Author: youandibooks

Hi, I’m James. I love reading a wide range of books, playing pool in a couple of leagues, seeing friends and losing myself in role playing games and shoot ’em ups on Xbox One. I recently passed my CII Certificate in Insurance and my Google Certificate in Online Marketing. I am currently studying for my CII Insurance Diploma and my Shaw Academy Diploma in Graphic Design. In the near future I wish to take a course to become a life coach provided by The Coaching Academy. I like to mix things up a bit and I am always either reading or studying. I attended university at Aberystwyth, Wales where I made many amazing friends. If I save up money for a few years then when I am 35 I want to do another degree at an accelerated pace of study and get invited into a secret cult where lecturers and geniuses discuss nonsensical nothingness over expensive wine.

Review of ~ Michael R. Miller – Battle Spire

8.5/10

I received an advance reading copy of Battle Spire in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Michael R Miller and Portal Books.

In the year 2053 our protagonist Jack Kross is an average geeky guy and the narrative starts whilst he is taking his genetic engineering examination at Xen Tech University. He is an avid gamer but when interactive role-playing games and MMO’s (more…)

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Creative writing extract from a mental health sufferers seminar.

I went on a creative writing course today for people who suffer from mental health issues and had a bit of time to write something based on a certain theme, intertwined with making numerous cups of tea and chatting up the girl sitting next to me. Here is what I wrote. I’ve not edited it, this is just what flowed out of me naturally in today’s session. (more…)

Review of ~ Paul S Lavender – Tales From Ashen Falls

6/10

In exchange for an honest review, I received a free copy of Tales From Ashen Falls from the author when I met him at BristolCon in 2017. It has taken me a while to get to it which has become an in-joke between myself and the author on certain fantasy forums. Well, 15-months later I finally finished reading it!

Tales From Ashes Falls is a pretty enjoyable humour-tinged grimdark novella (more…)

Review of ~ Ian Fleming – Casino Royale (James Bond #1)

8/10

“Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles.” He laughed. “But don’t let me down and become human yourself. We would lose such a wonderful machine.”

James Bond, Secret Agent for M16, 007 with a license to kill. This was the 1st entry in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series and introduces the world’s most famous fictional spy in great fashion.

Bond is in France gambling his nights away at the Royale Casino. It all sounds enjoyable however this is part of a very dangerous and highly expensive mission that could cost the UK Treasury £20-million. An agent of the infamous Russian intelligence outfit SMERSH (Death to Spies) Le Chiffre is in a bit of dilemma. He invested £50-million of his employers’ money without their approval into brothels and prostitution hoping to make a quick profit even though the initial funds weren’t his. I (more…)

Review of ~ Arthur Conan Doyle – The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes #2)

8/10

The narrative begins with a very bored Sherlock Holmes at 221b Baker Street. With nothing to focus his incredible powers of deduction on at the present time, he decides to spend his days injecting a seven-percent-solution of cocaine. Conveniently a client with a particularly peculiar and complex case appears that very day. The potential customer, Miss Marstan, who wishes to employ the world’s only consulting detective explains the scenario. (more…)

Review of ~ Arthur Conan Doyle – The Lost World (Professor Challenger #1)

9/10

“If in 100 years I am only known as the man who invented Sherlock Holmes then I will have considered my life a failure.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This review will contain minor spoilers.

Although Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson, Mycroft Holmes, and Professor James Moriarty are Doyle’s most known creations, Professor Challenger, the hot-tempered scientist is another character that many readers will be familiar with. This is the first of the Professor Challenger series and the only one that I had read previously.  I started reading religiously in 2012 and The Lost World was one of my favourite stories from my pre-review era. I decided to revisit this exuberant and vivacious science heavy adventure tale that features dinosaurs – and I’m truly glad that I did. (more…)