Hello all! Welcome to Sleepless Musings Of A Well Groomed Moustached Man.
I likes me books, I reads them, I reviews them, and then I reads some more. Check my About page to learn a little about me. As well as numerous book reviews I like to share the things that I am really into and raise awareness about the things that are important to me. I do hope you will have a good browse of the archives and keep your eyes peeled for new posts.

Regeneration by Stephanie Saulter: Review


This review has taken me a while to write.
There are so many reasons for this, so let me tell you why.

Way back in 2013 I won a copy of Gemsigns (The first book in the ®evolution series) and adored it, I practically recommended it to anyone I could, and still do. Stephanie has been a big influence on myself, and my writing.

Gemsigns, Binary were fantastic books, so without hesitation I was excited about what the third and final installment would bring.
And I was not disappointed.

Regeneration, is everything that made me adore the Gemsigns and Binary, but so much more.
Would you like to read the synopsis?
Of course you would …

The gillungs – genetically modified, water-breathing humans – are thriving. They’ve pioneered new aquatic industries, and their high-efficiency quantum-battery technology looks set to revolutionize the energy industry. But as demand grows, so does fear of what their newfound power might mean.

Then a biohazard scare at Sinkat, their London headquarters, fuels mind-blowing on  and threatens to derail the gillungs’ progress. Was it an accident born of overconfidence, or was it sabotage?

Detective Superintendent Sharon Varsi has her suspicions, and Gabriel sees parallels in the propaganda war he’s trying to manage: politicians and big business have stakes in this game too. And now there is a new threat: Zavcka Klist has been freed from prison. With powerful new followers and nothing to lose, it looks like she’s out to reclaim everything they took from her.

Regeneration takes place some years after the somewhat mind-blowing events in Binary.
Seeing the return of Gabriel and his family after the events in Gemsigns, felt like greeting family that you haven’t seen for a long time but also feeling as if they had never left.
What made Regeneration special for me is that family element. It shows that these people are willing to do all that they can to help each other out in the most precarious of situations, even though a lot of them are not even blood-relatives.
Each of the wonderful cast of characters is a symbol of a strong and loving community just trying to live their lives, that before were not there own to live.

So many parallels can be drawn from Stephanie’s ®evolution series. Many topics of discussion can be had from Regeneration alone, as there is a lot going on. Each persons’ interpretation will be different, of course, which adds something quite special.

I say this in most of my reviews but I do not want to spoil this series for anyone, and for good reason as it’s a truly wonderful read.

So why did I find this review hard to write?
Because I feel like I really did wave goodbye to the gems. From book one, I felt like I was a part of their story; they were my family.
I finished the book and cried that this fabulous series was over as all things must be at some point, I know.
But at the same time I felt, and still feel that Regeneration couldn’t have ended better. A perfect ending to a very special series.
If you look at the blurbs on the back of the book there is one that reads so true and although it is referring to Gemsigns, it can be said for the whole series.

“Some books are good, some books are even great. This one is important!” – SF Signal

And now if you will excuse me, my eyes are leaking.

Regeneration is out now via Jo Fletcher Books (www.jofletcherbooks.com)
Buy it, read it, love it.

Stephanie Saulter can be found on Twitter @scriptopus and her website is http://www.stephaniesaulter.com

Romeo Checks In Again (like a bad penny)

Hi guys,
Sorry for the radio silence of late. I’m still around and still reviewing bookish goodness, but of late I have been concentrating on my fiction as well as contributing articles to the wonderful Garbage File site, and am very proud to be a part of their awesome team. Please check them out.

I shared the big news on Twitter a month ago, and wanted to share it with everyone who continues to read my blog despite my silence.

I’m over the moon to announce that my story The Princess, The Pekingese, And The Ivory Box will be in the upcoming anthology You Left Your Biscuit Behind from the fantastic Fox Spirit Books. I’m absolutely thrilled to have my first story accepted and to be a part of Fox Spirit Books.
And I can confirm that this story will feature everyone’s favorite office goblin, Jammas.

So there you go. That is my news and stay tuned for new reviews.
I would like to thank you all for your continued support of this humble, ramshackle of a blog.

Stay groovy.

The Iron Ghost by Jennifer Williams – Review


I make no qualms squeeing about the books I love and this one is no exception
We rejoin the Blackfeather Three on their adventures for money and booze. Faced with insurmountable dangers at every corner. If you need a job done well then hire the Blackfeather Three.

Wydrin, the Copper Cat of Crosshaven, Sebastian the Ynnsmouth Knight, and Lord Aaron Frith are back and once again are making old Gods and demons quite cross, to say the least.

Our three heroes are given the task of retrieving a stolen item in the faraway city of Skaldshollow, but in a place of ancient magic the once feared Joah Demonsworn is making way for his return to cause bloody hell-up.

Reading Williams’ sequel to the fabulous The Copper Promise, was like visiting old friends. And I make no secret that I’m a bit of fanboy of Wydrin who, lets face it, is just awesome.

The Iron Ghost features new and old characters and a wonderful villain, in the form of Joah Demonsworn who, is absolutely wonderful to read, and at times really unnebyed me.

You can rely on Jennifer Williams to draw you into a fantastic world filled with strange monsters and incredible magic, and the Iron Ghost is no exception to this. The reader can expect to see stone creatures called Werkens who are controlled by individuals wielding magic from the mountain, and just wait until you meet one of them. There are weird spiders, giant millipedes.
And the Brood Sisters are back!

Of course there is a lot more that I’m not going to spoil for you but there are a few surprises in store and a couple of moments that made me cry. And many more moments that made me feel like a part of the Blackfeather Three.

“Never piss off a God. Thats what I always say.” – Wydrin

The Iron Ghost is an incredibly groovy sequel of what is a very wonderful and enjoyable series. Beautifully written, and beautifully paced.
And I cannot wait to rejoin Wydrin on her adventures in The Silver Tide.

The Iron Ghost is out now from http://www.headline.co.uk
You can find out more about the author here http://www.sennydreadful.co.uk and Jennifer Williams is on Twitter @sennydreadful

The House Of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard -Review


The most romantic city in the world decimated by warring houses, and reduced to a shell of its former self. And yet life goes on and the great houses still vie for power.
Clinging to former glories is House Silverspires whose founder, Morningstar, has been missing for years, and the once great house is about to fall further still now that something out of the darkness is stalking its prey.
A powerful Fallen, an alchemist with an addiction, and a young man wielding spells from the Far East. These three very different people may be House Silverspires’ saviors.

Sound good?
Thought so. And look at that cover!

The House of Shattered Wings is a novel that I have been especially looking forward. Fallen angels, warring houses, a magic murder mystery in an urban backdrop.
From the start of this novel Aliette de Bodard draws the reader right into a Paris whose heartbeat can be felt on each page.
This is a novel that is not easy to put down. It requires a few cups of coffee, a healthy supply of biscuits and a few late nights. And my goodness is worth it.
Each wonderfully named chapter draws you in to the lives and dangerous times of the Annamite, Phillipe, the Fallen, Issabelle, and the alchemist and angel-essence addict, Madeline. As well as my personal favorite character Selene, the head of Silverspires. Each character Is wonderfully written and makes the reader feel a part of the story.

The House of Shattered Wings has some incredible moments that will leave you wanting more and I do so wish that I could talk about them but I really do not want to spoil some truly jaw dropping moments.

Aliette de Bodard’s writing is powerful and moving, and her villainous characters are crafted in such a way as to make the reader feel the tension fill the page as they enter a room. The way in which Claire of House Lazarus and Asmodeus of Hawthorn trade barbed words with Selene make the already precarious predicament of Silverspires, and the rest of the characters seem hopeless at times, and really makes for an exciting read.

The House of Shattered Wings is a thrilling, gripping read, that will leave you wanting another hit of angel essence.

The House Of Shattered Wings is out in the UK via Gollancz http://www.gollancz.co.uk August 18th 2015
You can learn more about the author here http://www.aliettedebodard.com and the author can be found on Twitter @aliettedb

Starborn by Lucy Hounsom: Review


“Lost powers will shake the earth.”

Hello folks so up next is the fantastic debut from Lucy Hounsom. Very rarely do I not finish a book, and I usually give any book a fair chance. My usual rule is that if it doesn’t hook me in the first one hundred pages then we are in a spot of bother. This really was not the case for Starborn.
The first chapter starts off with a crash, bang, wallop leading to a domino effect of catastrophic events all played out by a wonderful protagonist, Kyndra.
Here is the synopsis from the book-

Kyndra’s fate holds betrayal and salvation, but the journey starts in her small village. On the day she comes of age, she accidentally disrupts an ancient ceremony, ending centuries of tradition. So when an unnatural storm targets her superstitious community, Kyndra is blamed. She fears for her life until two strangers save her, by wielding. powers not seen for an age – powers fueled by the sun and the moon.

Together they flee to the hidden citadel of Naris. And here, Kyndra experiences disturbing visions of the past, showing war and one man’s terrifying response. She’ll learn more in the city’s subterranean chambers, amongst fanatics and rebels. But first Kyndra will be brutally tested in a bid to unlock her own magic.

If she survives the ordeal, she’ll discover a force greater than she could ever have imagined. But could it create as well as destroy? And can she control it, to right an ancient wrong?

Lucy Hounsom, has created something truly wonderful here. Kyndra is someone who has been put in a situation in which she has very little choice or say but she reacts in a way that is human. What I’m trying to say is that Hounsom has sprinkled fairy dust onto to the page and truly brings the protagonist to life. Kyndra acts in such a way that we can all relate to her in some way.
As well as having a very cool name.

Bregenne and Nediah, are the Wielders who save Kyndra and take her to Naris. At first there relationship is a little fractious and you will have to read it to see how that develops. With Bregenne and Nediah, Hounsom has written them to be two halves of the same person. Which links nicely to what I felt, was a really cosmic magic system, in more ways than one. Nediah is a solar wielder, and Bregenne is lunar. Each can only use their magic either in the day or night. So both of these characters are already linked in power which equates to them having a very strong personal bond. It really is a lovely magic system.

The pacing and the beautiful smooth prose of this book made the story come to life for me. The world that Lucy Hounsom has created leaves a lot to be explored in later books, which I very much look forward to reading. I do so wish that I could tell you more as to what happens in Starborn but I really don’t want to spoil it. I shall leave you with this though. The ending will blow your mind. It was an ending that I wouldn’t have even attempted at guessing.

A super smashing debut that both lunar and solar magic would be proud of.

Starborn is out now via Tor Uk http://www.panmacmillan.com

The Stars Seem So Far Away by Margret Helgadottir: Review


Hello folks! After a bit of a hiatus, the moustache man is back.
Today’s post-apocalyptic is the marvelous The Star Seems So Far Away by Margret Helgadottir.

The story focuses on five characters, Aida, Nora, Zaki, Simik, and Bjørg. Each of these characters have been plunged into sadness and an earth they no longer recognize through war, famine, disease. Their survival is paramount and each of them have to learn to adapt to the devastating changes.

This is the first book that I have read by Margret Helgadottir and my goodness, what a fabulous writer. The emotion on every page is so palpable, so much so that on a few occasions it made me cry. I felt for each and every one of the characters and their plight.
The situations they overcome, the loved ones that they had been separated from and the grief that shadowed them wherever they went. Helgadóttir’s writing has this beautiful, haunting quality about it. Certain lines and passages really stand out, and you are reminded of them on a daily basis. One such of these lines for me was when Bjørg sees the skeleton of a whale,
” ‘I think you are beautiful,’ she whispered. ‘Forgive us.’ ”

An Incredible story told with grace and beauty. A reader can truly immerse themselves in the moving prose of the author.

The Stars Seem So Far Away is out now via Fox Spirit Books http://www.foxspirit.co.uk

(Image: cover art by Sarah Anne Langton http://www.secretarcticbase.com)

Romeo Checks In … Again.

Hey everyone!
Thought I would do a bit of a roundup post again as a lot has been going on recently.

As many of you know, my wife Kat is currently in hospital. She was admitted two weeks ago and is quite poorly with her Crohn’s.
She has had it for twenty five years and I can tell you this, she will not let it beat her!
I wanted to thank all of you who have sent us some lovely messages over the last couple of weeks it means a lot to us both.

In other news I have some links to share of what trouble I have been getting up to.

So I did a Cornish Fae-noir short story for the fantastic Fox Spirit Books blog which you can read here. http://www.foxspirit.co.uk/spinning-tails-animals-and-cornish-spyrys-fae-by-r-a-kennedy/

This story was then reviewed by the lovely Steve Taylor-Bryant for  The Garbage File. And it’s lovely

So, then the wonderful S. C. Flynn interviewed me as part of his fantastic series in which he is interviewing bloggers from the SFF community and I really urge you to take a look at the series if you haven’t already done so. My interview is linked below. It was a lot of fun

And last, but by all means not least, I’m now a part of the team for Vent Spleen. Which is a fantastic blog run by the wonderful David Martin. I will be a regular contributor on the site and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to be part of something quite special as I get to ramble on about things that I haven’t had the chance to do on here. There is something for everyone on the site. Check it out, as the cool kids say.
So my recent article on the VS site is about the brilliant TV series Dark Angel and the predictions it made.

And that’s it. I hope you enjoy reading them.

Stay cosmic.

Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson: Review


“Found guilty of a terrible crime he didn’t commit in 1986, 15-year-old necromancer Finn Gramaraye was exiled to the Other Realm for 25 years. But now he’s back in the mortal world and is disappointed to discover that he’s middle-aged, DeLoreans can’t fly, and he’s been framed for using dark magic, again.

All Finn wants is to pick up the pieces of his life and patch things up with his family: his mad scientist father, the ghost of his mother, a sister who is allergic to magic, a younger brother who thinks he’s a werewolf and an older brother who is most unhappy to see him. But with just three days to clear his name before he’s sent back into exile forever, Finn will need all the help he can get to figure out who wants him gone, and why.”

We all love a bit of nostalgia. And Henderson’s debut is packed full of good old geeky nostalgia. Whilst at the same time opens the readers eyes to a modern day fantasy with all its rules and regulations vigilantly kept in check by the Arcana.
The mixture of both of these elements added with the comedy factor makes for a very quick paced and engaging read.

It becomes quite clear to the reader from the start, that Finn is a bit of a geek, but Henderson hasn’t written the main character in the stereotypical fashion.
Big Bang Theory, I’m looking at you.
Added with the fact that Finn is a Necromancer and can talk to the dead. Henderson has certainly created an interesting character flaws and all.
Then we have Zeke. Who is an ex ARC enforcer (Arcana Ruling Council)
Now, Zeke is reluctantly thrown into Finn’s crazy life and even more reluctantly helps Finn to prove his innocence. Zeke can only be described as an amalgam of Don Johnson, B. A. Baracus, and a Viking. Very much a badass with a heart. As well as being able to hold his own against the Fae (who after years of war have a very fractious relationship with those of the Arcana) Zeke can also do magic with … um, urine.
Then we have Vee who is a were-squirrel. And is also Zeke’s sister as well as being an integral part of Finn’s story, piecing together lost memories of Finns when he came out of exile and being rather handy in a fight.

Henderson has crafted an intriguing world within a world with it’s own laws and diversity. The magic system is simple and effective, and has everything I love about magic,  endless possibilities but also harsh consequences.
I’m not going to spoil the ending but I really didn’t see it coming, actually I think I used a swear to show my disbelief. In a good way of course. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens to Finn next.

Finn Fancy Necromancy is a fun fast paced novel. The A-Team meets magic and mayhem. Or as I like to call Finn’s friends and family, The Fae Team!
A really strong debut that leads to what looks to be a really cool series with a great cast of characters.
The eighties nostalgia is a brilliant touch, and as someone who was born in 86 I approve muchly.

P.S Finn thinks a bluetooth is called a Bluebeard. I propose we change the name Bluetooth to Bluebeard.

Finn Fancy Necromancy is out now from http://titanbooks.com

Romeo Checks In

Hello lovely people.
So, things have been a little quiet on the ol’ blog recently.
Don’t worry I’m not going anywhere.
I have been a busy Pisky of late, and in between working on my novel and various short stories, tackling the wonderful Malazan series and some other fabulous books that are waiting to be read in the TBR pile, and badly burning my hand on a pizza (Ouchy)
I have also been working on a few articles for other folk on the Interwebz. Two of which dropped this week which I shall post the links to below.
So I thought I would check in and let you know that I haven’t been kidnapped by Goblins … Yet.

As I’m sure you are aware the SFF community lost two Giants recently in the form of Leonard Nimoy and Sir Terry Pratchett whose deaths really affected me, and it took me a while to be able to write down some thoughts about it. The lovely Paul Weimer @PrinceJVstin  put out a Mind Meld invite on Twitter and many responded. The topic was about the Impact that both Nimoy and Pratchett have had within the community. The Mind Meld on SF Signal are always worth checking out and I’m honored to have participated (plus my name is next to Scott Lynch :mrgreen:) http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2015/04/mind-meld-remembering-terry-pratchett-leonard-nimoy-part-one/

I’m also over at the Horror Blogsite Haddonfield Horror talking about the 1982 classic Poltergeist as well as this years remake. I also relay my opinion on remakes in general. http://www.haddonfieldhorror.com/2015/04/remake-remake-mommy-tv-people-are-here.html?m=1

Stay tuned for an Incoming review of Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson.

Stay cosmic folks