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{September 30, 2014}   Book Review – Webs

Young Adult fiction is a genre that has become bogged down with vampires, werewolves, ridiculous romance stories that are weighed down with over complicated relationships, clichés and two-dimension characters.

This book by Lily Stuart is one that avoids these terrible pitfalls that so many others fall foul of to create a piece of YA fiction that is well written and a refreshing change to the literary genre. The title itself is one of many levels as the reader soon discovers in the opening chapters.

The book is written in the first person narrative and shows a great understanding of young adults, their interests and the way they speak. Running a youth group you soon get used to the way that teenagers talk and what they talk about and reading through this book you see that the author has a similar level of familiarity.

The other brilliant thing about this book is that the pseudonym that the author uses for this book is the name of the main character of the story. The narration is carried between the character of Lily and her attacker in the opening pages.

The book begins towards the end of the story and the rest of the book is made up of the classic film noir style that shows how the characters ended up in the predicament that the reader sees at the beginning of the book. This refreshing of a long established element of a stylish and sophisticated genre helps to also cement this book as one that stands out from all the others in the young adult genre.

This book is a great opening book for what looks to be an interesting Young Adult series if the author chooses to continue in this vein. This is a perfect book for anyone who is looking for a great book and refreshing take on Young Adult fiction.

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When it comes to starting a new series as a reader it is always a bit of a daunting prospect. To take on a book that doesn’t have a sequel already written and out can lead to the pain of needing to read more but having to wait for what seems like an eternity. This is especially prevalent in the case of the Throne of Novoxos.

It’s hard to pigeonhole the genre of this book as it has fantastical and sci-fi events to it that are mixed with action, adventure and heavy elements that make psychological thrillers so engaging.

The book is well written from the outset with an extremely well laid out plot and engaging writing style. As you leaf through the opening pages you find yourself being drawn into the novel that seems to bring together elements from human nature throughout the ages.

The story itself follows a classic and timeless plot line that is refreshed by the intricate writings of the characters’ secrets and the many plot twists that keep you gripping your kindle a little too tightly.

It is rare to see such polished and well executed quiet moments alongside fight scenes that do not labour the story with being either too long or too short and also avoid falling into the trap of over description.

The most interesting thing about this book is how well the story bears up under the weight of the different elements that seem almost contradictory in nature from telepathic powers to political intrigue and a desperate romance. It is a book that deserves to be praised as does the author, though I do not envy Tyler Chase and the task of equalling this first book with a sequel that is as elegantly crafted and absorbing.

A great book for fantasy and sci-fi fans as well as those who enjoy action packed thrillers.



{September 15, 2014}   Book Review – Pure Vision

When reading a book that is dealing with the thriller genre and has strong religious elements to it, it is very easy to start by making comparisons to other books such as the Da Vinci Code.

This book is one that deserves to be recognised in its own right as a great read for thriller fans, not just another book that can be likened to the writings of Dan Brown.

From the outset Birney manages to paint a vivid picture for the reader, which is almost cinematic in scope. The Temple of Vimala to the Riverside Church, the atmosphere of each location seeps off the pages as you read transporting you from your favourite reading corner to places half the world away (and slightly closer to home too).

The characterisation in Pure Vision is wonderfully done. These are not just cookie cutter characters that you would lift out of any thriller book and place in dangerous circumstances; they develop very nicely throughout the story with my favourite being Jarret Williamson.

One of the nicest touches in this book is the image of the fragment of the Jeremiah scroll that finds its way into the text, seeing it on the page brings the book to life even more than the descriptive talents of Birney do. The use of short phrases that are set apart from the rest of the text to describe action, such as Maggie searching on her computer “SEARCH: Propaganda Due” are also really effective devices that help to make the story more dynamic.

Even in places where other authors would see the tension and action decline as they have to wade through problem areas of plot, or revert to clichés in order to keep the pace of the book going, Birney doesn’t have to and the ebb and flow of the narrative is enough to bring you to the edge of your seat, let you relax ever so slightly before you are plunged back into white-knuckle moments.

The chapters are short too, making it easy to read on the train or during those times of the day when you only have a few minutes to spare in your busy day.

This book is a great read and will delight thriller fans whether they are Da Vinci Code fans or not.



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