Wednesday, 25 November 2015

SCI-FI MONTH - Review - Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey

Title: Beacon 23

Author: Hugh Howey

Publisher: Createspace

Release Date: 12th August 2015

Source: Own Copy

For centuries, men and women have manned lighthouses to ensure the safe passage of ships. 

It is a lonely job, and a thankless one for the most part. Until something goes wrong. Until a ship is in distress. 

In the 23rd century, this job has moved into outer space. A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at many times the speed of light. These beacons are built to be robust. 

They never break down. 

They never fail. 

At least, they aren't supposed to.

The job of a lighthouse keeper is a lonely one, day after day with only the sea for company, keeping the light lit to make sure ships have safe passage.

It isn't a job that I would want to do, Beacon 23 takes the job of the lighthouse keeper and places them in an even worse environment, deep space.

Now the thing I love about Hugh Howey's work is the fact he can take the most claustrophobic, inhospitable space and turn it in to somewhere I'd like to go, yes that is right I have an inkling to visit those silos from Wool and after reading Beacon 23, I want to visit the beacons.

Our keeper is ex-military, stationed in the deepest part of the galaxy making sure those spaceships don't come a cropper, he is all alone with only the occasional traveller darkening his door.

His job is to maintain the light and make sure it stays lit, of course very early in the book the light goes on the blink and this is when the story really begins.

Our keeper has to deal with the aftermath of what happens when the light goes out and the guilt that comes with it, being all alone he experiences a lot of emotions including a memorable moment with a talking inanimate object, is he losing his mind?

Maybe he needs some company? Before long he has more company than he needs, is his space getting too crowded?  Does he maybe need to get back to Earth?

Atmospheric, beautifully imagined, great characters, an intriguing story plus a touch of humour, everything I have came to expect from Hugh Howey.


Random Redheaded Ramblings

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

BIZARRE BOOKS #10 - How To Use Feminine..... by B Koz

Whilst looking through the many, many, many books on Amazon I discovered some hidden gems, books that maybe have been overshadowed and have not had the credit they deserve.

They may be a little bizarre, they may be unintentionally funny, they may be wonderfully cute or they may just be a total WTF!!! book.

This weekly post is a tribute to these hidden gems and to be honest some of them are worth looking at for their reviews alone!

So I know I have a least one regular male reader (Hello Greg!) and I am shocked and appalled that men have been making use of products designed to ease those little monthly problems.

There are no reviews for this one but the table of contents is available, one chapter is called Tampon Bouquet, worth checking out for laugh!

Random Redheaded Ramblings

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Sunday Post #27 - Sunday 22nd November 2015

sunday post, book blog, blogger, weekly review

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I'm gonna recap my week and give you an idea of what I have coming up plus anything else newsworthy!

Ok I will be honest, I am struggling to find new Liz Lemon pics so I have taken the long and hard decision to find a new spirit animal and from now on that spirit animal will be......


Ok so are well on board with Lesley? Good, so how are we all?

Me, I have a forty a day cough (I don't smoke any more) which is driving me crazy, my eldest has been ill and she is a bad patient prone to crazy dramatic outbursts.  The poor babe though she has been ill with a hellish cough (could be where I got mine from) but is thankfully getting better.

Today it started to snow, can't say I was thrilled but I do feel strangely Christmassy.

This week I started watching Broad City which I had previously dismissed as hipster nonsense but is actually freaking funny, so much better than Girls which I got bored of.  The girls in Broad City are brilliantly comic with the best facial expressions!

Also there is one week to enter my giveaway, go on you know you need more books! Enter below, it is worldwide!!

Have a great week everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I have received physical and e-copies of some fab books this week, thank you to all the publishers for sending them! Also, some of them are my own purchases, the pics link to Goodreads for you to find 
out more!


Thank you Amy @ A Novel Start! Cannot wait to read!!







Let me know if you have read any of them!

Happy Sunday!

Random Redheaded Ramblings

Saturday, 21 November 2015

#COYER - Going Back to Basics Sign Up

So I have never done COYER before but I had seen some of my favourite bloggers participating in the challenge before and when I saw the sign up page I knew it was time for me to attempt it!

So what is COYER?

“Clean Out Your E-reads Challenge”
Yes, those pesky books you have downloaded that you never get around to reading, well this well spur you on to read them all (well some of them anyway!!

There are rules!

Read Your E-Reads! 
Every book you read must be in an electronic format – meaning E-Book or Audiobook. It’s okay to start a book before December 20th, you must be less than half way for it to count then review it during COYER. 

The books must be FREE or NEARLY FREE! 
This includes library books, review books, tour books, NetGalley, Edelweiss, etc. What’s nearly free? No more than $5 for ebooks and no more than $16 for Audiobooks (or the equivalent in your currency). 

Announce your participation! 
This can be a blog post (or if you don’t have a blog – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Booklikes, Goodreads, Shelfari, etc.) If you want to list books you would like to read, that’s great, but not necessary. The point is to let us know you’re committed to COYER, maybe share some goals, and help us spread the word. Not sure how to do your post? Check out this example from a previous COYER. - See more at:

So I am excited to take part as I have quite a few I'd like to read.  I find it impossible to decide now what I would like to read but I will tentatively say 20 books....

  The challenge runs from 19th December 2015 to 4th March 2016, are you joining?

Friday, 20 November 2015

SCI-FI MONTH - Review - The Ark by Patrick Tomlinson

Title: The Ark

Author: Patrick S Tomlinson

Publisher: Angry Robot 

Release Date: 5th November 2015

Source: NetGalley

Humankind has escaped a dying Earth and set out to find a new home among the stars aboard an immense generation ship affectionately name the Ark. Bryan Benson is the Ark's greatest living sports hero, enjoying retirement working as a detective in Avalon, his home module. The hours are good, the work is easy, and the perks can't be beat.

But when a crew member goes missing, Bryan is thrust into the center of an ever-expanding web of deception, secrets, and violence that overturns everything he knows about living on the Ark and threatens everyone aboard. As the last remnants of humanity hurtle towards their salvation, Bryan finds himself in a desperate race to unravel the conspiracy before a madman turns mankind's home into its tomb.

Ah space the final frontier, when the earth takes it last gasp we are all destined for the stars.

The Ark carries the last of humankind, having set off 200 years ago, generation after generation has grown up never setting for on solid ground.  The cream of mankind has made the massive spaceship its home, the population is split across two distinct zones and policing one of those zones is Bryan Benson, ex sports hero and current detective of the Avalon zone.

A case comes across his path, one that has never ever happened -  a crew member has gone missing.

Now this has never happened because everyone on board has a plant embedded which also tracks them.  But this crew member has vanished of the face of the, well spaceship and it is up to Bryan to find them.

To make matters worse he has to do it quickly, after two hundred years the ship has nearly reached it destination, a new planet that will be their new home, Bryan has two weeks to wrap up the case.

So no spoilers here but what happens next is just incredible, as Bryan delves in to the life of the missing crew member he uncovers artefacts that where stolen years before, he also feels someone is sabotaging his case.  

The deeper he goes the more he uncovers, his journey takes him from literally the top of the tallest tower to the sub levels in the bowels of the ship, aided by colleagues including his forbidden love interest Theresa and a very green new recruit.

What he uncovers may literally rock the boat.

Stunning world building, a plot that keeps you guessing and some totally old school in a new world case solving.  This is a great start to the series as the ending does leave you wanting more.

Sci-fi at its best, a great read.

Thanks to Angry Robot for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


Random Redheaded Ramblings

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

SCI-FI MONTH - Review - Down Station by Simon Morden

Title: Down Station

Author: Simon Morden

Publisher: Gollancz

Release Date: 18th June 2016

Source: NetGalley

A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. 

They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through...and find themselves on a wild shore backed by cliffs and rolling grassland. The way back is blocked. Making their way inland they meet a man dressed in a wolf's cloak and with wolves by his side. He speaks English and has heard of a place called London - other people have arrived here down the ages - all escaping from a London that is burning. None of them have returned. Except one - who travels between the two worlds at will. The group begin a quest to find this one survivor; the one who holds the key to their return and to the safety of London.

And as they travel this world, meeting mythical and legendary creatures,split between North and South by a mighty river and bordered by The White City and The Crystal Palace they realise they are in a world defined by all the London's there have ever been.

Reminiscent of Michael Moorcock and Julian May this is a grand and sweeping science fantasy built on the ideas, the legends, the memories of every London there has ever been.
With a sensational start, Down Station takes you from subterranean London to a strange world far removed from the big smoke.

We meet a selection of people including track workers, commuters and cleaners  who find themselves trapped in the bowels of the London Underground following a fiery apocalyptic inferno up top, we join them as they run for their lives as the fire forces its way through the vast network of tunnels, melting and burning everything and anyone in its way.

Our group frantically try and escape, and during this time you can literally feel the furnace that is surrounding them, it truly is horrifying but just when they think their time is up salvation comes and they find a door, but it does not lead to where they expect.

The door opens on to a shore, a wild coastline, how the hell can this be on the other side of a door in the underground?

It does give them a choice - do they stay and try to find another way out or do they go through the door and try their luck in this unexpected place?

So I won't give you any more because I won't do this story justice but the change in story from London to the strange new world is wonderful, you go from the dark dank underground (well before it is on fire) to the strange, almost exotic world which is populated by few but the few who live there are definitely strange such as the man in the wolf cloak.  

Even though they have survived the inferno, they want to get home but is this possible or will they be stuck in this strange new world?

This is an interesting read with a great new world to immerse yourself in, it is fantastical and thrilling, a great book to add to your fantasy/sci-fi shelf.

Thank you to Gollancz for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review

Released 18th February 2016


Random Redheaded Ramblings

BIZARRE BOOKS #9 - How To Poo At Work by Mats and Enzo

Whilst looking through the many, many, many books on Amazon I discovered some hidden gems, books that maybe have been overshadowed and have not had the credit they deserve.

They may be a little bizarre, they may be unintentionally funny, they may be wonderfully cute or they may just be a total WTF!!! book.

This weekly post is a tribute to these hidden gems and to be honest some of them are worth looking at for their reviews alone!

For everyone who hates partition toilets and hey America why do you have such big gaps on your toilet doors?

Seriously? Just whilst I am talking about toilets, partition toilets are horrible and the ones I have came across in Florida have serious gaps at the side and bottom of the door, what is up with that?

Anyhoo, this book seems to be the bible of helping one "go" at work.  Helpful for my office working readers???!!

Random Redheaded Ramblings