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The GCHQ Puzzle Book
The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries: The Most Complete Collection of Yuletide Whodunits Ever Assembled
Otto Penzler
How to Puzzle Cache
Cully Long

The No.1 Zombie Detective Agency

The No.1 Zombie Detective Agency - Danny King It takes a while to get into but the basic story is of a PI looking for a missing person... told partly in flashback.... while a zombified form of himself retraces the steps of the case on autopilot. Towards the end I was confused at times as to whether the events were current or in the past, but it didn't detract from the tale.


FADE TO BLONDE - Alvin Slater I couldn't follow this; the narrative changed from first person to third person... probably intentionally. It just annoyed me too much to continue

The Untold Story of Shirley Holmes

The Untold Story of Shirley Holmes - Raven Huffman I just couldn't get into this book. After a while getting around the differences in the Holmes and Watson I expected, and the US terms for Victorian England I just couldn't bring myself to finish it. Sorry

Chronicles of Athena Lee Vol 1

Chronicles of Athena Lee Vol 1 - T.S. Paul This was a spur of the moment read, having just read the Conjuring Quantico books. However, it couldn't be more different. It starts off like Robinson Crusoe and quickly turns into a fairly good space opera. What lets it down, however, is the extremely poor grammar and punctuation. I don't particularly rate a book down for the odd error, but this is difficult to read in places. One time the sentence was completely mangled, making very little sense. I originally rated this as a 2, but bumped it up a star for being available on Kindle Unlimited.

I can't really recommend this book in its current state. However, with a good proof reading, it could be worth a look in the future.

Mr. Saxon & the Droid

Mr. Saxon & the Droid - Jim Neville The title almost put me off. I'm glad it didn't. This is a good tale of a bond between a human and a sentient bott. There is a lot of "frolicking", but done in a tasteful way. There are twists and turns that makes it read like Matrix on a rollercoaster! The latter part of the book deals in fantasies experienced by Zach and Rosie, and can be skipped or dipped in and out of without issue.

I read this book via Kindle Unlimited, but have the others cued up and ready to go.
If you're fairly broadminded and don't mind a bit of thinking with your reading, go for it :)

Safety Maid: Nancy Rose

Safety Maid: Nancy Rose - William Wire I quite enjoyed this - a dystopian sci-fi story with a twist. I'm dropping a star for poor grammar; "should of" (should've) and "your" (you're) are really inexcusable


Free-Wrench - Joseph R. Lallo I like this series ... reminds me a bit of the Clockwork Century series by Cherie Priest (Boneshaker etc) but that might just be due to "fug" being similar to "Blight"!

Discovering Aberration

Discovering Aberration - S.C. Barrus This has promise, but I cannot go any further. There are too many major mistakes that could have been sorted by proper proofreading - it looks like this has been proofread by "suggested spellings".
Thus we have "whence" instead of when - they don't mean the same thing; "conscious" confused with "conscience"; the man "shacking" fiercely; finally the gunshot liberating a "plumb" of debris did it. And this is in 7%, according to the Kindle.
I can't comment on the story. I couldn't finish it due to the annoyances, and the prospect of more

Hacking Your Lego Mindstorms Ev3 Kit

Hacking Your Lego Mindstorms Ev3 Kit - John Baichtal Returning this one
It could have been great. I was expecting ideas of breadboards and breakouts. Instead I got "use this shield/HAT/breakout". These are not easily obtained in the uk unless you want to pay a lot or pay import taxes etc.

Sigmund Shaw: A Steampunk Adventure

Sigmund Shaw: A Steampunk Adventure - Mark C. King Sorry but I couldn't finish this - too many things annoyed me. For a start if a book is set in England surely it should use English terms, such as "footpath/pavement" instead of "sidewalk", and "waistcoat" rather than vest. People who help others are "aides" not "aids". And the phrase is "quid pro quo" not "Quid quo pro". Then there are the lack of apostrophes in places....

If you can put up with these inconsistencies and inaccuracies then it is probably a good read. For me, the annoyances outweighed the enjoyment of the story.

The Adventures of Phineas Frakture: Steam Wars

The Adventures of Phineas Frakture: Steam Wars - Joseph Gatch This is a strange book. Despite being number two in the series it is easy to get into. It jumps between areas of the world in self contained chapters(?) before moving to Mars. There seem to be large gaps between these locations, with things hinted to but not explained.
The Martian section, linked to War of the Worlds, has some obvious references such as red-shirted ensigns and a moon that is not a moon - it's a [spoiler!].
The ending is a little strange, too. I sort of want to know what happens next, but then again - do I?

Very good it places, naff in others; overall 3 stars

The Lost Frenchman

The Lost Frenchman - Cully Long At first I wasn't sure about this book. Don't know why. I just wasn't sure.
Then I got into it and didn't want to stop! The book is about a geocaching archaeologist who discovers something terrible then discovers something wonderful!
OK, that's a very brief summary, but I don't want to spoil it for you.

Now the "but"; abseiling is RAPPELLING not repelling! A niggle but little things can bug me...

The Martian

The Martian - Andy Weir This was another book-became-film-special-offers... OK. Maybe I just made up the term, but I got it cheap when I got the Revenant.
This has an interesting start, letting you know from the words used in the first sentence that it is not for kids. The story? A guy is left for dead on Mars. He isn't. He has to survive. Will NASA know he's there? Will NASA rescue him?

The story is written as a series of log entries, with drops into NASA and the crew that left him. I really enjoyed this book, more than I had expected (hence the five star rating). If you are a fan of survival stories with a lot of humour - and can cope with a fair degree of swearing - than this is recommended!

Wind in the East

Wind in the East - Steve Turnbull A lot darker than the earlier three. The reason for the death at the wedding is horrific. The seamier side of polite society is revealed. And Maliha changes from the retiring lass in the earlier books. Definitely deserving of 5 stars.

Maliha Anderson Mysteries

Maliha Anderson Mysteries - Steve Turnbull A series of three stories around the central character, Maliha (Alice) Anderson, offspring of a Scot and an Indian. In a sort of Victorian background, she faces prejudice whilst solving murders!
A lot of the backstory is only hinted at, with bits being revealed over the three tales. SPOILER: The ending is unexpected. I want the next book, or the author to rewrite it!


All the Shiny Things

All the Shiny Things - Robin Mahle Not an easy book, but a gripping one. As the story unfolds we get deeper glimpses into the early life of Katie, until she is completely changed by what she knows. As the book reaches the end allow yourself time to finish it; you won't want to put it down.

Now the problem. A lot of this tale revolves around things being revealed step by step. Will the sequels have the same impact?