Junior Inquisitor

Junior Inquisitor

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas, Little Girls, and Bad Books Reviewed

I hope everyone is getting ready for Christmas, I know I am, probably even more than my girls.
Work continues with the book trailer for The Witch’s Lair, I expect that to be ready in the next week or so. My side project continues to chug along, and with the temps getting up into the 60s Saturday and Sunday, I should be able to get in some writing time this weekend. I have not forgotten Brother Sebastian, or his next adventure, I will be working on that starting in the New Year.
I have mentioned that I’m a voracious reader. As proof of this assertion, I checked Amazon. I ordered and read about 160 e-books this year so far. That’s just e-books, I also added, much to the consternation of the lovely Dr. Farish, additional books to the bookshelf and my bedside table. So in round numbers I’ve read 200 books this year, about 4 a week. Sadly, I know people who’ve not read that many in the last decade. I do have a motive besides public onanism for mentioning how much I read. I’ve reviewed, here on the blog, a fair number of books, but just those I’ve enjoyed. It used to be that I would always finish book I started, no matter how much it entertained me. No more. If the story begins to drag, if the MC is overly annoying, if the story arc starts to crap out, I will move on. Personally I think it’s a bit dickish to review a book I did not finish, it’s right up there with a one-line review. This leads me to a question; what about those books that I finished, but did not enjoy? Read on my friends, read on -


Murder with Monsters
K.T. Katzmann 
Blurb – New York Life Isn't Easy for a Dead Girl
It's hard enough working homicide when your diet consists of human blood, but detective Mildred Heavewater tries not to get hungry at work. Her crime scenes are even messier than usual, considering they all involve inter-species crime. Werewolves, wendigos, and gargoyles all keep life interesting. Add on a ghostly Jewish mother and a lovesick sasquatch co-worker, and Mildred thought she had a full set of problems. That was before the most impossible murder in New York history showed up.
Golems are clay people, super-strong and pretty nice. Heck, they're programmed by their creators not to harm humans. That's why the whole city is shocked when a golem is accused of murder. A teenage rabbi turns up with a snapped neck encased in clay, and all signs point to the simpleminded golem school janitor. With the press stampeding in, Mildred has mere days to prove that someone much more dangerous has framed the poor clay schlub from behind the scenes.
Time is ticking as inter-species tensions flare throughout New York. If Mildred can't clear the good name of golems everyone, blood and clay will run in the streets. She's got a strict time limit to deal with and still has to grapple with immortal Babylonian warriors, vampire junkies, the selfie-obsessed Jersey Devil, and the terror of Kosher sushi.
Something just may kill this dead girl yet.

I liked the premise of this book, it was, other than some distracting layout errors, pretty well done. The plot made sense, the scenes were descriptive, the characters believable, but I cannot say I enjoyed Murder with Monsters. My dislike is strictly personal; it is very much what I think of when I picture New York City and New Yorkers. The stereotype that doesn’t really exist outside of fiction. Mildred radiates need. There’s the angst over nothing, Mildred is constantly “what ifing” every personal encounter. A decent cop, she is otherwise a mess when it comes to a social life, and it is exhausting to read, for me. If you have no issues dealing with constant angst, a Jewish mother’s guilt suffocating her daughter, the MC, if you like Woody Allen movies, this book is probably for you. I needed a nap when I was done and kissed my wife in thanks for being nothing like Mildred.
2.5 Stars


Occult Assassin 1: Damnation Code
William Massa

Blurb –
After a decade spent fighting the enemy abroad and keeping his country safe, Delta Force Operator Mark Talon is ready to put his military career behind him and settle down with the love of his life in San Francisco. But Talon's world crumbles when his fiancée becomes the victim of a murderous cult. The military man now has a new foe in his crosshairs, and this promises to be a very different war.
The person responsible for his beloved's death is a Silicon Valley tycoon allied with the forces of darkness. Fusing cutting-edge computer technology with an ancient evil, the enemy here cannot be stopped by bullets alone. If Talon is to be victorious in his mission of vengeance, he will need to master a new method of warfare -- the arcane arts! He must become... the Occult Assassin.

Tough to criticize an author who has more reviews than you do, but this was not a book I would want to emulate. Hot take – the book is a plotless story of two-dimensional characters.
Example - If you have computer coders trying to summon demons, you’d better be able to explain why they need to use ancient Egyptian (or would that be hieroglyphics), to enable the summoning. I could see if writing the code was some sort of soul/ life force/ mojo emptying spell. Person thinks they are developing the next Candy Crush but really they are being drained of life essence, but that’s not what’s happening, the coders are watching, via web-cam, blood sacrifices, and that somehow is powering their coding which will, in turn, summon the demons. As Ace Venture would say, “Allllllllrighty then.”

Talon, the main character, goes into quasi-Batman mode when the love of his life is sacrificed to the electronic demons of ancient Egypt. Vengeance will be his, except he’s kinda broke and can’t afford a trip to Cabelas to pick up a vigilante outfit or even a well-equipped utility belt. Luckily Talon is bankrolled by a bored billionaire named Casca. Casca’s pledged the family fortune to fighting evil, not through direct action or even sending strongly worded ‘cease and desist’ letters, but by donating money to a good cause. To prevent the world falling prey to a demonic coup, Casca’s going to hire a former Delta Force operator who just happens to have lost his one true love. Not an army, not even a squad, one guy, because a wise billionaire is frugal with his money. And really, one guy should be enough to take out a company’s worth of brain-washed stab-happy code-monkey cultists. Isn’t that what happened to Pets.com?

Zagan yearns to rid the world of bad people and those who don’t like the Smurfs by opening the gates of hell. How does Zagan know how to set up the damnation of earth? He read how to start the downfall of man in some books I guess he got from his local library. Apparently there’s a lot of dangerous books in California libraries just waiting for someone with a chip on their shoulder to unleash the apocalypse. Not a fan of banning books, but in this case, maybe put world ending books in the restricted section.
I will not be reading the rest of the series.
2.5 Stars


Shady Cross
James Hankins
Amazon - Shady Cross

Blurb - In one hand, small-time crook Stokes holds a backpack stuffed with someone else’s money—three hundred and fifty thousand dollars of it.
In the other hand, Stokes has a cell phone, which he found with the money. On the line, a little girl he doesn’t know asks, “Daddy? Are you coming to get me? They say if you give them money they’ll let you take me home.”
From bestselling author James Hankins comes a wrenching story of an unscrupulous man torn between his survival instincts and the plight of a true innocent. Faced with the choice, Stokes discovers his conscience might not be as corroded as he thought.

Again I find myself in the uncomfortable position of criticizing someone who’s done far more than I as an author. This was an excellent well-written book, but for me there were no twists, no tension, no unexpected surprises. I knew what was going to happen from page five on, and accurately predicted the ending. For me it was obvious, and because of that it was as exciting as the walk home from school you did every day as a kid.
2.5 Stars

Perhaps I'm wrong maybe you'll enjoy the above novels. Click on the links and see for yourself.
Want some award-winning highly-rated dark tales to put you in the Christmas spirit?
May I suggest a FREE sample to start you off?
Werebooks- Goth Witch of Philly

Junior Inquisitor Book One  
Now on sale for 99 cents!

Soulless Monk Book Two  
 Smashwords - https://goo.gl/NXw3Gr
Inquisitor Series - http://goo.gl/5lCyaX

The Witch’s Lair Book Three 
Smashwords - https://goo.gl/MokJnC 
 Inquisitor Series - http://goo.gl/mJtTf8
The Vampire of Rome Book Four


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