Recent Reviews

  • Bea's Witch

    Daniel Ingram-Brown
    I loved it! The story sucked me in right from the start. Bea is a great character – so hurt but brave and strong, and I loved the deep attachment to Turtle that showed her vulnerability and need for love. Her struggles at school were so realistic, and the way the book slid seamlessly from gritty reality into magic was beautifully done. Mother Shipton walked right off the page and I was completely enthralled once they met at the cave. I could see it all in my mind’s eye and feel the wind, rain and growing menace. ~ Deborah Thornton, Outreach Librarian, North Yorkshire Libraries

  • We, The Wanted

    What happens when human lives are not considered valuable because they are of a poorer population or class. What happens when these unwanted decide to travel to America or other places booking passage on a coffin ship?

    The characters in this novel are unique and have hidden abilities that when confronting others whether spirits or human they take on different shapes, manifest odd personalities and what they eat, drink and can do will shock you to the core.

    The illustrations tell the story in their own way as you see the figures minus a face and unable to really tell what and who they are, but you can feel them and their evil, demonic and hoping to take down the next one who comes in their paths.

    The ending is tragic and lets the reader wonder if these spirits and characters are more to tell us and more stories to impart as authors Matthew and Schultz have created a story that keeps you spellbound, fearful, wondering and inquisitive about what is real, what is imaginary and what is the truth behind what happens.

    Just Reviews / Fran Lewis ~ Just Reviews, Review

  • Cloud Warriors

    Rob Jung
    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars....................Rob Jung is a great storyteller. I loved the exotic setting, and the tale of the lost Chilco “cloud warrior” tribe is unique, fusing the past with the present. The search for the ancient Incan tribe by a team of Americans is the opening of the book, but the author has crafted the Incan’s equal surprise in encountering the strange interlopers, their looks and their habits. Woven throughout is a thread of psychic spiritualism that works well within the story because it’s based on the native’s beliefs. The addition of the “civilized” world’s ruthless quest for power and domination stands in stark contrast to the Chilco’s beliefs and practices. This fusion of anthropology and the paranormal kept a somewhat standard thriller plot engaging and suspenseful. Cloud Warriors is Jung’s first novel (published at age 75!). I recommend it, and look forward to his next. ~ Sandy Wright (Reviewer), NetGalley

  • End of the End of History, The

    Philip Cunliffe
    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. An excellent short primer of the current state of Western politics in a post-post-Fukuyama world, particularly good on the UK. The chapter on the collective "Neoliberal Order Breakdown Syndrome", or NOBS as the book wittily puts it after Trump/Brexit was excellent - I've read similar takes on Twitter about the failure of the Op-Ed #FBPE writing classes to understand our current politics, but to have it in a cogently written book was very refreshing. ~ Ben Hart (Reviewer), NetGalley

  • Intrigues of Jennie Lee, The

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I love historical books that merge truth with fiction and particularly those with an element of politics. This is a great novel well researched and easy to read, flowing from one event to another one in a smooth process. So if you are into Alternative History, or Political novels or even just into a great story then you should read this book. ~ Jill Walker (Reviewer), NetGalley

  • Cool Sex

    Diana Richardson
    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I loved this! It was incredibly well-written and made me reframe how I viewed sex. Five star rating! ~ Kate Humphrey (Reviewer), NetGalley

  • Where After

    Mariel Forde Clarke
    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Simply fantastic. The first book I have read that touched on the afterlife - poignant to me since losing my brother recently - and it was just wonderful. Well written, easy reading, I found myself having to slow down and savor it. Thank you so much for sharing your gift and experiences! ~ Stephanie Lairson (Reviewer), NetGalley

  • We, The Wanted

    We: The Wanted was a fascinating read, which took me on a mysterious journey through Irish Folklore, ancient voodoo, and demonstrated the desperate human will to survive.We: The Wanted had several features which made it highly likeable.
    Inclusion of Irish folklore, alongside the history of voodoo (new Orleans based): an interesting combination.
    The author’s writing styles created a unique sense of depth when it came to the events of the narrative.
    The sheer amount of human misery and suffering involved provided a realistic feel to the story, instilling characters with a true feeling of hardship as they attempted to achieve their goals.
    The accompanying illustrations (see in the book) gave an eerie feel, which matched the overall tone of the story. I was impressed by the talent demonstrated here.
    Recommended to: lovers of unique mythical tales that explore different belief systems. ~ Bookish Beyond, Review

  • Harvest

    G.L. Davies
    Harvest by G L Davies is not what you would expect when reading a supposed real-life alien abduction story. It’s quite the opposite. Davies presents this story without bias or judgement, only telling the story exactly as he was told. Susan’s story is relayed word for word, and it doesn’t matter that this story may be one of a woman having a mental health episode. Davies does not try to sway the reader, rather letting them decide for themselves.
    Susan takes the reader, believe her or not, on a horrific journey of alien abduction, or into the dark abyss of mental breakdown. Either way, this story is addictive from page one.
    Davies is an outstanding writer. His words are flawless, his technique, in this instance an interview, smooth and a pleasure to read. Susan’s story is a heartbreaking one, and his ability to deliver it with sympathy and empathy is commendable.
    Davies ends the book with an intimate interview where he’s the subject, and it’s one of the most heartfelt, inspiring interviews you’ll read. His honesty about his own mental health issues and struggle with dyslexia is nothing short of admirable and gives Harvest more heart. Not that it needed it.
    Harvest is a must-read for alien, sci-fi, or real-life mystery fans.
    ~ Aurealis #139​, Review

  • Elizabeth I's Last Favourite

    Sarah-Beth Watkins
    This book is a rare biography of a man who should really be the poster boy of the phrase 'pride comes before a fall'- a distant cousin of the queen through his great-grandmother, Mary Boleyn (Anne's sister and the protagonist of The Other Boleyn Girl), and stepson of Elizabeth's most favoured favourite, Robert Dudley, Devereux was initially a glittering star at court. But his headstrong ways and arrogance led to a lack of respect for the queen herself and, more dangerously, her all-powerful advisor Robert Cecil (there were a LOT of Roberts doing the rounds at this point.) Leading a rebellion against the queen that still bears his name, Devereux eventually ended up where many of the queen's loftier subjects often did: in the Tower, sans his head. ~ Stephanie Pomfrett, Bumblebee Books, Review

  • Elizabeth I's Last Favourite

    Sarah-Beth Watkins
    Sarah-Beth Watkins provides a sympathetic and comprehensive look at this famous Tudor man, including letters and extracts from documents written at the time. She shines a light on his exploits in the wars, his relationship with his friends, and his exceedingly volatile relationship with the Queen. I found the account of his strange friendship with Raleigh especially interesting. As they were both tempestuous and arrogant, it could perhaps be said that they just didn't understand each other. Devereux's disobedience and his impetuous nature coupled with her favouritism probably led him to think that he could do what he liked, but it was not to be. His final military adventures in Ireland were just too much for him, and he couldn't cope. It is certainly a worthwhile read for any Tudor fan. ~ Lisa Sanderson, Book Addiction , Review

  • Canceling Comedians While the World Burns

    Depending on where you stand, ‘cancel culture’ is either deserved payback for those who have enjoyed their privilege for too long, or a serious threat to free speech and public life. In his lively and thoughtful book Canceling Comedians, Ben Burgis, philosopher, socialist and regular contributor to the US leftwing website Jacobin, analyses why cancel culture is, in fact, a political problem for the left, even if it appears to originate in progressive sentiments that take reactionary attitudes and rightwing politics as their target.

    Burgis opens with a defence of comedians such as David Chappelle, arguing that comedy, when it becomes ‘art’, functions ‘to make our inner lives more interesting by making us extremely uncomfortable’. Some will object that what comedians say is offensive and even hurtful, but this says less about the nature of what is said than it does about how it is received. Burgis’s broad point is that the narrow focus on policing offensive speech hides a wider loss of belief in the possibility of really changing anything.

    Canceling Comedians tries to understand the psychological investments that make cancel culture so histrionic and intolerant as a failure of the left to rally people to a politics that’s more material than it is moralising. Burgis draws heavily on the late British theorist Mark Fisher’s prophetic 2013 essay ‘Exiting the Vampire Castle’, and his bleak analysis of the increasingly divisive and disciplinarian tone of leftwing politics, which anticipated the paranoid and censorious atmosphere that has come to dominate public life in the years since.

    Quoting Fisher, Burgis points out that the inhabitants of the ‘Vampire Castle’ (those obsessed with cancelling others) pretend ‘to care about structural issues but “in practice it never focuses on anything but individual behaviour.”’ ‘If you don’t really believe in changing the world,’ Burgis argues, ‘and deep down you see your politics as a symbolic performance, a way of “taking a stand”’, then it’s only natural that you’ll end up ‘trying to prove your personal virtue and examining the virtue of others’. ~ J.J. Charlesworth, Art Review

  • Traitor's Child, The

    Mark Townsend
    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. The story takes place in a city with two religions in three centuries. There are four characters, a brother, an orphan, a refugee and a traitor who are separated in time and actions with a dark secret that will link all four. We find Eric who, after confronting his brother whom he betrayed, finds himself wandering the streets of Amsterdam looking for the son he didn't know existed. But he's going to come across the biggest cover-up in history. And some people will do anything to stop him. A book read in one sitting, so much so that I was hooked on the story, so gripping, addictive, captivating, full of suspense and twists and turns with very endearing characters. ~ Anthony CHERRIER (Reviewer), NetGalley

  • Graveyard Visible, A

    Steve Conoboy
    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Cute middle grade. I liked the spooky atmosphere and the character building. Overall I would recommend to younger readers ~ Shelby Beatty (Reviewer), NetGalley

  • Dungeon Party

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. This was a good, solid read. It is about a group of role playing friends and what happens to them when life intervenes and one of them feels utterly betrayed by the final death of his character. The fantasy role play narrative meshes really well with the story of their real lives................... Gastil shows promise. ~ Maria Cambra Brown (Reviewer), NetGalley

  • Where After

    Mariel Forde Clarke
    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Soulful information, clearly researched & lived experiences. “Where after” is not a book to be read once and put on a shelf. I appreciated the opportunity to read, the threads of Mariel Forde Clarke's book have been helpful to me as recent as today, having just attended a funeral, many parts of her book remain spinning in my head while I process various wisdom’s and beliefs. “Where after “ has found a spot on my nightstand to re-read, reflect on. ~ Pam Reiss (Reviewer), NetGalley

  • Bea's Witch

    Daniel Ingram-Brown
    Bea is 11 going on well 12 and is struggling with big changes in her life. She has gained a new mother and a new school but feels she has to leave all her old life behind because Bea has just been adopted after several years in care. On a trip to see Mother Shipton’s Caves with Denise, her new mother, Bea has a strange experience and thinks she can hear a voice talking to her. Unthinkingly she takes a coin from the wishing well and feels a strong connection to it. But is Bea being haunted by Mother Shipton or her own demons?

    I didn’t want to put this down. I felt so much of Bea’s pain, her unwillingness to trust because she has been let down so many times and her own certainty that because of things she has done in the past, that she is unlovable. I really liked the glimpses of the past that have brought Bea to this point: Nelson, the poster and the warm day on the dock. And ultimately I liked Bea and like Denise, just wanted to give her a hug.

    Although this is clearly a standalone novel I would now like a story about Bea and her new and old circle of friends, where she just is adopted, not that that is the centre of the story. I want to know more of what happens to Bea next. Nicely done, Daniel! ~ Jane Teather, Care Experience and Culture Archive

  • Mediumship Within

    Chris Ratter

    Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 April 2021
    Verified Purchase
    The book had some helpful pointers.
    Chris is clearly proud of his accomplishments as laid out in the text, also equally as proud of having Harry Edwards as his guide. (Have to admit I had/have no idea who he is).
    The book contains some useful insights into trance healing through Chris's experiences. Some parts resonated, as with all spiritual development each person has their own way of working - the main points
    Ask for protection
    Be open
    Don't interfere
    And show gratitude ~ L, Amazon

  • Pagan Portals - Iris, Goddess of the Rainbow and Messenger of the Godds

    "Iris, Goddess of the Rainbow and Messenger of the Godds," is a heartfelt, insightful exploration of how this ethereal goddess can infuse your life with happiness and healing. Author Irisanya Moon guides readers to "work the rainbow," and travels through each color of Iris' prism, with activities for body and mind. Relatively little is known about this essential Greek goddess, but the author fills those gaps with her own personal experience, practices, and relationship with this swift, colorful deity of communication, color, and light.

    ~ Debra DeAngelo, author of "The Elements of Horse Spirit—The Magical Bond Between Humans and Horses," and "Pagan Curious—A Beginner's Guide to Nature, Magic and Spirituality.” ~ Debra DeAngelo

  • Encountering the Dark Goddess

    What I love most about this book is that it's an incredibly useable guide for anyone who encounters the Dark Goddess, whether that meeting is unsolicited or by design. I foresee it becoming a much-loved spiritual resource.

    Frances Billinghurst makes potentially foreboding subject matter approachable, which is valuable to solitary practitioners and facilitators of groups or circles alike.

    There’s an emphasis on venturing beyond the theoretical and ‘going live’ with the inclusions of a comprehensive range of invocations, meditations, and activities. The explorations of the 13 featured Dark Goddesses are well researched and culturally sensitive.

    The author’s personal experience and dedication to her path shine through without pretention or straying into academic analysis.

    If you want a practical guidebook for your journeys into the feminine underworld, Encountering the Dark Goddess certainly deserves a place on your bookshelf.

    (You can listen to my interview with the author, Frances Billinghurst, on the Witch: Radiant + Rooted podcast.) ~ Kim Fairminer, Good Reads