Oblivion Storm (The Grenshall Manor Chronicles, #1) by R.A. Smith

Oblivion Storm (The Grenshall Manor Chronicles, #1) by R.A. Smith

Published by Xchyler Publishing

A very good page turner, that kept me reading and wanting to read more.

The novel has some very well constructed characters and a plot that draws you on. While the led characters are all female they are well written and are not just 2D ciphers used to express an opinion, but are rounded and well developed. This I note particularly as the author achieves 4 well developed characters who I hope to read more of in the next volume of The Grenshall Manor Chronicles.

The plot has a good pace to it, and the movement between the historic and present period does not jar or seem forced. With both stories developing in tandem until they full resolve in the climax of the book. The dialogue is well paced and used well, with the text used to inform but not just info dump on the reader. The near now setting of London works well and the urban fantasy and paranormal elements draw in well.

As a side note, and not yet having read the next book in the series I do hope that one of the walk on parts (the morgue attendant) is explored further.


Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger

In this book Ms Gail Carriger has a nice approach to the whole urban fantasy crossed with steam-punk style, and I’d look forward to reading more of the Parasol Protectorate books. The plot moves with pace, and is a very nice pulp style to it as well, making for an enjoyable read. The setting is well thought out and there are some nice characters sketched out in the text. Some of the content would give the an 18 rating, but it is well treated and with humour.

Flashman at the Charge (Flashman Papers, #4): George MacDonald Fraser

Here we have the fourth instalment of the memoirs of Harry Flashman, where he manages to rise from the rank of Captain to that of Colonel. The book follows Flashman to the Crimea and the Charge of the Light Brigade, and then on to as he hints to save India for the empire. Again we see Flashman being the hero despite his best efforts to avoid it all. Also we get to meet one of Flashman’s fellows from Rugby School

I have to say one of the joys – aside form the main plot – of these books is the historical footnotes, which make the book feel more solid in what comes up.

Dragonfly Falling (Shadows of the Apt, Book Two): Adrian Tchaikovsky

This is the second of the Shadow of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky,  set in a nicely created fantasy world.


The book picks up where the first one left off, with the whole cast of characters moving on with what they where doing. While some new characters do come in, it is good to see the development of the existing characters. Here there is some solid character development – I especially like Totho’s story.

We also get to see more of the nations of the world, and see that not only are the characters well built, but the world they inhabit is as well.

The development here is good, however the book is clearly part of the series, and I think would not make as much sense if the first book in the series was not read first.

The Awful Secret (Crowner John Mystery #4): Bernard Knight

The forth in the Crowner John Mystery series by Bernard Knight, takes us on a new thread, again it follows on from the book before – Crowner’s Quest – but takes us into the intrigue of the Knights Templar, which does seem to be more of side plot that took over from the main one about pirate on the north coast and around Lundy. Again the book moves at a good pace, but the plot does seemed rather forced around the Templar matters.

Windup Girl

The Windup Girl – Review

An interesting read to start with, drops the reader straight into the near future world of a post oil civilisation, and the issues raised by this.

The main characters seem well constructed, and the plot moves at a nice pace. It is not quiet the action thriller page turner, but it is also not so slow that I want to put it down all the time. The chapters are a nice length, and allow for the reading of one or two before bed.

The characters while at times a feeling like they are simply filling a space, do have depth in parts. Some that comes out as the book goes on.

In general I’d say this is good read and worth looking up.