Summertime

Hello all, sorry for the delay. Summer has finally hit rainy Somerset, and I will admit I have been having a bit of a break. Reviews will be fairly slow on the coming around now, as I’m taking some time to reread some old favourites in the sun.

Thanks,
Tom.

The Tree of Mindala (Elle Jacklee) Book Review

Good morning (or afternoon, or evening) all, and here we are with my latest book review: The Tree of Mindala, by Elle Jacklee. I’m sorry this book has taken me the two weeks to read, but it’s a fairly sized book at 306 pages, and hey, I’m not technically working to any deadlines here; reading takes time! You see, before I started reviewing on request predominantly, I would review books I’d read before, so I could just skim-read through them to remind me of the plot and so forth, bringing all my feelings on reading it for the first time back to the fore. When reading these new books though, I get to sit down and read through a story that’s new to me, and that takes time as it rightly should. So, lets get going.


The Tree of Mindala is the story of siblings Miranda and Marcus Moon, two normal children going to a normal school. One thing though – Miranda’s obsession with adventure and her runaway imagination tend to land her in trouble, and having gone one step too far, she’s been suspended from school. Miranda’s parents decide to take the children on a holiday, of sorts, to a cabin in the forest owned by their late grandparents, Truman and Sunny. It’s halloween time though, and everything is not as it seems. Miranda finds a glass snow globe in which a little house is depicted. Miranda turns the globe upside-down, and that’s when things really get weird.

Miranda and Marcus both find themselves in front of the very stone house that had been in the snow globe. Little did they know that they had just entered Wunderwood, a land of trees and magic – and they had just freed the worst warlock of the lot – Thornton.
Continue reading

Do you own an e-Reader or Tablet?

Okay, quite recently I mentioned the fact that I’d invested in a tablet, for both productivity and entertainment reasons. Something that’s been huge in recent years is the rise of the e-Reader. Lots and lots of people now have Kindles or Tablets or similar products on which they read their books (dubbed e-Books and e-Readers, ‘e’ being ‘electronic’). However, there’s also that group of people that have set themselves against this change to reading, and stick with the tradition of going to the bookstore, buying a book made of paper and reading it that way.

For me, there’s a lot to be said about reading ‘real’ books. It’s not something you can replicate on a screen – the feel of the pages, the smell of the new book and so on. I think that I’ll always prefer reading a physical book. However, I’ve realised that for new and upcoming authors, it’s far easier to get published to an online ‘e-Marketplace’ like the Amazon Kindle store. So when I’ve been reviewing books for people, they’ve been sent to me in electronic formats. You see, I didn’t have an e-Reader, so this posed me a problem and I was reading all these books on my brother’s Kindle. I’d been interested in getting a Tablet for a while, and eventually I did a little research and bought myself a Google Nexus 7 for £200. I’ve enjoyed the ease of being able to put the book onto my tablet and read it wherever I go, essentially taking a library of books with me that I’d never fit into my bag or pockets! At home though, I much rather read in book that I can hold. Something that’s been peeving me since the sun started coming out was that I’ve discovered I don’t like sitting in the sun and reading from my tablet like I can read from a book. The screen’s too dark and it just all-round feels wrong.

So, I guess I’m mainly in the camp of people that prefer their books to be real. I’ve got no aversions to, and enjoy using my tablet e-Reader though (I use the Kindle app for Android as opposed to Google’s own ‘Play Books’ app, because you can’t import your own books into Play – boo Google!). However, we bought my Nan a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas, and she’s taken to it really well. She loves how light it is, as she tells me she finds it difficult to hold heavy books like hardbacks when she’s reading in bed. Another thing she enjoys is that on the Kindle marketplace, lots and lots of the classics she read as a child are free, so she’s working through lot’s of nostalgia there. So whilst you might stereotype the elder generation into standing staunchly by their books, I can see that this isn’t always the case.

So, what do you think? Please, comment and I’ll get back to you because I’d love to hear everybody’s thoughts on the whole thing. Also, and if you don’t have time to comment, please click the box on the poll below!

Forever Burn (Adrian Smith) Book Review

Sorry it’s been a little while folks, but all my exams are over now! So I should have a lot more time to read and write, which will be lovely. So, this book ‘Forever Burn’ was sent to me for review by one Adrian Smith, and I’m very glad to have had the privilege of reading it. It is the first in a series, which will be gaining a prequel soon. Right, I best get on with a review!


Forever Burn is the story of James Matthews, a firefighter trying to make a difference in the world. Trained to stay calm in dangerous situations, James is a professional. However, she is having recurrent dreams; dreams about a girl she pulled from a fire years ago. They aren’t just normal flashbacks, and James has a feeling something is wrong. That’s not all though. Her secret love at the fire station is pressuring her for a more open relationship; but it doesn’t take long for that relationship to open James up to a world she’s never imagined, and a world she is inexplicably part of. Continue reading

The Language of Stones (Robert Carter) Book Review

Right then, let’s get this show on the road! I have now finished the most recent book I’ve been commissioned to review by an author; ‘The Language of Stones’ by Robert Carter, the first book of a trilogy set. In fact, I came across Robert’s work myself, on the Goodreads website. I read through his biography and tre book description and I was enthralled, it sounded great. I sent Robert an email if he’d like a review of the book, and to m delight he said yes. And what a journey it’s been for me through this book.


The Language of Stones is, as Robert himself describes it, a story about a boy becomes a man. Young William (or Will, or Willand, or even Willy-Wag Staff) is a boy from a small village called Nether Norton. That’s what he thinks anyway, but a certain wizard knows more than that, and reveals even less. Master Gwydion appears at Will’s house at the dark of night, and whisks him away with all but no explanation.
A magic flows through the land, through the ligns, channels of power connecting many stones together. Stones of power. For these are the Ancient Stones, in which is contained much of the harm of the realm. Times are changing though, and the power of the lorc flows. The battlestones begin drawing men and etching out suffering to the world. Master Gwydion believes that he has the key, the young boy Willand, to prevent the calamity of war. However, Maskull, an evil sorcerer akin to Gwydion himself plots against him, and threatens to use the battlestones to wreak havoc. Gwydion and Willand must move quickly, for the third coming of Great Arthur is at hand!

Note: I have found it very difficult to summarize The Language of Stones, for it is a very deep and complex novel, and I can’t quite seem to pin it down in words. It is a tale of epic proportions; of magic, heroism and the love and loss of many. For a full description, read the author’s words on his work here. Continue reading

Good News!

Good news everybody! I’ve bought myself a tablet, for productivity reasons! It’s a Nexus 7, if you’re interested, but I’ve installed the Kindle app onto it, so I can now use it as an e-reader when I’m out and about. You see, up until now I have been bound to reading at home on my brother’s Kindle, so I should be able to read and review more quickly now. I’ve also hooked it up to WordPress, so I can write my reviews on here as well!

Something I’ve been interested in for a while is whether a tablet is a useful accessory to a writer; be it a blogger or an author (I am beginning to write a novel of my own). Once I’ve decided whether or not it war worth it, I’ll write a blog post to that effect!

Thanks,
Tom!

The Cry Of The Icemark (Stuart Hill) Book Review

Okay, this is my first book review in a while, and is in truth an interval as I am reading a book for an author. The Cry Of the Icemark (TCOTI) is a book I first borrowed from the library a number of years ago. Since then, I have bought the book that I may read it again, which probably tells you something of how much I enjoyed it! But anyway, I hope you enjoy the review as I get myself back into blogging.


TCOTI is the story of Thirrin Lindenshield, who becomes the young Queen of the Icemark kingdom following the death of her father in the first moves of an invasion into their lands. The Empire of the Polypontus holds the most ruthless army in the land, led by the General Bellorum and his sons. The Icemark is a small region in the coldest part of the land, for it lies under snow for most of the year. Thirrin knows that her small army cannot hope to repel the Empire and the vicious Bellorum, and she knows that she must find allies. Who can she turn to in her hour of need. In a time of need, Thirrin will look to the most unlikely of allies. The talking leopards of the north, the vampires and the savage werewolves. And perhaps, just perhaps, the magic of the White Witch’s son. Continue reading