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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Book Review: Bound (Alex Cain #1) By Alan Baxter

I kind of know Alan Baxter. We’ve met at conferences and chatted over the internet. I went to the book launch for Bound in Sydney, bought a copy and had it signed by Alan. I then put that in a box and down loaded a free kindle version and read it.

Before anything else, I have to say the Bound is a great read.

I came to the book with a little trepidation. Because I know Alan a little I know the type of stuff he writes. I thought I’d read some of his work before, but I cannot remember what. I’m not a fan of horror and Dark Fantasy has to be really good for me to get into it, so Alan is not quite my normal style of author. However, the little I know of Alan I like and a lot of people I know say he’s a great writer. I agree with them

Bound is a tight, fast paced, actioned packed story. A, ‘I cannot put this down’, read.

Alex Cain is an illegal kick boxing fighter who can see what his opponents intends. This gives him the edge to win almost all his fights. It also gets him in the bad books with a local crime boss because he won’t throw fights. To get away from the crime boss, Alex accepts a weird offer for a trip to England from a, stereo typical, old man with magical powers.

Alex is the type who does not believe in magic, but he soon has no choice. He quickly learns that he has a real gift for magic. This gift finds him bound to an ancient evil book that wants to use him for extreme violence and then kill him. He needs to find a way to get unbound. The only person he can turn to for help is a beautiful blond girl who is only half human and eats people. Discovering magic is real is not a fairy tale for Alex.

I really loved this book. It’s the first of three and I’ve already finished the second (review coming soon) and have the third on pre-order with Amazon. It’s has a story that sucks you in and keeps you reading. It has great main characters and brilliant villains. Everything you want in a good story.

It’s not perfect. Some of the minor characters at the start are a bit cliché, but they don’t hang around for long. Also, Alan enjoys the more colourful side of the English language and so do his characters. There is a lot of graphic violence, which I didn’t mind too much but some might. There is also a lot of sex, although it is not described in detail which I was glad about. (Am I strange to not mind graphic violence, but cringe at the hint of graphic sex?) Lastly, I find the colourful language completely unnecessary. If it wasn’t there I won’t miss it and I don’t believe it adds anything to gritty nature of the story. It’s just my view.

If you’re into fast stories with a lot of action and great characters, then give Bound a go. I loved it.

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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Book Review: Backworlds book 3: Boomtown Craze By M Pax
The adventure of Craze and his crew continue in Boomtown Craze, the 3rd book in the Backworlds series.

Book 3 brings a lot of new stuff to the series. New, and very interesting, characters, new worlds and a whole lot of new problems Craze. It also gives the reader multiple POV’s for the first time. In books 1 & 2 everything was told from Craze’s POV, but this completely changed in book three, and it’s a good thing. It’s good because the story expands beyond just Craze and other members of the cast get to go on their own adventures (although they might not see them as adventures) and the reader gets to experience new worlds. It’s also good because we are given some insight into motivation and history of some of the incredible beings that inhabit this universe.

The story itself also expands with this new diversity. In this book it begins to look like a Space Opera. The first two books were good Sifi stories, but were narrow in that they centred on Craze’s journey. Book 3 continues his journey, but brings us much more. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the story grows.

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Monday, 4 August 2014

Writing Journal: A little story published


I've just had another little story published. It's in the August addition of of the sifi flash fiction webzine AntipodeanSF. It is my third story published there.

The story, A matter Og Technique, features a character I created over 30 years ago. Back then I was making up characters for comic books, which was what I mostly read at that time. I still remember all of them.

The character, Og, is a giant demon/human half breed with super hard skin and incredible strength. His human mother was not a willing participant in his conception. He only has one goal in life, to find his demon father and kill him. Dad does not want to be found.

In case you missed the link earlier, you can read the story here. If you read the story please let me know what you think.

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