Review: The Crowman by Gareth Clegg

The Crowman

Author: Gareth Clegg

Published: July 1, 2020

Publisher: Twisted Fate Publishing

Format: eBook

Source: Author Request

In a dying world, one lone rider is the only hope for salvation.

Some say the world is shattered, that our way of life is dying. Our sun fills half the sky and the scorched lands struggle to provide enough to sustain us. Still, there has always been hope. But as that fiery red orb descends below the rocky skyline, then comes the shadow: Dark spirits hell-bent on destroying what’s left of humanity, as if we needed any help.

My name is Cheveyo Santiago. I cheated death as a child, but that trauma marked me, and now I sense the evil in others. So here I am, drawn like a moth to the flame. Though I carry a revolver, I’m no gunslinger, there are plenty faster on the draw than me. My real edge is knowledge.

Old family recipes passed down through the ages – the secrets to banish the shadow back to the hells that spawned it. Salt, Brimstone, Silver and Tallow shall be my weapons.


So, hear this, all creatures and spirits of evil. I know you. I see you. Prepare yourself for judgement.

The Crowman is the first novella in a Weird West / Supernatural Western Horror series from Amazon best selling author Gareth Clegg. 

Enter:  Cheveyo Santiago.  Badass, lone wolf. 

Read the synopsis!  What can you not love about this novella!  This has all the markings of great science fiction, great fantasy, and great western.  Sometimes authors can try to mash up too many genres, but I think this was done expertly!

Cheveyo Santiago is such a well written character!  Not only is he super cool, he’s also a survivor.  He is a banisher of spirits and he wants to protect the last shreds of human life in an effort to attain salvation.  Not only is Cheveyo well-written, the personality that is infused into his character is witty, sharp, and interesting!  I’ve recently stumbled into this genre and I have really enjoyed it so far! 

The setting is lush with a ton of descriptive prose provided by the author.  Sweeping backdrops of almost post-apocalyptic scenery.  Reminiscent of Fallout or Mad Max, but infused with so many details and interesting plot devices.  Also, I loved the typesetting and choices for the chapter images!  I’m a suck for a gunslinging magical adventure through a crazy landscape.  Fantastically Monster Hunter International blended with a pulpy western novel!  I can’t say anything more because this was so good!  Please give this a go and check out more from author Gareth Clegg!

Thank you to Gareth for asking me to review this novella!  I truly loved it and will be looking forward to more  from him!

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Review: Anu Tara Tiki by Lorraine Saint-Hubert and Ludovic Des Leuques

Anu Tara Tiki

Authors: Lorraine Saint-Hubert and Ludovic Des Leuques

Published: March 4, 2020

Publisher: Glrd Publications

Format: Paperback

Source: Author/Publicist Request

NThe discovery in Antarctica by Emile, a modest French tourist, of a fragment of antique stele covered with cuneiform writing triggers a merciless fight between greedy businessmen and idealistic scientists. Professor Samuel Kahn, an American sumerologist at Harvard, sees this stone as an opportunity to make his fortune by selling it to an industrial mega-group interested in exploiting the sub-soil of Antarctica. Father Dorian Green, a former Irish catholic priest and Oxford-based unconventional archaeologist, hopes this artifact will prove his theory that there was a forgotten primary global civilization, whose remains lie under the ice of the Antarctic continent. Kate, a French young woman au-pair with the Kahn family and Kevin, English archeology student at Oxford, find themselves embarked in the adventure of a lifetime…

Anu Tara Tiki is a spring release from author-pair Lorraine Saint-Hubert and Ludovic Des Leuques.  This is the third book I’ve reviewed by a pair of authors and I am pleasantly surprised with this!  This genre of science fiction/alternative history can be hit or miss sometimes, but I enjoyed this title. 

Husband and Wife Emile and Monique venture out on their annual vacation, this time through South America and to Antarctica.  When Emile finds a mysterious rock on the continent, a successive chain of events leads to a world-wide fight between big business and archaeology.  On one hand, the big business is interested in mining the continent for resources, which the archaeologist believes that the stone is proof of an long-forgotten ancient civilization of proto-beings. 

The characters are well written and there is a lot of information given to the reader throughout the novel.  Though it can be wordy at times, this is the writing style that the authors chose and I did enjoy it.  In some cases, this can detract from the narrative, but I felt it served more to drive the narrative forward. 

I found the pacing to be fine, though a bit slow at times.  The book is well over 300 pages in print with a lot of exposition and information.  The details made the world feel more real to me, which I appreciated.  The epilogue at the end was a great addition that tied the end of the narrative together.  Overall, the pacing and story were well-written and nicely  formatted in print.  I do think this needed maybe one more pass through for minor editing problems. 

This would be a great book for fans of this genre!  I would also recommend this to any fans of alternative history, archaeology themed adventures, and rich narratives with a combination of artistic and scientific themes as well.  Thank you to Penny Sansevieri and the authors for the opportunity to review this book!

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Blog Tour: The Gates of Mars by Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays

GATES OF MARS
The Halo Trilogy #1
by
CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL
Genre: Science Fiction / Detective (hard-boiled)  Publisher:  Pumpjack Press on Facebook
Date of Publication: June 16, 2020
Number of Pages: 336 Scroll down for the giveaway!
IN THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE, HOW CAN A PERSON GO MISSING? 
The year is 2187. Crucial Larsen, a veteran of the brutal Consolidation Wars, is working as a labor cop on Earth. The planet is a toxic dump and billions of people are miserable, but so what? It’s none of his business. He’s finally living a good life, or good enough. But then Essential, his beloved kid sister, disappears on Mars. When Halo—the all-powerful artificial-intelligence overseeing Earth and Mars on behalf of the ruling Five Families—can’t (or won’t) locate his sister, Crucial races up-universe to find her. 
In the Choke, the frigid, airless expanse outside the luxury domes, Crucial uncovers a deadly secret from Essential’s past that threatens to shatter his apathetic existence … and both planets. Blending science fiction with the classic, hard-boiled detective story, Gates of Mars is a page-turning, futuristic thrill-ride featuring a gritty, irreverent anti-hero, Crucial Larsen. The first book of the Halo Trilogy, Gates of Mars is the eighth novel by award-winning authors, Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall.
PRAISE FOR GATES OF MARS: “An indelible introduction to an interplanetary saga and its sublime characters.” Kirkus Reviews
“The authors’ imaginations again run wild, this time a science fiction/detective series looking at what our lives may hold in the not too distant future if everything that can go wrong does go wrong. And they’ve done it with their trademark undercurrent of humor that lifts an otherwise dreary future into something resembling—do I dare say?—hope. Their best work to date. And the giraffes? You’ll have to read Gates of Mars to find out. I’m already wishing they could write faster.” —Renee Struthers, East Oregonian newspaper “With twists and turns true to some of the best noir detective pieces—but with an other-world setting and futuristic society—along with psychological insights and connections, Gates of Mars is a riveting, unexpected story, filled with intrigue and change. Sci-fi and detective story readers alike with find Gates of Mars one of a kind, worthy of avid pursuit.” —Midwest Book Review
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Gates of Mars is the futuristic science fiction noir novel that I never knew I needed!  This feels like Eagle Eye meets Bladerunner meets a classic film noir!  There are so many classic sci-fi elements blended together with innovative prose to give the reader an immersive experience in an Earth that’s been largely left to waste and a flourishing Mars with it’s own political and socio-economic sphere.  The narrative picks up with Crucial Larsen, a cop on Earth who feels that he’s got it pretty good at this point in his life.  Unfortunately, Crucial gets summoned to Mars to help find his sister, Essential, who has gone missing.  The synopsis of the book begins with an incredibly prescient question:  IN THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE, HOW CAN A PERSON GO MISSING? 

The book goes on to explore this question in a beautifully thought provoking story that all sci-fi fans should read!  There is an incredibly interesting power structure within the book, with the Five Families ruling over Earth and Mars gives the book a distinctly noir feeling, almost like a gangster novel.  But in space!  There are vivid descriptions that gave me visceral reactions at certain points.  I thoroughly enjoyed the show-not-tell style of writing employed here.  So many innovative ideas about how people in this world live, class structures in this future world, and stark juxtapositions between the ultra-rich and the ultra-poor.  This is truly a thought provoking book, on par with the best of the science fiction genre.

Talking characters, Crucial is flawed, deep, and written in such a way that you just want to hug him, even though he hates it because he’s a curmudgeon who wants more from life but can’t quite achieve it.  Keeping world-shattering secrets can do that to a person!  Crucial runs into so many characters along the way, with the ever present HALO in his ear, and it’s such a cool journey from Earth to Mars and back again!  Sanders to Jynx, everyone has a purpose and all of the characters are well-developed!

This was a book I couldn’t put down and you should absolutely read it if you are a fan of futuristic science fiction in the vein of Bladerunner! Did I mention that there are giraffes?  There are totally giraffes and an unrequited love story mixed in with hard science-fiction of the futuristic kind.  I don’t know what else to say other than, READ THIS BOOK!

Thank you to Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!  Thank you also to Lone Star Book Blog Tours for having me along on this tour!  Stop by all of the other tour stops to get exclusive first-look content and other great reviews!  Enter the giveaway below and don’t forget to order a copy for your brother or best friend who also loves science fiction! 

Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed. Gates of Mars is their eighth co-authored book.
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TWO WINNERS: One Winner: First edition copy of A Very Unusual Romance 
One Winner: All four books in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection 
June 29-July 8, 2020
(U.S. Only)
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:
6/29/20
Excerpt
6/29/20
Review
6/29/20
BONUS Post
6/30/20
Review
6/30/20
Review
7/1/20
Author Interview
7/1/20
Review
7/2/20
Excerpt
7/2/20
Review
7/3/20
Review
7/3/20
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