Book Review- Eve: The Awakening-Jenna Moreci

Eve: The AwakeningEve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars
Eve the Awakening is kick-ass story.
The shocking opening scene was everything I had expected and hoped for. The reader is immediately thrown into the story and rooting for the main character Eve as she is put through the greatest possible childhood trauma which changes her life forever.
I was disappointed when this turned out to be a dream sequence, which was then followed by the cliché ‘character looks in mirror and we get a description of her looks’ scene. This seemed to go against everything the author Jenna Moreci tells us in her Youtube writing advice videos. I was skeptical but read on, already hooked by the story and wanting to find out how Eve progresses.
I am so glad I kept reading. Eve’s recurring dreams turn out to be a major part of the plot, and realistically show her PTSD after the life changing event. I enjoyed this book immensely. There is near non-stop action, a lovable bunch of characters, terrifying aliens, angry mobs, romance, deception and intrigue.
(view spoiler)

I rooted for Eve as she navigated student life, trying to find a friend she can trust, while surrounded by privileged brats, and near everyone is prejudiced against her kind. While Eve is still finding her feet, she is plunged almost immediately into jeopardy from terrifying aliens

The back-story is well written, revealed throughout the course of the story. Giving small clues into Eve’s past which help make her character believable and give the story depth.

While in some places the chain of events seem too convenient, and the conversation with the main villain Fairon at the climax felt forced, the storytelling is so compelling I was able to suspend disbelief. The pacing is perfect, with just enough of a lull between the action and shocking twists for the reader to catch their breath. The finale builds to an epic climax, with each cliffhanger seeming to lead to even more kick-ass action. The ending rounds the book off well, while setting up the possibility of a sequel. (hide spoiler)]

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The (Slightly Not Sober ) Beer Blog

 

Here are my notes from a beer festival I attended back last summer. Apologies to all involved. Tasting reviews are my opinion only.

Some of this might have made perfect sense at the time.

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I get off the train along with my youngest sibling, and walk through the city centre towards the picturesque riverbank which is the location of the beer festival. A straggle of ale-filled people are already exiting the white tented venue with a  glaze of contentment on their ruddy cheeked faces.

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At some point we meet up with my sibling’s friend. Spotting them through the crowds by the bright yellow jacket they are wearing -despite the warm weather.

We walk into another area, where a band are playing a swing version of 4-non-blondes’ ‘What’s up?It’s not a bad tune.

Apparently we should go to Scotland to brew our own ale. Sounds like a great idea. (?)

We leave my sibling’s friend to chat up some ladies. Not sure what their boyfriends stood next to them were saying!

So to the most notable ales:

Cream Tea Deconstructed-it was strange. Fruit cake and tea.

I am not a fruit beer-no ‘I’m a vegetable, but tastes like fruit beer’. Very strange, made from beetroot. My sibling commented ‘it’s actually poisonous!’

Bitter Invention of Satan-okay. 8.6% abv. Strong taste of alcohol!

Gravediggers Ale-meh!

Brexit-a bit fizzy

Old Crow Porter– 🙂

Note:Sobriety  going south from here.

Red Spider-pale and fizzy

Four Go Wild in the Fens-Oh My Gods. Bloody awful! Had to stop myself spitting this one out.

 

The rest were okay. We did not find anything outstanding, or particularly nice. Often brews we expected to be rich and complex  were weak, and mediocre.

 

On the train awaiting debarkation (is this a word-in a dictionary?) to our home town.

Okay, I think this started at the Falcon (pub). Is this one of those clever, stupid, clichéd novels that start at the end, then has a clearer  twist at the end? No!

On train back, suitably pickled. Might get some coherent thoughts day after  imbibing fermented grain and hops  products.

Post festival house party, we have mini ale testing which proves more palatable.

Antwerpen-yummy, rich, chocolaty and very strong-8%

Wychwood-Arrowaine-a nice mild, light chocolaty brew

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I am feeling rather queasy now.

So, was 2017 just a bad year for dark ale, or had we left it too late and all of the good chewable ales had sold out? I have attended on the last day in previous years and still found some decent brews, and a couple of the best ales I have ever tasted. A memorably delicious Hunter S Thompson inspired ale tasted like alcoholic sweet dark soy sauce with hints of coffee.

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There was more, but photos, & my drunken text messages to myself & my other half  were on my now deceased old phone, so now lost. Perhaps for the best!

 

Book Review Forgotten Things-Stephen Mullaney-Westwood

I loved that this story is set in early 1980s, with many references to my own childhood. Geeking-out on books about unexplained Mysteries, wandering through woods, listening to my Dad’s tales, & hunting ghosts in abandoned buildings. Yes, we did pretend to be Ghost Busters!
Forgotten ThingsForgotten Things by Stephen Mullaney-Westwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I felt as if I was pixie-led into this book. The reader, along with the main character Adam, is lead into the woodland world of the fae. The writing is lyrical, as full of life as the woods, and captures the sense of magic and wonder, and also the danger and mystery.
Through young Adam’s eyes we see, feel, taste, smell and hear the woods, and glimpse the creatures which inhabit them. The voice of each character is distinct, yet filtered through the young boy’s perspective. We see them as he does, but also the reality from the older Adam recalling events. Narrative from his older self foregrounds more sinister events to come. This novel was both enchanting, and disturbing with a macabre twist.
The first person past tense is descriptive. Through young Adam’s eyes we see, feel, taste, smell and hear the woods, and glimpse the creatures which inhabit them. Reading the first half of this book is an immersive experience, rather like a path-working into the woods. Then, as events unravel, we are pulled back into the real (or rather the ‘mundane’) world to see the repercussions of when our human world and the Faery’s realm collide.
While the ending perfectly rounds off the story,with Adam understandably changed by his experiences, it left me with a sense of melancholy.
Like faeries, this story is filled with magic and wonder, but also has a darker side.

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I’m looking forward to reading more of Stephen Mullany-Westwoods books. I already have the short story collection Unforgotten Tales, and I’m lucky to have won a signed copy of his latest book Paradise Shift . I’ll probably read them while listening to some of his music, for an immersive experience.

He  has a cool YouTube channel with videos on nature, writing, retro toys, and dark fantasy movies.

BOOK REVIEW-SciFan™ Magazine February 2017- R.M. Mulder

A great mix of the sci-fi/ fantasy genre. And there’s a preview of a TheSecretKing story  by Dawn Chapman.

SciFan™ Magazine February 2017: A Science Fantasy Digital EditorialSciFan™ Magazine February 2017: A Science Fantasy Digital Editorial by R.M. Mulder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Something for every sci-fi & fantasy fan. An eclectic mix of short stories, teasers & serials from sci-fi on an alien planet, high fantasy, steam punk, to supernatural detective noir. I look forward to reading the other issues.

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BOOK REVIEW-The Falling of Love-Marisa Oldham

I don’t usually read the romance genre, but the blurb got me intrigued with the rock scene setting.

Some of the scenes were rather too racy for me, but the characters and story made it worth the cringe factor. If you like an emotional story with exciting twists (and a good helping of sexy times), then this is worth a read.

The Falling of Love (Falling, #1)The Falling of Love by Marisa Oldham

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Falling of Love was an enjoyable read.
The story begins with the all too familiar ‘sullen new boy walks into school’ scenario, which came across as insta-love, but then developed to capture their blossoming relationship. The characters came alive as the book progresses. Grace starts out a Mary-Sue, but with each difficulty and heartbreak she faces she becomes more believable, making me feel for her with each twist.
The switching perspective from Grace to Ian works well to build empathy for both, though in a few places it became confusing.
Oldham uses lots of exposition at times, with descriptions of characters and setting slowed the pace, and felt clunky. However, Grace and Ian’s sweet and often tumultuous love story compelled me to read on despite the book’s flaws.
I’m curious about how Graces life unfurls in the next book in this series.

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BOOK REVIEW-Crimson Death-Laurell K. Hamilton

Crimson Death (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #25)Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This Anita Blake novel took a while to get going, but soon hooked me with the return of another familiar character from Anita’s past, and the excitement of wondering who or what she’d meet on her travels.

Yet again Blake has managed to find a new twist to the vampire genre, bringing a whole new level of danger to threaten her characters.
The climax was perfect, despite the fact that we pretty much know our heroine will survive to see another supernatural case in this long-running series, there was still a sense of jeopardy that our beloved characters lives and sanity are at stake.

I’m all about the mystery solving, fights and supernatural, and Crimson Death gave it all.

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