Tag: Rear Cover

L. A. Larkin – Devour | Review

Title: Devour

Author: L. A. Larkin

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 410

Rating: 4*/5


L. A. Larkin - Devour

L. A. Larkin – Devour


Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.

This book was a bit of a weird one. It was a slow burner to begin with, and it reminded me of a bonfire – the author chucked a match on it, and it didn’t light, and then they tried another and still nothing. Then they tried a third and it went up like a fireball, and once that happened, I was hooked.

Let’s start by taking a look at the story line. Loosely speaking, it’s based on a real life scientific expedition, in which experts travelled to Antarctica and attempted to dig around 3 km beneath the surface to reach an underground lake. The expedition failed, but in Larkin’s book, it succeeds and finds some rare bacteria that have been living in isolation for millenia. And unfortunately, they can have some pretty devastating effects.

I can’t say any more than that without ruining the story line, but that should be enough to give you a good overview of what to expect. The good news here is that not all of the action takes place in Antarctica – we get to see a decent cross section of the world, as well as a fascinating array of characters who keep you guessing about their true intents right up until the end.


L. A. Larkin

L. A. Larkin


As for the negative points, there are only really a couple that I can identify. The first is negligible, because it was unique to the book that I was sent – as an advance copy, the rear cover was plain and white, and the paper wasn’t of a high quality. But that won’t affect you once the mass market copy comes out. The second will still apply – the protagonist is being stalked, and there are a number of sections which are written in the second person, directly addressing the reader. For me, it just didn’t work, and it was particularly offputting at the start. Later on, it still didn’t work, but it was a lot easier to skim read over it.

But overall, as the first book in a promising new series of crime novels by a writer I’ve never heard of, I’m pretty impressed. There’s also plenty of room for the story to be developed in the future, and I know that the author has started work. Exciting!


L. A. Larkin - Thirst

L. A. Larkin – Thirst


Click here to buy Devour.


Manda Scott – The Crystal Skull | Review

Title: The Crystal Skull

Author: Manda Scott

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 544

Rating: 7/10


Manda Scott - The Crystal Skull

Manda Scott – The Crystal Skull


The Crystal Skull is, in many ways, the literary equivalent of candy floss – it’s nice once in a while, but you shouldn’t make a habit of it in case your teeth fall out. I bought this because the story line surrounds the theory that the ancient Mayans prophesied the end of the world on December 21st, 2012. This book came out a short while before that, presumably intending to ride the wave of publicity and public attention that the event would cause, and it certainly worked for me – I bought it, after all.

The crystal skulls from the title are ostensibly based on fact (I say that because it says that it’s based on fact on the rear cover but I haven’t done any research to check), with the theory being that five thousand years ago, the Mayans carved thirteen crystal skulls, which were sent to the four corners of the globe. Also presented as fact is that only by reuniting all thirteen crystal skulls can the world be saved from destruction on 21st December.

The plot follows Stella, and her lover, Kit, as they discover one of the skulls and begin a race against time to reunite them all and to save the world. As you can imagine, it’s a pageturner, and it’s easy to read and just as easy to forget about. It’s been a while since I read this book, and I can only remember isolated incidents – I certainly don’t remember either of the characters, which says something itself. But all of that said, it was still enjoyable enough, and it easily qualifies for a 7/10, which is my minimum rating for a professional quality book.


Crystal Skulls

Crystal Skulls


Interestingly enough, my copy of this book contains a sticker on the front which says “discover the legend of the crystal skull before you see the film”. I have no idea whether that film was ever made, but I’ve never heard of it – that said, I’d still check it out. In many ways, this book is like a Dan Brown novel, in that it’s basically designed to sell huge quantities and to be adapted into a major motion picture. I have no idea whether The Crystal Skull succeeded with that – I haven’t done the research.

So I guess it all boils down to the question of whether I’d recommend this or not. That’s a tough question – I think most people would enjoy it, but it’s the kind of book that seems impersonal. If it could appeal to anyone, then it’s not exactly a recommendation based on the type of book that people enjoy reading. It’s a good guess that the average person on the street would like it, and that people with an interest in conspiracy theories would be particularly well suited to it, but it’s simply not good enough for me to recommend it over anything else.

That said, a lot of work has clearly gone into it, and you can’t knock it for the quality – it just feels a little soul-less, and I like my books to be tormented. I probably wouldn’t bother reading anything else by the same author. What does that say?


Crystal Skulls

Crystal Skulls


Click here to buy The Crystal Skull.


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