A new review of ‘Nightmare Asylum And Other Deadly Delights’ by Jason Beech at ‘Messy Business’

A great new review from Jason over at Messy Business – yes, I have been there before and a lot of fun it was too!

Here’s a snippet:

Sonia Kilvington’s Nightmare Asylum and Other Deadly Delights (Close to the Bone publishing) is a creepy beast of a book – all short stories, some flash length, every one of them delving deeeeeep into the characters’ psyches. And what dark, twisted and sometimes sad minds they are. Kilvington has really dug into motivation, though sometimes I’m not sure it’s motivation but some trauma which carries characters onto the rocks against any wishes they ever had.

That sense of uncertainty pulls and pushes until disaster strikes. Even when it turns out for the best, there’s that restlessness which means the character can’t quaff a nifty glass of champagne and enjoy the rest of their lives. They’ve got a shoulder to constantly look over to see what else is on their tail.

It’s unsettling…Read More…

A Review of ‘Love Is A Grift’ by Graham Wynd

If you are looking for love; you have come to the wrong place! You certainly won’t find love, empathy and understanding in Graham Wynd’s short story collection, Love is a Grift and Other Stories of Desperation.
This is a collection of dark tales, with lust, manipulation and sexual obsessions recurring with frightening and exciting, regularity. The featured story has all the hallmarks of classic noir; seedy bars in Galway, a gullible man lead by his desire, a disposable wealthy husband, and a femme fatale who can literally charm the pants off any man she encounters. This beautiful grifter is a survivor, who is always at least one step ahead of her criminal companions, playing them for everything they are worth, before making her ultimate and timely discards. Is the lady a sociopath? Quite possibly, does she exploit her sexuality with vicious cunning; absolutely!

It was challenging to pick out individual stories as my favourites; because they are all good. But my personal preference was for ‘These Toys Are For Tough Boys’ as I loved the comedy, and the Slovenian connection. The characters are a bunch of ill-suited petty criminals operating way out of their league when they attempt a kidnapping, which goes horribly wrong – or right depending on the character’s allegiance.
On a more serious note, some of these stories show the depths to which a woman’s life can descend, when she has created her world, around a love that has become a restrictive nightmare. ‘Repetition’ and ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’ are stories in which women have lost themselves to the mundane torture of their daily lives. However, as this is written by Graham Wynd, you can be sure they will find a way to extricate themselves from their soul-destroying situations.

The dystopian story ‘Rebellious Jukebox’ was a fantastic tale of life in the city of continuous noise. Imagine a world surrounded by loudspeakers and tannoys, making constant nonsensical announcements. It’s a place where only the very rich can purchase illegal earplugs. This story of torture by noise, with imprisonment and banishment for perceived infractions; has a genuine Orwellian feel to it.

I loved the classic noir, the dystopian tale and the hints of dark magic in this collection. But to return to the theme of dangerous attachments, with the concluding story, another favourite of mine, ‘Thirty Versions of Leatherette,’ – love is in this book is more often than not, a sexually charged car cash.

 

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Amazon UK

 

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A Review of The Sapphire Eruption (The Sword’s Choice Book 1) by I. M. Redwright

The Sapphire Eruption is an excellent fantasy novel with many classic elements. It is an exciting escape into a perilous world, populated by four warring lands ruled by ruthless kings and queens, who do not deserve to wield power. Surprising new rulers are anointed in mystical ceremonies in which the powerful and possessed swords chose their heirs to the kingdom. But these choices come at a price, as the swords don’t automatically offer allegiance and control to their owners; who have to earn the right to possess these potent weapons.

Noakhail survives the ascendency ceremony by a narrow escape and develops his swordsmanship skills with the help from his adopted father, Lumino. His relationship with the sword is always fraught and double-edged. Vienne is chosen as future Queen of Aquadom. However, she is unsure of herself and sceptical of her powers, leaving others in her kingdom, including her own sister, to take advantage of her weakness and plot against her.

These two unlikely heirs to the supreme power of the swords are set on a dangerous collision course in the first book of a very promising series.

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Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

 

I don’t often read fantasy novels, but when I do, I want pure escapism and this novel filled with great characters, exciting journeys, action, adventure and bloodshed; did not disappoint!

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