Thursday, 25 October 2012

Sins of the Father, R. J. Palmer

Publishers: Createspace

Pages: 444

Main Characters:

Aaron, Lucien, Lena

Sins of the Father tells two tales that are separated by centuries of time but become linked with one little boy. The first tale is that of a young boy living in England during some point in the early medieval period. The boy is an orphan who lives within a monastery. The people who put him there hoped he would gain an education and become someone great. What they didn’t know is that the monastery is run by a group of sadist monks who love to inflict pain on the poor boy by giving him nightly whippings!

The second tale is based in the present and tells the story of a dissatisfied Reverend called Aaron. Aaron is a religious man but is having doubts about that religion and his position within the church. But things become much worse when Aaron trips in church and has a vision. He finds himself in a dark, stone library watching a group of monks whipping a small child. Outraged by their activities, Aaron shields the boy from the blows of the whip. Even though the monks can’t see or hear Aaron, Aaron can feel the blows. The monks give up on beating the boy and Aaron returns to the present to discover that the vision has only taken seconds (when it felt like hours) and that his back is crossed with bloody whip marks.

After showing his friend Lena (who is a nurse) the scars on his back, Aaron is prescribed some sleeping pills to stop him hurting himself when he ‘sleep walks’. The pills stop any more visions, but on a visit to his local psychiatric home, Aaron is introduced to a severely autistic boy called Lucien who looks exactly like the boy from the dark library in his visions!

Eventually, Aaron becomes Lucien’s guardian and soon discovers that it is something much darker than a mental illness that haunts him. That the strong link Aaron feels towards Lucien is not just that of a carer towards a child, but stretches back over the centuries!

I enjoyed reading this book and I’m glad R.J. Palmer got in touch and supplied me with a copy of her novel! I think the thing I liked most was that Palmer put a supernatural twist on to a historical novel (or maybe that should be the other way round?) and as most of you all know, I love all things history. If I had one issue with the book, it would be that the ending did seem a little rushed. Throughout the whole book Lucien cannot talk, but within the last 20 or so pages he snaps out of his condition and starts telling his life story. It just seemed like the novel was rounded off quickly. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the ending, as Palmer ties all the plot strings together very nicely!

I would suggest this book to anyone who likes books like Inquisition or the Da Vinci Code. Novels that have a historical, religious or a supernatural twist to them. Again, I’d like to say a massive thank you to R.J. Palmer for getting in touch. If you would like to purchase this novel, it is available from or for kindle and in paperback from

For author’s official website click here.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a FREE copy of Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.

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Destine, Katherine Polillo

Publishers: Anchor Group Publishing

Pages: 255

Main Characters:

Michelle, Gabriel

A quiet seventeen-year-old girl living in a quite American town where nothing happens and everyone knows everyone. A new boy at school, with pale skin, pale eyes and a mysterious back story  who, every time he sees the girl, makes her feel all tingly inside.  Wait, doesn’t this sound familiar?

Yes that’s what I thought too when I started reading Destine by Katherine Polillo, it sounds a lot like Twilight (the movie, not the books, I haven't read them). But to be fair to the book there are some slight differences. The first is that (as his name suggests) the new boy at school Gabriel, is in fact an angel, who has been drawn to Michelle (the quiet girl) because she is the saviour of humankind and is the only person who can stop the imminent arrival of the apocalypse. This is because Michelle is the human embodiment of St. Michael, the angel who defeated Satin and sent him to Hell! Michelle must use St Michael’s powers and Gabriel’s guidance to defeat the Antichrist and prevent the apocalypse!

Now, the Antichrist is not the monster depicted in the bible but a young, good-looking high school boy called Alex Chase who wants to become class president. Michelle and Gabriel believe that Alex’s first step in his political career may see him becoming President and therefore become the most powerful man in the world. However, it is not just Alex they have to defeat but his three henchmen; War, Famine and Death (who are all high school students)! Will Michelle have what it takes to defeat these creatures of evil and save humanity from destruction, or will Alex and his gang of high school horsemen take over the world?

As you can probably tell, I was a little sceptical about this book. It’s not a genre I usually read but I was willing to give it a go because the book was originally meant to be part of a Blog Tour. At the start, the links and similarities to Twilight really annoyed me because I thought that it was going to go down similar lines. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how the story ended up and really started to like the characters of Michelle and Gabriel whereas Bella and Edward really, really annoyed me! However, I do think narrowing the apocalypse down to a high school does sound a bit daft! I think in the next few books, Polillo could make the battle between good and evil truly epic because Michelle and Gabriel have finished school and go on the hunt for Alex.

I’m not sure whom I would suggest this book to because I haven’t really read any other book like it. Maybe if you have read Twilight you should give this book a go to see the similarities and differences. I think if you are into these sorts of paranormal/teen romance books, then you will probably enjoy Destine.

For author’s official website please click here. If you would like to purchase this book, it is available from

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a FREE copy of Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.

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Thursday, 11 October 2012

1356, Bernard Cornwell

Publishers: Harper Collins

Pages: 374

Main Characters:

Thomas of Hookton, Roland de Verrec, Robbie Douglas,

Thomas of Hookton is back in Bernard Cornwell's new book 1356 and as usual, Cornwell does not disappoint with this novel. I have been looking forward to this book release for a very long time. Cornwell’s Grail Quest trilogy was the first series of books that I ever read, so Thomas of Hookton holds a dear place in my heart and I couldn't wait to see what happens to him in 1356!

1356 sees Thomas and his group of rogue archers and men-at-arms (or otherwise known as the Hellequin) fighting as mercenaries in the French countryside. Thomas and his men are content; they are becoming rich off the warring French aristocracy and are able to help Frenchmen kill Frenchmen. However, Thomas knows that war is looming and when a message arrives from his liege Lord, the Earl of Northampton, Thomas is expecting to be wielding his bow back against the King of France. But, the letter is not what Thomas is expecting. The Earl of Northampton wants Thomas and his men to find a legendary relic called La Malice. La Malice is the sword of Saint Peter. The holy sword the Saint used to defend Jesus from the Romans.

The Earl of Northampton stresses how important La Malice is and Thomas sets out to reclaim it for the Kingdom of England. However, Thomas is not the only person looking for the sword! Thomas’s nemesis Cardinal Bessieres is also looking for the relic in a vain attempt to become the next Pope! Both parties intertwine within the book, but the great finale between these two, and who ends up with the sword, is decided at the Battle of Poitiers! Will it be Thomas and the English or Bessieres and the French?

As usual, this was a great read from Bernard Cornwell and I’m glad that he has returned to this series because my favourite period in history is the Hundred Years War. I like that Cornwell does justice to the Battle of Poitiers. As he rightly says, Poitiers is always overshadowed by the other great battles of the time like Crecy and Agincourt, so it is nice to see Cornwell give it the credit and recognition it deserves! I also love the fact that the ending suggests there could be another book to follow! I just hope it doesn’t take as long to come as 1356 has! And I love the front cover, it's so simple but just looks so awesome!

I would suggest this book to anyone who is a historical-fiction fan or to anyone who has read any of Cornwell’s other novels. I would say that if you are a Cornwell fan and you haven’t read his Grail Quest series, then go back to the first book Harlequin and start from there, don’t start with 1356!

For author’s official website click here.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a FREE copy of Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.

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Saturday, 6 October 2012

Book of the Month Competition-October YouTube Video

Here's my new YouTube video that explains how to enter my FREE Book of the Month Competition to win a copy of Mark Lawrence's the Prince of Thorns. For more info on how to enter the competition just click here.

And please remember to comment, rate and subscribe to my YouTube videos! Cheers guys. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 5 October 2012

Prince of Thorns, Mark Lawrence- YouTube Vlog

Hey guys! Here's my Vlog review of Mark Lawrence's epic fantasy novel the Prince of Thorns.

Please let me know if you've read the book, what you thought of it, what you liked and didn't like. Also remember to enter my Book of the Month Competition to win this book for FREE by checking out the link below.

FREE Competition

Please remember to comment, rate and subscribe! Cheers guys!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Casual Vacancy, J. K. Rowling

Publishers: Little, Brown

Pages: 503

Main Characters:

Barry, Krystal, Fats, Andrew, Samantha

The Casual Vacancy is the first adult novel from famed children’s author J. K. Rowling. The novel tells the tale of (though I’m sure most of you will know because it’s been in the media so often!) a small fictional town in the West Country of England called Pagford. Pagford is the personification of the English middle class. It has idyllic cobbled streets, one of the oldest pubs in Britain and successful boutiques and cafes that all make Pagford a wonderful place to live. As well as it been a beautiful place to live, the thing that makes the people of Pagford most proud to live there is the fact that the town is run by Pagfordians and not by civil servants and councillors from the neighbouring city of Yarvil.

However, the town is not as united as it seems. The council that runs Pagford is divided by the issue of The Fields. The Fields is a local council estate that for the last sixty years has been run and maintained by Pagford. The traditionalists of the town, headed by the First Citizen Howard Mollison, believe that the responsibility of The Fields should be handed to Yarvil. Howard believes this because many of the incentives introduced to The Fields; like bus stops and new pathways have been destroyed by the ‘yobs’ that live there! Also, The Fields is closer to Yarvil and should therefore be their responsibility!

On the other side of this argument is Barry Fairbrother, a man who grew up in The Fields but who managed to get out and become one of the most influential men in Pagford. Barry strongly believes that the children of The Fields should be given the benefit of Pagford’s better schools and facilities. He gives Krystal Weedon, a local problem child whose mother is a heroin addict as an example, as Krystal has benefitted from Pagford’s facilities and become a good rower! Barry feels confident that with the evidence of Krystal Weedon he can manage to persuade the rest of the councillors to vote in favour of keeping The Fields as part of Pagford. That is until Barry’s sudden and unexpected death!

The death of Barry throws Pagford into turmoil as both camps of the council try to fill his shoes with one of their own supporters. However, in this rush to secure power, secrets of the candidates and many of the local councillors are revealed by The Ghost of Barry Fairbrother (not a real ghost!). The secrets threaten to destroy each camp’s hope of gaining power and rip up the lives of many of the characters involved in the novel! With the final review of The Fields coming up shortly, both camps must push forward their arguments. But what is in store for the people of The Fields and Pagford, will they still be ran together or will all of Barry’s hard work be forgotten with his tragic death?

Sitting here writing this review I ask myself ‘where to begin with this book?’ There are so many issues and points I’d like to say about this book that it is hard to know where to start!

I think I’ll start with the sort of ‘controversy’ that surrounded this book. This was of course, that the novel has themes that aren’t appropriate for children (including sex, drugs and even rock n’ roll) even though it was written by the biggest selling and most famous children’s author of all time! For me, I didn’t really get why people were surprised that the novel had these themes in it for these reasons: Number one, J. K. Rowling specifically stated that the book was not for children and was aimed at an adult audience. Number two, as an author she couldn’t be expected to go on writing Harry Potter books for the rest of her life (even though I secretly wish she would!) And finally, number three, I thought that the last three or four Harry Potter books were aimed at adults instead of children and sort of suggested that her next books would not be for children. I can see where some people are coming from saying that what if their child downloads this book from the internet not knowing that it is for adults? To this, I’d say what Rowling herself said, ‘there are worse things a child could be downloading from the internet than a book’ (which I’d agree!).

Ok now on to the book itself! I had three main issues with it! The first was that at the start, it is quite hard to follow the plot because there are so many different characters and the story kept chopping and changing between them! It meant it was hard to get a firm grasp of who was who in the first few chapters. My second issue was that I really didn’t like most of the characters. Most of them (especially the traditionalists) are so petty. I know Rowling purposely made them this way but I think I liked them even less because I know there are really people like that in the world, hungry for gossip, only do things to benefit themselves etc. I think the most likeable character in the story was Barry Fairbrother and he was dead within the first ten pages! My third and final issue was that I don’t think this book would have had the hype it has had if it wasn’t written by J. K. Rowling. If it were written by ‘Joe Blogs’, critics and the media wouldn’t have given it the coverage it has had. I feel that there are other authors of this, ‘real life’ genre that have written better books. Authors like Nick Hornby and Mark Haddon would be an example of this.

Anyway, now that I’ve got the issues out of the way, let me tell you what I liked about the novel. I really loved Rowling’s writing style in the book. It was beautifully written and was as descriptive and as lovely as her writing in Harry Potter. I also really liked the ending. The book seemed to move at the same, steady pace until the last about one hundred and fifty pages. The ending was extremely thrilling and alone is worth reading the book for!

I know my likes don’t really outweigh my issues and probably make this book sound rubbish. I must say that I did enjoy this book, but I think it is only fair to give my honest opinion, and that opinion is... ‘Don’t believe all the hype’. If you've gotten to this point in the review, I’d just like to say thanks for sticking with it (I know it’s abit wordy!) Also please leave me a comment if you have read the book, tell me what you like/didn't like.

I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of Harry Potter, just to see what Rowling’s style of writing is like from an adult’s point of view. I would also suggest this book to fans of authors such as Nick Hornby and Mark Haddon, as they write a similar genre to this book.

For author’s official website click here.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a FREE copy of Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.

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Monday, 1 October 2012

Book of the Month Competition- October

As summer rolls into autumn and September ends bringing in October, it is time for a new Book of the Month! There were some real contenders for this month’s Book of the Month, both James Aitcheson's novels: Sworn Sword and The Splintered Kingdom were up there but the book that impressed me the most in September was…. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence! This was truly an amazing book and a great introduction to Mark’s epic The Broken Empire series.

If you are a fan of fantasy novels and authors like Patrick Rothfuss, Hank Quense and J. R. R. Tolkien then this book is a must read and you can win it for FREE! All you have to do is click on this link to my Facebook page, ‘like’ my page and then write a comment saying you would like to enter the competition. Or you can enter through the widget below! If you are not on Facebook but are a member of Blogger, you can enter the competition by following my Blog directly through Blogger by clicking on the ‘join this site’ button on the right hand side of the page. Or you could subscribe to my YouTube channel and enter that way! It's that simple!

Remember it’s FREE to enter and it will not cost you a penny to get the book in the post. So why not have a go? You could win an excellent novel for absolutely FREE!

Good luck to everyone that enters, I hope you’ll have as much fun with the competition as I will. I’ll be choosing the winner on the 31st October . For further details on the competition such as how the winner will be chosen and how the winner will be announced please click here.

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And the winner is....

And the winner of my September Book of the Month Competition for a copy of 1984 by George Orwell is…. Samantha Wilkinson! Wwweeeewww well done Samantha! Thank you for entering the competition and enjoy your prize! I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone that entered, better luck next time to those that didn't win. Remember to check out adam-p-reviews tomorrow to see what next month’s Book of the Month will be!

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