All posts by S.W. Lothian

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Book Review | Mystery of the Egyptian Scroll | Scott Peters

Mystery of the Egyptian ScrollMYSTERY OF THE EGYPTIAN SCROLL (Zet Mystery Case #1)
by Scott Peters ★★★★
Kindle edition
Purchased from Amazon

You, who have dug deep and sifted hard for a story to read, have unearthed an ancient treasure: a mystery from the dusty ages, when a boy could be a hero and fight for the good of all . . .

ZET HUNTS FOR A STOLEN SCROLL IN HIS FIRST EXCITING ADVENTURE.

 12-year-old Zet and his sister Kat are in charge of the family pottery stall now that their father is off fighting the Hyksos. Who knew putting food on the table could be so hard?
When he hears a thief has stolen an important scroll–and that there’s a reward for the thief’s capture–he’s determined to win it.
The chase leads him into forbidden temples whispering with the voices of ancient gods, into a web that threatens to crush his family forever. [Goodreads]


My Review

I picked this book up from Amazon a number of months ago and it finally made it to the top of my TBR pile.

Set in ancient Egypt this one had my interest from the start. Zet and Kat are a brother and sister combo who have a hard life, supporting their family while their father is away at war. Then, on a normal day just like any other, everything changes when Zet gets wind of a reward on offer to catch the thief of a mysterious scroll. That’s when their lives go from selling pots at their humble market stall to being caught up in a huge mystery that threatens the very safety of the Pharaoh.

I admired these kids, they both showed great respect for others and exhibited some wonderful qualities. As the mystery deepens, so too does the severity of the situation. Poor Zet and Kat just seem to sink deeper and deeper into trouble as they try to clear the name of an innocent friend. By the climax of the story there’s a very real possibility that they will lose absolutely everything (which isn’t much).

With opponents that seem unbeatable and tension building, Zet and Kat practically need to pull a sphinx out of a hat to put things right. Do they succeed or not? …. you’ll need to find out for yourself.

It’s quite obvious from his website that Scott Peters has a great interest in Egypt. He has a lot of interesting Egyptian themed activities over there for readers who want their Egyptian adventure to go that little bit further than just reading the book.

In a nutshell

 

This was an exciting adventure that will appeal to kids who are fans of mystery, adventure and ancient Egypt.


Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


If you’re keen to know more, then click below to head on over to Scott Peters’ website for some great Egyptian treasures.

Scott Peters Blog


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventure books by clicking the pic below.

4 books

Any advertisments that may occasionally appear below the line are not endorsed by me.


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Book Review | The Silkworm | Robert Galbraith

The SilkwormTHE SILKWORM (Cormoran Strike #2)
by Robert Galbraith ★★★★★
Kindle edition
Purchased from Amazon

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives – so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before…

A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.  [Goodreads]


My Review

I was very pleased to see another case arrive for Cormoran Strike, the one-legged chain-smoking out of shape detective in his mid 30s, to solve. Although it took me a while to get into the story, once I was there, I was keen to see how it all panned out. I think it was probably down to the disjointed nature of my available reading time when I started. I’m not going to fill this review with a rundown of the plot, that’s what the blurb is for. The bare basics are that there’s been a gruesome murder and Cormoran is on the case.

One of the things I like about these books is that they are very dialogue driven. I find that engaging, like I’m along for the ride as an observer lingering off to the side. The style just hooks me, and I think that Cormoran’s questioning technique is great. Just like a real investigator, he collects seemingly unrelated little snippets from each encounter and stores them in his box of clues. Then we reach the point where he has an epiphany that links them all together. I love how RG (JK) doesn’t just end the story there, he (she) then goes on to find ways to prove everything before revealing it to the reader and the cast. It reminds me of Mrs Marple mysteries.

Robin is a great character as well (probably my favourite). She’s eager to hone her investigative skills, but has a constant battle with her fiancé, who doesn’t like her job, and Cormoran who she doubts really takes her seriously. She’s a bright lady, and it takes a few incidents before Cormoran finally realises what a gem she is. I really enjoy reading the discussions between Cormoran and Robin, where she is an integral part to solving clues and bringing clarity to the situation.

There were a number of nice touches in there too, which made me smile along the way. Like the mention of Emma Watson on a magazine cover. What a nice nod to Emma from JK. And the book also mentioned Cormoran going to Hamleys, which sounded familiar to me, so I Googled. It’s a toy store that I visited on my last trip to London. Coincidentally, on the Hamleys landing page there were Harry Potter toys advertised :)

In a nutshell I really enjoyed this newCormoran Strike case. The plot had me guessing along the way and changing my mind a heap of times. At first I thought it was (.) then (.) but when I found out it was (.) … I was surprised. Recommended for fans of crime solving,JK andRG.


Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


Checkout my other Robert Galbraith/J.K Rowling reviews:

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Special Offer | TIME SQUARE | THE SHIFT – Limited time only

TS - The Shift - Final CoverTo celebrate the looming launch of TIME SQUARE | UFO, which is book 2 of my TIME SQUARE series, I’ve decided to offer TIME SQUARE | THE SHIFT (Book 1) for FREE on Amazon for two days only (6th-7th Sept 2014).

So, if you haven’t had a chance to read TIME SQUARE | THE SHIFT yet, then this is the perfect opportunity.

Pssst … If you do decide to take advantage of my special offer, please consider leaving a short review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository or Goodreads. It would be very much appreciated.

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST WITH THE WORLD.

| It’s a special offer that I don’t plan to repeat |


And now for some further breaking news…

TIME SQUARE | UFO

Great News !! TIME SQUARE | UFO is now available for pre-order from Amazon at a special introductory pre-order price of just $0.99. Click the button to pre-order your copy now.

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Then, jump over to my TIME SQUARE site for more exciting details about my popular TIME SQUARE series.

TIME SQUARE | UFO | Cover Reveal & Pre-order

We know there’s more to time than ticks and tocks … and there’s also more to a book than its cover. But let’s just take one step at a time. It’s time to reveal the cover of my new book TIME SQUARE | UFO, which is due for launch early October 2014.

This is book 2 of my new TIME SQUARE series and follows our heroes as they embark on their first exciting mission. It’s totally bursting with great humour, quirky characters and plenty of edge-of-your seat action.  You won’t believe the twists and turns that are in this one.

TS - UFO - Final Cover - WIP

The effects of the Shift have caused havoc at Time Square. Time itself is in danger of imploding and Operation Slingshot has been activated to save the day. Team ELMR embark on their first mission to locate and rescue the first of the missing travellers.

  • Mission: ELMR-01
  • Date: 8-July-1947
  • Location: Roswell, New Mexico, United States of America
  • Mission Brief: Readings indicate that the target traveller has possibly been captured by a brilliant, but eccentric, scientist who is investigating reports of extra-terrestrials that have crashed in the Roswell area.Due to this, it is essential that the target is located and rescued before he unwittingly reveals our secret. If the secret of time-travel is revealed to such a random mind, then it could spell disaster and have a huge impact on the world.

Great News !! TIME SQUARE | UFO is now available for pre-order from Amazon at a special introductory pre-order price of just $0.99. Click the button to pre-order your copy now.

PreOrder_Amazon_Button

Then, jump over to my TIME SQUARE site to learn more exciting details about my popular TIME SQUARE series, which includes
TIME SQUARE | THE SHIFT and TIME SQUARE | UFO.


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ANY ADS APPEARING BELOW THIS LINE FROM TIME TO TIME ARE NOT ENDORSED BY ME.


Retro Friday

Retro Friday | Ripples of Time

Retro Friday is all about re-living a previous post that I thought would be interesting to newer followers who may not have seen its initial run.

One particular post  from December 2012 showed how much the past can influence the present. It’s about an amazing event that occurred way back in 1923 that has had a huge impact on my life.

Click here to check it out.

yacht

 

 

 

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Book Review | The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus #2) | Rick Riordan


The Son of NeptuneTHE SON OF NEPTUNE (HEROES OF OLYMPUS #2)
by Rick Riordan ★★★★

Kindle edition
Purchased from Amazon.com

ONE CURSED DEMIGOD.
TWO NEW HEROES.
A QUEST TO UNLEASH THE
GOD OF DEATH…..

Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, God of the Sea, has woken from a very deep sleep and come face to face with two snake-haired ladies who refuse to die.

But they’re the least of his problems. Because Percy finds himself at a camp for half-bloods, which doesn’t ring any bells for him. There’s just one name he remembers from his past. Annabeth.

Only one thing is certain–Percy’s questing days aren’t over. He and fellow demigods Frank and Hazel must face the most important quest of all: The Prophecy of Seven. If they fail, it’s not just their camp at risk. Percy’s old life, the gods and the entire world might be destroyed. [Goodreads]


My Review

I have to be honest that when I first started reading this one I thought that I’d missed a book in the series. I nearly gave up reading it. The beginning seemed to be too random and disconnected with the previous book, but as it turns out, Percy had lost his memory. Perhaps it was RR’s intention to confuse the reader so they could empathize with Percy … or maybe I’m just not that bright, and the gap from book 1 was too long … who knows?

Anyway, as the story progressed and started rolling along I started to enjoy it. I liked the new characters that teamed up with Percy and their adventures moved along in true PJ fashion.  It’s another exciting instalment in the journey to fulfil the Prophecy of Seven. All PJ books have the same underlying theme where most characters have generally been abandoned/left/forgotten/orphaned by their parents and they’re trying to discover their past and future purpose. This is also true for the newbie characters in this one. There is plenty of action as the questing teens face many challenges on their way to and from Alaska, climaxing in the biggest challenge of all.

LOL … as usual, RR also manages to throw in a storyline that includes our modern day icons. Amazon as a mythical place in Seattle full of Amazons. The guards have cards with one-click abilities that can open cells were prisoners are held. Funny idea Mr Riordan … and the Amazons read from little black tablets too. RR must’ve chuckled as he wrote it. Once I got into the book I enjoyed it and I’m keen to see the next part of the prophecy in the book 3.


In a nutshellIt’s another cool PJ tale, which was hard for me to initially get into, but once I did, I enjoyed the read.

It’s a no brainer that it will appeal to fans of Percy Jackson.

 


Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


Check out my other reviews of Rick Riordan books below:

Want to hear from the man himself?
Check out the book trailer below.


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventure series’  by clicking the pic below.

4 books


Retro Friday

Retro Friday | The Brady Bunch House Mystery

Retro Friday is all about re-living a previous post that I thought would be interesting to newer followers who may not have seen its initial run.

One of the most visited posts on my blog is one that I posted way back in September 2012. It’s strange how this particular post has lasted the test of time and is still constantly viewed by visitors every day. It has nothing to do with my books, or writing. It’s just one of those subjects that I think everyone can relate to.

Click here to check it out.

The Brady Bunch Stairs