Fretensis by Dennis Villelmi

Evening lovely readers 🙂

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Today I get to talk you about the pure indulgent creativeness that is Fretensis by Dennis Villelmi. I have to begin by apologising however; this review should have been released a while ago. Naughty, naughty Andrea. Be that as it may I will say that this book drew me in and caught my attention to the end.

Fretensis is a collection of prose that strikes the reader as dark and almost eccentric in it’s train of narrative. The imagery used is creative and thick like ooey gooey caramel poured seductively over velvet. I particularly liked the author’s use of a curious merging of Roman history, mythology, Christianity and everything in between; and of course the Legio X Fretensis.

For those who ask, the Legio X Fretensis is a legion of warriors that fought and were predominant in the period that saw the dissolution of the Roman Republic. They were, perhaps unsurprisingly, founded by Caesar. As many will know the Roman empire was full of dictators, Gods and debauchery anyway. I enjoy how the author ties all of this together.

There were particular highlights for me, where I felt everything tied together perfectly. For example, this juicy tidbit from the beginning really succeeds in setting the darker tone of the entire piece,

‘ But I am the one in whom reveries perish. I am the cemetery of dreams. Yet, between the east and the west of Caesar & Redeemer I can see the Leaden course of the mission flowing towards me. I can almost hear Jeudayn’s mother weep’

Here the imagery is steeped in a penultimate feeling referencing death and sorrow yet at the same time has a feeling of unjustified decadence, of Lords just out of reach of their peons.

Another section I particularly liked was one that struck very close for me. It’s one that resounds with such empathic emotion. It also signifies a theoretic movement in time from ancient Rome to more modern views. Who wouldn’t enjoy such a celestial comparison?

‘-I see the angel, hiding behind your eyes; I can see heaven, every time you cry.’

I know this could be taken many ways but I choose to see this in a heartfelt almost positive way. It shows that there is perhaps power behind everyone, the ability to make choices, and knowing how to make the right ones will bring happiness to all.

So, buy this book; you need it, you want it. The literary genius of the author, a wonderful friend of mine, shines through on every page from the imagery to language use, heck even to punctuation. Once you start this book you’ll need to finish it. You get drawn into a wonderfully dark World from which there’s no escape, not that you’d ever want to 🙂

Thank you 🙂

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No Way Home by J.S Collyer, Lucas Bale et al

Morning lovely readers 🙂

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Well, today I get to talk to you about the exceptional No Way Home, a collaboration of short stories from some brilliant writers including my wonderful friend J.S.Collyer. I was one of the people lucky enough to receive an advanced review copy and believe me when I tell you you will not be disappointed on reading this.

Now the only thing is where do I begin? The high calibre of the writing is maintained throughout the book with each author presenting a unique view on an almost dystopian sci fi future; each in turn with the underlying theme that there is no escape. Imagine finding yourself in such a hostile environment that you long to escape. What would you do to survive? Blackmail? Philander? Maybe even kill? or perhaps you come to realise that surviving isn’t an option at all? This collection gives us glimpses into a quality of life when seemingly all hope is lost and there is indeed no way home.

First I’d like to begin by mentioning the first story within this stellar book, To Sing of Chaos and Eternal Night by Lucas Bale. This particular story pulled a chord with me as there is quite a well written and shock provoking twist to the story. I won’t go into too much detail here as always but I have to say that as the story progressed I did not expect to find out what I did. Imagine living only for war, your previous life totally forgotten in the amount of times you have lived and died for the cause. You know only that you must fight, that you must kill. You are the only thing standing between humanity and outright extinction, or are you?? The imagery created within this narrative is very clear and succinct to the plot line. The cold harsh reality of the tools of war scream at you from the written word, the protagonists acceptance of his fate as unavoidable is clear as water. The language use is apt to show the brilliance of the intrigue; ‘It is a boy… I cannot understand why he has fired on me; why he would attack me at all. Across the colonies, Widows are renowned, legendary even. We are all that stands between the human race and it’s extinction…’ It’s here where you start thinking hang on a second, what’s really going on. The ending left me breathless but resolute in my liking of the story.

Next (and you knew it was coming lol) I’d like to talk about J.S Collyer’s story Grist. It was here that I felt very strong representations of excellent narrative tools. J.S manages to create a very strong sense of suspense throughout the whole narrative. You begin to wonder if there’s more to the World than J.S represents in the story. Why all the need to escape? There are no spoilers intended within this review but I will say this; what really struck me about this story was the portrayal of the protagonists relief at the end. You can literally feel a weight being lifted off your own shoulders. J.S is great at many things within the literary World but what always catches me is her ability to really bring to life the emotion in her work. As to the story itself, imagine everything you knew was ripped away from you. You are then thrust into a dark, grimy and hate filled World where you can never be sure who is friend and who is foe, enduring years of slave labour. What would you do to escape? How will you act when the desperation mounts? As mentioned before the emotion really comes through as does the imagery created. The World the protagonist finds themselves in really seems to shout of similar imagery to the bowls of Hell; it’s hot, the senses are burned away and everyone suffers. The language use itself is velvety and oozing caramel; ‘They say it’s the beginning of the end when you can no longer smell the grease. It’s the sharp, smoky smell, like hot copper, that gives bloodgrease it’s name. That and the fact that it turns a thick, dark red before the final filter.’ I know right? This ambiguous beginning, as this is where I got these lines, actually sets the scene for the protagonists suffering; why they are there, why they are needed. It’s a thrilling tale that leaves you gasping for more.

Finally I would like to mention the story by S. Elliot Brandis, XE, or People are Crazy. It’s in this story you can really feel the belief that not having all the information you need can askew your view of the World. As cliché as this sounds, what really attracted me at first was the title. Anyone who knows me will know that I love anything that is interesting and different. XE manages to keep that sci fi aspect but hello? People are Crazy? I need to read this. What follows is an intense story of hope, abject confusion, loss and ultimately betrayal. Much like J.S, S. Elliot is very good at projecting the emotion of the protagonist. I must admit, hearing the history of the character bought a small tear to my eye. The narrative itself is a study in misdirection and intrigue. Imagine you were sent to a colourful New World to see if it is indeed habitable. You were promised a life lived in peace should you succeed. You’re determined but scared. Everything seems to be going well, until you discover something small, something you never expected, which changes everything. The thing that stood out for me was the vividity of the colour represented in the story. You feel like you can actually see the World in your minds eye. The language use is just enough to blast your mind with creativity; ‘ His eyes flash open, made brighter by the glow of the blue sun overhead… Around him is a sea of Orange. Well, not quite a sea, but the effect is similar. Orange grass extends as far as the horizon…’ I love anything colourful and imaginative and this story has both in spades.

So, after all my non stop talking (I do that a lot 🙂 ), I can honestly say this is a book worth getting. It is a credit to the authors and all involved. It’s an ooey gooey slice of literary creative goodness which you need to get as soon as it’s out. You will not be disappointed.

Thank you.

The Best Medicine by Jessica B Bell

Evening lovely readers 🙂

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I’m sorry this post is coming out a few days after I promised it but due to certain health issues I am only coming back to my beloved laptop now 🙂 Just recently I have had the honour of being asked to review the exceptional Helena Hann Basquiat’s writing so every Friday I will post a review giving a thoroughly objective view of the book with a smidgens of personal opinion at the end… Oh who am I kidding? What follows is a passionate view of some amazing work that will keep your attention far longer than when you finish reading and will call you back time and again.

My first review is on the wonderful short story recently published in the above ‘All Hail the New Flesh’ by the epic Dagda Publishers. I can think of many words to describe the ‘The Best Medicine’ by Jessica B Bell; thought provoking, terrifying and heartbreaking to name a few. Could you survive the concequences of the mistakes you made in your life? Are you willing to lose those you love in the name of Science? Could you redeem yourself?

The story begins in such a poignant moment. You literally have no chance from the off set of the narrative; you are treat to such a sense of loss and heartbreak that you gasp and read on quicker to determine what had happened.The sentences ‘… The familiar loops and whirls of Helena’s bloody fingerprints on the glass as the World rushed by were something for Judy to focus on, but they were poor comfort – her daughter was gone. Left behind, and only twelve years old…’ Wait, wait, wait; what??? How fabulous is that language use? Within the first few lines you are given a narrative hook that you can’t tear away from and don’t even want to try. Sidenote; I also like that Jessica went on to kill quite a predominant aspect of her writer life Helena, or Helena Hann Basquiat. I found that an inspired twist 🙂

The story continues as Judy and Helena must escape their diseased dad/husband and try to survive escaping the diseased city to a place of sanctuary. Hang on, did I say diseased? Well it turns out Judy worked for a chemical company and the rest, as they say, is history. Imagine the guilt of knowing something your work contributed to created a race of diseased, zombie like beings. What was worse? The creation of the zombies or the deaths of the innocents they feed upon? The story is really jam packed full of vivid emotion. You feel their terror as they escape as if it were your own; you gasp as their desolation fills you; you cry at the lost soul lost so soon within the narrative. Such exceptional emotive language is used that you feel it within your very soul. Jessica uses description such as ‘mad chortle,’ ‘bloodcurdling laughter’ and ‘distended mask of pain and horror’ which gives you a sense of hopelessness and fear of the monsters that surround them.

One last thing I will mention is the ending; MY GOD the ending… At a first glance you may think ‘hang on, she told us the end at the beginning.’ You are, however, mistaken my friend. In a stroke of pure genius we are treat to a final twist in the narrative that leaves you gasping in fear and awe; it’s inspiring and terrifying and you’ll love it but I won’t tell you what that is here 🙂

I will leave you now by merely stating that you NEED this writer; her work is inspired and you won’t regret reading her. Search her out now.

Thank you 🙂

I Can Be A Grown Up Too, But Sometimes My Passion Runs Away With Me

Afternoon lovely readers 🙂

This is just a small post to inform you I have rewritten my book review from yesterday. I let my passion for literature run away with me and perhaps didn’t put much thought into the description and order I wanted to use to describe the series. I now have so I apologise to those inflicted with my first draft and I hope you’ll read the second draft now to see the wonder and excitement of the book. I respect this author greatly and hope she can see that I tried to do justice to her work 🙂

Thank you 🙂

What The…? How The…? When…? Grrrrrrrrrr … A Frustrated Book Review

Morning lovely readers 🙂

Well, I have to say, like most people that discovered the wonderful World of Kindle I had been merely downloading the books I already knew I liked. Just recently however I began exploring different types of books (usually the ones suggested by the Kindle) and I have to say I’ve found some good ones. Now I don’t mean to sound like a broken record but I have to say the vast majority of them belonged to the Fantasy genre (what can I say, you like what you like lol) but even then they were books I would never have thought to pick for myself. These include The Soul’s Mark series by Ashley Stoyanoff (review to follow), the Eternal Guardian series by Elisabeth Naughton (again review to follow) but this particular review will be focusing on the Pinehurst series by Nicole Grane. Please don’t groan, I know it’s a young adult novel but as the story went along I found myself lost in it for a particular reason which I will later divulge.

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The Pinehurst series follows the life of Evie Hollyander, a sixteen year old left at the Pinehurst school for mageia kids with magical talent. She is having abandonment issues as she believes her father left her there for no reason. She is surrounded by magical beings with typical teenage attitudes and an overabundance of confidence. The story begins where she’s experiencing usual teenage aspects of life; crushes, dances and boys; but she soon discovers things aren’t quite as they seem even in a World surrounded by fantasy and magic. Why does she feel so close to Antonio? All of a sudden she learns that her father has been taken to Hell and they embark on a journey that will test even her ‘exceptional’ potential.

One point that may confuse some is in the title of the series it mentions that it is a young Olympian novel. Within the first book it doesn’t really mention an Olympian link but we are treated to that in the second. Evie must now search for a way to cure her father of the disease which is killing him. Evie wants to focus solely on this but she gets constantly distracted by life; why won’t Antonio love her? Why is she still plagued by the kids at school? And how dare Satan be Hades (major spoiler) after she bargained her soul?? Would she find a way to have the ending she seeks?

My frustration comes into play with the aforementioned Hades. I picked this novel up as a distraction and had kept it light hearted until Hades was revealed. Within this series so far he seems to be the most well developed character, revealing a soft and sensual side beneath the undertones of evil. Could he fall in love? Did he want to? His relationship with Evie seems to present two different aspects; he needs her, as the child of light, to release a demon from Hell every night. He also seems to need her to soothe his damaged, maybe evil, soul. He seems so alone that it pulls on your heart and you almost find yourself wishing they could be together. I am now frustrated as dammit I need to know what happens between Evie and Hades next. Will she choose the bad boy over the angelic Antonio? Will she get a choice.

The books are well written in a good strong female voice and description can at points in the novels be used to its greatest advantage. The beginning of the first novel can be a little slow and scream of teenage angst at you but my suggestion is persevere through it. You are treat to intrigue, seduction, love, lust and a heck of a dose of fantasy if you do. You are eventually drawn into a universe where you have to know what happens next, as in my case. You won’t be disappointed if you read this series I promise 🙂

Thank you 🙂

Dark Desire by Christine Feehan

Time for another book review you wonderful bloggers you 🙂 Dark Desire is the second book in the Dark Carpathian series by the wonderful Christine Feehan. I have done many posts about her writing before but I have only ever reviewed the first book in the story Dark Prince. As with the first, Dark Desire will not disappoint you. It is an ingeniously written insight to a dark World of fantasy, possession and lifemates.

Shea O’Hallaran is a remarkable surgeon for her age. She is brilliant, gifted and almost wills even the most serious cases to live through her surgery. One night she experiences that most horrific pain imaginable and collapses from the stress on her body. That’s when the strange happenings begin. She goes on the run after being accused of being vampire and is drawn to a small abandoned cottage in the forests of the Carpathian Mountains after dreams of a tall, dark handsome stranger beckoned her there…

Jacques Dubrinsky is crazy. Well, that’s what he believes anyway. He has been tortured to the brink of insanity and left to die buried alive in the wall of a cellar. His tormentors pierced his chest with a large wooden stake but they missed his heart. They should have hit his heart for now he will make them pay. He connects with a beautiful red-headed woman during his torture and not only does he have to suffer the pain but watch as well as she collapses from sharing it. He tried to protect her as a lifemate should but it was no use. Eventually darkness consumed him from blood loss but not before he thought that if she was his lifemate he would protect her; if she was his tormentor he would make her suffer…

What follows is a whirlwind of passion, possession, anger and love. Jacques can’t remember his life before the torture and Shea is desperate to find out why her mother, who had committed suicide when she was eighteen, was somehow linked to these mountains. Shea doesn’t want to fall in love with Jacques as she has a rare blood disorder which can only cause them both pain but he is determined to bind his lifemate to him; she is the light in his darkness and he hoped his apparent insanity wouldn’t matter. Could they survive together with so many unknowns? and what would they do when Mikhail, Jacques brother from the first book, comes looking for him after discovering Jacques is alive and not dead as he had thought?

Ms Feehan immerses you in a wonderful World of fantasy as she has done with every book. The World is created in front of you with the use of words only, you feel the passion stir your soul and you come to love the characters, both male and female, and care what happens to them. Ms Feehan’s writing is so all consuming that you could quite easily lose yourself in the novel for hours and not mind the time loss. I myself am about to start Dark Lycan her newest book and the mere thought of losing myself in more of her writing has me desperate to be home with a good cup of tea. I can’t stress this enough; buy these books, you will not be disappointed in the slightest.

Now to pop the kettle on… 🙂

Green Rider by Kirsten Britain

It’s time again to post another book review but instead of writing about a book that I could only enthuse of I decided to write about one that gave me a decidedly mixed reaction.

Green Rider is the first book in this series and focuses on Karrigan G’ladheon, a merchants daughter. She has just run away from her elitist school as she’s treat too differently due to her common birth. What ensues is an adventure of epic proportions full of magic, colourful characters and self exploration. She comes across deceptively seductive beings tempting her to forgo her destiny and give in to them. Among this she discovers romantic possibilities with both a fellow rider and the Lord she is to serve. She’s determined to finish her task and fulfill the promise she made to a dying man.

The book intrigues me in many ways. Karrigan is a deep character with many levels and many different emotions. She longs to find her own place in the World, seperate from her family and the expectations of her father. Coming across the dying Fryan and discovering she could use the rider brooch seem like the perfect opportunity. You begin to love Karrigan immediately but I will admit that the book loses me a few times on the way. Kirsten Britain describes the World beautifully but sometimes goes into a little too much detail for my personal liking; I find myself skipping a fair few pages.

Not only does the tempo lose me but it seems that Kirsten Britain sets out from the beginning to make Karrigan suffer. She’s filled the character with so much of a noble spirit; Karrigan is compassionate, brave and all too ready to come to the aid of her friends. She’s never allowed happiness though; she’s denied the closest friendship she could wish for, she’s denied any love and she seems to suffer with unending torments. My question is: when will Karrigan get her happiness? I couldn’t say anything else bad about the book; it’s a well written, imaginative piece.

What do you think? Am I wrong? Please share 🙂

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