Sunday, 24 August 2014

'Forgotten Sin' : Not your average Wolf tale.

'Forgotten Sin' is the first in the Avenging Fate series by author Brian Hershey.
If the cover left you in any doubt, the book fits squarely in the paranormal genre, the 'Werewolf' genre to be exact.

Unlike recent Werewolf novels, or even books with Werewolf characters (I am thinking of certain hunky True Blood Characters here), 'Forgotten Sin' finds no romance or nobility in these hairy beasts.
Hershey's Werewolves, for the most part revert to 'type'; viciously dismembering any human that they encounter in their 'Wolfish Form'.

Hershey's main character, Dr Mya Bishop. is however a Werewolf apart from the norm, clinging onto what remains of her humanity, desperately trying to outwit the curse that has overtaken her life.

Afraid to leave the cage in the basement of her estate during the full moon and wracked with guilt over the lives she has taken over the course of her 250 year existence, Mya knows something has to change.

As fate would have it, this desire to combat evil and perhaps redeem her soul proves the spark for a series of events that will tip Mya even closer to the edge of evil.

The first in a series (still to be written), 'Forgotten Sin' is an entertaining read that occasionally shocks as it moves from Sedate and somewhat formal prose (perhaps a nod to Mya's 17th Century upbringing) to grisly descriptions of Werewolf attacks involving severed limbs and the consumption of human flesh.

While this variation is style is surprising at times, it succeeds in adding more suspense and interest to the narrative than may have otherwise been the case.

'Forgotten Sin' is a promising start to this new paranormal series and I have to admit, the end left me wondering..... what next?
Hurry up and write Mr Hershey!

If you are keen to give 'Forgotten Sin' a read, it is available for purchase from via the following link.

'Forgotten Sin'; By Brian Hershey

All purchase made via this link will support 'Little Miss Kindle'.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

'The Giver': A Gift to the Reader.

A little like the cover of the book displayed here, 'The Giver' is a muted yet deeply powerful book.

A small story, with a big message for society, and our constant drive towards 'sameness' and conformity.

While often described as a 'YA' novel, I found 'The Giver', by Lois Lowry, a book for all ages and generations. The narrative is disturbing and saddening, a glimpse into a future altered to achieve a type of perfection. This perfection, designed to remove all traces of the ugliness of humanity, has also eradicated beauty, emotion and most crucially, love.

I first read Lowry's award winning book just over a year ago, coming to it ignorant of its role in creating the 'dystopian' genre of fiction (I am thinking 'Divergent' and 'The Hunger Games here people!).
Without the baggage of knowledge or expectation I was able to be surprised and moved by Lowry's bleak vision.

I suppose I should not be surprised that 'The Giver' has been made into a movie, given the popularity of its YA cousins. I hope however that the director manages to capture the subtle movement of the main character, Jonas, from ignorance to anger and the sadness in the slow reveal of the true nature of the community.

The lesson, without love, humanity is doomed to perpetuate evil in the name of efficiency, survival and perfection.

If at first this book does not grab you, for heavens sake, persist!

'The Giver' is available for purchase from via the following link;

'The Giver', By Lois Lowry

All purchase made through your Amazon account via this link will help support 'Little Miss Kindle' (and her love of reading and reviewing!)

Sunday, 17 August 2014

'The Cuckoo's Calling': J K Rowling is Criminally good!

For a creative person, being typecast in a role must be incredibly frustrating. To be forever seen as James Bond, when you secretly yearn to play Shakespeare is a common enough issue among actors, but perhaps this is a  frustration also shared by authors?

Enter, the pseudonym.

The brilliant J.K Rowling has employed this sneaky tactic several times, in an effort I suspect, for her work to be judged on its merits and to find new audiences of readers not yet entranced by Mr H. Potter (though I admit I am very suspicious of anyone who has not fallen under the Potter spell).

In this case J K Rowling writes under the pen name Robert Galbraith.
The bottom line is this, whoever she pretends to be, man or woman, Rowling is an wordsmith of extraordinary talent and flexibility.

'The Cuckoo's Calling' bears little or no resemblance to her more famous series, rooted as it is in a gritty reality rather than magical fantasy.

The story revolves around Cormoran Strike, a man who seems to be failing both in his Business (as a Private Investigator) and in life itself.

Strike, a disabled war veteran, appears at first glance to be devoid of hope and (dare I say it) talent. Seen for the first time through the eyes of the delightfully capable agency 'temp' Robin Ellacott, Strike looms large, disheveled and even slightly sinister after an accidental breast grope in the small rooms of his offices.

From this inauspicious start however, Rowling quickly and with consummate ease reveals to the reader a protagonist capable of tracking down even the most shrewd of killers, and along the way slowly healing his own broken life.

I loved loved loved this book and quickly moved onto the 'Cormoron Strike' sequel 'The Silkworm', without, I might add, any of the character 'fatigue' that can sometimes be felt when reading books from the same series consecutively.

If you have not already done so, I highly recommend getting on the 'Strike' band wagon, it is a ride worth the ticket price.

Both books in the 'Cormoran Strike' series are available for purchase from via the following link:

'The Cuckoo's Calling' By Robert Galbraith

All purchase made from this page will support 'Little Miss Kindle'

(One last question, has a pen name failed when everyone knows the identity of the real author?... just saying.)

Saturday, 16 August 2014

South With Endurance: A Breathtaking record of survival and courage

When fate delivered the individuals to crew the good ship 'Endurance', it seemed that the hand on the tiller of life, had given an extraordinary opportunity to experience the last wilderness.

These hardy men were not to know however, that lurking in the not too distant future was a test of courage that would unfold over a year and a half, eventually stripping all away but the single minded belief that they would survive and return triumphant, home.

Two men emerged from this ordeal with their names etched into the conciseness of the time, one for making history and the other for recording it.

The value of the the contribution of captain, Ernest Shackleton, and photographer, Frank Hurley to the world both in terms of benchmark leadership and exquisite art cannot be easily described while reviewing a book; so I will try instead to describe the value of the book itself.

South with Endurance - An investment

  • For those who are inspired by beauty and talent at its finest, then the photographs of Frank Hurley are reason enough alone to add this book to your collection. To put some context into these wonderful artworks, imagine this: Mr Hurley took these photo's on plates, in the ice, then stored them for later development. Which he did, without any fancy photo shop or other modern aids. My personal favourite, on page 161, highlights the plight of the crew as the wreck of the Endurance looms dark and twisted out of the bleak white of its' icy tomb.
  • While the photographs themselves tell a story of hardship (and the glorious vision that is the Antarctic), the written story proves equally inspiring. The description that comes from these pages, is one of truly astounding leadership. That no man was lost, that hope was not lost during the ordeal should motivate any leader looking to bring a 'crew' together to achieve a purpose....even if it is only commercial survival that is at stake!
  • As a 'Coffee Table' book, 'South with Endurance' has proved (for me at least) an uncommonly successful conversation starter. With wide ranging discussions (from photography to whaling to really annoying bosses) springing from a flip through its pages.
I myself received this book as a gift from my parents and a wonderful gift it was!  

If you are interested in learning more about Ernest Shackleton or Frank Hurley, or purchasing this book, more works are available from via the following link:

All books purchased in this manner will support 'Little Miss Kindle'.