I've been busy promoting other authors for a bit, and thought it was time a plain old book review or two. I am a voracious reader, when I have the time I knock out a book a day, sometimes more. Since I'm sure none of you care what I think of Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of our Nature (excellent but flawed by the authors glibness and personal stances) or David Kilcullen's Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla (phenomenally researched, but still think an urban guerrilla will come to the same end as did Carlos Marighella and for the same reasons). Instead I'll focus on books I've recently read for fun.
Rick Gualtieri's The Wicked Dead
I've known, via the internet, Rick Gualtieri for a while. About the time I was considering moving forward with my own stories, I discovered Bill the Vampire. It is one of a few series I will re-read over and over again. As Rick was an Indie author with much more experience that myself, I sent him an email, and he promptly responded, answering my questions and giving me a bit of advice.
Rick is one of the few indie authors I know who has managed to make the leap from part-time to full time author. Something I hope to emulate in the not to distant future.
Bill Ryder is a pudgy, immature, perpetually sexually frustrated geek who was turned into a vampire as a part of a cruel prank by some dickish vampires. However, it turns out Bill is a bit special and rather than being executed on the spot for being flabby and mouthy, he becomes a creature of the night. Just not the scary kind. In his latest adventure Bill has once again screwed up and been given a task that will most likely kill him. A heretic (yes, vamps have religion, sort of) had taken over Boston, and Bill's job is to kill him. Never mind that Bill normally has the fighting skills of a lawn chair and the killer instinct of a gerbil; it's do or die time.
Two things, The Wicked Dead, to me, starts off a bit slow, but gains steam quickly. The other is that Bill is growing up. While it is not that same as killing off Wash as he tries to soar like a leaf in the wind, some Bill fans are upset that Bill is not the same exact person he was in the first book. People, fictional or otherwise, do not remain static over time. They change, are molded by circumstance and events. Other wise the author is telling that same story over and over again, and just changing the scenery.
Everything is here, Sally, strife, Gan, wise-cracks, smarmy vampires, awkward love interests, Templars, Bigfeet and ridiculous situations. The only change is Bill is starting to act like a leader some of the time. Not a good leader, but he is trying to be in charge of the loose cannons, not be one himself.
I think it's another fine addition to the series, and if you haven't started to read it I have to wonder why you hate fun.
Wil Radcliffe's The Whisper King
OnebookTwo had a contest. I entered and won. There's a reason I follow them, this is one of them.
There are monsters in the shadows, they call out to desperate children, beckoning them to leave this world behind and serve the Whisper King.
I wanted to like this book. And parts of it were fantastic. The concept, the mythos, the monsters, all of it fabulous. But, for me, I never connected with the MC, I just never really liked him. There were also some questions I had that were never resolved. The Whisper King is building an army of stolen children turned into monsters, but to do what?
Perhaps you will enjoy this book. You probably should read it just for the story, even if, like me, you think the MC is an ass.
|3 1/2 Stars|
Elliot Kay's Dead Man's Debt
I am an Elliot Kay fan. As far as I know I've read everything he's written. Dead Man's Debt is the third of a series following Tanner Malone, and his efforts in war. The underlying concept is brilliant. In the far future when man has reached the stars, large corporation have reintroduced debt peonage. One of the more lucrative ways to amass profits is via education. A corporation runs the education system. Once you finish high school, you take a test, to determine how much you've learned and how much you owe. The better the score the lower the debt. Naturally most owe something, but for some reason those well connected seem to have an easier time than others. Tanner Malone is middle-class and smart, but is asked nearly impossible questions on his test and ends up heavily in debt. To pay it off he joins the military. At the same time, the president of his planetary system decides to default on the payments to the major corporations. War breaks out between the corporations and Tanner Malone's home worlds.
The first two were very fast-paced rollicking adventures. This last one however, seemed slow to me, the combat scenes, both in space and mano a mano were slow and predictable. I didn't find the tension and conflict that made the first two books so gripping in this last installment. There was never the worry that Tanner might not make it, as there was in the first two books.
Perhaps, I am being unfair, I was reading this right before bed. Maybe I was tired and didn't enjoy the book as much as I would fully awake. Perhaps. I will re-read the series at some point, and maybe I'll have to correct this review.
|3 1/2 Stars|
Brian S. Leon's Havoc Rising
This is the other book I won in the OnebookTwo contest.
Diomedes didn't die in the Trojan war, but given immortality by Athena and made her champion on earth. Fast forward a few millennium and Diomedes is now going under the name of Steve, and runs a charter fishing boat. And there's a problem.
I enjoyed this book for it's history, and depth of knowledge of Greek mythology. My only beef was that, to me, the final show-down was a bit draggy, and there was no doubt in my mind that Diomedes and his main crew would succeed and they would all live. The red-shirts were obvious, and died, a lot. I remember reading most of the red-shirts were dead, multiple times.
Still a pretty damn good book.
So there you go - honest reviews. As no two people have ever read the same book, your mileage may vary.
Speaking of things that vary, the lovely Dr. Farish AKA the smoking hot redhead is STILL pregnant. Apparently number two will not come out unless you buy my books. Help end the suffering. Buy copies today and get some for all of your friends.
Junior Inquisitor Book One
Amazon - http://goo.gl/D6KrbX
Inquisitor Series - http://goo.gl/mJtTf8
Soulless Monk Book Two
Smashwords - https://goo.gl/NXw3Gr
Amazon - http://goo.gl/p9fBn0
Inquisitor Series - http://goo.gl/5lCyaX
The Witch’s Lair Book Three
Amazon - http://goo.gl/ZRO6Jw
Smashwords - https://goo.gl/MokJnC
Inquisitor Series - http://goo.gl/mJtTf8