Book Review -Into the Darkness by A.M. Rycroft

Into the Darkness
A.M. Rycroft
4 Stars

Gentle Readers, this is a story right up my alley. Swords, sorcery, good and evil gods, heroes and villains. All in a home brew world that would be great as a pen and paper, dice rolling weekend like I spent in my younger years. Rycroft gives us realism and cohesion in both character personality and the world in general.

Aeryn Ravane is a sellsword with a mission, to complete her father’s final quest to break the curse on the Black Caverns and gain access to the treasures within. What Aeryn doesn’t know is that her long journey is just beginning. She is joined by the master of the Black Caverns, Tynan Selvantyr, or at least his ghost as the mage has been dead for 150 years. Also joining her is young Theo, a street thief with secrets of her own. With The Harbinger loose from his prison in the Black Caverns, Aeryn is on a race against time to find the courage within to face her past, and take out the evil mad god.

Rycroft’s tale was a joy to read and had all the elements of a great fantasy tale. I look forward to more from him, especially this Cathell Series as I don’t think the gods are done with Aeryn and her friends just yet.

Into the Darkness on Amazon

A.M.Rycroft on Facebook

A.M. Rycroft’s Website

Book Review -Poet King by Jaffa Truex

Poet King

Jaffa Truex

3 Stars

My Gentle Readers, while I write a bit of poetry this is my first review of a poetry book. Given it is a short work, there isn’t a lot  to say. Jaffa reaches deep down inside himself to bring to life personal truths that perhaps we can all relate to at some point in our lives. I did enjoy the poem “I am dead!!” specifically when he talks about the obsession of Facebook life. So many people craft this online persona that is so far from reality it is saddening.

This line from “The Murder Factory” is especially meaningful for anyone who has fought depression. “Every day is a new car accident that I am in everyone slows down and watches but nobody helps me.”

Blitz is the perfect note to end the collection on in my opinion.

Some of the poems may mean something to the poet, but I could find no meaning in the collection of seemingly random words. That’s not to degrade his work, simply that several of them did not speak to me on any level, even a sympathetic or empathetic one.

As other reviewers have pointed out, the collection of images, clearly pulled from Internet databases and not personally from the life of the poet, detracted from the overall work. Images for images sake are better left unused. I would have liked to see him use images from his own life, even if they were poorly  drawn sketches (as I have no idea if the author has artistic skills in that area) than pull from the Internet.

Overall I think the work has some merits but perhaps fell flat for me in the execution. Keep writing Jaffa. You definitely have more to say to the world.

Poet King on Amazon

Book Review – Tales From The Universe from Inklings Press

Tales From The Universe
Inklings Press (various authors)
5 Stars

This latest review is of a different variety for me, My Gentle Readers. It is a collection of short stories from different authors. I want to specifically thank Leo McBride for bringing this book to my attention. We will get to his contribution to the book in due course.

What I’m going to attempt to do is write a few sentences about each story and provide you with a link to find more about each author. So hold onto your hats friends, it’s going to be an exciting ride.

The Devout Atheist by Daniel M. Benson

Daniel flips the age old Religion versus Science debate around in this short work. His archaeologists are digging up unicorns and dragons looking for evidence of why Noah dropped marsupials off in Australia when they have a philosophical debate with their dedicated atheist colleague. Definitely could be expanded upon.

You can find Daniel on his blog by Clicking Here.

Upgrade to Murder by Rob Edwards

Rob explores the controversial field of AI in this brief work. He raises an interesting question about what could happen if computers were to gain a measure of sentience.

You can find Rob Edwards by Clicking Here.

Suliko by R. H. Nelson

Nelson tackles a futuristic society where important people, those needed for society, don’t die. Their consciousness is downloaded into a new body, unless you are “forgotten”. What if someone didn’t want to let go of a “forgotten”? Nelson explores that in this piece that could use a massive expansion.

Sadly R. H. Nelson has an “irrational” hatred of social media so if you want to reach him, maybe seek out his publisher.

Dead in Space by Matthew Harvey

A salvage team and an old military ship adrift in space, but something is still alive.

Matthew is available on Twitter @TetsunariHarvey

The Familiar Road by Pedro Camelo

A story of a man of habits, his loving wife, and the old man next door who just wants to have a beer with his neighbor. Not all is as it seems.

You can find Pedro Camelo on Facebook  by Clicking Here.

Cosmic Egg by Ricardo Victoria

Three different races grouped together for space exploration. A neutron star about to explode and a mysterious structure on the surface that defies logic.

You can find Ricardo on Facebook or Twitter @Winged_Leo

Small World by Brian S. Converse

What do you do when you are a galactic criminal exiled to earth? You become sheriff of a small town, that’s what.

Brian can be found on Facebook and Twitter @BeianSConverse

The Ellian Convergence by Brent A. Harris

Brent weaves a tale of machines rising against what comes next after they have already gained sentience. Even in this short piece he weaves a world of possibility with cohesion.

Brent can be found on Facebook or Twitter @BrentAHarris1

Lazarus Soldiers by Leo McBride

How fast could the military respond if they could just download your personality into a cloned body near the mission site? Logistics is now a matter of a ship on auto pilot with the proper supplies in a cargo hold. Leo explores this in his story that has potential for so much more.

Leo McBride can be found on Facebook by Clicking Here or Twitter @chippychatty

Deep In The Rock by Jessica Holmes

From her bio Jessica is a new author but I can’t wait rinsed where she goes after this Space Mining short story.

You can find her on Twitter @scribblingjess

Tales From The Universe was a joy to read and I hope all of these authors have longer works coming that I can track down in the future.

You can find it on Amazon by Clicking Here


Book Review – A Question of Power by Susi Wright

A Question of Power
Susi Wright
3 Stars

My Gentle Readers, today’s offering is a fantastical tale of magic, the battle between Good and Evil, and the Power of Love. Though this is Book 2 in her series, The Fire Chronicles, it is capable of standing alone with enough flashback that it won’t hamper your enjoyment of the work.

Susi Wright crafts a beautiful world full of unique people with a rich history. Her characters are deeply complex with unique quirks and personal trials.

The Alliance between humans and Gaians is struck and Lord Luminor of the Gaians sends a party of His people to find others of their kind and bring them to the safety of Baram. Xandor, leader of one such expedition, believes wholeheartedly in the quest put before him. Though he has some success early on, a dark threat looms in the east.

Lord Luminor is troubled by dark nightmares and feels his power, that of supreme control over Fire, being siphoned away. Knowing he has to face this threat before it destroys the newly brokered peace of the Alliance, he gathers his warriors and flies to meet this foe head on.

The world is fully developed with a deep mythos and multiple cultures interacting seamlessly. The downfall for me was a lot of repetition and wordiness. Multiple sentences with so many commas they were paragraphs all their own. There are times where a character thinks something, says it out loud, and then also  acts it out in some way. This spurs an equal trifecta of reactions from the other character. This gets much better as the book goes on but can bog you down in the early going.

If you like hand crafted fantasy worlds with depth and detail, “A Question of Power” can satisfy that desire. Be prepared for a slow start. Once you slog your way through that, you are in for a real treat.

A Question of Power on Amazon

Susi Wright’s Website