Brent Bolster Investigations: Book 4 – Double Infinity (Book Review)

Double Infinity is the fourth science fiction novel in the hilarious Brent Bolster Investigations series by author Michael Campling, and it is reminiscent of writers such as Douglas Adams and Red Dwarf creators Rob Grant and Doug Naylor.

…warning: potential spoilers for those not previously familiar with the Brent Bolster series…

My review of book one, Dial G for Gravity can be found here.

Continue reading “Brent Bolster Investigations: Book 4 – Double Infinity (Book Review)”

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Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Book Review)

Today’s book review is the science fiction novel Dark Matter written by Blake Crouch, the man who created the Wayward Pines series.

 

… warning may contain spoilers … Continue reading “Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Book Review)”

Horns by Joe Hill (Book Review)

Almost a year after Merrin Williams is found raped and murdered; the main suspect in her death and boyfriend, Ignatius Parrish wakes up to discover that he has horns growing out of his forehead.

At first Ig thinks he’s suffering from hallucinations due to a brain tumour, or some other terminal disease, but soon discovers that despite the fact that his horns are clearly visible to the people around him, no-one pays them much attention. Instead, they inadvertently reveal to him their deepest, darkest, most evil thoughts and desires, almost as if they are requesting his permission to commit atrocious acts or confess their darkest sins.

The horns provide a unique insight into the minds of the people around him, providing answers to what really happened the night the love of his life was murdered, and Ig sets out for revenge on those responsible for Merrin’s death.

 

Favourite Quote:

“The devil is always there to help those who are ready to sin, which is another word for ‘live’. His phone lines are open. Operators are standing by.” – Ignatius Martin Parrish (p254)

 

Unlike Joe Hill’s previous novel ‘Heart-shaped Box’, at 4 out of 5 stars Horns manages to captivate the reader, as it flows neatly along. It delves into a simple notion that most people have longed for at some point in their lives, the ability to read someone’s mind. Joe reminds his readers that knowing what goes on inside other people’s heads may not necessarily be something you wish to know, that the knowledge of a person’s deepest, darkest desires is not a pretty thing at all.

Those interested can pick up a copy of Horns from Amazon.co.uk here.

 

 

Horns, has also been adapted into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame, along with James Remar and Heather Graham. Although it’s a little different to the novel, it retains the basic fundamentals of the story and provides a pretty good adaptation of this entertaining and rather unusual tale from Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill.

 

See also:

20th Century Ghosts

Heart-Shaped Box

NOS 4A2

The Fireman

Strange Weather

Break Point – James Patterson with Lee Stone (Book Review)

I’d like to apologise for the lack of book reviews lately as I have been a bit distracted from my usual reading. One of my favourite rock bands, Backyard Babies, released a new album on March 1st (Sliver and Gold) and as a result I’ve rediscovered my love for this band’s music, listening to all of their albums pretty much for the last month straight, so there’s been very little reading going on. Anyone interested can check out the Backyard Babies music videos on their Official Youtube account here. I’ve been a fan since I was 16 year’s old, when a friend loaned me his copy of their debut album, Diesel and Power, back in 2000.

Anyway, since I don’t have a new review for you I’m reposting an old one that I did for an earlier incarnation of my blog; Break Point is a deviation from my normal repertoire of science fiction, fantasy and horror, instead focusing on my Mother’s favourite writer, James Patterson. Speaking of Mother’s, it is Mother’s Day tomorrow (Sunday) here in the UK, so I guess this works out quite well really.

I arrived into the midst of a family situation a couple of years ago, which left me waiting around and twiddling my thumbs, and having not had the foresight to bring along a book to read in case of emergencies, I was a little restless. As a result I ended up diving into one of my Mother’s piles of James Patterson crime thrillers that were sitting close at hand, and coming out with one of his ‘Bookshots’ or short novellas under the advice that “that one about the tennis players is quite good.” With nothing more interesting to pass my time I decided to give Break Point a chance to amuse and enthral.

 

Kirsten Keller is a tennis pro on the verge of winning the French Open, when an unexpected noise from the crowd terrifies her so completely that she flees the court in fear for her life. It soon transpires that Kirsten has been receiving mysterious death threats, and after the embarrassing circumstances in France she decides to employ the services of ex-Metropolitan Police Officer turned Investigator, Chris Foster, to protect her at Wimbledon, and provide some much needed piece of mind allowing her to focus on her career. Can Chris find a way to capture the person responsible for Kirsten’s torment and save her life?

 

Despite my misgivings about reading crime thrillers, which aren’t necessarily my usual cup of tea, I must confess that I rather enjoyed this brisk, straightforward story which at only 119 pages can be easily read within an hour or so.

Not being very familiar with either James Patterson or Lee Stone’s other offerings it’s a little difficult to truly do a review of Break Point justice, however the book is long enough to provide enough depth to the story for it to feel properly complete, which is a feat that even some full length novels often fail to achieve.

At 3 out of 5 stars it is perfect for those who enjoy crime thrillers that can keep you guessing until very near the end, and/or you’re a little too short on time to read a full novel. Those looking for a short read can pick up a copy of Break Point from Amazon.co.uk here.

Brent Bolster Investigations: Book 3 – The Surrana Identity (ARC Review)

The Surrana Identity is the third book in the Brent Bolster series by author Michael Campling, and is dedicated to fans of Douglas Adams.

 

Book three continues the hilarious adventures of Private Detective Brent Bolster and his oddball associates: Vince Claybourne, Rawlgeeb – a green humanoid alien known as a Gloabon – and Algernon, their pet fish who lives in a diving helmet.

Those who’ve read the previous books in the series will already be familiar with Brent’s nemesis, Surrana, the sneaky Gloabon Assassin who has already made numerous attempts to kill him. In this story, Surrana has been held captive by the GIT (Gloabon Institute of Technology) and experimented upon. However, she manages to slip her confinement and escape her tormentors, fleeing from Earth and into space.

Frustrated with the situation, and despite their need for tact and diplomacy, the GIT reluctantly hire Brent to track down their former captive. Brent has reservations considering his complicated history with Surrana, but Vince soon changes his mind and convinces him to accept the job. However, what is intended to be a simple stealth mission, turns out to have a rather different agenda completely, and the gang find themselves in a tricky spot.

 

As with its predecessor, The Surrana Identity begins with a helpful glossary of characters which allows the reader to easily keep track of who-is-who, and where-is-where, which definitely eliminates confusion for those not familiar with the characters. I must admit that I’m a bit of a geek for things like glossaries and appendices and maps, so anything with additional details that makes life easier is definitely a win.

Aside from Brent, Vince, Rawlgeeb and Algy, a number of our favourite characters return for this novel, including: Dex, Zeb & Dr. Cooper. As far as the story goes, I found it incredibly funny and I chortled so often, that I had to take regular breaks just to recompose myself. The ridiculous banter between Brent and his cohorts is what makes this series so great, from fancy pencils to popular culture references and alien abductions.

We also have serious moments too though, where the Artificial Intelligences, Jason and Dee, get caught up in some existential angst and question both their orders and their chances of survival. As a person creeped out by the idea of AIs turning on humans, I definitely found this part interesting.

At 4 out of 5 stars, The Surrana Identity is my kind of humorous sci-fi story, and in my opinion they just get better with each new release. However I received a complimentary copy of the book directly from the author and my honest review is compelled to point out a few missing words and minor errors – slightly more so than I’d like to see.

 

Anyone interested in grabbing a copy of The Surrana Identity can get it from Amazon.co.uk here. I for one am eagerly awaiting book 4, keep them coming Michael.

 

See also:

Brent Bolster: Book 1 – Dial G for Gravity

Brent Bolster: Book 2 – Dead Men Don’t Disco

 

Wayward Pines: Genesis (Book Review)

Genesis is a Wayward Pines Prequel by Steven Konkoly. Steven builds on Blake Crouch’s original Wayward Pines series, by crafting a story which aims to answer some of the burning questions left behind by the original trilogy. Mainly, how did David Pilcher create the fenced off town of Wayward Pines in the first place, with all those abbies surrounding the Superstructure.

 

Genesis begins with David Pilcher and his elite crew emerging from the suspension pods, to discover that they are all that is left of humanity. With the help of Adam Hassler, Pilcher begins his massive project to recreate the town of Wayward Pines, by constructing the 12 foot electrified fence that will eventually surround and protect the idyllic little town.

Steven Konkoly does such a great job with this novel that had I not read his name on the front cover of the book, I wouldn’t have known that Genesis wasn’t actually written by Blake Crouch himself. It remains true to the original series in every way imaginable, and is a fantastic addition to the world of Wayward Pines. This book is perfect for old fans already familiar with either Blake’s series, or the TV adaptation, as well as for unfamiliar newbie’s who are looking for an introduction to the story.

There were one or two points that I noticed didn’t correlate with the original novels, but these were extremely minor issues that most others wouldn’t notice, and which aren’t overly relevant. Otherwise, this is a great book, if a little short. At 5 out of 5 stars I would highly recommend Genesis, and you can pick up a copy from Amazon.co.uk here, if you so wish.

 

Those who haven’t already done so can watch the trailer for the Wayward Pines TV series here:

 

Or check out my reviews of Blake Crouch’s original Wayward Pines trilogy here:

Book 1: Pines

Book 2: Wayward

Book 3: The Last Town

 

Wayward Pines: Book 3 – The Last Town (Book Review)

Dr. David Pilcher has dedicated his life to the planning and implementation of a scientific research model that he hopes can preserve and prolong the survival of the human race. The small town he created is flanked by mountain cliffs, and nestled in amongst a large grove of pine trees, it is the last town habitable by humans, situated amidst a hostile environment.

Local Sheriff, Ethan Burke, has finally chosen to inform the residents of Wayward Pines, about the harsh reality that surrounds them and the reasons behind their old-fashioned ways of living.

David Pilcher, angry that Ethan has betrayed his trust, powers down the electrified fence that surrounds his idyllic town and opens the door to the danger that lies beyond. His town is no longer a safe haven, the last town in which humans can live in peace and tranquillity, instead it is about to become overrun with monsters.

Ethan’s rash actions have dire consequences on the town’s inhabitants, but can he save the lives of those he’s put in danger, including those of his own family?

 

Favourite Quotes:

“I’ve found in my life that sometimes the best company is your own”. – Belinda Moran. (p79)

 

“I think I finally understand why God went away and left the world to destroy itself”. – David Pilcher. (p168)

 

“I alone have the key to what will save us all”. – Adam Hassler. (p197)

 

“I think you got your scripture wrong. God didn’t get exiled. It was the other guy”. – Ethan Burke to David Pilcher. (p258)

 

The Last Town is the third and final instalment in Blake Crouch’s sci-fi mystery trilogy, Wayward Pines. Book 3 is not as strong as Blake’s earlier novels, with the feeling that it is being fleshed out a little too much, just to extend his story that wee bitty longer than is strictly necessary. However, with a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, it does provide a fitting conclusion to the overall mystery.

Those interested in reading The Last Town can find it on Amazon.co.uk here.

 

Wayward Pines has now been edited for the big screen, combining all three novels:

  • Pines
  • Wayward, and
  • The Last Town

Into a ten episode mini-series, directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Matt Dillon and Shannyn Sossamon.

 

There are a number of differences between the book and the TV show but the main plot themes remain in tandem.

 

You can watch the trailer for it here:

 

Or check out series 1 of Wayward pines on Amazon Prime Video via this link.

 

See also:

Wayward Pines: Book 1 – Pines

Wayward Pines: Book 2 – Wayward