Saturday, 30 September 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 social media! I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account. 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!
Well, I'm back from a weekend of slothing and being away from the computer for the best part of ten days. I needed a complete rest and now I'm back feeling quite refreshed from it. My new pills haven't taken effect yet but I was told it would take time so I'm not that worried about it. Hopefully things will improve on the 'I'm knackered' front in the coming weeks! So what did I do with my time? Well I got out a couple of times in the car with my dad just to get out of the house, which was nice. I finally got back into some decent reading-a couple of political memoirs and started the first part of A Storm of Swords, the third Game of Thrones book. Yea! I hope to make progress on the latest books tonight.

On the book buying front, I stayed offline all nine days so bought nothing there. A trilogy I ordered earlier last week did arrive and I'm excited by it! I did however, browse some charity shops on my travels and picked up a few of interest at nice cheap prices so that was good. One thing my week off has taught me is that I need to stress less about reading targets and tbr numbers and read when I want to and do other things when I want to or the fun will be sucked out of reading. From now on I'll do what I want to do on a day to day basis and not stress so much about that or how many reviews I haven't blogged and so on. Life will be a lot happier that way! Thanks to everyone who posted this week while I was away and for your good wishes. I'll be visiting your blogs this weekend to catch up on all I've missed!


Chuckles Blogging World: 
I'm a bit behind on blog visits after being offline all week but I plan to visit everyone over the weekend. I think I've caught up with all the comments posted while I was away and I've done my emails so I'm pretty happy with things at the moment. My new plan is to read for at least an hour every morning then blog a few hours, then relax with a film or do some scrapbooking or something, then back to watching TV and reading at night, whatever I'm in the mood for. We'll see if that happens! As always, a link is provided for each blog post from last week to take you straight to anything you missed. Comments are moderated so it might take a day or two to see it on the blog! Check out my Next Week section to see what is coming next at the Book Cave...

Book Reviews: 
I scheduled a few book reviews for last week while I was offline and it seems a few of you liked the sound of them. Good! If I'm going down buried in books, I'm taking you lot with me!!! 

Chuckles Mini Reviews Round Up

Elizabeth Briggs-Future Shock 

Amy Hopkins-Dream Stalker 

Simone Pond-Hidden Sight

MJ Kraus-Death Magic 

Regular Posts: 
  No Chuckles Goes Sampling, but Chuckles Cover Love looked at Amanda Hocking, I went Around The Blogs on Monday, Top Ten Tuesday looked at Ten Fascinating Females in Fiction, and Can't Wait Wednesday featured a prequel to the Mountain Man series.

Chuckles Cover Love-Amanda Hocking 

Around The Blogs With Chuckles 

Top Ten Tuesday-Fascinating Females In Fiction 

Can't Wait Wednesday-Mountain Man 

Discussion Posts:

Chuckles Chat-Book Snobbery 

Game of Thrones Gossip-The Small Council 

Film Reviews: 
none this week

Special Features:
none this week

Book Tags:
none this week

Currently Reading/Next Up:
I've only read one book but it was a big political memoir by Ken Clarke. I don't agree with some of his thoughts on policy but it was interesting to read why he holds those views and get his insight into the Thatcher and Major governments. I also started the first volume of A Storm of Swords which I'm enjoying. So this week my reading will be...

Next Week On The Blog?
Chuckles Cover Love features Janet Finsilver, Top Ten Tuesday features Fascinating Male Characters in Fiction, Can't Wait Wednesday features Inside Story, Game of Thrones Gossip features Bronn Shae and Pod, Chuckles Chat looks at Book Therapy. There will also be more blog posts from around the bloggyverse and we have Chuckles Goes Sampling and maybe my mini review post. Expect some film and book reviews too with any luck.

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! 

Friday, 29 September 2017

Chuckles Chat #36 Book Snobbery

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! 

NB: 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 them to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account.   

This week I'm looking at Book Snobbery and it is a subject that really gets my blood up. 

A good few years back on, there was a discussion thread about favourite comfort reads and one woman (lets call her Sarah) said she loved weekends as she got stuck into a pile of Harlequin romances, which relaxed her after a tough week at work. The next thing you know, this woman replied (lets call her Pam) and indicated that Sarah obviously wasn't very intelligent if she read 'fluff' like that instead of the classics like Pam did. Oh I was mad as hell at that! OK I don't like romance personally but what the heck gives Pam the right to dictate what Sarah should and shouldn't be reading? What gives her the right to insult Sarah's intelligence just because she likes romance? I was proper mad and gave Pam a serving for it but Sarah was really upset and I bet it ruined her enjoyment of the whole site.

I hate book snobbery! If Pam loves all the classics, then great, good for her and she should go on enjoying them. But she shouldn't look down on others for their reading choices just because she doesn't like those genres. Likewise Sarah has the right to kick back and enjoy the books that she loves without being 'shamed' in some way for it. Why do people behave like that? Reading is about fun and entertainment, and all of us are entertained by different things. I love zombies but I'd never sneer at anyone who avoids that genre because that it their choice! There is no point in reading things you don't enjoy just to appease other people or because you think you should! 

I want to enjoy my reading and I hate it when others have a go at me for it. Now I do have a bit of banter with the lovely Dragonfly over my love of zombies which she hates but that is all in fun and it provides a good laugh. *waves* It's banter and that is ok! Sadly others do not make their comments in fun and talk to me in disbelief about me liking the genre. I love zombie and apocalypse books because they are exciting, tense and entertaining but quite a few people have told me I should 'branch out and stop reading that rubbish.' I find that insulting! Why should I read to please others? Well, I won't! I don't tell others what to read so they shouldn't be that rude. People like that don't stay my friend for long! 

I've always had people being critical of me liking horror as well. I even got told by a Christian woman that I was going to Hell for reading Stephen King. I gave her a piece of my mind for sure and she came grovelling back to say sorry. What is it with these people??? Why can't we just respect each other's choices in reading? Why do some people get so angry about others liking or disliking other genres? It's mad! Why does some angry woman in the US give a crap that one person in Scotland DNFed her favourite book? (Catch 22) I'm not losing any sleep over her not liking Harry Potter and I'm not running over to her reviews to moan and whine about it! I have had problems on Goodreads before over certain things. One guy didn't like that I gave a 5 star review to a book he didn't enjoy and started having a go at me for all the editing mistakes in the book! How is that my fault??? Go moan at the author if it bugs you so bloody much! He even accused me of being related to the author and giving 5 stars to family! What a nut job and didn't get why I was mad at him! 

Do you get people moaning at you for the genres you read? How do you deal with book snobs?

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Book Review: Death Magic by MJ Kraus (Makeshift Wizard #0)

My job was supposed to be easy. Investigate a bleed farm, find the a-hole vamps who've been kidnapping Normals and bring down some street justice. Now I've got a relic in my hands that was created with the blood and death magic of an elder Vampire and a whole lot more questions than answers. My name's William J. Silver. I'm a wizard - sort of. I'm the thirteenth line of the family Silver, one of the most powerful wizarding families in the world. I was born with a genetic anomaly that makes it impossible for me to tap into the Void, though. The result? I'm as Normal as any one of you. Or at least I was.

Now I've got to dodge both the Normals and the Council, both of whom would gladly tear me apart and dissect me to find out my secrets. All while I try and redeem myself for the arrogance and foolishness of my youth.

The Makeshift Wizard series is a new action-packed urban fantasy series from bestselling author MJ Kraus. Better known as Mike Kraus in post-apocalyptic circles, Mike's written multiple bestselling post-apocalyptic series and has recently expanded into the urban fantasy sphere. 

My Review:
William is a wizard and a New York beat cop. Previously he worked for a crime syndicate who tried to kill him for developing a conscience over the people they were cheating.  Now he is a cop and is forever getting into trouble for poking his nose into investigations that he is not involved in. After a tip, he breaks into an apartment which is alleged to be the site of a vampire bleed farm, where kidnapped humans are taken and drained of their blood. The victims have been moved but evidence of the farm does remain, along with a fleeing vampire. William is able to get his hands on the book that the vampire leaves behind, which has powerful magic in it.

With this being a short story I don't want to say too much more about the actual plot for fear of spoiling it but basically William is now a marked man because the owners of the book want it back. The only person he can turn to is best friend Sully, the man who saved his life. I love Sully and his wife as supporting characters in the plot. Hopefully we'll see more of them in future books. William is a decent MC and I found him interesting enough to carry the story.

I've already read a horror short story by this author and liked it and I'm a fan of his apocalypse books. I think I'll probably read on with this series as well when time allows.

Read July 2017.
3 stars

Game of Thrones Gossip #35 The Small Council

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 decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

It is important that you have seen all six seasons before reading any of these posts because these posts and blogger comments will be exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you.

For those of you who stuck with me through my season one posts, thank you loads! Now I'm going to look at the main characters introduced in season two, what our season one characters were doing in season two and looking at all the bests bits. Enjoy the season two posts! 

This week we are looking at the Small Council and what they were doing in season two. The Council as this point featured acting Hand of the King-Tyrion Lannister, Varys, Pycelle, Littlefinger. Renly and Stannis have fled King's Landing and are in open revolt.

Varys is the first person to become aware that Tyrion has brought Shae with him and Shae likes him. He tells Tyrion that his secret is safe but Tyrion warns what will happen if Varys crosses him. Varys is unworried by the threats. He is also amused to have been one of the three tested by Tyrion to find out who would betray his confidence to Cersei, and impressed by Tyrion's clever scheme. Deciding it is too dangerous to keep Shae hidden, Varys assists in getting Shae into the job of handmaiden to Sansa.

As King's Landing comes under threat, Varys has little hope of Cersei and Joffrey being able to hold it. Joffrey's showboating about killing Stannis doesn't impress him and he believes that Tyrion is the last hope for the city. He looks out the maps of the city which shows where the tunnels are located, giving Tyrion a chance to think through a plan. Varys wants Stannis defeated because he is dabbling in the dark arts, something Varys has been on the wrong side of in the past. The battle cements his friendship with Tyrion. As Tyrion lies injured, Varys visits to tell him that Tywin has taken the glory for the win and will take over as Hand. The hill tribes have been sent back to the Vale and Bronn has been removed from the city watch. He tells Tyrion that he will get no praise for what he did but that people like Varys will remember. He smuggles Shae in to visit and recruits Ros as his latest spy. 

Littlefinger is tasked with finding Arya Stark but his smart comments to Cersei about her incest with Jaime come close to him being killed by her guards. It reminds him who has the most power in the Kingdom. He uses his own power over Ros by threatening her for being upset about seeing the baby murdered in his brothel. This may be part of the reason why Ros decides to become a spy for Varys later. He is angry to be part of Tyrion's ruse to trap Pycelle but is happier at being Tyrion's envoy to go to Catelyn with peace terms, taking back the body of Ned as a good faith offering. However he misjudges Catelyn's fury, as she blames him (rightly) for Ned's death. She rages and pulls a knife on him for suggesting that this is fate and they can be a couple. He does hint to her that her daughters could be released if Jaime is even if Robb does not free him. This is what sparks Catelyn's plan to betray her son.

Littlefinger also approaches the Tyrells with an offer of friendship to help Margaery get her wish to replace Cersei as Queen. He helps her to convince Loras to flee for Highgarden when Renly is murdered so they can have revenge on Stannis on another day. He moves on to Harrenhal to discuss this plan with Tywin which results in the alliance between Lannister and Tyrell that defeats Stannis at King's Landing. His reward is to become Lord of Harrenhal and now he turns his attention to offering to help Sansa escape from King's Landing. 

Pycelle reports on the raven from Castle Black reporting that the wildlings are gathering an army against them, but their plea for more men is ignored. Tyrion is the only one who takes the message seriously but he is mocked by Cersei. Pycelle quickly falls into the trap laid by Tyrion, proving that he is a spy for Cersei, and has him locked up in a cell until Cersei demands his release. Pycelle will carry a grudge against Tyrion after this incident. Pycelle had declared his loyalty to House Lannister and denies being part of the plot to kill Jon Arryn, but falls silent over claims he failed to try and save him. It is Pycelle who gives Cersei the poison which she almost uses on Tommen when she fears Stannis has won the battle. Pycelle gloats over Tyrion's demotion and helps Cersei convince Joffrey to put Sansa aside to marry Margaery.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Book Review: Hidden Sight by Simone Pond (Coastview Prophecies #1)

Blinded in an accident, only she can see the truth. 

Losing her parents and her sight changes everything for Sibyl Forsyth. Terrified and refusing to accept the gift that she can now "see" into the supernatural realm, Sibyl stays holed up in her backyard, closed off from the outside world.

When she's plagued with a vision of a catastrophic event, Sibyl knows she can't possibly sit back and watch her California coastal town's ultimate demise. Reluctantly, Sibyl sets out to stop her premonition from coming true. With the help of her shifter guide dog, Vago, the two join forces to save the day as they encounter intensely evil spirits with a vicious vendetta. In a race against time, Sibyl and Vago battle their own demons while trying to save the town from an explosive ending that nobody else sees coming. 

My Review: 
Sibyl was a popular athlete with a great boyfriend, supportive family and a bright future, until the fateful night of the car crash. Her parents were killed, she lost her sight and Jack dumped her three days after the accident. Now she lives as a virtual recluse with her Aunt Ruthie and guide dog Vago. Ruthie thinks that Sibyl doesn't want to face the people she once knew but it is more complicated than that. Sibyl can see the auras of everyone, and can tell who is good and who is evil. Seeing the evil frightens her too much so she hides away with those she trusts. She also gets visions of the future and this time, the vision shows everyone who goes to City Hall for the upcoming town planning vote being killed by a bomb. How can Sibyl stop Ruthie and the town from being killed if she is scared to leave the house?

Sibyl is a great character and I had so much sympathy for what happened to her. I could fully understand her reluctance to leave the house even without the visions and nasty auras scaring her half to death. I think it would take you time to come to terms with everything that had happened and she greatly relies on Ruthie. Ruthie has been looking after her since the accident and loves her very much, desperate to help her integrate back into a normal life. She wants to get Sibyl out of the house and living again, and her heart is very much in the right place. Ruthie is used to Sibyl asking her to change things or do things based on her 'bad feelings' but she is unaware of the truly paranormal things going on. I really liked their relationship.

Sybil did rehabilitation work with Esther Townsend after her accident and this is where she was paired with her guide dog Vago, who is adorable. Vago has a secret of his own though. He is actually a shifter, chosen to be Sibyl's companion because of her gifts. He is a dog by day and a man by night, and now thinks it is time to reveal his secret to help Sibyl stop her vision from coming true. With Esther now dead and unable to help them, they decide to reach out to her grandson Eli, in the hope that he will know something about Sybil and her powers. Eli is intrigued by Sibyl and will discover something about himself as he tries to help her and Vago.

I liked the simplicity of the plot. Sybil must try to get the date of the vote changed to stop the prophecy coming true, without drawing attention to herself. She tries to tell Ruthie who is not interested in changing the date and nor are the people at City Hall. All she manages to do is bring herself onto the radar of local cop Pike, who has a strange aura like a black hole that unsettles Sibyl. Why is Pike taking such an interest in Sibyl? Is he going to be a danger to Sibyl and Ruthie, who has a crush on him? Is he involved in the actual bomb plot?

This was a good book. It first caught my eye because of the gorgeous cover and when I read the blurb, it sounded a bit different. I liked having a blind MC who faces challenges in her life being the MC and the heroine trying to save the day. I very much liked the characters which is important to me liking the book. The plot was interesting, the bad guy was nasty and Sibyl has to face up to her many fears to save the day. I enjoyed this first book and already have the next book in the series to try. Recommended to fans of character driven urban fantasy and diverse MCs.

Read July 2017.
4 stars

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at to spotlight and discuss books we're excited about but haven't read, which may not even be released yet. 

NB: 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 them to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account. 

This week!

After a long day of prepping a house for painting, all Gus Berry wanted was the night off, to spend some time with his girlfriend, and relax before having to return to work the next morning. But that isn’t going to happen. 

Because Gus’s co-worker Benny has found a one-night job at the local Mollymart East, a job that has to be done by morning. If Gus and his paint crew can complete the work by then, it could mean huge business with a respected, established grocery store chain. But as Gus and his fellow painters soon discover, the much-anticipated zombie apocalypse doesn’t start with a bang. It starts on a Monday. And barricading themselves inside a megastore isn’t the end.
It’s just the beginning.

A prequel novel to the “Mountain Man” survival horror zombie series. Contains violence and coarse language.

Hurrah! A prequel where we see what happened to Gus when the zombie apocalypse began! I'm certainly buying this one! It's just out this month so I'm off to grab it!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Book Review: Dream Stalker by Amy Hopkins (Talented #1)

All Emma wanted was to sell her enchanted teas in peace; instead, she's caught up in the chase for a killer who's stalking the streets of London. He's targeting half-bloods, people with limited magical ability. People just like Emma. The police are baffled by the long string of deaths, but they're not willing to put in the legwork to make an arrest. After all, magic users can take care of themselves, right? Except, those with real power don't give a damn about half-bloods. So, when Emma wakes from a strange dream that nearly gets her killed in the waking world, she knows she has to deal with it herself. With only her boggart shop-assistant and the two strange men who have offered to help, can she thwart the killer and make the city safe again?

My Review:
Five half-blood Talents are dead in five months, the latest a young witch who sold curse stones. Emma is concerned about the situation but concentrates on keeping her shop stock of healing teas up to date, with help from boggart assistant Gibble, and her beloved dog Lenny. But one night she wakes up from a dream to find herself holding a bloodsucking knife and trying to kill herself. Emma is lucky to survive and suspects that this is what happened to the other victims. But why was she able to survive the attack and who would want to kill her? Gibble has the answer of an evil Talent who needs the knife to steal the life force and Talent from victims, making him very powerful and very dangerous...

I like Emma. She is just a normal woman trying to make a living from her tea, someone who wants to be left alone. She is a half-blood, meaning half human and half Talent, a talent she uses to help people. When she is mentally attacked in her sleep, she becomes afraid for her safety but curious about why she did not die. Gibble believes that Emma has some kind of Talent that can block the powers of others, enabling her to fight back and save herself. With the help of Gibble, a few spells and two men offering to help, she now has a chance to fight back. Gibble is a great sidekick character, loyal to Emma but grumpy and rude to others! He also has a wicked streak and an interesting friend...

Behind the nearby city walls the full-blood Talents all live in peace and security, not caring for the half-bloods and humans who live outside their protection and who are viewed as inferior. When half-bloods start to die, nobody really cares except full-blood Talent Harrod and his human brother Martin. Leaving the city, they are investigating the murders when they meet Emma and offer to help. I liked the brothers. Harrod has the family power and prestige but he was unwilling to turn his back on his brother who was born without magical genes, sort of like a squib in the world of Harry Potter. The brothers are very close friends and loyal to each other, and both care about those ignored by the city people. I have to point out here that there is NOT a love triangle between Emma and the brothers, thankfully.

The plot has a bit of a Victorian feel to it with London being a walled city with the protected upper class living in a nice secure environment and not caring about the lower classes outside the wall. Emma's quaint little tea shop fits into it along with the other magical shops around her. I liked the sense of community amongst the half-bloods and humans, which is the only protection they have with the police showing little interest in the murders. I liked the magic elements to the story, with the witch Deirdre as a good supporting character. It mixes magic, mystery and paranormal nicely with just enough of each one. 

This was a well written story with good characters that you care about. It is nicely paced with no waffle, and while it isn't action packed, you do want to read to find out what happens. There is a hint of romance but it fits in well to the plot rather than dominate it, and it isn't a dreadful insta-luv creation so I was happy with it. I'm likely to look at the next book in the series at some point.

Read July 2017.
3.5 stars

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!   

NB: 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 them to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account. 

This week the topic is about Top Ten _ Characters. Hmm. I think I'll be going with Top Ten Fascinating Female Characters in Fiction.

1) Anne Boleyn
Anne was the infamous 'Other Woman' who brought down the Catholic faith in Britain, who caused Henry VIII to commit bigamy and who was beheaded for not giving him a son. Anne was intelligent, ambitious and extroverted, making her the most fascinating woman in history for me and I love reading all the Tudor fiction about her life and grisly death. Fiction books vary on whether she loved Henry, married him just for power or was shoved into it by her family. Stories differ on whether there was incest with her brother George in desperation to get the son that would save her. I love all the variations, even those I don't believe to be true. 

2) Buffy Summers
I was addicted to Buffy The Vampire Slayer when I saw it on TV and have all the box sets on dvd. I loved the idea of one girl chosen to fight all the vampires and demons, with the super librarian Giles to guide her and her nerdy friends...wannabe witch Willow, goofy comic relief Xander, werewolf Oz, snobbish Cordelia, tortured Angel...I couldn't get enough of the series and I read a lot of the books which varied in quality. I especially enjoyed the Watchers Guides and the Sunnydale Yearbook.

3) Katniss Everdeen
I love The Hunger Games Trilogy. Her father's death and mother's depression means that Kat has been looking after the whole family and providing for her sister. When her sister is chosen for the Hunger Games, Kat volunteers in her place. Kat manages to retain her humanity in spite of the brutal games where only one can live at the end. I loved her bravery and the way she didn't lose herself despite the circumstances. Loved the books but haven't got round to watching the films yet. 

4) Daenerys Targaryen
Dany is just 13 when she is given to Khal Drogo to be his bride, in exchange for her brother Viserys being backed by Drogo's army. Learning from knight Jorah Mormont and her dothraki servants, Dany soon learns how to speak the language, influence her husband and have others do her bidding. She goes from frightened child to a leader that inspires her people and I thought she was a great character in the books and especially in the TV series. She would make a great ruler of the Seven Kingdoms as long as she keeps her humanity.

5) Jane Rochford
Sister-in-law to Anne Boleyn, this woman is either the bullied victim of her nasty husband or a spiteful bitch who lied to see him and his sister Anne sentenced to death for incest. History does not treat her kindly but I admit that I am fascinated by books about her. I love her complex relationship with George Boleyn and Queen Anne, and I just wish there were more books out there about her. Read The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory as well as this one by Emily Purdy.

6) Ellen Ripley
The ultimate kickass female! Ellen is a normal woman with a child and a job that takes her away from home. When her ship makes contact with a deadly alien species, it transforms her from crew member to alien consultant to kickass warrior, and she conquers her own fears to take on and defeat the aliens. If there was ever a role model for women it is Ripley! She is tough, resiliant and adapts quickly to each situation she is faced with.

7) Alice Abernathy
Alice was already a kickass security expert working for the Umbrella Corporation until she decided to bring it down. She didn't act in time and there was a zombie outbreak which led to her capture. Now she has been given upgrades to turn her into some kind of super soldier but she is still determined to beat the bad guys. I loved Alice in the books and the films.

8) Aaliyah  
Ali is the sniper for special forces Alpha Team, the first line of defence for Britain in the zombie apocalypse. She is tough and determined, she is totally kickass and she is a great character. And for those who love diversity, her family roots are from Somalia. She's one of my favourite characters in the whole series.

9) Pam
Pam is a vampire, Eric's loyal sidekick but deadly in her own right. She is rude, opinionated, funny and totally lethal. I always enjoyed her scenes with Eric and Sookie through the series. She also digs girls which was refreshing for a vampire character. I never watched enough of the TV series to see how she was portrayed as I didn't like True Blood much.

10) The Morrigan
She is the self confessed Goddess protector of Atticus who strikes fear into her enemies and followers alike. She is rude, has no understanding of the ways of humans but loves baseball as she can soak up the misery of players failing. I loved her character in the Iron druid series and she is always entertaining in short stories and novels alike. 

Monday, 25 September 2017

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) Book Review-Dial Meow For Murder by Bethany Blake
Barb reviews a cozy mystery. 

2) Book Review: Revenant Winds by Mitchell Hogan 
Mogsy looks at the first in a fantasy series.

3) Book Review-The Punch Escrow by Tal M Klein   
Darque goes stolen identity dystopia. 

4) Book Review-Warcross by Marie Lu 
Greg goes YA SF. 

5) Book Recs and Serial Killers... 
Check out these serial killer books! Loving the Mad Librarian getting her own back... 


Book Review: Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs (Future Shock #1)

What do you do when the future is too late, and the present is counting down to an inevitable moment?

Elena Martinez has street smarts, the ability for perfect recall, and a deadline: if she doesn’t find a job before she turns eighteen, she’ll be homeless. But then she gets an unexpected offer from Aether Corporation, the powerful Los Angeles tech giant. Along with four other recruits—Adam, Chris, Trent, and Zoe—Elena is being sent on a secret mission to bring back data from the future. All they have to do is get Aether the information they need, and the five of them will be set for life. It’s an offer Elena can’t refuse.

But something goes wrong when the time travelers arrive in the future. And they are forced to break the only rule they were given—not to look into their own fates. Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future—and a murder—from happening. But changing the timeline has deadly consequences too. Who can Elena trust as she fights to save her life?

The first book in an unforgettable series about rewriting your destiny in the city of dreams.

My Review:  
Elena is two months from being ejected by the foster care system and still cannot find a job. Help comes when a tech company offers her the chance to take part in their tests for more money than she could have hoped for. Despite her suspicions Elena feels she has little choice but to agree. She is teamed with Chris, Adam, Trent and Zoe, each with different skills for the task ahead. They are being sent ten years into the future for 24 hours to gather information on technology and come back. The scientists are confident that the employees of the company ten years in the future will be there to meet them. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot. They arrive in the future to discover that the tech company is gone, the building deserted so there is nobody there to guide them. As they start to explore the local area, it becomes clear that they are thirty years into the future and don't recognise any of the technology being used in everyday life, which makes them stand out in the wrong way. As instructed, they start to note what they can to take back, through Zoe's drawing skills and with the use of Elena's memory. It is when they try to buy something that they discover that all citizens are entered in a database and if you aren't on it, you can't buy...but why is only Adam in it? Why are the other four not there? It is then that they decide to break the golden rule not to look up information about their future selves...

I grew tired of YA fiction several years ago because of the tropes and the same tired plots. I liked the idea of this one so I risked giving it a try and I really enjoyed it. Part of what made this book was the characters. I liked Elena as the MC as she wants to find a better future for herself and help her foster sister too. She is struggling to get anyone to give her a chance at a job and the offer from the company just seems to be the answer to her prayers. I had sympathy for her and liked the way she stood up for Adam when she first meets him. She is also the smart one who is questioning the situation, and is disturbed to discover that they are not the first attempt to go into the future. I grew to like the group dynamic. I wasn't sure I was going to like Trent and Chris when they were fighting with Adam but as soon as they got to the future and started working together, I grew to like them all.

Things start to get interesting when the group start wondering about why Adam is the only one in the database. It is decided that they should try to find Zoe's sister who might still live in the city and see what she can tell them about her. This leads to a very tense visit to the library to find out more about their future selves and past events. I very much enjoyed this twist in the story and what we find out there starts off a chain reaction of events that is fast paced and entertaining. I don't want to go into any more detail but I will hint at getting help from a couple of future selves which is fascinating. I liked the idea that there was an event in the past that Elena wanted to change but was at a loss as to how she would be able to do it.

It wasn't a complicated story despite the time travel and science elements. It was a story about finding out your future and trying to change it in the space of a few hours. It was tense and dramatic and I kept wondering how they could change things. Also the way it ends sets things up for all kinds of sequels. Time travel fascinates me and if it is done well, it can be quite exciting. This was a book that did it well and I'm interested to see what happens next so I'm going to grab book 2 as soon as I can. I recommend this to those interested in time travel and trying to change your destiny. There is also some romance in it but it does fit the story nicely, and the book is well paced throughout.

Read July 2017.
4 stars.