Book Review: Ghost Tribes: The Ghost of Africa by Venancio Cadle Gomani Jr.

Author: Venancio Cadle Gomani Jr.
Release Date: 1st January 2019
Genre: African Fiction
Series: Ghost Tribes (Book #1)
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 199
Publisher: Venancio Gomani Books
Blurb:
In a semi-fictional verisimilitude of the continent of Africa, all the tribes are ruled by kings, smaller breakaway tribes are ruled by chiefs, and all are governed by the council of paramount—a legion of the noble tribes of the continent.
The principal story follows the tale of Likando and the war of the brother kings. Likando is the Lozi tribe’s princess, heir-elect to the throne, and the only legitimate child of the Lozi king, Simasiku Lumeta. However, growing without the presence of her mother, and her father never having told her the story of who her mother is or where she is or if she is even alive today, causes her to begin searching for the truth against her father’s permission and/or consent. She stumbles upon darker truths that result in her to learn that her birth may not have been a result of love or mere chance, but a carefully considered and planned series of events. This leads the princess into taking courses of action that bring her tribe, family, and overall kingdom to the brink of near-extinction.
The second part of the tale which begins eight years before the events of the first novel follows the story of Kaleya, the lost son of nothing who, after waking up alone in the jungle with no memory of his identity or his past prior, goes on a quest to discover the truth behind his stolen memories but entangles himself in a series of circumstances that result in him having to fight for his survival more often than not. The second part of the story simultaneously chronicles the Ghost of Africa, an enigma thought to be a demon that terrorizes tribes around a territory it claimed as its own three years before the events of the novel. Before the Ghost of Africa occupied the territory it occupies, there lived a thriving tribe with an organized structure and an army of possessed soldiers, ten thousand strong. However, when the Ghost of Africa first emerged, it led an army of exiled tribesmen-turned cannibal, who form the population referred to as the cannibals tribeless in the millions, against the growing tribe and thus, overwhelming its army and having the cannibals devour the raw flesh of the men, women, and children of the tribe. After wiping out of existence the tribe that existed in its territory prior, the demon goes on to fence that very territory with the skulls of the tribe’s populist on barbed wooden stakes in the hundreds of thousands all around that territory as a warning for anyone who ever dared to trespass.
The first book in the series, The Ghost of Africa, opens with Likando, the heir-elect to the Lozi throne, preparing for the maturity ceremony who gets ambushed by a gang of purported ‘mixed-breeds’. This series of events leads her to come face-to-face with the Ghost of Africa.

REVIEW

★★★★

Ghost Tribes: The Ghost of Africa by Venancio Cadle Gomani Jr. is a beautiful book that is culturally so rich that it is impossible to not like it. It is an enriched and captivating tale which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

The book opens with a bang and ends on such a high note that I was left thoroughly impressed by the author’s ability to pull off something like this, which is conceptually so heavy, with such ease and precision. The writing is commendable and I am looking forward to reading more works by the author.

The characterization could have been better, but it is one of those books in which story is the main hero and the characters come next. So overall it proved to be a pretty good read and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes reading books with more emphasis on the story than characters.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

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Book Review: A Recipe For Love by Lucy Madison

Author: Lucy Madison
Release Date: 5th October 2018
Genre: Romance, LGBT, Contemporary
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 181
Publisher: Labrador Publishing, LLC
Blurb:
Piermont, New York. Danika Russo is 55, newly retired from a 30-year career as a mail carrier, and stuck in a rut. After putting her own needs on hold to care for her terminally ill partner and her unloving father, Danika is holed up the childhood home she inherited, a claustrophobic time warp from the 1970s complete with brown Formica and linoleum, and not sure what to do next.
Her best friend Natalie suggests making a list of things she has always wanted to do. Stepping outside her comfort zone, self-deprecating Danika opts for taking an Italian cooking class, not knowing that she will both impress the appreciative chef with her tasting skills and meet a mysterious younger woman there, Finn Gerard, who will capture her heart and teach her the recipe for love. But Finn is withholding a grim secret and, despite her initial passion, appears unable to commit to Danika fully. Will Danika allow herself to let go and fall in love for the first time in her life, even if there are no guarantees? Even if she must learn to let go?
This complex lesbian romance touches on themes of rediscovery and transformation, showing that while love can be the answer, real healing always starts from within.
Lucy Madison’s latest will appeal to fans of fine, well-crafted lesbian fiction and authors like Caren Werlinger. Readers will enjoy a bonus cookbook section at the back, featuring all the recipes mentioned in the book!

Review

★★★★

A Recipe For Love by Lucy Madison is a heart-warming and, in a non-traditionally way, an uplifting romance novel with well-developed characterization and a storyline to compliment it. I’m not a huge fan of LGBT fiction, mostly because it mainly focuses on the sexuality of people rather than the story or other conflicts in characters, but thankfully, this book was so much more than your regular lesbian fiction as it concentrated on the story and the character more than the label itself. And that was what I really liked about this book.

I enjoyed reading it and, for me, the best part was the beautiful growth of character of the protagonist, Danika. I feel that her conflicts, both inner and the main story conflict, were explored nicely and as a result, I had a great time reading the story. The writing was well and complimented the story well making this book a light, fun yet a memorable read.

I’d recommend it to all romance lovers. Though people who are not comfortable with lesbian relationships might not like it.

this review is also posted on Amazon

Book Review: Friction by Sandra Brown

25114548Author: Sandra Brown
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Series:
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Adult
Edition: E-book (mobi)
Pages: 416
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.
A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctually and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?

Review

This book is a wonderful read and a true page turner. I was in it from the moment I picked it up as I found the blurb quite intriguing. I enjoyed the lucid flow of the story and the pace with which the events unfolded. I know there are a few negative reviews for this book, but I actually enjoyed reading this one a lot! Though I did find the love making scenes a little cheesy, still it was a nice break from all the fast-paced action.

This book began with an excellent an extremely captivating opening and the clock that was set ticking by the end of the prologue really got me going. What really made this book a compelling read was that ticking clock itself. It kept the story tense and on track throughout. The ending was also perfect and made complete sense.

The characterization is brilliant and the characters had so many layers of complexities that it was difficult not to take them as real people. I was able to connect with all the characters, including the secondary ones. If there’ll be a sequel to this book (?) then I’ll definitely read it as I’d love to read more about the main characters.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery-thrillers and don’t mind a slight overdose of steamy make-out scenes.

 

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Opening Line: The two stalwart highway patrolmen guarding the barricade stared at her without registering any emotion, but because of the media blitz of the past few days she knew they recognized her and that, in spite of their implacable demeanor, they were curious to know why Judge Holly Spencer was angling to get closer to the scene of a bloodbath.

Highlights: Storyline and pacing.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

“You pick a guy who everyone sees, but no one is looking at.”

“He’s made a bargain with the devil, and he hadn’t held up his end.”

Final Thoughts: A wonderful book packed with lots of action and suspense.


You can also read this review at GoodreadsNetGalleyand Amazon.

Book Review: Twisted (Twisted #1)

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Author: Lola Smirnova
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Series: Twisted
Genre: New Adult | Suspense | Adult
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 313
Publisher: Createspace
Source: Publicist
Buy it here: Amazon

Followed by: Craved

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Back in the 90’s, the corrupt post-Soviet Ukraine with its faltering economy, is thrown into a devastating depression. Times are hard. Opportunities are scarce.

Three eager young sisters – Natalia, Lena and Julia – dream of a better life and weigh their options: do they stay and struggle like their parents, or join scores of their compatriots in the sex trade in glittering western European cities, who earn in a night what they’d take several months to earn at home? Naive and tempted by the allure of ‘quick’ money, the girls set off on an adventure that changes their lives forever…

Can they stay out of trouble enough to fulfill their ambitions?
Can they hold on to their idealism in a world where depravity and danger are constant companions?
How far are they willing to go to make a buck?

Inspired by real-life events, Twisted is a fascinating New Adult SUSPENSE THRILLER about vulnerability, courage and the art of making a living in the sex trade…

Review

I reviewed Craved, the second part in Twisted trilogy, not long ago, and I was fortunate enough to receive the prequel of this amazing book as well by the publicist for review [also the author was kind enough to send me a signed copy for this one!] So, please ignore that I’ll be comparing this book to the next one which might seem odd taking into account that this is the 1st book in Twisted trilogy.

I absolutely loved this awesome and entertaining book! It’s every bit as entertaining and as engaging as its sequel.

Once again the writing of author Lola Smirnova totally blew my mind off by its simplicity and the ability to keep me glued to the book the entire time. Time flew like a bird and I was left craving for more.

Though the book is about the life and struggles of Julia, a prostitute, author Lola has successfully managed to keep the incidents and the serious bits as light as possible, making this book a really pleasant read and not a disturbing one as one might expect from a book based on true life events, esp. that of a prostitute.

I was in the story right from the minute I started it and felt a really deep connection with the lead of this book, Julia, as well as her sisters (whom I feel like I already know closely from my earlier read.) The witty interludes and author’s sharp sense of humor kept me entertained as well as crackling for most of the time. It was dangerous as well as refreshing to get a glimpse inside the life of a person willingly entering the sex trade and trying to play by her own rules.

This book is a masterpiece and is awesome o so many different levels. The severity of the topic always stays just below the surface but never does it ever surfaces to make the reader uncomfortable. This technique of storytelling is where this book really scored for me.

This book is worth all the praise and all the money. I’m really falling short of words here in describing how much I enjoyed reading this book. The story, the plot, the flow of the incidents, the linearity , the pacing, the beginning, the ending, etc, everything is perfect and I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a good book to read.

So go ahead and grab a copy of this book and its sequel to meet Julia and her sisters and to accompany them on their unusual yet dangerous journey of sex, drugs and alcohol.

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Opening Line: ‘Sag es!’ he screams at me.

Highlights: Storytelling.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

I saw so many of these ‘love affairs without love’ that I became used to the concept and formed my okay-with-being-a-pro attitude. As I see it, the only difference between any hooker and our neighbour Dasha is that the former’s ‘labour hour’ is the latter’s lifetime.

Final Thoughts: A brilliantly written book.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Carrion by Jonathan R. Rose

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Author: Jonathan R. Rose
Release Date: November 8, 2015
Series: 
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 114
Publisher: Montag Press
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★ – DNF

Blurb:

Carrion is about a world consumed by chaos. But in this world, you are not a desperate survivor hoping to outlast the bedlam; instead, you are the monster that caused it. Consumed by an insatiable hunger, a malevolent need to feed, you are the one from whom the masses flee. And because of you a group of barbaric men led by a fanatic with a gleaming badge fastened to his chest have banded together with the intention of hunting you and all those like you down. Follow in the footsteps of a fiend. See what he sees. Taste the flesh. Smell the decay. Suffer the anguish. Witness a massive city crumble under the weight of fear and hate and become hell. Whether engulfed in flames, or flooded by lakes of blood, all that remains are monsters and men, and the war that wages not only between them, but within themselves.

Review

I hate saying this but I have to leave this book alone for good as the it’s really failing to keep up with the expectations I had before starting with it.

The writing is really good but the plot seems a little off and the whole monster’s journey is really starting to make me feel sick. I usually have a good appetite for blood and gore but here it’s starting to feel quite forced and unnecessary, I mean yes, the monster is going to rip out the flesh off the bones and suck the bones dry, he is a Zombie after all.

There are a lot of raving reviews for this book, but it’s not what I expected, so it’s a DNF for me. If you are really into zombies and the undead and are totally into blood-spilling and gory writing, then this book is for you. But it would do you good to keep in mind that this book has nothing more to offer.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Dead Eyed (DCI Michael Lambert #1)

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Author: Matt Brolly 
Release Date: September 3, 2015
Series: DCI Lambert
Genre: Crime | Detective Fiction | Mystery | Suspense | Psychological Thriller | Adult
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 315
Publisher: Carina UK
Source: Publishing Push
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★☆

Blurb:

DCI Michael Lambert thought he’d closed his last case…
Yet when he’s passed a file detailing a particularly gruesome murder, Michael knows that this is no ordinary killer at work.
The removal of the victim’s eyes and the Latin inscription carved into the chest is the chilling calling-card of the ‘soul jacker’: a cold-blooded murderer who struck close to Michael once before, twenty-five years ago.
Now the long-buried case is being re-opened, and Michael is determined to use his inside knowledge to finally bring the killer to justice. But as the body count rises, Michael realises that his own links to the victims could mean that he is next on the killer’s list…
The gripping first novel in a thrilling new crime series by Matt Brolly. Perfect for fans of Tony Parsons, Lee Child and Angela Marsons.

Review

This book started out slow and took its sweet time to pick up the pace. Initially, I had to struggle a bit to get into the book, but once I was 15% through, I was in for good. The pace picked up and the book went from slightly interesting to quite interesting and then I was on the edge of my seat almost biting my nails.

The story felt a little too long but considering that it is the first book in a detective series, I’m okay with it because I know that establishing the basics and the background is really important.

I like Lambert… a lot. He’s one hell of a stud detective. One that I would love to read about. He’s all broken and stuff but, again, he is a real stud! He is everything a detective should be like- smart, intelligent, sharp and daring. And this is all to say that the author truly nailed the characterization. Even the other characters, esp. Sarah May, were quite good and totally relatable.

The writing is great and the shifting POVs keep the book interesting and intriguing. The descriptions were so good that I squirmed every time another victim turned up with either their eyes cut out or stitched shut with black thread… And, trust me, it is one of the best things about this book.

The only thing that I find a little off is that the motive of the killer wasn’t made clear. I mean after reading a seemingly lengthy book, there’s nothing that I wanted more than to know the gory and dirty details of the killer’s motives or, at least, the driving force behind them.

Still, I enjoyed the book. And for a debut novel, this book is really amazing. Unfortunately, I’ve stopped rating books with 1/2 stars, otherwise, this book would have been 4+1/2 instead of just 4.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “The man hovered on the edge of the dance floor.”

Highlights: Characterization.

Lowlights: Ending.

Memorable Quotes:

In oculis animus habitat. The soul dwells in the eyes.

She viewed her past like a voyeur, her memories akin to a reader imagining a character from a book.

Final Thoughts: A fantastic start to a new Detective/Crime series.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Craved (Twisted #2)

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Author: Lola Smirnova
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Series: Twisted
Genre: New Adult | Suspense
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 316
Publisher: Createspace
Source: Publicist
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Having been to hell and back, the eager sisters from Ukraine – Natalia, Lena and Julia – decide to retire from selling sex and walk the straight and narrow path back home. But when an old friend calls them with an opportunity to make buckets of ‘easy’ money in South Africa, they find it impossible to refuse. Their return to the night life of the entertainment business brings with it all the old familiar temptations – alcohol, drugs, prostitution… Can the girls resist their vices and stay together? Or will this industry destroy their sanity and their family?

Inspired by real life events, Craved is a fascinating story of addiction, survival and the art of making a living in the sex trade.

Review

 

Before starting with this book, I had low expectations in terms of entertainment given the fact that it is about the sex trade industry. I was expecting to read about 3 girls and all the injustice done to them, but this book was spectacularly surprising.

The characterization is brilliant and the personalities of the lead characters, as well as the supporting ones, are really well crafted. The story is thoroughly absorbing and completely capturing. I felt a connection with all the characters in this book and realized the brutal truth about this repelling industry.

I was pulled into this book right from the start to the very end. The battles the girls face, each and every day, and their hard life is explained beautifully, but surprisingly enough without burdening the reader with sorry feelings by showing the girls headstrong and ready to accept any challenge that is thrown their way.

The author’s writing is incredible and the flow is so good that I was done with this book within a day of starting it. I was really impressed with this book and knew, as soon as I was through the first few pages, that I’m reading something that is very, very special.

The descriptions are vivid and the imagery is great. I felt that I was in there with Julia all the time when she was going through her everyday life.

The book ended with an amazing cliffhanger of an ending and left me craving for more. I was like – Seriously!?

And, in spite of the entertaining value of the book, the seriousness of the issue was never lost on me.

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My copy of Craved

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Opening Line: ‘Harder!’ he screams in desperation. ‘Harder!’

Highlights: Characterization.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A really capturing read.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.