Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Dark Knight: The Master Race by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello - Review

Finally I can talk about this book!! I was so excited to be approved to read this book early and I have been waiting to share my review ever since. I am a huge Batman and DC fan (well all comics really) and Frank Miller is one of the all time greats. 

The Dark Knight: Master Race

It's been three years since the Batman defeated Lex Luthor and saved the world from tyranny, Three years since anyone has seen Gotham City's guardian alive. Wonder Woman, Queen of the Amazons...Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern...Superman, the Man of Steel...all of the Dark Knight's allies have retreated from the front lines of the war against injustice. 

But now a new war is beginning. An army of unimaginable power led by Superman's own daughter is preparing to claim Earth as it's new world. 

Batman - the only hero that can stop this master race - is dead. 

Long live the new Batman...

(Collecting the full nine-issue miniseries and its mini-comic tie-in issues, Batman: The Dark Knight - Master Race features incredible artwork from comics icon Andy Kubert (Flashpoint), as well as Klaus Janson (The Dark Knight Returns), John Romita Jr. (All Star Batman), Eduardo Risso (100 Bullets) and Frank Miller himself!)

My Review

This book blew me away. 

I'll start with the cover, I think the stark contrast between the black and white and the simplicity of the picture is extremely striking and eye-catching. I could quite happily look at it all day and it will be a beautiful addition to anyone's collection. 

To continue with the art, it's all outstanding the whole book through and the different styles of the artists are very distinctive. There's one page with Diana (Wonder Woman) fighting a minotaur and it is one of the most stunning pages I have ever seen. I've been back to look at that page more than once since my first read through of the book. 

The story is masterfully written. Between the art and the dialogue it's a perfect match. There was twice where I actually choked up, there was so much emotion on the pages. I loved the different big bad and how it was used in almost a mirror as to a lot of what is going on in real life. The panels with tweets, texts and news broadcasts were genius and added to the real life feel I got from the story. 

(Images are all credited to DC Entertainment) 

I loved the cast of characters used in Master Race, it was really good to see Atom and Hawkman and Hawkgirl, though even in passing. It was also really good for the spotlight to be on Carrie Kelley and to see her growth and maturity over the whole story. It was interesting to see Lara used in the way she was and her relationship with her mum and dad. I even loved the darker and more sinister Hal Jordan and the journey he had to go on alone to find himself again. 

I can't very well review The Dark Knight without mentioning the Dark Knight himself. I thought the depiction of old and broken Bruce going on a kind of last quest to rid the world from this new and dreadful evil was brilliant. He was grumpy, he was snarky and he had some amazing speeches and one liners. I will always love Batman, old or young and this version I thought was great. 

I may have gushed more than usual in this review, but overall I think this is an outstanding collection and one I will most certainly be revisiting again in the future. 

I gave the book 5 stars. 

About The Author

Frank Miller is an American writer, artist and film director best known for his film noir-style comic book stories. He is one of the most widely-recognized and popular creators in comics, and is one of the most influential comics creators of his generation. His most notable works include Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One and 300.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Race To The Kill by Helen Cadbury - Blog Tour Review

Today on Life Of  A Nerdish Mum I am absolutely honoured to be part of the blog tour for Race To Kill by Helen Cadbury. Helen sadly passed away in June 2017 and this is her final book. She was a fabulous author and by all accounts a wonderful person too. 

Race To The Kill 

It is the middle of a long night shift for PC Sean Denton and his partner PC Gavin Wentworth when they are approached by a dishevelled-looking woman desperate that they follow her. She leads them to the old Chasebridge High School where they find the dead body of a Syrian refugee. The investigation which points to the neighbouring greyhound stadium finds Denton caught up in a world of immigration, drugs and sexual abuse, and one in which his private life becomes increasingly entwined.

My Review

Race To The Kill gripped me right from the first page. I was instantly drawn in and I wanted to know what had happened. The writing in this book is absolutely fabulous, I've never visited Doncaster, but I really got a feel of the place and felt like I'd actually visited instead of just read about it. 

I thought the characters were all excellent. Though this is the third book in the Sean Denton series, there is still character development and though previous cases are mentioned, this could easily be read as a stand alone novel. (Though obviously they are all excellent so you should really read all of them). Sean, the main character is really well balanced and is very human. I'm really fond of him and he's definitely someone I would get on with in real life. I loved the snippets of information that we get to know about Khan and Knowles and I think they're both really interesting characters. 

The story is incredibly plotted out and for the first time in a long while, I had an AHA moment and actually commented out loud. It's really clever. I also enjoyed how there was more than one story going on, but not too much that would detract from the main action or enough so you could get confused. 

I absolutely loved this book and I really didn't want to put it down and I didn't want it to end. I was sad several times throughout the book as I came across parts that I thought "OOh I can't wait to see how that pans out" and then realised that I'll never know as this is the last book. The book community has lost one of its greats. 

I gave this book 5 stars. 

About The Author

Helen Cadbury wrote fiction, poetry and plays. She worked as an actor before becoming a teacher. She divided her time between writing, teaching in a women’s prison and delivering training in youth arts. She had an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam University. Helen grew up in Birmingham and Oldham. After living in London for many years, she moved north and settled in York, where she lived with her family. Helen Passed away in June 2017.

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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The Case Of The Missing Bride by Carmen Radtke - Blog Tour Review

I'm very happy to be taking part in the blog tour for the fabulous The Case Of The Missing Bride by Carmen Radtke. 

The Case Of The Missing Bride

When a girl goes missing on board of an ocean liner, only one person is convinced that the disappearance is no accident.

Alyssa has found herself with a group of impoverished girls who are embarking from Australia to Canada in the hope of marriage. As the daughter of a senior official, Alyssa doesn’t share this goal. She hopes to return to England via Canada.

But the girls all share one problem. Their presence on the ship is not know to many of its passengers but their worlds collide when one of the gentlemen discovers them. Then Emma, one of the intended brides, goes missing. Alyssa is convinced the disappearance is no accident, and will risk her own life to search for the killer.

What happened to Emma? Is there a murderer on board the ship? 

Alyssa is about to discover that there is more to her voyage than she bargained for.

My Review

Historical fiction is a relatively new genre for me and I have been loving delving into it and trying out different themes and authors. The Case of The Missing Bride is a historical fiction crime novel and it was absolutely wonderful. 

I was blown away by the writing in this book and I thought the language was eloquent and beautiful. I thought there was enough description without overwhelming as to dress and world and I was sucked into the atmospheric feeling aboard the Artemis' Delight, I could feel the movement of the boat and the almost claustrophobic feeling of being alone with a group of strangers in the middle of the ocean. 

Alyssa is a really well rounded character and I really enjoyed joining her on her journey and trying to solve the mystery regardless of her own safety. Her upper class breeding really came through in comparison to the other girls, though she was kind and really cared for her temporary charges. There were little things throughout that she did to make the other girls lives slightly easier or better that really endeared her to both the characters and to me as the reader. 

I can't go too much into the story as it's a mystery and I certainly don't want to spoil anything, but it is extremely well written and well plotted out. I was kept enthralled and was on the edge of my seat at different points. 

Overall an excellent book and one I'm extremely glad to have discovered and read through Bloodhound books. 

I gave this book 5 stars. 

About The Author

Carmen has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously high pile of books and newspapers by her side.
She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter.
When she found herself crouched under her dining table, typing away on a novel between two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, she realised she was hooked for life.
The shaken but stirring novel made it to the longlist of the Mslexia competition, and her next book and first mystery, The Case Of The Missing Bride, was a finalist in the Malice Domestic competition in a year without a winner.
Carmen was born in Hamburg, Germany, but had planned on emigrating since she was five years old. She first moved to New Zealand and now lives in York, UK, with her daughter, cat, and sometimes her seafaring husband comes home.

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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Dan Knew by F J Curlew - Blog Tour Review

I've been looking forward to this blog tour for a while and I'm happy to be finally sharing my review of Dan Knew by F J Curlew as part of the blog tour. 

Dan Knew

A Ukrainian street dog is rescued from certain death by an expat family. As he travels to new countries with them a darkness grows and he finds himself narrating more than just his story. More than a dog story. Ultimately it's a story of escape and survival but maybe not his.

The world through Wee Dan's eyes is told in a voice that will stay with you long after you turn that last page.

The animals in this book are all real, as are their stories. The people's names have been changed to protect their privacy. Fact or fiction? Well, dogs can't talk, can they?

My Review

Oh boy, this book! This book tore my heart out and made me fall in love all within 331 pages. I warn you that you will need tissues both for tears of laughter and sorrow. 

I was so naive going into Dan Knew, I was aware that it was a book from the perspective of a dog, but I tend not to read the synopsis just before reading a book as I like to try and go in knowing as little as possible. What I didn't know was that this was a book that not only looked at life and the world through the eyes of a different species, but also took a look at how complicated and heartbreaking life is. 

The writing is very well done and though it is through the eyes of a dog, it's very easy to read and it's interesting to see how F J Curlow has imagined (or did Dan really talk) that Dan saw and understood the world. I was sucked in from the first page and I had to drag myself away when it was time to put the book down as I became so invested in the lives of Dan and his family, both human and canine alike. Each character is captured beautifully and I've come away feeling like I really knew each and every one of them.

I thoroughly enjoyed Dan Knew and I recommend this to absolutely everyone! 

I gave this book 5 stars. 

About The Author

Fiona dropped out of school aged 15, because being the consummate rebel, she hated it! After becoming a single parent she decided to return to education, graduating in 1996 with an honours degree in primary education. Ah, the irony!

As soon as she graduated she packed everything she owned into her Renault 11, including her daughter, two dogs and a cat, and headed off to Estonia to become an international school teacher. After fifteen years of teaching, predominantly in Eastern Europe, she returned to the UK .

She now lives on the east coast of Scotland with two Scottish rescue dogs and a disgruntled Portuguese cat.

Fiona is the author of two books:
To Retribution – A love story/political thriller set in times of turmoil.

Dan Knew – A fictionalised account of her travels told through the eyes of Dan, her rescued Ukrainian street dog.

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Friday, 1 September 2017

Kimmy The Koala by Graham Swan - Blog Tour Review

After a busy summer holiday, Life Of A Nerdish Mum is back today with a vengeance and I'm starting off on the blog tour for Kimmy The Koala Helps The Honey Bees by Graham Swan. 

Kimmy The Koala Helps The Honey Bees

This is the story of Kimmy the Koala helping the honey bees in Summertown Wood.

My Review

Kimmy The Koala is a very topical children's book and deals in simple terms about how we can help bees to keep producing honey and pollinating flowers in the future. It also covers briefly how bees make honey. I like books for children that have some educational purposes and that cover important topics at a relevant level, so Kimmy The Koala certainly ticked those boxes for me. 

I thought the map was a really nice touch and it would help children picture where everything was and it could also be used as a learning tool to ask children questions after the story had been finished. 

The only minor criticism I have as an adult, is that the art style was not my cup of tea. It's certainly not bad and it's bright and eye catching, it's just not in a style that I favour. 

Overall a really fun book that covers an important topic and one that could lead to more learning and fun outdoors to plant your own flowers to help the bees do their jobs. 

I gave this book 4 stars. 

About The Author

Graham Swan has worked as a graphic designer in the UK and is currently a college lecturer in Fife, Scotland. He currently lives in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. This is his first published book.

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Sunday, 13 August 2017

Pay The Penance by Rob Ashman - Blog Tour Guest Post

Today Life Of A Nerdish Mum is taking part in the blog tour for Pay The Penance by Rob Ashman, the third book in the Mechanic Trilogy. 

Pay The Penance

Murder. Corruption. Revenge.  

Lucas has been tracking a killer, known as Mechanic, when his world is shattered. Unable to continue his hunt for the murderer he is forced to rely on his friend and colleague Dick Harper. But Harper has a knack for not playing by the rules. He doesn’t disappoint. 

Meanwhile Detective Moran is trying to piece her life back togetherThe police stumble upon new evidence without grasping its significance. She has to divert the investigation if she is to survive. 

The police are closer to Mechanic than they realise which putMoran right in the firing line. 

Mechanic, as usual, has other plans and the consequences for Lucas and Harper are terrifying… 

Guest Post - House-husband and writer.

I am lucky enough to be able to write full time. My wife Karen has a responsible job and works hard to keep me in the luxury to which I have become accustomed, so I have taken on the responsibility for running the house. Well, it seems only fair.

My day starts at 6am when the radio goes off for the news. I get up, make tea and fix Karen’s pack lunch while she gets ready for work. Then I make a start around 6.30.

If I am in full blown writing mode the words start flowing straight away. It’s as if my characters have been waiting for me to wake up and they compete for my attention, each one eager to tell me their side of the story. I write in bed until about 8am, then get up and have breakfast and check my social media.

By 9am I am back at my desk, well when I say my desk, I mean whatever room feels right. I write in the dining room, my office, the lounge, the kids bedrooms and out on the patio when the weather is good. I find that helps to keep the dreaded writer’s block at bay. I also write in two local cafes and the library. I like to keep moving around, it keeps my thinking fresh.

I normally stop for lunch at midday while catching up with the news and respond to Facebook and Twitter messages. Though sometimes I am so engrossed in my writing that I lose all sense of time. This normally culminates with me running out of steam and starving hungry, I look up from my work to find it’s 2.30pm and I haven’t moved.

I try to be really disciplined with social media because it eats up the time. To help this I switch off the wifi on my laptop to ensure I am not tempted when I should be writing. If I want a break I do the food shop or the washing which helps me get things straight in my head for the next time I am sat at my keyboard.

The time flies by and in the blink of an eye it is 6pm when I stop to prepare dinner. Cooking is a great source of relaxation for me, I reckon I am really a frustrated chef.  If I am on a roll I will start work again at around 8pm and write until I’m done. There are times when I finally pack away my laptop in the small hours of the morning. When the voices are in full flow you have to go with it.

My friends are hugely supportive of my writing and are always asking how I have spent my day. I tell them that I watch day time TV in between taking naps. They are fine with that.

About The Author

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Rob is delighted that all three books in the Mechanic Trilogy will be published with Bloodhound Books in 2017.

Those That Remain  –  22 June
In Your Name            –  13 July
Pay The Penance     –  8 August

Rob now writes full time and has recently completed his fourth novel titled Faceless.

To Connect With Rob Ashman

Twitter tag : @RobAshmanAuthor

Facebook author page : Rob Ashman Author

Website link : www.robashman.com

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Saturday, 5 August 2017

Double Jeopardy by M.A. Comley - Blog Tour Review

When I heard that there was a new M.A. Comley book coming out and it was the next in the Hero series, I waved my arms around wildly to make it known that I was really looking forward to reading it. Therefore I am extremely happy to be taking part in the blog tour from Double Jeopardy today and sharing my review. 

Double Jeopardy

Successful entrepreneur, Ross Spalding, has everything to live for; a thriving business, a stunning new home, and a high society wedding to his beautiful fiancĂ©e to look forward to in the coming months. That is, until his life comes to an abrupt, gruesome end. 

DI Hero Nelson and his team need to dig deep to find the reasons behind someone wanting Ross Spalding dead. As more people connected to Ross also die, some in suspicious circumstances, the suspect list grows beyond all expectations, until a major clue presents itself and spins the investigation off in a totally new direction.

However, Hero’s personal life is also dealt a major blow when his parents are faced with a life or death situation. He is forced to put his personal problems aside when the murderers are revealed and Hero is faced with a tight deadline in which to apprehend them.

My Review

Double Jeopardy is the fourth book in the Hero series, but don't let that put you off as it can very easily read as a stand alone (though I do recommend you read the previous three first as they are all very good). There are some things mentioned from In Plain Sight, but nothing that takes you out of this story.

During In Plain Sight, I really struggled to bond with Hero, but that all went out the window in Double Jeopardy and I really enjoyed and liked him as a character. I couldn't tell you what was different this time, but I am very happy that I now like him as I said last time, he's a nice guy and a good detective so I don't know what my problem was. 

As well as having quite a big case going on, Hero has a lot of personal things going on and it was really nice to see the interactions with his wife, children and family. It was interesting seeing him deal with things that are happening and how he tries to balance them with making sure he's doing his job to his best ability. His wife is so supportive and that's so good to see in crime novels as you see a lot of single detectives (both male and female). 

The opening sequence is gripping and I instantly liked Ross Spalding and was rooting for him, even knowing that his end was coming. It was so well written though, I really hoped the synopsis was wrong and that he was fine! Even though it was only a short opening chapter, I really felt that his character was well fleshed out. 

Overall another brilliant book and one that I couldn't put down as I really wanted to see what had happened and who had done it! A definite recommendation to me. 

I gave this book 4 stars. 

About The Author

New York times, USA Today, Amazon Top 20 bestselling author, iBooks top 5 bestselling and #2 bestselling author on Barnes and Noble. I am a British author who moved to France in 2002, and that's when I turned my hobby into a career. I'm fortunate to be represented by a top New York agent.

I share my home with two crazy dogs that like nothing better than to drag their masterful leader (that's me) around the village.

You can find out more about me at the following blogs.



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