Saturday, 30 May 2015

Book Review: A Vision of Fire by Gillian Anderson & Jeff Rovin

A Vision of Fire
Gillian Anderson & Jeff Rovin
I have loved Gillian Anderson ever since the first time she appeared on my TV as Agent Dana Scully in my all time favourite show The X-Files. When I found out that she was writing her debut science fiction novel it was never a case of will I read this but when. I got this book as a Christmas present from my wife.
The daughter of India's ambassador to the UN in New York starts talking in tongues and having violet outbursts and dreams. An Iranian boy sets himself on fire and a Haitian girl claws at herself whilst drowning on dry land. Enter child psychologist Caitlin O'Hara who after a call from her friend Ben Moss, a translator for the UN gets involved in what she thinks is a unique situation to help the ambassadors daughter. Tensions are already high for the ambassador as he is trying to stop India & Pakistan from going to war but can't help but worry for his daughter. When Caitlin hears of other teenagers around the world having very similar outbursts she must travel to all parts of the globe to try and figure out what is causing these incidents and how she is going to stop it before it is too late.... A Vision of Fire is book one of a trilogy called The Earthend Saga.
After just the first couple of chapters this book already had an X-Files feel about it. For me this was perfect and just made me get stuck in to this book very quickly.
I thought the writing was great all the way through, especially considering this is Gillian's debut novel, but with the help from Jeff Rovin who himself has over 140 novels to his name I'm not really surprised.
The characters were written well and very believable. I really liked Caitlin. I loved how she coped with her deaf son, being a single mother and how she dealt with life. For me she was the star of the book. I found Gillian's portrayal of the relationship between mother and son to be very comforting. I also enjoyed how diverse the characters were and it shows that the cultures included were researched with great respect.
One of the intriguing bits about this book for me was whilst the main story was going on, there was a sub plot about a secret organisation who smuggle and test rare artefacts from around the world .... A bit X-Files again I know... But I love them, secret organisations make stories interesting, dark and very mysterious. Unfortunately this for me was also one of the down sides to the story. The fact that we did not learn enough about them. They were just a few chapters every now and then about them and as the book went on I wanted to go back to this sub plot and see how this story unfolds. I really hope we learn more about them in the next two books.
This book is classed as science fiction which it is.. But it is not really out there, wild and wacky science fiction so if you are a fan of books that have something different that runs in line with real life then I would give it a go.
I scored this book a 4 out of 5. Overall I did like it and it read really well. It will be interesting to see how books two and three span out. Gillian Anderson is busy at the moment with her TV career so book two of The Earthend Saga is not currently scheduled to be published until June 2016. It currently has no title.
I would like to know what other people thought who have read this book. Do you agree with me or not?? Let me know.
Speak Soon

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Book Review: Playing Mrs. Kingston by Tony Lee Moral

Playing Mrs. Kingston
Tony Lee Moral
Firstly I would just like to thank the author of this book Tony Lee Moral for sending me a copy for me to read and review for him. I really do appreciate this.
New York City 1959, and Catriona Benedict is an actress who has big dreams, but after her latest acting job in the theatre is a huge flop she has to work out her next move. Enter Miles Kingston an extremely influential rich playboy. Miles offers her an acting job like no other. The role: To be his wife. Catriona knows that the pay in this job can set her and her boyfriend up to be able to live out their dreams but when tragedy strikes Catriona realises that living with the Kingstons has a very dark and dangerous twist.
I will be honest, I did not know what to expect from this book. Firstly it is Tony Lee Moral's debut novel and secondly I have not read many books that are set prior to the 1980's.
The book starts off very quickly and the main characters are introduced in the first couple of chapters. The scene setting is minimal but gives you a great incite into the lives of these people. I really liked that about the book. Some books you read take 2-3 pages to describe say a kitchen, which sometimes frustrates me. It did not take me long before I felt as though I was there in 1950's New York mixing it with some of the richest people in the country.
The characters on a whole are written very well. You get to know what they are all about, but it felt like each one of them had a dark secret to tell ,which I loved as it kept your mind wondering as to who was hiding what. One of my favourite characters in the book is Freddie the fashion photography who came to be a great ally for Catriona. He is set out from the start as a bad person but that is only one person's point of view.
The main story throughout the book is a murder mystery but it had everything. Deception, cover-ups, robberies, gangsters, smuggling the lot. There was twist after twist and this kept going all the way to the end, even when you thought it was over the author stuck in another twist just for good measure. This book was definitely a page turner and the chapters were just the right length to convince yourself to read another. 
Is there anything I didn't like about this book? Not really. I have been trying to think of something but I am struggling.
I scored this book a 5 out of 5. I loved it from start to finish. I hope that Tony Lee Moral writes another book as I will definitely be buying it. If you love murder mysteries, then this book if for you. If this book is anything to go by I will be looking to buy more crime/murder books set in the 50's. If anyone has any recommendations I would love to hear them.
I would love to know what other people think who have read this book. If you agree with me or not. Let me know.
Speak soon,