Archives

In the Tube by EF Benson

Format: Hardcover
Rating:  3 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

In this story, the narrator is visiting an Anthony Carling. After dinner, all the other guests leave, and the narrator remains as an overnight guest. Anthony is quite a philosophical character, and the discussion turns to time and eternity, how time is an invention, whereas eternity is outside of time. Then Carling goes on to describe some events he’s experienced that he believes prove that eternity does not follow the same conventions as time.

I felt it a bit of a stretch to include this story in a book about time travel, but there you go, that decision was not mine. As a story, yes. I quite enjoyed it. Pretty much a narration of supernatural events is my assessment – some events of which had not occurred at the time they were witnessed by Carling. So he saw a foreshadow of them, basically. Or precogged them. The story is well-written and easily accessible.

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The War Between by Jennifer Withers

Source: Amazon
Format: Kindle
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

I read this book some time ago now, so it’s long past time I wrote a review.

Set in South Africa between present-day Johannesburg and Pretoria, this book is a dystopian vision of the future. In essence, pure humans live in Pretoria, while superhumans live in Johannesburg. There is mention of other settlements, and one appears in the story, but the focus is on the two.

This was an entertaining read, and very well executed considering the complexity of the story. I would have liked to see some more character development, but apart from that, Withers covered all her bases and delivered a solid tale.

Creatus by Carmen DeSousa

CreatusSource: Own Collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Overall Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

As the sun’s rays peeked above the horizon, lighting the abyss below her, she inhaled a deep breath, closed her eyes, and jumped. She didn’t scream; she didn’t look down. As much as she hated her life, she hoped it wouldn’t end this way. She’d really like to see him one more time.

Her life didn’t flash before her eyes as she’d always heard. Just an image of her mother covered in blood and her Dark Angel telling her he was sorry.

What really attracted me to this book is the tag-line to the series – “The reason we believe in fairy tales – and monsters”.

At first glance, the Creatus may appear to be vampires, but as it turns out, that’s far from the case. My memory is hazy – comes of writing a review long after I’ve read the book – but if I recall, the Creatus crash-landed on Earth four thousand years ago (okay, so I got that from the blurb) and have worked to integrate into human society – as well as hide from it – over the millenia.

From They Exist we learned that Derrick has been watching over Kris since she was a little girl – since he saved her from certain death the night her mother was killed. Over the years since, she has lived in numerous foster homes, and is somewhat reckless given that she knows she has a “saviour” “out there”, and wants to meet him – she has learned that he only turns up when her life is threatened. So, not surprisingly, this book starts with her throwing herself off a bridge in a bid to bring him out into the open. Unknown to her, her action attracts the attention of a rogue Creatus, who discovers Derrick’s attachment to Kris.

This book is a fantastic read, and thankfully isn’t your run-of-the-mill vampire tale. In fact, forget vampires. The Creatus are something completely different. DeSousa’s writing is excellent, drawing one in to the tale with ease, and then one is trapped, following events as they unfold.

At times, especially in the first chapters of this book, Derrick can appear to be very controlling, trying to restrict Kris’s movements. However, one discovers that this is more out of a desire to protect her from a danger he cannot tell her about (for reasons that eventually become clear) than a desire to clip her wings, so to speak.

An excellent romantic suspense that leaves one wanting to read more.

Creatus: They Exist by Carmen DeSousa

Creatus - They ExistSource: Own Collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Overall Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

For four thousand years, creatus have concealed themselves from the humans who hunted them almost to extinction. Unwittingly, one creatus will endanger them all…

As with most of his family, Derrick Ashton knows his future and what position he’s destined to fill within his unique society. Everything changes, however, when he breaks one of his family’s strictest laws and falls in love-with a human.

In his quest to protect the woman he can never have, a twist of faith propels him into a new role that will cause dissension among his family and endanger the anonymity that they’ve strived for thousands of years to protect. Now, he will risk everything to save the girl from humans and his own kind. The one thing he can’t save her from, however…is herself.

This novella tells the story of how Derrick comes to be Kris’s Dark Angel, the person always there who looks out for her. I read this book before reading any of the other books in the Creatus series, and it has piqued my interest. Very intriguing, filled with hints of more to come, and quite a few surprises.

I definitely need to get on with reading the rest of the series now.

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Slave to SensationSource: Own collection
Format: Ebook
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Dive into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind – and none of the heart. In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of ‘rehabilitation’ – the complete psychic erasure of her personality . . .

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murder of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion – and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities – or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation . . .

This book was recommended to me by a huge fan of the Psy-Changeling series.

Sascha Duncan is a Psy, and daughter of a member of the Psy Council. The Psy have dedicated themselves to the eradication of emotion. But Sascha feels emotions, and her shields are beginning to show signs of wear as she grows older. Assigned to oversee a development run by Lucas Hunter, a Changeling, she finds herself among people who live and exude the sensations she must, as a Psy, deny herself. And yet she finds herself allowing sensation in, attempting to satisfy the cravings.

But there is so much more to this book than that. There’s a serial killer who is known by the Changelings to be Psy, and there’s a member of the Psy Council who wants to have a private chat with Sascha. And there are leopard cubs.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I began to read this story, but what I got out was an excellent, well-structured story with plenty of suspense, tension and, well, sensation. One of the things I really appreciated was how “sensational” (for want of a better word) it was. With Sascha’s obsession with and craving for sensation, Singh focused in on this beautifully, communicating Sascha’s need so well. This book wouldn’t have been the same without this element, and it totally reinforced the title. I also liked how protective Lucas is as a person. To a fault, in some instances, but for the most part his heart is in the right place.

An excellent read for those who love animal shifters and characters with psionic abilities. I will be looking out the next book in the series.