Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Review: From Within the Firebird's Nest

From Within the Firebird's Nest From Within the Firebird's Nest by Sheldon Charles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I went into Within the Firebird's Nest with a metaphorical eyeroll; spy novels are not my thing. More not my thing? Russian spy novels. Yeah, about that... turns out I have no idea what my 'thing' is because Sheldon Charles wrote a Russian spy novel that I couldn't tear my eyes from. When life demanded that I do so, I was thinking about the characters and what was happening, rushing through chores to get back to the book.

I haven't done any research into the authors expertise when it comes to this subject matter but he wove an intricate tale around everything from the plethora of local and international settings to the numerous creatively complex characters. I wouldn't find myself too surprised to find out his knowledge was far more professional than that of a simple writer. Okay, there's the book getting to me again! I find myself creating diabolical narratives around very benign people and events around me now. Thanks a lot, Charles!

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Review: Dawn Of Affinity

Dawn Of Affinity Dawn Of Affinity by V.J. Deanes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In the beginning, where Dawn of Affinity would ultimately fall for me was anyone's guess. Science fiction thriller; a mixture between the genre I stubbornly scorn despite thoroughly enjoying a number of them and the genre I claim dearest to my heart despite the rarity of finding one done well. The science in this fiction is artificial intelligence and the thrill in this thriller is surviving.

Essentially the premise is that eleven years from the year I read the book, a few genetic scientists have gotten too big for their britches and put forth artificial intelligence in cloned human form. Naughty scientists, this type of thing is illegal! Being illegal, of course they are kept a closely guarded secret until, as anticipated, they are found out and all hell breaks loose. What follows is a hair raising, sci-fi adventure, albeit a short one. I didn't mind the quick read but if you fall into this story, I can see wanting more. There were some continuity problems throughout the book that bugged me but overall, this is a solid three stars; I kinda liked it.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Review: Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies

Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies by Evy Journey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The romance template is strong with this one. Evy Journey didn't shy away from the tried and true with Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies. The background of life here is, you guessed it, cooking. Gina takes the role of poor, plain Jane heroine gobsmacked by the trials and tribulations of life and love. Leon plays our stereotypical obsessive kajillionaire who, despite women of extraordinary beauty and talent vying for his attention, only has eyes for Jane. I mean Gina. Other customary stock plot positions are filled in the form of catty female frenemies, possible only for the purpose of drama romantic rivals, and surly but well meaning bearers of wisdom for our characters to benefit from. It all happens exactly as you imagine it happens. Almost.

All of that sounds terribly negative, and there is a level of disappointment in mind numbingly formulaic genre novels, but Journey's style of writing has the ability to make you forget to be irritated. Before you know it, you've devoured Sugar and Spice. It is a romance book for romance book lovers, no pun intended.

View all my reviews

Review: Mistress Suffragette

Mistress Suffragette Mistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Diana Forbes has a knack for this type of writing. In Mistress Suffragette we get a mix of history and romance that, despite the plethora of steamy romance book covers featuring bare chested, 18th century Dukes, is rarely done well. To be honest, it's not easy for me to imagine romance being all that sexy to begin with back before daily bathing became the norm. Perhaps that's only my pesky sense of reality rearing it's cynical head.

Despite the singular historical issue of women's suffrage as a focus, there is a lot going on in this novel. By a lot, I mean a lot of everything; social issues, characters, locations, and story lines. Penelope is a woman hell bent on shirking the burden of the life she was born for. Along the way she acts irresponsibly as often as she does with considerable thought. She finds her affections wildly swayed between very different men and holds close a group of friends whose run the gambit in terms of personality. This makes for an engaging tale from start to finish.

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review: Panama's Rusty Lock: A Novel of the 1984 Presidential Election

Panama's Rusty Lock: A Novel of the 1984 Presidential Election Panama's Rusty Lock: A Novel of the 1984 Presidential Election by Jay Beck
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Panama's Rusty Lock read like a non-fiction book, I thought. It is billed as historical fiction and I gather the intrigue behind historical fiction is that the history in general, is real. One would think that knowing the outcome might ruin any tension in the plot but I didn't find that to be the case here. I'm trying to portray that my assumptions about historical fiction were a hindrance and I was a bit of an idiot going in.

As someone who has never given Panama much thought at all, I didn't expect to be very engaged here. Jay Beck managed to yank me out of the comfort of my home and into a climate of political unrest and corruption. The unsettling accounts of the drug trade in the area was by far my favorite part and I will be seeking out books on that subject in the future. Panama's Rusty Lock will appeal to those who love their drama mixed with politics.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Review: Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse

Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse by Peter Quinones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse. I'll be honest, I didn't know what to expect from a book with such a title. I'll be frank when I say what I found was brilliant! Brilliance in short stories is few and far between, rare even, in my experience. I'm going to need to request that this author write a full length novel for me to devour. Is there a form for that?

Some people are foodies. I am a wordie. And so is Peter Quinones, or so it would seem from my vantage point. I think that's what I liked so much about these stories. Yes, the material was interesting, the premises inventive and unforeseen, but it was the way in which he strung together words that created a full color mental picture that sucked this reader in so completely. They say the best writers are the most ferocious readers and I desperately want to know what Quinones has been reading.

The first story here in by far the best, in my opinion. I recognized the style, the stories just didn't grab me the same way.

View all my reviews

Review: Rough Cut

Rough Cut Rough Cut by Brian Pinkerton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The best horror novels aren't necessarily penned by Stephen King. That statement is a moot point as Rough Cut by Brian Pinkerton
is not what I have in mind to be classic horror. Thriller, crime fiction, yes. And a good thriller at that. The crime is gruesome and not the norm for the genre, which I appreciated, but it lacked the graphic gore and The premise is that Hollywood has-been, Harry Tuttle, desperate for the script that will return him to his former glory, finds it, takes credit for it, and then realizes he's been soaking up the accolades for a for a SNUFF film. So, he kinda had it comin'.

I am a Pinterton newbie but Rough Cut will most definitely not be my last. The style in which Pinkerton's writes is to be admired. He knows how to move a plot along without rushing and that is much easier said than done. The reader feels a part of the story, invested in the characters and their survival. Also something that is not easy to accomplish. This is a solid thriller (horror lite, if you insist on the label).

View all my reviews