The Blue Witch
By R.L. Baxter
Only a writer of immense confidence and talent can fashion a story that chronicles an ordinary young women from her London home to a magical and fantastical place. R.L. Baxter demonstrates his ability in this short story that follows a misguided young woman called, Ophelia on a mission to eradicate and destroy everything she dislikes with the use of her magical wands that are parting gift by goddess Athena, in the magical world of Pecopia. Instead of using the magical wands of wonder and destruction to help humanity, Ophelia uses the wands for evil and revenge that will destroy the world unless a miracle intervention can stop her from ruining humankind before it is too late.
I would highly recommend this short story to readers who enjoy sci-fi and fantasy.
My Ranking: 5 Stars
“Pieces Like Pottery, is a collection of heartfelt and enlightening short stories that deal with themes such as, loss, anguish, forgiveness and atonement.” https://walkerputsche.wordpress.com/
This anthology of short stories written by Dan Buri is a compilation of the diverse experiences that people experience in their daily lives. Each of these nine stories tug at the heart, the writing is insightful and provocative. The first and perhaps the hardest hitting story for me as a reader involves a couple that thought their marriage could withstand anything life threw at them, until their only child dies and it shatters both their worlds as they slowly drift apart. This story, like all the others is well-written and filled with experiences like my own and I could connect with the characters immediately. The other stories explore a number of themes, such as a single parent becoming widowed because of the weight of nature, one man’s insecurities and low self-esteem change his outlook on life and one young man’s need to find a place where he belongs as he struggles with his sexuality.
Although short stories are not something I read very often as the depth and dimension to the characters are sometimes lacking. I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised with Buri´s fascinating group of characters, all of which handle grief and loss in their own different ways. I would highly recommend this anthology to readers who appreciate emotional and thought-provoking literature.
My Ranking: 5 Stars
“The Theseus Paradox is a stunning début novel, intelligent and fluently written with an exciting plot. I simply couldn’t put it down in fear I would miss something crucial.”
“Calhoun: Sacrifice is a taut, fast-paced action thriller that marks the beginning of a promising mystery series, and is proof that a flawed protagonist can still earn sympathy.” https://walkerputsche.wordpress.com/
The story follows main protagonist, James Calhoun, who was once a solider until an IED attack tears his life apart. He is now divorced and down on his luck, as he has to rely on disability benefits to get by and attend anger management classes to calm his ferocious temper and bitterness. His only real solace is the weekly visit to his daughter who he treasures with all his heart.
The story opens with a brutal murder and a disturbing phone call from James ex-wife who informs him that her husband has been killed and their daughter’s life is now in the hands of a religious cult who want to use her as a sacrifice to resurrect a Dark God, unless James can find the cult a replacement girl in just three days time. Faced with a number of deep and disturbing moral questions, James in forced from one deadly situation to the next, almost simultaneously and finds himself caught up in an unrelenting game of life and death.
One or two words I would use to describe this book are, mysterious and unsettling. Mansour manages to build influential narratives with a number of well-developed characters ‘along with a relentlessly chilling plot.
My Ranking: 4 Stars
“Leech is a macabre, thought-provoking and beautifully frightening tale that pulls you in and takes you far away from what you know and subliminally sweeps you along challenging your sub-conscious with its towering span of incredible storytelling.” https://walkerputsche.wordpress.com/
The story is narrated by a male protagonist who is plagued by insomnia and is looking for someone to share his lonely existence with. He meets Lillian in a drug store and they soon become friends, while sharing a strange intimacy together that seems to suit them both for a short time until Lillian changes the relationship dynamics with an offer, then a threat. He soon becomes what Lillian is, as she gives him mortality. He sacrifices his humanity to be with her, even when he doesn’t really understand what his life will be like with her. The transition to love, to distrust, from admiration to hate takes him on a journey across the Atlantic to South Eastern Europe where he fights a battle between absolution and vengeance as he wants to stop Lillian from hurting anyone else when she shows him a truth that creates even more questions and concerns to the value he places on human life.
There are so many words I could use to describe this book as I met a mixture of emotions while reading it. Mysterious and unsettling are just a few words that come to mind. Original, atmospheric and brilliant are understatements. Yet, these are the only words I can use to describe this well-written novel of darkness and beauty.
My Ranking: 5 Stars
Enter The Monkey is a memoir of one man’s search for happiness and self-discovery in a dream adventure around the world. https://walkerputsche.wordpress.com/
Prince Rasta opens his diary from the age of five to the age of twenty-seven for the world to see. The reader is invited into his world to share his emotional journey from been a young boy who is weighed down with insecurities, to a young man who gains precious insights in to some of life’s most basic questions.
I would like to applaud Prince Rasta in being so defenceless and honest with his feelings and expressing his thoughts so openly, as I suspect some people will either love it as a source of inspiration, or hate it as self-indulgent blah blah blah. I found the book to be truly inspirational and think it will help many people on their own personal journeys towards fulfilment.
My Ranking: 4 Stars
“S.Y.P.H.E.N. is a tense military thriller that follows Lincoln Boddies and his Delta Force Operatives on a deadly mission to try and stop terrorists using a weapon of mass destruction. When Lincoln and his team are ready to close in, they encounter a bigger enemy that has the potential to destroy them all.” https://walkerputsche.wordpress.com/
The story opens when Lincoln and his crew are enjoying some leisure time in Sin City. Lincoln spots a woman in a casino and has a hunch that she maybe one of the most dangerous terror suspects in the world (A Jihad Jane). With the help from the Unit, Lincoln and their surveillance tactics lead them both to old and new Islamic enemies that are planning on using weapons of mass destruction to destroy America. Just as Lincoln and his team are about to close in on the enemies they encounter a bigger threat, the S.Y.P.H.E.N. that’s hell bent on destroying them all. Lincoln and his men are forced to work alongside the terrorists to try and eliminate the imminent threat that could potentially destroy civilization.
Law III successfully manages to build influential narratives with well-developed characters from the beginning to the end, along with an unpredictable number of twists and turns that sets the stage for more instalments in which I impatiently await.
My Ranking: 4.5 Stars
White Is the Coldest Colour is a thought-provoking, dark and gripping psychological thriller that moves briskly from the beginning to the end. Nicholl draws incisive attention to a number of disturbing issues that explore humanities seemingly unlimited capacity for evil.” https://walkerputsche.wordpress.com/
The story is set in 1992 and follows Dr David Galbraith, a vicious and predatory paedophile who works as a child psychiatrist in the South West Wales Area. Galbraith who has avoided detection for over thirty years is forced to keep his true nature secret from the world at large, as he has already murdered one child in his sound-proofed cellar at his family home and is looking for more unfortunate victims to fulfil his obsessive and grotesque fantasies.
Anthony Mailer, a seven-year old boy becomes Galbraith´s new patient and next major fixation. Anthony is referred by his GP to be counselled by Galbraith, as he develops various behavioural problems just after his parent’s separation. The Mailer family however are unaware of the horrific threat that awaits them at the hands of Galbraith and are equally unprepared that they must fight to try and stay alive against a number of life-threatening odds?
This novel is entirely fictional and draws upon the author’s experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker and exposes the real risks and harm that sexual predators inflict on their victims and is dedicated to survivors everywhere. I was literally blown away by this book and can’t wait to read the chilling sequel.
My Ranking: 5 Stars