Tuesday, 28 February 2017

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! http://www.brokeandbookish.com/

From now until the TTT official hiatus is over, I'll be continuing on with my own topic choices. This week: Ten Popular Authors I just don't like reading! 

This topic may upset fans of these authors but the fact is, I have not enjoyed reading these authors. I'm not saying these authors are 'bad' or their writing is 'crap' or anything like that, just that they don't personally appeal to me. It's my personal opinion. I'm ok with you mentioning which books by these authors you like (or don't like) but if you start that 'how can you possibly hate this author's work' stuff, I'm not going to be impressed. The fact is I don't like the work of these authors and I won't change my mind just because you disagree, and it is RUDE to disrespect my opinion because it differs from yours. And I will NOT be persuaded to read anything else else by them so don't ask me to. YOU WON'T CHANGE MY MIND!

1) Terry Pratchett
I love the Discworld cartoon covers and I liked the sound of the books. I wanted to really love the series...but I didn't. I'm not actually sure why. The books were very well written and it was obvious that the author was writing good material but for some reason I just didn't really enjoy them that much. I was amused by The Carpet People though.

2) Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book was ok as a read and I did finish it but I wasn't greatly excited by it. I HATED Anansi Boys and DNF'd it, Neverwhere and Good Omens. I just don't like the plots, characters or writings for this author. I just personally find them a bit meh.

3) Patrick Ness
Having a nasty boy that smacks his dog around infuriated me when I read The Knife of Never Letting Go. I hated the characters, the slang, the writing style...pretty much everything to be honest and have no interest in trying anything else by the author.

4) Michael Grant 
I didn't like the Gone or the BZRK series and I'm not trying anything more. I don't like the characters in either books and just found them both somewhat bland. The writing did not appeal to me and I never got into the books.  

5) Scott Westerfeld 
I've tried various series by this author and been disappointed by the overall content. There were decent plot issues in Uglies but I HATED Pretties. I despised the inane and stupid way everyone talked and the characters turned really dreadful. No thanks!

6) Chloe Neill 
I tried the Chicagoland vampires series and hated the MCs, the plot repetition and the endless tropes. The Dark Elite series had nothing new in it just the same YA paranormal stuff I've seen in a million other books. I don't find anything new or interesting in her writing.

7) Max Brooks
Everyone seems to rave about his zombie books but I was pretty disappointed by them. I didn't like the format or the content and it has really put me off watching the film which was filmed close to my old workplace in Glasgow. Not my kind of zombie stuff for sure.

8) Ann Aguirre 
I always like the sound of her books but haven't actually enjoyed the three different ones that I've tried and I don't see the point in trying more. I just don't seem to get into the books or love the characters though I don't see much wrong with the writing. Just not my thing.

9) Keri Arthur 
I've tried most series she has done but I just don't seem to love any of them! Some I found ok and others I disliked but it's not the writing or plots that I don't like. I just don't seem to get emersed in the stories for some reason.

10) Karen Chance 
I loved the sound of her books because, y'know, Uncle Dracula but the MCs just seemed to drive me totally crazy each series I picked. Again nothing wrong with the writing but not for me. Gah, so much wanted to like her books! 

Chuckles 2017 E-Book Blitz


Owls are wise right? So when Mr Owl says that 2017 is time to tackle my e-book pile, I think I better listen to him! This year I really need to reduce the pile of bargain books so I'm having an ebook blitz through the entire year. It doesn't matter how many I finish or how many I DNF as long as I get them off the TBR! 

Well I've picked out another pile to tackle from now until the end of the month and we'll see how we get on with this lot. As it stands my physical tbr stands at 875. Need to get that down a fair bit this year!

Jack Lewis-Fear the Dead(DNF)
John W Vance-Grid Down
Kyle Pratt-Through many fires (DNF)
Jeremy Dyson-Rise of the Dead (DNF)
Joshua Jared Scott-Sanctuary (DNF)
K Michael Gibson-Dead Pulse Rising (DNF)
Mike Carey-The right to bear arms (DNF)
Kyan Yauchler-Homeostasis Lost (DNF)
L Michael Rusin-Avalon The Retreat (DNF)
George Rippey Stewart-Earth Abides (DNF)
Douglas Moore-Playing God (read-3 star)
Scott B Williams-The Pulse (DNF)
Kurt Gepner-Pavement Ends
DJ Mitchell-Ordinary World
JZ O'Brien-Surviving Abe
Brad Manuel-The Last Tribe (DNF)
Ira Tabankin-The Shelter (DNF)
Devon Sagliani-Undead LA (read-2 star)
Ike Hamill-Extinct
SM Stirling-Dies the Fire (DNF)
Ryan King-Glimmer of Hope (DNF)
Nathan Van Coops-In times like this (DNF)
Richard McCrohan-Pandora

Not a great e-book reading month! One half decent book and that's pretty much all to report. I would have completed my task had it not been for ongoing health issues but between this and a recent tbr book cull, my numbers are headed down towards 800 physical books I own and need to read. Better than 900!

How are your challenges going?

 

Monday, 27 February 2017

Obituary: Game of Thrones actor Neil Fingleton dies at 36


Neil Fingleton died suddenly yesterday at the sadly young age of 36. Known for acting roles in X Men: First Class, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Doctor Who and playing Mag the Mighty in Game of Thrones in 2014. I loved the episode featuring the attack on Castle Black. The UK born actor and basketball player is reported to have died of heart failure.

RIP Big Man.

Book Review: Landing Party by Rick Chesler


When a new island forms in the South Pacific after a volcanic eruption, nearby nations quarrel over who owns the fresh land. One of the countries sends an advance scouting party to plant flags and lay claim to the nascent isle, but none of that party returns. The sponsoring nation is accused of deception. Political rivals assert that members of the landing party are still on the island, building a military installation in secret.

In response, A United Nations expedition is assembled to land a second, neutral outfit comprised of scientists and humanitarian aid workers. This team is well-equipped and ready to report back to the U.N. in-situ about the fate of the first party. But once on the island, they discover that along with hot magma, something else has been dredged up from deep within the Earth...something alive.


My Review:
An earthquake leads to a volcanic that leaves a new island in the sea. Tonga lay claim to it but when a boarding party vanish, the UN put together a team to find out what happened and explore the island. Amongst the team is a spy who wants to plant evidence of the Tonga claim as they have done a deal to allow the US to use it as a military base and a potential diamond thief. But when the team discover what really happened to the Tongans, surviving an island of dinosaurs to be rescued is going to be only the start of their problems.

The UN team are a mixture of photographers, geologists, adventurers, experts in communications, language and medicine, everyone needed to explore and document the island. The sub plots are having an expert in diamonds who is determined to steal enough to retire and the spy who is getting paid to plant evidence. I was a bit confused by this as the UN team are looking for the missing Tonga team who went to the island and even finding one of their bodies or supplies is proof enough that they had claimed the land, so why need to plant evidence they were there? Nobody else had sent a team there! I found that a bit odd. The team splits into two to explore the most likely spots-the outside of the volcano and the lake inside the crater, and that is when the dinosaur fun begins!

This book is one of those typical b movie stories that I quite enjoy as a fun dinosaur romp that isn't to be taken too seriously. The plot here is pretty thin but who cares when there are lots of dinosaurs trying to eat people! That's what we want isn't it? On this island the dinosaurs are encased in rock so when one smashes or is damaged, or even starts to twitch and hatch, it is a good idea to get running as you have no idea what is going to break free each time! There are also a couple of characters that you really want to see being eaten which adds to the fun.

There is a wide range of all of the best dinosaurs in this book. They are in the water, in the caves, in the air and charging across open ground to get you. There is no safe place anywhere on this island and as they try to survive and find a way to call for help, the team are being picked off gradually by the predators. Raptors, T Rex, pterodactyls, allosaurus...they and many more are there to entertain so I was quite happy at the dinosaur variety.

These are never literary masterpieces but it's an enjoyable dinosaur-fest and it kept me pretty entertained overall.
Read December 2016.
   
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Chuckles Does Caffeine Withdrawal

Thank you to everyone who has recently sent best wishes over my sudden and miserable health issues these last ten days. My symptoms were very weird so I spoke to the local pharmacist this morning-and the first thing he asked was if I had stopped drinking coffee or energy drinks recently. I quit coffee about ten days ago and told him this, and he nodded and said 'caffeine withdrawal' which was a bit of a shock. I told him I only had one cup a day but he said that people with stress, nervous disorders, depression and anxiety should never consume caffeine even in small doses as it is bad for us and makes withdrawal worse.

Great. I am officially an addict in withdrawal! Here are the common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal and yes, I do have every single one of them except the vomiting:

-headache behind eyes and front of head
-sleepy
-irritable
-lethargy
-constipation
-depression
-muscle pain/stiffness/cramps
-lack of concentration
-insomnia
-flu symptoms
-nausea
-anxiety
-brain fog
-dizzy
-low blood pressure
-feeling faint
-heart rhythm abnormality 
-the shakes
-vomiting

The pharmacist said that 'if you feel better or more awake after a morning coffee, then you are at minimum mildly addicted' and should consider stopping. O. M. G. I never thought one little coffee each day was affecting my system to the extent that quitting would make me ill. That actually frightened me a bit. Then he cheered me up by saying on average the symptoms lasted two weeks and at worst TWO MONTHS! *gulps* That sounds like a riot on legs.

I am officially freaked out. This is a mild version of what you get with drug or alcohol withdrawal but I already understand why addicts don't want to experience it. I feel terrible right now. Walking to the kitchen leaves me out of breath, jelly legged, faint and with a nice bout of nausea and shakes. It's horrible! I'm exhausted and grumpy all the time. My guts are in turmoil. I want to sleep for a month. It's really awful.

Chuckles advice? Re-evaluate your caffeine habits! Check out this link to see how strong your addiction might be:

http://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-addiction-diagnosis

Then, if you decide you want to stop taking it, PLEASE speak to a doctor or pharmacist for advice about gradual withdrawal. Trust me, you don't want to be having a dose of this!
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Stacking the Shelves #170


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click on the link under the book to find its page on Goodreads or Smashwords. 

Please note that I always leave a message on your STS/SP if you visit me, but if you use DISQUS or a similar third party I will not be able to do so. I don't allow any company access to my social media accounts and I certainly don't allow them to edit and take over the way DISQUS does. So if you use DISQUS, I can't leave comments on your page so I can't follow you back, sorry! (see below why I say NO)

Authorize DISQUS to use your account?
Disqus is a service and tool for web comments and discussions.
This application will be able to:
*Read Tweets from your timeline.
*See who you follow, and follow new people.
*Update your profile.
*Post Tweets for you.


I'm noticing that some blogs set with Google Plus are trying to force you to open a Google Plus or Facebook account before you can leave a comment. Well, I have no interest in rejoining Google Plus or joining Facebook so if your blog uses this set up, I won't be following it or commenting! And sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me so there might not be a message from me some weeks or you might get a double message sometimes! Blame them, not me but I will persevere as it only happens the odd time!
****************
Gah what a week. More constipation issues which thankfully a visit to the doctor for medication seems to be fixing but I'm fed up being tired all the time as it's really affecting my reading! HATE IT! I treated myself to new pillows so that has helped me with the not sleeping issue so maybe by the time the weekend is over I'll be getting back to normal. I certainly hope so! I've been doing some reading but progress has been slower than I'd have liked and the books themselves have been hard going with dreaded info dumps. Not a great reading week overall so more effort is required.
 
I've had to treat myself to a few books just to cheer myself up of course (as you do) and I got my dad The Walking Dead PS4 game for his birthday on Thursday so he'll be shooting zombies next week. He's also raving about a South Korean zombies on a train film that he watched called Train to Busan so if you like that kind of thing, he recommends it!
 
DOWNLOADS:
 
  
 
 

COLOURING BOOKS:
 
 

Friday, 24 February 2017

Chuckles Chat #6: Bloglovin'

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! 

Today my chat is all about Bloglovin'. For those unsure what this is, Bloglovin' is a tool for keeping up with blogs and a way to manage blog feeds. You can follow any blog you want through this and when you go to your bloglovin' feed, it shows you every new blog post that everyone you follow has posted. When you click on the post on your feed you are taken straight to it and when you return to your feed, that post is marked as being read so you don't get confused over which posts you have read or have still to read. A useful tool indeed!

Personally, I use bloglovin' daily. It's my first stop for the day when I'm going blog visiting. I look through the general feed and 'mark as read' the posts I'm not visiting ie music, fashion, giveaways, TV shows I don't watch, beauty, recipes, etc. I'm left with just the book reviews, discussion posts, TV shows or films that interest me, memes or other posts that have caught my eye. Then I start checking them out in order of interests or by the blogger in question. Once I've read the posts and commented on as many as I can, I check back a few times during the day to see if anything new has been posted. I find it is a time saving tool that makes it easy to organise my blog visits and I never miss a post on my favourite blogs doing it this way. How do you use bloglovin'?

There are a few things I don't like about it though. I hate the sponsored ads and posts that I can't get rid of. I hate having to change it from My Feed to Blog Feed every time I visit-can't I select Blog Feed as a default??? I want to see the blog posts not everything everyone I follow liked or saved! I hate seeing Blogs You Might Like featured at the side because they are not blogs that ever interest me, they relate in no way to my interests and are there because Bloglovin' wants to promote them. Unhelpful. It's the same when I decide to follow a new blog...I get shoved onto that similar blogs page which only shows popular followed blogs with thousands of followers and have zero to do with what I just followed. And can I say how much I hated it when ads appeared in my actual feed? I also hate when it decides to unfollow a blog for some stupid reason. I detest being asked to claim my blog-it's already mine and I don't need to 'claim' it from anyone!!! What bugs you about it?

What features would you like to see on it? I would actually like to see a notification about who has unfollowed me-not to go and yell at them or anything, but just out of curiosity, rather than going through all my followers and trying to remember who was there who is now gone! Not everyone would like that feature and I do understand why! I would like to be able to see what I want on the feed page and not what Bloglovin' are trying to push on me. I hate that on all social media platforms.

Oh yes, they COULD make life easier by avoiding this follow the person, follow the blog mix up! Why not have one follow button that lets you follow the person AND the blog? Some people new to bloglovin are following me as a person and not realising they need to follow the blog seperately! Make it easy, combine the two.

What are your thoughts on Bloglovin'?

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Game of Thrones Gossip #5: Khal Drogo

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 continue with the main players who feature only in season one and it is time to look at the fascinating character of Khal Drogo. When we first see him coming to inspect Dany as a potential bride he looks pretty damn scary and I didn't think I was going to like the guy at all. Poor Dany's wedding night was a miserable affair until one of her maids advises her on how to seduce her husband and the whole dynamic of their relationship changes.

"Moon of my life."-Khal Drogo

Watching this fearsome man become a devoted and loving husband was actually quite touching. Yes I know he is a brutal warrior whose army rapes and murders everywhere they go, but I couldn't help but love the character because of his interactions with Dany. You can see his fury at the thought of anyone trying to harm his wife and child, and he does seem to value Dany just as much as their unborn child. The assassination attempt is what provokes him to agree to take the Dothraki to war in Westeros and give his wife the Iron Throne.

What interested me about this character so much is that almost every word of his dialogue was in the Dothraki language, which was a huge task for Jason Mamoa. I think he did a really great job both with playing the intimidating warrior and the kind hearted husband to Dany. His speech where he declares war on Westeros was so incredibly powerful and would not have had the same impact had he said it in English. I was impressed by how good he was in the part. It was an excellent decision by the makers of the show to do it that way.


I guess you could say that two men made bad mistakes with Khal Drogo. The first was Dany's brother Viserys who is unhappy that Khal Drogo is more interested in Dany and her baby than delivering on his promise to invade Westeros to put him on the throne. As an undefeated warrior I think Khal Drogo had contempt for this so called King of Westeros and assisting him was never priority. One of the most satisfying scenes in the whole season was watching the death of Viserys. I hated the way he treated Dany, trying to steal the eggs, his pouting jealousy,  and when he threatened to cut the baby out of her, you just knew it was going to end badly! And I loved seeing him get his crown! It was brutal yet somehow fitting.

The second man to make a bad mistake was Robert Baratheon, who decided to murder Dany and her unborn baby despite the objections of Ned Stark. His act drove Khal Drogo to utter fury and gave him motivation to invade Westeros for revenge. Lets imagine both men had lived and the Dothraki had hit King's Landing in season two instead of Stannis. Unleashing that horror on his people would have been the worst decision ever by Robert-other than marrying Cersei of course!

"My sun and stars."-Daenerys

Watching season one, you just knew that Robert and Ned were in serious danger of not living out the season. I also believed that the behaviour of Viserys was not going to be compatible with long life. But for those watching the series who, like me, had never read the books, was there a more shocking death than Khal Drogo? I never saw that coming at all. I assumed that he and Dany would raise their army and head for Westeros and that he would be a key player in the action to come. My first moment of concern was when Dany asked the witch to help her sick husband, and I did not trust her at all. Of course we know that the witch tricked Dany, killing her unborn baby and leaving her husband as a catatonic shell. Watching Dany kill her husband in a mercy killing had me in floods of tears!

Interestingly, the internet seems convinced that Khal Drogo may be making a comeback. We all saw that witch tell Dany that Khal Drogo will return to his old self only When the sun rises in the west, sets in the east when the seas go dry. When the mountains blow in the wind like leaves. The rumours are that season seven will have these conditions being met and that he will return to Dany. Now I would not object to that storyline! However, would the allies Dany has still support her with a Dothraki husband back by her side? Would Jon Snow back her?

What did you think of Khal Drogo? What did you think of his relationship with Dany? Were you shocked by his death? Do you want to see him return to the series? And how hot was Jason Mamoa in the part! *grins*

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Snowy Updates!

 

Storm Doris hit Scotland and left us with snow! It was raining most of the night but about 5.30am it turned to snow and it was a couple of inches deep when I got up at 8am. Knowing I didn't have to go out in it made me happy to look at how pretty it was...until I remembered the postman was due and I had to trudge out and salt my path so he didn't go for a skite and break his neck! That left me wiped out for the entire day.

I must say sorry for the lack of discussion posts this week. I've had this dang constipation really bad on and off for weeks now. Cutting out the caffeine from my diet helped my other health issues ie the stomach cramps and nausea every morning, but the constipation has been hell. Being stuck in the loo for 40 minutes at a time until your legs go numb was not fun! Thankfully a visit to the doctor on Tuesday resulted in medication that is slowly easing the problem. But I cannot get rid of this total exhaustion. The doctor thinks it is connected to a nasty winter virus that is going around. Due to me getting a yearly flu jag, I'm not getting the bad bits of the virus but I seem to be getting this awful tiredness that leaves you feeling knackered every time you move. I haven't been able to cook all week, moving from one room to another leaves my legs like jelly and my vision going fuzzy and I just feel useless! Salting the path was a five minute job that nearly brough me to to the point of collapse. I hate this!!!

So I decided to just stick to getting ordinary reviews uploaded and doing blog visits and comments replies most of this week. I'm a bit frustrated at not getting caught up on everything I want to do but I'll try and get the discussion posts up tomorrow if I can-or at least my new Games of Thrones discussion post. 

On the bright side of things I have enjoyed takeaway food all week...yum!

Book Review: Bugging Out by Noah Mann


Get out. Hunker down. Stay alive.

It came without warning. A microscopic enemy that methodically turned the green earth grey. Decimating the food chain until only the prepared were left.

But preparation alone is not enough to shelter Eric Fletcher from the chaos to befall the world as governments fail their citizens. Seeking refuge at his remote property in the north of Montana while society devolves into starving anarchy, he finds himself facing not only the rigors of survival, but also the appearance of a self-proclaimed ruler promising to set his piece of the withered world right for those who follow. Those who don't will suffer the consequences of his sadistic retribution.

Finding another survivor near his refuge, Eric attempts to steer clear of the conflict brewing in nearby towns. But soon he and his new found partner in survival are targeted by the dictatorial leader, leaving them two options--run, or fight for what is right.


My Review:
A farmer in Poland sees something strange on his crops and the Blight is soon spreading across Europe and then overseas, killing crops and animals. Fletch gets a visit from an old friend Neil who tells him the Blight has just arrived in Oregon and Fletch needs to leave for his safe house before it is too late, and ride out the disaster in the countryside. Fletch flees and finds that having supplies won't keep you safe when a violent militia in the area want everything for themselves.

This is a pretty frustrating story in many ways. It was well written and I very much liked the idea of the Blight. I always enjoy a good apocalypse story with a bug out plot. It had action, bad guys and a solid enough plot, along with a really great character in Fletch's neighbour Del, who I loved. There is plenty to like about this book which makes it a solid three star read. But it should have been a higher rating. I just got so annoyed by the countless stupid things that Fletch chose to do, things that a prepper should have known better than to do. It did affect my enjoyment of the book a bit.

Fletch was given warning about the coming disaster and told there would be an alert when things went out of control. He was a prepper, he had a safe place with supplies to go to outside the city, he was given warning and uses the time to move extra supplies out to his bug out location...but he doesn't move there. He stays at home until the emergency alert goes out and almost doesn't get by the cops roadblock alive. Now how stupid is that? As soon as he got all of his supplies moved, he should have moved there BEFORE everyone knew that disaster was coming! He even waits until the US itself goes into quarantine and sits home wondering when a good time to bug out would be. I was yelling 'just GO!' at the book every few minutes! Even when the alert comes he is so slow to get moving!

Once at his location, Fletch doesn't get any smarter. Despite receiving the warning about a natural apocalypse coming, he forgets to do some very basic things like get medical supplies. The barn where he is storing vital supplies hasn't been repaired and now the weather is going to turn bad and he still hasn't got round to dealing with it. He failed to use all his money to get extra food supplies to last more than a year. What exactly is he going to do when the year is up? He decides to just light fires so the smoke exits the chimney and alerts every bad guy in the area that this house is occupied and has supplies. Even when he knows that people are casing the house, he continually wanders off leaving it unattended and wondering how he got robbed instead of taking care of his problem visitors. The dumb things just keep on coming from him as the story progresses.

I know I'm moaning about it but overall, despite some plot holes, it was a fairly entertaining apocalypse book. There is no shortage of action in the fight scenes between Fletch and Del against the militia. There were plenty tense scenes as Fletch realises that he is being watched, and that dangerous people are nearby. You put your head in your hands at some of the stupid decisions he takes which puts his life in danger. The story gets a bit mad at times but I don't mind that if it is entertaining and it was entertaining for the most part. So I was ok with the story maybe going into far fetched territory.

I was interested in the way the book finished and part of me does want to know what happens next but I'm not sure if I'm going to continue with the series. I'll decide on that at a later date.

Read December 2016. 
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

Book Review: Polar Yeti by Matthew Dennion


A team from Princeton University searching for a lost tribe in Antartica discover a hidden valley filled with wooly mammoths, saber toothed tigers and other Ice Age beasts. Seizing the opportunity of a lifetime, the team set up camp to study the amazing creatures. But there is something else that lives in the Valley.

Something terrifying. Something beyond imagination.
POLAR YETI! 


My Review:
An ancient tribe in Antarctica offer a young woman to the Yeti at regular intervals-some return, some do not. Jun-Tuk's daughter arrives home dying from an animal attack and he tries to save her at a mainland hospital. Here he meets an anthropologist who is looking to study his tribe and he agrees to guide them if they help him prove to his people that the Yeti is an animal and not a God so it can be destroyed. Of course, the team don't believe in the Yeti until they see it and the other creatures lurking in the valley and the caves...

The team arrive and start exploring the valley, getting a shock when they see a pack of woolly mammoths, which leaves them wondering what else might be out there. They soon start believing in the Yeti when it suddenly attacks their camp. To save the rest of the team from harm, Gina offers herself to the Yeti and it seems happy to take her and head for the mountains, while the team start planning to follow and rescue her. This is where the story splits off into two with Henry's team in pursuit being attacked by a variety of creatures while the Yeti does his King Kong thing in protecting and feeding Gina on their journey.

As I said the Yeti is a bit of a King Kong figure in the book. He will feed and defend his women, provide heat and security and look after them as his family. He doesn't harm or mate with them, he takes them for company. I liked discovering the reason behind why some girls are kept and some are returned. He keeps the already pregnant girls as wives so they and their babies can be part of his new expanding family. He only keeps the other girls until the wives no longer need help and then returns the handmaidens to their people. I kind of felt sorry for this lonely Yeti who just wanted to be part of a family after being ejected from his own tribe as a defeated leader. Poor guy!

Gina has no intention of staying there to be in a Yeti family though and has a tracking device that she can activate at the appropriate moment. She is trying to come up with a plan to get away from the Yeti long enough to be rescued. Henry's team are becoming scared that there might not be enough of them left to take on the Yeti and get Gina back as they fall prey to countless monsters on their journey. There are plenty of people in the team who are there as monster bait.

Monster wise we see plenty of them. Mammoths, saber toothed cats, woolly rhinos, carniverous birds, mutant spiders, dire wolves, and mutant creepy insects...ugh! And we do get plenty of attacks on the hapless team as they try to follow the Yeti and rescue Gina. A nice high body count and a nice bit of gore in the attacks which is always fun! We also get a lot of action as the Yeti battles a few of the creatures himself as he tries to get Gina safely to his home. There is no shortage of action in the book.

Overall it was a decent monster book with plenty going on to keep you interested and nice monsters to keep popping up to attack everyone. It's not the greatest piece of fiction in the world but the story is well enough written in a sort of B movie kind of way so you pretty much get what you expect with this one. If you like this kind of monster book or film, you'll probably enjoy a few hours with this one.
Read December 2016.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

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! http://www.brokeandbookish.com/

I'm a day late with TTT as I was dealing with medical stuff yesterday-nothing serious, just a trip to the doctor with constipation! From now until the TTT official hiatus is over, I'll be continuing on with my own topic choices. This week: Top Ten Tudor Fiction Authors! 

1) Philippa Gregory 
The first Tudor book I read was 'The Other Boleyn Girl' (Anne and Mary Boleyn's affairs with Henry VIII) followed by 'The Boleyn Inheritance' (Jane Rochford's fatal plotting with Queen Catherine Howard to cheat on Henry VIII). Since then I've read a few of her other Tudor books and War of the Roses series, along with the excellent Wideacre. She is a good place to start for Tudor reading and scandal!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37470.The_Other_Boleyn_Girl 

2) Jean Plaidy (aka Victoria Holt, Philippa Carr)
Jean Plaidy starts her Tudor series (Tudor Saga) with Henry VII on the Throne and paranoid about the pretenders threatening his position. It then follows through the whole Tudor dynasty and it keeps pretty good standards. There is also an equally good Queens of England series which includes Tudor Queens. She has Plantagenet, Borgias and Stuarts series as well so lots of historical books to enjoy. 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/794550.Uneasy_Lies_the_Head 

3) Margaret Campbell Barnes 
These books were written in 1953 and are surprisingly good! I expected old fashioned writing but these feel modern which was great. The series focuses on different characters like Elizabeth of York and Will Somers-Henry VIII's fool, as well as books on Anne Boleyn and Anne of Cleves. I've read The Tudor Rose (Elizabeth of York) and Brief Gaudy Hour (Anne Boleyn) so I have high hopes for the other books.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10412164-king-s-fool  

4) Emily Purdy (aka Brandy Purdy)
Another excellent author I've discovered and her book The Tudor Wife is a great read. It tells the story of Jane Parker in a loveless union with George Boleyn, leading to her plotting the downfall of Queen Anne Boleyn. The Boleyn Bride is about Elizabeth Howard, mother of Anne Boleyn, The Fallen Queen is about Lady Jane Grey...lots of good Tudor women to read about.  
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7312230-the-tudor-wife 

5) Alison Weir 
Author of fiction and non fiction on Tudors, the author has recently started a new fiction series about the wives of Henry VIII. I read an ARC of the Anne Boleyn book and it was a great read so it looks like a series well worth following.  
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30231546-anne-boleyn 

6) Judith Arnopp
This author was a recent discovery and her books cover the War of the Roses and Tudor times. A Song of Sixpence is the first book I've seen that explores the well known pretender Perkin Warbeck and has him as one of the Princes in the Tower. It was a really good read. I've still to read her books on Anne Boleyn and Katherine Parr which I'm looking forward to.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28946305-a-song-of-sixpence 

7) Diane Haeger 
I've read The Secret Bride, the story of Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's sister and enjoyed it so I'm looking forward to reading her other books about Catherine Howard, Bessie Blount and Jane Seymour. 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1340021.The_Secret_Bride 

8) Ella March Chase
Three Maids for a Crown was an excellent Tudor novel covering the Grey sisters Jane, Katherine and Mary as they fall foul of their family plotting to steal the Crown away from Mary and Elizabeth Tudor. I loved the struggles of the three sisters with Mary being my favourite Grey. Also published as The Nine Day Queen, as I discovered to my cost.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9745113-three-maids-for-a-crown 

9) Elizabeth Fremantle 
A newer author that I discovered and I really enjoyed The Queen's Gambit, the story of Katherine Parr and I'm looking forward to reading Sisters of Treason which covers Queen Mary and her issues with the Grey sisters. 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18050208-queen-s-gambit 

10) Robin Maxwell
I've read a few interesting books by this author including To The Tower Born which focuses on The Princes in the Tower, a mystery that fascinates me as I belive Richard III was innocent! I think it was Henry VII and his scheming mother who did it so I enjoyed this book a lot. 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/825862.To_the_Tower_Born 

Chuckles 2017 E-Book Blitz


Owls are wise right? So when Mr Owl says that 2017 is time to tackle my e-book pile, I think I better listen to him! This year I really need to reduce the pile of bargain books so I'm having an ebook blitz through the entire year. It doesn't matter how many I finish or how many I DNF as long as I get them off the TBR! 

Well I've picked out another pile to tackle from now until the end of the month and we'll see how we get on with this lot. As it stands my physical tbr stands at 875. Need to get that down a fair bit this year!

Jack Lewis-Fear the Dead
John W Vance-Grid Down
Kyle Pratt-Through many fires
Jeremy Dyson-Rise of the Dead
Joshua Jared Scott-Sanctuary
K Michael Gibson-Dead Pulse Rising
Mike Carey-The right to bear arms
Kyan Yauchler-Homeostasis Lost
L Michael Rusin-Avalon The Retreat
George Rippey Stewart-Earth Abides
Douglas Moore-Playing God
Scott B Williams-The Pulse
Kurt Gepner-Pavement Ends
DJ Mitchell-Ordinary World
JZ O'Brien-Surviving Abe
Brad Manuel-The Last Tribe
Ira Tabankin-The Shelter
Devon Sagliani-Undead LA
Ike Hamill-Extinct
SM Stirling-Dies the Fire
Ryan King-Glimmer of Hope
Nathan Van Coops-In times like this
Richard McCrohan-Pandora

 
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Monday, 20 February 2017

Book Review: Saber Tooth by Lou Cadle


A time gate...
A team of teen scientists...
A desperate fight to survive...

Park Ranger Hannah Kates is leading a group of gifted teens on a fossil-hunting field trip when a rock slide uncovers a portal through time. They are whisked back to an era when giant predator mammals roamed the earth. They want, desperately, to find their way home. But first, they have to survive a world where bizarre--and hungry--mammals ruled North America. They have to survive the Dawn of Mammals.

In Book 1 of the series, Hannah and nine teens are thrown back thirty million years to the world of saber-toothed nimravids, ferocious carnivores. Will all of them be able to survive this vicious world of tooth and claw?


My Review: 
Ranger Hannah and paleontologist MD are taking a group of teen scientists through an area of fossils when MD falls through a shimmery curtain of light after an accident and most of the group follow him out of curiousity. Now they are suddenly stranded in a prehistoric land with no way back, limited resources and hostile animals. How do they get back? Can they use their knowledge to survive?

OK so this plot might sound dumb but I'm not bothered how modern humans come into contact with extinct species-I just like it when they do because it makes for lively and interesting plots. However a word of warning-the blurb makes it sound like the group is being continually hunted and picked off by a pack of vicious sabertooths but that is kind of misleading. This is not the all out gorefest that you might expect. The saber tooths are in the book and have a couple of encounters with the group but they aren't the main focus of the story. The main story is the survival in a hostile environment, dealing with food, water, security and medical dramas as well as interaction with animals that are extinct. There are tense scenes, a few action encounters but it is not a gory horror, more of an adventure story.

Hannah is a good character, with knowledge, intelligence and can connect with everyone on the team. MD has the knowledge but he also has an addiction problem which is going to cause a lot of issues for Hannah during the crisis. I liked Rex, the nerdy astronomer who is very smart and he is the one who first realises that they are not still in the modern world due to the position of the stars and lack of GPS. The kids in the group are smart and capable, and only Dixie is a bit of a whiner. But they do work pretty well as a team to deal with their environment. MD is the one who gets on my nerves as his addiction issues and withdrawal endanger the group.

Only Mimi, her mother and two other kids stay where they are and don't follow the group through the curtain. We don't know what they do next or if they raise the alarm because we don't see them again for the duration of the book. I don't know if we see them again in the series or not.

It was a decent enough story but a bit more YA adventure than gory horror which I had been looking for. If I see the rest of the series cheap I might consider continuing with it but I wouldn't pay full price to read on. 

Read December 2016.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

Book Review: Jurassic Sea by Viktor Zarkov (Jurassic Adventures #2)


Fresh off of a horrifying trek to a fabled island where dinosaurs nearly killed him, B-list celebrity Colt McKinnon finds himself heading directly back into the world of the unexplained. This time, his new employer is sending him into the area known as the Bermuda Triangle. Recent storm surges and electromagnetic anomalies have seen an upswing in strange activity in the area. Happy to dive back into a journey into the unexplained and out of the shadows of the dinosaurs that neatly killed him, Colt happily packs his bags

But when the Triangle dumps him into a sea stranded somewhere in the cracks of time, Colt soon learns that he may not be done running from dinosaurs after all. 


My Review: 
Colt escaped with his life from Jurassic Island thanks to the arrival of Nyoko and now he is flooded with offers for interviews and tv appearances. But Nyoko has been monitoring the Bermuda Triangle and wants to fly through it as an experiment. When their plane crashes, the couple and pilot Heath are stranded and there is a jurassic sea monster and a long missing boat in the area. Colt needs to solve the mystery, avoid the sea monsters and find a way home...

You would think that Colt had had enough of risky adventures but when Nyoko tells him what she studying, they decide to hire a pilot who survived a bizarre flight through the Bermuda Triangle so they can do scientific tests on a repeat flight. But of course things don't go quite according to plan and they find themselves in a different time and place, with Jurassic sea monsters and a liner last seen in 1945 along with two people who have been missing for two weeks. Where are they? How are they going to get home?

This doesn't have the all out action that we saw in Jurassic island but it is still a decent enough short thriller. It doesn't have a lot of sea monster action compared to the dinosaurs in the first book and it focuses more on what the liner was there for and who had been using it. As a plot it was ok but I would've liked a lot more of the monster action that I was expecting. The second half of the book is much better as we do get the monster stuff as Cole develops a plan to get them back home, a plan that is going to endanger their lives.

I liked Cole and Nyoko as main characters and they work well as a team. I wouldn't mind reading more about them if the book had more action and more monsters. This was a decent enough read but not anywhere near as good as Jurassic Island so I was a bit disappointed with it.
Read December 2016.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Chuckles Cover Love #14


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 to look at survival in the apocalypse. I love that kind of book whether it is about ordinary people struggling to adapt or preppers who are ready for disaster. I haven't read this series by A American yet but I've heard good things about it, it sounds good...and I really love the covers!




I like the mix of colours and scenes and that the covers match the story that they are telling about the apocalypse. I'm not sure if there are going to be more in the series but I want to read the whole thing this year as part of my series catch up!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Stacking the Shelves #169


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click on the link under the book to find its page on Goodreads or Smashwords. 

Please note that I always leave a message on your STS/SP if you visit me, but if you use DISQUS or a similar third party I will not be able to leave a comment on your page. I don't allow any company access to my social media accounts and I certainly don't allow them to edit and take over the way DISQUS does. So if you use DISQUS, I can't leave comments on your page so I can't follow you back, sorry! (see below why I say NO)

Authorize DISQUS to use your account?
Disqus is a service and tool for web comments and discussions.
This application will be able to:
*Read Tweets from your timeline.
*See who you follow, and follow new people.
*Update your profile.
*Post Tweets for you.


I'm noticing that some blogs set with Google Plus are trying to force you to open a Google Plus or Facebook account before you can leave a comment. Well, I have no interest in rejoining Google Plus or joining Facebook so if your blog uses this set up, I won't be following it or commenting! And sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me so there might not be a message from me some weeks or you might get a double message sometimes! Blame them, not me but I will persevere as it only happens the odd time!
**************** 
The end of another week. I've been feeling ill on and off over the last few weeks with crippling stomach pains, nasty toilet visits, constipation and feeling sick and stuff so I was about to go to the doctor when I spoke to a friend who swears by alternative medicine. She said coffee is one of the biggest issues in triggering irritable bowel syndrome. I take one iced latte every morning and that's all but I decided to stop taking it. The results were surprising. I have had no nausea, stomach pains, IBS symptoms of any kind for five whole days. I couldn't believe it. I feel human again. Something about the caffeine was throwing my system into chaos and now I feel so much better. If you are having IBS issues it might be worth experimenting to see if any of your regular food and drink could be upsetting your system. There are lots of health pages about foods that trigger IBS so you can google 'em.
 
Feeling ill at the start of the week meant I actually had to stop my hot streak of reading for three days as I couldn't really concentrate on books. I'm back on track now thankfully and as a bonus, I caught up on a rewatch of the first two seasons of Bering Sea Gold which I LOVE! I enjoy these tough job reality tv things better than films or drama shows! I might need to do a post about them and what I need to get watched. Nyargh. One of those author newsletters pointed me to an urban fantasy free book bonanza with all new-to-me authors so I grabbed a pile. It would've been rude not to! I'm starting to wade through the emails and decide which authors don't write my kind of books and unsubscribe. But I've also found a few more who write my kind of books! Exciting reads ahead!
 
DOWNLOADS:
The first six books were all free thanks to the kindness of authors who put them into an urban fantasy giveaway! The next three were through author newsletters and were happily grabbed! My tbr thanks you...sort of...

 
 
 
 
 
 
PAPERBACKS:
I paid more for this than I wanted but it was the only main part of Pack story that I didn't have and I loved the cover. Short read but loves the wolves in it!