Tuesday 25 January 2011

Book Reviews

Hell's Belles
Jackie Kessler
Little, Brown Book Group

Available Now - £7.99 (Paperback)
Review by Charlotte Barnes

Once upon a time, Jezebel was a powerful succubus, capable of seducing men and sucking out their souls. But that was before Hell put a bounty on her head. Now her only chance to escape a fate far worse than death is to live as a mortal, losing herself in a sea of unfamiliar humanity, in a place where sinners walk hand-in-hand with saints - a place like Belle's strip club in New York City.

Working as an exotic dancer is a piece of cake for a former demon who once specialized in sex...but she hadn't counted on meeting sexy Paul Hamilton, a man haunted by his past. Good-bye, succubus; hello, lovestruck. Learning all about how complicated - and pleasurable - love can be, Jezebel thinks she's turned her back on Hell. But Hell hasn't stopped looking for her. The secrets Jezebel holds are the most dangerous of all, the kind every demon in the Underworld would do their worst to protect. Demons are closing in, which is enough to make Jezebel shiver in her G-string. But it's her love for Paul that's going to have deadly consequences...

The premise of Hell's Belles seemed interesting and could actually lead on to quite an interesting series of novels as long as it was written well and the characters fleshed out properly. Clearly the publishers of this novel couldn’t be arsed with all that faffing and decided to publish a book that was thought up whilst the author was having a nice poo.

The characters are really one dimensional, the plot should have been interesting but was just plain boring and the lead female couldn’t be less demonic even if she tried! There are some laughable shagging moments in this book as well. For a succubus she really doesn’t seem to be fulfilling her role.

So here is my advice for you whilst there is a fuel shortage, rather than read this book use it on your fire instead. It might ignite more passion that way as it clearly doesn’t manage it whilst you are reading it.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Plenty, but all a bit rubbish.
Sex/Nudity: There was more shagging and stripping than there was dialogue.
Swearing: Some.
Summary: This is a really lazy attempt a paranormal romance. Everyone loves to read a bit of boning in their novel, but this was uninspiring. 3/10

Pax Brittania: Gods of Manhattan
Al Ewing
Abaddon Books

Available Now - £7.99 (Paperback)
Review by Brad Harmer

While his sidekick lies bleeding out in hospital, city saviour Doc Thunder and Maya, his beatiful companion, attempt to discover the identity of their friend's assailant. The clues lead to secrets altogether older and darker than they could ever have imagined.

The Blood Spider - a name that strikes fear into the hearts of criminals everywhere. But unlike Doc Thunder, this vigilante is willing to kill, and it can only be a matter of time before the two heroes collide. Mexican masked swordsman El Sombra is also visiting the Big Apple, but he's not just any tourist. El Sombra is on a mission of revenge that will take him all the way into the heart of the city's corrupt underworld.

Gods of Manhattanis a Abaddon Books doing what they do best – over the top sci-fi pulp action. The characters in this are all incredible – from the truly powerful and good to the nationally socialistically evil.

The action scenes (which, thinking about it, probably compose about 85% of the novel) are fantastically well written, and you can actually feel each and every impact as it strikes home. If this was a comic, it would be written and drawn by Mike Mignola. It plays into the conventions of the superhero story, without ever being hampered by them.

If you’re looking for something action packed, then look no further. You’ve found some good fun, here.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Frequent, bloody hyper-violence.
Sex/Nudity: Some female nudity and “off-camera” BDSM.
Swearing: Some, but pretty mild.
Summary: A fun half-superhero, half-steampunk comedy/action/sci-fi novel. Forgettable, but great fun while it lasts. 8/10

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