Ooops! What can I say right about now? I hadn't realised it had been quite so long since I last updated my Blog; knew I had been a bit lax but like...wow?!? Ooops! Sorry guys, kind of forgot all about for a while....
You would be forgiven for assuming this Blog was now dead; abandoned and left to rot in Cyberspace, never to be returned to ever again. Not so! Honestly, I've just been very, very busy.....
Firstly, I have been unfaithful. Not to Mrs.Sparky ~ I like my nuts where they are and if I ever cheated on her, I have no doubt that I would be unlikely ever to be able to have sex again! No, I have been kind of guest-writing for a couple of other Blogs. Book review sites yanno?
The first of these is http://thetbrpile.weebly.com/ where I regularly contribute with book reviews on books I am sent three or four times a month. Though many of the books reviewed there fall into the Erotic fiction/ romance Genre, obviously I don't review them but instead get to review exciting new titles by up and coming Thriller/ Sc-fi and Horror authors. A lot of times I am forced to be brutally honest and I don't always enjoy the books sent me but, equally, it was how I discovered two of last year's top titles ~ The Icarus Void and The Blackwater Flood, both of which topped my 1001 list!
The other site I review for is http://masqueradecrew.blogspot.co.uk/ though I have not been writing for them as long and have reviewed only about three or four books for them so far.
Anyway, I really came back because I really need to start updating my 1001 Authors And Books To Read Before You Die list as I have found plenty of more books to join the ranks that I simply not had time to add until now....firstly, let's cover the last three entries that I have listed but not yet talked about....
Every so often, a book comes along that is absolutely jaw-droppingly
good and simply quite amazing. A book that makes you stop and think;
that thrills you, entertains you, keeps you hooked and even chills you
to the bone.
Extinction Point is that book!
The first in an ongoing series by author, Paul Antony Jones, Extinction
Point is set in the not too distant future (where all good sci-fi is
set!) and focuses around a Global Extinction Event which sees much of
humanity wiped off the face of the earth. How much of humanity, we are
not sure but this first book takes us through what happens as seen
through the eyes of investigative journalist, Emily Baxter; a young,
intrepid roving reporter who soon finds herself in a Manhattan empty of
anyone else but her.......
Anyone human that is.......
It starts with red rain; big, red thick drops that fall from the sky in
cities all across the globe. For some reason, Emily is compelled to stay
out of the downpour and keeps her distance from anyone who has been
contaminated by it. It is not until she reaches her Offices that she
discovers that similar rainfall has been reported all across the world.
And then people start getting sick. And after they get sick, then they
start to die....very quickly and very, very messily!
As one of the few people who has avoided contact with the rain, Emily
manages to survive but finds herself alone in a vast, unpopulated city.
Determined to escape and find refuge....other survivors....anything,
Emily prepares to leave New York. But she is not alone. The red rain was
just the beginning......
Something is colonising the earth......
This book is simply beyond words! Someone on Amazon has commented that
the only downside of this book is that the next chapter is still in
process and urges the author to hurry up and I concur! This is an
amazing novel that moves at its own pace, merely revealing more and more
layers of mystery without really giving us any answers. One scene in
Central Park left me breathless and dying to know what was going on and
where this book will lead us on its journey. I only read one other
Sci-fi book this good last year and that was The Icarus Void by
C.K.Burch! And Extinction Point definitely comes a close second only because it leaves you hanging with no second installment as yet in sight!!
I think I should point out that this review was written last year and, in point of fact, the second volume is now available. I have not gotten around to purchasing it yet but will do so because I enjoyed the first book so much and will let you know if it matches the suspense of the first book!
The next entry on my list that I have not talked about, but which barely needs any introduction, is the 87th Precinct novels by Ed McBain. These long-standing Police procedural thrillers are all set in the fictional city of Isola in and around the 87th Precinct. Published over several decades, the books pretty much follow the same set of characters throughout as their lives and careers change along with the city and all pretty much cracking good reads! Occasionally you might get a duff book but, as a whole, these novels are amazing! One of the things they are most remembered for is for introducing the character of The Deaf Man; a criminal Mastermind who may or may not actually be deaf but who always taunts the 87th with little messages whenever he is in town attempting his latest heist. Invariably these heists always go wrong but it is normally not because of the boys of the 87 who are seemingly reduced to bumbling idiots when he is around as they try to solve the cunning puzzles he sets up for them. Usually as a distraction to the main event. If you have never read an 87th Precinct novel then you are missing out and if you have read them all, then you are fortunate enough to have shared in one of Crime Fiction's finest ever long-running series. I am a big, big fan and have been ever since I first picked them up as a teenager. Unfortunately McBain is no longer with us but his books live on as a lasting legacy and a testament to his superior writing ability!
Finally, the last book that I entered onto my list was Ripper by Michael Slade. I have talked about this author before but Ripper still stands as one of his greatest works.
Slade was the pseudonym for a team of Canadian Lawyers that has since been taken over by one of those Lawyers who still writes the books but now with his daughter. Ripper is set mostly on an island where a group of amateur mystery Detective authors have been summoned to compete in a mystery weekend. Zinc Chandler of the Special X Branch of the RCMP is one of the entrants, currently on sick leave after nearly being killed in one of the previous books and now left Epileptic as a result of his head injuries. His Boss thinks it will be a good test of his mental capabilities to take part; the weekend being hosted by Elvira Franklin who emerged at the end of Headhunter, the book that started this series off.
It is not long before everyone is being slowly killed off with no way of escaping the island in a very clever tribute to Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians. I oved this and thought it one of their best books to date simply for its sheer ingenuity.
Anyway, that's about it for now but will be back soon with more updates I promise!
I have lots more books to add to my list plus some other stuff which I will share at a later date...
until then, ciao...