Hello and welcome to Bob's Place. I'm Bob Myers and this month I will be reviewing a new author by the name of Ben Waterford. A friend of mine had read one of Ben's books and asked if I would review it. Ben has three ebook novels published to all the popular online ebook stores. Currently no books are in print, only available as ebooks online. Thankfully Ben has his own website (like any good author should!) and was easy to find. So I've gone one further and given a review of all three of Ben's currently available ebooks.
Although Ben says he does not follow a single genre two of his books are in the Sci-Fi realm ('Lost in the Dreamtime' and '10 Past 4'). The third is a fantasy/psychological horror and loosely based on the author's own experiences titled 'I Dreamed a Dream' (aka One Man's Nightmare). All three novels do cross over into other genres and humor seems to be very prevalent.
Please enjoy my reviews and visit Ben's website if you wish to buy any books. Remember these are my personal reviews (i.e. No correspondence will be entered into and no liability will be taken). Please note that the books are written by an 'Aussie' and the text is in Australia/UK Spelling and not US, so expect colour instead of color, etc. Finally, thanks to Ben for his permission to use information and images from his website.
Hey, Ben has reduced his latest ebook to only 99 cents (US$). Find the review and click the BUY NOW link for more info...
Look for more of my ebook reviews on the net ... Bob Myers ... Updated January 2017
Based mainly around the town of Halls Creek in the remote Kimberley region of Western AustraliaMain Characters
Bradley Chong (Age 24) - Jennifer (Brad’s girlfriend) - Jake Turner (Age 10) - Grant and Erin Turner (Jake's American parents) - Amelia (Ami) Smith (Age 20) - Jonno (Age 24) - Billy (Age 10 or 11) - Jemma (Age 22) - Mike Grimsby (Age 30+)Author's Synopsis
An outback vacation to Western Australia in the scorching summer of 1955 quickly turns sour for an American family when their Land Rover crashes during a sudden storm. Ten year old Jake is the only survivor who has to endure the heat and isolation of the vast Kimberley region. In search of help, he stumbles across a tribe of Aborigines who welcome him to their land. But Jake unknowingly has serious injuries from the accident which comes to the attention of the Elder who leads Jake to a hidden sacred cavern. Buried deep with the earth is an ancient space machine which had become part of the local Dreamtime.
A TV news report inspires budding journalist Bradley Chong to investigate the mysterious appearance of a ten year old boy who had been recently found in the Australian Outback. Brad uncovers that the same boy actually went missing in the same area almost sixty years earlier. Mystified, he travels to the remote town of Halls Creek where events unfold that even Brad could not have imagined. Ignored by the local police and hunted by federal agents, Brad and his new friends, Ami, Mike and Jemma, join forces to unite the boy Jake with his long lost Aboriginal friend, Billy, now elderly and terminally ill. It all accumulates in a fast-paced race to get Jake safely back to his pod so he can return home.
Bradley Chong, a young newspaper journalist, hears a news report regarding a young boy found in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia. In his endeavour to find more information, he stumbles across an old newspaper article from 1955 concerning a lost boy. He is convinced that it is the same young boy but some sixty years has passed. Brad travels to the township of Halls Creek where the boy was placed in police protection, but there is a wall of secrecy surrounding the very mention of the boy.
Brad is discovered missing after not showing for a dinner appointment with his new friend Ami, a young nurse, who he had met on the same flight to Halls Creek. Ami, with the help of another nurse named Jemma, start the search for Brad but instead discover that the missing young boy is being secretly held at the hospital they attend. A frantic race ensues to help the boy track down an old friend and then to help return them both safely home. An old acquaintance of Brad’s locates the missing Brad, and they too get caught up in the race to protect the two boys, aided by Mike’s gadget-equipped van. The police and a secret-service organisation also join the race to stop the boys from going home.
I’ve purposely left out some crucial elements in the above description as it would otherwise undermine and spoil the reason of the race to save the two boys in the first place. This second novel by Ben Waterford is totally unrelated to the first (10 Past 4) but both have a sci-fi/mystery theme. Again we are entertained by a liberal sprinkling of humor and fast-paced adventure. There are some emotional ups and downs, especially with Jake after dramatically losing his parents.
Brad takes the role of the fairly serious newspaper reporter, but then along comes Mike who is a 'Pink Floyd' loving, long-haired, fun nerd chasing UFO's for a living, with a high-tech equipped old Ford van. The pace is good and the story entertaining from start to finish. The author has obviously done a stack of research to capture all the elements necessary to bring this story to life. You find out why aliens have visited the earth over the years and where they came from. I must say I really enjoyed it, and not like anything else I have read. I do think it would make a good movie one day.
Based mainly in Pembrokeshire in South Wales, United KingdomMain Characters
Andrew James Ross (Andy - Age 18) - Morgan Cassandra Spencer (Kaz - Age 16) - John Ashcombe (Titch - Age 13) - Dave (Age ?) - Peter Lewis (aka Merlin - Age 9+) - Stefan Kalinowski (Stefan - Age 19+) - Captain Erhard Krause (Krause - Age 55+)Author's Synopsis
Four teens from various backgrounds come together in their first exciting adventure. Stumbling across an old WW2 bunker hidden deep within the Welsh Pembrokeshire countryside they are confronted by a rudimentary and unstable time machine that sets them off on an incredible journey to save a war-torn London from certain destruction by a German developed atomic bomb.
With adventures full of mystery, suspense, comedy and terror, this book will entertain all ages from teenagers upwards.
Four teenagers (Andy, Kaz, Titch and Dave) meet on a train destined for the Welsh coastal town of Pembroke. The train mysteriously stops at an unused platform. While looking for the missing train driver a haggardly-dressed man is seen running from the rear train carriage with a valuable backpack belonging to Dave. Having no transport, they decide to follow the thief on foot down a disused branch line. A sudden storm makes them take refuge in an old signal box where they hold out for the night.
Next morning, they discover an old military WW2 bunker. Andy and Dave are first to enter and become inexplicably transported back to April 1945. A small squad of German soldiers and scientists under the leadership of SS Captain Krause have secretly captured the bunker. Krause is planning to free some German prisoners of war from a nearby British military camp known as Castlemartin, but this is just a distraction to his real mission which is to blow up London with an untested atomic bomb. Andy is captured and held prisoner, but escapes and eventually foils the attempt to free the POWs.
Meanwhile Kaz and Titch are lured even further into the past, around 500AD, where they have to encounter huge dog-like beasts, invading pirates and even dragon serpents. By saving a friend of Arthur (of King Arthur fame) they are assisted in their journey to join forces with Andy and Dave who are battling the German soldiers to an attempt to stop the train carrying the bomb reaching London. It all culminates in a climatic train chase which ends with a huge explosion.
The story starts off with good pace and this sets it up for the rest of the novel. The first few chapters are dedicated to the main character building and this allows you to move forward with a good reference base. Interaction between characters happens quickly and you soon feel you know some of their traits at an early stage. Not long after the four teens stumble upon the hidden bunker they are quickly split into two pairs and whisked away in to another time.
The author, Ben Waterford has obviously done plenty of research. His explanation within the story of how the time machine came to be and how it actually works is easily digested by the reader and although a complex subject you actually believe it is all possible. When Kaz and Titch travel back over 1,500 years in time, they are confronted by dog-beasts and dragons which are cleverly entwined with the story of Arthur, who they never actually met, but save his friend Gawain from certain death. The story moves back and fore between the two time-zones but keeps them cleverly linked so that you don’t get lost, until eventually the four teenagers all join up to stop the train, complete with an atomic bomb, from actually reaching London.
In summary ’10 past 4’ is a well-composed sci-fi/fantasy adventure that is easy to read and follow. Ben has clearly targeted teenagers with this novel, but it’s equally fun reading for adults. The humor is well-timed and I see a little sign of romance budding, but there is also the serious side of war and engagement. I notice a few things go unanswered, so I look forward to a follow-up book in the future.
Most action takes place in a dark fortress in some sort of strange dimensionMain Characters
Brendon, Emmanuelle (aka Emma), JacobAuthor's Synopsis
When a dream becomes a reality the nightmare begins. Brendon is cast into an unknown world where murderers are sent for penance. A world where demons and beasts run amok and humans are their fodder. Can Brendon find his way back to the real world or will he be lost forever.
Enjoy an intriguing psychological tale that combines fantasy and horror with some refreshing moments of romance and humor. A short novel inspired by the authors own dreams and nightmares.
The main character, Brendon awakes from a dream, but is still in a dream (a dream within a dream). He quickly finds himself drawn by a voice that unwittingly entices him down into an underground sewer infested with huge rats. He escapes (he thinks) up a ladder to a huge stone fortress that is governed by all sorts of beasts and demons, a place where murderers are sent for their penance. He rescues a fair maiden named Emma from a beast by the name of The Master, who vows to find and kill them both. Brendon loses contact with Emma but is assisted by a centuries-old pirate named Jacob, who knows of a way out. Fighting strange beasts and zombie-like walking dead, he eventually finds Emma but is confronted by The Master and his beastly pets. Can Brendon save Emma or himself from eternal damnation?
The Is Ben Waterford’s third novel and the shortest. It is very different to his other works, in fact, they are all so very different. This is a first person story. Brendon, the main character, tells the story from his perspective and it is done very well. I looked for slips into third person storytelling but did not notice any. The story begins with Brendon standing beside a very busy road. This short, seemingly odd opening, actually links with the very reason the following story takes place. It will not become obvious until the very last chapter. I did wonder how being tied to one location for most of the storyline would evolve. Would it be a boring place with similar rooms, stairways and monotonous passageways. The answer is both yes and no. Yes, there are lots of passageways and stairs but no, it was changed up enough to keep me wondering what was behind the next door, or waiting at the top of the stairwell. As usual I’m not going to give away too much as I don’t want to spoil the plot. Many of the characters and concepts during the story are from the author’s own dreams and nightmares as a young boy. Emmanuelle (or Emma as we know her), is a lucid memory of the author which Brendon mentions in the story. Brendon is soon infatuated with Emma’s beauty and vows to free her from this dungeon. He underestimates what he needs to do to escape and things go even more pear-shaped after Emma suddenly disappears. Luckily for Brendon he is befriended by a very, very old pirate named Jacob, who has survived the fortress for centuries and knows a few of its hidden secrets. Jacob assists Brendon to find a route through a swamp which is infested with zombie-like skeletons. Brendon has to confront ‘The Master’ before he can rescue Emma, but he is assisted by a Wolf-like beast he has befriended and aptly named 'Wolfy'. I did wonder how this story would end and didn’t expect the final revelations which cleverly tied the whole novel together.
In summary, it’s another well-written and easy to read story. The main characters are nicely defined and integrate well. The horror or gory side is not overdone and there is a good sprinkling of humor and some romance. As is usual with Ben Waterford’s books, the story moves along at a good pace and there is always something lurking around the next corner to keep up the interest.