Book Review – The Sand Dweller by Molly Neely

sanddweller

The Sand Dweller
Molly Neely
5 Stars

This book, my Gentle Readers, is a fantastic journey of one man’s quest to overcome his birthright and find redemption.

Molly weaves classic Christian And Egyptian figures into a tale stretching from thousands of years BC, to present day.

Lucifer’s top general in Hell, Azazeal, has a desire to possess the fallen first female, Lilith.  He proposes a bet, a winner take all battle between a single offspring from each of them. With Lucifer’s blessing they begin.

What follows is a spiritual journey that challenges the concept of “nurture vs. nature”, begging the question “Can one overcome their birthright?” Malachi bin Sinai, son of Azazeal, would like to know. His path weaves from ancient Egypt, past the crucifixion, a stint as a Roman gladiator, to end in a brutal battle with his nemesis, Ra.

I couldn’t put this one down and I doubt you will be able to either.

‘The Sand Dweller’ on Amazon

Molly Neely on Facebook

Molly Neely on Twitter @mollyneely

Book Review – Celtic Curse: Banshee by D.J. Doyle

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The Celtic Curse: Banshee
D.J. Doyle
4 Stars

Gentle Readers, I know it has been some time since my last review. I have been terribly busy and I apologize for that. Let’s dive into this one shall we?

This story has love, betrayal, murder, supernatural curses, and eventually, a seeking of redemption. The beginning is great in that it gives us some background on the Banshee and why she is doing the haunting she is. I feel this was rushed quite a bit. Her becoming a banshee could almost have been a novel (or at least a novella) all on its own.

Fast forward many generations and finally the bloodline is linked strongly enough to its Irish roots in order for her to come back with enough power to enact revenge again. This begins a race against time before the Banshee takes her next victim. Again, to me this was rushed a bit. There is also some tension, and one not so mild sexual scene, that seemed gratuitous and forced. Perhaps there was more to this storyline that made the scene/tension less “WOW, Here I am”. If so, I think it was lost to the editing floor.

Overall I thought it an enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing what the author does with their next work.

Celtic Curse:Banshee on Amazon

D.J. Doyle on Facebook

Book Review- Dark Day Dreams by James Hawthorne

Dark Day Dreams
James Hawthorne
4 Stars

Today I have another collection of stories for you, my Gentle Readers. This collection is all from the mind of James Hawthorne. It ranges from the philosophical to the dark, the uplifting to the horrific. James did a great job with this collection. I’m just going to highlight a few of the stories that I particularly enjoyed.

From the first story about the Midnight Kid and the dream realm, I was hooked. Beast in Show is exceptional and I wish there was more of it. The Summer of our Discontent is a fabulous piece of alternative history that could really go places if expanded. James explores the question: What if the Confederate states had stayed separate? Glitch is an interesting and dark story of pharmaceuticals turned street drug becoming catastrophic from the side effects no one would have tested for.

I found this book to be a great quick read. If you are looking for a collection of bite size stories, I’m sure you will find something here to tickle your fancy.

Dark Day Dreams on Amazon

Book Review – God is a Woman by Michael Tavon


God is a Woman
Michael Tavon
3 Stars

I’m going to put a little parental advisory here, my Gentle Readers. While not nearly the most explicit thing I have ever read, there are parts of this book not suitable for the kiddos.

That said, I want to like this book. Price Jones is a broken man. A broken home, molestation, and a mother who eventually checked out on drugs lead to an adult who can’t cope without alcohol. Price’s redeeming quality centers on his ability with the written word, at least to the few people close to him. His latest book sold more copies than his previous two, but he isn’t topping any best seller lists. His journey to redemption is, if at all possible, going to be difficult.

There is a great story here, even if you ignore the sometimes gratuitous sexual explicitness. The problem for me was in the editing/proofreading of this work. There are many varied errors that will snap the attentive reader out of the story. If you can overlook them however, you can find a great journey of self discovery and redemption.

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Book Review – The Student by Frank Weisener

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The Student (Jerome Water Book 1)
Frank Weisener
4 Stars

 

Crime Dramas are not my normal cup of tea for reading, my Gentle Readers. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the TV shows, I just normally do not read them. This series might become my first exception. Frank does a great job of weaving flashbacks and character backstory in bite size chunks so that you can understand the depth and motivations of his creations. Each chapter gives you a date and time, as well as the primary players in the scene. This allows you to follow along with the investigation as well as the criminal’s activities.

Something is wrong at Miami’s prestigious Florida International University. FIU students are turning up dead. It’s up to rookie detective Jerome Water to crack this case and bring the perp to justice. He’s not alone, however. He has his mentor, aging detective Poole, and former Miami Dade police officer turned private eye, Franco Tamargo. Can these three gumshoes find out who’s killing the students of FIU? Grab your copy of “The Student” today to find out.

The Student on Amazon

Frank Weisener on Goodreads

Book Review – 2020 by Jim Mosquera


2020 (Chandler Scott Series Book 1)
Jim Mosquera
3 Stars

Gentle Readers, this book will make you think. Jim weaves a tale of financial power players and behind the scenes politics that’s a bit too close to home.

Chandler Scott is a rising star reporter with his own show on the El Mundo television network. With the help of his mentor, Axel Schultz, he begins digging into a story mired deep in the current economic crisis. His investigations make him a target, as well as his girlfriend.

Jim Mosquera does some things right and some things wrong, in my humble opinion. The story begins very slow. There is a lot of info dump of character biographical information. The author seems to do this to establish the pedigree of the character and lend credibility to their statements and actions. While important for the story overall, these chunks of history really slow down the action in the first half to two thirds of the novel. The action does pick up from there. There is also a bit of restatement where a character says something, then the author gives us nearly the same thing as a separate sentence. This bogs down a few of the great dialogue sequences.

These issues aside the book ends on a note of making you want more, to find out just what Chandler is going to do in the wake of the forces arranged to control the flow of and existence of money in the United States and the world.

Jim Mosquera’s Website “The Sentinel.biz”

2020 on Amazon

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

intothedarkness
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

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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

questionofpower.jpg
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