Andy McDermott: Kingdom of Darkness (Review)

Author: Andy McDermott

Andy McD

Andy McDermott is the international bestselling author of the Nina Wilde/Eddie Chase series of adventure thrillers, the first of which, THE HUNT FOR ATLANTIS, became a New York Times bestseller on its September 2009 publication in the United States. He is currently working on his twelfth novel.

Born in Halifax, England, and a graduate of Keele University, Andy now lives in Bournemouth, where he works as a full-time writer. Previously, he was an entertainment journalist and the editor of such magazines as DVD Review and the iconoclastic film publication Hotdog, where his lifelong love of movies (and vast knowledge of movie trivia) finally became a useful job skill. He has also worked as a cartoonist, graphic designer and videogame reviewer, and written for the award-winning British sci-fi comic2000AD.

Author Web Site

Kingdom of Darkness (2014)
(The tenth book in the Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase series)

Kingdom of darkness

 

Buy the book

“What’s the connection between a dig in Alexandria for Alexander the Great’s tomb and a wanted Nazi war criminal?

Nina and Eddie about to find out as they go on a search across the globe, from Egypt to Argentina and Italy to Iran, to find the truth. They have located the most exciting archaeological treasures the world has ever known – they have found Atlantis and walked in the Garden of Eden, they have wielded Excalibur and seen the vast sums of gold in El Dorado.
Could they now be about to find the greatest prize of all – the secret to eternal life?

Full of his trademark action, thrills and humour, this is Andy McDermott’s most exciting novel to date and marks the 10th novel featuring his brilliant series leads, Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase.”

Review

I’ve always been a little astounded by the books from Andy McDermott, first that he could write so fast, these are not small books, but look at his track record, his first six books were published in three years, in 7 years Eleven novels (Stunning). Each and every book has been a epic thrill ride, worthy of any Hollywood studio / film writer. Which brings me to my amazement that none of these books have been made into a big budget film.

So Kingdom of Darkness, probably the least OTT of the series, but this is a series you read for the wild thrill ride, not plausibility. That said its also well researched, down to some very fine detail (both the modern and the historical) and always remains just within the bounds of possible. This time, throw in Nazis’s, Alexander the Great and a secret to eternal life and you have an absolute winner.  With any great thriller, to talk to much about the plot is a spoiler, and same about the back story. Needless to say for those who read this series Eddie Chase is his usual puntastic self, Nina gets them into the thick of trouble with her single minded pursuit of legend and along the way there will be wild chases, explosions, bullets galore and twists and turns so mind bendingly good you will be guessing all the way to the end.

In summary: An excellent thriller, exhausting, Laugh out loud funny and gobsmackingly heartbreaking.

If you like high octane thrillers then you CANNOT miss this book.

(Parm)

 

 

Series
Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase
1. The Hunt for Atlantis (2007)
2. The Tomb of Hercules (2008)
3. The Secret of Excalibur (2008)
4. The Covenant of Genesis (2009)
5. The Cult of Osiris (2009)
aka The Pyramid of Doom
6. The Sacred Vault (2010)
aka The Vault Of Shiva
7. Empire of Gold (2011)
8. Temple of the Gods (2011)
aka Return to Atlantis
9. The Valhalla Prophecy (2014)
10. Kingdom of Darkness (2014)
The Hunt for AtlantisThe Tomb of HerculesThe Secret of ExcaliburThe Covenant of GenesisThe Cult of OsirisThe Sacred VaultThe Sacred VaultTemple of the GodsThe Valhalla ProphecyKingdom of Darkness
Novels
The Persona Protocol (2013)
aka The Shadow Protocol
The Persona Protocol

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Christian Cameron: Force of Kings (Review)

Christian Cameron

Christian Cameron

Christian Cameron was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1962. He grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, Iowa City, Iowa, and Rochester, New York, where he attended McQuaid Jesuit High School and later graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in history.

After the longest undergraduate degree on record (1980-87), he joined the United States Navy, where he served as an intelligence officer and as a backseater in S-3 Vikings in the First Gulf War, in Somalia, and elsewhere. After a dozen years of service, he became a full time writer in 2000. He lives in Toronto (that’s Ontario, in Canada) with his wife Sarah and their daughter Beatrice, currently age seven. He attends the University of Toronto when the gods move him and may eventually have a Masters in Classics, but right now he’s a full time historical novelist, and it is the best job in the world.

Christian is a dedicated reenactor and you can follow some of his recreated projects on the Agora . He’s always recruiting, so if you’d like to try the ancient world, the medieval world, or the late 18th century, follow the link to contact us.

 

Force of Kings (2014)

(The sixth book in the Tyrant series)

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force of kings

Twin monarchs Satyrus and Melitta have worked hard, seen much blood shed and many good friends die to secure their fertile kingdom on the Black Sea. But as the colossal conflict between Alexander the Great’s former generals to inherit his empire rages from one end of the known world to the other, sitting on the sidelines is not an option. If their kingdom is to have a future, Satyrus and Melitta must join forces with one of the contenders, knowing that making the wrong choice could mean disaster. And with Ptolemy, Antigonus-One-Eye and his son Demetrius ‘the Besieger’, Lysimachus and Seleucus all massing their forces for one last battle, the stakes could not be higher. But with the wily Athenian schemer Stratokles, the courtesan-spy Phiale and Satyrus’s lover, the power-hungry Briseis, daughter of the Tyrant of Syracuse, also determined to secure the spoils of victory for themselves, the twins find themselves caught in a deadly web of intrigue that could cost them everything.

Review

I makes no bones about the fact that I’m a Christian Cameron fan, his books top my annual must read list every year, and are often competing for my book of the year award. This latest book Force of Kings is no different, although its a bitter sweet experience, the final book in a series going back to 2008 and the debut book in this series, a series that has helped give me a deeper love of ancient Greek culture, respect for that culture and respect for the author as one of the smartest most driven, nicest guys i know.

None of that tells you about force of Kings, as ever i hate to and wont give away the plot of a book in a review. What i will cover is: the totally immerse history, so well researched and written the reader is sucked back in time to live, breath fight and die hand in hand with Satyrus and his friends and enemies. My favorite underlying part of all Christians books is that there is no real good guy/ bad guy dynamic, he paints the shades of grey, weaving reality into the plot but without losing the wonder of the age.

The history is romantic and idealised, at times poetic, but that comes across as the authors love of the location and the period. None of it corrupts the plot, the woven intricacies of Stratokles, the machinations of “the doctor”, the self assured megalomania of Demetrius ‘the Besieger’ and the quiet self assured nature of Satyrus, always searching to be a better man, and running headlong into any fire going to do the right thing.

I love the way the author plays out his script, and at the same time makes the reader explore their own inner self, own decisions and the reasons behind them. I’m always left with some form of self examination afterwards, both myself and going back over decisions by characters, should they have made that choice, would i have made that choice. For me its the sign of a great book that challenges you to reread, to explore deeper and more thoroughly the plot and the people. A book that educates while it entertains.

This is the second book this year from this prolific author (great king already out and been an outstanding read) The Long Sword the second William Gold book is out in November 2014 and there are 3 more Tom Swan books due out also.

this is in my top 5 for this year, and will be competing for the top spot come the end of the year. A writer who makes you love history the way he loves it, seen through his eyes, and sharing his experiences. (visit his web site and you will see how intimately he will share the privations and wonders of Ancient Greece, and his commitment to learning the martial skills.)

Highly recommended

(Parm)

 

Tyrant
1. Tyrant (2008)
2. Storm of Arrows (2009)
3. Funeral Games (2010)
4. King of the Bosporus (2011)
5. Destroyer of Cities (2013)
6. Force of Kings (2014)
TyrantStorm of ArrowsFuneral GamesKing of the BosporusDestroyer of CitiesForce of Kings
Long War
1. Killer of Men (2010)
2. Marathon: Freedom or Death (2011)
3. Poseidon’s Spear (2012)
4. The Great King (2014)
Killer of MenMarathon: Freedom or DeathPoseidon's SpearThe Great King
Tom Swan and the Head of St George
1. Castillon (2012)
2. Venice (2012)
3. Constantinople (2012)
4. Rome (2013)
5. Rhodes (2013)
6. Chios (2013)
7, 8 & 9 due (2014)
CastillonVeniceConstantinopleRomeRhodesChios
Novels
Washington and Caesar (2001)
God of War (2012)
The Ill-Made Knight (2013)
The Long Sword (2014)
Washington and CaesarGod of WarThe Ill-Made KnightThe Long Sword

 

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Robin Hobb Fool’s Assassin (2014) (The first book in the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy series)

Robin Hobb

hobb

A pseudonym used by Megan Lindholm

 

 

Robin Hobb is a confirmed believer not just in research, but in attempting to experience the things she is writing about. When, at the age of ten, she moved with her family from California to Alaska, it shaped her as a writer more than any other experience in her life. In the early stages of her writing career she established herself as an author under the name ‘Megan Lindholm’, creating such fine works of modern fantasy as Wizard of the Pigeons, Harpy’s Flight, The Windsingers, and The Reindeer People. In 1992 she decided to embark upon something of greater epic scope. To mirror that change, she chose a new name, ‘Robin Hobb’ under which she has, to the present day, written three trilogies: the Farseer, Liveship Traders and Tawny Man trilogies. She is Voyager’s fastest-selling author in backlist and has now sold over 1 million copies of her paperbacks

Fool’s Assassin (2014)
(The first book in the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy series)

robin hobb fools assassin

Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown.

But behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin. A man who has risked much for his king and lost more…

On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of a man, a wolf and a fool. Once, these three were inseparable friends: Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. But one is long dead, and one long-missing.

Then one Winterfest night a messenger arrives to seek out Fitz, but mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing but a blood-trail. What was the message? Who was the sender? And what has happened to the messenger?

Suddenly Fitz’s violent old life erupts into the peace of his new world, and nothing and no one is safe

Review

Reviewing one of the giants of the genre is always difficult, if you don’t like the book or even find the slightest negative you can expect to be flamed to a crisp by the fan base. Fortunately I really enjoyed the book, if i had anything negative to say it would be that it was slightly longer than needed, any lesser known author would not have been given the latitude to express the depth of emotion or description and would have been pushed to go for more pace. BUT: that comment cannot detract from what is another exceptional book by Robin Hobb. Of all her books, books i have loved each (except the Soldier son series), this new one feels different, like coming home after years away, finding all your old family and friends a little older and wiser, but still the same deep down.

The whole book (all 640 pages) is a deeply emotional ride, a voyeuristic view into the emotions and diaries of Fitz and his orbiting family and friends, Robin Hobbs talent is telling it in a deeply compelling and non invasive style. I read this emotional roller-coaster of a book over several days, reading long past 1am each night, when i knew i had work the next day, i just could not put the book down. Unlike many fantasy books there are no great battles, no great mission, this is life, life in a tough world full of intrigue, assassins and dark history, all of this breeds paranoia, paranoia at life, family, motives both your own and those of others. Its this depth of writing , character exploration and plot that makes Robin Hobb such an exceptional writer, someone who can write a book that will effect the reader so much that days later the plot and its characters are still spinning around your head and leaves you not only wanting the next book but also to read this one again.

I miss Fitz, Bee and the rest of the family already, a year before the next book seems like an eternity (odd considering its been so long since we last saw or heard from Fitz)

very highly recommended

(Parm)

 

Farseer

1. Assassin’s Apprentice (1995)
2. Royal Assassin (1996)
3. Assassin’s Quest (1997)
Words Like Coins (2012)
The Farseer Trilogy: Assassin’s Apprentice / Royal Assassin / Assassin’s Quest (omnibus) (2013)
Royal Assassin / Assassin’s Quest (omnibus) (2013)
Assassin's ApprenticeRoyal AssassinAssassin's QuestWords Like Coins
The Farseer Trilogy:  Assassin's Apprentice / Royal Assassin / Assassin's QuestRoyal Assassin / Assassin's Quest
 Liveship Traders
1. Ship of Magic (1998)
2. The Mad Ship (1999)
3. Ship of Destiny (2000)
The Liveship Traders: The complete trilogy (omnibus) (2012)
Ship of MagicThe Mad ShipShip of DestinyThe Liveship Traders: The complete trilogy
 Tawny Man
1. Fool’s Errand (2001)
2. The Golden Fool (2002)
3. Fool’s Fate (2003)
The Tawny Man Series Books 2 and 3: Golden Fool / Fool’s Fate (omnibus) (2013)
The Tawny Man Trilogy: Fool’s Errand / Golden Fool / Fool’s Fate (omnibus) (2013)
Fool's ErrandThe Golden FoolFool's FateThe Tawny Man Series Books 2 and 3: Golden Fool / Fool's Fate
The  Tawny Man Trilogy: Fool's Errand / Golden Fool / Fool's Fate
 Soldier Son
1. Shaman’s Crossing (2005)
2. Forest Mage (2006)
3. Renegade’s Magic (2007)
The Soldier Son Trilogy Bundle (omnibus) (2012)
Shaman's CrossingForest MageRenegade's MagicThe Soldier Son Trilogy Bundle
 Rain Wild Chronicles
1. The Dragon Keeper (2009)
2. Dragon Haven (2010)
3. City of Dragons (2012)
4. Blood of Dragons (2013)
Rain Wilds Chronicles (omnibus) (2014)
The Dragon KeeperDragon HavenCity of DragonsBlood of Dragons
Rain Wilds Chronicles
 Fitz and the Fool Trilogy
1. Fool’s Assassin (2014)
Fool's Assassin

 

 

 

 

 

 

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James Wilde: Wolves of New Rome (Review)

James Wilde

james w

James  is a Man of Mercia. Raised in a world of books, James studied economic history at university before travelling the world in search of adventure.
He was unable to forget a childhood encounter in the pages of a comic with the great English warrior, Here ward. Wilde returned to the haunted fenlands of Eastern England, Herewards ancestral home, where he became convinced that this legendary hero should be the subject of his first novel. Wilde now indulges his love of history and the high life in the home his family have owned for several generations, in the heart of a Mercian forest.

Visit author web site

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Buy From Goldsboro Books (signed)

Wolves of New Rome (2014)
(The fourth book in the Hereward series)

Hereward WONR

1072 – The great battle has been lost. King William stands victorious. And for the betrayed and abandoned English rebels, the price of their crushing defeat is cruel: exile.
Cut adrift from family, friends, home, their hopes of survival lie with one man, their leader Hereward. But can even that now-legendary hero navigate a safe course across a world torn by war? Their ultimate destination is the jewelled heart of the Christian emperor in the East, the New Rome – Byzantium. Here the English hope to find gold and glory by joining those pledged to protect the emperor, the elite and savage Varangian Guard. But this once-mighty empire is slipping into shadow. Beyond the vast walls, the endless Turkish hordes plan for an attack that could come at any moment. And within the sprawling city, rival factions threaten bloody mayhem as they scheme to seize the crown.

Here begins a new chapter in the stirring tale of England’s forgotten hero. But now the enemies are hidden, their methods bloodier, the battlefield and weapons unfamiliar and to stay alive in this cauldron of plot, betrayal and murder, Hereward and the English must fight as never before.

Review

Its that time of year again, Hereward is back and every year he gets better and better, the book and the writing at least, Poor Hereward himself seems to find himself in bigger and bigger sh!t every book. This book is no exception, its also not glorious trouble, its just the mad bad and crazy world of 1072, its a hard bitter world, life is cheap and its truly rules by those with power and money and the strength to hold it. Hereward and his crew have the will and the skill, but they don’t seem to have the luck to hold on, they have been battered by the winds of fate, by the sweeping plague that is the Norman conquest, a group of singularly nasty, single minded tough, uncompromising nation hell bent on conquest.

This the fourth book in the series see’s our group away from England and travelling to Constantinople, to join the fames Varangian Guard, somewhere they can be lauded for their prowess , gain wealth and start to mend the wounds or their lost home of England. Only fate has other plans, the grass isn’t greener, and their are worse people out there than Normans.

James Wilde is one of the nicest people i have met since i started going to reading events, signing etc, a truly generous chap, always willing to spend time and energy having a conversation and boosting confidence to “have a go” myself at writing, always appreciative of a nice comment about his books, and accepting of any criticism. With this book i have nothing but nice things to say. To say i was lost in the book, doesn’t do it justice. From first page to the last i was member of Herewards crew, i suffered every mile , every mishap and every setback, I was rewarded with the camaraderie of his men and belonged with them fighting my way to and in Constantinople. Thats the joy and experience of his books and writing, that you become part of the book. The only thing wrong is its an experience that ends too soon and then there is a year to wait for the next one.

So thank you James for one again giving me a unique, immersive truly historic experience.

(Parm)

 

Hereward
1. Hereward (2011)
aka The Time of the Wolf
2. The Devil’s Army (2012)
aka The Winter Warrior
3. End of Days (2013)
4. Wolves of New Rome (2014)
HerewardThe Devil's ArmyEnd of DaysWolves of New Rome
Also writes under the name  Mark Chadbourn

Novels

  • Underground (1992)
  • Nocturne (1994)
  • The Eternal (1996)
  • Scissorman (1997)

The Age of Misrule

  • World’s End (1999)
  • Darkest Hour (2000)
  • Always Forever (2001)

The Dark Age

  • The Devil in Green (2002)
  • The Queen of Sinister (2004)
  • The Hounds Of Avalon (2005)

Kingdom of the Serpent

  • Jack of Ravens (2006)
  • The Burning Man (2008)
  • Destroyer of Worlds (July 2009)

The Ghost Warrior

  • Lord of Silence (July 2009)

Swords of Albion

  • The Silver Skull (November 2009, UK (Title: “The Sword of Albion”: April 2010)
  • “The Scar-Crow Men” (February 2011, UK: April 2011)
  • The Devil’s Looking Glass (UK: April 2012, US: tbc)

Novellas

  • The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke(2002)
  • Dr Who: Wonderland (2003

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Alex Connor: The Bosch Deception (Review)

Alex Connor

Alex C

UK

Alex Connor is also known as Alexandra Connor and she has written a number of historical novels. This is her first crime thriller. She is an artist, and has worked in the art world for many years. Alex is also a motivational speaker and is regularly featured on television and BBC radio. She lives in Sussex.

Description

Buy from Amazon

Bosch D

A TRUTH CONCEALED. Brabant, 1473. A clandestine brotherhood hides a secret that could bring down the Catholic Church. Their chosen hiding place – the art of Hieronymus Bosch. A TERRIBLE CONSPIRACY. London, 2014. An excommunicated priest approaches both the Church and the art world, claiming to possess an artefact that will destroy their reputations. A TICKING CLOCK. This man, Nicholas Laverne, is poised to end over 500 years of silence and injustice. Yet, unknown to Nicholas, he has just summoned a killer intent on silencing him.

Review

After the high that was the Caravaggio Conspiracy i had some very high expectations for this new book, possibly too high. The story as ever with an Alex Connor book is a little dark, very twisty and packed full of unexpected surprises. What i felt it lacked was a clear central character chasing down the clues, it needed Gil Eckhart. Don’t get me wrong it has characters that peck away at the clues, who try to unravel the plot, who search for the meaning and the answer, but me personally i like to have that single character pulling it together, Nicholas Laverne could not do that because he had another role to fill. It does though still have the great characters that Alex Connor is known for and the powerfully twisting plots she is known for.

A major bonus with this authors crime thrill rides is the education, there are not many thriller writers who leave me feeling i have learned something, before this book i knew nothing about Hieronymus Bosch, the book has led to finding out more, just as the last book led to learning more about Caravaggio. Any books that inspire that response is a winner in my book (pun intended).

As an avid reader of Historical Fiction and Fantasy i always need my secret (or not anymore) pleasure on hand, and that’s a great thriller. Alex Connor as ever falls into that category, based on my rating of the last book this one is a 4/5 but that’s probably because she knocked it out of the park with  The Caravaggio Conspiracy, once again a winner for the author and for Quercus, i look forward to the next book.

(Parm)

Novels
The Rembrandt Secret (2011)
aka The Other Rembrandt
The Hogarth Conspiracy (2011)
aka Legacy of Blood
The Memory of Bones (2012)
Isle of the Dead (2013)
The Caravaggio Conspiracy (2013)
The Bosch Deception (2014)
The Rembrandt SecretThe Hogarth ConspiracyThe Memory of BonesIsle of the DeadThe Caravaggio ConspiracyThe Bosch Deception

Novellas
Unearthing the Bones (2012)
Blood on the Water (2013)
The Forger, the Killer, the Painter and the Whore (2013)
The Garden of Unearthly Delights (2014)
Unearthing the BonesBlood on the WaterThe Forger, the Killer, the Painter and the WhoreThe Garden of Unearthly Delights

 

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Filed under Crime, Historical Fiction

John Hornor Jacobs: The Incorruptibles (2014) Review

John Hornor Jacobs

JHJ
John Hornor Jacobs has worked in advertising for the last fifteen years, played in bands, and pursued art in various forms. He is also, in his copious spare time, a novelist, represented by Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency. His first novel, Southern Gods, was published by Night Shade Books and shortlisted for the Bram Stoker Award. His second novel, This Dark Earth, will be published in July, 2012, by Gallery/Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. His young adult series, The Incarcerado Trilogy comprised of The Twelve Fingered Boy, Incarcerado, and The End of All Things, will be published by Carolrhoda Labs, an imprint of Lerner Publishing

The Incorruptibles (2014)
(The first book in the Incorruptibles series)

Buy a Signed Copy

Buy from WH Smiths

 

 

 

The Incorruptables

 

 

In the contested and unexplored territories at the edge of the Empire, a boat is making its laborious way up stream. Riding along the banks are the mercenaries hired to protect it – from raiders, bandits and, most of all, the stretchers, elf-like natives who kill any intruders into their territory. The mercenaries know this is dangerous, deadly work. But it is what they do. In the boat the drunk governor of the territories and his sons and daughters make merry. They believe that their status makes them untouchable. They are wrong. And with them is a mysterious, beautiful young woman, who is the key to peace between warring nations and survival for the Empire. When a callow mercenary saves the life of the Governor on an ill-fated hunting party, the two groups are thrown together. For Fisk and Shoe – two tough, honourable mercenaries surrounded by corruption, who know they can always and only rely on each other – their young companion appears to be playing with fire. The nobles have the power, and crossing them is always risky. And although love is a wonderful thing, sometimes the best decision is to walk away. Because no matter how untouchable or deadly you may be, the stretchers have other plans.

“One part ancient Rome, two parts wild west, one part Faust. A pinch of Tolkien, of Lovecraft, of Dante. This is strange alchemy, a recipe I’ve never seen before. I wish more books were as fresh and brave as this.”
Patrick Rothfuss

“An exceptionally well written book.”
Mark Lawrence

Review

This book was dangled in front of me at just the right time (thank you sophie), something different but with hints of my staple reading genre (historical fiction)  i fully expected a decent read, but after the anticipation i had for Red Country, which ended in (for the first time ever with a Joe Abercrombie) disappointment, i was concerned that another fantasy western would equal a book i would struggle to finish.

I’m so happy to say that my concern could not have been further from the reality of the book. The author has taken a western, added an alternate world built on a Rome that has survived to become a global empire, added in demons, magic, and other beings. With these elements he has built an exceptional world, that given the magic (used very lightly) is very believable  and easy to become swept into, even into the exceptionally well thought out detail of the guns, the ammunition, the magic, the society, all of this is brought to the fore in the flow or narrative. Allowing the reader to be submerged in the land and absorbed by the characters at the same time. For such a dark tale (at times) its very easy to find many moments of enjoyment in the characters and the situation. The interplay between Shoe, Fisk and the Ruman nobility is at times incredibly funny, especially when dealing with Gnaeus the eldest son.

This for me reminded me of the first time i read a Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie, that sense of WOW, this is fresh and new and exciting. That i need to read more from this author very soon. (it certainly made me go Buy a signed copy )

So all you fans of Fantasy, and historical fiction (who like a cross over), please do read this, its a great new world to live in and explore.

(Parm)

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Stephen Lloyd Jones (Author of the String Diaries): Q&A

STEPHEN LLOYD JONES

S Lloyd J

Stephen Lloyd Jones grew up in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, and studied at Royal Holloway College, University of London. He now lives in Surrey with his wife, three young sons and far too many books. The String Diaries is his first novel.

The String Diaries PB

 Q&A

Many thanks for taking time to answer some questions:

1)      Can you please give the readers some background on you and how/ why you became a writer?

 

My pleasure. I wrote obsessively all through childhood, college and university. After graduation, I fell into an advertising career. Working in a busy London agency offers little free time for writing, but it does teach valuable lessons: the importance of grabbing an audience’s attention and holding it; the discipline required to meet tight deadlines. A few years ago, with my wife expecting our second child, I told myself that however little free time I thought I had, I would find some. I bought a new laptop and started work. The String Diaries was written late at night, during snatched lunch breaks and days off. It took me just under two years, start to finish.

 

2)      What was it that led you to write in this genre?

 

It’s a genre I’ve always loved. Growing up, my heroes were Dean Koontz and Stephen King. I love writers that show you something wonderful and unexplained, and then explore its darker possibilities

 

3)      Was there anything behind your choice of locations? (I ask because Oxford is (was) my home town, so nostalgia on my part.

 

I needed an institution where the characters could research the mythology central to the story. What more iconic – and beautiful – place is there but Oxford? I chose Budapest because it seemed exactly the sort of place where this mythology might have evolved. Snowdonia features because of my family connection.  

 

4)      Book Two (Written in the Blood) is due out in the USA 2015? Do you know when it’s out in the UK? And how many books in the series?

 

Written in the Blood will launch in the UK on 6th November this year (my birthday, coincidentally). My third book is a standalone. I don’t have any plans to extend the series currently, but who knows what the future may bring!

 

5)      Some more back ground on you please, who are the writers you read to relax? 

 

More and more, I find that I’m reading individual books rather than following particular writers. Most of the authors I still read regularly are those I discovered in childhood.

 

6)      What are your top 5 books as a reader?

 

This changes on a regular basis. Right now, I’d say The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Misery, Strangers, Birdsong.

 

7)      Soap box time: Why in your words should we buy the book?

 

Good question! The String Diaries is a fast-paced thriller seasoned with a dash of history and the supernatural. If that appeals, why not check it out? The first chapter is available free online, so you have nothing to lose.

 

8) Finally just for fun… instead of the usual invite 5 people from history for dinner, Which 5 people would you want with you to help you stay alive while Jakab hunts you, and why?

 

Wow, that’s a tough one. I’m going to say Sherlock Holmes, Sarah Conner, Indiana Jones, Clarice Starling and my best mate Vrinder Randhawa (he always has a plan, and is a damn fine bloke, too). 

 

My review will follow very very soon, so watch this space… And race you to the last page, because i know this will be great, the person who asked me to read this is almost never wrong when it comes to great book recommendations.

cheers

(Parm)

 

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