Book Review: The Cage Legacy By Nicholas Conley

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17-year-old Ethan Cage is the main protagonist in this incredibly well constructed thriller. He was just 10 years old when his life changed forever after discovering his charming father, known as “The Mutilator” is found guilty of 18 unknown homicides in his hometown of Aton City, Marine. Not long after his father’s arrest Ethan discovers his dad’s journal in a special compartment in his dad’s tool box that the police had missed in their first sweep along with other sentimental items. Ethan can’t simply understand why his father would commit such horrible atrocities and inflict so much pain and suffering on his victims and spends the next seven years of his teenage life in turmoil trying to figure out who he really is and if he is in danger of inheriting any of his father’s evil tendencies. On his journey of self-discovery a number of unforeseen events take place in which he has no control over as his father escapes from prison while mutilating two security guards in the process after re-wiring the entire prison system. Just as Ethan comes close to escaping his past, inches away from forging a new future with the girl of his dreams and really becoming someone, his father sends his life in to turmoil once again by sending him letters in cryptic form to let Ethan know of his next kill. Should Ethan go to the police? Or will he take the law in to his own hands and hunt down his father?

The Cage Legacy is an affecting story of a teenager’s battle to discover who he really is. Nicholas Conley expertly ratchets up the suspense until the tension is almost at breaking point in this fast paced psycho-thriller that’s really hard to put down.

My Ranking: 5 Stars

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A taunt, well-written race against the clock thriller that is impossible to put down!

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Strange Perceptions
By Anthony Avina

Strange Perceptions opens masterfully with the introduction of Lily Roberts – the novel’s protagonist – as she is celebrating her 24th birthday with her best friend Wesley in a Los Angeles restaurant. Half an hour later as they both leave the restaurant they spot a strikingly handsome man. The handsome stranger smiles at Lily and nods as he walks past her. Lily allows herself one last look before she turns around and collides with a scary looking living giant, unaware that all their paths will meet again in a matter of hours. Lily is about to suffer a terrifying ordeal at the hands of a brutal serial-killer who will stop at nothing to add her to his collection of victims. In her fight for survival Lily is about to learn a valuable lesson that will teach her never to stereotype anyone by their looks ever again, that’s providing she manages to stay alive long enough to tell her tale.

I managed to devour all the 85 pages in just one sitting and enjoyed every minute of it. Anthony Avina skilfully blends elements of horror, suspense and mystery while keeping the story running at a fast pace as the unfolding situation slowly materializes – it’s taunt, well-written race against the clock thriller that is impossible to put down.

My Ranking: 5 Stars

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Book Review: Quiznot By Russell Stoll

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Just how bad can a kid’s life get? When 13-year-old Timothy Star discovers his dad is running a campaign to be mayor of New York City and planning to marry a woman called Jessie while his mother is locked away in a mental institution with a severe neurological condition that he is in fear of inheriting. He also has a chance encounter with a beautiful teenage girl, only to discover that since the strange concurrence he has developed some freaky powers triggered by anger that results in his suspension from Van Dorn High School after he sets a girls hair on fire, burns down one of the science labs and tampers with the stands in the Gym that lead to many students being injured. Although Timothy has no recollection of the events, he does experience nausea and the strange smell of cleaning fluid before each attack.

Timothy is given the option of either going to jail or a special school called Smithson and reluctantly decides the latter of the two options as his father’s lawyer and Dr Thorn convince him that the school will help him to control his new freaky powers. Timothy soon discovers all is not what it seems at Smithson and many of the students are low-grade junkies, as they are prescribed pills by Dr Thorn to keep them all mellowed out. When Timothy hears that the school is built over tunnels of an old missile base, he goes on a mission to explore the base and finds much to his surprise it is still in use and hosts pathways to galaxies of other worlds beyond earth that he had no clue existed. As Timothy tries to unravel the mystery of what really goes on in the missile base, strange things start to happen, a pupil gets bitten by a strange creature, another pupil gets attacked by a throwing star and the detective who is called in to investigate gets killed in a car crash. Timothy does his best to try to piece all the unusual events together, but nothing prepares him for the next set of events where he has to fight for his survival against alien monsters and other creatures he has never seen before, unaware of a powerful being called a Quiznot that plans to rise on planet earth and take control of it.

Will Timothy’s new powers be enough to save his life and if so at what cost? Or will his new powers shape his future in a way he never envisaged?

What a wonderfully crafted story! I was pretty much hooked from the start and look forward to reading more books in this planned trilogy. Russell Stoll has successfully created a thrilling young adult/sci-fi/fantasy book with a likable heroine that the reader can get behind and root for as he is strong, brave and loyal. The only disappointment I had is that I must wait to hear more of Timothy’s adventures and can’t wait to see what they entail. I expect an exciting epic to be awaiting this heroine.
My Ranking: 4.5 Stars

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Smokescreen. A Novel by Khaled Talib. Book Trailer. “One of the best espionage thrillers around!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWZXbEQKO5c

Smokescreen
By Khaled Talib
Plot
The scene of the story is set in the Island of Singapore, where the Israeli government are seeking to put an end to the Palestinian conflict; however several Israeli officials want to kill their own leader and plan to assassinate him by framing an innocent reporter called Jethro Westrope, commonly known as Jet West, who works for the country’s leading lifestyle magazine.

Jet initially thinks that one of the men that is chasing him is the husband of the wife he has been sleeping with and has no idea until Niki Kishwani, a public relations manager of the Singapore Tourism Board tries to warn him that there are some men who are following him and want to fame him for the murder of an important person. Jet finds himself in a situation where he is being chased by Chan’s henchmen while at the same time trying to clear his good name as Yung kills Niki, in an attempt to set Jet up for the murder. Jet is forced to go into hiding and meets Michael Dexter, who offers him refuge in his mansion. Michael encourages Jet to contact Nikis best friend, Nicole Wong and convince her he didn’t kill Niki, and that’s when even more dangers await as Jet goes from one threat to yet another and the smear campaign to make him a scapegoat for further murders only multiplies as the dead body count increases.

Will Jet be able to clear his name in time before he is framed for the Israelis Prime Minister premeditated murder, or will Chan and his men achieve their ultimate mission that will in effect change the course of all their paths?

Main Characters
Chan Boon Seng – Chief protocol officer of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Characteristics – A big brusque man who doesn’t care if people like him or not, black eyes, black hair that’s shaved along the sides, streaked with white sleeked back. A graduate from the London School of Economics, exceptional military career, rising to the rank of Colonel, trained by the Israeli army.
Captain Eli Aviram – A tall lean man in his forties with a thin scar across his left cheek, Chan’s long time Israeli friend.
X – An old mysterious man, a former Israeli spy who is now a military consultant.
Jethro Westrope – Well-toned good-looking Eurasian, reporter, age 35, assistant editor at one of Singaporeans leading lifestyle magazines, half Irish, half Chinese.
Niki Kishwani – Public relations manager of the Singapore Tourism Board, age 28, a law graduate from a local university, a covert operative for Chan, a double agent.
Mary Yeo – Niki Kishwani assassin. Yung murders her in cold blood in a church she was seeking repentance.
Nicole Wong – Niki Kishwani best friend, a deputy public prosecutor.
Yung – A remorseless assassin, who was sentenced to a mental institution for observation and then to be hanged. Chan paid for his freedom after Yung had spent two years in prison, in return Chan expected absolute loyalty. A special operations force solider gone wrong, trained in counter-terrorist actions.
Michael Dexter – United States Ambassador to Singapore, a CIA official, his specific mission is to save the Israeli leader from assassination.
De Angelo – Loyal colleague of Dexter’s.

Dialogue
The dialogue is natural and flows well throughout the whole book with no signs of forced and unnecessary speech patterns with little or no reference to the use of profanity.

Writing
Smokescreen is undoubtedly one of the best written espionage thrillers I have had the honour of reading. I have read numerous spy novels but this book is in a league of its own as one of the greatest fast-paced, gripping and thought provoking plots that involves high-level politics, government cover-ups, covert missions and a high pursuit chase of an innocent man trying desperately to prove his innocence.
Khaled Talib is a master of depicting real life scenarios such as the current connections between Israel and Singapore into a work of unforgettable fiction that will leave you breathless and wanting more. I highly recommend this book to readers of Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy.

My Rating:
5 stars
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Inventive and clever with genuine laugh-out-loud humour! “A Fistful of Clones” By Seaton Kay-Smith

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A Fistful of Clones is a comedy sci-fi novel and follows the protagonist, Henry Madison, who is 26 years old and floats through life without any real desire, direction or motivation and seems to be emotionally cut off from the very few people in his life. When he loses his job as a coupon boy and his girlfriend in the same day he makes a rash decision to sign up for medical testing, so he won’t starve to death. However, a few days after he donates his various forms of DNA he receives some disturbing news from the doctor who is unknowingly constructing Henry’s clones that seven of the clones have escaped. Dr Efflund insists that only Henry can hunt them down and kill them and manages to convince a very reluctant Henry with a large amount of money and some special combat training to terminate his doppelgängers ASAP. Henry soon discovers much to his despair that his carbon copies are running around trying to ruin his life and his original mission to stop them all in a short space of time isn’t working as the clones soon develop personalities of their own. After he hesitantly murders clone number five, his conscience gets the better of him and instead of murdering the remaining two clones, he comes up with a plan to try to save them as his own life is on the line as the doctor and his ruthless associates will stop at nothing to end all traces of the scientific experiment that went horribly wrong.

Seaton Kay-Smith has created a story that is well written, inventive and clever with genuine laugh-out-loud humour that is entirely effortless and entertaining to read. It’s almost like the disarming and friendly style in which it was written wraps you up in the story and refuses to let go. Each character, especially Henry, who is my favourite, is equally flawed, believable and realistic and complements the plot’s cause and effect beautifully.

This is a novel that will stay with me for some time and is definitely one not to be missed and I highly recommend it and look forward to reading more of the author’s work in the near future.
My Ranking: 5 Stars

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5 Star Book Review: Essential reading for health conscious people!

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

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MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series #3)
By James & Lance MORCAN

This book is an incredible well researched compilation of truth that challenges a lifetime of propaganda from Big Pharmaceutical companies and the other participants in the Medical Industrial Complex that put profits ahead of their patients´ well-being and dollars ahead of lives.

The authors´ reveal some despicable acts committed by medical professionals that are alarming and arms readers with “underground Knowledge” about the medical system, the mayor players in that system and their associates. As well as exposing corruption this book also enlightens readers who are not already aware that there are long-standing and convincing claims of alternative remedies for so called incurable diseases that are being withheld by multinational drug companies and medical academia as they are deemed unprofitable. The authors´ also illustrate their point that they suspect there are plants, vitamins and minerals out there that are safer, more effective and cheaper than the toxic, synthesized alternatives that are being developed and marketed by the pharmaceutical companies.

“Each patient carries his own doctor inside him.” – Norman Cousins, Author of Anatomy of Illness

The authors´ have done an excellent job of raising awareness about the current care model that is in place and they raise many thought-provoking questions that will inspire and educate many readers who are looking to make some well-informed choices about their health.

My Ranking: 5 Stars

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4.5 Star Book Review: The Argent Star By Emerson Fray

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The Argent Star is a YA/SF story set in the year of 2453 and is the first book in the Monarchy Series.
Ren Argent is the main female protagonist whose world is literally turned upside down when her brother, Elian discovers a hidden planet that has been lost for centuries. Instead of continuing her education to become an archaeologist and exploring the lost cities of earth, she is suddenly bound to join forces to help her estranged father who has just been appointed king by the Monarchy to rule the planet as some unexpected paperwork claims that an ancestor of theirs named the planet Novae. Ren reluctantly leaves with her father and brother to help rule Novae with a deep sense of loss as she must leave behind everything she knows to help govern a planet she knows very little about. Ren soon discovers nothing about coming to Novae was what she expected as there are a number of assassins and insurgents who are planning a rebellion to overthrow her and her family and will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. It is not long after that Ren is appointed a strong female Sotarian guide to help protect her against the uprising, however when a few unexpected series of events take place and Ren witnesses firsthand how the insurgents, rebels and even a secret society are all out to overthrow anyone governing Novae she begins to question her own loyalty as she is more convinced that the Monarchy wants to destroy Novae. Ren tries to separate the Monarchy away from Novae to avoid mass genocide and goes against everything she believes in, everything she was taught and everything she knew for the past twenty years of her life to save Novae, but will her efforts be enough strike a deal with the Monarchy and save Novae from their control?

Despite the conflicts, dangers and twists in the story the characters’ are my most favourite part of the novel as they are all uniquely flawed because they all struggle with their own issues and find a way to deal with all the changes around them. One example of this is that Ren manages to overcome her own insecurities, anxiety and fears and finally turn them to her advantage. Fray has taken a young insecure woman and made her in to a force to be reckoned with as she has to escape assassins who attempt to kill her family as well as the fight against the Monarchy she no longer trusts. Any readers that get into Frays story and characters’ will no doubt want to invest in the next set of instalments.

My Ranking: 4.5 Stars

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