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Welcome to the News & Reviews section here at Doctor Who Online! This is where you will find all the latest Doctor Who related news and reviews split up into easy to use sections - each section is colour coded for your convenience. The latest items can be found at the top, and older items follow down the page.

Archived news and reviews can be accessed by clicking on the relevant area on the News / Reviews Key panels to the right.

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14 September 2020

Publisher: Self Published

Written By: Evangeline Greene

RRP: £12.43 / $14.99 (Paperback) | £3.25 / $3.99 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 14th September 2020

Sophia Violet And The Fiery Orb revolves around the titular Sophia; a 14-year girl with violet eyes who is about to discover her life isn't quite as it seems...

Right from the first chapter the reader is gripped as we are launched into the moments after Sophia's birth, with her parents scrambling as they give over their precious newborn Daughter to protect her from an, as-yet, unseen threat.

Enter Rayson, a changeling (and one of our main antagonists) who we first see as a giant Panther, pursuing Sophia's parent's as they try to escape the hospital car park. What's rather clever, is Rayson looks at Sarah (Sophia's mother) and thinks that the baby is yet to be born, giving precious time for her adoptive parents to escape the hospital.

Without giving too much more away, we then cut forward to present day, where an adolescent Sophia, now living in New York City, begins a new school. And so begins the adventure as our protagonist discovers the truth that she is a child of two worlds, as well as the important path before her to save them.

Throw in shapeshifting aliens, mysterious orbs and a meaty plot that holds everything together perfectly, this is one young adult fantasy that will keep your attention to the final page. There's also a rather poignant environmental message that courses through the story - one which reflects the current climate change issues in our own, real-world lives. It's also a mark of genius how Greene uses this as a device within the story - again, not trying to give anything away.

As you approach the end, there is a satisfying finish to the story whilst leading directly into a (fingers crossed) sequel. In fact, that whole last page reads almost like a screenplay, and you can just imagine yourself sitting in a movie theatre as it cuts to black after the final description. Marvellous stuff!

Whilst the character and setting descriptions throughout are top-notch, it is the author's grasp at relationships - particularly teenage relationships, that shine through. They are rich and layered and, more importantly, believable. You’re not short of decent character’s, either; there are plenty of strong female characters without the temptation of making them ‘kick-ass’, and the foil between the protagonist and the antagonist is in perfect balance.

There are parallels to Harry Potter and His Dark Materials, but Sophia Violet is still very much its own thing; it's just nice to have the comfort of feeling that this book is holding its own against those cherished genre bedfellows.

A genuine treat to have read, Sophia Violet and the Fiery Orb is the coming-of-age, head-turning fantasy that you've been waiting for!

+  Sophia Violet And The Fiery Orb is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @GreeneAuthor on Twitter.

31 August 2020

Publisher: BHC Press

Written By: J.W. Garrett

RRP: £10.95 / $14.95 (Paperback)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 31st August 2020

Following on from our recent review of Remeon's Destiny, we are thrilled to have just finished the sequel (or rather, prequel); Remeon's Quest.

This time around, we find ourselves back in time to 1930, where America is still in the crux of the Great Depression. The story sees our main character, Jack Livingston, dealing with a tragedy at work that takes his best friend Sam from him. Left with a note from Sam, Jack begins to carve out the new future he initially planned with his friend, when life takes another, unsuspecting turn...

I want to begin by commending J.W. Garrett for such a gripping start to this story. From the  gut-wrenching loss Jack deals with, to the journey he goes on with Harry, the reader is pulled along at a fantastic pace that somehow also allows you to breathe in the sights along the way. Such is Garret's attention to detail, from the cold beginning in Utah to Las Vegas and - quite literally - BEYOND, you really feel like you are travelling a first class, evocative ticket with the characters.

Speaking of characters, Remeon's Quest is brimming with a whole host of rich, new characters, as well as some old (or should that be younger?) favourites from the previous chapter in the Realms Of Chaos saga. Of these new characters, Whisterley is definitely our favourite; another strong, female character that helps balance the book, whilst giving our central character some much-needed happiness.

Again, we have a wonderful, expertly crafted blend of Science Fiction and Fantasy, with the added sprinkling of a love story between Jack and Whisterley, that holds central to the book.

As with Remeon's Destiny, you never know what is around the corner; be it a new best friend, an oncoming spaceship or true love, but one thing you can count on is a thrill-ride full of adventure.

This is some genius storytelling, and whilst it's not a movie (gosh what a movie series this would make!), it does reflect a little of the clever use of time travel seen in Back To The Future. Little nods that come back to play out later on - not to mention the time jumps.

There's some real momentum with this series and with book 3 (Remeon's Crusade) having just been released, I cannot wait to see what happens next, chronologically.

+  Remeon's Quest is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @GarrettJLW on Twitter.

28 August 2020

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Written By: Beverly Torres

RRP: £2.27 / $2.99 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 28th August 2020

At just 93 pages long, Beverly Torres' The Moon's Pull is one of the shortest books we've  reviewed so far, but boy does the author pack a lot into those pages!

Right from the off, we're thrown into the action as our lead character, Sam - a small town detective who seeks her peers' acceptance - arrives at a horrifying and rather mysterious crime scene. Sam is being watched from the nearby foggy hillside, by an equally mysterious character who we come to learn is Quentin Blackstone - our other main protagonist, and who also happens to be a Werewolf...

The story flip-flops between Sam and Quentin's point of view until they are thrown together through their attraction for each other and the common interest in the recent spate of murders.

The change of scenery between the detective work, with that of the exciting, supernatural world of werewolves acts as a fantastic contrast. Whilst you are constantly wanting to get back to anything with Sam and Quentin in it, you realise that the mundane gives necessary balance.

Torres' use of names is inspired, too. Carrick, Quentin and Baylock all sound like they are from an age gone by and fit perfectly within the Werewolf genre. Indeed, it feels like the author has done some incredible research on Werewolf lore as it feels so fleshed out and believable.

As one would hope, there is a poignant and utterly perfect climax to the story. Torres has got everything right here and on paper, for a story so short, it shouldn't work - but it does. This is a lesson in world-building and storytelling that proves you don't have to write an epic saga to pull off a good story.

There are so many well-written moments, and without giving too much away, there was a whole section near the end featuring a werewolf/human ceremony that was so beautifully written that the visuals it conjured are still vibrant in our mind.

The Moon's Pull would make a terrific TV movie; it's like a cross between Torchwood and Twilight, and let's be honest, werewolves are much cooler than vampires. Speaking of which, there are some racy scenes in the middle of the book that will please those wishing for a little bit more than what we got from Bella and Edward's foray in Twilight.

There's no word on a sequel, but we're hoping that Torres may dip back into this world in the future as there's loads of potential for further adventures. Whilst it was undoubtedly short, The Moon's Pull is an incredibly easy and captivating read. 

+  The Moon's Pull is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @Btorres3 (Beverly Torres) on Twitter.

12 July 2020

Publisher: Independently Published

Written By: Meg MacDonald

RRP: £3.99 / $4.99 (Kindle) | £12.99 / $15.99 (Paperback)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 13th July 2020

Meg MacDonald's world building is the first thing that hits you in Oath Sworn; an epic gaslamp fantasy that feels so much bigger than the sum of its parts. The sheer scale and richness of detail make this a read that even Tolkien would be proud of - for this is the calibre that the author deserves to be compared to.

To give you but a taste of what we mean, here is an extract, mere pages into the first chapter:

"Beyond mullioned windows, the late-winter sky was plum-dark, the low-lying parish streets cloaked in mist. Even on a clear night, the broad expanse of the northern heavens offered precious little moonlight so close to year’s end. Only a single moon shone brightly, the others waning crescents, slivers of melting ice soon to turn dark faces on their world."

It's by far one of the most original fantasy stories we've read in a long time, and we've read some truly fantastic titles over the past few years. Think Lord Of The Rings meets Star Wars meets The Witcher and you are starting to enter an adjacent postcode to Aralt's world.

We drew the comparison to Tolkien at the start and like The Fellowship Of The Ring, it's a slow build, but one that you can savour every description and character that graces the page. There's adventure, too... You want sky pirates - you got it! Awesome weapons in the form of crystal swords that are tuned to the hands of their keepers - you got it! A foreboding enemy hell-bent on destroying souls - you better believe it! 

There's bags of emotion, too; due to the hard work put in early on, you really care for the characters and cultures within, and the tumultuous relationship between the main protagonists (Aralt & Lian), will keep you entertained throughout. Not ashamed to say we *may* have reached for the tissues more than once.

All the effort put in by both the author and the reader at the start, gradually build to an epic conclusion - you could not of hoped for a better conclusion than the one we get here!

One final thing we would be remiss not to mention and which we absolutely loved were the many journal extracts, teachings and notations that prefaced each chapter. Whether or not it was intentional, they allowed for a brief pause to take yourself out of the action and ponder the sentiments, before being launched back in again. Excellent tool from the author!

To have left things where they are in just one book would have been a disservice to all the hard work that MacDonald has poured into Oath Sworn, and without giving anything away, we thankfully have a sequel in the form of Blood Sworn, which is slated for release later this year!

If you want an engrossing Summer read that will take you away to a far off world (and then some) - THIS is the book for you!

+  Oath Sworn is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @Kyrrimar (Meg MacDonald) on Twitter.

1 July 2020

Publisher: BHC Press

Written By: J.W. Garrett

RRP: £10.95 / $14.95 (Paperback)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 1st July 2020

Remeon's Destiny follows the story of Thomas, a young man growing up in 1940's rural Virginia, who dreams of more than the expected path set before him. Immediately we felt pangs of nostalgia due to the loose parallels with Superman and Star Wars; Clark Kent growing up in rural Kansas - destined for greater things, and Luke Skywalker growing up on a moisture farm on the desert planet of Tattooine - destined to bring peace and order to the galaxy.

It's a recipe that works so well as we all root for the central character to achieve their aspirations, but it's always so refreshing when an author actually adds something new and unexpected to that recipe - and that's exactly what J.W. Garrett has done here.

The juxtaposition between the setting of post-World War II America and that of the futuristic world of Remeon is stark and ultimately meaningful as events, experiences and choices made in the future, make for fantastic character development in Thomas and for the messages and warnings that are underlying for our own planet.

Speaking of characters, those featured in Remeon's Destiny are rich and well-rounded, and whilst Thomas is our main protagonist, there are some fantastic female characters full of depth and who give great poignance to the story. It feels wonderfully balanced and, as a result, real.

Garrett's skill of painting both mundane life in rich, beautiful detail, coupled with the far out complex strokes of a distant world in the same brush is commendable. All this whilst maintaining a driven, entertaining story that compels you to keep on reading - and boy does it do that! 

There are so many moments that jump off the page and feel like a full-on emotive scene that you'd expect to see in a big-screen movie.

There's one particular line near the end of the story, and without giving too much away, it captures a moment every son hopes to have with his father; an acknowledgement of change and being accepted as an adult:

"James desperately searched for answers as he combed the face he thought he knew so well. “Son,” he said, as he grasped Thomas’s shoulders, his voice quivering, “you’ve changed. I can see it in you. A man’s eyes don’t lie.""

That sense of journey; a beginning, a middle and an end - the load-bearing principles of good story writing are all here, but there's so much colour and attention to detail that, (if you pardon us one more arty metaphor), you end up with a masterpiece so full of depth you'll want to bask in it time and time again.

Whilst we are aware the is a prequel to this story now available (and we are very much looking forward to reading it), we cannot help wanting to see what happens next in Thomas' story. As of writing we have just had news that Book 3 in the series (Remeon's Crusade) is out in August - and we cannot wait!

+  Remeon's Destiny is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @GarrettJLW on Twitter.

21 March 2020

Publisher: Self-Published

Written By: Darren Edden

RRP: £8.99 (Paperback)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 21st March 2020

If there was a book we could review that was current with what's going on in the world right now, then Darren Edden's 'The Mirror Of Our Creation' is that book! The story is set in the UK (so nice to have a UK-based story, by the way) in a dystopian future - a future that is at threat from a mysterious influenza-type virus that's wreaking havoc on peoples lives and financial markets - sound familiar?

Ok, maybe the dystopian future part isn't quite what's happening right now, but we are possibly closer that we have ever been to imagining that future, and The Mirror Of Our Creation, in part, is a Nostradamus-like foreshadowing of what could be.

For an author, you couldn't hope for a more poignant and well-timed release for your book - this is a relatively new title, having been released less than a year ago, but from every page you turn it's like a mirror world reflection of our own - and that's before you get stuck into the real meat of the story. Drones, attacks in London, British hospitals packed out with patients... It's all here!

We actually had a cold chill down our back as we read the following line:

"The UK Health Service is starting to creak under the increased pressure of the influenza virus as it continues to spread further throughout the country."

Edden's ability to immerse the reader in his world is testament to his skill in describing the scenes and the characters to a point where they are rich and fully rounded - not just a pencil sketch. You can't help but feel that bit closer to the action, and because of this it's hard to book the book down as you're itching to find out what happens next.

Without giving too much away, it was from Chapter Nineteen that there is a change in tone, direction and location. We head to Jupiter where the character's encounter other intelligent life, in a completely refreshing and ingenious way that feels rejuvenating in the Science Fiction genre.

The Mirror Of Our Creation is split up into three main sections; Part One: The Signal, Part Two: The Contact & Part Three: The Return. A tidy way of storytelling, and coupled with the various 'Newsfeed' sub-chapters throughout (as well as the detailed descriptions mentioned earlier), you feel more part of the story than the normal distanced perspective of a reader.

There are several poignant moments throughout; some because of what’s happening in the real world right now, but some because of the journey taken in the story. One particular moment springs to mind later on, involving a cup of coffee - the juxtaposition of the moment compared with what has just happened...well...without spoiling it, you will know what we mean, where it is and just how poignant it is when you read it!

Again, not wanting to give too much away, but the end is left open for a sequel - one that we hope will come very soon, as Edden and his seemingly prophetic skills, could come in handy in the months and possibly years to come...

A truly captivating story that fans of Science Fiction with hold on to with great relish!

+  The Mirror Of Our Creation is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @DarrenEdden on Twitter.

24 November 2019

Publisher: Rude Cat LLC

Written By: Randy Smith

RRP: £15.99$17.99 (Paperback)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 24th November 2019

Something that Doctor Who and Star Trek has taught us is that Science Fiction doesn't always remain a fiction. Whilst Randy Smith's The Raffle may be nestled in a SciFi / Cyberpunk genre, the story itself is set in a dystopian future, just a few years from now (2026-2027), and serves more as a speculative glimpse into what could be.

There's an alternative history where on July 4th 2016, a multi-angle terror attack changed America forever; so much so that it is now known as the New United States. Our central character, Ramsey, has been separated from his wife and daughter for 10 years, and without trying to spoil anything, The Raffle sees his once-in-a-lifetie chance to be reunited with them.

Talk about prophetic; The Raffle predicted the election of Donald Trump, and there are many more instances within where the reader cannot help but feel spooked by the near-future clairvoyance in which author Randy Smith is worryingly good at.

If we could describe the series in a few words it's The Handmaids Tale meets The Matrix meets The Hunger Games. That being said, it's still very much its own thing and you will be swept along for the ride - a ride that is shocking, unpredictable and so addictive that you just want to keep reading and reading.

The Raffle was initially released as four separate novellas, and one can only imagine the torture as a reader as they got to the end of each book, desperately waiting to find out what happens to Ramsey next. Fortunately, this version brings all four novellas together, so you can tackle the saga in one sitting. The fourth part is considerably longer than the others and reads more like a full-on novel, and feels like a natural evolution of both the story and the author.

Perhaps, rather soberingly, The Raffle is the authors mouthpiece for the state of a country he so blatantly loves, and what could happen. Anyone that can predict the election of Trump NEEDS to be heard; The Raffle doesn't only serve as a fantastic piece of fiction, but a worryingly believable projection into where we are going if we don't change our ways.

After four distinct parts, there is still plenty more life in the series, and with an open ending, we really hope that Ramsey's journey continues!

+  The Raffle is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @TheRaffle2027 on Twitter.

6 November 2019

Publisher: Self Published

Written By: Marc W. Johnson

RRP: $12.99 (Paperback)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 6th November 2019

Back in early 2018 we discovered author, Marc W. Johnson and his 'Legacy' title. A chilling, yet thrilling horror that was incredibly intelligently put together. This is something that Johnson carries through perfectly in his latest offering; 'Husker', which focuses on our central character, Jennifer, her father's savage murder and how events from the past come back to play a part in Jennifer's life.

This is truly one of the most terrifying stories we've ever read; and we've read a LOT of Stephen King :) - Dare we say it, but even Mr King could learn a thing or two from Husker - it's as psychologically chilling as it is descriptively.

Johnson has such a talent as a writer; everything is so visual and has a real cinematic texture to the description and flow. In that respect, it really is unlike most horrors or thrillers we've read.

Below is an excerpt from Husker which encapsulates the suspenseful and cinematic genius of Johnsons words:

"Molly's ears perk up when a low wooden creak seeps through the dark, but the sleeping couple does not stir. Molly fixates on the rocker in the dark, she growls softly as she backs out into the hallway and sits, still extremely alert. The rocker sways without a sound while Molly watches." 

Earlier we mentioned about the authors intelligence in his writing, and this is heavily based in the way that, as a reader, you feel like you know where things are going (and feel rather clever in the process), only to have the rug pulled from under your feet and taken in a whole new direction. There's nothing more refreshing or exciting than surprise and Johnson knows exactly how to use it! 

You want settings, you got 'em; attics, corn festivals, parking lots (complete with chocolate pudding cups - something that you may find you have in common with the titular Husker). The characters are rich and drawn not from stereotypes, but complex palettes that make them feel the more genuine for it.

The journey that Jennifer goes on is both emotionally and psychologically draining and we're doing our very best not to give anything away, but every page is a step closer to the answers you are desperate to find out as the reader. The resolution, as with everything that goes before it, is a complete surprise, and, unlike some Stephen King novels, Johnson knows how to end his stories with reader satisfaction. 

We are genuinely terrified to see what Johnson comes up with next, and if form is anything to go by, we're probably going to need some holy water, a priest and a clean change of underwear!

+  Husker is Out Now!
+  Buy this book / Kindle from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @WoordMan on Twitter.

4 November 2019

Publisher: Self Published

Written By: J.H. Barron

RRP: £7.99 (Paperback)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 4th November 2019

It’s Sarah Penworthy’s sixteenth birthday! The sun is shining, the school bell is ringing, she’s got a birthday party to prepare and there’s that boy she really wants to ask out on a date... But all of Sarah’s plans are shattered when a strange silver ball comes crashing through her bedroom window.

Right from the off, J.H. Barron's 'Sarah: The Empress Of The Galaxy' calls out to Doctor Who fans. The main character's parents are called Ian and Barbara, there's a character called Alpha Centauri (although this one is quite different from the one we know in Doctor Who), and there's even a robot called 'Robot Holmes' - surely a nod to the much-loved Doctor Who script editor of the 1970's!

Peppered with tongue-in-cheek references to cult movies and tv (Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek and Sapphire And Steel - to name just a few), oh - and even one for Kate Bush fans, this is a science fiction adventure that has a lot of fun along the way, and despite the genre, is surprisingly rooted in real moments, emotions and decisions.

Sarah, the central character, is 16 years old, and we get a very real glimpse of what it's like to be a girl of her age, and the struggles she faces in her day-to-day life. Barron makes the reader feel her frustration of the monotony of her life, and we too want more for her. It is also rather interesting the way that Barron plays things when Sarah finally does get an opportunity to mix thing up; despite wanting something new, she shows apprehension at the exciting path before her. This was an unpredictable, yet totally believable way of playing the situation.

One of our favourite bits in the whole book was the following exchange between Sarah and Robot Holmes:

“You are to accompany me to the Starship Hound of Love.”

“I can’t do that!” she said.

The robot hovered closer to Sarah’s face, its one great eye piercing into hers. “Do not worry, my Lady,” it assured her, “the teleportation beam is accurate to a degree of ninety-eight percent. The chances of molecular disintegration are very slim indeed.”

“No, no, no!” Sarah blabbed hastily. “You don’t understand— I can’t go anywhere like that! It’s my birthday and I’m going out tonight!”

Barron's use of description for places and people are terrific; there's a particular moment later in the book when Sarah arrives at Voxxen, and Barron's detailing really adds flesh to the world as you feel the almost claustrophobic atmosphere as they venture deeper into the bowels of Voxxen.

There are thrills, twists, turns and enough exciting changes in pace and setting to keep your interest throughout. We were genuinely sad to reach the end of the book and it most certainly left us wanting more.

Without spoiling too much, there's a rather sobering epilogue that addresses the consequences of Sarah's story, and with an ending that unquestionably paves the way for a sequel, we cannot wait to see what adventures Sarah gets up to next.

+  Sarah: The Empress Of The Galaxy is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @JH_Barron on Twitter.

23 October 2019

Publisher: September Publishing

Written By: Marshall Julius

RRP: £12.99 (Paperback)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 23rd October 2019

Question: When is a quiz book not just any old quiz book?
Answer: When said quiz book is written by master of all things fandom, Marshall Julius.

Vintage Geek is quite literally the ultimate quiz book for fans of classic tv, film and comics, from 2000AD to Walt's Wonderful World Of Disney, Marshall has chosen topics you can tell he is passionate about.

The Doctor Who section, for example, sees Marshall focusing on arguably one of the most popular tenures of the shows history; the Tom Baker years, rather than it's wider 56+ year history. Likewise, with the James Bond section, he chooses to focus on the Roger Moore years.

Vintage Geek is split up into 2 main sections; the questions and the answers. Marshall starts off each section by introducing the topic and what it meant to him, making it feel like a journey through his love for each of the shows and movies - such a wonderfully fresh and personal take on the quiz book format.

Along the way there are questions from celebrity guest stars (some true crackers, too), and there's a real mix of questions that will have even the most die-hard fans questioning their encyclopaedic knowledge.

Marshall has included something for everyone in Vintage Geek; Star Wars, Star Trek, James Bond, Doctor Who, Jurassic Park, The Simpsons and Marvel (to name just a few) all get their own sections - each filled with 50 questions to test your fandom credentials.

Then we get to the answers, and this is where Marshall really brings home the goods. If you think you're going to get just the answer, think again (this is Marshall we're talking about!) - many of the answers are filled with detailed information and trivia, such as actors names, serial numbers and years.

We would be remiss not to acknowledge Mike Reiss' (Simpsons writer) hilarious foreword, followed by Marshall's own touching introduction that makes the reader feel an overwhelming sense of inclusion and 'its-ok-to-be-nerdy-ness'. One particular line really stood out to us, however, and it really is incredibly apt, poignant, and most of all, true:

"I've always felt that to completely grow up, to turn your back on the things that once meant the most to you, would be the most terrible betrayal of the child you once were."

Due to Marshall's immense fandom knowledge, and after educating us with quite a few fact-filled gaps in our own knowledge (that even surprised us), we genuinely felt like better fans after reading Vintage Geek! Go get a copy and add it to your life NOW!

+  Vintage Geek is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @MarshallJulius on Twitter.

5 June 2019

Publisher: Spaceboy Books LLC

Written By: M. Drewery

RRP: £10.68 (Paperback) / £2.14 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 5th June 2019

We're not usually fans of apocalyptic stories; they're not exactly light reading and the running theme tends to feel a little worn by the time you've reached the (literal) end. That wasn't the case for M. Drewery's 'Stolen Futures', however - in fact, never have we read a story within this genre that had so much heart and soul.

"Callum Tasker isn’t special. He isn’t a genius, or a star athlete. He’s not unique. But he, along with 257 other ordinary kids from around the globe, has been assigned to a spaceship that will flee an alien attack on the Earth. Callum will leave everything behind; his family, his friends, his country, to give humanity a new beginning on a new home world."

The opening chapter throws you right into the action, but balanced with all this action is a tender and heart-breaking story of a boy being ripped from his family. Every scene is painted with such rich colour through description and emotion, that you feel a connection to Callum very early on. It is genuine, lump-in-throat reading, before you are hurtled off into a rip-roaring adventure that doesn't stop for one minute. At its heart, this story is about growing up, making important decisions and, of course, saving humankind!

Together with a continuous switch-up in the narrative, as well as some intelligent use of the author's sci/tech knowledge, Stolen Futures never fails to keep your attention. Just when you think you need to put the book down to continue with your real life tasks, it pulls you back in and makes you want to keep reading.

It is clear that the author is a science fiction fan, and whilst there are moments that will have you thinking of scenes from some of your favourites like Star Wars or even Doctor Who, make no mistake that this is very much its own thing - it's dripping in confidence and drive.

We don't want to spoil the ending, but what we can say is that the future looks very bright more more stories in the Stolen Futures universe (or should that be multiverse)? :)

M. Drewery has crafted a thoroughly fantastic story that is screaming out for a movie or tv series! Cannot wait to see what's next from this author!

+  Stolen Futures is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow M. Drewery on Twitter.

9 March 2019

Publisher: Amazon Media EU

Written By: Jude Austin

RRP: £2.37 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 9th March 2019

The SciFi/Thriller genre is chock-full of tales of a dystopian future, heaped on with a bucket load of aliens and apocalyptic doom, but Jude Austin's 'Project Tau' takes the genre in a refreshingly different - and scarily realistic direction.

Leaving behind the dystopian angle, Austin instead gives us a future that is totally believable; where human cloning is at an advanced stage.

When a frat stunt initiation goes horribly wrong, our lead character Kalin Taylor finds himself in a world of trouble. He is offered a way of his problems in exchange for him taking part in a few 'experiments'. A decision that will have dire ramifications for Kalin, and the world itself...

There are moments when you feel like you have been truly catapulted into the future, but then Austin pulls you back and reinforces the foundation of reality:

"Is this going to hurt?" Kalin said edgily. The scientist (Renfield, he'd said his name was) gave him a rather patronizing smile that set the normally passive Kalin's fists itching, and shook his head. "Of course not. You'll be given a general."

Just that line; "given a general", instantly connects you to something you would hear in a modern day hospital. Such a tiny point to mention, but its utter simplicity and nonchalance ends up being an incredibly clever tool that makes the reader fully immersed in this story.

There were some moments that were hard to read; without giving too much away, a certain 'modification' and a shock end to a chapter leaves the reader feeling a little nauseous. This actually gets even worse during the next chapter, but, again, it's totally down to the realism in which the author paints the world and the scenes within.

At its heart, Project Tau is a morality tale that leads the reader to a stark realisation of where we're headed and what we cannot allow to happen. It makes us assess what it really means to be human, and that you don't HAVE to be human, to BE human (if that makes any sense). By the time you finish reading Project Tau, you genuinely feel glad to be back in the present.

The door is left open at the end for more adventures in Austin's world, and with writing like this, we are very much looking forward to what happens next.

+  Project Tau is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow Jude Austin on Twitter.

14 January 2019

Publisher: World Castle Publishing

Written By: Colin Sinclair

RRP: £17.99 (Hardback) / £9.05 (Paperback) / £3.01 (Kindle)

Release Date: 23rd June 2018

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 14th January 2019

Every month we get sent a large number of books to review - so many, in fact, that we can't get through them all. We've actually become a little guilty of judging a book by its cover, but in Colin Sinclair's case, we're glad we did... his book 'Elji And The Galrass' has a striking cover that instantly called to us, and what lay within was nothing short of a pure joy to read.

"Elji, a boy from a village outside the city of Mehem discovers a "Galrass" a tool usually wielded only by those who understand its power. Perhaps it was left for him to find or perhaps it was just a random happening?

The Galrass embroils him in a struggle he never expected to be part of or even imagined existed. Dregar, a being from a different planet and galaxy ‘feels’ the boys interruption of the universal essence and takes him under his wing and so his journey begins.

Friendships are made and lost and many lives must be put in danger to usher the civilization into its rightful place among the Universal essence. Will Elji fulfill his potential and help save his world or will it fall into darkness?"

Elji And The Galrass is epic fantasy adventure at its best, and really takes the reader on a breathtaking journey - not only through its richly detailed locations, but for the characters within. On top of all that, there are some important messages and morals for the reader to take home, and Sinclair seamlessly embroiders his good nature and true heart throughout this tale.

There is an incredible attention to detail, from floral fountains to fire pits, Sinclair evokes sights, sounds and smells in such clarity that he not only ensnares your imagination, but your senses too. In fact, I've never read a book that has been able to do this quite so effectively, before.

The topography of the book is also to be marvelled; one minute you are peering out the shutters of a room, overlooking bustling streets, and the next you are navigating a mountain range, or a desert. Again, this further adds to the feeling of having travelled far and wide, and when you're done reading, you almost feel out of breath.

Elji And The Galrass was easy to read thanks to its short chapters and attention-grabbing storyline. It never felt weary, and you almost always end up reading more than you planned to.

I eagerly await the sequel, and will be pestering the author until its release. Fantastic!

+  Elji And The Galrass is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow Colin Sinclair on Twitter.

11 January 2019

Publisher: Self Published

Written By: Mark J.G. Fahey

RRP: £8.00 (Paperback) / £7.19 (Kindle) / $11.95 (Paperback) / $9.15 (Kindle)

Release Date: 25th January 2016

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 11th January 2019

Imagine if Halley's Comet wasn't really a comet...but an intergalactic Casino! In that one sentence you get a taste of the bonkers but brilliant mind of Mark J.G. Fahey!

Set in 1986 (a time period experiencing renewed exposure in current pop culture) Halley's Casino follows the adventure of Nebula (Neb) Yorker; a 26-year old stargazer who's life is about to be turned upside down as the comet he has been waiting for turns out to be something very different indeed...

Thus heralds the beginning of a whirlwind adventure, with a clever use of time travel and well-researched historical side-steps.

If you're a fan of Douglas Adams' work, then Fahey is rooted very close to Adams' sense of humour and sheer inventiveness with rich, crazy storylines and characters. Humour is laced throughout the story, and it's better for it - not just the odd laugh, but well-paced, timed and intelligently placed humour.

There are some particularly long chapters in Halley's Casino - in most cases the reader would be flicking forward to see a suitable pause point, but such is Fahey's writing and momentum, that time seems to literally stand still whilst you're reading it.

With cult references a-plenty, including Star Trek and...yes...even Doctor Who, there are many, many moments within that will have you knowingly smiling or chuckling away at them.

Fahey has crafted a rich and vibrant story and we genuinely cannot wait to read the sequel!

+  Halley's Casino is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com!
+  Follow Mark J.G. Fahey on Twitter.

1 July 2018

Publisher: BHC Press

Written By: Gary Morgenstein

RRP: £14.95 (Paperback) / £4.52 (Kindle) / $18.95 (Paperback) / $5.96 (Kindle)

Release Date: 29th March 2018

Reviewed by: Richard Wright

Review Posted: 1st July 2018

Book reading has been, and always will be one of humanities greatest pastimes, with countless themes, genres and styles to suit anyone. Like most things, however, there reaches a point where certain genres get saturated, and it takes the next 'big thing' to buck the trend and take things in a new direction.

Enter Gary Morgenstein with 'A Mound Over Hell' - a Science Fiction / sports genre crossover the likes of which we've never seen (or heard of - or READ), before.

If you're a die-hard SciFi nut, and sport isn't your thing (an vice versa), you'll still find solace in Morgenstein's writing.

Things kick off at a bracing pace in the year 2098 of a dystopian Earth, after World World III. It's the last ever season of baseball - a sport which has become associated with terrorism. Our central character (Baseball historian, Puppy Nedick) wakes up to "find a hologram named Greta dancing on his chest" - there's something ludicrously amazing about that line, and in Morgenstein's humour, which is peppered perfectly throughout the novel.

Radical islam has almost destroyed America as we know it, and a new world has been borne out of love. But could the very game of baseball itself usher in world peace, or could it be the cause of a new war to end all wars?

I genuinely haven't read a book so refreshingly different, well-paced, surprising and completely and utterly unique. It is incredibly pleasing to learn that this is part of a planned series for Morgenstein's 'Dark Depths' saga, and the second part cannot come quickly enough!

Highly recommended!

+  A Mound Over Hell is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com!
+  Follow Gary Morgenstein on Twitter.

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