Meet the Crow: He’s been around for hundreds of years. He took scalps in the time of Cortez and Columbus. He skins men and makes rugs of their hides, lassos of their intestines. Right now he’s angry, and out for blood. Meet the Dove: Matina’s a whore at the Maison de Joie, with more mojo than you can shake a stick at. It’s been said that, with just one bat of her eyelashes, she can turn pennyroyal tea into tincture of opium. Meet the Tracker: Dognose Jones, the adopted son of a Cherokee medicine man, has a special gift. He can smell his prey like a bloodhound scenting its chase. Welcome to the Wild, Weird West.
When you pick up a copy of Joseph Hirsch’s works, you know it’s going to be gory, you know it’s going to be bloody, you know it’s going to be good.
Once again, he hasn’t disappointed.
There are scenes in this book that I probably shouldn’t have read while on my lunch break, but I’m a butcher; I can handle the details of a man being skinned (even though I understand the process probably better than someone reading Joseph’s books should have). There’s a lot to love in this book, and I’m having a hard time thinking of anything bad about it.
Bring on the next Hirsch!
I’ve been really busy recently! Just this weekend, I’ve been setting up Amazon sales, I’ve been editing and reviewing short erotica stories in an effort to fund comics and projects, I’ve been managing the shop I work at, learning the trade for when the boss nicks off across the other side of the world for October (Rugby Union world cup, YUCK! sport), and generally trying to make sure Matty sees even the slightest little bit of me in between being eaten alive by my cat, who has given me more scars on my hands in her four months of living with us than my butchery job has to date (for those counting, 6 years). I haven’t had time to read all the wonderful books on my pile, but I shall soon!
I’ve been organising some Kickstarter campaigns to get my comic book empire off the ground (with moderate success, I might add), and looking for a new apartment, because this one is sinking into the ground, rupturing things, all while trying to find somewhere that won’t reject us outright because we own a cat.
All of my books, including the paperback of Blood Moon, are on sale! The paperback is something like 66% off, while everything else will save you at least a few pennies (and I’ve arranged to get the anthologies I’m in to be added to that page as well, so you can all find my stuff very easily)!
I would love it if you can all run over to Amazon and gather up any books you’re missing! Hurry, though, because The Devil’s Wife won’t be up there for much longer!
Also, don’t forget to head over to Kickstarter and help me get a comic version of The Devil’s Wife underway. It’s too late to join The Battle of the Blood Moon bandwagon, as that comic series is funded, but don’t miss out on getting a copy as part of The Devil’s Wife Kickstarter!
Love you all! Don’t forget to grab yourselves some deals!
In other news, I should be resuming my reviews soon, as I picked up a stack of books almost a foot tall at Supanova Sydney in June while selling copies of BotBM, and if The Devil’s Wife Kickstarter gets funded, I’ll suddenly have all this time I don’t have to spend raising funds in order to read said books.
Help a girl out. Everyone benefits from reviews!
SUPANOVA MELBOURNE REVIEW #8
Prophetic dreams have haunted Dan Tenney since childhood, foretelling him of a life-changing event that is soon to take place. But before he can learn the meaning of his visions, he is attacked by a shadowy group of extremists: the Brotherhood of the Grail.
Finding sanctuary underground, an ancient relic comes into his possession and Dan begins to understand the path his visions have laid out before him. His quest will be fraught with an otherwordly people and an event that could tip the balance in favour of human existence—or disastrously against it. The mysterious Brotherhood will do everything in their power to prevent Dan from fulfilling his destiny as the Bearer of Ouroboros.
The story starts out slow, with the introduction of Nick and Dan, and, like all good conspiracy books, continues along the same vein, with pockets of action between long, sweeping arcs of exposition, discovery and travel.
Nonetheless, it is a strong book, full of character development, a good journey and a lot of twists and turns. More fun fantasy than hard conspiracy, The Ouroboros Key is one for all you out there wishing that Angels & Demons or The Da Vinci Code wasn’t so heavy.
SUPANOVA MELBOURNE REVIEW #7
Kira, a huntress plagued by dreams of fire and pain has worked tirelessly to rid her city of the scourge that has nearly destroyed it…nostvores, mythlend creatures with dark and vast appetites for blood and sex. She does this not only because they had killed so many people in her life, but also because she has an edge that no other human had…she has their abilities. The problem was, these abilities were killing her and she feared time was no longer on her side.
So the moment she found out that Darius, a nostvore leader was threatening to awaken an indestructible species to help him enslave all humans and mythlends, and that she may be the key to his plan, she knew her only choice was to risk her life with the little time that she had left and join her enemy to find out why, and to make sure his plan failed.
If that wasn’t dangerous enough, the more time she spends with the Vanatre nostvore Emmerich, and the mooran Kuron, who she brings with her for protection, the less she wants to kill them. Instead, she feels an unexplainable attraction towards them both, and she fears surrendering to such desire with either is a deadly game to play, for she would not only be risking her life, but quite possibly her heart.
I loved the story. While the world of Vampires and Werewolves has been done to death, this book brings a new light to the genre. Along with nostvores (vamps of olde) and lycroulds (werewolves at will) are joined by many other species, some of which I have never even thought about before. There’s a twist on banshees, demons and soul suckers.
The book has a great plot, saving the world, who doesn’t love that? Personaly, I thought Kira was too much of a whining little bitch to end up with TWO hot guys hurrying after her, creating the same form of love triangle that I hate – it’s not ‘will she, won’t she’ if it’s obvious that she’s ignoring the attentions of the nice guy friend who’s been there for her forever.
You know, just once I would like the nice guy not to get screwed. Just sayin’.
As much as I would love to give this book a 5.5, which it does deserve, my policy is unfortunately to remove a star owing to bad editing. And, sadly, this one has awkward sentences, missing/doubled grammatical marks, redundancies like nothing else that make reading terrible, commas placed in random spots in sentences… Run the book by a good editor, and I will happily upgrade to its deserved rating.
I haven’t loved a vampire book like this since ages ago (like, 8, 9 years). Ms Clark deserves much thanks for keeping me engaged like this. Kudos! Highly recommended to everyone who has become disillusioned with the Paranormal Genre. Oh, and the sex is steamy too. Yum!
PS. At the risk of sounding like a 15yo fangirl… “Oh my god, I LOVED Kuran! Massive <3s!”
SUPANOVA MELBOURNE REVIEW #6
Boxing Day was supposed to be dedicated to sleep, and recovery from the over indulgences of Christmas feasting. When a new virus takes root in Geelong, beers have to be set aside in favour of running for their lives.
Zombies are a bit passe, now that Hollywood has done them to death, but Rachel has tried to work her magic and bring a new spin to the issue. It reads like an action movie, with the suspense to go with it, set in Melbourne. It doesn’t read like Hollywood, it reads more like Australian cinema – and for those of you who have seen Priscilla, Mad Max or Wolf Creek, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Good characters and good work tying the many threads of characters together.
While this is an interesting ride, there are a few issues that an editor should have picked up on through the book. Loses a star for that.
SUPANOVA MELBOURNE REVIEW #5
If there’s one thing worse than a crooked cop on your heels then it’s a whole unit of them.
A fistful of people are murdered, fifteen million dollars is stolen and detective Tom Bishop is stuck in the middle. When he hits the street, every clue points in the same direction – his colleagues in a police department demoralised by cutbacks and scandals. Hunted, alone and with no place left to turn, Bishop embarks on a hellish journey down into the gutters where right and wrong quickly become twisted and problems are solved with gunfire and bloodshed.
Over the next two days, Tom Bishop will be cornered. He will be beaten. He will bust into prison. He will shoot at police. He will team up with violent criminals. He will become one of them. He will break every rule in the book, chasing a lead nobody else will go near down a rabbit hole of corruption, murder and buried secrets.
Will Bishop become the very monster he set out to destroy?
It’s strange for me to read a crime fiction story set in Australia, so It took me a while to acclimatise to the setting. This is, however, a great story, filled with suspense and great characterisation. the pace is amazing, and it kept me thinking ahead, trying to work out Justice, where everything was going.
A good page-turner and a great book for a long car ride. I winced during the glass-and-towel incident, ouchie!
SUPANOVA MELBOURNE REVIEW #4
If you’re going to colonise a planet, you’d better be willing to fight for it.
Within Anphobos, there grows a new race. The first generation of humans never to set foot on Earth. They are pale skinned, large eyed and worship no god but science. They possess technological skills and processes Earth has refused to acknowledge. Until now…
“We are Martian. Your religion isn’t ours. Our god is Mars. Our religion is science. Anything we do in the service of Mars, is good. Make no mistake, Earth girl, we are both right and good.”
Fresh off Earth, Jodi Scarfield doesn’t really care for Mars or its politics. Still, accusations of treason will get a girl’s attention…
A short book with a decent punch. While the storyline has merit (who wouldn’t find it irresistible to be drawn into a revolutionary plot within a couple of days of landing on a new planet?), I find it hard for someone as seemingly smart as Jodi is, not to have a look into the things that were going on before she was found in the wrong place at the wrong time. She’s meant to be a hacker, and she lives in a highly-computerised bubble – why not just go looking for information on the people she was hanging out with? Why show Astrid her skills? If she’s on Mars in hiding, why would she jeopardize everything, after being so careful, to show off? I know she’s 16 and all, but still.
Other than that, the book has great setting, good characters, a decent bit of suspense. Definitely a YA book, though one thankfully far from the mushy kind of YA book that can still be found elsewhere.
SUPANOVA MELBOURNE REVIEWS #3
When Mai is chosen to take a pilgrimage to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts to train with the oldest and wisest master of their people, an ancient prophecy is set in motion. The events to come have been predicted but are not unchangeable. When the Starchild returns to the planet of Sage, the foreknowledge of the prophecy begins to gain strength.
Four children come together and become linked to the events that lie ahead. In The Age of Akra, the first stage of their journey has them facing the deadly spiderflax, only then to be confronted by a creature of the underworld, an evil Dementra called Amual.
The struggle to bring peace to the world of powerful energies lies in the hands of these four children and a strange little lizard. And it will not come easy. This journey is only the beginning.
A story with developed characters and world that would bring any one a little joy and tears. The characters that are introduced into this instalment are hardy and welcoming, without being whiny or annoying, as is the habit of most YA authors. Without a doubt, one of the better YAs I’ve read so far.
However, the idea of the MC being the ‘Chosen One’ is an overdone cliché – but how else were you going to get her out of a superstitious village of mind-readers, I guess.
Recommended for the younger readers, probably wouldn’t hold much weight with older ones.
SUPANOVA MELBOURNE REVIEWS #2
‘Look at her – she’s Hill Clan. Even the Matyrani don’t like them …’
Isaura – little is known about her race, but much is whispered. Born to refugees, she grows up enduring racism and superstition within a community that fears her. She has few friends, and those she treasures. Trapped, she longs for escape to a different life.
Escape is only the beginning of her troubles. Having fled an invading army with her friends, Isaura is faced with heinous choices in order to survive. Secrets from her past emerge to torment her and threaten to destroy all she holds dear. Her struggles forge a bond with an ancient power – a power which may transform or consume her. Old hatreds and superstitions are renewed and at her most vulnerable she learns the true nature of those around her.
Her only hope lies in a foreign land – a land rich in tradition; ruled by three powerful clans. A land with a history marked by warfare; where magic as we know it does not exist. Instead what is here, in abundance, is a more primal power.
Survival carries a high price.
Welcome to Altaica.
The story starts slow, but builds up to a strong crescendo, pulling you along on a thrilling journey. While the cliché of a power-hungry son does play out, the way he reacts later is definitely worth the read. the characters are fully-formed, you don’t need for back story or suffer under the weight of it – you have all the magic and words you need to get you through the story.
The world is definitely one I will have to revisit in the future, and I am looking forward to it. You won’t regret the read.
SUPANOVA MELBOURNE PURCHASE #1
Calum Ranson is sure of three things: his cousin Finley is alive, Calum will find him, and no one knows Calum and his family are Sidhe. No one until Laurel shows up at his mother’s bookstore wearing a dark clan’s mark.
When Calum learns the details surrounding the disappearance of Laurel’s brother, he suspects the evil Hobayeth clan. Calum and Laurel work together in the Realm of Man and the Otherworld to rescue her brother – revealing a connection between Calum and Laurel that may cost Finley his life.
A short story with a great ending, this is definitely a YA book for your teen. The protagonist is 11-12 (not quite sure, but he is going into yr 6 at the beginning of the story). He’s written as a lot more mature, which means that the reader will find it much easier to empathise with him, unlike other YA that just makes the kids seem bratty.
While the ending of the story is a bit predictable if you’ve read as many fantasy books as I have, the journey is still a fun ride, and you’ll enjoy the trip with me.
I recommend you read this (or give it to your kids to read). There doesn’t really seem to be an age restriction on the story, which can only be a plus.