Friday, 28 July 2017

Shattered Minds by Laura Lam


She can uncover the truth, if she defeats her demons

Ex-neuroscientist Carina struggles with a drug problem, her conscience, and urges to kill. She satisfies her cravings in dreams, fuelled by the addictive drug ‘Zeal’. Now she’s heading for self-destruction – until she has a vision of a dead girl.

Sudice Inc. damaged Carina when she worked on their sinister brain-mapping project, causing her violent compulsions. And this girl was a similar experiment. When Carina realizes the vision was planted by her old colleague Mark, desperate for help to expose the company, she knows he’s probably dead. Her only hope is to unmask her nemesis – or she’s next.

To unlock the secrets Mark hid in her mind, she’ll need a group of specialist hackers. Dax is one of them, a doctor who can help Carina fight her addictions. If she holds on to her humanity, they might even have a future together. But first she must destroy her adversary – before it changes us and our society, forever. 

My review:

This is my first dip into the world of Pacifica, brain implants, brainloading etc. and what an introduction this is.

Shattered Minds continues in the world of Pacifica where I believe Laura’s novel False Hearts is based, but this is a standalone novel and I had no trouble getting accustomed to this science fiction world or technology that really is quite realistic when we think of the progress we are making in this field.

Fabulous novel that is fast paced with great characters and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end. I couldn’t ask for more.

Three characters I loved the most:
  • Carina – messed up, with lots of issues and made to face her past, present and future by going after the company that has altered her mind and therefore set her on a dangerous path of self-destruction.
  • Roz – the ruthless neuro-scientist responsible for unethical human trials she uses to reach her goal of altering people’s minds and she is also Carina’s arch-enemy.
  • Dax – member of the Trust, a group of hackers fighting for justice and the ultimate fall of Sudice, the company behind the Roz’s trials.

I very much enjoyed the relationships between Carina and Roz, especially as Carina starts accessing her supressed memories and we read the flashbacks into hers and Roz’s past. Dax is the first person in Carina’s life that manages to get close to her and helps her wake up from the nightmare of Zeal addiction she has let herself to enter through a belief that she is an evil, murderous individual.

I’ve said this about most of the books I have read lately, but this is another cracker and I loved it. Different genre for me to try and realise I really enjoy. This book has introduced me to Laura Lam and I will be seeking out her other novels.

Thank you to the author and TBConFB for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 5/5

Author’s Website:

Available to purchase from:

Friday, 7 July 2017

The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey

Synopsis and author’s note:

From the author of the critically acclaimed The Mermaids Singing comes a haunting, luminous novel set on an enchanted island off the west coast of Ireland where magic, faith, and superstition pervade the inhabitants’ lives and tangled relationships—perfect for fans of Eowyn Ivey, Sarah Waters, and Angela Carter.

May 1959. From one side of St. Brigid’s Island, the mountains of Connemara can be glimpsed on the distant mainland; from the other, the Atlantic stretches as far as the eye can see. This remote settlement, without electricity or even a harbor, has scarcely altered since its namesake saint set up a convent of stone huts centuries ago. Those who live there, including sisters Rose and Emer, are hardy and resourceful, dependent on the sea and each other for survival. Despite the island’s natural beauty, it is a place that people move away from, not to—until an outspoken American, also named Brigid, arrives to claim her late uncle’s cottage.

Brigid has come for more than an inheritance. She’s seeking a secret holy well that’s rumoured to grant miracles. Emer, as scarred and wary as Rose is friendly and beautiful, has good reason to believe in inexplicable powers. Despite her own strange abilities—or perhaps because of them—Emer fears that she won’t be able to save her young son, Niall, from a growing threat. Yet Brigid has a gift too, even more remarkable than Emer’s. As months pass and Brigid carves out a place on the island and in the sisters’ lives, a complicated web of betrayal, fear, and desire culminates in one shocking night that will change the island, and its inhabitants, forever.

Steeped in Irish history and lore, The Stolen Child is a mesmerizing descent into old world beliefs, and a captivating exploration of desire, myth, motherhood, and love in all its forms

My review:

There a handful of books that leave scars on your soul and re surface once in a while so you never forget them. This is most definitely one of them.

Let’s start with the cover on this one. Amazing – I fell in love with the cover and didn’t really care about the blurb. But after reading that as well I was sold on this book. It was intriguing and didn’t really give that much away.

And oh my, I was in for a treat.

I can only describe this novel as beautiful. Set on a Irish island of St Brigid’s, the story follow one of the island women called Emer, twin to the more beautiful and popular Rose, and a newcomer Brigid, whose arrival will change the island in ways people could not imagine.

I don’t like to give the story away, so I would just say that I loved how the relationship between Emer and Brigid developed. Emer was so quietly desperate for her own friend and Brigid so desperate for the one thing she always wanted and never got. Their loneliness and despair brings them together and rip apart everything they believed in.

The island life was so stunningly portrayed I could just imagine the scenery when the women were walking the hills or having a picnic. The idea of fairies and changelings, superstition and healing magic is so well incorporated into the whole story and makes it that much more special.

Thank you to the author and TBConFB for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 5/5

Author’s Website:

Available to purchase from: