Wednesday, 23 September 2015

'Halo Bound':'Redneck Apocalypse' Perfection

There is not much better in life than finding a book that is exciting to read. A book that lures you in, stomps all over your life and then leaves you desolate when it is over.

From my experience these 'Life Stomper' books are not as common as they should be and when I find one I want to shout it from the top of a mountain, or at least a book shelf ladder.

So here I am, on the top of my own personal ladder shouting,

 'For Heavens sake people (in this case sorta literally), 'Halo Bound' is a read you need to get on!'

'Halo Bound' is not a long book, but it is dense; like getting your daily reading calories from dark chocolate instead of a salad.

Featuring really really nasty fallen angels (makes sense when you think about it.... they were kicked out of Heaven for a reason!) and some seriously conflicted redneck warriors of God.

The characters in Eden Hudson's paranormal thriller are living on the edge, on the edge of sanity, on the edge of love and most definitely on the very edge of survival.

It is the choices these characters make to survive that make this book so intense:

Giving up salvation to save a brother; giving up their bodies to rescue a sister and giving up their sanity to save the world.

Sound interesting? You bet it does! This book only suits those with a pulse and a love of the apocalyptic genre. A warning though, there are most definitely some adult themes, so be aware....

If this sounds like your cup of Whiskey, 'Halo Bound' is available for download or as a paper back from via the following link.

Even better news, this is the beginning of a series and there is a prequel to sample as well!

Happy reading :)

Monday, 14 September 2015

Best Served Cold: Brutally Engaging Fantasy Fiction from Joe Abercrombie

Recently, twice in one day, I found myself being recommended Joe Abercrombie's books, from difference sources at different times in (quite obviously) different places.
Enough said, the universe had spoken, apparently I needed to read some of his work without any further delay.

For no reason other than it was the title my husband came home with and he insisted on it (bossy much?), I picked 'Best Served Cold'... as it turns out, it was a case of 'Well played Little Miss Kindle, well played.'

Joe Abercrombie: Little Miss Kindles review
Somewhat like it's cover image, 'Best Served Cold' is dominated by it's strong, beautiful and brutalized heroine Monza Murcatto.

It is the story of her revenge that is 'served' over the pages of the book, with seven confronting courses offered for the reader's vicarious delight.

For me however, it was not so much the grim and brutal main course that satisfied, but the equally dark and engaging side dishes,

From the foreign fighter who seeks to be a better man to the arrogant and sociopathic poisoner (is there another kind?), to the prisoner who is counting the days (when you read it you will see the pun) until he can be back (safe) behind bars and the drunkard ex mentor who teeters between seeking his own revenge and a parental style love.

It is these characters who add the spice, poignancy and depth to the tale..... and in the case of the mysterious assassin 'Shenkt' the 'lie awake at night and cringe' horror.

If you have read my reviews before, you will know I don't do spoilers, because well, they tend to spoil things.So trust me on this one; if you like your fantasy fiction no holds barred, graphic and brutal, yet still engaging and (dare I say it) emotional, then this one is for you.

Now I am off to read some more of Mr Abercrombie's books before the universe feels the need to tell me again, this time perhaps at the end of a broad sword.

If 'Best Served Cold' sounds like your cup of home brewed sour ale, then you can find it for download or purchase from via the following link.

'Best Served Cold' By Joe Abercrombie

ps: While this book is set in an existing 'Abercrombie' world, it can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Little Miss Kindle's 'Authors of Excellence' : The (Temporary) Definitive list.

I have read a lot of books in my time; in fact if my Kindle library is anything to go by (using mathematical tools such as extrapolation, estimation and exaggeration) I have read, well, a bloody lot.
If I have reviewed a book in Little Miss Kindle, I liked it, enjoyed the read, considered it time well spent.
If I didn't like a book, well I simply put it aside and moved on, not being in the business of crushing hard working authors with any stinging words or pithy criticisms.

I reckon though, that some authors deserve more, they deserve to be lifted above the ranks of the mere good, or even the great. Some Authors have reached a level of excellence surpassing their creative peers.

Authors whose stories leap so far off the page that their readers are standing within their worlds, surrounded by the plot, living with the characters. Feeling the fear, the cold, the love, the happiness.
Laughing out loud, grieving, experiencing.

In honour of these few brilliants, I have decided to compile a list of those Authors who I consider a cut above, Of course this list will change and hopefully grow as my reading takes me in new directions and new discoveries are made.

Now for some logistics; due to the sheer scope of the job at hand I have split the list into genres, and being me, I have decided to start with a fun one; (unnecessary drum roll please!) 'Epic Fantasy Fiction'.

There is definitely more to come as I ponder the difference between good and great, entertaining and excellent; but for the moment, please hold your applause until the end as I unveil,

The Little Miss Kindle 'Authors of Excellence' List: 

In the category of Epic Fantasy Fiction:

Game of Throne = EPIC

Maybe not the original, but certainly close to being the best; the amazing, if not frustrating George R.R. Martin. As per my earlier post (An Open Letter to George R. R. Martin), Winter is coming! But who am I to quibble, his epic novels are certainly worthy of the title 'Most Excellent'.

If not the original, then the original was no good, of course I refer to Tolkien; Cher before Cher, Madonna before Madge. He of the the one name (initials don't count) and the heartrendingly beautiful 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, as well as many other wonderful fantasy novels and accompanying guides. Props to you Mr Tolkien.

A new (to me anyway) kid on the block, Mark Lawrence has snatched the 'epic fantasy' baton and run with it. I love his books, so vicious yet deep, gory and funny. Bottom line, beyond entertaining, moving into the territory of the life absorbing (books that rob you of days and nights of productive life).
A wonderful 'Book Circle' recommendation, thanks to my good and well read friend Megan.

Then there is the inspiring and thoughtful J K Rowling, whose fantasy works are so good as to almost be cliche. In my opinion, the Harry Potter series was written like an earthquake. Starting small and light and increasing in intensity with each new book; until the finale where readers were shaken and broken before being released into peace and relief and joy.

Now I know what you are thinking, I have missed a LOT of excellent authors. It is true I have, however never fear as:

a) I have split my authors into more categories than the Oscars.... after all, we are not here to read War and Peace (in one sitting anyway)!

b) I want to hear your thoughts. Who have I missed? Who don't I know about? Guide my reading, I will be eternally grateful.

Stay tuned for more 'Definitive and Temporary' Lists.

;) Little Miss Kindle

Monday, 7 September 2015

'The Cipher': The World of Crosspointe awaits.......

There is something definitely strange about the worlds that appear in fantasy fiction.

Often, the alternate world will have so much more potential than ours, and yet its inhabitants are content with so much less.

By potential, of course I mean magic, magical creatures and people and places.

Enchantments, Dragons, Gods and the power these create drip from the pages of these books, and yet there is not a car or ipad in sight!

Far from the criticism this might seem, this 'strangeness' is one of the things I crave in fantasy fiction. After all, don't we read fantasy fiction to escape from our reality?
Who wants modern tech and magic in the one place anyway?

In Diana Pharoh Francis's book 'The Cipher' (first in the Crosspointe Series) certainly, there is not a whiff of technology anywhere, but magic there is in spades.

Well, bucket-fulls is perhaps more apt, as sylveth (magic in its rawest form) spawns on the oceans tides, seeking to make land and alter anything it touches. Most often in terrifying and vicious ways.

'Lucy' the heroine of 'The Cipher' has a rare and hidden ability to sense this majick (magic) where ever it hides.
The irresistible lure of majick has lead Lucy to become addicted to finding and collecting 'True Ciphers', objects infused with majick with a dark purpose, created by a vengeful and hugely powerful magician. Rather like collecting vipers, True Ciphers are compelling and deadly all in one and to complicate things, highly illegal as well!

Lucy finds her life becomes increasingly more snarled, as her job as a highly respected (and ethical) customs officer, her Royal Lineage and her secret collection of True Ciphers are set on a collision course.

I'm not a huge fan of giving long paragraphs of plot lines in my reviews, after all, why spoil the fun of reading? I will however give you some very good reasons to dive in the the Sylveth infested waters of 'The Cipher'.

Reasons to love 'The Cipher'

  • The world of Crosspointe is rich and detailed, rather like a beautiful tapestry. I'll admit, I get really very disappointed when fantasy worlds work on only one layer, if you scratch the world of Crosspointe however, there is still more underneath. Albeit a little less glossy than that on immediate display. 
  • Call me a girl if you like, but I 'likes me' a bit of romance mixed with my fantasy reads. All the better if it is a conflicted and unlikely one! Big tick in this box for 'The Cipher'. 
  • Like all good novels, the emotional depth of the plot snags the reader in. We experience great pain, fear, confusion, lust, betrayal and love. What book worth reading is missing at least a sprinkling of these flavours? (The answer by the way is NONE!)
  • As an avid reader, I often get the 'read this before' feeling in books. The characters are the same, the outcome is the same, the names, well the names might be different. In this case, the plot was original and that sense of deja vous stayed firmly locked away.
My advice, don't just dip your toes, brave the majick and immerse yourself!

'The Cipher' is available for purchase from Amazon via the following link.