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review 2016-01-18 08:00
Immortal Plague
Immortal Plague (The Judas Chronicles) (Volume 1) - Aiden James

Alternative title: Plague of Coins

 

This is one of those books which premise I thought was great. William Barrow has a secret, a big one. He is in fact Judas Iscariot, damned to eternal life. He believes that if he can find the 30 silver coins that started all his trouble, and which happen to be shattered all over the world, he will be able to buy death and an afterlife.

 

To me, that sounded very interesting. Unfortunately, the search for the coin, in Iran of all places, disappointed me. The real search only commences around 80% in the book, and the search is not that much of a search as the coin 'calls out' to William/Judas and he has a lot of help.

 

Instead a lot of the book is spent doing some work for the CIA and a search for a holy grail, and those kind of novels are not my favourite. Even though some discoveries are made earlier in the book, it left me with the feeling I'd expected more from it after reading The Actuator series, which Aiden James co-authors. I just hope the next book in the Judas Chronicles will be better.

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text 2015-11-28 13:24
#freebies and 99-cent deals!

stock up on your free reads and 99-cent bargains

from November 27 to 30, 2015 (Black Friday to Cyber Monday!)

 

check out the list at:

https://curiosityquills.com/site-wide-black-friday-and-cyber-monday/

 

here are 3 freebies from that list!

there's a lot more so grab 'em before the deal's over!

 

Murder in Whitechapel (Judas Reflections Book 1)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BPWU43A/

 

The Forgotten Eden (Talisman Chronicles Book 1)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DX5HDFE/

 

The Actuator: Fractured Earth

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EI77VS0/

 

happy reading and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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review 2015-10-04 14:50
Review: Murder in Whitechapel
The Judas Reflections: Murder In Whitechapel - Aiden James,Michelle Wright

Emmanuel Ortiz holds an ancient and dark secret...
His real name is Judas Iscariot.
Forced to walk the earth as a cursed immortal, Judas' disguise as Emmanuel does little to ease his eternal loneliness. Having recovered nine of his thirty blood coins, his focus is not yet on redemption for his treacherous role in the betrayal of Jesus Christ.

Distractions come easily for the rich entrepreneur and sometimes sleuth who presently resides in England, 1888. Fascinated by the spate of murders in London's poverty stricken Whitechapel, Emmanuel soon realizes the killings resemble others he is familiar with, and the bloody signature of killing and taunts speaks to the unholy talents of yet another immortal...an enemy from long ago.

This knowledge fuels his determination to track and apprehend the infamous Jack the Ripper at any cost.

With the backdrop of a Victorian Society, rigid and moralistic, along with the plight of those less fortunate, Emmanuel seeks to align himself with Scotland Yard. With the help of his immortal pal, Roderick Cooley, and by pretending to be an American private investigator interested in the horrific prostitute killings, he sets out to stop the senseless bloodshed. But, has he bitten off more than he can chew, by immersing himself in the slums and disease of the Ripper's hunting grounds?

As the mystery unfolds it becomes the ultimate test...not only of his abilities as an immortal, but also of his very soul.

 

This book has an amazing premise with an execution that is...lacking. The book is just all over the place.

Judas thinks once he found the 30 silver coins his immortality will end and he will age normally. Judas tells a friend that a major injury might still kill him. Judas suddenly knows that a beheading will certainly kill him. 

It makes sense that immortality doesn't come with a manual, but that was just odd. A clear explanation of what he knows for sure and what he suspects would have been nice (that would have been an occasion where I hadn't minded a bit of infodumping...the author clearly isn't averse to it since he also told us the life-story of several completely irrelevant characters).

 

There is some good stuff as well: Judas has a fellow immortal friend who had the misfortune of not looking like a healthy, middle-aged men. He has to disguise his paleness and his eyes constantly, but still sticks out so much that he's met with some suspicion. That's just a nice detail that isn't included in many stories about immortality (even nicer would have been if the main character would have had to deal with that problem...)

 

But the rest...Judas feels like a failed try at an unreliable narrator. He says he cares und is looking for redemption but then imports opium and sells it to illegal opium dens (he also imports "cotton, gold, diamonds, tea, spices" no where did that come from?

 

he does change his opinion on the opium but not a word about the other stuff). 

There was a weird jumping back and forth between extremes going on. He can't do anything for the people in the East End. He throws money at them. Child labour sucks but happens. He feels bad about getting others in trouble. He thinks it's mostly their fault anyway...it felt like reading the First Person narration of about five different people. And not only when it come to his (lack of) guilt: the first time they get an incredibly vague description of a guy who might be the Ripper Judas immediately thinks that this sounds like a fellow immortal whom he knows to be violent and who hates woman. And then he suddenly doesn't even consider other possibilities. No, it just has to be him...later he gets a second description, that also matches and then he thinks 'Previously I had doubts but now I was sure it had to be him.' You had doubts? When?

Also he talks a lot about how this immortal is much stronger than him and he could never beat him in a fight (except a duel. Perhaps...oh ffs I'm tired of listing all the contradictions in this book). But he never explains why. It doesn't seem to be a simple case of 'he's a better fighter'. Somehow Judas considers him totally out of his league because...because...whatever

 

It might have made some sense if he'd been an older immortal, but he's almost 1000 years younger than Judas so what makes him so special? No idea.

 

I understand that the beginning of a series needs to leave some questions open but there were too many things that just did not make sense at all.

 

Which is sad because the bits that dealt with Judas's guilt over betraying Jesus were actually done really well (AND CONSISTENT) and showed glimpses of how this could have been a really good book but alas...

 

Review Copy provided by the Curiosity Quill Press.

 

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text 2015-09-20 13:45
Curiosity Quills Press Is Looking For More Reviewers!
The Actuator: Fractured Earth - James Wymore,Aiden James
Destruction: The December People, Book One - Sharon Bayliss
Prophet of the Badlands - Matthew S. Cox
The Deathsniffer's Assistant - Kate McIntyre
The Curse Merchant - J.P. Sloan
Sharcano (Sharkpocalypse #1) - Jose Prendes
The Artful - Wilbert Stanton
The Mussorgsky Riddle - Darin Kennedy
Havelock: One - Jane D. Everly

Okay, I normally don't do this kind of posts but Curiosity Quills Press is one of my favourite publishers and I really enjoy reviewing their books. That's why I thought I might know some people who would also enjoy it.

 

They are now hosting an event to gain more reviewers in their mailing lists, and as a reward for just signing up you'll get three books of choice from their ebook catalogue. If you would PM me and allow me to tell them I sent you there, I also get three books (which be nice as I really like their books).

 

I did a quick check of my reading stats this year and so far this year I've read 29 of their books. That's almost 14% of what I've read this year!

 

I think they publish around 10 books a month, in all kinds of different genres. I've been on their reviewers list for a while now and I generally receive two emails a month (which I'm usually even looking forward to): one announcing new books that can be requested for review, and one invitation to join on one or more blog tours. What I really like is that you don't have to enter anything and it's just fine not to participate if you're busy or don't think you'll like the books.

 

Some of the books eventually make it up to Netgalley, but I noticed many do not.

 

Every time I mailed with the staff they have been really friendly, and even writing a negative review for a blog tour (I once wrote a two star review on a book that just wasn't for me and the response I got was just 'too bad, these things happen, hope you enjoy your next book better') is not a problem (which is something I find really important and which is why I'm really hesitant to enter other blog tours).

 

You can find more information on this event here.

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review 2015-08-03 07:56
Return Of The Saboteur
The Actuator 2: Return of the Saboteur - James Wymore,Aiden James

Warning: The following synopsis does contain some spoilers for the first book. If you haven't read that book yet, why not read my review of Fractured Earth.

 

The Machine Monks fight to keep control of the Actuator while enemies attack the base. As besiegers wear them down, the rest of the world struggles to adapt to the chaos left in the wake of the great change. Their only choice is to push forward and find the next key and shutdown the fantasy realm surrounding the base. When they do, Xenwyn will die.

Haunted by the incalculable death toll all over the earth, Jon accepts the mission to recover the next key. Despite his injuries and as much as he hates to leave his newfound love, he refuses to let all of humanity suffer if he can fix it.

Desperate to keep Xenwyn alive, Red determines to find a magical cure before Jon gets back with the key. Each time he takes her across a border, might be the end.

Seeing all his friends in turmoil, Dragon Star sets out to find the saboteur. If the architect of this dark world cannot offer any means of setting things right, he will at least see consequences for the horrors he unleashed.

None of them ever imagined the Actuator could still make the world even worse.

 

 

Thanks to the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review during this blog review tour!

 

Luckily, after the large cliffhanger at the end of the first book, this book starts off right where we left it. Having recovered the base and the actuator, they are besieged by an army of orcs who want it for their own. At the same time they are both looking for the rest of the keys, mostly the one in front of Cenwyn's key and perhaps even more importantly they are looking for the person who's responsible for all this mess. 

 

Everything I liked from the first book was here again. The style and different genres change really fast but it works. I was always looking forward for the next change and wondering what would happen to them there. Some regions were of course more interesting than others (the romance novel), but that's something you'll always find. It also felt a little less repetitive, even though they are basically doing the same things as in the first book. 

 

There's a large cast of characters but thanks to their specific genre, it gets easier to keep all of them apart. It also helps that they all enjoy reading, of course. The big twist in the end I saw coming, but I'm still not sure how they are going to battle it. So, unfortunately, another cliffhanger ending. And I'll have to wait for the next book and can only hope it won't take too long!

 

Return of the Saboteur is the second book in the Actuator series. The first book is Fractured Earth. There is also an anthology with stories from the different genres/regions, called Borderlands.

 

James Wymore:



Moving often as a youth, James Wymore’s family finally settled in the desert paradise of Utah.

 

He spent a couple years in Korea contemplating the balance of opposing forces. After learning chaos theory in college he found the ideal environment to continue his studies of the uncontrollable, and became a teacher. He earned a Master’s degree before departing from the academic path to seek the greater freedoms of fiction. Still fascinated by the borders of randomness, he now spends his free time playing and creating games with his friends and children.

 

Although he patiently awaits the Tallest Writer in History award, James Wymore has won several awards for his short stories.

 

His early books, rumored to have been written as young as sixteen, are forever locked away. Now a published author, he has realized one of his childhood dreams.

 

In his dwindling free time, he draws a line of death themed comics called Parting Shots. You can see them along with games he makes and his disorderly blog at http://jameswymore.wordpress.com

 

Aiden James



I began writing stories roughly fourteen years ago, after pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter in Denver and later in Nashville. My writing career could’ve been a brief one, as it started one night when it was my turn to read a bedtime story to my two young sons. Rather than read the ‘Mouse birthday book’ for the umpteenth time, I began a ramble about a mystical world parallel to our own, a world where sinister creatures sought to take a little boy into their hidden lair… forever.

 

My first critical reviews from my young audience were mixed. My youngest child, Tyler, was enthralled about the magical place I created, and eagerly awaited more. However, my oldest, Christopher, thought it was the dumbest tale he had ever heard! Luckily, my wife, Fiona, listened nearby. She thought the idea had potential, although she kept that fact a secret until the following spring, 1997. When she suggested I create a fuller blown version of this story, it marked the beginning of my love affair with writing stories.

 

I wish I could tell you that the experience has always been a glorious progression, where crafting characters, incredible landscapes with captivating plots, and surprising twists was easy. Far from it. It took nearly three years for me to complete my first novel–based on the bedtime story to my boys who by then were young teenagers—and another two years to decide if I liked it enough to show it to anyone else.

 

Since then, I have written nine more novels, and presently have five established book series out there, with a brand new sixth series set to start in the fall with Curiosity Quills Press. The first installment of this new series is entitled “The Serendipitous Curse of Solomon Brandt”, and will be a serialized project before it is released as a full book in early 2013. After this series, which explores the true nature of good and evil, who knows what will be on the menu next? Something dark and creepy… Or, perhaps something light and fun?

 

Definitely, I intend for it to be something well worth your time to check out—Just wait n’ see!

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