Anna dressed in blood by Kendare Blake

9378297Anna dressed in blood follows the story of Cas Lowood, a young hunter who inherited from his father the ability to kill supernatural beings. His next job is Anna dressed in blood, a young girl who was brutally murdered in 1958 and became a deadly ghost. But Anna Korlov is different. Even if she is a murderous ghost, dismembering everyone who crosses her threshold, she spares Cas’s life when some high school jocks want to play a prank on him. Instead, she kills one of them.

This book is beautiful and breathtaking. Cas is a strong male character, full of charisma  and spark. I got fond of him from the beginning. He is only 17, but he is mature, confident and no-bullshit. After he moves to Thunder Bay to find Anna,his character is forced to evolve  and learn not only as a hunter, but also as a boy. Used to walk with the dead and travel with his white witch mother, he isn’t used to let people in, but in order to free Anna he has to learn how to trust. 

Anna herself is a strong, amazing character. She is a deadly, murderous supernatural being, but I can’t help liking her. The instant she materialises, I am pulled towards her, just like Cas will be. Her story is fantastic and every time she is around, things spice up. She might be a ghost, but she seems more alive than most people in that town. Anna Korlov is powerful, deadly and bittersweet. Anna dressed in blood is a goddess.

In this whole ghostly mess, Cas finds himself teamed up with Carmel, the Queen Bee of Winston Churchill High-school, and a skinny mind-reader Thomas. These two side characters have a voice of their own, which is something that I liked about the story. Carmel  is a beautiful, but very smart girl who’s not afraid to show what she’s made off and proves herself throughout the story. I really liked her as she isn’t a mean girl even if she is the most popular and powerful girl in school. Thomas is a bit more on the shy side, but it isn’t deterred by Cas’ attempts to ditch him and go solo like he usually did. I’d say he has balls of steel by going inside the house and saving Cas’ life.

The story is very well written, the language itself pulls you in and beckons to be read. I loved the style and lack of cliches. The story is fresh and gripping; I had the whole thing down in two days. I absolutely loved this book with all the twists and turns. The good news is that Kendare Blake wrote a sequel for it: Girl of Nightmares and I am looking forward to sink my teeth into that.

Kendare Blake became goes on my list of favorite authors!!! 

Kendare Blake on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KendareBlake

and her website: http://kendareblake.com/books/

You can find the Anna dressed in blood on Amazon by clicking here for 2.99 on Kindle.

LZR-1143: Infection by Bryan James

LZR-1143: Infection is THE Zombie novel to read if you are a fan of the genre!  I don’t just like this guy’s writing, I absolutely love it!

Mike McKnight (ha!), and ex-action movie star is a mental patient at the high security facility after he was convicted of brutally murdering his wife. More than a year passed since they locked him in there and one morning he wakes up from his normal stupor, the door to his room open and nobody in sight. But he is not alone. From deep within the darkness, something hideous comes out in search for flesh.

Soon after his encounter with the first flesh-eater, Mike finds himself in the company of a young female psychiatrist and some other inmates, my favourite being Fred. This forms an off pair in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by Zombies. They manage to escape the institution and facing more and more dangers in their quest for food and safety while their numbers fall short as the ravaging infection takes over.

I loved the style of the book and the fact that the story is shown through the eyes of Mike’s character. I liked the witty banter and the way the writer decided to express himself and keep me on the hook.  Also the fact that the main character was a hunk with a memory loss and prosecuted for murder makes him unique and entertaining, especially when people, the few ones still alive, recognise him.

There isn’t much character development, but I think it sort of like makes sense since half of the book the guy is unsure if it’s real or not, but there is some emotional evolution happening there; at least he is not a shallow, boring guy. Then we have the psychiatrist girl, Kate who’s as badass as you can get without being over the top. She’s a tough girl, keeping on top of the situation and thinking things through without rushing in the dark in her knickers and no weapon… She has the brains and the faith to see through our convict here and supports him in his quest to find the truth to what happened and the possibly a cure that can safe humanity of this disease.

And then it’s Fred and man, I loved this guy so badly, that I almost cried after the helicopter scene! Fred is another inmate, admitted in there after he witnessed his father bashing his mum’s brains with a pan at breakfast and he’s not talkative, not at all, all he says, is “Pancake!” There’s this scene when this zombie attacks Mike and almost bits him and Fred hits the zombies head with the pan so hard that brain and gooey things fly everywhere whilst he’s screaming .. “Pancake!” I laughed so hard at that scene.  I admire how he managed to create these memorable characters that stick with you for a long time.

There are also gruesome action scenes and moments that are eye-rolling, characters that make you scream in frustration and cars that just stop working! As a whole, this book is highly entertaining and I truly loved the way the story was sewn around the characters.

I am looking forward to reading his next zombie book and find out what happened with Lazarus…!

PS: You can get the book on Amazon: LZR-1143: InfectionAt the moment the book is free on the Amazon UK website.

Brian James on Twitter @lzr1143

The Harbringer Break by Zachary Adams

As I promised, I would read random  books that people would request for me to review and this is the first in a series to follow. I picked this book from a huge pile of emails and I was instantly  curious as I read the blurb and when I am curious that’s always a good thing. But things got better for me…

I would say that it is really the story of Pat Shane (Patches), a genius with a killer theory that the aliens that NASA discovered on Europa, Jupiter’s moon, are currently living among us and planning to take us down. The spies are among us, surveying us, spying on us for the most effective way of destroying us. Patches though, he wants to show them that we can fight back, that we are a force to be reckoned with and make them go away with each blood that’s shed to eradicate them for the good of humanity.

Or I could say it’s the story of Chris Summer, the newly promoted FBE agent (Federal Bureau of Eugenics) who’s role is to stop a highly delusional patient who killed his psychiatrist after escaping a secure facility. And he will stop at nothing to have Patches dead. Summers knows that the only way to stop him is to kill him, that there’s no way around it, for the sake of humanity.

But it’s not their story. Is the story of person next door and how can each of them deal with the consequences, ethics and problems of a silent alien extinction, when everybody could be one of them and faith of the whole planet is on each of them shoulders.

What I love about the book is that it’s not a story about them (aliens), it’s a story about us and the conflicts of a new world. A world who faces dangers coming from far away, from a far better prepared civilization. It’s the dilemma of the man put face to face with a situation which he has no exit but to act, one way or another. It’s the  blood, tears and sweat of those willing to die or kill for their country and a passion for survival. The Harbinger Break exposes the fears, beliefs and primal instincts of the human.

I also loved slow-minded Sam who proved to be such a driven charter, even if he had to cross paths with Shane in order to realise that he had the power to inflict change and be a hero. And then it’s the incredibly sexy Claire who has the most important men at her feet and others ready to kill for her. Claire who shared a track record with Sam and Patches at GenDec (Genetic Decontamination Centre) proves to be much more than meets the eye and this trio of forces is fatal since their existence is conditioned by the death of the other one in order to maintain the equilibrium of their lives.

I said it before and I will say it again: jumping from story to story and different point of views are not my thing since I don’t feel the story as I should. The Harbinger Break  changed that one for me. The writing is so well executed that I was constantly torn in my allegiance. Such a breathtaking story that I promise you that you’ll never forget. Zachary Adams is a master of the craft and I am honestly surprised to find such a gem.

I LOVED THE STORY! I loved it that much that I had to bloody use capital letters to write a sentence. Great story, amazing, vivid characters, good writing and tons of talent and a promising new writing coming into the scene to sweep me off my feet. I will keep my eyes on Zachary and hunt for his future books which I urge him to write with the same passion and dedication.

The book can be purchased on Amazon here: The Harbinger Break The Harbinger Break

Romance in Young Adult novels

soulmatesThe “Young Adult” romance I have stumbled lately on my random reading picks from Amazon on quite a few Young Adult novels, some good, some note quite so, but they all shared the same pattern.

The romance in YA novels has the same pattern (in 99.9% of books read) with all the ingredients that make me think that somehow teenagers will get it wrong, that along the lines they will understand a story worse than Cinderella’s…

The ingredients: we’re taking unexperienced girl and throw her in the mix with a hot guy, preferably dark, rich and with a murky past, then brand the chemical attraction and adolescent hormones as “true love”. Then we spice things up a bit with some drama and controlling/abusive/manipulative behaviour from our guy and we stamp is as being cool and seductive; nice, good guys are overrated. For extra flavour, we can remove the guy from the picture so that our girl can crumble into pieces, cry her eyes out, contemplate suicide because life without him is unbearable and there is No Way for her to live without him. Then we bring him back into the picture and he’s the hero of the day after he says “Sorry” and gives her a good kiss and a smack on the bum. 😉

It is also okay to think that you are destined, a.k.a you have no control over your emotions, body and soul. She is destined to be with him for all the stupid reasons and there is no real need for real communication because destined love doesn’t need that bullshit, right? I mean, they are destined to love each other, why should the petty details like his huge criminal record, the fact that he’s actually a monster (literally) coming from hell, has creepy stalking tendencies, etc, would actually matter.

“Soul mates” know each other from the womb and of course she knows he is not going to rape her, or sink her fangs into her throat or any other horrid thing, because they have the bond. Really? Are you f*ucking joking me? Plus that, are you really telling me that it’s either “fangy” over there or nobody else to love? Someone has to tell these gullible girls that the world doesn’t just spin around One Guy no matter how hunky, sexy, alluring, smart, witty, mysterious, etc he is. Love is a bit (insert sarcasm here) more complex and complicated than that and soul mates and destiny doesn’t even begin to cover it.

It’s not only an unhealthy message, it’s also bad writing since you don’t have to justify anything you throw in there since it can be branded as “true love”, “destiny” and/or “soul mates”.