Monday, 20 February 2017

Review: Conceiving by Thomas S Flowers


Conceiving (Subdue Book 3) by Thomas S. Flowers

My Rating:


Conceiving is the latest book, and the best so far, in the Subdue series by Thomas S Flowers. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't perfect, it needs editing to fix a few repetition issues, spelling errors and wrong words, but I enjoyed it much more than the previous two books.

A lot of my enjoyment was due to Luna's character, she felt real and relatable. I was actually interested in her and her story. I got to experience and enjoy her storyline without being sidetracked by too many characters. The whole reading experience flowed better, it wasn't as busy so there was less distraction, fewer side characters jumping in between me and the main storyline.

The pacing was better, the characters were better, and the storytelling was smoother. I got to know the characters better this time round. I experienced their stories rather than them being told to me like in the previous books.

There was a lot of my favourite horror elements in Conceiving. It had a touch of Rosemary's Baby and Frankenstein and as an added bonus there was a werewolf and some voodoo going on. I love me some voodoo in horror!



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Synopsis
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Dark things are dwelling in Jotham, Texas. Malicious forces are seen emerging from the sinister house on Oak Lee Road… 
With little memory of the events that took the lives of his friends, Bobby Weeks tries to move on with his life and finds a job at a warehouse on Galveston Island. The evil in Jotham won’t leave him behind, though. Strangers from the cursed town find him, offering information about what happened to his friends. It all leads back to Baelo University…back to Jotham.

Luna Blanche has always been gifted, but now she must use those gifts to save Bobby…

Luna goes to the Mississippi Delta to take care of her dying grandmother. She misses Bobby, and when she attempts to see Bobby through her mind, all she finds is a deadly future. Fearing his life is in danger, she leaves the Delta and searches for him in Jotham.

Neville and Boris Petry want nothing more than the picturesque American Dream…

After Boris accepts a new job teaching at Baelo University, the Petrys move to Jotham to finally live out their dream. Following a drunken faculty party, Neville discovers she is pregnant. She should be ecstatic, but dreadful dreams lead her to feel as if something is wrong with the baby, her husband…and the school.

Four destinies bound on a collision course, a plot conceived in the shadows of Jotham…and an evil biding its time…waiting for them all.


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Thomas Flowers, Biography


Thomas S. Flowers is the published author of several character driven stories of dark fiction. He resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife and daughter.

He is published with The Sinister Horror Company’s horror anthology The Black Room Manuscripts. His debut novel, Reinheit, is published with Shadow Work Publishing, along with The Incredible Zilch Von Whitstein and Apocalypse Meow. His military/paranormal thriller series, The Subdue Books, Dwelling, Emerging and Conceiving, are published with Limitless Publishing, LLC.

In 2008, he was honourably discharged from the U.S. Army where he served for seven years, with three tours serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In 2014, Thomas graduated from University of Houston Clear Lake with a BA in History.

He blogs at machinemean.org, where he does author interviews and reviews on a wide range of strange yet oddly related topics. You can learn more about Thomas and all his strange writings by joining his mailing list at http://goo.gl/2CozdE. 


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Praise for Thomas S Flowers III

Thomas S Flowers is a fantastic writer. There is no other way of putting it. He writes a single book but has so many different writing styles within that single book that all come together beautifully to present you with a story that totally engrosses you.” – Confessions of a Reviewer

Thomas S. Flowers has allowed this story to brew slowly, allowing the mystery and horror of the house on Oak Lee Road to reveal itself bit by bit. The author is a master of taking an everyday, normal object and twisting it into a horrific monstrosity—Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews

A page-turning, emotional book with shades of Stephen King's IT and the best parts of Peter Straub's KOKO. Thomas Flowers has written an extremely personal book of friendship, loss, and trauma that deserves praise not just for its sharp characterization but also its brutal honesty.” – Duncan Ralston, author of Salvage, on Dwelling


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I received a free copy of Conceiving (Subdue Book 3) as part of the publicity tour run by the lovely Erin over at Oh, for the Hook of a Book.

 

If you’re a media site, blogger, or radio/podcast host, and you’d like to feature Thomas S Flowers or review Conceiving please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.



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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Review: Emerging by Thomas S Flowers






Emerging (Subdue Book 2) by Thomas S. Flowers


My Rating:


Many of the things I pointed out in my review for book one also apply to book two. Like book one, due to my own personal taste, I kind of zoned out a little during the military flashbacks etc. The music and movie references are still prevalent and the characters still at times overshadow the story progression, but there are more horror elements to this one and the story progresses quite a bit more. The ending resolves better than the previous book while still leaving enough there for the story to continue, and there's no huge cliffhanger like before thank goodness!

Emerging does, however, read more like an extension of book one rather than a book in its own right. I still believe book one and two would benefit from being tidied up and merged into one.



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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Review: Dwelling by Thomas S. Flowers




Dwelling (Subdue Book 1) by Thomas S. Flowers

My Rating:


Choosing what to rate this one created a bit of a dilemma for me. On its own, I can't say I loved it, or particularly enjoyed it, but I did finish it. I'm honestly not sure if I would have gone ahead and read the next in the series, but because I already had book two and three on my kindle I figured why not? Thankfully, the series did get better as the story progressed.

It took me quite a while to get into Dwelling. Partly because there was a lot of military flashbacks and scenes which I'm personally not a fan of, but also because it felt like there was too much character building and backstory within the book and not enough actual story progression. The progression of the story was buried underneath all the characters, world building, and backstory, which incidentally was being told to the reader rather than being shown or experienced alongside the characters. There wasn't enough story progression there for me and when the story and pace did finally begin to pick up, it was all over. The book stopped mid-story, finishing rather abruptly with no conclusion, and on a cliffhanger to boot.

There was also a lot of music and movie references throughout that I feel were being overused as a tool to take the reader back to a certain period in time. I found myself starting to get irritated at how often they were used. I found the same problem with different descriptive aspects within the story. It was rather repetitive at times.

As mentioned above, the repetition, character building, and backstory overshadow the main storyline and I feel book one and two would benefit from being tidied up and merged together. It would, in my opinion, have created a much better and more complete reading experience.


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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Review: The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse



The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse

My Rating:


 


 
As part of the TBR Canine Jar Challenge, The Taxidermist's Daughter was chosen by Mae. I have to say, she didn't choose very well this time.
 


I was disappointed with The Taxidermist's Daughter. I found it to be dull, slow, and easily forgettable.

The characters were flat, under established and faceless. They merged into one another rather than standing out as individuals. The plot was dull and uneventful and plodded along extremely slowly. There was no tension or anticipation. No thrill of a mystery being unravelled and revealed. Nothing to draw me in. I honestly didn't care who did what to whom and the conclusion was as much of a let down as everything that came before.

There were, however, small parts where the portrayal of the surroundings stood out. The descriptions of the environment really shined at certain points. It was dark and stormy and created a wonderful gothic atmosphere, but sadly this was a rare occurrence. Like the characters, the different settings were all very similar and merged into each another.

Overall, I found The Taxidermist's Daughter to be dull and tedious and not one I would recommend.




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Monday, 6 February 2017

Review: Homegoing: A novel by Yaa Gyasi





Homegoing: A novel by Yaa Gyasi

My Rating:



I would like to thank Penguin Books (UK) for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

Unpopular opinion time. I've had several friends recommend this book to me saying that it blew them away, but I have to admit I struggled with the format.

Homegoing tells an important story but I wasn't able to completely immerse myself into the story because of the format in which it is told. Each chapter is in itself a brief short story, a small snapshot from each generation, but it was too disjointed for me as a whole.

I got rather lost and frustrated. I had a problem keeping track of the characters and I had to keep referring to my notes. Each chapter is devoted to one character per generation, following two generations. The chapters are only around twenty'ish pages long so I didn't get to spend much time with the characters and as a result, I didn't get to know them in the way I would have liked to, or needed to. There wasn't time to get to know them on an emotional level or to be able to fully relate to their struggles and experiences. The story was in a constant state of change. This started to really annoy me, I was forever having to remind myself which family line I was on and which generation of that family line the character descended from. I found myself consistently being pulled out of the story with every new chapter.

I'm a character reader, I need to connect and feel for the characters and in this instance, because of the format, they weren't detailed or in depth enough for me to be able to do that.




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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Review: The Blood Gospel by James Rollins





The Blood Gospel by James Rollins
 
My Rating:






As part of the TBR Canine Jar Challenge, The Blood Gospel was chosen by Mae. I have to say, she did pretty well with this choice. Much better than her previous choice.


 For the most part, I enjoyed The Blood Gospel and flew through in no time. Sure it wasn't completely original, but it was different enough that I read it in two sittings. It's pretty fast paced, the whole story takes place over a few days and a lot happens in those few days.

The one thing that ruined it for me was the romance. It didn't need the romance and it certainly didn't need a love triangle. I do wonder sometimes why romance is thrown into books like this. I purposely look for books without romance. Why ruin a perfectly decent thriller? Is it to appeal to female readers? You do realise not every female likes to read romance right? This female found it completely unappealing, unbelievable, and out of place. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but in a situation like the characters found themselves in, the last thing that would be on my mind and the last thing I want to read about is constant inner thoughts about how a man's lips look, how their hair glints in the sunlight, how blue their eyes are, how the heat radiates off their skin, the list could go on and on... They were fighting their attraction at every step while evading the enemy, surrounded by chaos, wounded, in pain, and exhausted. It's ridiculous. It was extremely cringy and unbelievable and it certainly lowers my rating quite a bit.

That being said, I do plan on reading the next in the series because, aside from the romance, the main plot was enjoyable and I want to know what's to come. I just hope the romance is a lot less eye roll and gag worthy in the next instalment.



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Saturday, 21 January 2017

Review: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides






Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

My Rating:




 

As part of the TBR Canine Jar Challenge, Middlesex was chosen by Enya. So far she's chosen The Exorcist which was a 5-star read and now Middlesex which I have to say I struggled with.

There is a lot of reading to this one. It's not that it's over-written per se, more that it's over told. It was hard work and I struggled to get through it. For every 100 pages read, it felt like 1000. The author kept going off on tangents, throwing in facts or history which weren't necessary. It was extremely annoying to have to wade through all this extra information while still keeping track of the narrative. It pulled me away from the characters and their stories every time. So much so, that I had to force myself not to skim these sections. It would have been a much faster and a more enjoyable read without the tangents and history lessons.

That being said, I did enjoy the storyline. When the author stuck to the characters and their stories it was an enjoyable read, but way too often it was interrupted by everything else. I wanted to read on to learn what happened to the family. I enjoyed getting to know each generation and seeing how their experiences were influenced by the generation before. Had the book concentrated on this and had all the other stuff removed, I would probably recommend it. As it is, It's not one I would recommend.



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