Category Archives: Novella

Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy”

519GslOS74L._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_

Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). Ms. McClain has published six novels or novellas. This is the second of her “Victoria Marmot” series.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novella as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Situations, and considerable Mature Language. The story is set in our contemporary world, but in an Alternate Timeline where magic is possible. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Victoria Marmot.

The story picks up almost immediately from where the first novella “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess” left off. Victoria and her brother, along with their friends, continue to battle with the Ministry of Magical Entities (MOME). Victoria not only learns a great deal more about her magical abilities, but she also finds that she has some rather deep attractions to both a boy and a girl she has met. That attraction proves to be reciprocated and the three eventually have a very intimate moment together.

I thought that the 4+ hours I spent reading this 222-page young adult fantasy were interesting. Both of the novellas I have read so far in this series have been a bit crazy. The character of Victoria Marmot is not one that I am drawn to. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novella a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Advertisements

Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess”

51UY82Vae8L

Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). Ms. McClain has published six novels or novellas. This is the first of her “Victoria Marmot” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains lots of Mature Language and some Mature Situations. The story is set in the contemporary US, but one that has magic. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Victoria Marmot.

Marmot has just begun her Senior Year at a new school in Flagstaff, AZ. She is living there alone in the house that her parents left her in their will. She is struggling to get through the first day in a new school when things start to go strange in a big way. While camping alone Gwen, a beautiful redheaded girl, pops up naked at Marmot’s campsite saying that she is Virginia’s “Narrator”. Then there is Edik, the young man in her class that turns out to be a vampire.

From that point, the story of Marmot’s life really begins to get crazy and she begins a quest. She finds she has magical abilities. She discovers that she has a sibling. She is attracted to both a boy and a girl that are helping her.

I thought that the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 269-page young adult fantasy were interesting. The character of Victoria Marmot is colorful. She does make a good main character, though she is far from what I would call normal. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Murder in Keswick”

51VKDUUBKcL

Book Reviews – “Murder in Keswick” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by William Todd. Mr. Todd has published seven novels and novellas.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novella as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the late 19th century in England. The primary characters are, of course, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.

Watson and Holmes are attempting to get away from London and their constant load of cases. Traveling to the Lake District is supposed to let them relax, but when they arrive they discover that a local has been found dead and his head is missing. They soon find themselves drawn into the strange case.

Was he murdered by the gypsies in the area? By a business competitor? By some other party set to reign terror on the local community? Only Holmes will be able to discover the who, and why of the murder.

I enjoyed the 3+ hours I spent reading this 178 page mystery. I read almost every novel with Holmes and Watson as the main characters I can find. This one is consistent with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s own stories.  The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Blood’s a Rover”

51tyF+rNhmL

Book Reviews – “Blood’s a Rover” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Harlan Ellison (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_Ellison). Mr. Ellison has published only nine novels or novellas but has published over 1,700 short stories since 1958. He has received numerous awards for his writing over the years.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in a post-apocalypse world. The primary characters are the young man Vic and his enhanced dog Blood.

Vic and Blood struggle to survive in the desolate wasteland of the future. Blood, his dog, has been enhanced allowing them to communicate telepathically, and Blood is clearly the more strategic thinker of the two.

After being separated, they find themselves together again. Soon, Vic is confronted with adding a third member to their team, Spike. Spike is a survivor like Vic. Reluctantly Vic lets the young woman join them and the duo becomes a trio.

I thought the 2.5 hours spent reading this 232 page novella was interesting. I had not read any of the prior works in the series, but this novella read pretty well on its own. That is not too unexpected since the last work in the series was published in 1980. I think the cover art is good as it both depicts the flavor of the story as well as having a vintage look. It is adapted from a screenplay, so the format is a little hard to read. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

 

Review of “The Berlin Affair”

51NWuUUzS0L

Book ReviewsWWIIWWII Timeline – “The Berlin affair” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by David Boyle. Mr. Boyle has 12 publications. This is the first in his “Xanthe Schneider Enigma thriller” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in England and Germany during 1940. The primary character is the young American woman Xanthe Schneider.

Schneider is recruited by British intelligence to travel to German in the guise of an American reporter. She is to determine if Ralph Lancing-Price, a former British government minister, is still a patriot to England or a traitor.

She finds more in Germany than she bargains for: Information about the secret German ‘Enigma’ coding device is revealed to her; She develops a romantic relationship with Lancing-Price; and Germany begins to mobilize its armies.

I thought the 3+ hours I spent reading this 121 page World War II spy thriller was interesting. This wasn’t a very compelling read. The story seemed to just amble along. I think it would have been better if it had been expanded into a full novel. The cover art is OK, but not very closely related to the story. I give this novella a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Continuum”

51hqInWawXL.jpg

Book Reviews – “The Continuum” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Wendy Nikel (https://wendynikel.com). Ms. Nikel has published two novels in her “Places in Time” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G’. In the future, time travel has been perfected, but it is being held as a closely guarded proprietary technology. The primary use has been for expensive, exclusive vacations in time. The primary character of this story is Elise Morley. This young woman is a history expert who is sent back in time to retrieve travelers who have gone astray.

She is kidnapped by a clandestine organization and forced by them to take a mission into the future. Here she is out of her element but must see the dangerous mission through. Can she succeed without altering the future?

I thought that this was an interesting 3 hour read of 207 pages. This was an enjoyable science fiction story. It read so quickly that it felt more like a novella than a full novel. I think that the cover art was a good choice. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Ironclads”

51ryzSEV9UL

Book Reviews – “Ironclads” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Adrian Tchaikovsky (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Tchaikovsky). Mr. Tchaikovsky has published 17 novels.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains Mature Language. The story is set in the not too distant future. The primary character is Sergeant Ted Regan.

A war is been fought in Europe and Regan is in the thick of it. It is not just the US agains a European power, but corporate forces are involved on both sides as well. The men and women from the leading families of the corporations are known as Scions. They wear ultra modern armor and carry advanced weapons, whether in their board rooms or on the battlefield. The armor makes them almost impervious to any attack.

Regan and a four others are picked to go deep behind enemy lines to find out what has happened to one of these Scions who has disappeared. The trail to where he disappeared is treacherous. As the small group tracks the Scion, they discover that the mission they have been given is not at all what it seems.

I thought the 3.5 hours I spent reading this 200 page science fiction novella interesting. The story certainly spins a different look at out future, with corporations having more control than governments. I thought that reading this story was a little challenging at first, but it smoothed out. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Case of the Missing Stradivarius”

5191sNbPfoL

Book Reviews – “The Case of the Missing Stradivarius” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper edition was published in 2009) and was written by Emanuel E Garcia. This is Mr. Garcia’s first publication.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G’. The story is set during the heyday of Sherlock Holmes. As you would expect, the primary characters are Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.

A noted violinist comes to London to give a performance, but his rare Stradivarius violin is stolen. He and his wife seek out help from Watson and Holmes to recover the rare instrument.

I was disappointed with this novella. I was really expecting more of a mystery with this 133 page Homes tale. The characters of Watson and Holmes were well represented, but I did not think much of the mystery they set about to solve. The cover are is OK, but I would have chosen something with a violin in it since that was the focus of the mystery. I give this novel a 2.7 (rounded up to a 3) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Alien busters”

51dBQA4-6GL._SY346_

Book Reviews – “Alien busters” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Safa Shaqsy (http://safashaqsy.com). Ms. Shaqsy has published five novels. This is the first in a planned series surrounding the “Alien Busters”.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G’. The story is set on an Earth colony on a far away world. The primary character is young Nathalie, an Alien Buster.

As an Alien Buster, she and her colleagues, kill every alien that they can find. Her city on the colonized world believes them all to be a threat to humans. Then one day as she was on a mission to search and destroy aliens, she comes across a young alien and, instead of destroying it, smuggles it back to her home.

She soon involves her two best friends in her deception. They all think there is something that those in control of her city are hiding. They are trying to help Nathalie discover the hidden secrets and keep her ‘pet’ alien, Star, a secret.

I was glad that this was a 185 page read of less than three hours. I did not think this Young Adult Science Fiction novella was very good. The plot was simplistic and weak. I will not be reading any more in this series. The cover art is OK, but has little to do with the plot of the story. I give this novel a 2.9 (rounded up to a 3) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Slow Bullets”

51aagAFKLeL._SY346_

Book Reviews – “Slow Bullets” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by Alastair Reynolds (http://www.alastairreynolds.com). Mr. Reynolds has published 15 novels.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Scur, a young woman who was conscripted into the military.

Just as the war ended, Scur finds herself in a battle to the death with a vicious enemy. She is severely injured and when she awakens, she finds herself on a prisoner transport ship. She shouldn’t be there, but she is. She finds herself with hundreds of others from both sides. They have been asleep a very long time.

This was an odd, but interesting little science fiction story of only 192 pages. It took less than 3 hours for me to read this novella. It was an interesting plot, though I would have enjoyed another 100 pages or so for it to be flushed out. Cover art is OK. I’m not sure what else they could have used. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).