Book Review Life and Other Dreams – Richard Dee

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Sci-Fi and psychological thriller fans are in for a treat.”
“…action, adventure, romance and cerebral high-jinks…”
Rick lives here on Earth now, with Cath. His life is boring, writing adverts for cat food and exotic holidays. When he’s asleep, he dreams vividly.
In his dreams, he lives as Dan, spending his time with his wife Vanessa. They live six-hundred years in the future, half a galaxy away. They’re explorers, searching for valuable minerals on Ecias, an alien paradise.
Dan has no dreams about Rick’s life, he lives on Ecias, loves his life and Vanessa.
When the two worlds overlap, Rick starts to question what is real. Events in his waking and sleeping lives are mirrored, similar people inhabit both and coincidences mount up. Then disaster strikes in each world at the same time. In his dreams, Dan is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Meanwhile, after one coincidence too many, Cath thinks that Rick’s dreams are hiding an affair and leaves him.
Is Rick going crazy, or can he be living in two places, in two times, at once? If not, then which one of them is the reality? Will one life carry on when the other is on hold?
Richard Dee’s fast-paced, edgy science fiction -cum- psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page! 

My review:

I loved this, so imaginative, exciting and relatable. Awesome writing Richard Dee. My hubby has action-packed, crazy, dreams all the time, so this really appealed to me. Though, I don’t think my hubby’s dreams have taken him off planet as yet, at least, if they have he hasn’t told me!

Poor Rick, he truly does get into trouble with his dreams which take him off galavanting to planet Ecias away from his married life, ( with Cath on earth,) into the arms of Vanessa. In Ecias, he has a name change too and becomes Dan.

Cath begins to think that Rick is having a real affair… And her jealousy leads her and Rick to disastrous measures.

Oh, can’t say I liked Cath much… But she redeemed herself somewhat… Jealousy can bring out the ugly in people.

Which is real? Life on earth, or life in Ecias?

My recommendation: 5 stars. If you want to read something different – in the Sci Fi/Thriller category give this a go. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio copy.

I loved the ending by the way!

Authors Website: https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/

I also really enjoyed his Andorra Pett cosy mysteries (review link below,) which recently got a mention on YouTube….

I received a free audio book from the author but this in no way influences my review.

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Book Review: The Magisters by Jack Eason #Bookreview

 

Synopsis:

The Magisters is a science fiction story with a difference. Apart from chronicling the ultimate change of life for a select few individuals, it questions all accepted ideas by closeminded academics that leave no room for alternative thinking by some among their number. It is about a woman born ten years after the Romans left Britannia forever and a man born in the twentieth century. Add to that everything that is currently environmentally wrong with our planet today. Now read on…

My review

The engaging story makes the reader wonder. What if our ancient monuments were resurrected, what would the outcome be? And what would happen if a modern day man could meet a beautiful woman from a previous time period? This, and many other questions are answered, some with a political/environmental slant.

Certain lines in the novella made me wish we could be the ones wielding an other worldly Science Fiction power over our Politicians! Now, wouldn’t that be great!

I believe this is book one and there is more to come. #highlyrecommended #reading – 5 stars.

 

Author Profile on Goodreads;

 

Jack Eason lived in New Zealand for forty-two years until 2000 when he returned to his birthplace in England. As far as he is concerned he will always consider himself to be a Kiwi. After military service in the 1960’s, he travelled the world, visiting exotic lands and making many friends. Now retired,he is content to write and travel via the Internet. Besides writing novels and short stories. Some of his short stories and numerous articles appear in the No: 1 online E-zine “Angie’s DIARY”. His literary interests include science fiction, history, both ancient and modern, and humorous tales like those written by his fellow writer Derek Haines, such as “HAL”. He lives in retirement in his home town surrounded by his favourite books, ranging from historical fact to science fiction. His literary icons are J.R.R Tolkien, George Orwell, Arthur C Clarke and John Wyndham.

He also contributes to his blog “Have We Had Help” at: http://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/ along with articles and short stories to “Angie’s Diary at: http://angiesdiary.com/.
You can also find some of his short stories under the ‘writings’ button at his goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/jackeason

 

http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime

 

Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’

“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

 

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Review of More Glimpses by Hugh Roberts #Shortstories #Collection

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Synopsis:

Do you believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden? Or know the real truth about what lurks inside every mobile phone? Would you steal items from a blind person, or send your neighbours on a time travelling adventure fraught with danger and menace to save the human race from a bug? How about staying in a sleepy village where many murders have taken place or coming to the aid of royalty while out shopping? 

These are just some of the subjects covered in the second collection of short stories and flash fiction from author and writer, Hugh W. Roberts. 

‘More Glimpses’ gives the reader an opportunity to take a peek into the lives of normal, everyday people whose lives are all on a path full of twists, turns and unexpected endings. However, it’s not only about the humans; nothing escapes the extraordinary journeys Hugh has planned for you. If you are a lover of shows such as ‘Black Mirror’ or ‘The Twilight Zone’ then you’re in for another exciting trip in this second collection from Hugh. Come and meet the characters who had no idea their lives were about to be turned upside-down. Enjoy the ride! 

“Hugh W. Roberts is back with More…Glimpses, that is! This is his second collection of short stories showcasing the dark and somewhat twisted mind of humankind. Roberts’ witty imagination, coupled with his love of stories from The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, crafts 32 more tales of dark humour and hair-raising tales in a variety of genres, some a short read, others a little longer to get your heart racing! In every case, just when you think you’ve got the tale figured out, Roberts drops in a completely unexpected ending that may make you jump, laugh or even ponder your use of technology! The Tunnel, Baby Talk, Floral Hall and The Right Choice were my favourites!” – Terri Webster Schrandt, Writer and Blogger.

 

My review:

Thank you to Hugh for my copy in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

I really enjoyed More Glimpses, so much so that I felt a desire to perhaps complete my own short story collection one day.

Well done to Hugh Roberts he’s done it again!

I’ve also read his first collection which I reviewed here: https://mjmallon.com/2017/01/04/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-glimpses-by-hugh-w-roberts/

More Glimpses is an excellent compilation of short stories with something for everyone.  Short stories and flash fiction isn’t an easy option by any means. Short story authors have the difficult task of  encapsulating plot, drama and characterisation into such a short space and Hugh Roberts does this so well.

My favourites:

The Whistle – a tear jerker drama war story.

The Right Choice – science fiction – (think extreme gameshows!)

The Door, paranormal.

And – Fairies At The Bottom of The Garden – fantasy!

Highly recommended.

My rating: 4.5 stars.

 

Have you read More Glimpses? Please do comment…

 

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Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

 

Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’

“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

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#BookReview Andorra Pett and The Oort Cloud Cafe #mystery #scifi

Goodreads Synopsis:

Meet Andorra Pett; with her trusty sidekick, she’s taken over a derelict cafe. On a mining station. It just happens to be orbiting Saturn! She’s hoping for a fresh start, away from all the drama of her old life. It’s a chance to relax and start again in a place where nobody knows anything about her or her past. 
But the cafe holds a secret, and secrets have a habit of coming out; whether you want them to or not. And being accident prone doesn’t help. The more you try to pretend that you know what’s going on, the worse it gets. 
Andorra’s plans for peace and quiet get lost amid the revelations and skulduggery and she soon realises that the fate of the whole station lies in her hapless hands. 
In space, you can still trip over your feet; the question is, will you land upright? 

 

My review:

This is about as different as it gets in terms of sci/fi murder mystery sleuthing. For a start it is set on Saturn in a café frequented by miners, with lots of gossip and dodgy goings on and a body hidden in a freezer. It is imaginative and I like imaginative!The author himself has described it as an ‘Agatha Raisin in space.’

Who killed the previous owner of the ‘Ucky Strike Cafe’ which has lost its L?

It seems that Andorra might be the one to find out. There is a light-hearted feel to this novel and plenty of moments that made me laugh right from the start:

Also there are some interesting, (exclamation, exclamation,) revelations LOL… that I didn’t see coming at all and who would have guessed the culprit? Not me…

Andorra comes across as a likeable character who is looking for love and (sometimes tries too hard to find it .) Can she find love now she has escaped the hurts of her past? The supporting characters are believable and the story is well-written and engaging.

Even though it is Sc-fi it is a cozy Sci-fi, so don’t let that put you off if that might.

Do check out Richard’s website. He has written an enviable collection of books and is a fantastic supporter of independent authors with his Indie Showcases.

My recommendation: Read it! 5 stars. Enjoyable read.

Richard’s website:

https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/

A magical blog of books, writing and inspiration

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Glimpses by Hugh. W Roberts

http://hyperurl.co/42ou22

Goodreads Synopsis:

After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who suffers from dyslexia, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book.

Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.

‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.

If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh.

Dare you take a glimpse into the lives of these unsuspecting characters?

“If you’re looking for a thoroughly entertaining read, Glimpses is the book for you. Each story has been cleverly crafted; through Hugh’s wonderful imagination, he has the ability to whisk you away to many different worlds, past, present and future. Every story makes a compelling read and just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, Hugh masterfully reveals a brilliant twist. With bite-size and longer stories, Glimpses is a must-read. I loved it.” – Esther Newton, Writer, and Author.

My review:

Welcome, this is my first review of 2017. Happy New Year!!! Happy Reading!!!

This is undoubtedly an excellent collection of short stories from Hugh W. Roberts.

In my opinion, short stories are so difficult to write as the author has to encapsulate so much into such a rigid format and end on an engaging twist too.  Hugh effortlessly manages to introduce us to such a wide range of well-crafted stories, encompassing several genres, ranging from Science Fiction, Supernatural, Thriller, Drama, Humour, LGBT, to Horror, with something for everyone in this entertaining compilation.

When Hugh jokingly remarked that his horror stories might give me nightmares I really didn’t believe that this kind-hearted chap could write that scary a horror story, but I was so wrong!!!!  The particular one that stays in my mind the most is undoubtedly Needles, which definitely made me wince a lot and with a title like that it’s no wonder! Other favourites of mine in the horror category are The Easter Bunny,  The Gingerbread House, and Lipstick. You can see I do like to read horror! I also have a soft spot for The Cake Decorator, (Thriller) and The Last Train to Aldwych (Ghost). Every single story in the compilation is a little nugget of imagination. Hugh may be dyslexic but he certainly has no difficulty on the imagination score! His powers of imagination and creativity are first class. Often dyslexic people are amazingly talented, and Hugh certainly is.


My advice:

Glimpses is highly recommended for all short story enthusiasts. Go get a copy!!

My rating:

4 stars.

Competition Time….

To celebrate the launch of Glimpses Hugh is offering six wonderful Amazon gift prizes. Follow the link here to find out more: Hughs Views and News Competition

Do check out his most recent post about this as Hugh has kindly given us a clue!

A clue from Hugh – Glimpses Competition

Please do support Hugh and buy a copy of his book, and if you could share a review even better…

DISCLAIMER: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Amazon buying link:

Universal buying link for Glimpseshttp://hyperurl.co/42ou22

I recently interviewed Hugh on Kyrosmagica. Here’s the link:

Hugh W. Roberts Awesome Author Interview

Have you read Glimpses? Do leave a comment below and let me know…

Soon I will be reviewing Ruth Hatfield’s The Colour of Darkness, the second book in the Book of Storms Trilogy, so keep a look out for that.

Bye for now, back to my books…

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Glimpses

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Matt Haig’s Echo Boy for Net Galley

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Audrey’s father taught her that to stay human in the modern world, she had to build a moat around herself; a moat of books and music, philosophy and dreams. A moat that makes Audrey different from the echoes: sophisticated, emotionless machines, built to resemble humans and to work for human masters. Daniel is an echo – but he’s not like the others. He feels a connection with Audrey; a feeling Daniel knows he was never designed to have, and cannot explain. And when Audrey is placed in terrible danger, he’s determined to save her. The Echo Boy is a powerful story about love, loss and what makes us truly human.

Did it succeed in my Books, Magic, Crystals ratings, system? Yes it did. A well deserved 4 of 5 stars

BOOK: Quality of Writing

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My Netgalley review of Echo Boy, by Matt Haig. I couldn’t have picked a better book to review for my first Netgalley assignment! I have to confess that I wish I had written this myself, just a tad jealous! The impact of the advancement of technology is of great interest to me. What effect will progress have on humanity? Will we lose sight of ourselves along the way? Will we still retain a thread of what makes us human? So many questions! A topic that is close to my heart.

I don’t usually read science fiction but Matt Haig’s Echo Boy really captured my attention. The narrative delved into the future but did an admirable job of asking those questions. It is a riveting read, with well-developed characters, and a plot that keeps you interested throughout. At the end of the book, I was struck with a touch of melancholy. There must be more. I wanted to know what happens next. I have heard that there is to be a sequel. I am so delighted, this is just such a thrilling book. I enjoyed it enormously, and am looking forward to reading more of Matt Haig’s books.

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CRYSTAL: Is there lightness and darkness in the novel? YES there is.

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***BEWARE MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW ***

The story begins with Audrey’s mind log, two weeks since her parents were killed. Audrey is a fifteen year old living in the future. Her idea of old-fashioned is singing songs from the 2090s. There is a definite sense of human isolation in the novel, “only a hundred years or so’ ago people knew their neighbours. Climate change has had such a devastating impact that Audrey and her family live in a stilt house, above water, and parts of the world are blisteringly hot deserts. There is a magrail outside their house that allows them to travel more than 300 kilometres in less than ten minutes. Life has been reduced to an instant. Audrey lives in a world in which technology has made such enormous advances that there is 4-D footage of her dead parents, in a pod where she can interact with them, as though they are still alive. This cruel advancement of technology adds to her distress.

She knows in her heart that her parents are dead. Her father’s brother is Alex Castle the head of Castle Industries, the leading technological empire in Europe. The two brothers look like each other but have nothing in common, Audrey’s father is a technophobe, who fears that Echos will take over the world. The two brothers are polar opposites in personality, morals, and beliefs. These resemblances and differences are an interesting and important aspect of the novel, cleverly thought out by the author. From the opening chapter we know that her parents deaths are no accident. This is murder. In this futuristic world robots are passe and have been replaced by Echos, Alissa, their family Echo is so human looking that Audrey can’t help but find this disturbing. Like all Echos she is made of human flesh and blood, a picture of perfection, except for a cube of hardware and circuitry in the brain. Alissa, appears to malfunction, she kills Audrey’s parents, this is accomplished in the old-fashioned way with a knife. No technology is required to commit murder just cold hard steel. Audrey manages to get away from Alissa but the technology of the car that she escapes in is controlled by her uncle Alex. She is taken to his house.

In her uncle’s house she meets Daniel, a boy Echo. After witnessing the death of her parents she is terrified of all Echos, but Daniel seems to frighten her more than most. This initial fear turns out to be misplaced, Daniel is a prototype model who knows the truth about her uncle and is trying to help and warn her. Audrey learns that her uncle is a false, scheming man, only interested in augmenting his power and control. He has no soul. His ten-year old son Iago looks cute looking but has psychopathic tendencies like his father. Audrey’s uncle carries on a pretense of being her protector. To begin with Audrey is taken in. But she discovers what he is really like. She finds a message in a book from Daniel, confirming that her uncle murdered her mother and father. Her uncle locks her in her room and arranges for an Echo to kill her. She manages to escape by tricking Iago and blasts her way out of captivity.

Daniel has a lock of human hair in him, this tiny lock of hair is enough to make him experience human emotions, as well as pain. Audrey discovers that her uncle may appear human but in reality he has less compassion and heart than Daniel with his 0.01% of humanity. Her uncle tries to eliminate Daniel’s capacity for human characteristics, and discards him, aware that he may end up in the notorious Resurrection Zone. He controls the Resurrection Zone, a futuristic zoo, where extinct animals, neanderthals, and Echos are subjected to vicious attacks in front of an audience. The passages in the book about the Resurrection Zone, made me think of Rome’s bloody past. The Roman gladiators, and animals in the Colosseum, pain and suffering, existed as entertainment too.

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MAGIC: Did the ending work? Was it worthy of my magic rating. YES it was.

In the end Audrey and Daniel manage to escape to the moon, the last place that Audrey would ever have considered going to, but now everything has changed. Her parents are dead, her uncle is a murderer, there is no longer anything to hold her to planet earth. If she stays her uncle may kill her. Daniel has nothing left. His maker, Rosella who he loved is dead. So Daniel and Audrey are drawn to each other, like lost souls. They Kiss. Fall in love. But there is a price to be paid for freedom, she must become like an Echo herself, and suffer the pain of branding, or else she will be discovered on the shuttle that takes them to the Moon. Audrey makes this sacrifice, a massive undertaking to become like an Echo, overlooked, and insignificant. Especially if you consider that she will age but Daniel will continue to stay young. What can the future hold for them? Daniel is an Echo, of Rosella’s dead son; a tiny lock of her child’s hair lives within him. Rosella, Daniel’s creator, sacrifices her life to save Daniel. Another poignant moment, in the book, a human makes the ultimate sacrifice. Daniel also suffers as he is part human. A typical Echo without this 0.01% of humanity would never feel pain, or fear, or love. He is distressed by these human emotions, but without these, are we really living? Are we human?

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/20419289-m-mallon

Have you read Echo Boy? Do leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you.

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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