Dreams of Decay By S. Alessandro Martinez Book Review!

 

 

Dreams of Decay (2016) by S. Alessandro Martinez is a wonderful, chilling book of poetry with brilliant illustrations by Asya Yordanova, Holly Hammond and Jody Scheers which help to bring the poems to life for the reader.

The collection opens with The Book of Dead Things and Scary Stuff, a cleverly written poem and perfect opening poem which sets the tone for the rest of the collection. We move then to The Boy Who Breathed Darkness which is a brilliantly dark take on the story of Mary and Jesus with the angel now a demon and God now the devil. Glutton follows and is a wonderfully ironic poem about a woman married to a man with “an appetite like sin”. The Girl With No Face follows and is a poem about a girl who is bullied and has a great twist. The twists in a lot of the poems are very good such as in the following three poems New Mummy when the character Tim goes into a store and without giving too much away doesn’t come back out, the poem which follows Sam and the Spider which also has a great twist at the end and Are You Afraid? in which a girl makes a bet with her best friend to go into a graveyard.

 

The collection continues with The Thing from John’s Head, a dark psychological poem followed by a short well-written piece called Save Me. The Ghouls follows. It is set in an old graveyard where someone is watching the ghouls eating the body of some unfortunate and also has a great twist at the end. The next poem stuck in my head long after I read it. It’s called The Girl Who Woke Up Dead. If you are in any way claustrophobic, you will find this poem very chilling. It sent a chill up my spine. There is a great storytelling quality to this poem too. I think this poem and The Boy Who Breathed Darkness are probably my two favourite poems from the collection. It’s followed by the chilling poem The Cellar and The Thirteenth Hour, a poem about a grandfather clock which rings an unlucky thirteen times.

 

Continuing the collection is The Present which takes place at Dan’s 8th birthday party when his Mum hires a sinister clown. It is followed by another well-crafted poem called Daddy Long-Legs and No One Was There, a psychological, chilling poem. Next up is Death’s Embrace about a young boy Homer who is afraid of death so his parents bring Death over to visit their home in an effort to show Homer that death is nothing to fear. Wonderfully storytelling. The Necromancer’s Spell follows. The descriptive qualities in this poem are absolutely stunning. Flows beautifully and effortlessly. Possession Terminated is next. It has four lines per verse and the rhythm of the poem is brilliant. It’s a very well structured poem which again flows effortlessly.

 

The Viscera Queen is the penultimate poem of the collection. It has a very storytelling quality to it and follows the story of a tyrant Queen who has sharp teeth in which to eat her enemies alive and tortures her subjects. Closing the collection is The Corpse Machine about a killing machine. It brings the collection perfectly to a close.

 

Following the collection is some brief biographies where you can find out more about the author and the illustrators.

 

I very much enjoyed the entire collection. I love horror movies and anyone who does will adore this collection. They are like mini movies only on paper with the illustrations almost like a still from each mini movie. It’s not a collection of poetry for the faint-hearted but for anyone who likes their poetry a bit dark and with meaning, this is a stunningly interesting and professional collection.

 

To purchase Dreams of Decay by S. Alessandro Martinez go to:

 

And to find out more about S. Alessandro’s work go to:

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The Secret Speech By Tom Rob Smith Book Review!

 

 

The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith is the action-packed follow-up to Child 44. Based in Russia in the 1950s, it is set soon after the fall of Stalin. Three years have went by since the first book and Stalin has died. The protagonist Leo Demidov is trying to be a good father to his two daughters and a good other half to his wife Raisa. He now is at the helm of his own homicide department and is trying to put his past of torturing behind him. This makes him a very complex protagonist.

 

Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin’s successor, compiles The Secret Speech in order to distance the new regime from the violence of the former period. The speech is supposedly supposed to be secret but is leaked throughout Russia causing many of Stalin’s former henchmen to feel incredibly exposed and unsafe. It is rumoured that some senior officials have had heart attacks or committed suicide following the reveal of the speech. Demidov is a former loyal follower and servant of the regime and one of his victims who was sent to prison for seven years comes back to seek revenge.

The book has a very quick pace and is based on the time leading up to the 1956 uprising in Hungary. The process of de-Stalinization is underway and following the speech two separate entities are central in book: on one side the vory and on the other side the state’s torturers and killers. The vory start a campaign against those who helped uphold Stalin’s rule. Demidov was three years with the secret police and was responsible for sending hundreds of people to the gulags, the torture chambers and the executioner. He now has turned over a new leaf and lives with his wife Raisa and his daughters Zoya and Elena in Moscow. Raisa and Leo adopted Zoya and Elena after Leo sent their birth parents to their death. Elena is the youngest and she has settled into the family, the eldest Zoya on the other hand hasn’t. She harbours thoughts of revenge and stands over Leo while he is asleep holding a knife wishing she could kill him.

Meanwhile Fraera, the vory leader who was imprisoned by Leo seven years earlier, also has revenge on her mind towards both Leo and his family. Leo had sent her husband and her to the gulag in the past. She tells him that she “was nothing until I hated you.” She kidnaps Zoya. Zoya becomes a member of the vory going on missions with a young guy called Malysh and they fall in love.

The book has a huge theme in second chances and the follower mentality of human nature. Personally I couldn’t get past the evilness in Leo’s past and the following orders thing didn’t make me feel any different about him and I didn’t particularly like him but not every central character has to be likable in books. My favourite character was Raisa and I also liked the romance between Zoya and Malysh.

Described as “brilliant (Chicago Tribune), “remarkable” (Newsweek) and “sensational” (Entertainment Weekly) I would have to agree. A wonderfully crafted book by a very talented writer.

Read My Review Of Roan: The Tales of Conor Archer by E.R. Barr On onlinebookclub.org!

 

My review of Roan: The Tales of Conor Archer by E.R. Barr is now up on onlinebookclub.org. It was wonderful as a writer to get the chance to review another writer’s work and it was a really great read. 🙂

To read my review go to:

https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=45468

Hope you all like it! 🙂

 

For more on the author go to:

http://www.erbarr.com/

 

 

 

My New Novel One Step Closer Is Now Available on Amazon!

 

I love reality TV so the idea to set a novel in a reality TV setting was an idea I had for a long time. One Step Closer is set in a reality singing contest. The synopsis goes as follows:

 

The new TV singing competition One Step Closer is about to start. Follow the ups, downs, the performances and the relationships before the cameras and behind the scenes with the judges Mark, Lucy, Benjamin, Cody and Emily and with contestants like Gavin, Lee, Quarter Note, Katie, Jake and Ocean 5. It’s the first season. Let the adventure begin …

I loved writing it. It is the first in a series of books and can be purchased at:

My New Book Hours of Darkness Is Now Available On Amazon!

 

My new book Hours of Darkness is now available on Amazon. It is a thriller where a spree of murders by a lone gun man take place. Can policeman Michael Hennessy-Walsh solve the case with partner Ian Doyle?

Loved writing it because I love reading mysteries so it was a good experience. 🙂

If you’d like to purchase the book go to:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MRYMSBH

Or any of my other books at:

Blood

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01E4U2U54

The Night Train

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01EQLLPPW

Love Is A Battlefield

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N6AGKL4

Or to purchase my childrens’ book go to:

Princess Roberta

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01G68FZ4K

Or finally to purchase my poetry collection go to:

Hearts: Pansexual Poetry Collection

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01F88D5OG

Thanks in advance if you purchase any of my work. And I hope if you do, you enjoy it.🙂

Bonds That Bind: A Short Story Collection By Austin L. Wiggins Review!

 

Bonds That Bind: A Short Story Collection (2016) by Writings by Ender and Beautiful / Losers Magazine founder Austin L. Wiggins is a beautifully written collection of six short stories: The Bird That Flew Overhead, One Man’s Sin, Radiance, The Outsider, Of Flowers and What Ails Us. The book is thought-provoking and asks of readers exactly how far their moral compass goes.

The characters in each of these collections share two traits: a sense of being flawed but also of being human. These stories have very realistic and relateable characters in extraordinary circumstances which many readers will hope they are never in. Written in a very accessible style each story drags you in making you want to continue reading to find out what will happen. There is a beautiful descriptive style to the writing.

The Bird That Flew Overhead has many stunning descriptive lines and is a great opener for the book. The tension and anticipation is very well written in this story and leaves the reader wanting to know how it will end. One Man’s Sin is an intriguing tale of a 40-year-old revenge and once again the reader’s attention is held brilliantly throughout. Although all the stories are great, the best in my opinion is the third story entitled Radiance. The plot is so good and so original. It is the story of George whose best friend Joe has had an affair with George’s wife but is now going to kill himself out of guilt. It is down to George to stop him from doing so. A very interesting plot and keeps your attention to the end as you wait to see whether George will show his humanity or not in light of what he knows. The Outsider is wonderfully written. It deals with quite a mundane situation. Derek is in The Pacific City Wind Ensemble and we as readers get a great sense of his inner feelings about being part of the ensemble and the different personalities of the members. Fascinating and an excellent commentary on human communications. Of Flowers is an interesting story with a bit of a James Patterson feel to it. From one best-selling crime writer to another the final story What Ails Us has a bit of a John Grisham feel to it. We follow Glenda’s story as Price interviews her and it is a cleverly written and thought-provoking plot.

If you would like to read Bonds That Bind: A Short Story Collection by Austin L. Wiggins go to:

https://www.amazon.com/Bonds-That-Bind-Short-Collection-ebook/dp/B01M5BIGM7/

If you are an indie Amazon author who would like me to review your book here and on Amazon do comment below. 🙂

The Red Dahlia By Lynda La Plante Review!

24-year-old Louise Pennel has been murdered and her body has been found by the River Thames. The press become interested in covering the case and call the case The Red Dahlia due to it’s similarities to the unsolved 1940s murder of another young woman called Elizabeth Short. Detective Anna Travis is on the case to find the killer in this Lynda La Plante thriller The Red Dahlia (Published in 2006, Simon & Schuster).

The book is excellently written with a variety of very different personalities all thrown into the mix. There is also an element of romance running alongside the main thriller plot with Travis and Chief Inspector James Langton as they try to unravel the case. There is many twists and turns to keep readers interests engaged throughout. The killer becomes very obvious quite a while before the end of the book which is the one flaw I did find but there is still many twists and turns as to the question of whether or not the killer will be brought to justice and the ending is brilliant because it’s not a typical ending. But I won’t spoil it on you.

La Plante’s writing style throughout is excellent. It is very down-to-earth, matter of fact and earthly. She writes it very naturally. The way she writes about how the press quite often make sensational headlines even out of tragedy is very true of so much press that surrounds us in real-life.

A brilliant read. Unputdownable.