Thursday, 31 January 2013

The E Book Revolution Will Be Televised and Streamed Live!

E books and E readers people either love them or hate them but they are here to stay. But were and how are they going to effect the book market.

I for one am a huge fan of my Kindle now reading over 75% of my books on the device. But yet I still do like to buy books for my library at home. But these are usually only my favorite authors that I already have sitting on the bookshelf and on subjects I am passionate about.

Last year I found numerous friends and family members purchasing E readers. If my little part of the world was going nuts for E readers and E books what was the rest of the world doing? After some research I discovered that there was an estimated 65 million E books sold wide world last year, this represents a doubling of sales compared to 2011. Why this is a huge jump, if we take time to look at various sale figures for top 50 books, E-books represent on average 20% of these sales. So by far traditional print books are still the industry standard. But if the E-book sale trend continues in its current course we may soon have parity of sales.

Now I can hear all you die hard traditionalist out there saying there is nothing like the feel of a book. Why I can’t argue with that in my mind the E books positives out weigh the negatives. Let’s have a look at my positive and negative aspect of E books.

Positives

ü                        You can read one handed (Allows more varied reading positions)          
ü                        No dog ears or wrecked cover
ü                        Vast selection of books to buy and have delivered instantly
ü                        Easy to research book and read reviews
ü                        Storage of many books on one device
ü                        Changeable font size (great when I am tired and take of my glasses)
ü                        Less to dust
ü                        Takes up way less space
ü                        I tend to able to read  E-books quicker
ü                        It let’s me buy more gadgets. I love gadgets
ü                        The price
ü                        Don’t loose your place in the book
ü                        Synchronization of reading place over numerous devices
ü                        Easier to pack when moving house


Negative

-                           Does not have that new book feel or smell
-                           Can not have an embossed cover (I love embossed covers)
-                           Can not through it at people that annoy you
-                           Can not sit on the shelf to impress people in how well read I am
-                           Maps and illustration are usually inferior to the printed copies
-                           Can not use it to steady a table
-                           Will not stop bullets or fend off Zombies
-                           Can not get your favorite author to sign it (e-signatures just aren’t the same)
-                           Can not lend it someone or trade them in

One great thing to come out of the E book revolution is the rise of the Indie Author. With self publishing becoming so much easier there is a smorgasbord of great authors and stories to sink your teeth into. I have read some fantastic stories all for 99c and without E books these would have never seen the light of day.

We are seeing and living through a book revolution and I am on excited to see were it takes us. I believe in the long run it will lead to a more vibrant and exciting world of books were both E books and Traditional print books will have their place.

Here Kitty Kitty!


Beginning of the End: Apocalypse Z by Manel Loureiro

This book was originally in Spanish and I would like to thank whoever translated it into English. Simply put this book rocks and ticks all the boxes for me. The story is told in a first person perspective as blog and journal entries, this works really well for this story. The story starts with a mysterious viral outbreak in Russia that quickly spreads across the world. What does the virus do? It turns people into Zombies.

We are taken through the breakdown of society as the world succumbs to the rule of the dead. The story of our hero is one of survival and despair as he tries to find a haven safe from the Zombies. I am not going to reveal too much of the plot because I do not want to spoil the fun. One thing I will say is our hero has companion throughout the story and it is a cat. It may be the fact that I am not a cat lover, but I kept waiting for the cat to become Zombie chow. All in all a very refreshing and entertaining read.

5 Stars

Monday, 28 January 2013

Ramblings of a Book Addict part 1


You may or may not have noticed that a lot of the books review on here gets a good rating. Why is this I hear you ask? It is due to yet another symptom of my book addiction. I spend a lot of time reading about books and authors and checking out other peoples reviews. My thought process behind this is that with so many books out there, why waste time with a crap one. It is true that I have done a few first time reviews but in these cases the author has impressed me either with their sell on the book, or their previous books.

With all this in mind, I am a sucker for an awesome book cover; it kicks in my compulsive buying gene.  Also as seen in a few of my reviews just because a book has sold well doesn't guarantee mean I will follow the herd.  A crap book is a crap book and I don't want to waste my time reading how good someone thinks they are. 

A Gripping Read



Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef


From start to the end this book reads like a Robert Ludlum best seller. The author takes us right into the inner world of Hamas, as only the son of one the movement leaders can. A disturbing view of the violence and the fear people live in it has made me appreciate more where I live.

The book follows the author’s life and the reasons that lead him to become a spy against his own people. The pain, fear, doubt, heartbreak and hope is palpable to the reader.

If I did not any better I would have never believed this book was a true story. I was left at the end of it with up most respect for the author and his courage to share what must be a painful story for him.

4 Stars

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Can You Forget?

Alex Bobl is a Russian author who's successful series of novels S.T.A.L.K.E.R was turned into an equally successful game franchise. Memoria is his first novel in English and has had mixed reviews. I for one enjoyed this book as it has some really great concepts contained within the pages.



Memoria by Alex Bobl

Memoria delivers a well polished gritty dystopian novel. Why the plot is familiar it has enough twist and turns to keep you on edge and entertained.

A man framed for murder tries to find out why and who has set him up. An evil corporation is behind it all. As the accused travels through the story he discovers an intricate plot to turn the citizens into mindless puppets. Can he stop them? Can he clear his name? You are going to have to read the book to find out the answers.
 
3.5 Stars

Monday, 21 January 2013

Do you feel sick?



The Flu by Jacqueline Druga

This book works its way into your system and does not let go. The Flu tells the tale of a killer flu accidently let loose upon the world; it highlights how fragile as a species we truly are. This is what scares you about this book, it has happened before and it is bound to happen again. A great cast of characters take us through this tale that has it all, action, romance, suspense and humour. Like the Flu this book leaves exhausted once it is done with you. But this is a good thing because it shows that you have just read a great book.

4 Stars 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Short Story


Whether you know them as a novelette or a short story, this style of writing has made a comeback in the era of e-books. They can act as a taster for indie authors or they can become a running series just like your favourite TV show. Whatever the reason they have become popular, I for one am a fan of this form of writing. So here is a small selection of some of my favourites.



A father battles through a city gridlocked with zombies to reach his home, and hopefully to save his family. The story ends with a cliffhanger that has you heading back to buy the next book.

4.5 Stars




This books starts off without taking a breath from the explosive end of the first book. It grabs you by your hand and drags kicking and screaming through the pages. Do I want more....HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!

4.5 Stars


A Dragon's path to Ascension by J.C Harker

A great short story that doesn't skimp on plot or action. An interesting and refreshing take on dragons, that engages the reader and sets the imagination free.


4 Stars


This short book packs one hell of punch. It tells the unknown story of the signature wound inflicted on troops in the current Afghanistan conflict. This wound is cause by the use of IED's on infantry and it's not what you think, hint take a look where the target is on the cover. The strength of character show by these soldiers suffering from this wound is truly humbling.

4 Stars





Friday, 18 January 2013

Hit the Afterburner


Viper Pilot by Dan Hampton


While this was an entertaining read about the career of one of the top F-16 pilots, I found his arrogance held me back from really enjoying this book. The author gives a great background to the plane and the missions he flew. His main role being a "Wild Weasel" pilot. This involves flying around trying to get a SAM fire at you so your wingman can take it out.

I have a new found respect for F-16 pilots after reading this back and was in awe of the skill and dedication it takes to fly one of these planes. But like I said his arrogance shines through in many parts of the book, and if I was a pilot of some of the other aircraft he talks about I would be more than annoyed. He tries to pass his arrogance off as confidence but I don't buy it. Still it was an enjoyable read giving you a great feel of what it is like to be a pilot during war time in this great plane.

3 Stars


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Kick Back and Enjoy


Voyage of the Dead by David P. Forsyth

Voyage of the Dead contains all the key elements expected from a book of this genre with a bit extra to boot. A great plot sails its way through a world turned into a zombie playground. A group find themselves safe and isolated from the outbreak in a rich man’s yacht, full of rich men toys. What would you do? Me I would sit it out in luxury, kick back have a beer and watch the world come to an end. Lucky for us the author had a different idea, guns, blood, helicopters and a world that needs saving. The author delivers a smart zombie book which will have me buying the next in the series.


3.5 Stars

Thursday, 10 January 2013

A Must Read

What a great start to 2013 with my second 5 star book of the year. This goes to further show that there are so many fantastic indie authors with great stories to tell. So why not give them a try.



Primae Noctis by Aimery Thomas

This is a difficult review to write as I don't want to pepper it with clichés and superlatives. But this book is epic in every sense of the word .

Aimery Thomas takes into a post-apocalyptic world were a dystopian society lives on lies and manipulation of a trusted few. All appears good on the surface but just beneath there is a more sinister and darker side. A cast of well-developed characters takes on a wild ride building up to a thrilling ending.

Yes the story does seem familiar in places and yes it is a long read. But the complexity of the story and the world the author build upon the pages had me enthralled all the way to the end. I wait expectantly for the next instalment of this epic saga. If you read only one book this year make it this one.

5 Stars

Monday, 7 January 2013

Author Interview


In late February I will be interviewing indie author Pam Funke and reviewing her upcoming book The World at War, book two of The Four Horsemen Series. While Christian fiction is not normally up my alley this thriller has caught my eye and looks like a great read. I will provide a link once this book is available for anyone interested in reading it; also feel free to send me any questions you would like to ask the author.

I am hoping to have more author interviews throughout the year, concentrating on indie authors and their work.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Beevor Delivers Again


It was with great excitement I opened up D-Day by Antony Beevor. Even though D-Day has been covered by most of the great World War II historians I was hoping that Beevor would deliver that special touch that only his books have, the perfect mix of history and first-hand accounts.


D-Day by Antony Beevor

With this refreshing and detailed look at D-Day, Beevor shows why he is one the best World War II historians around. With his usual mix of first-hand accounts and his analyse of the bigger picture the D-Day campaign is bought alive on the pages. From the planning stages to the liberation of Paris we see this decisive campaign from all sides. This book goes straight onto my classic shelf.

5 Stars