5 BIG STARS for VALKYRIE: THE ROAD by Tony Bowman – BOOK REVIEW

image

VALKYRIE: THE ROAD
A Novel of Post-Apocalyptic Horror

Author: Tony Bowman

Type of Book: Softcover

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Horror

Length: 334 pages

ISBN: 9781515051671

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free autographed softcover copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This is NOT your typical apocalypse. There have been books that describe a virus wiping out most of humanity, a multitude of books that describe the zombie apocalypse, and there
have been books that describe the economy collapsing or an EMP pulse that returns North America to the time of the pioneers. This book does not subscribe to any of these potential apocalyptic scenarios. Instead, Tony Bowman has imagined a supernatural wave of horror that sweeps across the nation.

Demons, vampires, werewolves, witches, voodoo practitioners, ghouls and cannibals fill the pages of this novel.

Sounds ridiculous, right? Nope! Somehow Tony Bowman has made the existance of these creatures 100% believable. In fact, their supernatural origins are almost irrelevant to the main story. You will have to read this book to “see” for yourself what I mean.

The characters are superbly written and each one has their own fully realized backstory and readers will find themselves invested in their welfare. I absolutely loved the characters and am hard-pressed to choose a single favorite. In fact, characters who do not have huge parts in the story are still written with depth and these characters are also memorable.

Cole is human. He drives a truck. On the eve of the apocalypse he finds himself in a truck stop with people he doesn’t know. Fortunately for him, one of these people is a young genius (nicknamed Monkey) who is prepared for just such an event.

Perhaps the most significant possession Monkey has is called Valkyrie – a large truck. But, this truck is far from an average eighteen wheeler. This truck could be more accurately described as a rolling fortress rather than just a mere truck.

Fast forward quite a few years. Cole and Monkey and the Valkyrie have figured out how to survive in the new world.

The demons have mostly stepped back from the running of the world. Vampires reign supreme in the cities, but outside the cities cannibals, werewolves and witches have all claimed territories of their own.

Nowhere is safe. Humans are treated like either slaves or cattle, but the crew of the Valkyrie have figured out how to make themselves indispensable to those in power.

The vampires believe that the crew are collaborators. Werewolves avoid them because of Valkyrie’s firepower. The voodoo priest also believes they are collaborators. The cannibals want to kill and eat the crew and seek to take possession of Valkyrie.

No one seems to suspect that the crew may have their own agenda. But, maybe the vampires do suspect, because Valkyrie has a new crew member … one of the most powerful vampires in the city.

Can they keep their true purpose hidden or is this the end for the Valkyrie and her crew? And what about humanity? Are humans doomed to extinction?

I am astounded by how much I enjoyed this book. This is a MUST READ for everyone who loves post-apocalyptic fiction, paranormal fiction and/or horror fiction.

I give VALKYRIE: THE ROAD a hearty 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is the second book by Tony Bowman that I have had the pleasure to read and it will definitely not be the last. I am now a fan of author Tony Bowman.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

image

Tony Bowman is the author of four full-length novels as well as many short stories. His short story collection entitled “Morgue Dreams and Curiouser Things” is an amazingly well written collection of seventeen short horror stories.

Tony currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, Laurie, his daughter, Sara and a hundred pound Catahoula Leopard dog.

To learn more about Tony Bowman and his books, visit https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8080065.Tony_Bowman

Check out his blog at:
http://thattonybowman.blogspot.ca

Advertisements

5 Stars for MORGUE DREAMS AND CURIOUSER THINGS by Tony Bowman – BOOK REVIEW

image

MORGUE DREAMS and CURIOUSER THINGS

Author: Tony Bowman

Type of Book: Autographed Softcover

Genre: Short Stories, Horror

Length: 111 pages

Release Date: April 2014

ISBN: 9781499230794

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free softcover copy of “Morgue Dreams and Curiouser Things’ from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a collection of short horror fiction stories. Some of the stories were published previously in various magazines, but this is the first time they have been published as a collection.

It always amazes me how much a talented writer can pack into just a few pages of text. The seventeen stories in this collection are all exceptionally well written and even though most of them are not more than a couple pages long, somehow the author is able to suck the reader into the story.

Stories such as “Everybody’s Doing It” show the dangers of modern technology as well as the vanity and folly of people in today’s superficial world and the lengths people will go to despite the potential cost to themselves.

The story “CRITICISM” begins with: “I hate stories about vampires. No, that’s not quite strong enough. I loathe and despise stories about vampires. God knows that the bookshelves are packed full of the damnable things these days, and I loathe and despise every single one.” I love this beginning. Even though the author gives away some of the plot by making this statement, I was drawn into the story. It takes talent to say so much, with such few words and talent is something that author Tony Bowman has in abundance.

Morlocks, vampires, witches, private investigators, sexy neighbors, and much more can be found in this superbly written collection of horror themed short stories.

“These are very special low fat brownies I made for the local Weight Watchers group, Ray. Each little square has over eight thousand calories and is just as addictive as a syringe full of heroin…”

With lines like the one above, readers will enjoy the author’s delightfully wicked sense of humor that goes hand-in-hand with his diabolical mind.

I rate this collection as 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I highly recommend buying this book.

This is my first experience with reading anything by author, Tony Bowman, but after devouring these stories I can assure you that I will be looking to read more works by this author.

In fact, I am about to start reading VALKYRIE: THE ROAD which is a “Novel of Post-Apocalyptic Horror” which is also written by Tony Bowman.

QUOTES:

“Think about it, I just downed a gallon and a half of your pal’s blood – it’s gotta go somewhere. I don’t have a wooden leg.”

“I used the lid of a garbage can to cut off her head.”

“You wouldn’t believe how many body parts I dispose of on a daily basis. Fingers, eyes… hell, in lawn mowing season I must incinerate thirty toes a day.”

“Hilda had never liked cell phones. Leashes and leeches she would say: they tied you down and sucked away your money. What she wouldn’t have given for one of the little plastic boxes now.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

image

Tony Bowman is the author of four full-length novels as well as many short stories. His short story collection entitled “Morgue Dreams and Curiouser Things” is an amazingly well written collection of seventeen short horror stories.

Tony currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, Laurie, his daughter, Sara and a hundred pound Catahoula Leopard dog.

To learn more about Tony Bowman and his books, visit https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8080065.Tony_Bowman

Check out his blog at:
http://thattonybowman.blogspot.ca

3 Stars for SURVIVORS: THE COMING COLLAPSE by John Wesley Rawles – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.audible.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.audible.com

SURVIVORS: The Coming Collapse

Author: James Wesley Rawles

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Length: 13 hours and 41 minutes

Narrator: Dick Hill

Genre: Fiction- Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Prepper Fiction

Release Date: October 4, 2011

Series: Founders – Book Two

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook through AudiobookBlast dot com in exchange for an honest review.

This book was written as a fictional tale of what the author envisions as the inevitable collapse of the world’s economy.

I believe that the author set out to achieve two goals by writing this book. He attempted to write a compelling fiction story while also communicating to his readers tips and tricks to help them prepare for the “coming collapse.”

The problem with having two such lofty goals for a single book is that the storyline was often placed on the back-burner to go into minute detail about survival strategies. Nowhere in the story is this more readily apparent than when the author starts to go ‘on-and-on’ about guns and the individual features of each one. I understand the need for a weapon (or possibly even two) if the country were to fall into lawless chaos, however, most readers will probably not care about the make and model of their weapon. All they will care about is whether or not it is reliable and whether or not they will be able to obtain ammunition for it.

I have read quite a few different reviews for “SURVIVORS” and those reviews have been varied. It seems like readers either love this book, or they hate it. There does not seem to be a middle-ground. The major difference between my experience and the experience of the other reviewers whose comments I have read seems to be in what format they “read.” I listened to “SURVIVORS” on unabridged audiobook and I am very glad I did. I believe that I would have wanted to stop reading a few times if I was reading a paper or e-copy of this book.

The overly detailed descriptions of guns and their components struck me as tedious and boring. This is also true in the sections about religion. At times I felt like I was being told that if I was not a Christian then I would not survive. This seems simplistic to me.

I enjoyed the part of the story where Anders Lane was trying to return home from his tour of duty overseas to America and the hardships he faced on his journey.

There was another storyline that I enjoyed and that was the woman and her mother who had stockpiled seeds. (I can’t remember their names.) However, this storyline gets dropped and readers never find out if they survived or not.

The narration by Dick Hill is very well done. He has a terrific tone and his cadence and pacing are excellent.

Overall I rate this audiobook as 3 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
<img src="https://amiesbookreviews.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/image11.jpg" alt="image" width="220" height="176"

James Wesley Rawles was born in California in 1960.

Rawles is a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer. He is the founder and Senior Editor of SurvivalBlog.com which covers survival and preparedness topics, and has published collected material from this in two books. He also works as a survival retreat consultant and is a Constitutionalist Christian libertarian.

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

image

Dick Hill is an American audiobook narrator who has narrated over four hundred audiobooks.

When I first started listening to this audiobook I instantly knew I had heard Dick Hill’s voice before. He is perhaps best known as the narrator of author Lee Child’s “Jack Reacher” series. He has been narrating audiobooks for almost twenty years.

To learn more about this narrator visit http://www.dickhill.com

5 Stars for FOEHAMMER by Duncan Campbell – BOOK REVIEW

image

FOEHAMMER

Author: Duncan Campbell

Type of Book: Softcover

Genre: Science Fiction, Paranormal Fiction, Horror

Length: 281 pages

Release Date: December 17, 2014

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free softcover copy of Foehammer from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Duncan Campbell has created an interesting and varied cast of unique characters. These individuals come from all over the globe and know nothing about each other, yet the fate of nations may be in their hands.

This book starts at mach speed and never lets up. Readers are taken on the ride of a lifetime. This book is impossible to put down. I was so wrapped up in the story that everything else was put on hold while I read this book.

When I read the initial description of this book on Goodreads I was interested, but, have to admit that the description does NOT do this book justice. Here is the description that is currently posted on Goodreads:

“Twenty years from now, the ice caps melt and three sinister creatures rise from the slush. A virus breaks out in a couple of Arctic naval bases, and then, even more strangely, inside the White House. The guards become animated corpses, and rescue teams are rendered helpless by a mysterious trance effect. Most US citizens seem unconcerned, but some people are watching. Underpaid academic Dr. Weaver has documents that refer to something similar happening in the time of Christ, and a group of billionaires seek him out and set him to work. With the help of a super-hacker he manages to track down a veteran who’s not susceptible to mind control. But this Sean “Jester” Solberg character is a wild card—an aggressive loner who lives with the immigrants outside the cities. The next recruit is even more unusual. Curtis Ferguson is the son of a couple of anthropologists and reportedly the world’s most powerful witch doctor. Into this bizarre, dysfunctional group is thrust Jodie Goodwin, a down-to-earth Texan girl with exceptional shooting skills. The newly formed team creep into the bunkers deep under the capital and encounter mankind’s ancient enemies. They end up fighting for survival and soon discover that their lives depend on the powers of the young, but untested, shaman.”

The above description is good and does offer a reasonable synopsis of “Foehammer” BUT this book is so much better than the synopsis leads readers to expect. Because of the complexity of the storyline and the characters, it would be impossible to summarize this reading experience in only a few words. However, I will use this review as a platform to try to explain to potential readers why I believe they should read FOEHAMMER.

Firstly, yes, this book could (technically) be considered ‘Post-Apocalyptic’ fiction, but it is definitely not the type of post-apocalyptic fiction that readers of that genre have come to expect. Instead, this book is unique and, as far as I am concerned; unique is good.

The leading characters in this book are not normal. What I mean by this is that the group of characters that Duncan Campbell has created are not your typical heroic figures. These people are flawed – some are so flawed that if you were to come across these people in everyday life, you would most likely cross the street to avoid coming anywhere near them. However, it is exactly these character flaws that make for compelling reading.

Duncan Campbell has also included social commentary into his story. When the President of the United States disappears for weeks there is very little news coverage and citizens do not seem concerned at all that the “leader of the free world” has vanished. The most watched (and reported on) events include reality television and celebrity gossip. This prompts the quote: “Maybe the rumors that the news networks didn’t have any real journalists were true.” This is a thinly veiled jab at today’s society and the skewed priorities of people in general.

This book is a mixture of horror, science fiction, action and thriller.

This is the first book in a planned trilogy and I will definitely be looking forward to reading the next two books.

I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Duncan Campbell was born and grew up in Yorkshire in the UK. After school he left York to study philosophy at the University of Sussex.

A huge dose of magic mushrooms whilst backpacking in Thailand resulted in a powerful hallucinogenic experience that awakened a strong interest in shamanism. The ‘spirit world’ sequences in the Foehammer books are drawn directly from his diary entries at that time.

5 Stars for MAN MADE MURDER by Z. Rider

image

MAN MADE MURDER

Author: Z. Rider

Type of Book: ARC Softcover

Length: 298 pages

Genre: Horror, Paranormal Fiction

Release Date: October 13, 2015

Publisher: Dark Ride Publishing

Paperback Price: $16.99 USD (includes free ebook)

ISBN: 978-1-942234-02-9

Ebook Price: $5.99 USD

ISBN: 978-1-942234-03-6

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

** MAN MADE MURDER comes out in paperback and ebook formats October 13, 2015.

When the police are unable to track down the prime suspect in his sister Sophie’s murder, Carl Delacroix decides to take matters into his own hands.

After two years of spending all his money on private investigators, Carl is broke and desperate. But he finally has a solid lead and is now hot on the killer’s trail. He is determined to take him down.

However, “…the road is dark and full of monsters, and the one he’s chasing has a deadly bite.”

Meanwhile, the band “Man Made Murder” sets out on a cross country tour. But, before the tour even begins, the lead guitarist, Dean, has a run in with a vicious biker.

This sets off a chain of events that will change all their lives forever.

Set in 1978, this book will take readers back to an era before cell phones and at the height of what we now call the classic rock era. In fact, the author includes references to several well-known songs that are playing on the radio as Carl is driving.

A night in a roadside motel cost eleven dollars, gas was fifty-nine cents a gallon and you could buy two packages of cigarettes for less than two dollars.

If you were alive in the seventies, you will love the pop-culture references included in this book. I was six years old in 1978, but I can remember that period in time being one that was almost idyllic. People were much more trusting back then, you could even say that most people were naive to the horrors that seem so commonplace today. Murders were few and far between in most places (or if they weren’t, we just didn’t hear about them like we do in today’s news saturated world.) I love that this story is set in that era.

This is the first book of The Blood Road trilogy. Book Two – DEAD TO THE WORLD is due to be released in February 2016 and the third book: BRING OUT THE DEAD will be released in June 2016.

I thoroughly enjoyed MAN MADE MURDER. Just when I thought I had the plot all figured out, author Z. Rider threw in a terrific twist. Once I settled back into the story and was sure I knew where the story was heading – WHAM – another twist. I LOVE IT! It is rare that I am completely surprised by a plot twist, but this time I definitely did not see it coming.

This book starts off at breakneck speed and the action never lets up. In fact, even the scenes where character building is the obvious goal, fly by.

This book is one you will not want to put down. I read the entire book in twenty-four hours.

Everyone will be able to relate to at least one of the characters in the book, and readers will find themselves sometimes rooting for the character that maybe they should be hating. It takes a skilled writer to create characters that are so compelling and believable.

This book made me wish that the second book was already available. I have signed up for the author’s newsletter just so I can get my hands on the next book in the series as soon as possible.

So, if you love horror fiction and you love great characters and terrific story-building, this book is for you.

I enthusiastically rate “Man Made Murder” by Z. Rider as 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Add this book to your ‘Must Read” list and mark October 13th on your calendar to be one of the first people to get your hands on a copy of this great horror book.

I have read two other books by Z. Rider – INSYLUM and SUCKERS and I loved them both. Reviews for all of Z. Rider’s books can be found on my blog.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

image

Z. Rider is the author of SUCKERS as well as INSYLUM. The second and third books in the Blood Road trilogy will be released in 2016.

Z. Rider grew up in New Hampshire and now lives in the mountains in Tennessee with her husband and two dogs.

To learn more about her visit http://www.zriderwriter.com

5 Stars for THE GOLD EATERS by Ronald Wright – BOOK REVIEW

image

THE GOLD EATERS

Author: Ronald Wright

Type of Book: Softcover Advanced Uncorrected and Unpublished Proof

Length: 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Canadian Release Date: September 22, 2015

U.S. Release Date: November 3, 2015

Hardcover Price: $28.95

Publisher: A Hamish Hamilton hardcover from Penguin Canada Books Inc.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I was the lucky winner of an advance uncorrected and unpublished proof from the Goodreads Giveaway program. This program is a wonderful way to discover new authors and soon to be released books. Winning books is a great way to expand your library and to read titles that intrigue you, but that you may have overlooked if not for the giveaway.

The word “epic” is consistently overused in the world of fiction. Many books which claim to be “epic tales” are not worthy of that claim. THE GOLD EATERS by Ronald Wright is truly an epic historical novel. It outlines true events from sixteenth century Peru and weaves them together with fictitious characters. This achieves the effect of bringing personalization to the long ago timeline and draws the reader into the tale.

The story begins with a Peruvian boy named Waman who is on the cusp of manhood. He lives what seems to me, an idyllic existence in a tiny fishing village in Northern Peru.

Waman is like every other teenager throughout history. He seeks independence and adventure, as well as the ability to prove that he is old enough to make his own life choices.

When he decides to leave home to seek his future upon the sea, he visualizes a life filled with adventure, much like the life in the stories he has heard all his life from his grandfather. Little does Waman know that the adventure he seeks will be found and will be much more difficult to endure than he ever could have imagined. In fact, it quite possibly might be than he can handle.

On his very first sea voyage, Waman ends up captured by a Spanish sea captain who is seeking the fabled land of Peru. He plans to use Waman as a forced interpreter.

Chained and kept in the bowels of the Spanish ship, Waman immediately regrets following his rash impulse to run away from his boring, but safe life in Little River village.

The story may begin with a simple Peruvian villager, but that young man soon finds his fate tied not only to the Spaniards, but also to the Inca (King) of Peru as well as his descendants.

Ronald Wright’s descriptions of the sixteen century Peruvian landscape and their amazing social structure are simply stunning. It is impossible to read this book and not have vivid pictures appear in the reader’s mind.

I was utterly fascinated by the details of how the Peruvians were able to rule over such a vast geographic area and yet ensure that everyone had enough to eat and poverty simply did not exist. One has to wonder what this amazing civilization might have accomplished had the Spanish never invaded and brought with them the plague of smallpox.

This book is a MUST READ and is destined to be a bestseller.

I am ashamed to admit that before reading THE GOLD EATERS, I had not read any of Ronald Wright’s previous books. After discovering his amazing ability to weave fact and fiction into a compelling and fascinating tale, I plan to read any and all of his books as soon as possible.

I rate THE GOLD EATERS as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

image

Historian, novelist, and essayist Ronald Wright is the award-winning author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction published in 16 languages and more than 40 countries.

Much of his work explores the relationships between past and present, peoples and power, other cultures and our own.

A Short History of Progress, in which he examines humankind’s increasingly precarious “experiment” with civilization, was the best-selling book in the 50-year history of the prestigious CBC Massey Lecture Series, winning the Libris Award for Nonfiction Book of the Year. Martin Scorsese’s Surviving Progress, a documentary film based on the book and produced by Cinémaginaire, Mark Achbar, and other members of The Corporation team, premiered in fall 2011 (see News).
Wright’s first novel, A Scientific Romance, a nightmare future of our making, won Britain’s David Higham Prize for Fiction and was chosen a book of the year by the New York Times, the Sunday Times, the Mail on Sunday, and the Globe & Mail. His other bestsellers include Time Among the Maya and Stolen Continents, a history of the Americas since Columbus which won the Gordon Montador Award and was chosen a book of the year by the Independent and the Sunday Times.
Wright contributes criticism to the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other publications. He has also written and presented documentaries for radio and television on both sides of the Atlantic. His 2008 history, What Is America?, was a No.1 bestseller and finalist for the B.C. Book Prize.
Born in England to Canadian and British parents, Wright read archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge University and has been awarded two honorary doctorates. He spent many years in Mexico and South America, Africa, and the South Seas, travelling for his books, taking part in anthropological research, and recording indigenous music. While in Peru he also wrote Lonely Planet’s first Quechua (Inca) phrasebook.
Wright lives on Canada’s West Coast. His latest novel, The Gold Eaters, is published by Hamish Hamilton/Penguin Canada and Riverhead/Penguin USA in fall 2015. Three of his earlier works are also newly available in Penguin Modern Classics.

To learn more about this author visit http://www.ronaldwright.com

Purchase Links:

http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/318824/the-gold-eaters-by-ronald-wright/

http://www.amazon.ca/The-Gold-Eaters-Ronald-Wright-ebook/dp/B00TY3ZSFG

5 Stars for THE PRISON BOOK CLUB by Ann Walmsley

Cover image obtained from www.annwalmsley.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.annwalmsley.com

THE PRISON BOOK CLUB

Author: Ann Walmsley

Type of Book: Hardcover

Genre: Non-Fiction

Length: 279 pages

Release Date: September 22, 2015

Publisher: Viking – A Division of Penguin/Random House Publishing

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free ARC (Advance Review Copy) in hardcover of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. A review is not a requirement of receiving the book, but it is appreciated.

There are several factors that drew me to this book. Firstly, the author, Ann Walmsley, is Canadian and I love to read books written by my fellow Canadians. Secondly, this book is non-fiction and the subject matter intrigued me.

There is something about prison life that fascinates people. In the past few years a number of new prison-based television series (both fictitious and factual) have been created. Netflix has created a series called “Orange is the New Black” which takes place in a fictional U.S. woman’s prison. New Zealand’s “Wentworth” is similar to “OITNB.” There are also several new documentary/reality shows aired on channels such as A&E including “Behind Bars – Rookie Year” which chronicles the challenges new prison guards face when first beginning their jobs.

Before reading “The Prison Book Club” I was guilty of thinking of book clubs as the milieu of the middle or upper classes. I had never given a thought to the fact that people in prison would want to take part in such a club. Of course I am aware that reading takes place in prison since it is a way for inmates to pass the time. However, I had a hard time picturing inmates of different religions and different races putting aside their prejudices to get together to discuss literature. To me, this idea seemed to be fraught with pitfalls that would ultimately lead to it’s failure.

As I read this book I was surprised to read the responses of the inmates to the various books they read. Some of the reactions were insightful and intelligent.

I understand the goal of the prison book clubs is to foster empathy in the inmates through the reading of literary fiction. I was surprised to find that many of the books that were chosen were books that I had also read and enjoyed. Before reading “The Prison Book Club” I had a hard time picturing hardened criminals sitting together to discuss books in an intelligent and meaningful way. Now that I have finished reading the book, I am able to admit that it was my preconceptions that had skewed my view of what a prison book club would be like. This book has shattered those preconceptions and opened my eyes to the possibility that something as simple as reading and discussing a book can have a profound effect on those who are incarcerated.

I admit that throughout the book I was waiting for something violent to happen to the author, either during the book club meetings or during her one-on-one interviews with the participants. I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case.

I think anyone who loves a good read will enjoy and be able to relate to this book. It is also interesting to compare my own experiences while reading with those of the prisoners.

This book will open your eyes to the fact that while there are some people in jail who are probably irredeemable, that is not the case for every inmate. No matter what crime a person has committed or why they did so, these men are still people with valid opinions and who deserve a chance to enrich their lives through reading.

There is one other thing that readers will take from this gripping book: the desire to either join or start a book club of their own.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

To find out more about this book or to preorder it before it’s release on September 22, 2015 go to:
http://penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/417551/prison-book-club#9780143194170

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author photo obtained from www.annwalmsley.com

Author photo obtained from http://www.annwalmsley.com

Ann Walmsley is a magazine journalist whose work has appeared in The Globe and Mail and Maclean’s.

She is the recipient of four National Magazine Awards, a Canadian Business Journalism Award and two International Regional Magazine Awards.

Ann founded her first book club at age nine. She lives in Toronto with her family.

“The Prison Book Club” is her first book.

To learn more about her visit http://www.annwalmsley.com or follow her on Twitter @annpwalmsley

AIN’T NO GRAVE by S.A. Softley – 5 Star BOOK REVIEW

Cover Image obtained from www.softley books.com

Cover Image obtained from http://www.softley books.com


AIN’T NO GRAVE
The Penance of Leather: Book One

Author: S.A. Softley

Type of Book: eBook

Length: 260 pages

Genre: Fiction – Suspense

Release Date: August 1, 2015

Publisher: Book Baby

ISBN: 9781483557144

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

** Advisory: This book contains mature themed, occasional violence, sexuality and language that may offend some readers. It is intended for audiences ages 16+

You can see the trailer for AIN’T NO GRAVE here:

While on what should have been a short and uneventful flight, a man becomes violently ill. When he stops breathing, CPR is administered but the attempt at resuscitation proves to be futile.

The pilot announces that the plane will be making an emergency landing. It is at this point that everything seems to go wrong; REALLY wrong.

“… only comes in flashes; images; feelings. I remember a piercing scream… I remember the searing heat that spread slowly… After that, everything went dark.”

When consciousness returns to the main character in the story, he realizes he is no longer on the plane. His clean shaven face has mysteriously grown a full beard and hunger gnaws at him. He also realizes he is in a hospital and he seems to be all alone.

Exiting the hospital he discovers that he is in a small Canadian town. Despite its normal outward appearance, the town is completely silent and seems to have been abandoned in the middle of a regular day. “Looking up and down the road, I couldn’t see movement anywhere.”

He needs to figure out what happened and exactly what he is going to do about it.

He quickly realizes that something is really wrong. He seems to be the only person left alive.

S.A. Softley has created a page-turner that is a distinctly unique take on the post-apocalyptic/zombie genre. When I first started reading and the main character woke up in a hospital, I had visions of a complete rip-off of “The Walking Dead.” This, thankfully, could not be farther from the truth.

The main character is unique. As readers learn more about him they begin to empathize with his situation. When he meets up with the old man the story takes an interesting and unexpected twist. In fact, I was taken completely by surprise; which does not happen very often.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

AIN’T NO GRAVE is the first book in The Penance of Leather Series and is such a great story that I was surprised to discover that it was the author’s first novel. I am very much looking forward to the next book.

Lovers of post-apocalyptic and zombie novels will fall in love with S.A. Softley’s terrific new series.

Buy a copy of AIN’T NO GRAVE today. You will not be disappointed.

I highly recommend this book and feel that it deserves a 5 Star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“As in so many horror movies, the implication of the monster is always more frightening.”

“I silently cursed my family for my stunted emotions. My father had never expressed a feeling other than displeasure in his life as far as I could tell and my mother had wandered through life with blinders on, forcefully unaware that she’d married an asshole.”

“I’d had longer relationships with disposable razors than with most people.”

“My gaze fell in horror to the grotesque and peeling shape that hung between his legs. Few things could bring as much sympathetic dread to a man as the sight of damage to that most valued of organs.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author image obtained from www.softleybooks.com

Author image obtained from http://www.softleybooks.com

S. A. Softley lives in Calgary Alberta, Canada with his wonderful wife. He is a teacher and musician with a number of album and writing credits to his name. When he is not teaching, playing music, reading or writing; he enjoys travelling and seeking out new experiences and adventures. Softley is a perpetual learner and graduate of the University of Calgary. To learn more, visit http://www.SoftleyBooks.com