girl who discovers there is a huge world out there full of demons and warriors who fight them. I very much enjoyed this story and even more so for the linkage to the Hindu faith which intertwines ancient religion and mythology with the modern day; something I haven’t seen before. The good news is this story is a part of a wider trilogy with the sequel that has just dropped!

The author has also recently released some new cover art work which I am happy to share here and of course on my original review.

Indie April became the month of sequels for me as I decided to take on more chills and dark hidesedge of the seat thrills by delving into ‘Where the Darkness Hides’ by Duncan Thompson, a sequel to Within the Dark Places; and although the story did kind of end it cleverly opens up again in the very early stages of what is ‘A sequel and continuation into the shadows’; as quoted from my review

This one is more of a slower build and full of tension leading towards what we know is going to happen. It goes to places that are unexpected and isn’t just a re run of the first story; something which is important for sequels. Overall I enjoyed what is a great companion to a terrifying but highly readable pair of stories.

 

And so sequels became the theme of my April reads as I took on ‘Daughter of Kali: Unholy Alliance’ by Shiulie Ghosh. My decision to read and review the follow on story from Daughter of Kali: Awakening was quite simply a no brainer; firstly I was approached with a free copy by the author in exchange for a review and secondly I enjoyed the first, thirdly the story was still fresh in my mind, so I figured lets do this…

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With the world of Warriors and Demons already established that rabbit hole I previously mentioned opens wider into a great continuation. Much of what is suggested first time round comes to light, with new characters and new challenges for the main character with feisty but likable traits. ‘Kaz’ must continue her journey into this world and as she so powerfully says “I’m not a kid anymore. I’m a Warrior now…”

It’s just as good as the first and seeing as this is a trilogy series it didnt suffer from middle story syndrome in anyway. You can read my full review here

 

And so that wraps up my reading and reviewing efforts for April; a busy month for me as a writer, blogger and life in general. Thanks to everyone for the support and a tip of the cap to all of those who follow and actively go out of their way to make this blog a success!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daughter of Kali: Unholy Alliance by Shiulie Ghosh – Review

“I’m not a kid anymore. I’m a Warrior now…”

kali 2

In the already established world of demons and Warriors we are reintroduced to the still very feisty and likeable ‘Kaz’ as the next chapter of her journey continues. The story picks up pretty much where the previous finished only now readers are taken further down the rabbit hole of magic, mythical creatures and gods in what is an epic sequel.

Much of what is suggested previously and skimmed the surface comes to light in ‘Unholy Alliance’ with ‘Kaz’s’ destiny taking center stage as she becomes a fully fledged Warrior alongside others who are apprenticed by the guild. This provides an opportunity to introduce new characters such as ‘Jack’ who plays a semi love interest and sometimes shoulder to cry on for our hero. Of course characters from the first story are back with many that still serve a purpose to the now evolving story (Em, Darius and Di come to mind).

Many of the themes seen in the previous adventure are back such as coming of age, prophecy and deception all of which cleverly ties in with Hindu and Indian heritage; a concept that carries much originality and scope for near enough unlimited intrigue. Also back is the voice that ‘Kaz’ hears in her head now known as ‘the other’ which is a force that comes to fruition in the latter stages. She must look to save her mother who is comatose after the end of the last story and this runs as one of the main arcs that spreads across the book’s entirety.

Destiny and prophecy is something hero ‘Kaz’ must face and nearer the end she journey’s alone on what seems like a pilgrimage of sorts in order to solve the worsening demon problems her guild faces and of course saving the world!

Overall ‘Daughter of Kali: Unholy Alliance’ is a great read and just as good as the first story. I found myself taking my time with this read as I enjoyed it so much while being sure to take in every detail. Not once did I think this book suffered from middle story syndrome (as it is part of a planned trilogy) and it may actually be stronger than the first in keeping the reader turning those pages. With many possibilities of where the story could go at the end, I look forward the next one!

5 Stars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where the Darkness Hides by Duncan Thompson – Review

A sequel and continuation into the shadows…

dark hides

I liked the fact this story didn’t try to copy or do exactly what the first one did. It goes to different places while also exploring concepts from the original in more detail. There are many sequels that get made just because the first was good or successful but they rarely deliver. Was ‘Where the Darkness Hides’ just as terrifying as ‘Within the Dark Places’? Probably not, and it doesn’t need to be because they are two completely different stories, and the differences is what makes this one just as good.

This time around the story begins with a slower build and instead of being a more on the scary side its more of a tension filled experience. We sort of know what’s coming, but it comes from the unexpected. The police begin to investigate the events of the previous story and while we know what has happened, they don’t and it becomes that old fashioned full proof horror scenario of readers saying out loud ‘don’t go in there!’ or in this case don’t got into the Druid Woods.

It’s ‘Aliens’ with shades of ‘Jeepers Creepers’, and I mean that as a compliment because this sequel see’s the story from the first one evolved. We see concepts that are explored further and elements that stretch to other genres such as the occult and psychological horror. There is a bigger cast of characters and overall the story delves further into the concepts of the original making it essential reading if you enjoyed the first one. Again the whole experience feels cinematic it never stays in the same place for long keeping readers constantly on edge.

4 Stars