Kosmos – ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review


Adrian Laing


Flame Tree Press

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

“Early one fine autumnal morning in 2001, an old man is found asleep on Hampstead Heath. Abruptly awoken by two dog patrollers, a struggle ensues resulting in the oddly-dressed character being arrested facing a minor assault charge. Rookie barrister, George Winsome, is tasked with defending the old boy who believes himself to be the mythical character, Merlin. When the victim of the assault unexpectedly dies the resulting manslaughter case turns into a jury trial catching the public’s imagination. George decides to defend Merlin on the basis that there are well-established historical grounds for the old boy’s self-adopted identity believing the jury will decide whether he is ‘Merlin’ or not, does not matter; it’s a question of the old boy being accepted an honest and peaceful character. That’s the plan. But as the riotous trial plays out, events conspire to challenge everyone’s cynicism. What if the defendant really is Merlin? The trial progresses through one unexpected twist to another and those present in the courtroom and the wider public begin to embrace the extra-ordinary possibility that Merlin has indeed returned to this world. Even the crusty trial judge is forced to reconsider his ingrained beliefs and confront his own domestic demons especially when his wayward, new age son decides sneakily to ‘enlighten’ his father with some vintage LSD. The media take an unexpected interest in this engaging and challenging character and turn the trial into a cause. In the hazy and wild events which follow the trial, George’s girlfriend, Heather, discovers she is pregnant and on the same day she is cynically fired from her promising publishing job leaving Heather bitter and vengeful. Heather sees as her route to revenge the acquisition of a quickly-acquired fortune through Merlin’s celebrity status, and decides to take advantage of the interest in Merlin by the Prince of Wales. But who is playing whom? As Merlin’s past unfolds George and Heather become embroiled in Merlin’s other-worldly friends, spirits and gods. At the time of the birth of their son, Merlin’s past is unraveled, and his true identity revealed, dramatically. Both Heather and George, in their separate ways, come to understand that their collective material-based obsessions were merely illusionary and that the real source of their happiness and love has far deeper, spiritual foundations. ‘Kosmos’ is a contemporary novel of two halves; the first part culminating in Merlin being tried and freed; the second half in the outrageous events and revelation that follow, Kosmos draws on the author’s experiences as a trial lawyer, his interest in complex psychologies and the rich and complex history of the mythical figure of Merlin. Kosmos is a wild, feelgood novel, a right-of-passage tale of love, redemption, revenge and hubris”

First of all I’d like to thank Flame Tree Press for a copy of ‘Kosmos’ to read in exchange for an honest review.

With the extensive synopsis, that’s the biggest I’ve seen (I can hear the “that’s what she said” already by the way) I don’t need to say too much really, if anything about the general plot. I think we’ve got it pretty much covered.

I hate to say it, but I wasn’t too fond of this one. It’s a great story, well written, and MERLIN of course. But I just could not get into it at all. It is though as lovely tale of morals, good deeds and being happy with ourselves rather than material possessions. That I really liked, I always enjoy stories like that as I do think we (as humans) get a bit to pre occupied with ‘things’, over what really matters. I’m guilty as charged at times with that.

The book splits between a courtroom drama where we have our newbie lawyer defending a man who believes he is the one and only Merlin. It play’s out in an interesting way, although again, it’s given away really in the synopsis. I feel I would have preferred not to know. Though I guess it’s like Columbo in a way. You know who the killer is and who the victim is, but you watch to find out how Columbo pieces it all together,

The second part is focused on the lives of Merlin, George the lawyer and his family. It’s rather sweet, and it all comes together in a heart warming way.

It’s a really fun read, with good characters, but a little slow in parts.



Housewife of Horror


Sugar Skulls – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review ***Spoilers***

Sugar Skulls


M. R. Tapia

Hindered Souls Press

“”Life is a matter of death. Death is a matter of fact.”

Micah DeAtta learns this as he awakens with Death seated across from him, whetting his sickle. Micah has no choice but to converse with Death in order to figure out his own demise. As their conversations become a battle of wits, Micah is forced to relive prominent deaths of family and friends before learning of his own. Each death happens in real time, each correlating with the nine levels of the Aztec underworld. Before it is said and done, Micah will have been forced to face his fears, his losses, and the fact that although life may be too short, death is forever.”

First of all, may I say thank you to M. R. Tapia for sending copy of ‘Sugar Skulls’ in exchange for an honest review.

A conversation with Death himself. It’s not something you would expect to wake up too is it? But that is what happened to Micah. He woke to Death sitting across from him.

“Tonight I have the displeasure of meeting Death”

He doesn’t know what is happening to him. Death is not quite ready to take him yet. They must sit, talk and relive his past experiences, his regrets and his heartache.

This is a wonderfully written piece. The conversation between Micha and Death is riveting to read. It’s a two man show, two main characters who compliment each other very well.

I love M.R. Tapia’s writing style. I find it very easy to read, it has a constantly good steady flow. The pacing and the characterization are just perfect.

I would highly recommend this, M. R. Tapia is a wonderful author. I have read a few of his works now, and I am happy to say that they are consistently good.



Housewife of Horror

Coming in 2019 – 7 books in 7 days

I have set myself a little 2019 New Years challenge – to read 7 books in 7 days. I want to make the most of my week off work (I’m off for the first 2 weeks of Jan), and it’s a great opportunity to catch up on some reading. 

I have chosen 7 books from my reading list (see below), and I have to say, I’m very excited to do this. It will be great to be able to just sit down and read. Normally things such as work get in the way, only having time in the mornings and on lunch breaks, so this will be a welcome change. 

Jan 1st – Savage Species (Jonathan Janz)


Jan 2nd – Junction (Daniel M. Benson)

Jan 3rd – The Haunting of Henderson Close (Catherine Cavendish)


Jan 4th – The Frighteners (Peter Laws)


Jan 5th – Sugar Skulls (M. R. Tapia)


Jan 6th – I Can Taste the Blood (John F. D. Taff)


Jan 7th – Kosmos (Adrian Lang)

The Queen Of Bones – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Book Review

The Queen of Bones


G. Zimmerman

“A seventeen-year-old orphan, alone in the deadly post-apocalyptic world. She’s feisty, yet vulnerable; a woman, and yet a young girl. And with her discovery, she just might be Humanity’s savior. Meet Sara Hill . . .
Welcome to the Queen of Bones Group! The Queen of Bones is a the story of a young woman’s fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic world where burning solar storms have reduced the human race to roving bands of murderous desperadoes. Sara Hill, young, beautiful, partially disabled, and alone, has made a discovery that could turn the tide of the coming extinction of the human race. But can she reach the fabled outpost where a few survivors are struggling to re-create civilization?”

I’m always one for a post-apocalyptic story. This didn’t disappoint. After the planet has been decimated by violent solar storms known as Sunthrobs, only a handful of survivors remain. Those who are not murderous thieving degenerates are trying to get to Seattle, where they believe a colony of survivors is trying to recreate our lost civilisation. We see this nightmare unfold through the eyes of Sara Hill, a young girl, just 17, trying to survive alone in the new world.

The Queen of Bones is a wonderful story and survival, showcasing our baser human instincts, both good and bad. It goes to prove how relentless humans are, how tenacious we are and how inventive we can be when we come face to face with certain death.

This is a wonderful story of hope, survival, fear and loss.


Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

Vicious Rumer -⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

Vicious Rumer


Joshua Winning

“Rumer Cross is cursed. Scraping by working for a dingy London detective agency, she lives in the shadow of her mother, a violent criminal dubbed the ‘Witch Assassin’ whose bloodthirsty rampage terrorised London for over a decade.

Raised by foster families who never understood her and terrified she could one day turn into her mother, Rumer has become detached and self-reliant. But when she’s targeted by a vicious mobster who believes she’s hiding an occult relic, she’s drawn into the very world she’s been fighting to avoid.

Hunted by assassins and haunted by her mother’s dark legacy, Rumer must also confront a terrible truth: that she’s cursed, because no matter what she does, everybody she’s ever grown close to has died screaming.”

This book has a huge Jessica Jones style feel to it, and I do love Jessica Jones. The kick ass, straight talking,attitude filled private eye. Rumer Cross is no different. Except for that rather than having super strength, she is, or believes she is cursed. She has read tales of her mother, an assassin, a killer, a woman who terrorized the streets of London. She believes that she was cursed when she was born, and that everyone she gets close too dies.

I don’t believe she was really cursed, I feel Rumer is more involved in a self fulfilling prophecy than anything else. She thinks everyone is going to die who gets close, and when they do, it’s an accident, and coincidence. It’s true, when you think bad about yourself for long enough and believe you are going to cause harm to people… eventually you will.

The first half of this book I really enjoyed, it’s a great ride, full of action and we are neck deep in the chaotic life of Rumer Cross from the get go. The reason is got a 3* rating from me, well, it really dropped off in the second half. The big villain, Mara, a total psychotic creep with his own personal dungeon and delusions of finding an object called the ‘Crook Spear’ so he can make him immortal, he was wasted I felt. Went from the crazy big bad terrorizing Rumer (which was great to read), and then he actually wanted to hire her which was where for me it got a bit boring I’m sorry to say. I think I would have preferred Mara over bringing in Rumer’s supposed dead mother Celene Cross back.

I couldn’t get behind the storyline of Rumer and Celene. Celene, who is meant to be the scourge of London, faked her own death and has been secretly stalking Rumer all her life. It didn’t feel, I don’t know, it just work for me at all. I really did struggle with the second half, a lot of Rumer being rude to Celene, and a lot of Celene being very perfect mother-like. It really took away from the story for me.

Like I said, I loved the first half of this book, it was really exciting. But it seems to lose its way somewhere and I just muster up any excitement, by the end I was glad I’d finished it.

It’s worth a look and a read if you are a fan of Jessica Jones and YA thrillers.


Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

La Lividum (The Apothecary Chronicles Book 1) – ⭐️Book Review

La Lividum (The Apothecary Chronicles Book 1)

La Lividum (The Apothecary Chronicles Book 1) by [Heartstorm, Merciella]

Merciella Heartstorm


Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

“We have never been alone. Humanity has always had small glimpses into other worlds since the beginning of time, but in the 1600’s a catastrophe tore the veil off, and Earth has never been the same since. Humankind has had centuries now to adapt to a life where the creatures from our many cultural myths and legends are very real. Alive. Living in the same apartment complexes with us. It’s taken a while but everyone has managed to come to terms with it. Well, almost everyone…

Rumor has spread of an ancient, magical weapon resurfacing in the black market. A weapon blessed by an organization of zealots who call themselves The Pillars and owned by their prophet and hero Sir Asmir, a Knight of their order. Lost to time it was all but forgotten until one day a mysterious treasure pops up in a museum. Suddenly they are not the only ones interested.

A mysterious woman appears wherever the relic goes, and when it reaches the Dark Fey city of Arrana, tragedy strikes. Every day another woman goes missing. Baffled, police are struggling to catch a killer, reaching out to anyone who could help. When their best mages fail to make progress it seems once again, it’s time to call on the city’s resident expert on all things dark and evil.”

I can’t say I enjoyed this, I really didn’t. I wanted too, it looked to have so much promise, even the cover looked amazing, I though I was going to be in for a wild ride of a story. I thought wrong. I love all things supernatural, paranormal, fantasy, all that, I feel I had my expectations set far too high with this one.

I had my issues with it from the start. I hated the what seemed to be over bearing, over controlling lead character, Zelena. She seemed more like a psychotic stalker than a woman with a crush. The relationship between Cyrene and Zelena was what really put me off I think. It was very, how can I put this, unpleasant to read. Zelena constantly turning up where she knew Cyrene was going to be, the way she she was always so cocky about Cyrene ‘wanting her’, it just was too creepy and controlling for me. This really put me off from the get-go and I fear that may have distorted my view of the book. I really couldn’t get into it properly, this relationship was far too much of an unpleasant distraction.

I gave up before the end, I just couldn’t read anymore as it was making me very irritated. I gave it a fair go, I took a long break from it, cam back to it with fresh eyes, but still, no. This book was not for me.

It felt that the Fey, the magical weapon, the mystery involving the missing women and all the other supernatural stuff was just the filler. The author seemed far more interested in this very unhealthy relationship than anything else. It should be marketed as a dodgy romance rather than a supernatural fantasy novel.

Anyways, yes, I hated it, but everything is subjective and I know there are those out there that love it. My hatred of this book is my own and does not reflect the thoughts or opinions of anyone else.


Thanks for reading,

If you are interested, you find it via Amazon (UK) here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lividum-Apothecary-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B07FNMYMXX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541953256&sr=8-1&keywords=merciella+heartstorm

Also free on Kindle Unlimited.

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)


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