Dead Man’s Hammer by Christina Engela – Review

Suspense, drama and modern issues all of which are tackled in a fun but important way…

dead mans hammer

As the Quantum series unfolds, it grows more and more impressive. Dead Man’s Hammer is proof that Christina Engela can build an established world and insert so many genres into it along with retaining a unique style of writing that not only tributes her influences but has a way of confiding in readers. We are back on the quirky planet of ‘Deanna’ home of the rather ominous sounding ‘Obsidian crows’ and more specifically ‘Atro city’ a place this time around we get to know a bit better while referencing the previous stories of the ‘Quantum series’.

Someone is targeting my favourite characters; an assassin enigmatically named ‘Villainessa Tittel’ who is after one person in particular and series regular; Cindy Mei Winter. ‘Villainessa’ proves to be quite a force in her field of work and does everything in her power to draw in ‘Mei’ whom share an interesting history. It is in this history where readers will find the true message and meaning of the story. While ‘Mei’ has moved forward in life she must face what is essentially a demon of her past and a life before she became ‘Cindy’ and it’s trying to torment her. This is a massive nod to modern issues that many people face in the transgender community and in life as a whole, sometimes it isn’t about who you were, but what you are now and what you truly feel. This concept is galvanised by another character ‘Danielle Grauffis’ who is in a process of transition in her young life compared to ‘Mei’. 

Of course other returning regulars such as ‘Beck the Badfella’ – who we get a name origins story from and special branch ‘Fred’ the arborian make appearances along with an extended appearance from ‘Sheriff Peggy Ann Muller’ who makes quite a team with ‘Mei’ and this is where a crime mystery element of the story truly shines.

Suspense, drama and even tragedy are ways that I would describe the journey this story represents not to mention that crime mystery theme along with some more important issues that these books are not afraid to tackle; as much as this sounds heavy, it’s a fun read. Throughout Engela’s writing style naturally flows and is fun to read. Revenge is a dish best served cold, you could even say as cold as ‘Winter’ but that’s only something ‘I heard through the grape vine…’ 

5 Stars

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The Good Kill: A Killian Lebon Novel by Kurt Brindley – Review

An enthralling, gripping tale of epic proportions taking the reader on a ride full of twists, turns and action…

goodk

Kurt Brindley has constructed an intricate  story that immediately immerses readers into the brutal world of organised crime,  drug and sex trafficking and a gangster underworld all of which is centered around main character Killian Lebon. This warrior and former navy seal embarks on a journey in search of answers and revenge while also dealing with a huge level of trauma. He’s a character that for all of his flaws and even dark moments you cannot help but admire and get behind.

The story unfolds gradually via a gripping and very readable style with the emphasis on Brindley’s descriptive full sentences (proper sentences, how I have longed for thee…)  with a series of stories and characters that all eventually find themselves linked later on. There are a wealth of three dimensional realistic characters with many who have their own flaws much like Killian such as ‘RJ’ with her own traumatic history or ‘Toni’ who is trying to do right even though her surroundings are wrong.

As a reader you definitely get value for money as The Good Kill is long read but it needs to be for the type of story it is and takes some time to get through although not once did I feel as if the story dragged and for a read of this caliber that is indeed an incredible feat.

It’s modern Jason Bourne meets Taken but it feels fresher with a grittier story that is brutal, dark and sometimes violent and always entertaining. There’s revenge and redemption as well as a series of revelations that appear in many different pinnacle moments during the story which is split into 4 parts all of which culminate dramatically.

The Good Kill represents independently published books in the finest possible way.

5 Stars – Great read,  Reviews left on Amazon UK and Goodreads 

9 Reasons why you should read Indie Books!

I’ve read 9 indie books since the last time I did a wrap up post. So consider this a review of my reviews and here at the Hall of information we pride ourselves on promoting authors of all persuasions especially indies! So here goes with 9 reasons why your next read should be indie…

Prophecy Girl by Ravin Tija Maurice reads like a crime mystery, and is mostly a crime mystery but eventually the reader is taken down the rabbit hole and that abyss is shared with Vampires!

prophecy

As quoted from my June review ‘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…’

The news is that Prophecy Girl has a sequel and so the story of main character ‘Camille Bishop’ continues with ‘Believer’ which is out now!

Next up I took on a series of shorter stories which are all part of ‘The Night Audit’ Series by Bruce Knapp. These quick fire fun tales follow Zach as he takes on a new job as night auditor for a hotel. He finds himself in a range of situations from the straight up gross out hilarious to the baffling and strange. I thorougly enjoyed each one and here are my thoughts on them:

So it begins -A fun and intriguing but very relatable short story…

so it begins

Nights of Hell – Working nights can mess with one’s head…

nights of hell

Guy’s Night out -A hilarious account of one drunken night out…

guys

The Phantom -Strange happenings in the Stay Over-Nite hotel

phanotm

Dirty Lawyers -Fun gross out comedy…

dl

Next up my reviews of the ‘Quantum Series’ by Christina Engela continued when I read ‘The Time Saving Agency’ which is the second book in the series.

Quantum Series #2 - The Time Saving Agency 2019 - FrontI thoroughly enjoyed this story which fused elements of time travel to the already established quirky futuristic universe that Engela has constructed, referring to my review here’s what I said:

‘Christina Engela has created a story that follows not only a similar concept of the previous entry into the Quantum series but one that fuses those ideas with something completely different and original. Written in a way that sometimes tributes Terry Pratchett, yet again readers will find this story quirky and clever with a style that confides in the reader.’

These stories also take a big step towards positivity for the LGBT community by being unclusive to characters of all persuasions but it’s done in a manner that gives the subject a level of normalcy; something that is needed today! Plus there’s a talking plant, it’s pretty awesome. I shall be reading the next story in the series very soon!

Next up comes a book that probably has one of the most unique premises I have ever seen and read; I am talking about The Good Audit by C.P Aiden.

good auditAs quoted from my review it’s ‘Enjoyable, clever and original’ but what exactly is the Good Audit about?

‘C.P Aiden has put together a story that on the surface appears to be about the trials of auditing and finance but in fact it’s about everything else that comes with the territory. This book is so well written and concise you could argue it’s use as a teaching aid for the profession and I mean that in the highest regard even though I am layman to all things finance I found myself able to follow and enjoy everything that was happening.’

I haven’t read anything like this book ever and you don’t have to be knowledgeable in the subject matter to get it. All you have to do is read it and find out. There’s something in this book that everyone can relate to from the world of work.

My final and 9th read but by no means least comes in the form of a truly addictive and very readable story called ‘The Four Before Me’ by E.H Night.

the 4I took me around 3 days to finish reading this story which follows the new girl in town trope but becomes so much more. My very recent review quotes:

‘The Four Before Me leans a little towards cliche but it works in an original way that keeps readers guessing throughout. It’s the late 80’s and Alice our main character; moves to small town ‘Wintersburg’ in search of a new start from the big city and to perhaps be closer to her now deceased Grandmother’s roots. Soon after her arrival she learns that four women are currently missing and that’s when the chilling coincidences begin. I say coincidence but that’s only if you believe in such things and for Alice this starts to play on her mind which in turn becomes psychological – the true strength of this story. She cannot help but think of the many similarities she and the missing women have, in particular ‘Sarah’ who was in fact the previous tenant in Alice’s new place…’

What unfolds is a page turner of a novel which has chills and thrills that reminded me of Stephen King’s works- yes I thought it was that good! There’s a series of mind blowing twists in the final act which rewards the already immersed reader.

That wraps up my newest review of my book reviews and this one possibly has the best line up so far this year! Thanks for reading and remember to leave a review if you’ve read something recently!

Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support of this Blog, we are near to 300 followers which is awesome because this year I started with less than 200! 

Rock and roll man! 

 

 

The Four Before Me by E. H. Night – Review

‘While some monsters are born, others are created..’

the 4

Upon picking up this book I was instantly immersed into the words and descriptive style E.H Night brings to what is a chilling and mystery shrouded story. By the 8th chapter I’ll admit I couldn’t put it down. 

The Four Before Me leans a little towards cliche but it works in an original way that keeps readers guessing throughout. It’s the late 80’s and Alice our main character; moves to small town ‘Wintersburg’ in search of a new start from the big city and to perhaps be closer to her now deceased Grandmother’s roots. Soon after her arrival she learns that four women are currently missing and that’s when the chilling coincidences begin. I say coincidence but that’s only if you believe in such things and for Alice this starts to play on her mind which in turn becomes psychological – the true strength of this story. She cannot help but think of the many similarities she and the missing women have, in particular ‘Sarah’ who was in fact the previous tenant in Alice’s new place.

As the story unfolds we meet a cast of three dimensional characters all of which serve purpose and depth to the story such as likable law enforcement officer ‘Blake Darrow’ and neighbor ‘Tiffany’ which Alice befriends. Of course there are the less savory characters such as ‘Benji’ or the town renowned ‘Wonderbread Will’. Can they be trusted when so many people are missing in this small town?

There were some instances that my mind was blown by the amount of twists and turns this story had. With elements of crime, mystery, suspense and even some chilling horror you could compare this book with the early works of Stephen King although the voice in this story is fresh and new. Whether it’s the sights or smells, emotions or feelings, this book captures everything including a little nostalgia.

5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Good Audit by C.P Aiden – Review

Enjoyable, clever and original

good audit.JPG

C.P Aiden has put together a story that on the surface appears to be about the trials of auditing and finance but in fact it’s about everything else that comes with the territory. This book is so well written and concise you could argue it’s use as a teaching aid for the profession and I mean that in the highest regard even though I am layman to all things finance I found myself able to follow and enjoy everything that was happening.

It reads and flows like a series of case studies that follow a team as they journey in putting together a financial audit for a company (Widget Maker) with some fun and sometimes absurd moments. The characters are stripped down to their job titles as names; an original concept that pays off and even makes it easier to follow. – of course this choice may be to protect anyone they are based upon giving the book a sense of possible reality.

The ‘everything else’ concept of this story is probably what makes it such an enjoyable read from discussing lunch drinks policies to office sleeping arrangements or being given the gift of finishing early at 7:30pm with a $25 dinner allowance for two . This is without mentioning ‘the fortuitous leak in the audit cave’ after someone eats day old sushi or even finding out how much others earn. All of these goings on convey the pressure and treatment the employees face when putting together an audit.

The Good Audit is a unique account (no pun intended) written in an original accessible way that I guarantee any reader will enjoy.

5 Stars – it really is as good as C.P Aiden says on twitter! 

 

Bookbub Featured Deal Promo Results

Yes fellow scientists, the results are in! Even though most of us aren’t actually scientists we shall adopt their method of recording the findings of all experiments and these include book promotion efforts. 

As most of you know The Teleporter was selected by book bub to be featured for 1 day and advertised at a discounted price in Canada, UK, India and Australia. Here are the results of that deal.

The figures: 

The Bookbub featured deal cost: $86  

Here are the results: 

teleporter sales

On the day of the promo The Telporter was downloaded 62 times, I also picked up sales for every one of my other books making July 1st 2019 my best ever day in book sales

I even managed to shift 2 paperbacks! 

Outlook for the future: 

Even though the figures were high they weren’t enough to tip the profit scale, but that’s okay, I an indie author, profit is a rare thing and I’m in the business of getting my stuff out there, money will come later…. And it’s still early because here are the KENP reading figures

kenp

This graphic shows people reading the Teleporter for 7 days straight, another groundbreaking record! 

numero 2.PNG

Over in the Canadian charts The Teleporter peaked at Number 2 only being bested by the audio book of Good Omens! If there were a few more sales at that time it probably would have reached numero uno but I’m taking second to Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett!  

Final thought:

Was it worth it?

A resounding yes. Next time and I hope there will be a next time I am going to ‘stack’ my promotional efforts by using other book promo sites at the same time. You can check out a list of those here in my nifty book promotion 2019 guide

Either way The Teleporter which 2019 is becoming the year of, got out there in all 4 of the countries it was advertised. Of course these are the results only a week after the promotion, so the long term results are yet to be apparent. I’m hoping to see a few more reviews and hopefully some more sales.

Tip of the cap to everyone who grabbed a copy of the booziest hero out there!

 

 

The Time Saving Agency by Christina Engela – Review

A highly enjoyable time travel caper…

Quantum Series #2 - The Time Saving Agency 2019 - Front

Only two months previous were the citizens of Deanna dealing with the threat of an alien attack but now another threat of perhaps greater proportions emerges from the fabric of time, quite literally.

Christina Engela has created a story that follows not only a similar concept of the previous entry into the Quantum series but one that fuses those ideas with something completely different and original. Written in a way that sometimes tributes Terry Pratchett, yet again readers will find this story quirky and clever with a style that confides in the reader.

Familiar faces Gary Beck the ‘badfella’ and Cindy Mei Winter return as their story together continues and while that is happening the main story arc begins to unfold from an unexpected place; the fabric of time where there are Time Agents and Time Terrorists. What ensues is a cat and mouse time travel story seeing ‘Agent Scrooby’ trying to track down the evil genius and escaped terrorist known as Brad Xyl who has dastardly universe destroying aspirations. Scrooby enlists the help of Bounty hunter Gary Beck and together they set out to to put Brad Xyl’s plans to a halt.

Although Cindy Mei Winter takes more of a cameo role along with ‘Fred the Arborian’, in this story Cindy’s journey and life as a trans-woman is briefly touched upon giving an important and positive modern spotlight on the subject.

Overall the Time Saving Agency is a fun read which see’s the ‘Quantum Series’ taken on an unexpected journey of time travel while also continuing the journey of it’s characters seen in the previous book in the series. The narrative is delivered with a sophisticated level of humor and sometimes sarcastic wit that never allows for a dull moment.

4 Stars 

The Phantom (A Night Audit Series Book 4) by Bruce Knapp – Review

Strange happenings in the Stay Over-Nite hotel

Picking up right where Part 3 ended we see the resolve of a cliffhanger that centers around main character Zach. After this incident he eventually makes his way back to work at night where things start to get a little strange.

This story was a fun, quick to read departure from the previous comedic accounts of Zach and shows that author Bruce Knapp can also do serious, creepy and psychological thrills very well. Elevators opening by themselves and the printer churning out ‘help me’ messages seem to be plaguing Zach; that is while guests appear to be checking in and then completely disappearing or even a rooster being reported running around on the third floor.  A lot can happen in one hotel overnight and some of it may be inside the mind while other events have an eventual explanation which forms into an unexpected twist at the closing of this story.

Overall I enjoyed this story like the previous ones and it felt a little different with even a ‘twilight zone’ style tone that was complimented by the resolve.

4 Stars 

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

A fun and intriguing but very relatable short story…

so it begins.PNG

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

 

 

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!