Saturday, 31 July 2021

Extinction New Zealand Book 1


Book One, The rule of three

By Adrian J Smith.

Publisher: ‎Great Wave Ink Publishing; 2nd edition (February 5, 2019)

Publication date: ‎February 5, 2019

Language: ‎English

Print length: 251 pages

This edition: Audio version

Narrator : Raphael Corkhill 

This book starts off hard and keeps ramping up the pressure. Jack Gee is out hiking. His phone is off. At the end of his three-day hike, he turns on his mobile and there are many messages from his wife. During his hike the Hemorrhage virus has taken over the world, turning people into Variants -- not exactly zombies, but much like zombies. Jack has only one goal, to get back to Hamilton and his wife Dee. 

Dee is facing her own problems. Waiting for Jack to reach her, she sets up camp in the basement of her house. Waiting for Jack, she helps a group of four, one a teenager called Boss. 

And that's the set up. Simple really, but also brilliant. The encounters Jack has trying to get home are interesting and wild. He learns things about the Variants and escapes them more than once. Meets unsavory characters, interested only in taking advantage of the situation. 

There are a few slow parts where the author is trying to cement the link between Dee and Jack, using  backstory via memories and Jack and Dee commenting to themselves about how great the other is and how that person completes them. Sorry. That failed. 

The character of Boss, is great. He keeps throwing out movie references, that I get. My only questions is: Why is a teenager addicted to old movies and not so recent movies when he is always online gaming?

Apart from that. This book is excellent. The narrator also does a brilliant job. 


Please ignore the error in the beginning with the backpack tossed onto the front passenger seat that is magically in the backseat when he risks his life to save a woman, who also magically vanishes from his car. I'm not sure if that woman is the mother of a family stuck on the motorway, like him, or a stranger. This was confusing. And there were a few other parts that knocked my from the story. That is why this book didn't get a higher rating. 

I have purchased book 2 and book 3 in audio format. I'm considering buying the paperbacks to add to my (near collapsing) bookcase. 


Friday, 30 July 2021

Ink by Jonathan Maberry


Listening Length15 hours and 9 minutes

Author Jonathan Maberry 

Narrator Ray Porter

Whispersync for Voice Ready Release Date November 17, 2020

Publisher Macmillan Audio Program 

Type Audiobook

Version Unabridged 

Language English

This book started off really well but three quarters of the way through, it petered off. 

I love the idea of this tale. A man collects tattoos off other people along with their memory of said tattoo. Image your wife has cancer and she beats it. You get a tattoo on your wrist. Later in the day, the tattoo is gone and so is the memory of your wife having beat cancer. This man--creature?--uses flies to do his bidding. 

The scenes with the tat collector are great. Horror. Tension. All the good stuff. But the other characters all fall flat, except Monk Addison. Also I found it a little too raw and emotional for my liking. Also, there seemed to be a lot of virtual signaling. I don't mind it, but it can sometimes get in the way. 

I didn't finish this book, so I cannot in good faith rate it. 

The info above says the book is 15 hours to listen to, but it took more than two weeks before I tossed it. 


Friday, 28 May 2021

Origin by Dan Brown


It took over a week to listen to Dan Brown's audiobook Origin. I have the paperback but have never gotten around to reading that massive book. 99 chapters. This is a good story about God and AI. 

Where do we come from? and Where are we going?

Two fundamental questions of Mankind. 

These questions are answered in a satisfying way. 

Along the way to answering these questions,  Langdon's student is killed by a naval officer. Langdon is accused of kidnapping the prince of Spain's fiancĂ©e. They escape aided by Wilson, an AI. Almost get shot, and escape again. in a manner a bit tough to accept. 

This is still a good read (listen) although, it was very wordy and several times, the same comments are repeated more than twice. Sometimes, these are Langdon's inner thoughts.



Sunday, 25 April 2021

The Catch -- T.M. Logan

Another brilliant thriller from Mr. Logan. Constant readers know I haven't enjoyed a few of his books, but this one is fast paced and each step seems logical. Except one part in the Moors between father and son-in-law that I didn't get.

Ryan loves Abby. Abby loves Ryan. Mum Claire loves Ryan. Nana loves Ryan. Dad doesn't love Ryan. There's something off about the guy. Forget the perfect smile, the perfect car, perfect job, perfect personality, thoughtfulness. 

Later that evening, Ryan asks Ed for Abby's hand in marriage--as a courtesy. They have only dated seven months and Ed knows nothing about Ryan. So, he sets out to discover the truth about the man. 

This causes a rift between him and his daughter, then his wife. But the deeper he goes, the more there is. But as a regular person, he needs professional help and hires a private investigator. 

This is a great read. 

There are a few things. I understand the PI involvement. Crucial information (especially at the end) would have been impossible for a regular guy to uncover. 

The set up went well. Everything was placed perfectly. The story moved at a fast pace and I would recommend this book to thriller lovers.   



Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Blood Men by Paul Cleave

This is the first Paul Cleave novel I've dived into. It was a very decent tale. The story is about Edward who decides to stand up to bank robbers. This sets off a chain of events leading to a lot of death and heartbreak. Add to the mix a past with a serial killer (his father), the paranoia he felt growing up believing everyone was waiting for him to start killing--like father, like son. 

Applying for a bank loan, is easy-peasy. Getting approved is another matter, though Edward and his wife are confident until six bank robbers change everything. In a heated moment, Edward stands up and offers himself as a hostage in exchange for the young bank teller. The man releases her and grabs Edward's wife. 

Making a getaway, the robber shots his wife. Now, he wants the men to pay. Vengeance is the only thing he can think about. His father calls him and offers a solid lead. But, he has a little girl that needs her papa. 

This book has all the trappings of a great thriller read. The victim, the cop, the dark history, a man who thinks his city has gone to hell. It also has a few great twists. One where I said, "No way." Awe not shock. There wasn't any hint leading to this, no little clues hidden anywhere that I noticed. One twist was obvious. Many were not. And the ending took a few rewinds on the audiobook. I wasn't impressed with that scene in the slaughterhouse. It was not clear. Plus only a few hours had passed, so I was confused. 

Apart from that. The book was great. 

One point. I think narration is very important. Paul Ansdell did a good job and he has quite a narration history, however, I didn't like the voice of this audio. It just didn't suit me, as a listener. 

I will get more Paul Cleave books at a later date. 



Saturday, 3 April 2021

Trust Me by T. M. Logan

Finally, Mr. Logan appears to be back on form. Regular readers of this blog, will know that I started out on T. M. Logan's second book, '29 Seconds" and loved it. Naturally, I bought his first book, 'Lies' and it sucked. It was a hard book to follow and I never finished it. Then came The Vacation, which I also didn't like. The Catch is next on my list.  

I always give new writers a chance and I'm glad I have this policy as Trust Me, is brilliant. It has It's pros and cons like all books. Basically, the story is about Ellen, a woman on a train, who is asked to hold on to a baby, so the mother can make a phone call. A few minutes later, she see the mother exiting the train platform as the train pulls away. Leaving her with a baby. 

She gets off at the next station, looking for the mother in case she somehow managed to get back on the train. There are a lot of blocks that stop her from doing the right thing. She decides to look away the baby for a while longer. She needs a feed. Then, she can take the baby to the police. 

Ellen get's kidnapped. 

The baby's in danger. 

Who can she trust? 

Not the father, not the police, not the Ghost--a murderer who has resurfaced. 

This book has everything a thriller needs to have. Several WTF moments, red herrings and a clueless Ellen, who must put all the pieces of the puzzle together, finally bringing her face to face with The Ghost. 

The only issue I had was the constant worrying about every facet of the baby, Mia. 

Drove me mad.

All in all, a great book.  




Friday, 19 March 2021

The Alchemist's Secret by Scott Mariani

The Alchemist's Secret 
Scott Mariani 

Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers; UK ed. edition (July 21, 2011) 
Language : English 
ISBN-10 : 1847563406 
ISBN-13 : 978-1847563408 

I can understand why this book became a best seller. It is right up there with some of the greats when it comes to cryptology. Dan Brown fans will love this book. 

Ben Hope, a man with skills to put Jason Bourne to shame, is hired by a dying billionaire whose granddaughter (with the same name as Ben's lost sister) is dying and needs to locate an ancient manuscript containing a magic formula to save her life. 

 This book is filled with mystic codes, symbols, clues and riddles. In his search for the manuscript, Ben must dodge a heavily armed shadow Christian organization, called Gladius Domini, hell-bent on stopping him. 

 The only issue I have with the book is the amount of hoops, our hero, must jump through and puzzles, riddles he must solve to reach his goal. Just when you think he's finally reached the end, there's another twist. It kind of got to be too much near the end of the book. 

Overall, this is a good and imaginative book with a couple of great plots. It is mostly well written, but the flashbacks are jolting (needed but jolting). Four of the characters I could connect with, but many of the others came across as villainess cardboard cutouts. Ben, Roberta (though some of her actions irritated me), the Archbishop and the Italian lady that fancied Ben (sorry forgot her name. I finished the book a few months ago and forgot to write the review or take notes). 

This book is about an alchemist and the belief he discovered the secrets of immortality and created a potion, that naturally everyone wants. 


Extinction New Zealand Book 1

  Book One, The rule of three By Adrian J Smith. Publisher: ‎Great Wave Ink Publishing; 2nd edition (February 5, 2019) Publication date: ‎Fe...