A non-book related update!

October 24th, 2014

So… I’ve hinted at why I’ve been absent from Fang lately (particularly if you also follow me on my personal twitter account), but I finally get to share the latest project I’ve been involved in!

Paul and David have been in the recording studio working on the debut EP release for their band “Solace”. Despite hearing these songs for three months solid, I’m still loving them. Yet, other than making an endless supply of coffee, my involvement only started once the studio work had finished, and they starting filming the video for “James Brown”.

I made a guest appearance (I’m still not sure how that happened, I was actively avoiding the cameras!), but was heavily involved in editing of the video once all the hard work of shooting and reshooting scenes was done.

It’s terrifying and exciting to see this released out into the wild, so, without further adieu… may I present James Brown by Solace.

[Warning: earworm alert]


Black Ice: A chilling thriller from Becca Fitzpatrick

October 1st, 2014

9781471118159Book Title: Black Ice

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Ali’s Thoughts

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After the success of Becca Fitzpatrick’s “Hush, Hush” teen paranormal romance series, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Black Ice, but found myself quickly engrossed in the world that was spun.

For fans of Hush, Hush, you’ll find the writing style similar, but the story very different. There are no paranormal elements, and the teen angst normally found in Young Adult stories of recent years is mostly missing.

In Black Ice we have two late teens, Britt and Korbie, who become stranded in a snow storm, get rescued by two guys in a cabin, then their situation goes from bad to worse. Black Ice is more light-thriller than romance, for all that I kept waiting for the moment where I got to throw the book across the room in disgust.

One of the things that appealed to me with this story was the strength of the characters. Although we find ourselves in the normal romantic setup, with Britt off with her kidnapper, she shows a normal amount of resilience and becomes a very believable character. Her ability to hike through snow storms in dense forest isn’t just left as a sudden bought of superhuman girliness, it’s because she’s actually put months of training in. Admittedly, she thought she’d be doing some pleasant day tramps, rather than serious gruelling hiking.

Becca Fitzpatrick also has a way of reading her readers minds, I’m sure she knew I’d been reading chapters snorting in disbelief, then suddenly, in one paragraph, she puts the plot elements together in a completely realistic manner and I had the joy of feeling like I’d been told to sit down, shut up, and enjoy the story. Which I did.

Many of the twists came out of the blue, not so much because the markers weren’t in the plot to be seen, but because of my expectations from having read Becca’s previous books and making assumptions.

Many heart in the mouth moments made this a constant page turner, and as the story unfolded, more layers were uncovered meaning reaching the end was both a blessing and a curse.

For readers that are looking for a less romance driven, more suspenseful story, this is just the ticket. I’m sure loyal fans of Becca Fitzpatrick will enjoy Black Ice, but I’m even surer that she’s going to pick up a lot of new fans through this one.

Book Blurb

Britt Phieffer has never been that adventurous, but that’s about to change. Wanting to impress her ex-boyfriend, Britt convinces best friend, Korbie, to take a trip with her and go trekking through the Grand Teton Mountains in Wyoming.
But when a freak storm leaves the girls stranded they seek shelter in a cabin, and find two knights in shining armour, Shaun and Mason, who are also hiding out.
But all is not as it seems, and Britt quickly discovers that the guys are there for reasons other than hiking…dangerous reasons that mean they need to get off the mountain, fast. In exchange for her life, Britt is forced to guide them down, and as they set out on a harrowing journey through the cold and snow, Britt realises the only way to get out of this alive is to pretend she is on their side. But playing nice is hard, especially when Britt is unsure whether Mason, gorgeous and sexy, is the enemy or an ally. And as she begins to lose track of who is in control it is only a matter of time before things turn deadly…

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Festive In Death – Ali’s thoughts on the new JD Robb

September 12th, 2014

Cover of Festive in Death by JD RobbBook Title: Festive In Death
In Death 39

Author: JD Robb

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Alison’s Thoughts:

No matter how vile the murder victim is, Lieutenant Eve Dallas claims them as her own and finding their killer is her first priority. Of course, sometimes I’m sure she wishes she could just walk away.

The In-Death series by JD Robb is futuristic-crime, with romantic elements, and varying degrees of “thriller” depending on the plot of each book. In “Festive In Death” the gore is low, and the body count sits at one, but sex crime is the focus.

Solving the crime allows for some rather interesting twists and turns in the plot, with an interesting conclusion, but I don’t think one reads a JD Robb novel for the whodunnit aspect; it’s more for the characters.

In Festive in Death our victim is personal trainer Trey Ziegler. By all accounts he was delish to look at, and a complete and utter wanker in every aspect of his life. It’s always interesting to see how Eve works when the victim is someone she doesn’t like. Part of the strength of her character comes from how personally she takes each murder, how intensely she claims the victims as their own, and brings their killer to justice. Yet… when the victim is a rather despicable piece of work…

As always, we have characters from previous books woven into the story. JD Robb doesn’t use a character and then throw them away; they’re reintroduced, built up, and allowed to form bonds that bring them into Eve’s expanding family.

It’s Christmas, and Christmas with Eve and Rourke is always interesting; the big shindig, which Eve tries to ignore until the last second, Peabody’s family eccentricities, the heartfelt gifts that bring the spirit of giving alive, “In Death” Christmas novels are always a delight. Festive In Death continues this tradition.

Overall – you don’t need to have read previous books in the series to enjoy the 39th (although I do always recommend reading book one, which is the book that introduces Eve and Rourke and brings them together, so sets up the entire series). If sex crimes are a trigger point for you, skip this one, otherwise it’s an excellently written story, with fantastic characters, and perfectly paced plot.

Description

The new Eve Dallas thriller, set at Christmas

The kitchen knife jammed into his cold heart pinned a cardboard sign to his well-toned chest. It read: Santa Says You’ve Been Bad!!! Ho, Ho, Ho! It’s Christmas, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas is in no mood to celebrate. While her charismatic husband Roarke plans a huge, glittering party, Eve has murder on her mind. The victim – personal trainer Trey Ziegler – was trouble in life and is causing even more problems in death. Vain, unfaithful and vindictive, Trey had cultivated a lot of enemies. Which means Eve has a lot of potential suspects. And when she and Detective Peabody uncover Trey’s sinister secret, the case takes a deadly turn. Christmas may be a festival of light, but Eve and Roarke will be forced once more down a very dark path in their hunt for the truth.

Format: Trade paperback (UK), 352 pages
ISBN: 9780349403670
Publisher: Piatkus Fiction
Publication Date: September 09, 2014

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Angelfall – Susan EE

September 9th, 2014

Cover of Angelfall by Susan EeAngelfall

Penryn and the End of Days # 1

Author: Susan Ee

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 Kaylee’s Review

You know those books you read that make you forget to live? Where you finish the book and you sit there for an extended period of time contemplating life and wishing you had short-term memory loss so that you could read the same book day in and day out so that it has the same devastating effect on you every single day? Except, when you read the book for the second time in that same day it still has that effect; it clings in your mind and it turns you into mush. Angelfall is captivating, it’s fast-paced, twisted, lovely and oh so perfect. I read Angelfall about a year and a half ago and expected it to rise to fame, but a year and a half later I’m still horrified that it hasn’t even got its own page on Fangtastic. [Ali's Edit: EEK! It does now] If that isn’t a life crisis then what is?

Angelfall is your not-so-typical post-apocalyptic romance. It starts of with the timid yet surprisingly badass Penryn whose world has been taken over by menacing, wild and destructive angels who have made Earth their home for the time being and have torn it to shreds. Early on in the story Penryn’s sister (who was crippled and could not use her legs, by fault of Penryn’s schizophrenic mother) is kidnapped by a gang of angels. Through these circumstances Penryn meets an angel named Raffe who joins Penryn in her adventure to the aerie(where the rest of the angels sip champagne, enjoy the company of human females and gossip about heavenly politics) where she intends on rescuing her sister.

From the beginning of the book it’s clear Raffe and Penryn have some serious sexual-tension even though they have a strong dislike for each other’s species and, more importantly, each other. As you can assume this leads to a very interesting dynamic between the two who love to hate and hate to love, which will send romantics(such as myself) into a frenzy. The romance between the two is not what hooked me though, instead it was the strong independence of Penryn who is determined to get what she wants and is quite different from your typical “I need him, he’s my everything” lass. Penryn being such a strong female character is that Raffe LET’S HER KICK-BUTT alongside him and the only thing that ever gets in the way of this is her human strength in comparison to his other-worldly strength, otherwise he sees her as an equal.

While it’s clear I’m always more affixed on the romance than every other thing, I also can’t handle a story that isn’t going anywhere. Angelfall is full of surprises diverse characters who have an “I’ll save myself before I begin to attempt to join/begin a revolution” which is not found in most stories. These characters, even though they’re schizophrenic, crippled, wingless, etc, are realistically human. In terms of an apocalypse most of us will happily live day to day, selfishly and safely, as opposed to fighting for the rights of humanity in an odds against your favor scenario.

Angelfall is filled with action and it has a dash of side-humor that adds to the character-building and helps you feel more attracted and attached to the characters. I’ve said this before: I love reading a book and wondering about the rest of the character’s stories. With every passing character, even the underdogs, I want to know what interesting stories Susan could have created for them because clearly they have something to say and something to listen to. Angelfall is busy and constantly changing, nothing stay dull or the same or constant; you can’t even rely on Raffe to stick around (mild spoiler). A book that’s not predictable, that’s complex and pushes the boundaries is a book worth recommending because it’s a book that’ll twist your heart in ways you don’t ever predict.

I have a challenge for anyone who reads this review, then reads Angelfall and loves it. I want you to spread the word about this book as hard and as fast as you can because it is a book worthy of five-stars, it’s a book worthy of Harry Potter style fame, it’s a book better than any other I have ever read and it deserves to be read by anyone and everyone. I recommended my boyfriend read it and he’s that “I don’t read, ever” type of reader and he loved it. This book isn’t specifically attractive to one gender, it isn’t specified to an age group and it attracts simple-readers and complex-readers alike. I promise anyone who reads this book will love it and you will feel so much physical attachment to the book that you may just want to grab some tissues, a punching bag and something to cuddle because it’s a rollercoaster of a book and I can’t promise you won’t have a mental breakdown in the process of it all.

 

Description

An action-packed and genuinely terrifying fantasy epic novel set six weeks after the world has succumbed to the angel apocalypse.

It’s been six weeks after angels of the apocalypse have destroyed the world as we know it. When enemy angels fly away with 17-year-old Penryn’s little sister, Penryn is forced to team up with Raffe, an injured angel who wants his wings back. Together, they will journey to the heart of San Francisco and the angels’ stronghold, where an unimaginable horror awaits them.

Format: B-format paperback, 336 Pages
ISBN: 9781444778519
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 28, 2013

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Concealed in Death – my thoughts on the new chilling book from JD Robb

July 2nd, 2014

Concealed in Death by JD Robb

Book Title: Concealed in Death
In Death 38

Author: JD Robb

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Ali’s thoughts

It’s been almost ten years since Rosie first introduced me to the writings of JD Robb, yet at book 37 in the series, I’m still enjoying every word.

The “In Death” series is not romance, but still has one of the most ‘romantic’ couples in Eve and Rourke, the cop and the (mostly) reformed badboy, the pauper and the billionaire. One of the reasons they remain a fantastic couple is the ways in which they balance each other.  It is this aspect of the In Death series that really keeps me hooked, for all that it usually only plays a side role within each story, Eve and Rourke are intricately linked within the plot. There is no contrivance to fit the plot to their relationship.

In Concealed in Death that link comes in the form of bodies being found in a property (one of many) that Rourke has bought. Rourke being Rourke, and being there when the bodies were found, takes this personally. Eve, being a homicide detective, and being Eve, is also going to take young girls murdered personally. Neither will rest until the killer is found.

As with any of the books in the series, if you’re a serious crime buff, the who-did-it aspect of the story is going to be far too simplistic. Although there are enough twists and turns to keep interest high, and enough emotional depth to keep tissue companies in business, for me the enjoyment in reading Concealed in Death comes from the engagement with the characters, it is their passion that leads the story. Although I will say I, for all that I was pretty sure I knew who did it, the way Eve brings everything to a conclusion still caught me.

Concealed in Death was very dark in places, the bodies of teenage girls have been found sealed up inside the walls of a disused halfway house for runaways. Although murder is never pleasant, the parallels that get drawn between these girls lives and Eves horrific ‘childhood’ take the emotional involvement of the reader to a new depth.

My only minor issue was the lack of Peabody’s main squeeze, McNab. I adore their interaction, and the public display of affection that annoys Eve in the most wonderful way. He makes an appearance, but only a minor one.

It’s hard to judge how someone who was picking this book up as their first introduction to the series would go, as part of my enjoyment is having watched the characters grow and develop over time, so some of the ‘in-jokes’ might be missed by a new reader, but I think the story itself stands up well as an introduction to the series. Or at least will most likely send a new reader back to the beginning to see where it all started. Think of it as a potential gateway drug to the wonderful In Death series. If you’re an old hand, no hard sell is required. You’ll love it.

Book Blurb

There is nothing unusual about billionaire Roarke supervising work on his new property – but when he takes a ceremonial swing at the first wall to be knocked down, he uncovers the body of a girl. And then another – in fact, twelve dead girls concealed behind a false wall. Luckily for Roarke, he is married to the best police lieutenant in town. Eve Dallas is determined to find the killer – especially when she discovers that the building used to be a sanctuary for deliquent teenagers and the parallel with her past as a young runaway hits hard. As the girls’ identities are slowly unravelled by the department’s crack forensic team, Eve and her staunch sidekick Peabody get closer to the shocking truth. . .

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