Friday, July 20, 2012

Our Friday Review - July 20th - A Mind Man

by PD Richmond

The Mind Man by PD Richmond catches hold of you from the start. Immediately you are introduced to the main character and his unfortunate way of school and home life and you instantly sympathize with him.

Although the characters throughout the book have an inkling of what the main character is doing the book leaves you hanging wondering whether there is more to it and if the other characters are reading into it more than they should. Its only further into the book where you realise that this type of situation could be destructive and could actually cause major disruption to mankind. The story line keeps you guessing right the way through.

To start it’s a major ‘the baddy gets his comeuppance’ but it quickly moves onto something else with fast-paced developments in the story line.
When you get to the ending, the whole story unravels and you start to question your own intentions. You start with sympathising with the main character, then you begin to resent him and then back to feeling for him and maybe feel sorry that you changed your own opinion of him.

There are many aspects aside of the main story line throughout this book that you can relate to in your own life and enables you to think how you would feel should you be in the situation.

From start to finish I couldn't put the book down and found that it was very easy to pick up from where I left off. 

I did find that there maybe a few unnecessary characters that were brought into the story line and I started to feel that I may lose track of the plot, however these characters, although they play a big part in the story line only have a small appearance in the book. I also found that the plot would go from A-Z very quickly but as quick as this would happen, the story would make sense and fit together well.

Overall 4.5 stars and definitely worth a read.

Sarah Springate @Spring_meister

Friday, July 13, 2012

Our Friday Review - July 13th - CIty of Broken Glass

The fourth book in a series of historical thrillers, A City of Broken Glass by Rebecca Cantrell is a blend of the mystery/intrigue and noir genres. It is a well written story that takes place in what many (myself included) consider the darkest period in the modern western world.

Set in Nazi Germany in 1938, the story follows Hannah Vogel, a journalist sent by the Swiss newspaper she works for to cover a fluff piece about pastries during a festival in Poland. But soon after she and her son Anton arrive in Poland, Hannah discovers a real story to cover: the deportation of Jews from Germany. The Jewish refugees Hannah finds are housed in a stable under deplorable conditions and guarded by Polish soldiers as if they are prisoners. When Hannah recognizes one of the refugees as the wife of a former lover, Hannah goes to her and sees that the woman is about to give birth. The woman begs Hannah to ensure the safety of her two year old daughter who has been hidden in a cupboard in the woman's home in Berlin. As Hannah agrees to help, she faces not just the mystery of why the toddler was left alone or where she is but also Hannah's very own mystery - how she herself becomes trapped in Berlin with her son and how it all ties together with her past. The suspense is built carefully through both the fictional events created and the actual historical events leading to the Holocaust and World War II.

The story is told in first person from Hannah's point of view and in that respect it's very well done. The writing is a little on the colder side but almost exactly what the reader would imagine to be written by a journalist. It also fits well with the bleakness of the time period. Although there is a lot of internal dialogue and self criticism (for not doing enough to fight the Nazis) within Hannah and surrounding the other characters, the characters themselves still struck me as a little cold. Most of the emotion I felt arose from the events rather than the characters - even though the author does a good job of making the main characters a little more likeable towards the end (and they are probably realistic for the time). 

As I mentioned earlier, this is the fourth book in the Hannah Vogel mystery series but it can easily be read as a stand alone thriller. There is a lot of historical information behind it and the author even provides additional information from her research at the end.

For a suspense thriller, it's a very good story. It also has an interesting but very disturbing setting. So it's probably just me, but I did feel a little discomfort when I read the novel. Yes, I know there were German citizens who did stand up against the Nazi Regime and their inhuman laws. The author even points this out at the end with real examples. However, as history tells us there were so many who didn't. It gives the reader a lot to think about. I think if the storyline was in a different setting and the characters just a little different, it would have been an easier novel to like.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Fiction Engine Network

Hello Thriller fans and book lovers in general. Shannon Mayer of TRT has graciously offered this guest spot for me to tell you about a new book blog called New Fiction Engine, and most importantly about a new Network of book reviewers we’re building and hoping some of you might like to join.

First, the idea behind New Fiction Engine is simple and written at the very top of our home page: “We Find Great Fiction from Under Six Bucks to Free.”

Books need readers like stuffed animals need kids to love them. The absolute best way to help match a book to a reader who will love it is Word-of-Mouth from other readers who love it already.

We do feature posts on one book a day, something we’ve vetted and know is really good, and we tell people about it. We do other fun stuff too, but that’s the heart of it.

Many under 6 dollar books are Indie books. We love Indie books, but as you know many of those are unknown quantities. No way we can read them all. What we need then, is vetted content. Indie or Traditional, we just need to know when there’s a really good book out there. Obviously no one knows and loves books more than book bloggers, and there are really no opinions we’d rather cite.

With that in mind, then, we came up with a pretty cool idea we think is a win/win for everybody.

It’s the NFE Network - Reviews We Trust With Our Very Lives.

The idea is simple:

Our goal is to create a Network of book blogs with trusted reviews we can link to, sending new traffic their way in exchange for giving our readers a heads-up on great books. When you find and review a good book under six bucks, we’ll send readers to you so you can tell them all about it.

The relationship is very simple and you wouldn’t have to do much of anything besides read and blog as usual. When we see a 4 Star or better review of an under 6 dollar book on a Network blog, we just want to link to it. We’ll post the book cover, your logo (if applicable) a teaser of your review's opening lines, and LINK it directly to your blog.  

All of your content will be fully credited to you (in fact we’re very proud to have you and

will make a big deal out of it) and only a snippet of the review will be posted here as a teaser. We will link you and only you in that post.

Then we’ll tweet and promote as hard as we can (we are small because we literally started last week - but so far people really like the site and we are growing fast!) Our readers continue getting a great service, and the result should be extra readers for you.

We also would like to make the relationship official, make some noise about it, and get people curious.

Join us and we’ll announce the relationship, proudly display your logo in our side bar as part of our Network of Reviews We Trust With Our Very lives, and whenever you review an Under Six Buck book for your blog with a recommendation of 4 Stars or more, we’ll do our best to send people your way.

Thrillers Rock Twitter was the first to join, an their logo looks terrific on our site. But they look lonely at the moment and we’d love to see a few more there!

Thanks for this opportunity Shannon, thanks TRT, and thanks everybody,

Stephen T. Harper

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