Thursday, 29 September 2011

Rachel Caine – Lord of Misrule

There are no spoilers for the book being reviewed but there may be spoilers for previous books in the series.

Book five of the Morganville Vampires series. This picks up pretty much where Feast of Fools ended. After the disastrous ball Morganville is in chaos. Bishop in tightening his grip on the town and as if that wasn’t bad enough a lot of the vampires seem to be vanishing.

This is a series that you really have to read chronologically from the beginning. You probably would be able to work out what was going on if you did jump straight in to the middle but it wouldn’t be as good.

There’s quite a lot going on in this book and everyone is split up into different groups with different tasks to do so it’s interesting to see how the characters react to that. Myrnin is still my favourite character and he does some interesting things in this book. I also like Hannah who has a fairly big part in this book. Another cliff hanger ending on this one so it will be interesting to see where book six takes us.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Rachel Caine – Feast of Fools

There are no spoilers for the book being reviewed but there may be spoilers for previous books in the series.

Book four of the Morganville Vampires series. This one picks up right where Midnight Alley ended. Evil Vampire Bishop has come to town and he seems intent on making life difficult for human and vampire residents alike. When a formal ball is held the extent of his evil plans become clear.

There’s a lot going on in this book. That’s a good thing. The pace is fast and there are developments to many of the ongoing plot strands. I’m really enjoying the Myrnin storyline, he is a great character easily my favourite. It’s interesting to see how Michael being a vampire is continuing to affect the dynamic of the group

This book ends on a HUGE cliff hanger so it’s pretty much impossible not to dive straight in to the next book.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Various (short story collection) – The End of the Line

The End of the Line is a collection of horror short stories edited by Jonathan Oliver. The stories are all previously unpublished and are all linked to an underground railway system of some sort. Most are set in and around the London underground but there are several with different settings as well.

As I love horror and have a long running interest / fascination with the London underground this collection was perfect for me and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into it. Overall the standard of stories in the collection was very good, there was just one that I didn’t really like and several that I really loved.

The collection opens with Bullroarer by Paul Meloy. It’s not what I would have picked as the opener as I thought it was one of the weaker stories in the collection. I just found it a bit odd but it was alright. We move on to The Girl in the Glass by John Llewellyn Probert. This is a fairly traditional ghost story with a twist. Creepy, atmospheric and very enjoyable.

The next story, The Lure by Nicholas Royle was the one I didn’t really like! I found that there was far too much detail about journey routes and too much French which I just didn’t understand as I don’t speak French! It was also a little predictable, I knew exactly what was going to be on the other side of the door.

My three favourite stories in the collection were Fallen Boys by Mark Morris. A traditional ghost story set in an old Cornish tin mine. In The Colosseum by Stephen Volk, a voyeuristic story of sex, drugs, murder and CCTV and probably may favourite of them all Crazy Train by Natasha Rhodes about a musician who shoots himself and ends up taking a very interesting train journey.

Whilst it wasn’t among my favourite stories in the collection On All London Underground Lines by Adam L.G. Nevill has now made me tempted to pick up Apartment 16 as that has been on my radar for a while and I liked his writing style.

Overall a great collection that I really enjoyed. I hope there will be a volume two at some point!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Rachel Caine – Midnight Alley

There are no spoilers for the book being reviewed but there may be spoilers for previous books in the series.

Book three of the Morganville Vampires series. This picks up shortly after the events of The Dead Girls’ Dance. Claire is now pledged to Amelie, the top vampire in town. Whilst this gives Claire some protection it doesn’t come free and Claire is recruited by Amelie to take extra lessons with a particularly old and unstable vampire. On top of this there has been a spate of girls turning up dead in the town.

I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the previous two but it was still pretty good. It was interesting to see how the characters relate to each other now that Michael is a vampire so it’s going to be interesting to see how that effects the dynamic of the group in future. We learn a little more about Eve and her past although I would still like a bit more depth here. Hopefully it will come later in the series.

The best thing about this book is Myrnin, the old vampire that Amelie sends Claire to for extra lessons. He is a great character which we are just starting to get to know. I’m looking forward to finding out more about him and his work.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Rachel Caine – The Dead Girls' Dance

There are no spoilers for the book being reviewed but there may be spoilers for previous books in the series.

Book two of the Morganville Vampires series. This book picks up immediately after the events of the first book Glass Houses. Shane’s Dad and his vampire hunting gang have arrived in town. They are determined to kill as many vampires as possible which causes a great deal of trouble for Claire and her friends.

I enjoyed this book as much as the first one and am looking forward to seeing where the series is going to go. This book had a bit more action than the first one as we know the characters now and are just thrown straight into the story without the need for introductions. The book remained fast paced throughout.

I found it interesting to find out more about Shane and his past. His relationship with Claire really starts to take shape in this book so it’s nice to know a bit more about him. We also have the introduction of Eve’s unstable brother Jason. I’m hoping this is something that will be expanded on in future books as we are given bits and pieces about Eve’s history and it would be nice to learn more.

Not such a cliff-hanger ending on this one but still plenty of questions and suspense to carry over to book three! Looking forward to reading it.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Rachel Caine – Glass Houses

Book one of the Morganville Vampires series. Claire Danvers is a sixteen year old girl genius on and early intake into college having aces all of her high school exams. She was hoping to go to one of the big well known colleges but her parents decided that it would be best if she started off at TPU, a smaller more local college in Morganville, Texas before transferring to a better college further from home when she turns eighteen. What Claire and her parents didn’t know was that Morganville is not like other towns, it is run by vampires and can be a very dangerous place. Bullied by a girl in the dorm Claire moves out of the campus accommodation and into a house with Eve, Michael and Shane, three friends who grew up in the town. Claire soon begins to learn Morganville’s secrets and finds out that it can be a very dangerous place.

I wasn’t sure about this book to begin with. It’s clearly aimed at people half my age which was a little off putting. However, I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and I’m glad I did. If you’re looking for something deep and meaningful or literary genius you won’t find it in Glass Houses, but I read for entertainment and that is exactly what I got.

The characters are interesting. Claire is a small, quiet girl of high intelligence and slightly geeky who seems to have lead a fairly sheltered life. She also seems fairly mature for her age in many respects. Eve is an outspoken goth girl who works in the local coffee shop. Michael is a slightly mysterious musician who only seems to come out at night despite not being a vampire and Shane is a bit of a tough guy who is unemployed. There is also a fairly large cast of supporting characters, many of whom as interesting and I hope we’ll find out more about them throughout the series.

There’s not a huge amount of action in this book, a lot of it is getting to know the characters and the town but it still feels fairly fast paced throughout a lot of the book and that picks up more and more as the book goes on. I was quickly drawn into the story and when it ended I was keen to start on book two.

This was a quick read for me. It’s around 350 pages of fairly large text and I read it in a day. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Monday, 5 September 2011

John Rector - Cold Kiss

Nate and Sara are moving away, their few belongings packed into their beat up old car. When a hitchhiker offers them money for a ride they feel unable to turn it down but they soon start to regret the decision, especially when a heavy snowstorm forces them to make a stop at an isolated motel.

This story gets going quickly and remains at a pretty fast pace throughout. There were several twists and turns to the plot which kept in fresh and interesting. I did work out who the baddie was (it’s really obvious once you are given a few small details) but that didn’t have any detrimental effect for me.

It was a quick read with large text and under 300 pages so I finished it in a day. The characters were all pretty interesting, I’d have liked to have found out a bit more about some of them. I liked the setting in the snowed in motel, it added atmosphere and helped the creepiness of the story.

I enjoyed the book and will read more by John Rector in the future.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Neil Cross – Burial

Can your guiltiest secret ever be buried? Nathan has never been able to forget the worst night of his life: the party that led to the sudden, shocking death of a young woman. Only he and Bob, an untrustworthy old acquaintance, know what really happened and they have resolved to keep it that way. But one rainy night, years later, Bob appears at Nathan's door with terrifying news, and old wounds are suddenly reopened, threatening to tear Nathan's whole world apart. Because Nathan has his own secrets now. Secrets that could destroy everything he has fought to build. And maybe Bob doesn't realise just how far Nathan will go to protect them... (synopsis from

Burial is the first Neil Cross book that I have read but it won’t be the last. The premise is nothing new: Old secret rears its head, threatens to destroy current life, something must be done to keep the secret buried. I liked the way that it was done though. There were some interesting plot twists throughout which helped to keep the story fresh and interesting and the pacing was just right. I liked the writing style and found the characters interesting. I even found myself feeling sorry for Nathan at times although never for long as any trouble that comes his way is pretty much down to his own actions / inactions and he did seem to have a habit of being rather stupid sometimes!

The book was quite short coming in at around 300 pages of fairly big text so I read it in under a day.

When I bought Burial I also liked the sound of several other Neil Cross books but only bought this one in case I didn’t like it. As I enjoyed it I will definitely be picking up some more of his books in the near future to add to my (ever increasing) to read pile.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Harlan Coben – Tell No One

Eight years ago David Beck’s wife Elizabeth was kidnapped and murdered and he has been grieving for her ever since. The he receives a strange email with a link that appears to show Elizabeth alive. As he tries to unravel the mystery he finds that he is now in danger and that there is a lot more behind Elizabeth’s murder then he had previously believed.

Tell No One is the second book by Harlan Coben that I have read. I had previously read Darkest Fear and whilst I had enjoyed the story I really didn’t like the main character, Myron Bolitar so this time I made sure I picked a book that wasn’t from the Myron Bolitar series. To begin with I was worried that the same thing was going to happen again as I took a dislike to David Beck to begin with although luckily he did grow on me and by the end of the book I decided that he was alright. The other characters in the book were pretty good although they were often a little too perfect at times and somewhat stereotypical as well.

The story itself was good, it was well paced and kept me interested throughout. The ending was a little unbelievable but I didn’t feel that it spoilt the book at all. There were two other things that annoyed me but I can’t say what they were without spoilers!

Overall I’m still not entirely convinced by Harlan Coben. I like his writing style and I like his storylines. However, I am still not all that keen on his characters although I can’t quite figure out why. I will read another of his books as the plot summaries on the back always interest me but he’s still not an author that I will be rushing out to buy as soon as the book is released.