(Blog Tour) Tropical Punch – S.J Jensen

What is it all about:

“Strippers, Drugs, and Headless Corpses…

All in a day’s work for Bubbles Marlowe, HoloCity’s only cyborg detective.

What do an anti-tech cult, a deadly new street drug, and the corrupt Chief of Police have in common?

It’s a question Bubbles can’t afford to ask. Last time she got curious it cost her job, a limb, and almost her life.

She vows to stay out of police business. But with a newly minted cybernetic enhancement, a semi-legal P.I. license, and a knack for asking the wrong kind of questions… Vows are made to be broken, right?

When a seemingly straightforward contract takes a dark turn, heads literally roll. Unless she wants to take the fall for the murders Bubbles needs to cut town on the double. Too bad she’s flat broke.

And now, she’s being hunted.

In a world where dreams can be made real for the right kind of dough, nothing is as it seems. One thing is clear, though. The dream is becoming a nightmare.

As the body count stacks up, Bubbles realizes she’s made a terrible mistake.

Can she figure out who is behind the murders before she loses her head?

Warning: Don’t read this book if you hate fun, glitter, sassy robotic pigs, or hard-boiled badassery. Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett are rolling in their graves, but this is all their fault.”

My Thoughts:

Hi listeners welcome back to another review, I must confess to you all I love cyberpunk in many shapes and sizes, and I’m very pleased to say this did not disappoint.

I loved everything about this story, the setting, the characters both good and bad, the simplicity mixed with the complexity of it all, like a beautiful dance of words.

Enter Bubbles Marlowe our sassy cyber nearly p.i, she is a brilliant character, someone I would happily have a drink with but not want to owe any money to.

Bubbles is larger than life and in this dark and weird world she inhabits thats important but even as she is so big, the cast of characters supporting this story shine equally as bright, each and every one is fleshed out and feel like they have an interesting back story.

Speaking of back stories I immediately wanted to know bubbles, her interesting personality kept me glued to the book and would love there to be an origin story at some point.

The scene setting and the emotions portrayed are wonderfully done, it makes me want to look more into this author who I shamefully confess is not known to me, but that will now change.

The narrator of this shiny cyber adventure is Jennifer Blom, who combined with Jensen’s exquisite writing together they make an excellent team and Jennifer’s narrative brings it all to life in living technicolour, I hope they work together again.

If you like all things quirky, this is for you, if you are a cyberpunk fan, this is for you, if you just want a fun story and then find the rest, then I highly recommend this, I will definitely be keeping an eye on this series in anticipation of book two.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tropical-Punch-Bubbles-Space-Book-ebook/dp/B08WRD2LTY/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=bubbles+in+space+book+1&qid=1630359851&sr=8-2

You can follow S.C Jensen here: @scjensen_author or http://www.scjensen.com

Or follow Jennifer here: @jenblom or http://www.jenblom.com

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

readyplayerone

 

Book Blurb:

“Imagine a dystopian future where citizens are forced to live in a virtual reality just to escape the unsettling state of the present. Narrated by actor Will Wheaton, this thrilling story is a fast-paced adventure that pits thousands of desperate members of humanity against each other in the ultimate race for the winning prize.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And, like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who died with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS – and his massive fortune – will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late 20th century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle. Suddenly he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions – and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.

Narrator Wil Wheaton is an American actor and writer best known for his role as Wesley Crusher in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and for playing Gordie Lachance in the film Stand By Me. More recently, he has appeared in several episodes of the TV series The Big Bang Theory as himself.”

 

My Thoughts:

Well ladies and gentlemen get comfy in your haptic chairs, put on your visor and get ready for a rewind to the 80’s, that you will remember for a very long time.

I was born in 1981 so growing up I missed most of the best things of the 80’s but listening to this it makes me want to step back in time. And through this story you can re-live some classic moments.

I loved Wade, the unlikly hero of our tale, as he realises the enormity of his situation he faces a number of interesting and retro tasks he seems well suited for.

I loved all the 80’s references some I got, like the Atari 2600 (I had one), Commodore 64, Douglas Adams, Monty Python, all which I loved and still do, some good things just never leave you.

There was alot of detail in this 15 hour epic, each glorious hour was a crossroads where past and the future regulary had near miss collisions.

As with all good sci-fi stories there is a faceless evil organisation trying to get everything for itself, and I was concerned that sometimes they could have.

It’s funny how competition can bring the best and worst out in people, and as Wade and his new friends forge ahead with the ultimate quest, things inevitably get in the way.

The line between reality and virtual reality keep a healthy distance from each other, online you can be whoever you want, but is it who you really are?

Will Wheaton narrates this brilliant book, the young ensign crusher has come along way from the bridge of the enterprise, a great storyteller.

This was a brilliant audiobook, fantastic detail, narration and writing, I wait eagerly now to see the movie, hoping it will live up to what I have heard.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ready-Player-One/dp/B007ROETX6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528349270&sr=8-1&keywords=ready+player+one+book

You can Follow Ernest Here: @erniecline

and his website is: http://www.ernestcline.com

Dead End – Kandy Monroe

deadend

Book Blurb:

“Jenny Duncan works the evening shift at the local shop in the town of Lillington in the Midlands, UK. On Guy Fawkes night, during the bonfire celebrations, a virus sweeps through the town. Jenny finds herself trapped with three customers as the infected attack anyone they can find outside.

Then the dead start to rise, the power and communications are cut off, and a fire breaks out in a building nearby. The group of survivors must find a way out if they are to reach their families and safety.

It soon becomes apparent the virus has gone global, and safety is a difficult thing to find. The group must work together if they are to survive.

Dead End is the story of ordinary people living in the UK, with no special skills, trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. This is book one in the Dead End series.”

My Thoughts:

A wee short one on the blog today. I received this book through an opportunity on facebook and I am glad to say I was not disappointed.

Think of every good or half decent zombie movie and b-movie and this is the audiobook version of all of those.

I love a story where normal plucky everyday people show and excel in a less than everyday situation.

Yes it’s a well worn topic of the zombie apocalypse, but I found this one nearly believable which made it so much more enjoyable. The jumble of characters and personalities worked well together, once again proving the power of the human spirit in the most dire of circumstances.

The night starts like any other for Jenny, in her wee local shop, but its clear everything is not OK. Events in the story move along at a nice pace not to slow and not too quickly.

The narrator for this tale was Jacqueline Nym, another new name for me, she told the story well, I’d be interested to hear her do different styles of story.

If you want a good old zombie romp with nods too the classic b movie zombie apocalypse then give this a listen.

You can follow Kandy Monroe here: @Kady_Monroe_1 

You can buy it here:

 

Why You Were Taken (When Tomorrow Calls, Book 1) – J.T Lawrence

whyyouweretaken

 

Book Blurb:

“In tomorrow’s world prowls a creative and ruthlessly efficient assassin who won’t stop until Kirsten is killed.

A troubled woman approaches Kirsten with a warning and a key and is later found dead. Was the woman just another victim of the Suicide Contagion, or is there something more sinister at play? The key leads Kirsten to the Doomsday Vault and a hit list of seven people – and her barcode is on it.

Edgy and original, Why You Were Taken is a dark cinematic thriller that will keep you guessing till the last.”

 

My Thoughts:

This was the first book I have listened to that’s set in South Africa and what a picture it painted… sure, it’s set in the far future but it still sounds like a brilliant place.

I do love all things Sci-fi and futuristic so this was right up my cyber ally, the sights the sounds, it was all very visual I loved it.

The story portrays poor Kate, thrust into a world of belief, family, murder and mystery. It all starts with a warning from a troubled women and spirals from there. I was hanging on each twist wanting to know what happens next.

Two timelines run throughout this story which may put some people off trying to follow it, but trust me it’s really easy and the two timelines give even more meat to the story.

All the various characters who appear in this story are all strong and believable, if I was ever in this situation I know I would like the good ones in this story on my side.

The teller of this story is Roshina Ratnam, a new voice to me but one i could happily listen to again, she has a nice flow and is not in your face and she doesn’t try to be something she isn’t.

If I had to sum this book up in three words, it would be “gritty, visual and brilliant”, if you like cyberpunk thrillers or just thrillers then give this one a listen.

You can Find it here:

 

You can find out more about JT Lawrence here: https://jt-lawrence.com/

Also follow her on Twitter here: @pulpbooks

A night with Ken MacLeod and Chris Brookmyer 

Jump into your spaceships, let your imaginations run wild and strap yourself in for a night where we go boldly where no man or women has gone before.
Tonight was spend in the presence of two great authors, one who I knew in the shape of Chris Brookmyer and one who was a new name to me but no less interesting Ken MacLeod.

Both had made the voyage from crime writing to sci-fi, Ken has written a few sci – fi but this was Chris’s first tentative step into that universe.

The night opened with both reading an opening bit from their books, Ken read a section from the first of his corporation wars series, Dissidence as he said it wouldn’t make any sense reading  from the third one if people hadn’t read the other two like myself.

Then the two authors chatted amongst themselves, loud enough so we all could he though firing such topical lasers about as free will, artificial intelligence and advanced technology.

there was a couple of questions from a tentative audience, and Chris told a funny story about a complaint letter he had been sent about mobiles still being able to dial 999 even if you take the sim card out, and even in space there is whiskey.

All in all it was a brilliant evening, with you down to earth, honest and funny authors, it has reinforced my love for all things Sci-fi.

you can get Chris Brookmyer’s book here:

And Ken MacLeod’s book here:

Harvest Festival – Karl Drinkwater

 

 

 

harvestfestival

Book blurb:

“How Far Would You Go To Save Your Family?

First the birds went quiet.

Then the evening sky filled with strange clouds that trapped the heat below.

Now Callum wakes, dripping in sweat. Something has come to his isolated Welsh farm. If he’s going to keep his family alive during this single night when all hell breaks loose, he’ll have to think fast. And when he sees what he’s facing, he suspects even that may not be enough.

This blast of a book can be read in one nail-biting session.”

 

My review:

How much fear, action and horror can you fit into 2 hours and 5 minutes? If this book is anything to go by rather alot.

Callum an ordinary family man with a wife and 2 teenage kids, his life on his farm is about to be turned upside down.

I liked the fast pace of the story, it grabbed you by the scruff of the neck and dragged you right along till the end.

The descriptions of the narrator R J Alldred are detailed and terrifying, you do not want to meet one of these things on a dark night.

I really hope there is a sequel as I want to know more about the origin of the “things”.

If you want a scary, sci-fi, short story then I highly recommend this one.

You can find it here: