Phill Berrie lives in Canberra Australia with this wife, two daughters and the rest of his extended family. He is on the downhill run of his first century and has decided he wants to be a writer when he grows up. Phill is an editor as well as a writer and is a great fan of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy and horror).
As of June 2013, Phill Berrie has two published books, both available through Smashwords, but you probably already know that.
Where to find Phillip Berrie online
by Phillip Berrie
An elderly male wizard, whose body has been destroyed by powerful unknown attackers, possesses the soul-less body of a young female half-elf. A new lease on life perhaps, but first he must not only protect his home and a new forbidden love from an invisible spirit monster, but also solve the mystery of who wanted him dead in the first place.
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Smashwords book reviews by Phillip Berrie
- Write The Fight Right
on April 28, 2011
Recommended reading for all writers who don't have black belts of their own.
- Aurealis #45
on Dec. 11, 2011
New Kindle owner and so I thought it would be interesting to try out the first electronic issue of this Australian speculative fiction icon.
I was not disappointed.
Recommended for readers interested in finding out what Australian speculative fiction is doing these days.
on Dec. 20, 2012
A while ago Alan Baxter gave away eBook versions of his Isiah duology as part of a promotion for the Thrillercast podcast that he hosts with American thriller author David Wood. In preparation for reading Magesign I decided to re-read Realmshift (I'd already picked up and read a physical copy of Realmshift at local Australian con).
It's still a damn good read and more so when in retrospect you start to think about what the author tries to achieve with his main character, Isiah.
Isiah is an immortal and very powerful agent of the BALANCE, someone who can go toe-to-toe with Satan. His job is to deal with such beings as demons, vampires and angels to make sure that the status quo of the gods (and there are many in this world) remains balanced. All without knowing the full details of what is going on and having to protect someone he detests. In the end the balance is maintained and all the 'bad' people get their comeuppance and so the reader is left satisfied.
It's a fascinating cosmology and an interesting setting, which in parts teases with the hints of what else might be happening in this world, and I look forward to see what the author does in Magesign. I wonder if he will be brave enough to have Isiah on the side of the bad guys, which must be a possible consequence of the character's role in the universe.
Not recommended for anyone who has strong traditional feelings about the Christian religion.
- Ghost Of The Black: A 'Verse Full Of Scum
on Dec. 26, 2012
Read this novella in one day and, despite some flaws, I found it a captivating read.
I have some issues with the description of FTL space travel used in the story and the lack of resolution of one aspect of the story.
The first problem could have been fixed by setting the story all on one planet and having the travelling involved in the story constrained by normal distances and the availability of more normal modes of transportation and communication rather than having it occur over unbelievable numbers of lightyears. Even the use of jump-drive technology would have been better than how travel between the stars is described here.
To my mind the second issue is more problematical. At one point the protagonist is given aid from an unexpected source, a religious group acting on a prophecy. To my mind this was one of the most intriguing aspects of the story. But, the prophecy's part in the story is never explained.
Okay, but don't start thinking that this story is not a science fiction story. It is. At the end of the tale the author presents the reader and the world(s) of the story with a revelation in fine sci-fi tradition. But, in keeping with the character of his protagonist, we are just left to wonder what might happen as the main character collects his fee and simply leaves the scene as quickly as he can.
And, strangely enough this worked for me because it was in character. Though I do hope we find out more about the 'Verse because there were some intriguing hints about it which I would like to find out more about.
It's a good yarn as a mystery thriller, but I wouldn't recommend it for those who like their science fiction hard. As I do like my science fiction hard, and could see how the story could have been improved, I've given it three stars, but it probably deserves an extra half star.
- Quest- A Dane Maddock Adventure
on Dec. 29, 2012
I got this eBook as a free Halloween promotional gift from the Thrillercast podcast that the author is involved with and feel that a review is the least I can do in response.
Though I've not read a lot of thrillers I have started to change my mind about this genre. This is the second Dane Maddock adventure I've read and just like the first one (Dourado), I found this book hard to put down. I think I was especially lucky here as the two books are linked through use of the same love interest for Maddock and so there was good continuity.
I'm not going to give away anything about the story, but I think one of the things I most appreciated about it was the way that both the good guys and the bad guys suffered equally from good and bad luck and it was quite refreshing for me to read how the good guys were able to benefit from the mistakes the bad guys made on occasion.
Anyway, I recommend this book as good holiday reading.
- See Through
on June 01, 2013
'See Through' is a speculative fiction book written by a fellow Canberran. It's nice to see Canberra used as the background for a story, even if it is an alternate Canberra in a world where 'empaths' exist and a man named 'Jim' is the prime minister.
The author has some very interesting ideas regarding her empaths—an apparently viable mutation of normal humans that has suddenly appeared in significant numbers and across unrelated families through some unrevealed cause—who are generally feared by normal humans because of their psychic abilities, which go much further than what I normally understand the term 'empath' to mean. However, the reader's view of the empaths in this story is further biased because the book is written in the first person from the point of view of a particular empath, Amy. It is this bias that perhaps caused me the greatest difficulty with this book because Amy's world view is very different to all the other characters, normal humans and empaths alike, and I believe this should have been made more of in the book because of its importance and its ramifications about the world of the setting.
Things I really liked: I liked the way the protagonist related to the world (I just wish she had realised how special she was). I also loved the cats.
Things I didn't like much: I thought the first half of the book wandered a bit and I think the story could have been improved by eliminating some of the earlier incidents and escalating the danger faster. I also think there was a bit of gender imbalance in the main characters, which did telegraph the identity of the main protagonist a bit for me. I would also suggest that the author look at how she set up the fonts for her eBook. Courier is a good font for a lot of things, but it did look a bit clunky on my Kindle and even choosing the san serif option in the settings didn't change the font for this document for some reason.
My preference would be to give this book 3.5 stars, but as I can't, I will round in the author's favour because of the Canberra setting.
- Empty Vessels
on July 03, 2013
This is an urban fantasy with a YA female protagonist. The book is set in a contemporary United Kingdom complete with a visit to Scotland and lots of rain.
The protagonist, Sarah, is a young woman who has grown up on the streets running from the 'black-mist people' who not only killed her parents, but attack her whenever they can find her. She is an independent sort, street smart and a suitable protagonist for this story, which involves a lot of action in a number of locations.
Enter Rex, a man who 'looks' old enough to be Sarah's father (if not grandfather), and you should already be hoping that this is not a teen romance, ala Twilight. Fortunately, you will be pleasantly surprised as the gruff Rex turns out to be a likeable character, who becomes both Sarah's mentor and protector in a quickly escalating adventure which ties together Sarah's gift/curse with the fate of the United Kingdom (if not the world), with—for this reader at least—some very strong connections to the Arthurian mythos.
At just over 44,000 words I found this book a little short considering the subject matter. Which is another way of saying that I would have loved the author to have spent some more time exploring some of the more fantastic elements of her story, which are mainly just hinted at here.
Still, I found the book a page turner, and very entertaining, even in its current form. Not a five star book for me, but definitely a strong four and a book that had me continuing to think about the authorial intent with regard to the various plot twists and the Arthurian references well after I had finished reading it.