ARC Review: Treading The Uneven Road by L.M. Brown

Author: L.M. Brown
Release Date: 15th March 2019
Genre: Short Story Collection, World Fiction
Series: 
Edition: E-book
Pages: 206
Publisher: Fomite
Blurb:
The stories in this linked collection are set in a small village in the Northwest of Ireland in the early 1980’s and 90’s. A by-pass around the village has rid them of their once busy traffic. The residents feel forgotten by the world. The need to reach out and be heard is explored in every story, from the young woman who starts to have phone conversations with her husband’s gay lover, to the dyslexic man who confronts his cruel teacher years later.

The collection is not only about the characters need for salvation but it is about a society that is unraveling. In Amends, we hear about the Bishop who has fathered a child. A priest is beckoned by a dying man to be mocked. The world inside and outside the village is changing. In every story the characters need to make a choice on how they might carry on.

REVIEW

★★★★+1/2

Treading The Uneven Road by L.M. Brown is a beautiful collection of short stories about a small town in Ireland in the early ’80s and ’90s. I had a very good time reading this book and the thing I found most impressive about this story collection is that each and every story bore a plethora of emotions that were very real and relatable. Being from a small town myself, I enjoy books that display the lives of people in small towns, the highs and the lows of living in a close-knit and ever-watching society. So I really enjoyed this book.

All the stories were related in some way or the other and so they felt more like chapters than individual stories which was another thing that I liked as this made the overall theme more interesting. The characterization was good, the writing was good and the pacing was very good. I’d say this book would make for an excellent coffee table book.

I’d recommend this book to everyone who loves exploring new cultures and distinct works fo literature.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon
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Book Review: For The Lover Of Stories by Charlie Avinash Nicholas

Author: Charlie Avinash Nicholas
Release Date: 20th April 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Cross-Genre – Poetry Collection & Short-Stories,
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 316
Publisher:
Blurb:
Dear you,Welcome to my double feature. “For the Lover of Stories” contains two of my books:

1) “Sanity’s War” is an anthology of interlaced short stories and narrative poems. It depicts epic battles between kingdoms, against nightmarish forces, and within broken souls.

2) “Strange: And Other Accounts From the Taboo War” is a novella of short tales, poetry, and letters. It deals with the Unsung Heroes’ battles against the Grim Reaper’s strange sons.

Review

★★+1/2

For The Lover Of Stories by Charlie Avinash Nicholas is a cross-genre contemporary fiction that is an unusual and somewhat interesting collection of poems (mostly narrative), short stories and epistolary texts and overall it was an okay read.

The writing was okay, not great but not bad either, and the content of each and every chapter was also okay, but because of the different types of texts, I felt a bit disconnected from the book. The tone of the book, which was basically dark and war-based, some literal some metaphorical, was something I liked, but the real problem was that I wasn’t able to relate to any of the characters in any of the texts. Microfiction is tricky and I wasn’t overly impressed by author’s brevity in this book (which is actually a combined version of two books.)

If you like reading cross-genre fiction and won’t mind trying out both poetry and microfiction by a new author then you can go for this one, though I can’t say for sure if you might like it or not.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: Tears Of The Ancient And Other Stories by Jason R. Koivu

30374957Author:  Jason R. Koivu
Release Date: 7th June 2016
Series: –
Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 128
Publisher: C Street

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Travel to new lands and visit old souls in Tears of the Ancient and Other Stories, a collection of short stories filled with demons and dragons*, betrayal and tomfoolery, a whipsmart goblin and a comedic mushroom!

**It’s more like an oversized lizard, if we’re being honest.

Review

Tears Of The Ancient And Other Stories by Jason R. Koivu is a collection of Fantasy short stories that turned out to be a really pleasant book.

As a fantasy lover, I absolutely adore reading about different creatures, worlds and concepts and this book gave me exactly that. I loved the first story; it was about a human-obsessed goblin who was really smart but was not liked by his fellow goblins. I felt so bad for him that by the end I forgot that I was reading a short story. I could have read a full-length novel on just this story. Another one of my favorites was the title story, Tears Of The Ancient. It had a beautiful concept and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I liked the writing style as it had an easy flow to it that made reading this book a pleasant experience. Author Jason did a wonderful job in crafting each and every story with beautiful detailing work and perfectly setting the tone for each and every story.

I enjoyed most of the stories, and the only complaint I have is that there were not enough stories for a fantasy lover like me. So I  hope that the author comes up with another such beautiful book soon.

I’d recommend this book to all the Fantasy lovers and to everyone who likes reading short stories.


Goodreads and Amazon

Novella Review: Fly And Other Stories

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Author: Anneliese Poelsma 
Release Date: January 12, 2015 
Series: None
Genre: Short Stories |Dark Fiction | Psychological Fiction | Adult
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 68
Publisher: Self-Published 
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

A book of six short stories.

Winner of the 2014 Ada Cambridge Prose Prize, ‘fly’ tells the story about a power struggle between two women whose relationship is doomed from the start yet neither can let go, one because of a desire for power and control, the other because of an inability to let go of her need for escapism and change.

‘I live in the bathroom. My husband locked me in here in a fit of rage…’
Winner of the 2002 Verandah Literary Award for fiction, ‘I Live in the Bathroom’ is an unsettling psychological tale about a woman’s disturbing fight to retain her sanity in a domestic setting gone awry. After being locked up by her grieving husband, she takes us on a dangerous journey into the bugs and viruses of the human mind as she struggles to make sense of her reality and the consequences of her dark feelings of jealousy and rejection.

Jennifer… an innocent, socially awkward woman being bullied by her chic office colleagues, or an obsessed, narcissistic stalker capable of the darkest of deeds?

‘Where Maisy Went’
Longlisted for the 2014 Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize.
Desperate for a baby of her own, a stroll through the inner city gardens turns into an impromptu kidnapping for middle-aged, mentally challenged Georgia. Ill equipped for the sudden demands of motherhood and with the mind of a child herself, Georgia unwittingly embarks on a journey towards infanticide.

The food the food the food…
‘Skin’ tells the story about the role food can play in the struggle against self-loathing, the fear of rejection and the fight for control and preservation of self in the face of psychological manipulation and abuse. Skin outlines one lesbian woman’s battle to free herself not only from the power of false love but the demands of a society and its concepts of what constitutes feminine beauty.

‘Jump’
One man’s search for his family in a busy shopping center becomes a search for meaning and purpose in his life. As he loses hope at every wrong turn and the resulting disasters continually test his lacking confidence, the man must decide if his life is worth the continued struggle against disappointment, disapproval and death.

‘fly and other stories’ explores human strength and fallibility in the face of failed emotional connections. It investigates the fragility of sanity and the desire to hold onto hope, sometimes where there is none. Each character seeks to achieve a sense of self-improvement, freedom and happiness, sometimes successfully, sometimes misguided, sometimes with horrific consequences as they struggle to force their worlds to make sense.

Rating

5-stars

Review

Fly And Other Short Stories is a short-stories collection of 6 brilliantly written short stories. The main theme of the story is exploring the dark rooms inside a person and the author has done it to perfection.

I enjoyed each and every story and was left craving for more. All the stories were short, to-the-point and smart. I really liked reading them and they really creeped the hell out of me (yeah, I just made that up. But you get the drift, right?)

To be honest, when I first saw this book on Goodreads, I had no idea what to expect from it. I mean the name itself felt bizarre and then as soon as I read the blurb, I was sold! I immediately accepted the review request and now, that I’ve read it, I’m really happy that I read it.

If you like the works of Stephen King and Gillian Flynn then this book is a must read. It’s a novella, but it packs a serious punch. All the stories are 5/5. In fact, they are so good that I can’t even pick a favorite one.

I’d recommend this book to all the readers of dark fiction, especially those who have a thing for creepy stuff and don’t mind the negative side of things.

You can also read this review at:
Goodreads and Amazon

Other Stuff

Opening Line: I sit on the edge of the couch, perched and stiff.

Highlights: Brilliant storytelling.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant short story collection.

Book Review: Unsavory Delicacies (Ridley Fox/Nita Parris Spy Series #2)

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Author: Russell Brooks 
Release: November 11, 2013
Series: Ridley Fox/Nita Parris Spy Series 
Genre: Spy | Thriller | Short Stories
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 573 (30 pages)
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

For fans of Barry Eisler and Robert Ludlum. A three-course story collection with a side-order of revenge. 

Crème Brûlée 

Rogue operative, Monique Beauvais, cons a software genius into selling her a coveted technology that would allow its user to control CIA drones while they’re in flight. And she will go as far as killing him in public in order to have it.

To the Last Bite 

A renowned food critic–whose scathing reviews have closed down restaurants–gets a savoury surprise.

Shashlyk and Morezhenoe 

CIA operative, Ridley Fox, leads a team against one of Russia’s most powerful crime families. He discovers secrets, but not one that he was expecting to find.

Three stories with three consequences. All containing three Unsavory Delicacies.

***Caution*** Readers are strongly advised NOT to eat while reading To The Last Bite.

Rating

2-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

In this book there are three very short stories. It had a hint of the style I liked in Brook’s first book, but other than that these short stories didn’t click well with me and if I could I would give it 1 star. I am truly sorry.

Crème Brûlée
The first story was too tacky and predictable.

To the Last Bite
The second story had a hint of surprise in it and just because of it. I think it was better than the rest.

Shashlyk and Morezhenoe
The third story was my least favorite of all three, even with the return of the Fox from the first book.

Cover Art:

Is very plain and didn’t match the stories inside the book at all, but I would say that the cover over Goodreads is beautiful and fits nicely with the vibes of this book.

Blurb:

I like the blurb as it was vague enough and has a nice hint of what to come in the book.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “So what do you have for me?” Monique Beauvais said to Curtis White, speaking with a French-Canadian accent.
Highlights: I liked the somewhat surprise in the second story. I thought of something similar, but not quite

Lowlights: I thought the short stories were too tacky and I didn’t like the writing style here at all.

Final Thoughts: If you read the first book of Brooks, I would say skip this one as it has no importance to the first book’s plot. Even though I didn’t like much these short stories, I am still looking forward reading his third book in this series.


Review contributor:

pics copy 2Galit Balli

I am an avid reader, coffee addict, a writer and a blogger. I am a bit of agoraphobic (people scare me, lol). Me and my hubby love to spend every moment together, we even game together.

I live mostly in my own imaginary world full of dragons, magic and vampires and from time to time I pull myself away to deal with the real world.

Read more about Galit here.

Book Review: Waiting For The Machines To Fall Asleep`

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Authors: Hans OlssonBoel Bermann, Erik OdeldahlIngrid RemvallLove KölleLupina OjalaChristina Nordlander , Pia LindestrandJonas LarssonTora GreveAndrew CoulthardAlexandra NeroJohannes PinterAndrea Grave-MüllerAR YngveMy BergströmAnders BlixtMaria HaskinsPatrik CenterwallBjörn EngströmKG JohanssonOskar KällnerSara KopljarEva HolmquistMarkus SköldAnna Jakobsson Lund
Release Date:  6th May, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: Science-Fiction Anthology | Speculative-Fiction | Short-Stories | Fantasy
Edition: Paperback 
Pages: 324
Publisher: Affront Publishing
Source: Editor (Thanks Peter!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

26 short stories from the new wave of Swedish speculative fiction writers. Forget about cheap furniture, meatballs and crime fiction. Sweden has so much more to offer. Waiting for the Machines to Fall Asleep includes twenty-six stories from the new generation of Swedish writers of science fiction and the fantastic. Stories ranging from space horror and post-apocalyptic nightmares to tender dramas. Stories with steampunk horses, android uprisings and cheeky goblins. Stories that are action-packed, wise, silly, beautiful, surreal and horrifying.

Rating

5-stars

Review:

I absolutely enjoyed all the stories in this book (for individual ratings see below.) This book is so much more than just an anthology. It was an experience. So many different stories, so many unique concepts and such amazing writing styles – this book has everything to be a brilliant read. There were some stories that literally made me feel dreadful thinking about what might have happened (Lost And Found) and there were stories that made me smile (To Preserve Humankind.) There were stories that really worked me out in anticipation (Outpost Eleven) and stories that I thought were funny (Jump To The Left, Jump To The Right.) Never have I ever enjoyed a single book so much. I’m going to be looking out for more works from the authors I enjoyed the most. I’m really happy that I am lucky enough to have read this book. I’ll recommend this book not only to Sci-Fi fans but to anyone and everyone who wants to read some beautifully crafted stories. I really hope that they decide to release this book internationally, so that everyone in the world can read this book. Following are the individual ratings for all the stories:

  1. Melody Of The Yellow Bard: 5/5
  2. The Rats: 5/5
  3. Getting To The End:  5/5
  4. Vegatropolis – City Of The Beautiful: 4/5
  5. Jump To The Left, Jump To The Right: 5/5
  6. The Order Of Things: 5/5
  7. To Preserve Humankind: 5/5
  8. The Thirteenth Tower: 4/5
  9. Punchcard Horses: 3/5
  10. The Philosopher’s Stone: 5/5
  11. A Sense Of Foul Play: 5/5
  12. Waste Of Time: 5/5
  13. The Damien Factor: 5/5
  14. Wishmaster: 5/5
  15. Quadrillennium: 3/5
  16. Mission Accomplished: 5/5
  17. The Road: 4/5
  18. Lost And Found: 5/5
  19. The Publisher’s Reader: 3/5
  20. Stories From The Box: 4/5
  21. The Membranes In The Centering Horn: 5/5
  22. One Last Kiss Goodbye: 5/5
  23. The Mirror Talks: 5/5
  24. Keep Fighting Until The Machines Fall Asleep: 5/5
  25. Outpost Eleven: 5/5
  26. Messiah: 3/5
You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: The man approached me when I was on my way home from the university.

Highlights: Brilliant selection of stories.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

It’s a place of maybes, I guess. Where bad things can happen, and often will, but also might not.

Everybody who lives here has seen something they can’t explain. And everybody who lives here has seen things they don’t want to explain

Strange, how quickly you adapt to things if someone tells you it’s normal

Memorable Paragraph:

And then I thought maybe you actually could. Maybe money was some kind of delicious dish. But sister told me people long ago thought the small round things were beautiful. And they just wanted to have as many of them as possible. Way back when the crowd was beautiful I said to myself dreamily. When people just looked at things because they liked to look at things, beautiful things. Not because they were wondering if this thing or that was edible, like I do. But then, I’m always hungry and there is so little to eat in the Newest New World.

Final Thoughts: A must-read for everyone!

Book Review: Squirrel Of Magic

21900440Author: Olga Godim
Release Date: April 11, 2014
Series: None
Genre: YA | Contemporary Fiction | Short Stories
Edition: e-book (epub)
Pages: 132
Publisher: Self
Interest: Requested by author
Source: Author (Thanks, Olga!)
To buy Squirrel Of Magic click here.

Blurb

After smuggling her familiar, squirrel Beatrice, into Canada, young witch Darya embarks on

Book Review: Just After Sunset

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Author: Stephen King
Release Date: 11 November, 2008
Series: None
Genre: Short Stories | Horror | Super Natural | Thriller
Pages: 515
Edition: Paperback
ISBN NO.: 978-0-340-97718-7
Publisher: Hachette India
Source: Library