Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Book Review: Louisiana Saturday Night by Catt Dahman

Let the voodoo roll!

New Orleans will never be the same when a hurricane blows in hungry sharks controlled by bad magic.An uppity family is stuck on a houseboat with a family of swampers who have more secrets that you can shake a stick at. Beware as the swampers keep up the family tradition proving again why their gumbo always has that special taste...

The sharks aren't the only ones with sharp teeth!

My Review:
When river born girl Candy Lynn Audette gets pregnant to rich Landry Theriot, his social climbing family are mostly horrified but take her in as she gives birth during a massive New Orleans storm. The servants become concerned by the rising flood water and the only way out is to join the Audettes on their big river boat. However, the Audettes have a secret...their gumbo has human flesh in it and they are hunting down new victims to feed their family. And a voodoo curse on the family for their perversion means that a group of sharks are following the riverboat...

There are some characters in this book who are truly awful! Emeline is an unpleasant snob, and she and spoiled daughter Trish hate poor Candy Lynn and see her as trash. Their son Landry seems to love Candy Lynn until he sees the colour of the baby that she has given birth to and wrongly accuses her of cheating on him. Emeline's husband Frank and his children are the nice part of the family, who treat Frank's servants as part of the family. Frank's side of the family stand by Candy Lynn and are at least civil to the Audettes. The Audettes are mostly a dreadful bunch, who enjoy their cannibal lifestyle, and see the hurricane as an opportunity to hunt survivors. However, saving the Theriot family means it will be more difficult to hunt, unless they can create a few accidents for the Theriots...

It was a fun b movie romp kind of book. Usually obnoxious characters can be a turn off but in a book where lots of people die, I never mind it as much and the Audettes were actually interesting in their own way. Amadee, the father is a bully and a cannibal but he does care about their wellbeing to an extent. I liked his wife who just doesn't want to live this kind of life but sees no way out of it. Candy Lynn was also a nice girl who just wants to have a decent life with a nice family of her own and wrongly thought that finding Landry would give her that.

OK lets get to the sharks! In the beginning, it seems that the sharks have just been disorientated by the storm and rising floodwaters and are taking advantage of the dead bodies in the river to feed there. They are following the boat you think because the unwanted body parts not going into the gumbo are being thrown into the river. As the plot goes on though, it becomes clear that the Audettes are cursed because of the choices they have made and the sharks are following the family itself. There are plenty of death scenes involving sharks and snakes as well as the psych behaviour of the Audettes as they seek their next meal, which keeps you entertained through the story. It amazes me how many times people end up in the water in this book!

Overall I found it a fun read and it doesn't take long to get through it. I've read various books by the author and whikle they might not win literary awards, I do find them entertaining to read and that is the main thing.  

Read March 2017
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

Chuckles Chat #18 Horrible MCs

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

This week I'm looking at Horrible MCs.

When I pick up a book I am hoping to escape the real world and delve into a new place, an adventure, a world that fills me with awe and fear, and somewhere where I want to be for those few reading hours. I want to root for a character I love as my hero or heroine, laugh at amusing sidekicks, share their ups and downs, cry when they die and bristle at how unfair their life is. One of the most important thing to get me into that world and hook me is the MC. I MUST like the MC and with luck, most of the characters or I struggle to engage with the plot.

What is so important about the MC? Well this is the person who carries the book so I want to like them. Y'know, the fearless military leader taking his troops into a zombie apocalypse, the young hero fighting adversity with his friends, the gnarly older character who can see the trouble his town is in, the kickass female in urban fantasy, the hero prepared to venture into Hell to save his friends...I really love a hero or heroine who captures the interest. They can be brave or scared, any colour race religion or sexuality, flawed or long as I like them. If I do, I can emerse myself in their story and enjoy the book.

Why then are so many modern authors writing the worst MCs you'd ever seen? Would I have went to Mordor if Frodo was a spoiled brat who bullied Sam? Would I have went to Hogwarts with an evil bully instead of Harry? Would I have rampaged through Westeros if Eddard Stark had been a wifebeating rapist monster? Would I fight monsters with Cat and Bones or Deacon Chalk if they had been moronic idiots? Would I have cheered on Katniss if she had been a vain and whiny girl? No, of course not, I'd have DNFed them in a heartbeat! Look, I'm all for my MCs not being perfect if their flaws make them interesting, but there is a difference between that and making you hate them.

The modern author seems to have other ideas though. I've lost count of how many seem to use that whiny female who is always bitching and complaining and annoying other characters! In the zombie apocalypse I don't want to hear her whining about being dirty or breaking a nail. If you are that bothered, let the zombies eat you!!! I don't want to see the arrogant alpha male beating his partner, raping the unwilling and then justifying it by saying his life has been difficult. Seriously WTF!!! I'm tired of seeing the steriotype cheerleader bitch and mean jock bullying every new kid. I hate having an obnoxious arse of an MC throwing his weight around and slagging everyone off. Seriously, why would I actually care about any of these people? I'd cross the street to avoid them so why would I waste my precious leisure time to read whole books about them?
Why are authors making their MCs so horrible? I just don't get it! George RR Martin has a huge cast with the heroes and baddies but has made them all complex and interesting. He has  given interesting flaws to his good characters and sympathetic traits to his bad ones. THAT is what I want to see! I like the idea of hating a character one second then realising why they behave that way if it is well written like in Game of Thrones. Cersei is a monster but her love for her children and her unhappy marriage create sympathy-would YOU want to be married to Robert Baratheon??? Ned Stark is a good man but so stubborn and obsessed with honour that it destroys his family, yet you still love him. But these books I read now are full of obnoxious idiots who are there to annoy and change little, with no redeeming qualities through the whole book, and I'm hating this trend.

Do you think that too many authors make their MCs totally unlovable? What traits do you hate in MCs? If you hate an MC does it make you DNF a book? How much tolerance do you have for bad MCs? What are dealbreakers for you?

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Terrorist Scum Hit Manchester

Just before I was going to bed last night news came through of police responding to an explosion at the Manchester arena. All thoughts of sleep vanished as my dad and I watched events unfolding and I barely slept all night. The full story was evident this morning. An evil coward decided to set off a suicide bomb right in the foer of the Manchester Arena as people were leaving an Ariana Grande concert. The death toll at the moment stands at 22 dead, 59 injured including children.

I've spent many years on holidays in the North West of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria, Merseyside and more. The people of the north west are so friendly and helpful and it breaks my heart that evil has visited them. I've never actually been into Manchester personally but it is a great city with a proud history, a great music and sporting scene. Now our country is grieving for children and families and couples who just went to a concert and never came home. Photos released today show the carnage inside that foyer and it makes me sick to the stomach.

They are scum, pure and simple, whoever they are. The kind of people who do this don't care about the innocent or who dies. Pathetic little cowards who target kids, who do this for their own warped and twisted ideals. It makes me really angry about what happened, and sad for the state our world is in. I hope there is a true Hell and that the bomber is burning in it right now.

I'm also proud of the emergency services who march into danger to save people and the ordinary people who opened their homes to stranded strangers and offered to drive from many miles away to ferry people home. They went out of their way to give the hand of friendship to those in need and that for me is what Britain is all about. We are a strong people and we will not buckle or bend to these bastards. Never. 

My thoughts are with everyone caught up in this tragedy.

Book Review: 'Nids by Ray Garton

Medical research? Genetic experiments? No one knows exactly what goes on inside the sprawling BioGenTech building on the edge of town. But after an enormous explosion at the facility, people in town start turning up dead...and in pieces.

Something is loose in Hope Valley. Something big...and fast...and hungry. It has a lot of legs, a nasty disposition and a big appetite. This is one spider you can’t step on.

My Review: 
A group of teenagers are at a local parking spot on a normal night when they hear the explosion at the nearby bio lab. As they watch the flames and wonder what happened, one of them is grabbed and taken down the mountain by an unseen creature. Only one witness saw what happened to her but his story of a giant spider is not believed instantly by the police until they find what is left of her body. The police are forced to reconsider their ideas on a monster spider when other kids report their car being attacked by it.

The massive sun spider is on the loose in the town, prowling the street and looking for victims. As more people come under attack the police are stretched to their limits in trying to track it down, and to keep the incident quiet to avoid mass panic. It can move at great speed and seems to be one step ahead all the time...

This was a fun monster b movie kind of plot. It has everything you would expect in this kind of paced action, big mutant monster, lots of tension and drama and lots of death. What more could you want? I don't want to go into any more details about the plot for fear of totally spoiling it for anyone planning to read it. But if you like your mutant monsters and a plot that gets right into the action, then you'll maybe enjoy this one.

Read March 2017.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

Book Review: Bigfoot War by Eric S Brown (Bigfoot War #1)

Jeff Taylor was an ordinary boy growing up in the small town of Babble Creek, North Carolina, until one night his life was changed forever when a sasquatch brutally murdered his family. Taylor fled the town, hoping to leave the painful memory behind. Years later, after two tours of duty in the Iraq War, hes back in Babble Creek seeking vengeance. Taylors lust for the blood of the monster that slew his family sets in motion a series of events that soon has the entire town fighting for its life as a tribe of sasquatches descend from the forests and hills into Babble Creek to declare war upon its citizens. Babble Creek is about to find out Bigfoot is very real and theres more than one of the creatures that want to fill the streets with blood.

My Review: 
Jeff is twelve when his father heads out into the woods with a gun to find out what attacked their animals. He comes running back in panic telling his boys to run as a large angry Sasquatch chases him. Losing his brother and father that night, nobody believes the story that Jeff has to tell. So years later when Jeff returns to town, nobody really wants to see him or remember his wild stories about Bigfoot. The police certainly don't want him heading out into the woods to look for his revenge...

Jeff manages to persuade an old friend to help him on a hunt as the police follow him to stop him. They are all in the woods together when the Sasquatch decides to show itself and attacks the group. This starts a chain of events which threatens every citizen of Babble Creek as they quickly realise what has been living out there all these years. Now they believe Jeff but is it too late for the town?

I loved this! I've always enjoyed anything Bigfoot related...I'm forever trying to get books on the subject and watching these cryptid docs so I just had to get my hands on this. This is very fast paced, brutal and gory which is exactly the kind of Bigfoot story that I like. Babble Creek is just a normal little town minding it's own business until Jeff decides it is time to get some payback for his family. The Sasquatch tribe living in the area decide that they don't like humans invading their territory to challenge them and they declare war on the town. I was so happy to see an entire tribe rampaging through the town to teach the humans a lesson. 

This is a shortish read that you can do in one night. It is fast moving with a shed load of blood, gore and death on every page, which is perfect for anyone who loves a monster gorefest. I went straight on to read the next novella. And how great are these covers!
Read March 2017. 
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!  

This week the topic is Summer Read Freebie. OK I just don't do summer. I don't go on beach holidays coz I hate the sun and the insects, I don't read summer beach reads as I dislike the contemporary genre. I'm a Stark from Winterfell and Winter is Coming! Y'know? I was baffled as to what to do but then I thought 'stuff it' I'm doing a winter chiller list!

Ten Winter books to chill and entertain!

1) George RR Martin-A Game of Thrones 
I finally read this book this week and loved it! Well written, not over descriptive and gets you more into the minds of the characters, with extra stuff on the Lannisters fighting the Tully and Stark armies that you don't see in season one on TV. I liked the depth, the discussions of past events and the way the story just flowed. I just want to curl up in a nice warm room at Winterfell, cuddling a dire wolf and waiting for winter!  

2) Jon Krakauer-Into Thin Air 
The true story of the 1996 Everest disaster told through the eyewitness account of a journalist on one of the expeditions. He reveals the cold and fatigue, the poor decision making due to lack of oxygen and the harrowing aftermath of the storm which left people dead or stranded on the mountain. This was the first true life mountain disaster book I read and it left me hooked on the genre. 

3) Tom Harper-Zodiac Station
An arctic circle research outpost becomes deadly when one of their men are murdered. It is described as a fast paced suspense thriller with some conspiracy and spies thrown in. OK so I'm intrigued and despite mixed reviews over the book's ending, I'll take the plunge and give this one a go as a love hostile environments! 

4) Dean Koontz-Icebound
A team of scientists plant explosive charges for an Antarctic experiment, and they will blow at midnight. An accident on the ice strands them and as they try to think of a way to stop the bombs, a killer is taking them out one by one. I read this years ago and don't recall much except I liked it. I still have it and hope to reread it at some point. 

5) Christopher Golden-Ararat
An earthquake and avalanche uncover something on Ararat that could be Noah's Ark and all manner of scientists flock to study it. However there is an evil force on the Ark that is infecting people and causing violence and death...I read this as an ARC earlier in the year and liked the tension and suspense as well as the action later in the book. A good read!

6) Matthew Reilly-Ice Station 
Nikki *waves* put me onto a book by this author and I thought a few of his books sounded pretty good, this being one of them. A team of US divers in Antarctica go missing and Marines are called in to help leading to battles with hostile wildlife and elite military assassins who want something under the ice. Ooh yes, loving the sound of that!

7) Graham Bowley-No Way Down 
The true story of the 2008 disaster on K2, where an ice shelf collapse leaves thirty climbers trying to get down from the mountain without ropes and with little oxygen. This was an excellent and gripping true story about surviving on a deadly mountain and leaves you glad to be in your nice warm house. 

8) Evan Pedone-Expedition Everest
An Everest expedition and the hunt for a yeti all in one thriller? Yes thank you, I'll be reading this one! I can't remember which blogs I saw it on but I definitely want to read this one.  

9) TW Piperbrook-Outage
When Abby and Rob wake to find themselves snowed in by a blizzard, they regret all the preperations for winter they were meant to make but didn't. What they didn't imagine was the werewolf hunting those who were trapped by the storm...Decent shortish horror read to pass a night, it has some tense scenes to enjoy. 

10) Jason Deyo-Winter's Salvation
A harsh Maryland winter is the only respite for four friends during the zombie apocalypse but that is when they start to realise that the new danger is going to come from within the people they gathered together for safety. I haven't read this one but winter and zombies seem rather appealing! 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Chuckles Retro Reads: Godhead by Ken Mooney

Olympus has fallen; new gods must rise.

The gods have been betrayed by one of their own. Zeus is dead, and the city is under siege by the demonic forces of Kaos. Their only chance of survival is to abandon the city, buying time to regroup and rebuild.

Thousands of years later, the children of the gods walk among us, protecting humanity from the demons. But not all of them know the secrets of the powers they have. The gods are no more, eliminated by their greatest enemy. And now, she wants to return home; no matter who stands in her way.

My Review: 
*I received a free pdf copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

I love urban fantasy. I love Greek Mythology. I love horror. This book sounded as if it had elements of all three so I was looking forward to it.

The Gods of Olympus have been betrayed by Aphrodite, who lets demons in to their home to destroy them all. The last throw of the dice for Hera is to seal in the demons and expel the rest of the gods to live in the mortal world. Fast forward to the present day and Aphrodite has been killing all the descendants of the Gods to give her the power to return to rule Olympus and set the demons on the world. A group of talented people must continue the battle...if they can learn how to use their skills in time.

There is a lot of good about this book. The descriptions of Olympus and the Gods are vivid and detailed without the dreaded info dumps. Flashbacks are spaced out and used to give only important backstory about the characters and past events. It was a good use of that resource. The author's descriptions are well worded and easy to imagine and the characters are well developed with the clever use of grief as a way to bring them closer together. That was a nice touch. Aphrodite herself is an excellent evil character and her flashbacks give her depth and help the reader to understand why she did what she did. Each of the characters have great potential which I assume will develop in the next book. I developed opinions of the characters which shifted and changed with the plot, which was enjoyable. It was also interesting to see the powers being used and it gave you an idea of the real potential within this group.

There was a bit of an issue for me with the way the dialogue was presented. During conversations, words were continually highlighted in italics to tell the reader where to put the emphasis in the sentence. I feel that was unnecessary. If the dialogue is good, the reader will know what your characters are saying and the emotions they are feeling. It's not necessary to spell it out to us, especially with good descriptive work throughout the book.

There were a lot of unfinished sentences during the conversations which annoyed me a bit, along with half explanations that would cut off. I wanted to yell 'spit it out already!' on quite a few occasions! This was especially true when Unity and Hannah were explaining things to Megan and Karl in the most confusing manner and our two heroes just weren't asking the questions I wanted answers to. While I thought that this bit was frustrating, it might have been the author's way to avoid big info dumps, or it was the intended plot device to space out what we learn. Either way it didn't spoil the actual story. I am a bit impatient when I want to know what is happening which I guess is good as it means I was getting into the story.

A few niggles aside, I did like the story and I am interested enough to look for book 2. This is not an action filled book like some urban fantasy but I'd describe it as a slow burner that keeps you interested all the time. The second half of the book is fast moving due to short sections and switching POV.

For readers who are interested, the sexual content is minor: a partial short sex scene, while the rest is more implied than described fully. Swearing is minimal and used purely for effect, which was good. A few gory bits when the demons attack. Suitable for older teens and adults.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

Chuckles Retro Reads: The Reaper Within by Stephanie Jackson

Melissa Chaser leads what most people would think was an interesting life. Mel's job was to find wayward spirits and cross them over to the other side; she was a real life Reaper. It was a hard and dangerous job, especially when the spirits were wreaking havoc on people or property, but it was never anything that she couldn't handle.

And then she got the fateful call from Mrs. Mabry. There was a problem with a house she'd just purchased, and she needed Mel's help. It was just standard ghost stuff; things moving around, and a few disembodied voices, but nothing Mel hadn't seen a thousand times before.

Little did she know who, or what, she would find when she stepped into the old Memphis mansion. Nothing about the ghosts in the home made any sense to her, and time was running out. Could Mel finish the job and get off the property before something in the house reaped her?

My Review: 
*I received a free copy of this book from the author through Paranormal and Horror Lovers in exchange for an honest review*

Mel is a Reaper, the only person who can send a lost soul forward on their journey, even when they don't want to go. Her new job is to clear a plantation house of a violent spirit but on arrival she finds a lot of spirits there with no connection to the house. Now she must reap them all and solve the mystery of why they are there.

This was a very enjoyable paranormal story which I read in one night. I liked the way the plot centered around the Reaper sending lost souls to the Light painlessly for everyone and how unwilling souls being reaped caused her pain. It was a slightly different twist on other reaper stories I've read. I also enjoyed the fact that she becomes tied to the house until all souls have been reaped, leaving her as trapped as the souls themselves. With help, Mel starts to research the people to find a connection and uncovers the real truth. It was a story that flowed nicely with no huge info dumps and no boring parts. The dialogue was fun, the plot had a good mixture of action, humour and character based scenes, and the characters themselves just enhanced the plot.

I also liked the characters. Mel was feisty and very likable which is vital for me in my lead character. I liked her a lot and was rooting for her throughout the book. She is a Reaper but is also very much human with human emotion and vulnerabilities. Betty was the mildly annoying but entertaining sidekick that Mel is in contact with outside the house, helping her with her research. She was funny and I hope to see her again in the next book. Jack was the intriguing character-is he a ghost, or alive or what? Of course, having read the book I know the answer, but I'm not putting spoilers in. What I can say is that I really liked the twists in the story as that plot developed and it was also a very satisfying ending.

I can't really say that there was anything that I didn't like about the book. It had a bit of everything in it-action, humour, suspense, romance, and should appeal to fans of urban fantasy, paranormal, ghost stories and non graphic paranormal romance. Very much recommended.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

Around the Blogs with Chuckles

We all enjoy snooping and lurking on other people's blogs right? Why not share those entertaining things you found with other readers and bloggers too! Welcome to Around the Blogs with Chuckles, where I take time out to show you some of my favourite blog posts from the previous seven days and link you up so you can check them out.

This Week!

1) What you need to know before you open a Netgalley account 

Nicole from Feed Your Fiction Addiction talks about the mistakes that new members can easily make and the importance of your feedback ratio and archive dates. An excellent guide for anyone new to or planning to join Netgalley. 

2) Favourite Casting Choice

Winter is Coming looks at the importance of good casting choices for the Game of Thrones series and gives you a chance to vote for a few of your favourite actors. Only picking three was so darn hard!!! 

3) Consistency in series book covers

Kristen over at Metaphors and Moonlight was talking about how irritating it is when the covers of a book series are changed during it by publishers. She gives examples of good consistency and shows when they really get it wrong! 

4) The Boy on the Bridge by MR Carey 

Mogsy at The BiblioSanctum reviewed the follow up book to the massive bestseller The Girl with all the Gifts and at last we get to see beyond that vague blurb for the book! This review made me want to grab the book NOW! 

5) How to makeover a Pinterest account

Dragonfly over at Our Familiarium talks about Pinterest and the ways that you can give it a face-lift. I really need to find time to hang out more on Pinterest! I love it but haven't been there for ages! 

6) The Hogwarts Tag 

AJ at Read All The Things took part in the Hogwarts tag. I had a lot of fun doing this tag a while back and I always enjoy seeing the answers that everyone else has. 

7) Blue's Prophecy blog tour 

Barb over at Booker T's Farm reviewed this book and I thought the review was excellent. This book has one of the most beautiful dog covers I've seen so I just had to rave about it a little! 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Game of Thrones Gossip #17 The Lannisters

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Gossip, where all of us fanatics get the chance to discuss everything we love about this amazing TV series. I did a few spoiler free posts about the series last year but I found that there were other bloggers out there who were also itching to talk more freely about favourite characters and events without spoiling things for those visiting the blog. So I decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! The topics may talk about a death, an event, a character or be season reviews and so on. Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

I have to warn you that it is important that you have seen all six seasons before reading any of these posts because these posts and blogger comments will be oozing and exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned that it's a bad idea to be here right now! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you nor do I take responsibility for any mistakes on the pages I link you to.

This week I'm looking at the rest of the Lannister family that we meet in season one and the start of season two. I'm looking at Tywin, Kevan, Lancel and Alton Lannister and Cersei's children as the other family members have been covered in other posts. 

Probably one of the best pieces of casting in the entire show, Charles Dance is perfect as the scheming and evil Tywin Lannister, who has contempt for his family and believes only in bringing glory to the Lannister name...and beating everyone else. His children are always a disappointment to him. Jaime joined the Kingsguard which prevented him inheriting any titles and furthering the Lannister cause with a good wedded match, leaving the dwarf Tyrion as his sole heir, to his utter disgust. Tyrion despises his youngest son, blaming him for killing his mother when he was born, hating him for his disability and whoring, and finding him as the family embarrassment. Even when Tyrion does show a keen mind Tywin cares little. He views Cersei as a weak woman who can't control her son and must only be used for breeding to other rich husbands for Lannister glory. Not a nice man overall.

He is a shrewd battle commander with a fearsome reputation for dealing with his enemies, and is well known to ensure he is only ever on the winning side. He served The Mad King as his Hand but betrayed him when it became clear that Robert was winning the rebellion. He has no morals or scruples about using people to get what he wants and casting them aside when he is finished with him. When we meet him in season one, he has had to raise an army to threaten the Starks for taking Tyrion prisoner. It is not out of love for his son of course, but for the slur on the Lannister name. Later when Jaime finally gets released from his imprisonment, Tywin is quick to remind him that even Tyrion managed to escape his captors. He does, however, underestimate Robb and loses a few humiliating battles, during which Jaime is captured. He and Tyrion only agree on one thing-killing Ned Stark was a terrible decision as he could have been traded for Jaime. It looked as if he might finally be seeing that his son was an asset by sending him to deal with Joffrey and Cersei as acting Hand but sadly, not to be. There will be more on Tywin in later posts.

Kevan is the younger brother of Tywin and father to Lancel Lannister, a loyal advisor and soldier, and the victim of a prank by a younger Tyrion who put goat shit in his boots. He does not seem to have the same feelings about Tyrion that his brother does and greets his arrival on the battlefield after escaping Lysa Arryn. He is in favour of peace with the north, viewing the two Baratheon armies as the bigger threat that they should be focusing on but Tyrion points out that Ned's death ruins any hope of peace. He also wants to save his family and asks that they flee King's Landing before Stannis arrives which Tywin refuses to do, knowing it would be the end of their rule. By season 3, his sons Willem and Martyn have been taken hostage by Edmure Tully and are murdered by Rickard Karstark in revenge for his dead sons, while Lancel is gone from court. It is a couple of years before Kevan returns to King's Landing and by then Lancel is a religious fanatic. Kevan crosses swords with Cersei over her control of Tommen and refuses to serve under her but comes back to serve as Hand after she is arrested. He is killed with everyone else in the explosion at the Great Sept.

Lancel is the squire to King Robert and he is bullied constantly and humiliated by the King, who dislikes him for being a Lannister. It is Lancel who provides Robert with the alcohol during the hunt, causing the King's death when the boar kills him. Varys is happy to hint that Lancel may have been part of a plot to incapacitate Robert. He also becomes Cersei's lover while Jaime is captive in the north, information that Tyrion uses to get him to spy on Cersei. After being injured in the Battle of the Blackwater he renounces his former life and joins a religious order. He comes back to King's Landing to root out corruption with his brothers and provides evidence against Cersei about their affair which leads to her walk of shame. He discovers the wildfire plot and tries to stop it but is killed.

Alton Lannister is a distant cousin of Jaime and after being captured by Robb's army, he is used as a messenger between the Starks and Lannisters. When housed with Jaime in a cell, it is clear that the young man idolised Jaime, who kills him in a vain plot to try and escape, along with Rickard Karstark's son.

Is there anyone alive who doesn't hate this guy in season one or cheer each time Tyrion slaps him? He begins as the spoiled brat prince who cares only about himself, not even giving his false sympathy to Catelyn over Bran's 'accident'. Sansa adores his looks and status and can't see him for what he really is. Despite loving Myrcella and Tommen, Tyrion has no time for his nephew and is happy to slap him when he gets out of line. At this stage he is heavily influenced by Cersei and has learned to view all non Lannisters as the enemy. He is also clear that he has no interest in marrying Sansa, treating her mostly with indifference.

But he moves from petulant to nasty when he bullies Mycah and Arya on the riverbank, leading to the death of both the boy and Sansa's dire wolf Lady. He shows that he is a coward, cowering away from Arya and embarrassing himself in front of both Stark girls. He likes to bully others and belittle them, calling the Hound 'dog'. It is when he becomes King though that his evil persona really comes out, shocking everyone including Cersei by calling for Ned's execution. He also gives the order to murder all of Robert's bastards. He continues by taking Sansa to view her father's head on a pole and having Meryn Trant assault her when she displeases him. He has no idea that the Hound saved his life by stopping Sansa from pushing him over the edge...

Myrcella is a kind and gentle girl, unlike most of her family and she is happy with the news that Bran will live after his 'accident'. She loves her uncle Tyrion and is friendly to Sansa, getting excited by the upcoming wedding. When Stannis prepares to attack, Tyrion arranges for her to marry in Dorne, a decision that begins a chain of events to bring down most of the Lannisters when Cersei gets her revenge on him. Ironically as Cersei fumes about her daughter's fate, Myrcella and her betrothed Trystane have fallen in love and she is happy in Dorne. She does not want to go home with Jaime until assured that she can take Trystane with her. As she leaves she is poisoned by Ellaria Sand to punish Cersei for the death of Oberyn, and dies in Jaime's arms minutes after saying she is happy that he is her father.

Tommen is also unlike Joffrey, adoring his uncle Tyrion and getting upset at the thought that Robb might be killed as it will upset Sansa who he likes. He is saved from the street riot as Tyrion has him taken away to the Red Keep by a different route after seeing his sister off to Dorne. He is almost poisoned by Cersei at the Battle of the Blackwater when she fears that they are going to be taken by Stannis but her father's arrival saves Tommen. He is also upset when he realises that the Joffrey's wedding entertainment is upsetting Tyrion and Sansa. When he becomes King after Joffrey's death he can't bear to be at Tyrion's trial. He falls in love with Margaery, his new betrothed and Cersei sees her grip on another son slipping away. Tommen is constantly caught between his mother and his wife and is even ready to do a deal with the High Sparrow to get Margaery back. He orders that the trials of Loras and Cersei go ahead without the option of trial by combat which Cersei was counting on to use The Mountain. It is The Mountain that prevents him going to the Great Sept for the trial where it blows up killing everyone. Witnessing the death of so many people including his wife from his window, Tommen kills himself.

Chuckles Cover Love #26

If there is one thing that makes a great book even better, it is when it has a cover that we love! The cover design is what catches the eye as we browse through a bookstore shelf or check out the Amazon or Goodreads recommendations. The right cover makes me look closer at a book, to read the blurb and maybe make a purchase. A poor cover might mean I never look at the blurb at all. 

This week I'm going zombie and looking at the Rhiannon Frater series As The World Dies. It is hard to get interesting zombie books but this trilogy is a reasonable offering.

What I really like are the covers for the short story anthologies which fit in around the novels. I love these covers which did prompt me to pay more than I wanted for such short books.



Saturday, 20 May 2017

Chuckles Weekend Roundup

Welcome to my new feature Chuckles Weekend Roundup where I will be looking at what books I've received, anything interesting I've done or bought or watched and other random stuff. I'll be taking a look back at what happened in my blogging world too, sort of like The Sunday Post that some of you do! 

Please note that I'll be visiting your STS/SP as normal, but I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow DISQUS to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I am the only one who does that on my blog! Sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me because I deleted my account with them but I will persevere as it only happens the odd time!
This was a better week overall. I managed to get back on the blogging trail for the most part and post a decent amount this week so that was a relief. I've had a decent sleep the last two nights so I don't feel as tired. I'm pleased about that! As always I'll review what I blogged over the last week later in the post. It's been a quiet week with just blogging, reading and a bit of Game of Thrones season three! On the reading side of things I abandoned my list of what I was going to read this month and picked up the first Game of Thrones book instead! It's taken the best part of the week to get through it but I should finish it sometime today. It was a great read! Now I need to decide whether to continue with the series or get a few other books looked at first...oh decisions decisions!
On the book buying side of things, it was mostly a quiet week until Wednesday when I had a horror splurge! I don't think the books will arrive today so I'll save those for next week. I did get a few Game of Thrones related items and a couple of new apocalypse series to try so that kept me happy! Two Game of Thrones journals which I'll use for lists or something-not quite decided yet! I have a Stark one already which I'm using to write a companion guide to the series with episode guides, character lists and family trees etc. I also got the gorgeous guide to
Game of Thrones season one and two which I will devour shortly! The guide to season three and four has been ordered!
Chuckles Blogging World: 

So a reasonably productive blogging week compared to the week before. I got all my regular posts done, some reviews, got in a decent amount of blog visits and managed to respond to comments on my blog a bit quicker. Overall I'm happy. Click on the link provided to go to each blog post if you missed it during the week and feel free to stop by and leave a comment!

Book Reviews: 

I got a few reviews done this week-not as many as I hoped but it was ok. I need to get on with the reviews of books I read in March. Hopefully I can get them done in the next few weeks!
Dave Jeffery-Necropolis Rising
Keith RA DeCandido-Resident Evil Apocalypse
Madeleine Roux-Allison Hewitt is TRapped
Hunter Shea-Swamp Monster Massacre
Craig Jones-Breakout
Jeffery Deaver-Praying For Sleep
Regular Features: 

For those wondering about the political posts, I'm not sharing my thoughts on the parties or policies or talking actual politics. Instead I'm having a bit of fun by looking at the funny and embarrassing gaffes, the amusing stories and photo opportunities. All parties will be mocked! My Top Ten Tuesday was looking at divorced, widowed and single parents in fiction.
Top Ten Tuesday-Single Parents
Chuckles Cover Love-Arthur T Bradley
Chuckles Guide to the UK Election #4
Mythology With Chuckles #2-Wendigo
Discussion Posts: 
This week I'm looking at Gifs and in Westeros I'm looking at the Small Council in season one.

Chuckles Chat-Gifs

Game of Thrones Gossip-The Small Council
Guest Post: 
I had the pleasure of guest posting over on Barb's blog on Monday, doing a post on brave and loyal hounds in apocalypse and horror! 

Book Challenge Updates:

 Move along, nothing to see here! Well it wasn't quite that bad! I was reading Game of Thrones so even at 100 pages a day it has taken the best part of the week to read!

My Goodreads Challenge total currently stands at 108/250 One book read.
TBR total of books I own but haven't read yet stands at 805.Choosing to read a book over 700 pages this week didn't get the numbers down but deciding not to read on with the James Patterson Alex Cross books did bring it down! I was under 800 books until I added what I bought this week to my Goodreads pages!

That's all for this week! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to visit my blog and leave comments. You guys are great!