Month

February 2016

Kraken Rising – Greig Beck

Kraken Rising (Alex Hunter #6)

Kraken Rising

5 Stars (5 / 5)

WOW! This was the best Alex Hunter novel yet!

An American submarine with superior weapons technology was lost at sea years ago. Suddenly, its distress call is discovered pulsing under the dark ice of the Antarctic. So it’s back to where it all began. Alex must go down under the Antarctic and face the foe he was introduced to in the first novel, who is very much still alive. Also, he must beat the Chinese from getting to the submarine first, and prevent a devastating nuclear war. Meanwhile, Jack convinces Aimee to go back under the dark ice in order to help save her son from the looming nuclear disaster.

Well, I know its only February, but this is my pick of the year so far. I can’t remember enjoying an action book as much as I enjoyed this one! Absolutely fantastic!

If you are an action/adventure fan and have not read a Greig Beck novel yet, do yourself a massive favour and grab one! You will not be disappointed! In this one alone there was a giant monster, giant killer turtle, flesh eating worms, deadly humanoid creatures – that’s just the start, and all with the backdrop of impending nuclear war. There is never a dull moment. It goes from action to action, but also has an intriguing and gripping back story and plot with Alex and his relationship with Aimee, and their son Joshua.

I absolutely love all the characters, the good and bad guys! I am quite attached to them all now, I worry that they are going to die, as Beck doesn’t exactly hold back from killing off big characters! That’s a really good thing though, you never know what’s going to happen!

The audio version, yet again was performed by Sean Mangan. What a superb narrator he is for this kind of book! So entertaining!

I LOVE that Aimee is back! I was REALLY looking forward to their reunion, as its been looming for a two novels and a novella now! I was not disappointed! Although, I wish that she would have found out he was alive in another way, it was still ultimately extremely satisfying!

As always, the science and research that goes into the novel was fantastic! There is SO MUCH information not only in the book itself but at the very end with the scientific explanations and information. I’m not sure how he does it, but he manages to weave a whole lot of interesting scientific aspects into every one of his novels, and it is fantastic!

I absolutely cannot wait to see where Beck goes with this series! There is SO MUCH potential for more absolutely awesome stories in regards to Alex and Joshua as he grows up. I’m hoping there are going to be some father/son adventure novels and then perhaps change focus to Joshua for the next generation. That’s just what I’m hoping for! Perhaps like Dirk Pitt and Dirk Jr – Only even more exciting!! Can’t wait to see where it goes!

Beck has become one of my all time favourite authors, one that I will read without hesitation and recommend unconditionally to anyone who loves a bit of adventure and horror (and blood and guts)!

Would I recommend Kraken Rising?

YES YES YES!!!! It is absolutely fantastic! I recommend the entire series, especially the audio books! So entertaining!  They can all be read as stand alone novels, but if you want to experience the whole Arcadian experience and back story, Beneath the Dark Ice is the first one.

Big thanks to Greig Beck for an audio copy of Kraken Rising in exchange for my honest review.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

I’m an Australian author residing in Sydney with my wife, son and oversized black German Shepherd named Jess. My novels are now available globally, also in Large Print and now in full AUDIO format.
Greig Beck
I grew up spending my days surfing at Bondi Beach before entering a career in Information technology which took me around the world. After completing an MBA, i was appointed both an Australasian director of a multinational software company, and tasked with setting up the USA arm of the organisation.

Today, I’m still involved in IT, but spend most of my time writing… with plenty left over for surfing.

More information about me and my works can be found at either www.greigbeck.com, or join me on FaceBook (Greig Beck Author).

(From GoodReads)

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If you enjoy Kraken Rising, you may enjoy:

This Green Hell   Black Mountain   image   Hammer of God

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It’s a Little Baby – Julia Donaldson

It’s a Little Baby – Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb (Illustrator)

It's a Little Baby

One of the best things about having a book blog is the opportunity to review new children’s books with my son! Oliver has only recently turned 2 years old, and he loves to read! (I wonder where he gets that from..?) We read together numerous times every day and he just loves turning the pages and attempting to mimic the words when I say them.image

It’s a Little Baby is an absolutely delightful lift the flap book with gorgeous illustrations and a cute poem/song that my son just adores!

“Somebody’s hiding. I wonder who. It’s a little baby and he’s waving at you.” The babies do different things on each page under the flap, such as waving or clapping, and the child is asked to mimic the actions of the baby. It is accompanied by a song online that is available through the website or by scanning the QR code on the back cover.

Oliver has so much fun pulling the flap and seeing what the little baby is doing! He constantly yells “BABY” when he pulls the flap to see the baby. He also loves the illustrations of the dog, cat, and other animals that are throughout the pages, and he enjoys pointing, waving and dancing with the babies. He likes the accompanying song and dances and twirls aroimageund the room whenever I play it. It is his go-to book at the moment and is constantly produced whenever I ask him to “grab a book to read”.

From my perspective I think its adorable. The baby illustrations are so cute and I really love seeing how much fun my son has with it. My son is slightly behind in his speech, so I love anything that encourages him to say words and copy actions. This book is now known as the “baby book”!

Would I recommend “It’s a Little Baby”?

Absolutely! I have no doubt that any young child will love this book with the fun rhymes, gorgeous illustrations and fun book flaps revealing cute little babies! The only thing that I don’t like about it is that I have to read it to him at least 20 times a day!

5 Stars (5 / 5)

No hesitation! 5 Stars! Fantastic book!

Many thanks to PanMacmillan Australia for a copy of It’s a Little Baby in exchange for an honest review from Oliver and myself.

Release Date Australia: 23rd February 2016

Release Date UK: 11th February, 2016

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Julia DonaldsonABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Julia Donaldson is the outrageously talented, prize-winning author of the world’s best-loved picture books, and was the 2011-2013 UK Children’s Laureate. Her books include What the Ladybird Heard and What the Ladybird Heard Next, Tyrannosaurus Drip and the modern classic The Gruffalo, which has sold over 13.5 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over sixty languages. Julia also writes fiction as well as poems, plays and songs and her brilliant live children’s shows are always in demand.

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ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

Rebecca Cobb is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most talented names in picture books. Since graduating from Falmouth College of Arts in 2004 she has published a number of well-received books with Macmillan, including the heart-breakingly beautiful Missing Mummy and the critically acclaimed Aunt Amelia.

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Hammer of God – Greig Beck

Hammer of God (Alex Hunter #5.5)

Hammer of God

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 Loved this little novella in between the two latest full size books from one of my favourite series! I listened (yet again) to the audio version with Sean Mangan. I’m not sure if I would appreciate this series as much if I were to read it instead of listening to his awesome narration!! I am so used to it! No, who am I kidding I would still love it!

Alex Hunter is back in Hammer of God (Alex Hunter #5.5). Following the events of Black Mountain and Gorgon, Alex is back in full force with the HAWC’s. When someone or SOMETHING is setting off nuclear bombs in the middle east, Alex and his team join forces with Mossad (YAY HI AGAIN ADIRA!) to try and save the world! Add in a whole lot of action, creatures, monsters, and a bit of lovelorn and you have one awesome little book!

I know I am just repeating myself when I say I love this series… But I do… And this was a fantastic little gem!  I liked that it was only 4 hours or so long, so I got through it quite quickly in comparison to his others, and ADIRA IS BACK!!! YAY!! I feel so sorry for her, she loves Alex so much, but he is all “Thanks but no thanks, my heart belongs to someone else”.

I am SO EAGER to read (or listen to) Kraken Rising (Alex Hunter #6) to see what happens, because I read in the synopsis that Aimee is back! I am really excited to see how she reacts when she discovers that Alex is alive!

Would I recommend Hammer of God?

YES! This is one of my favourite series! Highly recommend them all! I enjoyed this little teaser before Kraken Rising! I have it waiting on my phone ready to go!! Can’t wait!!

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If you enjoy Hammer of God, you may enjoy:

This Green Hell   Black Mountain   image

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Magic Bleeds – Ilona Andrews

Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4)

Magic Bleeds

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Now I am really not one to start swooning over an urban fantasy series… I gave twilight a go and couldn’t get past the first chapter of the second book… I enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse series but preferred the TV show… I liked Anita Blake, until the books got all strange and turned into porn… But Darn it! The Kate Daniels series is the best Urban Fantasy series I have read so far! And I am swooning!!

Kate is back in the fourth instalment of this fantastic series, Magic Bleeds. Thankfully it gets straight into what we all want to know about… The naked dinner. And Curran has STOOD HER UP! Thus begins the sexual and romantic (and violent) tension between them all over again. Meanwhile, one of Kate’s relatives is causing a bit of trouble releasing deadly magical diseases and killing people. Kate must find a way to save everyone, without giving away who she really is and putting herself and everyone she cares about, in danger.

I just can’t get enough of this series! I literally can’t put the books down! I like everything about them! Seriously! There is nothing bad to say, I might as well end the review here!

The tension between Curran and Kate is SO GOOD! Will they FINALLY get together? You will have to read to find out!

I love the magic, the mythology, and all the characters. I adore Kate! What makes the books is her witty dialogue and thoughts. Not only with Curran (but those are the best because there is so much tension and feelings going on!) but between her and EVERYONE! Even her speaking to her dog. Some of the things she comes out with are just so hilarious. I just find her character so darn refreshing! Curran is also such a great character. He isn’t exactly like your typical alpha love interest. Yes there are some similarities, the possessiveness and jealousy which I don’t like so much, but there is so much more to his character. He REALLY cares about Kate. It isn’t just an obsessive infatuation where one claims they cannot function without the other. There is some really healthy aspects ot their relationship which I find really very refreshing. I have noticed in other Ilona Andrews books that she doesn’t tend to focus exclusively on the romantic element. That is a big part of it, but the magic and the storyline takes precedence.

What I am really interested in now, is where the story goes from here. Now that there isn’t much more she can do with Curran and Kate, I am wondering what direction the future books will take. I think there is a limit on these types of books before they start to get old. And I would love to be proven wrong!

Would I recommend Magic Bleeds?

YES!!! But start with Magic Bites

Now my dilemma is: Do I ignore life and devour the next one? Or do I savour the feel of this one and focus on other books for a while?

Decisions decisions!!!

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Magic Bleeds, you may enjoy:

Magic Bites   Magic Burns   Clean Sweep   Midnight Burning

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The Girl In The Ice – Robert Bryndza

The Girl In The Ice

The Girl In The Ice

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Bookoture have released some of my absolute favourite books over the past year. They really hit the mark when they picked the authors to publish lately! Kathryn Croft and Angela Marsons are two great ones, and I’m so pleased to add Robert Bryndza to the list! Fantastic book!

The Girl In the Ice is the first of what will be the DCI Erika Foster series. Erika is a Detective Inspector who comes back to work after time off following a fumbled drug raid, where her police officer husband was killed. Harbouring a lot of guilt and not the woman she once was, Erika has to step into the lead investigating role of a highly publicised murder investigation. Andrea, wealthy socialite and daughter of a prominent businessman, was found under the ice, brutally murdered. Erika has to find a killer, while weaving around some interesting police politics, and trying to pull her life back together.

I really enjoyed The Girl In The Ice. I love a good police procedural thriller. I really enjoy trying to figure out who the killer is before the climax. And I always add points to books who make me guess all the way to the end! I was forced to guess with this one! Had NO IDEA who did it until the very end and that is quite rare for me – I think because I read so many of them I’m quite good at picking it. Bryndza gave nothing away and I was as shocked as the characters were as to who did it!

The writing was fantastic! There were a few unbelievable elements of the story where I thought “They would never let her do that” or something similar, but it didn’t detract from the story at all. I also really liked the dark and dreary Southern London setting. The atmosphere at times reminded me of the Lacey Flint Series, which is my favourite series of all time.

I really enjoyed all the characters. Erika was a great character, as were Peterson, Moss, Marsh and Sparks! I think there is going to be more rivalry with Sparks in the next books! Thought the storyline was great and the large list of suspects was frustrating! In a good way! I suspected anyone and everyone to be the killer!

I tend to prefer my thrillers to have a dash of romance. That was obviously impossible in Erika’s case as she had only just lost her husband. But I am hoping that in future novels, Erika moves ahead with her life.

Overall I really enjoyed it! I devoured the whole thing. It had some creepy moments, thrilling moments and many moments that made me laugh. Absolutely an author to look out for! I will have to check out his other work, I have heard he is quite a good chick lit writer, believe it or not!! However I see more thrillers in the future!

Would I recommend The Girl In The Ice?

YES! For any crime/suspense/thriller fan! I can’t wait to read the next one! The Night Stalker is apparently coming soon!

Many thanks to Robert Bryndza and publisher Bookoture via NetGalley for a copy of The Girl In The Ice in exchange for my honest review.

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RELEASE DATE: 12th February, 2016

PURCHASE/PRE-ORDER HERE:

AMAZON AU | AMAZON | AMAZON UK


If you enjoy The Girl In The Ice, you may enjoy:

Now You See Me   The Girl You Lost   Evil Games   the girl with no past

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Gorgon – Greig Beck

Gorgon – Alex Hunter #5

Gorgon

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I must admit, the Alex Hunter series is fast becoming one of my favourite series of all time, absolutely my favourite adventure/action series. I love the characters, I love the story and I LOVE the narrator of the audio versions Sean Mangan! Even though it wasn’t my favourite of the series so far, I still enjoyed the action-packed Gorgon!

Alex Hunter is back… He has had enough of wandering the country, and contacts Jack, who convinces him to come back to work for the Hawc’s. Meanwhile over in Istanbul, a creature that was hidden in an ancient chamber has escaped and is turning thousands of people to stone. What is this creature? And how can the Hawc’s stop it before it reaches a NATO base?

Like any Alex Hunter book, it was filled with action from start to finish. Beck takes you on a wild ride with each novel and it doesn’t let up until the very last word. This was probably more action packed than the last few novels actually, and that’s saying something. However I felt it was all action and I missed Aimee, I missed Adira, and I missed a bit of the whole romantic/sexual attraction element from the previous novels. Although I love the twist in the story that we find out right at the beginning…

However, nobody can say that Gorgon wasn’t exciting! Action packed. I also LOVED the subtle teasing about where the story is going to go next…? Perhaps bringing Aimee and her family back into it in future novels. I know its not over!!!

I enjoyed that the Hawc’s were back together. I enjoy Sam and Casey’s adventures, and I love that Sam is up and running again!

I loved the audio version of Gorgon. As always, Mangan does a fantastic job narrating. Nobody else could portray Alex Hunter as well as he does. I have enjoyed listening to his narration of this whole series.

Would I recommend Gorgon?

Absolutely! Action, adventure, thrills, violence, mystery, blood, guts, gore, creatures, aliens… What more do you need in a book?

However, I absolutely advise you read the earlier books. Even though this one can be read as a stand alone, you will miss a lot of the story, characters and feel of the story without reading the previous ones.

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If you enjoy Gorgon, you may enjoy:

This Green Hell   Black Mountain   image

Going All The Way – Cynthia Cooke

Going All The Way

Going all the way

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

I felt like reading a romance book and luckily had requested this one from netgalley, so it was waiting for me on my kindle. It certainly did the trick!

Carrie is recovering from a failed marriage and a bad move to New York when she and her friends decide to crash a wedding. Before they are discovered a handsome stranger saves her and she finds herself making out with him in a closet. Before she loses her sanity, she escapes, not before the handsome stranger burned an impression in her memory. When she discovers the man, Ryan, is her new next door neighbour, tension mounts as they try to keep their hands off each other… However he also works for her ex husband. And her ex wants her back…

I enjoyed this cute novel. I enjoyed the tension and attraction between Carrie and Ryan. It was quite believable and the steamy scenes were done quite well… And steamy is right!!! Absolutely for adults only!

I enjoyed that there was the initial spark of chemistry and then they got to know each other better. I enjoyed how Carrie was trying to move along with her life and I quite liked her character. Ryan’s character was also enjoyable. The ending was really cute. Totally corny and unbelievable, but hey, that’s the point of romance novels isn’t it?

It was a little slow moving in parts, sometimes the interaction between Carrie and Ryan got a little slow and I found myself getting frustrated with them. It also lacked a little bit of drama for my liking, and I enjoy my main characters to be a bit more sassy between each other, but overall I quite enjoyed it.

Would I recommend Going All The Way?

Yes, for contemporary romance fans. It fulfilled my craving for a light and fluffy, quick and enjoyable romance read!

Many thanks to author Cynthia Cook via NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book to read in exchange for my honest review.

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If you enjoy Going All The Way, you may enjoy:

Practice makes Perfect - Julie James   Welcome to Temptation   Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton   image

Desert Flame – Janine Grey

Desert Flame

Desert Flame

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

I enjoyed this book set in Outback New South Wales, Australia. Opal country!

Eliza’s father passes away and she is forced to take over his failing business. The last client requires her to track down his estranged family member, Fin McLeod, and bring him to Sydney. Fin is an opal miner in outback New South Wales, and is searching for a rare opal. He has no intention of going to Sydney with Eliza, even though they are instantly attracted to each other… But Fin is being watched. Someone wants his mine, and will stop at nothing to get it.

Will firstly lets just say this book is for ADULTS only. I had already downloaded this book when I read a few reviews saying that it has way too many unnecessary sex scenes, and I tend to agree. It wasn’t the amount of them, because there weren’t that many really, but it often felt like they were just put in the story needlessly – sometimes totally out of place. All of a sudden the story goes from a well written interesting read, to suddenly being totally raunchy. It felt inconsistent and almost felt like they were different characters!

The love story itself was lacking something for me. Tension or excitement perhaps. I didn’t really connect with either Fin or Eliza’s characters, so it was hard to buy into the romance. I found it to move quite slowly at the beginning.

What I did enjoy about the story was the last quarter. It became very exciting and I really enjoyed the twists and turns in the final chapters. Really salvaged the story and the characters for me.

I also really like the cover – As well as the handsome man, the colours and the landscape are really pretty!

Overall it was written really well. I enjoyed the outback setting and minor characters in the book.

Would I recommend Desert Flame?

Yes, despite the things I have mentioned above, it was a solid 3.5 Stars. Extremely well written and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to someone who likes the outback settings… However I will warn them about the raunchy content!

Many thanks to author Janine Grey and Penguin books via NetGalley for a copy of Desert Flame in exchange for my honest review.

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If you enjoy Desert Flame, you may enjoy:

Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton   image