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Smashwords book reviews by Adam Phillips
- The Other Robin Hood
on Jan. 10, 2013
I’m sure many of you will know the infamous tail of Robin Hood, the archer who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. However, you might not have heard the tale of George Davenport, The Other Robin Hood. Based at the end of the 18th Century, George Davenport is a man in a struggle. After starting a family on a very modest wage, George is then made to pay for his two parent’s livelihoods, as the local community that has cared for them can no longer afford the cost to keep them fed! The fact that he cannot pay for both of his families drives George to crime and more specifically to robbing travellers on the road to London.
George soon finds that he has a knack of being a highwayman and with his strict code of only robbing the rich, and the fact that he always leaves his victim with a shilling, soon creates an infamous persona around George in his local town of Wigston. In addition, George also finds he has more than enough money to support both of his families. With the excess cash, George decides to give something back to the village of Wigston and leaves anonymous coins on the doors of the poorest people in town.
However, his kindness and gentlemanly attitude towards highway robbery soon starts to come back and bite George, as every robbery made in Wigston is made in his name (even if he was not in the county at the time the robbery took place!). George soon finds himself in the hands of the law answering for crimes he did not commit! However, with his cunning and bravado, George manages to escape deportation and imprisonment. But, with his countless offensives and the fact he is the most wanted man in Leicestershire may come back to haunt George one day, as countless Peace Officers are on the hunt for him.
I liked this book a lot and I think the main reason for this is because George Davenport was a real person and many of his adventures and misdemeanours actually happened in real life! The author of the novel, Anthony Anglorus, came across George Davenport whilst working in modern day Wigston and researched him further, deciding that his tale had to be written down. I for one am glad Anglorus did write down this tale as it was exciting, fast paced and in many places quite funny. I also liked the little touches Anglorus put into the book such as making the English used in the dialogue of the book similar to that of which would have been in the late 1700’s. Plus, it was nice to get back to reading some historical-fiction as many of the books I’ve been reading at the minute have been fantasy and sci-fi novels!
So, I would suggest this book to anyone who is a historical-fiction fan and to people who enjoy books about crime or infamous criminals! If you are interested in criminals, definitely check this book out because some of the things Davenport does in it are unbelievable (especially at the end!).
For more book reviews check out http://adam-p-reviews.blogspot.co.uk/
- The Descendant
on Jan. 13, 2013
Allison had always been told that she is special and will do something great with her life. But, as life usually turns out, Allison is stuck in a job that she can’t stand in a town she feels trapped in. And when she comes down with a mystery illness that gives her an extremely sore stomach and throat, uncontrollable body temperature and insomnia, she puts it down to the ‘mid-life crisis’ she feels she’s in. What’s even stranger about the sickness is that no doctor can diagnose her with any illness and continually sends Allison home with no aid to get rid of the awful pain. Even though the doctors can’t diagnose anything wrong with Allison, her husband Matt knows she isn’t imagining things as Allison’s insomnia keeps him awake at night!
To try and cheer her up, Matt takes Allison to a friend’s birthday party. After a few drinks, Allison doesn’t feel any better and drives Matt and herself home. On the drive home, Allison and Matt’s car is crashed into and she and Matt are knocked unconscious!
Allison wakes in a hospital several days later asking for her husband. She is shocked to find that her husband has been dead for three years and that the crash has caused her to lose some of her memory. When she is discharged from the hospital, Allison is driven home buy a friend. When she arrives home, she discovers pictures of her in another handsome man’s arms but has no idea who the man is! That evening, the mysterious man comes around to Allison’s house and introduces himself as Vincent and explains that he and Allison have been dating for the last year. At first, Allison does not believe his story, but after spending more time with Vincent, she realises that she does in fact love him and accepts that her beloved husband Matt did really die three years ago.
However, Allison soon realises that Vincent holds a very dark secret and that there is a reason why she has always felt special in her life. As Vincent reveals, Allison is not just a normal human being but a descendant of the first ever vampire, Cain! Allison is thrown into a world she never realised existed. But because of her infamous ancestors, Allison is hunted in the vampire world by Luscious; an evil vampire obsessed with ending Cain’s lineage! Vincent and his siblings must keep Allison safe but that is no easy task…
For me, this was a book of two halves and even though I did enjoy both halves I thought the story behind the first part of the book was really great. I loved the mystery behind Alison’s illness and why she was feeling depressed and unfulfilled. I also thought the mystery behind her car crash and the death/memory loss over Matt made the book really interesting to read. This is because you kept asking yourself ‘was or wasn’t’ he really alive? Plus, Vincent’s character was much more appealing in this half of the book. He was the cool, rich kid who wasn’t afraid of a good time.
However, in the second half of the book (the part that introduced the vampires) I thought the mystery behind Matt was forgotten right until the end. I also found Vincent really annoying! I don’t want to give too much away, but I think maybe Grealis made him more unlikeable on purpose (which does sort of make sense when you read the book) but I still preferred him in the first half. Nevertheless, I did like the idea of the Secret Coven and I think it would be great that if in the next book the different members back stories were broaden a little more.
All in all, I did enjoy this book but I preferred the first half to the second. I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys Vampire novels such as Legacy of the Vampire: The Pits by Kristofer McLaren or novels such as Destine by Katherine Polillo.
For more book reviews check out http://adam-p-reviews.blogspot.co.uk/
- Wish: An Epic Adventure of Magic and Mayhem! Part 2
on Jan. 15, 2013
Wish tells the tale of a group of very unlikely heroes who all have one thing in common; they are all WishMonsters. A WishMonster is someone who owns a shard of the infamous and magical WishStone. The WishStone was accidently shattered 4,000 years ago by the world’s most famous adventurer Aventur, casting hundreds of shards all over the Seven C’s. Even the smallest shard of WishStone has enough magic in it to grant its owner any Wish.
One of these WishMonsters is Dak. With his wish, Dak wanted to become a great warrior. His wish is granted and Dak becomes a giant among men with thick, red, armour like skin and the ability to wield twin axes, both the size of a man! However, even though he has great power and fighting skills, Dak’s ugly and unusual appearance makes him a loner in the world of the Seven C’s. Throughout his journeys and adventures however, Dak hears of an ancient book that may have answers about why the WishStone made him look so grotesque. The book is in the famous city of Om and Dak sets out to find it. But, unfortunately for the troubled, red, giant, he is not the only person looking for the book!
Lae is also a WishMonster but unlike Dak, she looks like a normal human girl. Lae’s wish was spent on making her a powerful mage with the ability to read and digest books unlike anyone else in the Seven C’s. Lae has also heard of this mysterious book and sets out to Om to find it. However, when she gets there, she learns that Dak has already bought the book! To try and get her hands on it, Lae attempts to steal the book with her magic but is caught out by Dak!
After a few days arguing, Dak and Lae agree to become partners and seek out the answers of the book. They decide to go and see an old, dark and powerful wizard called Jazrak about the secrets of the book (as they both find it is too damaged to read). On their way to see the old man, the two companions come across another young WishMonster called Chee who has great powers with healing. Chee also wants to find out more about the WishStone and accompanies Dak and Lae on their journey.
When they finally arrive at Jazrak’s black tower, the companions are given a task by Jazrak to steal a shard of WishStone from the evil and powerful Necromancer that lives in dark and mysterious valley. In return for the shard, Jazrak agrees to give the companions a complete copy of the book they are desperate to read. However, the quest will be no walk in the park, as the companions have to answer riddles, cross-deserts and fight wild animals to get to the Necromancer’s lair. Will they have the strength to do it? Or will the answers in the ancient book be kept secret forever?
I think there is only one-way to describe this book; a fairy-tale with epic proportions! I thought it was great! I know that the novel may be aimed at an audience a little younger than me but I still thought the book was exciting to read. The novel was full of epic battles and fights, dangerous animals and a lot of humour that will appeal to readers both young and old! I also really liked the idea of the shards of WishStone, and how their power can be used to fulfil anyone’s wishes. Plus, there is also a great sub-plot about Aventur that mingles into the main plot/adventure of the novel, which is also great to read!
I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys fairy-tale/fantasy novels like The Hobbit, Harry Potter and The Colour of Magic.
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