When my publisher added my new release to their catalogue, I noticed they listed it under horror. I was about to correct them when I glanced at the extract I’d added to a guest post and realised there was a lot of blood mentioned!
Once I’d completed my Guardians trilogy and nestled it comfortably in the fantasy genre, I began to pen Oath Breaker, a werewolf novel, always thinking I was sticking to the fantasy theme albeit with a more urban feel.
It doesn’t matter how many times you release a book the cover reveal is always an exciting affair. That first glimpse of how the designer interpreted your words, the anticipation of seeing it on a bookshelf, and the fear that you actually might not like it all wrestle for room in your already overcrowded brain.
I have total faith in the design team at BHC Press and so when my phone pings with a notification telling me ‘it’s ready’ I get goose bumps. I dash over to my computer and wait for the messages to trickle in. You see, my fabulous publisher loves to draw out the suspense with some ‘tried this, tried that, changed this, changed that’ messages first, by which time I have no fingernails left! Then, when I think I might burst from excitement the image loads…
It was 1979 when Ridley Scott released his first Alien movie, introducing impressionable youngsters to the joy, horror, and excitement of deep space. As a child, it was Enid Blyton who encouraged my love of fantasy, and it was Ridley Scott and also George Lucas (Star Wars) who tempted me to explore the stars.
Actress, Sigourney Weaver became a firm favourite of mine from that moment, and I loved how her character evolved throughout the films. John Hurt will always be remembered as the poor man who suffered the most brutal of deaths thanks to the organism bursting from his chest. The aliens were so frightening and fierce that the audience was filled with dread at the slightest twitch of a tail or sniff of that acid blood.
As with all the Alien movies, we expect a certain level of blood and gore, Alien: Covenant offers its fair share of this, although the brutal alien attacks we’ve come to expect (and crave) are constrained into a couple of ten-minute bursts. Yes, we see aliens bursting from various body parts in a shower of blood. Yes, we are tempted to lean over the egg as it opens up revealing the spidery bug inside. Yes, we’ve seen it all before!
After seeing the trailer for this movie, I waited eagerly for the release date. As an avid Alien fan, I wanted to see how Ridley Scott was going to shape his creation and terrify us beyond belief. I was sorely disappointed!
The trailer shows an abundance of action shots, unfortunately, the trailer shows nearly all of the action shots. There was nothing original about this film, nothing exciting or enticing. The storyline was dull, slow, and predictable and apart from the last ten minutes, the aliens looked more like melted waxworks than the terrifying beasts we know and love to hate.
If you enjoy films that explore relationships, and the dynamics of people living and working in close proximity then you may enjoy Alien: Covenant. If you are looking for an action packed film with fun and quirky characters, plenty of explosions and moments that take your breath away then this isn’t that film.
A couple of people walked out of the cinema before the end, and I really wanted to join them, however, in the interests of my review I stuck it out to the bitter end!
I had high hopes for this film, but it didn’t deliver.
Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, members (Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup) of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think to be an uncharted paradise. While there, they meet David (Michael Fassbender), the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. The mysterious world soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.
Rayne Hall was one of the first writers I followed on Twitter and one of the first to engage with me in a meaningful way. She always replied to any tweets, was quick to reciprocate when I promoted her books, and always ready with an answer if I was stuck (on tweeting or writing!)
Thanks to this positive interaction I decided to see what Rayne’s books were all about. She writes horror and fantasy (a huge tick in the box for me), she also has a black cat (we’re practically soul sisters!), but it was her Writer’s Craft Series that hooked me in. Over the years I have added every new release to my growing collection and find them to be a valuable resource. Continue reading “#BookReview Writing Dark Stories by @RayneHall #HowTo #wwwBlogs”→
Here on the Reader Spot, I share the bookish love of our avid book reviewers. From young adult to historical romance, chick-lit to a murder mystery, they know what they like, and they’re happy to share. Whether you are a reader looking for a new book, or a writer wondering what your reader wants, I hope you find this series enjoyable.
As I round up willing victims book reviewers to take part in this feature, I thought I’d share my own book love so you can see the kind of questions I ask.
If you are a book blogger/reviewer and would like to take part in this feature, then please leave me a comment, or get in touch via my ‘say hello’ page. This Feature Needs You!
What genre do you enjoy reading?
I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear that I adore YA fantasy fiction. My bookshelves are stuffed full of vampires, faeries, dragons, and witches – the more fantastical, the better! However, as I have been a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team for a while now, I’ve started to push the boundaries and read a few ‘big girl’ books. I’ve discovered a new-found love of historical fiction, science fiction, crime, and horror – something I used to enjoy reading when in my twenties. I also enjoy non-fiction titles in the personal development genre.
Do you have a favourite author in this genre?
I have several favourite YA authors, most of whom I’ve included in my Monday Muse feature; Sarah J Maas, Cassandra Clare, Maggie Stiefvater, Jana Oliver, oh dear, the list is endless! When I was younger, I was a huge James Herbert fan and was deeply saddened by his loss. Another favourite in the sci-fi and horror genre is Dylan J Morgan – his books are beyond awesome!
How do you prefer to read your books?
Most of my review books are on my kindle, but when a favourite author releases a new book I have to get it in paperback. I can’t seem to read YA on my Kindle – maybe that’s the teen in me! I also have to have a paperback if it’s non-fiction. I’d probably say it’s a 50/50 split. I’ve had a few PDF books to review and find it incredibly hard to read on my computer. I much prefer to curl up somewhere away from my desk.
Where do you purchase your books?
Amazon and Waterstones. It’s far too easy for me to click ‘buy now’ on Amazon, I should deactivate my card details – maybe one day! We have a lovely big Waterstones store in Solihull, and also on New Street in Birmingham, and it’s physically impossible for me to walk past without popping in.
Where do you find out about the books you read?
The majority of my book purchases come from reading reviews on book blogs. If I like the cover, blurb, and it’s got a decent review, then I’m sold. I also subscribe to the Goodreads YA email, so I find out when all my favourite authors are releasing their books.
I take advantage of the ‘you might also like’ feature on Amazon quite a bit too. They have recommended some fabulous titles by lesser-known authors who I might have missed otherwise.
Do you have a budget when buying books? Do you stick to it if you do?
Ha ha, I don’t know why I ask this question – does anyone have a book budget? I know I should as I probably spend more money on books than groceries, but I can’t see me implementing one anytime soon 🙂
Do you write a review when you’ve finished reading? If so, where do you post this?
Yes, every time. I will post a review on Amazon UK and US, Goodreads, and my blog. If I’ve reviewed a title as part of Rosie’s team, then it also gets shared on Rosie Amber’s blog, so it receives two pushes on social media. I share my reviews on Twitter and Facebook and hope to start promoting them again on Instagram and Pinterest (I’ve been a bit lax with that!)
What do you look for in a book?
For me, it’s all about the characters. If I don’t feel a connection, then I’m not really bothered about the plot. I love feisty female characters who get into all kinds of trouble, and I’m quite partial to a sexy vampire, but that’s for another blog post!
Where do you like to read?
I love reading in my she-shed in the garden when it’s a warm sunny day, but as autumn has arrived, I’ve started to curl up on my sofa overlooking the garden. I do go up to bed quite early and read for a few hours before switching the light off. I also have thirty minutes between dropping my son off at football and when his match starts so I’ll hoover up a few chapters in the car before standing in all weathers to cheer him on.
What social media platforms are you active on?
You’re reading my blog at the moment *waving* so feel free to hit the ‘follow’ button.