Friday, January 10, 2014

REVIEW: The Prince of Souls and the Lighthouse

Title: The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse
Genre: urban fantasy
Price: $5.99 (ebook) / $11.62 (paperback)
Publisher: Steam Press
ISBN: 978-0992257835
Point of Sale: Amazon Tomely Kobo
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib

There are three questions that have been on mankind’s FAQ list since the dawn of time, namely:
1) Is this edible?
2) Would you care to breed?
3) What happens when we die?

In Fredrik Brouneus’ book The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse, an 18-year-old boy, George Larson, gets tasked with solving question #3.  This is a problem, because like all other 18-year-old boys, he’s much more interested in the answers to questions #1 and #2.

The Prince of Soul, published by a Steam Press, a small New Zealand publisher, is an entertaining romp through New Zealand’s South Island.  In this romp, George, helped by his recently-deceased grandfather and a Finnish exchange student he’s got the hots for, George is tasked with finding a lighthouse for souls that he (George) hid.  Alas, George has no memory of hiding anything.  Complicating matters further, several of the people he’s dealing with are not what they seem.

Brouneus is Swedish, but living in New Zealand, and this is his first English novel.  I found the book an amusing read, and, having been an 18-year-old boy once, I found the narrator / hero George especially believable.  But you could say that of all the characters in this well-crafted book.  I also liked the creative use of illustrations in my ebook edition.  In short, I can highly recommend The Prince of Soul.


Monday, January 06, 2014

REVIEW: Girl of Lies

Title: Girl of Lies
Author: Charles Sheehan-Miles
Genre: thriller
Price: $3.99 (ebook) $14.11 (paperback)
Publisher: Cincinnatus Press
ISBN: 978-0989868860
Point of Sale: Amazon  Barnes & Noble
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib 

This blog has been a fan of Charles Sheehan-Miles since I reviewed Republic back in 2007.  So, when I noticed that Charles had brought out a new novel in his Thompson Sisters series, I purchased and downloaded it immediately.  As usual, I’m glad I did.

Charles’ first few novels were military thrillers, some of them with a future history edge to them.  It seemed like it took him a long time to write each one.  Then he switched to romance, and cranked out three novels in as many years, focusing on the Thompson family’s love life.  Well, we’re still looking at the Thompson sisters in Girl of Lies, but this ain’t no romance – this is a straight-out thriller.

The basic plot of Girl is that Andrea Thompson, a high-school aged sister who’s been raised by her grandmother in Spain, is called back to America because her niece Rachel needs a bone marrow transplant.  No sooner has Andrea arrived in the US then she’s kidnapped, literally right out of the airport.  Andrea escapes, but the people who kidnapped are by no means done with the family.

Deciphering why Andrea and the rest of her family are targets becomes the problem that propels the plot – that and staying alive.  Sheehan-Miles very skillfully interweaves this action with the interpersonal interactions of the characters.  Everybody feels real, and the action is well-delivered and realistic.  I have to say, I devoured Girl of Lies.  My only disappointment was that the book ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger.  But I guess I’ll have to wait for the next two installments, promised this spring and summer.  Highly recommended.