Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Wizard Of Time - Sue Owen


Wizard Of Time follows the adventures of three teenagers, Josh, Meri & Digger who get enlisted by a Wizard to put back an object stolen from time.

The characters are very likeable and the story, which has a dungeons & dragons feel to it, is easy to follow with lots of action and surprises along the way.
The three teens also have to get to grips with dormant magical powers before they can complete their tasks as well as deal with how to survive in a strange place/time with no-one to look out for them.

Anybody who likes the “King Arthur” legends will also enjoy this as the teens first adventure is based around this timeline.

The book is aimed at the YA market but I reckon any age would love the story as it kept me intrigued right to the end.

On the critical side the story never explains why the wizard could not just go on the mission himself and why he needs the help of the three teens and there’s not enough interruption, during the mission, from the bad guys.
But i’m guessing, from clues given in the story, that this is one of a series and hopefully the bad guys ( the Bards) will be more disruptive in future exploits.

So i’m looking forward to the sequels.....




Reviewed By David
Childrens Entertainers

Friday, 26 August 2011

Tales From Beyond - Kristina Jackson


This is a small collection of short ghost and paranormal stories.
Some of the stories are very short and almost seem unfinished, whereas a couple are longer and benefit from this.

Kristina’s style of writing is a little erratic as some stories are very straight forwardly written, almost non descriptive, whereas others have plenty of detail.

All the stories are well written, in their own way and Kristina should be very proud of her very first publication.
I would like to see more from Kristina and look forward to reading either a novella or a full novel where she can fit more detail into a story and go a bit more into character depth.

Anybody who reads this collection will have their favourite(s) and mine are “Aces High” which I have reviewed before and “Afraid”

None of the stories I found to be “hair raisingly” spooky but I still enjoyed a couple of them.
Great little book to kill a bit of time on a train journey and not scary for those wimps out there who don’t like to be spooked.





Reviewed By David
Childrens Entertainers

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Philanthropist's Danse By Paul Wornham


I figured that this was going to be a “Cluedo” type murder mystery when I read the synopsis of this story, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Paul has taken 12 beautifully written characters (15 if you count those involved in the story but not the invitees) and placed them into a fantastically woven plot that kept me captivated to the point where i’d be very annoyed when I had to put the book down due to work commitments etc etc.

12 people, family, associates, enemies & employees are invited up to a billionaire’s mansion in the middle of nowhere to find out that they have to agree on how to share their late benefactor’s inheritance.
It’s not until the rules of the danse start coming into effect that things start to turn nasty for the majority of the 12.

This story has it all, murder, mystery, suspense, prostitution, blackmail and a small mixture of romance intrically woven together, masterfully.

You get an in depth knowledge of the characters through a mixture of storytelling and flashbacks and you are in a constant turmoil of emotion as to who is good and who is rotten. Then just when you have them figured out you are thrown back into turmoil and start doubting your judgements.

The story is very fast paced with plenty of little twists to keep you enthralled right up until the very last page.

This is Pauls first book and i’m looking forward to reading his next one.




Reviewed By David
Family Party Entertainment

Friday, 19 August 2011

Joe Cafe By Dan Mader


Joe Cafe is not a complicated story, nor is it a long story.
It could even be described as a simple story.
A lap Dancer is kidnapped by a crazed killer and her boyfriend and the police are looking for them.
However, the way Dan tells this story is superb.

The amount of detail he goes into with each of the characters thoughts and feelings as the events unfold is totally inspirational.
From the word go you get inside the mind of the killer/kidnapper (Chet) and get to know how he got to this position in his life through a serious of flashbacks.
You care whether or not the heroine ( Sara ) survives and feel as if you are experiencing everything she goes through.
You even feel sorry for the gangsters ( yes there’s even gangsters) who are also involved in the plot.
The only person i felt needed a great kick up the backside was Michael, the cop in charge of the whole investigation, who increasingly loses the plot as the story progresses.
This is a fast paced story where you get to see short viewpoints of each character right through to a climatic ending.

Dan is an excellent storyteller and I look forward to reading more of his work.








Reviewed By David Green
Childrens Entertainers

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Devils Game By S.L.Pierce & Maren Kaye


It’s not very often i pick up a book and literally cannot put it down and feel a need to read it all in one go but that is exactly what happened here.
I picked up this book at 2pm and 5 hrs later finished it simply because there was never a point in the whole story where the suspense stopped and i could take a breather.
Rachel, the main character, is being stalked and you are kept guessing all the way through, until the authors want you to know, as to who is the stalker.
But even then there are more twists and sub plots that take you to the thrilling conclusion.
Thrills and chills right from the word go as the authors keep up the pace relentlessly.
This is one of those little golden nuggets that a reader is constantly searching for, a novel that is fully enjoyable with absolutely nothing negative to say about it.
Well done to both SL Pierce & Maren Kaye i seriously hope that this book gets noticed and someone decides to base a film on it.




Reviewed By David
Wedding Entertainment

The Inbetweeners ( Film )



If you liked the tv series you are going to just love the film.
It’s sad in one way because you know this film has been made to end the series, but what an ending.
This film is soooooo funny and had the whole cinema laughing all the way through.
We follow the four friends, Will, Neil, Simon & Jay as they go on a “lads” holiday after finishing school before they go their separate ways.
Cue lots of awkward moments around girls, toilet humour, nudity and lots of comedy sexual innuendo popular throughout the tv series.

The four young actors were extremely comfortable in their roles and their acting was as superb as ever and it was just like watching an extended episode.

Respect to “The Inbetweeners”


Reviewed by David 

Stone Song By Philip Van Wulvern



The story behind Stone Song, in principle, is a very good story but i personally struggled with Philips writing style.
Ty and Jen are the central characters of the story that after a chance meeting get thrown into a story involving mind control and plotting politicians.
The story is told from Ty’s point of view and probably would have been much better if it had been told in a third party narrative style.
There were sometimes long conversations between the two main characters where, if you lost concentration, you would easily lose touch with who was meant to be talking.
I personally would have liked this to have been more of a thriller and had the two characters placed into more dangerous escapades with either the politician or his hench men throughout.
The story plods along at a very slow pace with lots of eating, drinking and cafe’s but the characters are very likeable and there is a nice mix of tech and modern day witches ( Wicca ) and government involvement that makes you want to keep reading just to see what the final outcome will be.




Reviewed By David
MKP Entertainment

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Interview With Kristin Stone: Author Of "Edge Of Extinction"



  AUTHOR: Kristen Stone

  BOOK TITLE: Edge of Extinction

  AUTHOR BIO:
Born and raised in London.  Moved to the Midlands at the age of 22 to get married and has lived there ever since.  Always had the urge to write and tried several times during the last 25 years to get published.  Now taking full advantage of new technology to publish, through Night Publishing, ebooks and POD.


  SHORT SYNOPSIS:
Deep in the Amazon rainforest a tribe of people are led by Kianda Mala, a man they consider a god because he has a tail.  They live a simple, easy-going life until a strange sickness strikes the village.  Kianda Mala takes it upon himself to find out what is causing the sickness and his quest leads him out of his home valley into the modern world where he hopes to find help.


  GENRE:
Pass.  This book doesn’t fit easily into any specific genre.  It could be Adventure because it involves seeking out the unknown, the greatest adventure in life.  It could be Fantasy because the main character is a being that could not possibly exist.  It could be Romance because there is a love interest.  The publisher said it was Literary but I do not consider myself that great.  You may differ in your opinion.


  WHERE AVAILABLE/PRICE:
Amazon.com and co.uk for Kindle, and Smashwords.com for other ebook formats.  It will also shortly be available at Amazon.com as a POD.  Amazon prices seem to vary from day to day so would not like to state a price.


  WHY DO YOU WRITE?
Because I love it.  I have always wanted to be a writer from the time I first discovered The Famous Five, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys plus all the other kids books that got me going.  I have always had a vivid imagination and want to share it.


  WHERE DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR BOOK?
Believe it or not the idea for Kianda Mala came from a song I heard when a Brownie leader.  It asked the listener what sort of tail they would choose if they could.  Part of the song mentioned a prehensile tail and I started to create Kianda.  Having created him I needed a place for him to live, and having created that I needed a story to tell.  So developed the Edge of Extinction complete with its own people, culture and threat.


  WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER – THE MOST FUN FOR YOU TO WRITE?
In this book it has to be the main character, Kianda Mala.  He is so unique, yet intelligent and thoughtful.  He quickly learns new things but despite being saturated with modern ideas he stays true to his own beliefs and will do anything for ‘his people’.  In creating him I hope I have made this impossible character totally believable.

  WHAT DO YOU THINK SETS YOUR BOOK APART?
I have been told the writing is good, the story original.  I don’t believe either, myself.  The story is different.  It is not like Avatar simply because the main character has a tail.  I have never read Avatar nor seen the film, on purpose.  It is not like Tarzan because it is set in a jungle.  It has none of the current trendy vampires, werewolves or whatever else is in vogue at the moment.  I hope it is simply a good story that people will enjoy.


  HOW MUCH, IF ANY OF THE STORY WAS INSPIRED BY YOUR OWN LIFE EXPERIENCES?
None at all.  All my work, not just this, is entirely fictional.  My life has consisted of working in various offices with absolutely nothing of interest ever happening.  I am the most boring person you could wish to meet.


  DID THE STORY PROCEED AS YOU ORIGINALLY CONCEPTUALIZED IT, OR EVOLVE AS THE WORK PROGRESSED?
It definitely took on a life of its own.  The book now is nothing like my first attempt – a great improvement if I may say so myself. 


  WHO DO YOU USE AS A SOUNDING BOARD FOR YOUR WRITING? 
I worked on my own until I discovered my first on-line publishing group – Authonomy.  I put the story up and was amazed when people started to say it was good.  I also tried Youwriteon where, again, the book received favourable comments.  These groups, however, are very big and there is so much competition to get noticed I left them for a much smaller group.  I joined Night Publishing and the guy in charge, never have been quite sure what his official title is, loved my book so much he offered to get it up on the net for me. Night are a very supportive, smashing bunch of people and I am very happy to be published by them.


  IN WHAT GENRE WOULD YOU BE LEAST & MOST COMFORTABLE WRITING? 
I am not comfortable with being placed in any type of genre.  Whenever ideas come into my head I never think about what box they should be placed in.  Maybe I should, but I don’t work like that.  Ideas come, I write them down and then look to see if they fit anywhere.  If they do, fine.  If they don’t, tough.  Makes life harder for selling but as everything is on line if you can get noticed it shouldn’t matter about genre.  The getting noticed is not easy, however.
 

  WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHORS ?
I haven’t got any favourite authors at the moment.  I can’t remember the last time I sat down and read something that I wasn’t reviewing or editing for someone else.  I got an ebook reader last year and downloaded a great library of great books from the past, none of which I have actually read! I have a long list of new authors to read, too.


  WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR PROSPECTIVE READERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU OR THIS BOOK?
I suppose I’ll answer the question that confuses some people.  I write under the pen name Kristen Stone, for no particular reason other than I wanted to be Kristen Stone when I was about fourteen and have always thought it would be my pen name.  My real name is Pauline Edwards but Kristen Stone sounds much more romantic and apart from anything else another Pauline Edwards runs a transport company and I am NOT that Pauline Edwards.  What should you call me?  Successful, would be nice.


If you would like to read an excerpt of Edge of Extinction one can be found at:

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Smurfs 2011 ( Film )



Once again a great little children’s film has come along and once again the “professional” critics have knocked it.
Were these people ever children themselves once ?

The new Smurfs film is a mix of animation and live film and although at times the mix is a little shaky, probably due to bad actors or bad camera work, it is still a great comedy even though it does get a little syrupy at times.
Hank Azaria though, steals the film with his fantastic, over acting as the wicked wizard Gargamel and his cat sidekick.
The Smurfs are very funny and there are plenty of funny bits and toilet humour all the way through.

Whether you are experiencing the Smurfs for the first time or you’re re-visiting them from your childhood,  just sit back relax and enjoy.


Reviewed By David

Friday, 12 August 2011

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes ( Film )





I cannot rate this film high enough.
If you have liked any of the previous Planet of The Apes films you are going to just love this one.
The film follows the life of Caesar a young ape who is illegally adopted by a scientist after his mother is killed during an experiment that is hoped to cure Alzheimer’s disease.

The mind altering drugs administered however have filtered through to the young ape and he very quickly starts to show amazing learning abilities.

Through a series of let downs and misunderstandings Caesar ends up in a primate zoo with a sadistic handler and decides to take things into his own hands.
The acting is superb all the way through and the apes are so life like but with just the right amount of human awareness to make them different and at times menacing.
After the treatment of the apes in the film you quickly find yourself on their side and can’t help thinking “yessss” when they achieve something.
However the most poignant bit of the film is the 30 second clip after the titles go up.
And the scariest thing of all is ..............

Technically this actually could happen...........


Reviewed by David

The Icarus Transformation



Anyone who has read any of my reviews will see that my normal genre is Chiller/Horror and so this book is one of the first outside of this that I have tried.
It’s a crying shame that it is only a novella as this would have made an excellent full novel and would make a great film.
Scott keeps you transfixed throughout the whole story and keeps it believable too.
My only ( very slight ) negative is that i felt as if i needed a degree in physics to understand the technical details of the plot and would be interested to know if the scientific facts and figures ( velocity etc etc) is made up or fully researched and correct.
Maybe a bit of dumming down for the general reader would have been better.

There's lots going on to keep you riveted right until the end.
Dodgy government agents, shuttle launches, spies, sabotage, interogation and crazy scientists.
So if you enjoy a good thriller with lots of action, government cover – ups  and not knowing who to trust then you will definitely enjoy this one.

Reviewed by David

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Remnant - Kate Genet





Remnant is a well constructed story about a woman ( Cass ) who wakes up one morning to find everyone else has vanished. Except she keeps getting the sinister feeling of been watched.

Kate keeps up the tension throughout the whole story as we follow the trials Cass goes through on her journey to try and find out if she truly is alone whilst dealing with her fears of who or what is out there....waiting.

I will say that there are several times during the story that i just want to grab Cass and shake her as she is very sorrowful of her situation for a large part of the novel.
But on the other hand you do find yourself willing her on as she tries to make the best of a bad situation.
The ending seemed a little rushed and i think a bit more of an explanation is needed but all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and would like to read more from Kate Genet.








Reviewed By David
Birthday Party Entertainers

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Captain America : The First Avenger


After been turned down several times to join the army and serve his country, Steve Rogers joins a scientific programme to start a breed of super soldier.
Hence Captain America is born.

He starts off fighting the mighty battle as a stage performer but soon proves his worth as a super soldier fighting for his country.

I love all the Marvel films as they always seem to put everything into their films and this is no exception.
Chris Evans portrayal of Steve Rogers and Captain America is just superb and the supporting cast help make this an excellent film.

Lots of action, explosions, hero stuff and a baddie ( Red Skull ) you can cheerfully “Boo” at and even a love interest ( Peggy ) but without too much of the mushy stuff.
A good all round family film that will be one of the best this summer.


Reviewed By David
Childrens & Family Entertainers 

Morgue Of The Dead - Lee Taylor ( Book )





I'm aware that this is Mr Taylors first book but i seriously think that the 5 star reviews on Amazon must be friends or relatives trying to help him make sales as this is not exactly a work of art.
On the other hand the 1 star review given, again on Amazon was a little too harsh. But only a little.........

First though the good point :

The Zombie attack scenes are very well written and sufficiently gory and the fact that the zombies use some type of limited intelligence to get to past loved ones is also quite a clever new twist.

Now the not so good points....

The story is shockingly badly written in general. ( apart from the aforementioned zombie attacks)
There is absolutely no character depth and the conversations are bland considering what is happening around the characters involved.
I simply could not get attached to any of the characters and couldn't care less whether or not the zombies got them.
The mild attempt at humour was groanable ( hey i've invented a new word) but i can see that the author was attempting a "shaun of the dead" type story where comedy and gore are mixed up.

It's been said that the author writes in the style as if it were a movie being played out ... well i'm afriad this would definately be one of the old "B" type zombie movies rather than the better ones.

The guy who gave the 1 star rating mentioned he could not finish the book and I echo his sentiments.
I managed to get just over half way before i gave it up as a bad job, and it's very rare i don't or feel i can't finish a book.
Maybe i'll come back to it at some point but i'm in no rush.

Well done to Lee for publishing his first book as I guess writing can't be the easiest job in the world but your friends are better off being truthfull with you as this will only help you bring out better work in the future.


This book is no longer available on the Kindle but is still available in Paperback.

As a footnote to this review this was also the first zombie novel i had read ( although i do read a lot of chiller and horror novels ) and the second one i read ( by a different Author ) was written a lot better but i still wasn't enamoured.
So it is possible that Zombie novels are just not for me......


Have you got a Zombie novel that you think will grab my attention and rivet me to the story ?
Let me know about it and I will review it for you - I guess if i like it you could be on to a winner ;)


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Cadence Of The Undead - Christopher L Beck







Firstly i have to say that this is my first book from this author & Christophers writing style is very easy to follow and an enjoyable read.
With this being a short story or Novella the action starts quite quickly, whilst at the same time introduces you very well to the main characters and the background story.
You immediately take to the characters and hope that no harm will befall them even though you know that as this is a Zombie novel & that someone eventually is gonna get it.
Now i have not read many Zombie novels and didn't like the first i read and wasn't completely blown away by this one so it may just me but....
I expected a little bit more detail on the attacks and of the Zombie descriptions and more suspenseful build-up when they pounced.
It may be that as this is designed to be a Novella that these sequences were shortened.
However apart from the action at the beginning and the final part of the book the rest of the story seems to lag a bit as there is far too much dialogue and not much happening, especially around the husband and wife characters who decide to hide out in the underground shelter.
A little bit more time is also needed on proof reading before publishing as there are numerous typo errors.

However, despite the above, it is, as I have mentioned, still a good story and an enjoyable read and worth checking out.



Reviewed by David
Childrens Entertainment

Zookeeper ( Film )




Griffin is a Zoo keeper who really cares for his animals and won't see anyone do them any harm.
The animals love him too and so decide to break their code of silence when they find out he plans to leave the zoo.
Talking animals, madcap stunts and a bit of comedy romance all mixed together for the family summer film.
Just remember to leave your brain at the door before you go in.

Apart from some of the voices of the animals being a little annoying this is an enjoyable film that got quite a few laughs from everyone in the cinema.
Even the song and the clips at the very end ( during the credits) are entertaining.

Go on .............. you know you want to......


Reviewed by David
Childrens Entertainers

Monday, 8 August 2011

Fall Leaves & The Black Dragon - Erik Gustafson ( Book )







This is a very good paranormal themed story about a young man haunted by an event in his past and decides to confront his terrors.

The story is told from the view point of "Willy" or Liam (as he later calls himself) and the characters involved are easy to get involved with and get attached to.
Something is happening to Liam and his best friend, Kenny ( who goes on the journey with him) all the way through, which makes the reader want to carry on reading and the final relevation finishes the story well.

Although there are ghosts, fiery dragons and general creepiness happening regularly throughout the story it does not grab you and have you hiding behind the sofa so even those who are a bit squeemish about this type of story will enjoy it.

It's a nice change for an author to tie all the ends up and actually finish a story instead of leaving the reader wondering "yeah but !!! "


I was kindly given this book free to review and was mistakenly given an early draft of the story which contained lots of writing errors. The author tells me that these have all been corrected in the up to date version and if this is the case i would recommend you give this one a go.

Mr Poppers Penguins



Jim Carey stars as Mr Popper who receives a mysterious package from his recently deceased father ( who he had a very limited relationship with as a child.)
Upon opening the crate he finds his first Penguin.
Soon he has 6 penguins and his near perfect life as a high powered sales person is soon turned upside down.

The film is loosely based on the 1938 children's book of the same name by Richard & Florence Atwater.

Although this film is blatantly aimed towards young children I still found it very funny all the way through.
Lots of falling down and toilet humour throughout and Jim Carey does what he does best even though he is out done by the penguins.

The children's film industry nearly always has an underlying message and this one pushes the family values message quite clearly but despite this still ends up being quite a good movie.

Go see it with the kids if you just want to lay back and have a laugh.

Super 8 ( Film )



Super 8 is the new JJ Abrams release with quite a lot of influence by Steven Spielberg.
Fantastic special & lighting effects throughout this film which tells the story of a group of school friends that witness a horrific train crash whilst filming an amateur picture for a film competition.

The train crash alone is well worth watching the film for.

Soon the airforce are sealing off the town and people and objects are disappearing.
What exactly was being transported and has now escaped from the train.

Although not action all the way through and fairly slow in parts this is still a good film that keeps you interested throughout with some very likeable and quirky characters.

The film is rated as 12a and the heroes are a bunch of 12yr old kids who, with a couple of feuding adults, have to deal with the outworldly experience whilst avoiding the antics of the airforce making this a film that dads will enjoy taking the kids to.

Worth seeing and is one of the better Summer releases of this year.

Reviewed By David



Generations - William Meikle ( Book )




William Meikle is fast becoming one of my favourite writers. 
This time William is writing for the younger reader. 
It's a fast paced story involving lots of giant creepy crawlies, a Grandad who's a bit of a mad scientist and even a dragon. 
William keeps it simple, without going into too much background detail I:E mum is mum and dad is dad etc and they are very much the sterotypical parents that any 10 - 12 yr old will recognise. 
Add to this Tom's ( the young hero in the story) grandad who causes loads of problems with his madcap experiments and Tom's best friend Kate who's on hand to help Tom through his wild adventure. 

Even as an adult you can thoroughly enjoy the story as Michael quickly gets the plot moving and keeps up the pace throughout the whole story. 

And at just 86p ( currently) easily affordable out of your pocket money.


Reviewed by David

The Watchers Trilogy - William Meikle ( Books)




I decided to review this trilogy in one go because the whole story is spread over the three books and is more like a single story being split in three than three stories in a trilogy setting. 
The story weaves Scottish and English history together and makes us believe that vampires that have been around for centuries and were heavily involved in major battles in our joint histories. 
The story centres on two friends, Martin & Sean who are members of a special "watch" army set up to protect the boundaries nr Hadrians Wall and stop the vampire scourge invading England. 
Now normally anything history based bores me to death and epic type stories i find difficult to follow as there are so many different characters to keep up with but William Meikle keeps the history element to a level that does not destroy the story and makes all his characters so interesting that you are fully drawn in. 
He also has no compunction of killing characters off that you get attached to so you never know what's going to happen next and who is going to survive. 

The story is fairly well paced considering it is over 3 books and the ending is well worth the wait. 

My only crtiticism would be the older generation of characters are forever telling each other and the younger ones past stories and tales but of course this happened in the era that the story is set in. But when someone says "let's here your tale" i would groan a little....... 
This does drag on a bit and slows the story down but it's worth putting up with this as the whole story is very very good. 

The vampire boy king is a fangtastic villain and you just can't wait for the final showdown in book 3. 

William has come up with a different angle on the vampire story and these books are well worth the read. 

The books are: 
Watchers : The Coming Of The King 
Watchers : The Battle For The Throne 
Watchers : Culloden.


Reviewed By David

48 - James Herbert ( Book )




48 is set in an alternative timeline where on the edge of losing the war the Nazi's drop dirty bombs which kill everyone except the very rare "ab" blood type. 
Cue for millions of dead decaying bodies everywhere. 
Crazy evangelists who believe that a blood transfusion from those unaffected will save their lives. 
An unlikely hero, who just doesn't want to be a hero but gets dragged into the whole bloody mess anyway. 
A dead and destroyed London, an ever depressing reminder of the horrors of warfare. 

This time Herbert explores the horrors of the real kind that mankind can do to each other in an armaggeddon world. 
Classic Herbert, fast paced story telling and relentless until the end. 

If you like any past James Herbert novels you will not be disappointed and very hard to put down with a very satisfying ending.


Reviewed By David