Rosie’s #BookReview #Team #RBRT #Horror Novella NIGHT SERVICE by @john_f_leonard

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Night Service by John F. Leonard

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I love the way this author writes. He uses short and sharp sentences and paragraphs which make you become part of the action and the horror. He also uses marvelously descriptive verbiage to bring his scenes alive and it definitely works for me. Some examples from the first page of what I mean in this regard are as follows:
“A few steps and everything changed.” – the first sentence. “They left the main drag and the night unfurled.” I love these short and punchy lines.
“The sort of place where getting hurt was to be expected, just an unavoidable consequence of being there.” and “There was nothing but a lonely field of darkness, fragranced with the unsweet smell of desertion.” For me, I had the chills just from reading the first page and a clear expectation of what was coming.

Luke and Jessica have been on a date which he expects to progress to an overnighter, but they need to get to her place. They decide to take the night bus as neither want to waste money and, after all, public transport is reliable and easy to use, barring the trawl through the neighbourhood to get to the bus stop and the wait.

Luke finds himself having some misgivings about using the bus and nearly decides to call a taxi, but Jessica convinces him that the bus is fine for their purposes. He agrees and that turns out to be a very bad decision.

His feelings of unease increase as other travelers gather at the bus station. A strange young woman with a baby, who seems quite out of context in the circumstances, a heavy-weight who appears drunk and disorderly, three tough-looking members of a band and a most annoyingly chatty elderly gentleman, who, on reflection, is also out of context in the setting. Luke has misgivings, but the bus arrives and he gets on. His journey to hell begins.

This book is not long so the author has limited time to build his world and bring the plot to its culmination. I thought he did a great job of creating this alter and creepy world which exists in parallel to the human world and which is real, but somehow not real.

The descriptions and world building gave me the same creepy and eerie feeling as The Langoliers by Stephen King, a short story I read as a young teenager, but which I have never forgotten. The monsters reminded me of H.G. Well’s morlocks, with the horrible tainted feeling you get when you read about them in The Time Machine. They is a disgustingly slimy suggestion to their looks and behaviour which gave me the shivers.

I really enjoyed this book and its interesting and unusual, but highly appropriate style, and think lovers of clever horror will enjoy this book.

Book description

It’s been a great night, but it’s getting late. You need to make tracks and cash isn’t king.

No worries… all aboard the Night Service. It could be the last bus you ever catch.

Every journey is a journey into the unknown, but this trip is an eye-opener, unlike anything that Luke and Jessica have ever experienced. They’re going to learn a few important lessons. Being young and in love doesn’t grant immunity from the everyday awful… or the less ordinary evil that lurks in the shadows.

There’s no inoculation from the horror of the world – it’s real and it’s waiting to touch you.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #PostApocalypse UPON US by Blakely Chorpenning

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Upon Us by Blakely Chorpenning

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I thought this book was a thoroughly entertaining read. The idea of having a forced ending to the technological advancement of our modern world is a unique and clever take on dystopia and one I really appreciated. I have read a huge number of books and I have never come across a premise quite like this and that made this book stand out for me as a five-star read.

The story starts with a young woman who is clearly an social outsider, holding up two men who are changing guard at a utility building in a remote and hidden spot. She quickly overcomes them even though she is described as being hungry and cold and it is immediately clear that she is unprivileged and lives a life of hardship.

A third man appears unexpectedly on the scene who is described as being someone who enjoys three meals a day and a shower on demand. He is a contrast to the woman and is referred to by her as a villager or a Privileged, someone who lives behind the safety of walls. The nameless woman manages to overcome this privileged man, who we later find out is called Ren, and kidnaps him.

The opening chapter is extremely well done and the reader ends it knowing that there are two kinds of people in this world, the Privileged, who have everything and live behind protective walls, and everyone else who live in clans and struggle for survival. It is also disclosed that the world has undergone some sort of new beginning and a lot of lives had been lost due to a lack of medicine and medical interventions, it is also indicated that some sort of devastating plague has taken hold which is spreading rapidly and has devastating consequences for those living outside the protection of the villages.

As the story unravels, the reader gradually learns about the woman’s life and what her objectives are in kidnapping Ren. The activity doesn’t go as planned for her due to her attraction to Ren and her lack of knowledge about the retention of certain technological equipment by the villagers. Unbeknownst to both the woman and Ren, there are greater powers at work in their world and even the villagers are not safe from them.

I enjoyed the character of the woman, who thinks her name is Jolee, and who is a strong and innovative female character, but still having the hormones that frequently impact on decisions making by women. Jolee ends up making certain allowances and decisions due to her growing attachment to Ren.

Ren was an interesting character as he turns out not to be the strong alpha-male man he initially seems to be. He has a fatal flaw which has moulded his character and attitude to life. He is loyal and devoted to his friends, including Jolee, and will put his life on the line for them.

I enjoyed the way the story developed and the intriguing details about the plague, the villagers and the clans people that revealed themselves as the story unfolds.

Book description

What if the apocalypse was manufactured to save mankind?

Threatened by an ailing planet and insatiable human advancement, world governments agreed to ban the modern way of life, cutting off electricity, technology, and medical services, dismantling the global economy for one hundred years.

Twenty-five years have passed in this self-imposed darkness known as the New Beginning. Crops are dying and the sickness -a zombie-like plague of rotting flesh and fractured minds- is ravishing the East Coast of the United States.

One woman has been entrusted by the clans to remedy their food shortage. Breaking the rules is nothing new, but She -a nameless nomad- must abduct a privileged villager named Ren, bringing her too close for comfort with his entitled world. Together, they discover the root of the plague as their desire for one another grows, even as the differences in their two worlds collide.

Through deception and the horrors of an expanding pandemic, love thrives where a world chose to die.

UPON US is a New Adult post-apocalyptic love story with adult content and gory imagery (because -zombies).

AmazonUk | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT A New Year’s Cosy #Mystery DEATH ON THE DANUBE by @JSAauthor

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Death On The Danube by Jennifer S. Alderson.

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I am a great fan of Jennifer S. Alderson’s Adventures of Zelda Richardson books as I really enjoy the fast pace and wonderfully exotic locations that feature in this series. When this first book in Ms Alderson’s new cozy mystery series became available, I quickly snatched it up to see what this versatile author can do in this slightly different genre. I have recently visited Budapest, so I was also keen to see how this amazing city is featured in this book.

I was not disappointed, either with regards to the genre or the setting of Death on the Danube. As a cozy mystery, this book is shorter than the Zelda books and, as a result, the characters are not as fleshed out. this was not a problem for me as I still got a good feel for Lana, the recently divorced heroine, who finds herself unexpectedly dealing with a murder investigation instead of just assuming the new role of tour guide to a party of wealthy tourists. Lana was previously an investigative journalist and this experience comes in handy when Carl, her fellow tour guide, is found floating in the Danube.

This book reminded me of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express as it had lots of interesting characters. The story dips into each potential suspects life and reveals enough tantalizing details about a few of them to make them a likely suspect and Lana must do some hard work to unravel their stories and how they fit into Carl’s messy life.

Carl was an interesting chap with his involved history of womanizing, gambling and misleading people in order to gain their financial support. He was likable enough for me to not entirely hate him and I felt rather bad about his untimely death even though he was a bit of a rotter.

The introduction of the travel element and virtual tour the author gives her readers separates this book from others in this genre and made it a really interesting read. The depictions of the tourist destinations were interesting and the descriptions of the food, tantalizing.

I would strongly recommend this book to lovers of cozy mysteries and short murder mystery stories.

 

Book description

Who knew a New Year’s trip to Budapest could be so deadly? The tour must go on – even with a killer in their midst…

Recent divorcee Lana Hansen needs a break. Her luck has run sour for going on a decade, ever since she got fired from her favorite job as an investigative reporter. When her fresh start in Seattle doesn’t work out as planned, Lana ends up unemployed and penniless on Christmas Eve.

Dotty Thompson, her landlord and the owner of Wanderlust Tours, is also in a tight spot after one of her tour guides ends up in the hospital, leaving her a guide short on Christmas Day.

When Dotty offers her a job leading the tour group through Budapest, Hungary, Lana jumps at the chance. It’s the perfect way to ring in the new year and pay her rent!

What starts off as the adventure of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare when Carl, her fellow tour guide, is found floating in the Danube River. Was it murder or accidental death? Suspects abound when Lana discovers almost everyone on the tour had a bone to pick with Carl.

But Dotty insists the tour must go on, so Lana finds herself trapped with nine murder suspects. When another guest turns up dead, Lana has to figure out who the killer is before she too ends up floating in the Danube…

Introducing Lana Hansen, tour guide, reluctant amateur sleuth, and star of the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series. Join Lana as she leads tourists and readers to fascinating cities around the globe on intriguing adventures that, unfortunately for Lana, often turn deadly.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Cosy #Mystery CHRISTMAS CUPCAKES AND A CAPER by D.E. Haggerty

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Christmas Cupcakes and A Caper by D.E. Haggerty

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Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper is a short murder mystery starring three friends Anna, Callie and Kristie who discover a dead body on the doorstep of the bakery Callie and Anna co-own one evening in the run-up to Christmas. The ladies call the police and all three of the ladies boyfriends, two of whom are involved in law enforcement and one of whom is a firefighter, arrive on the scene to assist their girlfriends in dealing with the situation.

Callie, a lecturer at the local university, as well as being a co-owner of the bakery, knows the victim, Donald Griffin, who was a student there. Kristie, who is involved at the local youth centre which is frequented by troubled teens, quickly discovers that Donald was not popular with her protegees. Anna, the baker of the cupcakes sold at the bakery, is the only one of the three who doesn’t know him other than as a customer of the bakery. The three women become drawn into the murder investigation as a few odd occurrences and co-incidences come to their attention in relation to the young man’s death and relationships with his fellow students.

This story is short and light, with a simple, straight forward plot, a bit of fun romance and lots of conversation and comments about delicious cupcakes of all kinds. The recipes for these lovely sounding cupcakes appear at the end of the book.

Book description

It’s all candy cane cupcakes and peppermint coffee until you find a dead elf on your doorstep.

Only the elf wasn’t a real elf, because elves don’t actually exist – not even at Christmas time. A college student dressed like an elf decided taking a nap on the stoop of Callie’s Cakes in sub-zero winter temps was a good idea. It wasn’t. Anna, the pink-haired baker extraordinaire, is convinced the student’s death was not an accident. She drags Callie and Kristie along with her as she attempts to discover who killed the elf … um… student.

Will the gals of Callie’s Cakes find the killer before Christmas is ruined?

Cupcakes not included, although you’ll find recipes for all the delicious Christmas cupcakes Anna bakes.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

 

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Horror #Shortstories CHILLS & CREEPS by @NickClausen9

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Chills & Creeps by Nick Clausen

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book of eight short creepy and chilling tales by Nick Clausen. The tone of his stories, and their unusual and clever twists reminded me of Roald Dahl’s style with his short story collections.

Under the skin features a young, red headed boy with freckly skin who takes shelter in a elderly strangers house one afternoon during a downpour. The granny is kindly towards him, giving him tea and cookies and drying his clothing, but she has her own frightening agenda.

Snapper the fish is a tale about the acquisition of a pet gone wrong. Mary is a spoiled girl who has recently become an older sister to a baby girl. Mary is jealous of the attention the new baby is garnering from her friends and family. When Mary acquires a most unusual pet, she makes a plan to use it for her own selfish ends.

Deadly dreams features the very topical world of gaming. Two boys are drawn into a popular game of human versus monsters. Despite various warnings that the game is dangerous to your health, it has gone viral. Daniel and Christian had better practice hard, they can’t afford to make mistakes.

All birds hate me gave me the greatest creeps of them all as I have a bit of a phobia about birds attacking people. Eagle is diagnosed with a strange disease. He is getting treatment, but is impatient to enjoy his life like everyone else his age. He decides to venture out of the safety of his home.

Ghost tennis is all about a young ghost who has an obsession with tennis. When a new family move into his historic home, he hopes that he will find a new tennis partner. If not, everyone will pay.

Drip-Drip-Drip shows what could happen if your own home turned against you. Unfortunately, it knows your deepest and darkest fears and is willing to use them against you.

When I snap my fingers is really rather unsettling tale about progressive hypnotism and what could come out if you delve into your past lives. Meddling with the mind is never a good idea.

Lights out is a rather unusual tale with a super power flavour of a different sort. It is never a good idea for one person to have too much power over nature.

Book description

In this collection, you’ll meet …

Peter, who meets an upholsterer who really likes his skin. Mary, who gets a pet fish thatwill only eat human flesh. Daniel, who plays a game that becomes real in his dreams. Eagle, who has a disease that make birds attack him wherever he goes. Joseph, who plays tennis with a ghost. Nadia, who gets trapped in a house slowly filling up with water. Calvin, whose sister visits a hypnotist and becomes someone else. And Noah, who learns to control lights with his mind.

Eight stories spanning horror, dark fantasy and science fiction, all set in everyday life while exploring the dark, the evil and the supernatural. The Chills & Creeps-series was originally published in Danish to great reviews, and is now available in English.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Horror #Novella CONGEAL by @john_f_leonard

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Congeal by John F. Leonard.

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Human civilization is a fragile thing and author John Leonard does a superb job of depicting this frailty and the ease with which society can fray and disintegrate when faced with calamity which knocks out the power and other communication sources. A primeval ooze, that becomes know as the clag, is sighted in a lake in a small rural town. It moves swiftly and silently, popping up in cities and towns all of the world within days. The clag comes from the very centre of the earth and uses man’s own interventions against him such as the sewers and the manholes. It sweeps in vast, rippling sheets of mud-like substances across entire suburbs and towns leaving nothing in its wake. The few survivors are left stunned and helpless to try and regroup and survive in virtually impossible circumstances.

Amelia has recently found the love of her life, William, and they live a happy and relaxed life in the country with their dog. Amelia has just discovered she is pregnant and their joy will be complete, but before she can even tell William the news, the clag strikes and her life is torn to shreds. Amelia flees her home and the terrible memories associated with it and happens to come across a small group of survivors led by a man called Pete.

This book is a true horror book. In fact, it is the ultimate in horror as the main characters alternatives gradually disappear as different survival theories fail, one after the other.

For me, the most interesting aspects of this book where the characterizations of the various survivors in the group that initially revolve around Pete, a man who has a plan and a determination to survive. As the circumstances of the group become more hopeless and the group shrinks, their shaky unity starts to fracture and conflict starts to divide them. There would seem to be a lot of truth in the old saying “divide and conquer.” It reminded me a bit of Lord of the Flies by William Golding when the tentative leadership and attempt at a society breaks apart with tragic consequences.

Book description

It starts with reports on the news of an inland lake turning semi-solid.
Surely, a media joke, some lame April Fool’s prank?
The before and after pictures are vaguely ludicrous and oddly disturbing, the contrast stark and strange.
First, darkly rippling water that hints at hidden depths. Slightly spooky and perfectly normal. Next, a putrid blotch of clotted sludge which bears little resemblance to anything aquatic.

It isn’t a joke.
And pretty soon, that greasy, sickening substance isn’t confined to an inland lake.
It’s spreading. Flowing over fields and filling streets.
Each morning brings a new revelation. Countryside denuded of life and towns empty and echoing.
The night is when it changes, becomes something that consumes. Something infinitely worse than a congealed impossibility.

CONGEAL is a short tale of apocalyptic horror. How the world ends may not be how you expect. Nuclear Armageddon or a zombie apocalypse could get beaten to the punch.
Our apocalypse may come from below.
An ancient, cosmic entity bubbling up to the surface in search of food.
It’s also the story of one individual and her fight to stay afloat in a sea of despair.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Art Heist #Thriller MARKED FOR REVENGE by @JSAauthor

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Marked For Revenge by Jennifer Alderson

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This is the third book I have read in the Zelda Richardson series which I find quite unique as a whole due to its focus on the world of art museums in the Netherlands. Ms Alderson describes the artworks that feature in her stories with rich clarity which I really enjoy. She clearly has an extensive knowledge of this subject which she shares in an interesting and entertaining way and makes me long to visit the art museums in the Netherlands.

Zelda has is finally coming together. She has a paying job in a local museum as a researcher, her relationship with Jacob is going well and she has a great apartment in a building inhabited mainly by artists. She has befriended on of the artists, a young Croatian woman called Gabriella, and has even started making her own stained glass windows again. Life couldn’t be better until a series of brazen art thefts starts rocking the art world in the Netherlands.

Skilled and daring thieves break into the poorly secured museums around the country and steal a selection of rather unusual artworks. They do not take the most valuable and well know pieces, but rather the more obscure artworks by famous artists. A card saying the art has been taken by Robber Hood due to the poor security of national treasures is left behind at each location.

When Gabriella suffers a diabetic collapse in front of Zelda who takes her to her apartment to administer her insulin, Zelda sees what she believes to be a copy of one of the stolen pieces together with an in-progress copy on Gabriella’s easel. She is attacked by a visitor to Gabriella’s apartment while she is still there and incurs a serious head injury which affects her memory, making it unreliable.

Soon after Zelda returns to work, her museum becomes a victim of Robber Hood and due to various circumstances surrounding her attack and what she thinks she saw in Gabriella’s apartment, Zelda becomes a suspect and is suspended from her job. She teams up with a well-known art theft private investigator hired by the museum to find the missing art and sets of on an adventure to clear her name and find the missing artwork before it disappears forever.

This is my favourite of the Zelda Richardson series so far. The character of Zelda has matured and become a bit more of a thinker and a planner. I enjoyed the step up in her relationship with Jacob and the introduction of a bit of a more stable romance which in no way detracted from the main storyline. All in, a well research, well written and entertaining read.

Book description

An adrenaline-fueled adventure set in the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, and Turkey about stolen art, the mafia, and a father’s vengeance.

When researcher Zelda Richardson begins working at a local museum, she doesn’t expect to get entangled with an art theft, knocked unconscious by a forger, threatened by the mob, or stalked by drug dealers.

To make matters worse, a Croatian gangster is convinced Zelda knows where a cache of recently pilfered paintings is. She must track down an international gang of art thieves and recover the stolen artwork in order to save those she loves most.

The trouble is, Zelda doesn’t know where to look. Teaming up with art detective Vincent de Graaf may be her only hope at salvation.

The trail of clues leads Zelda and Vincent on a pulse-pounding race across Europe to a dramatic showdown in Turkey that may cost them their lives.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #ShortStory Collection MORE GLIMPSES by @HughRoberts05

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading More Glimpses by Hugh Roberts

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Hugh Roberts has produced another collection of unusual and interesting short stories which inspire a variety of reactions from amusement to disbelief to horror. The author depicts the thoughts, motivations and reactions of his characters to their varying circumstances in an accurate and thought provoking way. He likens his book to The Twilight Zone and as I read each story I though this comparison was very apt as there is a creepy eeriness about the stories that makes you feel as if the characters might have wandered into a parallel universe where everything looks the same but isn’t.

My two favourite stories in the collection are as follows:

The Whistle is a story set in the trenches in France during World War 1. A group of soldiers are sitting waiting for the whistle to blow. When it does, they will crawl out of the trenches and hurl themselves into the line of fire resulting in an almost certain death. One soldier reflects on his life as he waits, knowing this is likely to be the end. His thoughts revolve around the important relationships and loves of his life. When the whistle blows he launches himself into the fray and we discover some interesting aspects to his character and life. The authors descriptions of the horror of waiting in the cold and mud of the trenches as well as the psychology of war are deeply disturbing.

Murder in Evershot is a story about how an inquisitive and perceptive person can be manipulated down an incorrect path and end up missing the obvious. The main character and his partner and two dogs arrive in a small English town for a 5-day break. The town is strongly reminiscent of the movie set for the television series about Agatha Christie’s famous character, Miss Marple. A series of strange events start to unfold and the hero becomes more and more convinced that he is in the middle of a murder mystery. When he investigates certain leads, the evidence seems to point to a certain conclusion and he even comes across a Miss Marple look alike although she adamantly refuses to have any similarities to Miss Marple. The story has an expected ending which is most satisfying.

Book description

Do you believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden? Or know the real truth about what lurks inside every mobile phone? Would you steal items from a blind person, or send your neighbours on a time travelling adventure fraught with danger and menace to save the human race from a bug? How about staying in a sleepy village where many murders have taken place or coming to the aid of royalty while out shopping?

These are just some of the subjects covered in the second collection of short stories and flash fiction from author and writer, Hugh W. Roberts.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Fantasy Voyage Of The Lanternfish by C.S. Boyack @virgilante

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Voyage Of The Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack

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I really enjoyed this book. It is a wonderful adventure of pirates on the high seas, along the lines of the famous Treasure Island, but filled with marvelous creatures and unusual beings and people, in the manner of The Hobbit, and incorporating a splash of the science fiction innovation found in the Harry Potter series of books (which I loved). I enjoyed Voyage of the Laternfish more than either Treasure Island or The Hobbit because it also contained some humour and there is nothing like a bit of well written humour for great reading pleasure.

My favourite character was … the root monsters. They were the most fascinating creatures ever reduced to the written word by an amazing imagination. Of them all, Trubba (Trouble) was my favourite and I enjoyed reading about their antics and the theatrical performances they put on to entertain the crew.

When Dan and James are kidnapped, along with Dan’s sister and James’ fiance, Bonnie, this tale of adventure begins. The kidnapper incarcerates Bonnie in his castle to ensure that Dan and James fulfill their promises to help him invoke a war with a rival country. The kidnapper, however, vastly underestimates the determination and abilities of the pair and they escape, hell bent on starting the war on their own terms in order to rescue Bonnie.

Dan and James head towards a sea port, collecting other desperate and outcast people along the way. Their kindness towards others turns out to be a great benefit to them when Mal, an elderly cannibal from a large island in the South Seas who has been forced into slavery, and Fala, a young woman with no home and no protectors, become part of their team. At the seaport, the group meets the captain of a band of pirates looking for adventure and they decide to all work together to become the outstanding pirate crew of a small ship. Before long, the pirates have acquired themselves a much larger and more impressive ship and are gadding about the oceans having lots of adventures.

I thought the ideas and themes in this book were very clever and that it was well written and entertaining fantasy read.

Book description

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Arts #Mystery Rituals Of The Dead by @JSAauthor

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Rituals Of The Dead by Jennifer S Alderson

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In Rituals of the Dead, Zelda Richardson, an American art history student living and working in Amsterdam, is again drawn into a strange mystery. Her accidental involvement in the mystery has the potential to threaten her life and the lives of selected people around her.

Zelda is working as an interim at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua. When a number of sealed crates from the early 1960s are discovered and opened in a public forum, the personal diary of Nick Mayfield, a well-known American anthropologist who disappeared at that time, is discovered in one of the crates. The Tropenmuseum decides to photograph the diary before returning it to the Mayfield family. Zelda is tasked with assisting with the photography and also with translating the diary into Dutch.

The reader embarks on an exciting journey with Zelda as she slowly translates the diary and learns Nick’s story in the months running up to his disappearance. She becomes embroiled in a ring of criminality from the 1960s that reached between Papua and the Netherlands. Zelda’s discoveries are most unexpected and could shake the Amsterdam art world to its core.

I enjoy Jennifer S. Alderson’s writing and have read the previous novel in this series. The author has a very good working knowledge of the art world and the value and appeal of various art works. I enjoyed learning about Papua during the 1960s and finding out about the art works created by the Asmat people. The author weaves this interesting information into her story without making it cumbersome and the reader is drawn into Zelda’s world in a very realistic and natural way.

I enjoyed learning more about Zelda and seeing how her character developed in this third book in the series. I felt that the author did a good job of showing some growth in her maturity and ability to cope with adverse circumstances.

Book description

Art history student Zelda Richardson is working at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua – the same area where a famous American anthropologist disappeared in 1962. When his journal is found inside one of the bis poles, Zelda is tasked with finding out more about the man’s last days and his connection to these ritual objects.

Zelda is pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, headhunters, missionaries, art collectors, and smugglers – where the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased.

Join Zelda as she grapples with the anthropologist’s mysterious disappearance fifty years earlier, and a present-day murderer who will do anything to prevent her from discovering the truth.

About the author

Hi! I worked as a journalist and website developer in Seattle, Washington before trading my financial security for a backpack. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, Europe and Central America, I moved to the Netherlands and earned degrees in art history and museum studies.

When not writing, I can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning my next research trip.

Jennifer S. Alderson

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