A Symphony of Echoes By Jodi Taylor – Book review

The chaotic romp through time continues with A Symphony Of Echoes, the second book in the St Mary Chronicles by Jodi Taylor.

In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.
But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St Mary’s – an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy History itself to do it.

Review

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor continues Max’s story (click here for the review of One Damned Thing After another) and her time-travel adventures with St Mary’s along with the rest of her eccentric colleagues.

In the second book, Max heads to the future and has to face her nemesis(s), Isabella Barclay and Ronan again and ends up interim director but after she faces off with Jack the Ripper.

Max continues to be feisty, and funny (even when she has to lead) but vulnerable in this book particularly with her relationship with Leon Farell. I have to admit I wasn’t a big fan of Leon in this book and I did want to throw the book at the wall when reading about their relationship. I preferred Max’s more healthy relationships with her colleagues and friends which forms the heart of the book but her reaction to Leon’s boorish behaviour was hilariously unhinged.

As expected, there is plenty of tea, accidents and mishaps and of course a completely bonkers take on history- I loved the explanation of why Jack the Ripper disappeared from history. The team also head off to Tudor Scotland to stop Mary becoming the Queen of England and Scotland- a complicated scheme hatched by Ronan to save his love Anne.

 We do learn a little bit more about the past (or future) history of St Marys.

Content warning

References to rape, sexual assault, torture and violence (this is in a historical context and boy were they violent in the past!)

Perfect for Fans

Who loves Time travel books

Series: Book two in the St Marys Chronicles

Source: My Own

One Damned Thing after another by Jodi Taylor

I’m finally reading the St Mary Chronicles in order. Read my review of One Damned Thing after Another by Jodi Taylor which introduces the chaotic, tea drinking time travellers.

Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document – to try and find the answers to many of History’s unanswered questions…and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back – to the death. And, as they soon discover – it’s not just History they’re fighting.
Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake.

Review

I love time-travel stories and the St Mary Chronicles is one of my favourites. I have dipped in and out of the series ,reading the books in random order ( which works fine for this series) but decided to finally read them in order.

Continue reading “One Damned Thing after another by Jodi Taylor”

Redspace Rising by Brian Trent – blog tour and book review

I’m pleased to be part of the Random Things Tours blogtour for Redspace Rising by Brian Trent. Here is my review of the futuristic military sci-fi.

Harris Alexander Pope is the man who ended the Partisan War on Mars. All he seeks now is solitude and a return to the life that was stolen from him. Yet when he learns that the worst war criminals are hiding in other bodies, he is forced into an interplanetary pursuit teaming up with other survivors eager for their own brand of vengeance ,Harris begins to suspect a darker truth: Maybe what he remembers about the war isn’t what happened at all.

Book review

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

Redspace Rising by Brian Trent is set in a far future where Mars has been colonised and is now savaged by long wars. Unfortunately, The Partisans who promised freedom have become terrible oppressors and Harris has been their loyal and highly decorated soldier for years. But in the middle of yet another mission he is captured by the other side and finds out that he has, in fact, been a deep undercover agent for the last twenty years ( he is so deep undercover he has forgotten that he is an undercover agent with help of some interesting tech) and is activated- to finally end the war. Which he does- but this is just the start of Pope’s journey and story.

Read more

The story is told from Pops’s point of view and it is a realistic view of war, the consequences and the aftermath. While the book doesn’t glamorise war, it also doesn’t glamorise its effects on the people who have had to live through it. I didn’t warm to Pope but I sympathised with him, his struggles and his overwhelming desire just to spend some time with his brother.

There is a huge array of fascinating tech in this world and the politics of Mars are just as corrupt as you would expect it to be in a dystopia but this enhances the story. The battle scenes are vividly described and the plot is fast-paced with plenty of high-tech action.

I was gripped by all the twists and turns in the story, especially the end.

I did feel the book was perhaps a little long and would have appreciated a bit more downtime between all battles and action. While Pope is a nuanced and realistic character, the women in the book had less depth.

Perfect for fans

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

Content warning

Descriptions of torture,

Genre: Miltary Sci-fi

Source : with Thanks to Flame Tree Press

Lost in Time by A G Riddle – book review

I found another time travel book! Here is my review of Lost in Time by A G Riddle.

When his daughter is falsely accused of murder, a scientist must travel 200 million years into the past to save her. But there are secrets waiting there. And more than her life is at stake.

From the worldwide bestselling author of Departure and Winter World comes a standalone novel with a twist you’ll never see coming.

Control the Past.
Save the Future.

Review

Source: NetGalley,Head of Zeus and Ad Astra books

Publication date: 1st September 22

I love time-travel fiction, so I was so excited when I found Lost In Time. I haven’t read any of A G Riddle’s books before but after reading this book I will definitely be exploring his backlist.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

The book has an interesting use for time- travel technology- it is used to send criminals to the past to be eaten by dinosaurs although the official line seems to be for people to live in exile.

Sam finds himself accused of the murder of his lover as is his 19- year-old daughter Adeline but finds himself confessing to the crime to protect her. As a result, he is sent to the dinosaur age which is ironic as he was one of the scientists who developed the tech and made millions from this.

His daughter Adeline is determined to find the evidence that proves his innocence and bring him back home. But she needs the help of his fellow scientists and financial backer but why do all of them seem to be hiding secrets.

Adeline is a realistic and believable 19-year-old and the book is mainly from her point of view. The world-building is futuristic and believable. There is enough explanation of the science to understand time travel but not too much to be boring.

I can;treally say more about the story as that would heading into spoiler terrority.

I’m not sure if there is a sequel to the book as I thought there were plot strands that weren’t resolved which left me a little frustrated. I didn’t quite understand the plot but that could be just me being dense and this did not stop me from enjoying this mind-boggling story.

Perfect for fans of

St Mary Chronicles, Island of Time ( review here)

Tune in Tomorrow by Randee Dawn- Book review

Here is my review of Turn in Tomorrow by Randee Dawn- The Curious, Calamitous Cockamamie Story of Starr Weatherby and the greatest Mythic Reality Show ever. I think the title says it all.

Publication date: 16th of August 2022

Genre: Sci-fi/humour

Source: With thanks from the publisher Rebellion

She’s just a small town girl, with big mythic dreams.
Starr Weatherby came to New York to become… well, a star. But after ten years and no luck, she’s offered a big role – on a show no one has ever heard of. And there’s a reason for that. It’s a ‘reality’ show beyond the Veil, human drama, performed for the entertainment of the Fae.
But as Starr shifts from astounded newcomer to rising fan favorite, she learns about the show’s dark underbelly – and mysterious disappearance of her predecessor. She’ll do whatever it takes to keep her dream job – though she might just bring down the show in the process.

Review

I can safely say that Tune in Tomorrow by Randee Dawn is unlike any other book I’ve read- a strange concoction of sci-fi, fantasy, expose of behind the scenes of a reality TV show, humour and romance. But despite this, it was a fun and easy read.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

Starr Weatherby( or Sam) is the easy-to-like main point of view character and you could sympathise with her conflicting wonder and bewilderment of suddenly being part of a reality TV show for mythical beings ( which is actually scripted). But Starr has to learn about this new world all the while trying to deal with the homicidal lead actress, Fiona.

The world-building was unique and it is safe to say there isn’t a fantasy world quite like this- a television studio filled with mythical creatures with horns and tails and brownies as well as an unseen audience.

I found some parts of the book really funny and it was a quick enjoyable read. There is a hint of romance between Starr and her leading man ( or men) as well as a hint of an unsolved mystery- what happened to Amelia the actress who vanished before Starr started.

I thought Fiona felt a little two-dimensional as a villain and a bit boring considering how vivid the other characters are. The book was sometimes a little confusing and I found it hard to figure out what was going on.

Perfect for fans of

The closest book I could compare this to would The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Nexus Point by K. Pimpinella – Blog Tour/Book review

I’m so pleased to be part of the Escapist Tours Blog Tour of Nexus Point by K Pimpinella- a fast- paced time-travel science-fiction thriller I couldn’t put down. Click link below to be in with a chance of winning a copy of the book (open internationally)

Winner of a 2021 Canada Book Award
Quarter Finalists in SPSFC
Editor’s Pick, BookLife/Publisher’s Weekly

The year is 2198. Earth has unified under one government, Utopia. War has ravaged the planet, forcing many citizens to immigrate to space stations and colonies. As human life expands into space, the Nexus Point and its abandoned station are discovered along with their time-travel capabilities. Time travel becomes the new luxury vacation, but some citizens go rogue and as history starts to change, the Time Rangers are born; a specialized unit tasked with chasing down the Time Runners. Following family tradition, Kai Sawyer, joins the Rangers. His first mission as a commander; travel to1634 France and defeat a Time Runner trying to jump start the progression of medicine. As Sawyer struggles to save his team and the future of Utopia; he learns of a more sinister plot that might include his father, the Rear Admiral of the Time Rangers. Should the Runners succeed, they will rewrite the future of all mankind.

Review

I enjoyed Nexus Point by K Pimpinella-a fast-paced time-travelling thriller.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

This sci-fi thriller ticks all the boxes for me- great story, interesting characters,  intriguing world-building, science and history as well as plenty of action.

Kai Sawyer is a spawn- the genetically created and enhanced son of a respected Solider of the Time Ranges. The Time Rangers are the official body hunting down rogue time-travellers and keeping history right.

I admit to not warming up to Kai until the end of the book but this could be partly due to his genetic make-up and his harsh upbringing at the hands of his father but he comes into his own at the end Lately, I seem to find the secondary characters in books more interesting and this is no different in Time Nexus.  While Kai’s father seemed to be a two-dimensional bad father on the surface, there does seem to be more lurking under the surface. Hawk- Kai’s best friend, Perry- the specialist and Santiago the resentful second in command are interesting in their own right and I would have loved to read more chapters with them in.

There is plenty of action in various periods, and the world-building in both the present and past is well described.

I liked the idea of time travel initially being used for a corporate profit before being policed by the time rangers and hopefully this will be expnaded on in book two.

This is the first book in the Time Rangers series and I would definitely read book two after that epilogue.

Content warning

References to child abuse, drug use,torture

Perfect for fans of

Time travel fiction

GIVEAWAY ( CLOSING DATE 17/8/22)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK ( OPEN INTERNATIONALLY)

Author Site: www.kpimpinella.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/k_pimpinella
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/k.pimpinella/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimeRangersBookSeries
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21135489.K_Pimpinella

About the Author

Author Bio & Information:

Long Bio:

An author and lover of all things science fiction, K.Pimpinella grew up with the greats like Star Wars, Star Trek and the original Battlestar Galactica, and still enjoys them today. The theme of teamwork  which dominated Stargate, the camaraderie of the character dynamics of the video game Mass Effect, and the time-travel ideals of the TV show Timeless, were the foundations of her world-building and characters of the Time Ranger series, of which, Nexus Point is the first novel.

She now lives in Uxbridge, ON. In her spare time she enjoys ice hockey, snowboarding, western horseback riding and spending time with her husband and two dogs, Dallas and Tonka.

Mai Tais for the Lost by Mia V Ross- Book review

I enjoyed this sci-fi novella set under the sea in a city that only the rich can afford with a murder only Marrow Nightingale can solve.Here is my review of Mai Tais for the Lost by Mia V Ross

Marrow Nightingale is a professional pain in the ass. As Electric Blue Moon’s only licensed private investigator, she’s the one who snoops the closets of the elite who think the laws don’t apply to them. But when the son of a wealthy family turns up dead, it’s Marrow’s closet that everyone is suddenly interested in. That dead playboy in the foyer? It’s her adoptive sibling, Rocket Nightingale.
Now, Marrow’s dodging gossip columnists who smell blood in the water, renegade corporate IP with minds of their own, and badge-wearing bone-breakers who would love nothing more than to ship her back to the surface. Which is still on fire.If Marrow can’t catch the killer, this case is going to sink the Nightingale Electric Detective Agency.

Review

I couldn’t resist this book when I saw this title and despite being a novella, Mai Tais for the Lost by Mia V Ross packs a lot of action, tech, mystery and partying.

Continue reading “Mai Tais for the Lost by Mia V Ross- Book review”

Through the Water Darkly by Victoria L Short – Book tour and blog tour

I’m so pleased to be part of the @RandonTTours #blogtour for Through the Water Darkly by Victoria L Short- a time-slip romance fantasy..

Caroline Curtis is an avid horticulturalist, who is injured during the restoration of a local country estate. She wakes in a familiar body, but a different time, and with mixed memories of her twenty-first century life and those of a seventeenth century lady, which causes difficult conflicts not only in herself but the people around her.The first English civil war is over, and the king deposed. The Prince of Wales is fleeing the country, and, as Caroline fights to change the future of the man with whom she has fallen in love, she begins to realise that time is not a straight line.

Review

I enjoy a good time-slip novel and when you throw some romance, action, peril and history and Through The Water Darkly by Victoria Short has become one of my favourite reads of the year.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion

Caroline is the first-person narrator and the woman who finds herself thrown into the body of Lady Carolina with all her memories in the turbulent times of the English Civil War. Caroline has to deal with the realities of life in the 17th Century, politics, court intrigue and the lack of women’s rights. Caroline is a realistic heroine, a woman struggling to survive in a different time and the conflict between her missing the advantages of modern life and her appreciation of the unspoilt beauty of life in the past forms was the best part of the story.

She meets Nicholas, a Royalist, who she has to marry but to who she feels connected to body and soul. But both Nicholas and Caroline are pawns in someone’s overall plan to separate their souls through time.

I enjoyed the little details about the food, clothes and life in the 17th century ( my favourite is the use of linen to line copper baths).

I would have liked to have learned more about the powers that seem to be controlling time and have the power to throw Caroline through time. But hopefully, we will learn more in the next book( which I can’t wait to read).

Perfect for fans of

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and Saxon’s Bane by Geoffrey Gudgion.

Content warning

References to sexual assault and domestic violence

About Victoria L Short
I’m a mother to two teenagers and since moving from London the Suffolk five years ago I found I
had some spare time, so I started to write. I wrote a little novella Our story coming home, which
being my first I tend to cringe lol. Then in 2018 I re-produce my late grandfather WW2 log book,
A Stoker Logs, HMS Whelp, The Forgotten British Pacific Fleet. my grandfather served as a
stoker on HMS Whelp, alongside Prince Phillip as the ships second in command. My latest novel
is an 80k romance time-slip called Through the water, Darkly which I super proud of. In-between
writing and running a household I work in the film industry doing hair, makeup and wardrobe.

The Emergent by Nadia Arifi- book review and blog tour

I’m so pleased to be part of the Random Things Tour blog tour for The Emergent by Nadia Arifi-science fiction thriller set in a future that doesn’t seem to distant.

Amira Valdez’s adventures continue in the sequel to The Sentient,as she finds herself in unprecedented danger. The ruthless new leader of the fundamentalist Trinity Compound seeks to understand his strange neurological connection with Amira and unleash an army on an unstable, North America. The first human clone has been born, but thanks to the mysterious scientist Tony Barlow, it may unlock the secret to human immortality– or disaster. Together, Amira and Barlow form an uneasy  alliance in pursuit of scientific breakthroughs and protection from shared enemies. But new discoveries uncover dark secrets that Barlow wants to keep hidden.

REVIEW

The Emergent by Nadia Arifi is a sequel but you don’t need to read The Sentient to enjoy or understand this fast-paced science fiction set in a slightly dystopian US of the future. In fact, I haven’t read the first book but I had no problems following the story or understanding the characters from the start.

The world-building is interesting and easy to understand after a few chapters- this book covers a lot of ground with cloning, what happens to consciousness after death, space travel, religion, evil scientists and my favourite- a visual memory reading machine.

The story is told in the third person point of view from Amira- an ambitious scientist and former runaway from one of the compounds ( a walled religious community where women’s rights have been completely trampled). I found it hard to like Amira at the start as she seemed a bit too ambitious and blind to what was happening but I did want her to succeed. Amira, I felt was written well- a real woman with flaws and strengths. The secondary characters were equally diverse and the evil scientists were more nuanced than usual with their motives being more grey than black and white.

The plot races along but explores issues around consent to experimentation, women’s rights, abuses of science and religion which seem to be relevant in today’s strange climate.

I will be reading the next book to find out what happens to Amira after that ending!

Perfect for fans 

I would recommend the book to anyone who enjoys thought-provoking science-fiction with a cracking story.

Content warning

Forced pregnancy, forced experimentation

Mercury Rising by R.W.W Greene -Book review/Blog Tour

I’m so pleased to be part of the blog tour for Mercury Rising by R.W.W Greene. I enjoyed this character focussed science-fiction with an intriguing alternate history where Earth is more technologically advanced and facing an alien threat.

Genre: Science Fiction/alternate history

Source; NetGalley

In an alternate history, earth’s space technology is much more advanced with the Oppenheimer Atomic Engine. Aliens from Venus destroyed cities in the USA and the USSR but Eagle seven and their Russian equivalent manage to stop them from invading Earth. Eighteen years later in 1975, Brooklyn ends up serving in Earth Orbital Forces (EOF) to avoid going to prison and despite his best efforts ends up in spaceships and space battles with a whole load of strange people.

Review

Can I just say how much I loved the opening chapter? The first chapter could be a short story in itself -from the initial tense standoff between the aliens and Earth to the epic space battles to Jet’s (an astronaut) final sacrifice to save Earth.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

This is a book of many, distinct parts that all fit together at the end to form a complete story. Some parts may seem a little out of place (and I must admit I wasn’t sure why these chapters were there) but these small details made sense by the end of the book.The author creates an interesting world both on Earth where Nixon has been re-elected following an alien attack on Cleveland and in space where there are space colonies with hotels and spaceships manned by a gay crew.

Continue reading “Mercury Rising by R.W.W Greene -Book review/Blog Tour”