Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater

4 Stars from me (for sci-fi fans)

The phrase ‘less is more‘ is thrown about sometimes, losing its meaning. But here, Karl Drinkwater manages to remind us just how powerful this can be by crafting an atmosphere for us that is genuinely unsettling. And I love it!

We follow our of protagonist, who is accompanied by a vastly powerful AI, as she ventures into a decaying ‘lost ship’.  What then follows is a mix of fast paced action scenes with a militaristic hunter / dangerous prey dynamic, and some slower and more horrifying parts.

Don’t be put off by me saying slower parts as these are where I find this book really shines. The sense of dread and uneasiness I got while reading this was enjoyably real, and I would have loved for there to be more of it – scare me, make me feel uneasy! Also, our story exists in what feels to be a super interesting world, and it’s unfortunate we get to see and hear very little of it throughout the book as I would have loved to read more about it… I wonder if that develops in the future?

My thanks to Anne Cater #RandomThingsTours and Karl Drinkwater for letting me be a part of this blog tour.

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Synopsis: Sometimes spaceships disappear with everyone on board – the Lost Ships. But sometimes they come back, strangely altered, derelict, and rumoured to be full of horrors.

Opal is on a mission. She’s been seeking something her whole life. Something she is willing to die for. And she thinks it might be on a Lost Ship.

Opal has stolen Clarissa, an experimental AI-controlled spaceship, from the military. Together they have tracked down a Lost Ship, in a lonely nebula far from colonised space.

The Lost Ship is falling into the gravity well of a neutron star, and will soon be truly lost … forever. Legends say the ships harbour death, but there’s no time for indecision.

Opal gears up to board it. She’s just one woman, entering an alien and lethal environment. But perhaps with the aid of Clarissa’s intelligence – and an armoured spacesuit – Opal may stand a chance.

Can she face her demons and survive?

Temperature: Dead and Rising by Adam Santo

Temperature Dead and Rising3.5 stars from me

Sci-fi/fantasy isn’t a genre I usually read (although I confess to having loved the Twilight series), so it took me a little while to get to grips with the premise of main character Sally being undead.

The opening scene in the morgue was great, very atmospheric. The bit where Bo and Sally first drive off in a car was again very good, it had a realistic feel to it. Overall, I thought the world created by Santo was great, with the Church being the bad guys and heaps of mistrust and suspicion throughout everyone else – even though they were effectively on the same side.

The descriptions of magic and spells were all believable and it was easy to follow the concept that Sally has greater powers than expected which I guess will develop further in future books.

I’ve stuck at 3.5 stars for a few reasons, there were a couple of areas where it was a little confusing, there were a few typos and I felt it just fell short of having a killer hook.

Having said that I think, especially for the teen market, this debut novel has the makings of a great series, Temperature: Dead and Rising was inventive, packed full of magic and fantasy with a healthy dose of sexual tension and I think the rest of the series will improve and  develop as it goes along. It’s a nice touch that the book has a sprinkling of humour throughout which means that the story wasn’t scary!

Synopsis: Dark, funny, and filled with suspense, Temperature: Dead and Rising by new author Adam Santo is a wildly creepy fantasy—and a corpse of a good time. When Sally Mertill is driving a carload of her friends back to Green Mountain Falls after visiting Pike’s Peak they’ll careen off the side of the mountain. With no guardrails it’s not surprising there are no survivors. And yet within two days a not altogether bad fellow named Bocnic Drewings will call upon the metal drawer where her body awaits autopsy, open it, and lead her on the adventure of a lifetime—well, that’s if she’d have survived the accident. The powers that be have chosen Sally to become undead and she’s the only other person time eternal who’s been given the power to raise the dead—and control them. When leaders of rival undead clans find out, they either want to control or destroy her, which makes Sally staying undead a bit of a challenge.