Stevie Turner, Author.

Stevie Turner,  Author

Stevie Turner's Reviews

2014


Stevie's review of Glimmer, by Nicola McDonagh  4/5*

Very Original Stories!

‘Glimmer’ by Nicola McDonagh is a book consisting of several short stories, each one quite original in content; indeed I could never have thought up or imagined ‘On The Eighth Day’ (which actually I found a little bit disturbing!).  I enjoyed more the two arty stories at the end, and imagine that Nicola must be quite artistic herself to have written them.


There were a couple of typos and editing errors, but on the whole I can say that the stories are well worth reading. 


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Stevie's review of We are Toten Herzen, by Chris Harrison 4/5*

 A Rock Band with a Difference:

Death is never too far behind the Seventies' rock band Toten Herzen. Even their name means `Dead Hearts.' Manager Micky Redwall was mysteriously killed in April 1977, and earlier on March 21st 1977 all four members of the band had supposedly been murdered in Highgate cemetery by Lenny Harper, a crazed fan.

Are the band members' murders really a publicity stunt, or actual fact? Over 35 years later there is talk of a Toten Herzen comeback. Lenny Harper meets an unfortunate end, along with several critics who are just a little too critical of the band members and their music. Is the band's publicist Rob Wallet involved in the latest spate of killings?

Other questions start being asked: Why have the band members not aged at all since 1977? How come they have no reflection and can suddenly appear out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly? Why is the band never seen during the day? Why do they never need to eat? Rumours abound of the apocalypse coinciding with their reunion gig, fuelled by journalist Terence Pearl.

Author Chris Harrison has a good insight into the workings of the music industry, but being an old rocker myself I would have liked more on-stage antics. However, the stage is set so to speak for a series of Toten Herzen novels, so maybe there will be some duck-walks and flying V's ablaze in the next instalment?

Good rock escapism with more than a touch of blood and gore......


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Stevie's review of  The Covington Witches part 1 by Roz Carter  3/5*


Witchy Woman

This is the first part of a series, introducing us to Imara, a busy lady running her own catering business in Philadelphia. When her great uncle dies she has to temporarily hand the business over to family and friends to run while she travels to North Carolina for a few days with her cousins to attend the funeral.

The pace of life is slower in Edenton, and Imara gets to like it there and even begins to think about buying a property in the town with her cousins.

While she is there her great aunt passes away as well, and there is a double funeral. However, Imara gets caught up in a special ceremony after the funeral which leaves her spellbound, but seems a strangely fitting family celebration for her great aunt and uncle.

This book is very short. There was a spelling mistake and editorial errors involving speech and lack of paragraphs. I wonder why the author has not combined all the parts to make one novel? I think I would have preferred that.


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Stevie's review of Eclectic: Beyond the Skin , by Queen of Spades
4 out of 5 stars

‘Eclectic: Beyond the Skin’ by Queen of Spades features a delightful collection of poetry and one short story; all depicting Queenie’s own slant on issues surrounding interpersonal relationships.  I could relate to several of the poems, particularly ‘Loving (You and Me)’ with its echoes of self-doubt, and the excellent ‘War and Peace’, which I re- read several times, thinking about the difficult relationship I have with my own mother.  Another favourite was ‘Michael’s Song’, a tribute to a loved one, and the poignant ‘Promise’ with its overlying tones of unfaithfulness; something I’m sure most women in a relationship have worried about at one time or another.  There was also the voyeuristic ‘As He Sleeps’, and ‘Bag of Bones’ to which I can certainly relate (!), and on a lighter note I enjoyed ‘Average Woman’, which focused on issues of dress size.


After the poetry I enjoyed Queenie’s short story ‘Misfortune’, which showed how the main protagonist Tavena tried to deal with issues of unfaithfulness in her own life and in that of her friend Sheryl, culminating in a tense and dramatic ending which kept me reading right until the end.


I thoroughly recommend this book for fans of poetry that deals with real-life issues and with the twists and turns we go through when trying to hold on to a loving relationship.

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 Stevie's review of Toten Herzen Malandanti, by Chris Harrison

4 out of 5 stars

Chris Harrison follows up ‘We Are Toten Herzen’ with the next book in the series – ‘Toten Herzen Malandanti’, a comedic tale of the band’s adventures deep in the heart of the English Lake District.  As well as witty interactions between the band members, the reader is entertained by Lena, leader of the Malandanti witches, Raven the wannabe vampire, Rose Pursey and her lawsuit, ex-Manager Micky Redwall and his secrets, loquacious ovines, and a lost valley.  These are just some of the shenanigans associated with the band this time as they try to shoot a promotional film and record their latest album.


Mr Harrison is obviously as fond of the Lake District as I am; his beautiful descriptions of the lakes, hills, peaks and valleys made me feel I was there, and brought to mind happy times I have spent there in the past.


The author has also added in some of that dry British humour that particularly appeals to me.  I especially enjoyed reading the chapters regarding wannabe vampire Raven and her serious digestive issues, and those of Toten Herzen’s bored drummer Rene and his adventures in the hillsides with unsuspecting campers and several talking sheep.  Especially entertaining was Lena’s performance as she raises Micky Redwall from the dead, eager to know the secret he has kept for forty years regarding the location of the lost valley where her witches wish to reside. 


All this and more adds up to an enjoyable story topped off with an awesome mountaintop gig, which is only mildly clouded by a few editing issues along the way.  Read the latest Toten Herzen story and escape from reality into that lost valley, if only for a short while.


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Stevie's review of The Starbirth Assignment Part One, by J M Johnson
4 out of 5 stars
J M Johnson has obviously researched her subject well, although at times there seemed to be quite an overload of technical jargon and information to digest.  However, I especially enjoyed the fantasy element pertaining to the teleportation processes and the unusual insect 'spies'.  I must admit I do not usually read books with a military background such as this, but the novel is well written and has a fast-moving plot to keep the reader hooked.  Try it!

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