Review: BIRD AND SQUIRREL ON ICE Hilarity abounds in this graphic-format story (along with just a few home truths) as Narcissistic Bird and insecure worry-wart Squirrel land (unexpectedly) at the South Pole, in the process managing to.alter some of its topography. Bird is "elected" the Chosen One" of legend, to.save the penguin tribe from enslavement to Great Whale. Has Bird beaked off more than he can swallow?
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Monday, September 29, 2014
REVIEW: LEX DE MORTUIS (DIVISION ZERO) by Matthew Cox
I really enjoyed this fast-paced, entertainingly written novel. There's plenty of the dystopian and futuristic (400 years AFTER the U.S!); but most enjoyable for me were the paranormal and Supernatural aspects. I've been reading such for uncountable years, and the best Supernatural or paranormal stories are the BELIEVABLE (just for examples: Henry James' THE TURN OF THE SCREW; Stephen King' s FIRESTARTER; Garth Stein' s A SUDDEN LIGHT). Stories which make me believe in the setting, plot, and characters are the best; and from Page One, LEX DE MORTUIS convinced me--and I loved it and will reread it.
Genre: Cyberpunk, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Science Fiction
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication: September 8, 2014
Cover Artist: Alexandria Thompson at Gothic Fate (http://gothicfate.com/)
Some soldiers don’t let anything sway them from their mission, not even death from high explosives.
Free from her troubled past, Agent Kirsten Wren finds happiness mentoring Evan, a boy with similar talents with whom she soon forms a strong bond. Her efforts to help Dorian settle his past become complicated when a team of corporate “issue resolution consultants” continue their mission to kill a man in the afterlife.
Kirsten gets involved when their postmortem grudge match spills into the realm of the living. At the scene of a surgical explosion that gutted only one floor of a residential tower, she discovers a strange arcane circle drawn in silver. There, she senses energy darker than any wraith she has yet encountered; a force that questions everything she believes about the world.
Vikram Medhi, the hacker targeted by Lyris Corporation for elimination, begs her to protect him from undead out to destroy him. With no way to track these spirits, she seeks help from an enigmatic billionaire who offers her more than a simple translation of ancient Sumerian pictographs.
Chasing down a dangerous psionic criminal in the oldest lawless zone in the city, trying to protect a man on a corporate death list, and trying to keep both of them from hurting the one person in the world she loves, Kirsten must reach deep within herself to accept her destiny.
Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20360057-les-de-mortuis) | Amazon US(http://amzn.com/B00NE7E04I) | Amazon UK (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NE7E04I) |Barnes & Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/division-zero-matthew-s-cox/1120339351?ean=9781620076033)
About Matthew Cox:
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests: Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it. He is also fond of cats.
Find Matthew Cox Online:
Website (http://www.matthewcoxbooks.com/wordpress/) | Facebook(https://www.facebook.com/MatthewSCoxAuthor) | Twitter(https://twitter.com/mscox_fiction) | Goodreads(https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7712730.Matthew_S_Cox)
REVIEW: THE SCHWARZSCHILD RADIUS by Gustav Florentin
Caution: THE SCHWARZSCHILD RADIUS pulls very few punches! It is down-and-dirty, gritty, explicit, dealing with some of the very worst dregs of inhuman humanity. If you're faint of heart or weak of stomach, grossly disturbed by human trafficking, sexual slavery, pedophilia, and torture porn (and murder), you will find this book.tremendously disturbing. On the other hand, it is excellently written and ingeniously plotted. The character delineations are deep, and this is so in a high populace of characters. Some elicited immediate empathy; some I wanted eradicated from the face of the earth. Certainly, THE SCHWARZSCHILD RADIUS will linger on in my memory.
The Schwarzschild Radius, by Gustavo Florentin
Genre: detective mystery-thriller
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Re-Release: September 23, 2014.
Cover Artist: Andrea Garcia(http://andyg4rcia.com/)
Rachel, an 18-year-old Columbia University student, descends into the netherworld of runaways and predators to find her sister, Olivia, who has suddenly disappeared.
After getting a job in a strip joint where Olivia worked, then doing private shows in the homes of rich clients, Rachel discovers that Olivia has been abducted by a killer who auctions the deaths of young girls in an eBay of agony.
When she finds Olivia, Rachel becomes the killer’s next target.
GUSTAVO FLORENTIN was born in Queens, New York, and received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Polytechnic University of New York. He spent a decade in the defense industry, working on the F-14 fighter jet and classified electronic warfare projects.
After the fall of the Soviet Union many thought America wouldn’t need weapons anymore. While others waited for the “peace dividend,” he moved on to the financial sector in New York where he is currently a network engineer. His passions include violin, travel to exotic destinations and exploring worldwide conspiracies. He’s currently working on his third novel in his New Jersey home.
Find Gustavo Florentin Online:
Author SW LOTHIAN has consistently proven his ability to pen adventurous, intriguing, novels for middle-grade readers. His QUEST series introduced reader's to the glory of Ancient Egypt with clever time-travel, "learn while adventuring." In this new series, he postulates, not just time travel, but threats to the actual nature and existing of time. In the 1930's, an "absent-minded" professor and his adolescent daughter and son discover unexpected adventures, in a delightful and educational series.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
CORRELATION is a well-written and intriguing novel, treating its characters as individuals, not as stereotypical adolescents. Even more importantly, the story is believable. The plot, both present and past, thrums with serious issues: responsibility, fatality, survivor guilt, love, war; and the populous cast of characters are well-developed and examined. I turned pages, quite involved with both characters and plot lines, and was never disappointed as the events played out.
REVIEW: A SUDDEN LIGHT by Garth Stein I had never before read any of Garth Stein 's novels, though I own a Kindle copy of THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN. From the first pages of A SUDDEN LIGHT I was enraptured, fascinated, and engrossed. This is a very special novel, an exceptional one. With a plethora of delicately peeled character studies, a multiply hot-button plot, and the ease with which history intertwines with contemporary, and Supernatural with consensus reality--not to mention truly Faulknerian overtones--A SUDDEN LIGHT is a colossus of a novel: not in length but in status--definitely one of the BEST books of 2014.
I was fortunate to review a digital ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss and NetGalley.
Near-futuristic sci fi turns evolution on its head, or gives that impression, as Professor Towry and his colleagues and "cousins" present as both of higher intellect, physically stronger, and of higher integrity and civility than humans. Yes, Towry and his fellows are chimps--not monkeys, mind you--chimps. Sentient, voluble, intellectually brilliant: chimps.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Author Ernie Lindsey possesses an imagination of which I am in awe. Every story of his I pick up proves that, over and over again. When I saw this title, I wondered, Don't most humans have two legs? SO what could be so unusual about the eponymous protagonist? Well, Cray is unusual because---no, I don't want to give the premise away. But if you enjoy dystopian science fiction, scary future societies, tricky, well-delineated characters, and fine writing, then THE MAN WITH TWO LEGS is a story you sure don't want to overlook; and if you've never read Ernie Lindsey, this is a great place to begin.
A fast-moving, violence-rife, danger-filled thriller about a fascinating subject: the ancient Norse beliefs of the "end of the world": Ragnarok. The International Heritage Authority, of which series protagonists Nina Wilde and spouse Eddie Chase are essentials, is tasked to covertly investigate the theft of a priceless rhinestone from a Swedish museum's lab. With a reader's hook that is both breathtaking and horrifying, readers are propelled instantly into the plot.
Tanneheuk, Montana, is everybody's ideal small town, really too good to be true. Free of crime, poverty, bigotry; yet there is an out-of-statistical-proportion incidence of adolescents who are maimed or injured; and then there's that annual Fall lottery held every September. When the veil is drawn back, it's clear that the Utopia of Tanneheuk is in actuality a scary Dystopia.
A not-too-near future science fiction noir about societal slavishness and corporate overlords (or: Madison Avenue to the ultimate max), this short story is actually scary, in the way that apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic predictive fiction can be. Looking around at the current celebrity cults, marketing mania, and general shallowness (keeping up with the Jones' has become a near-religious obsession), it's easy to believe this 2089 scenario could be true.
REVIEW: THE RETURNING TIDE Unless we're very shallow, most of us keep secrets. Often those are mild, about thoughts, opinions, dreams, not about actions--not the kind of behavior that leads to legal trouble, injury, or fatalities. Businesswoman Claire Bentley is different. I rather think she might be a pathological liar, because she lies when there isn't a need. But the secret she's maintained for three decades involves the kind of actions mentioned above; and the fact of her actions then, and both keeping silence and overtly lying ever since, to preserve her desires reflects badly on her character--very badly indeed.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
In an ugly and undesirable "near-future," Canada is ruled primarily by military-federal and corporations. There are few areas not under the "protection" of either, but Toronto private investigator San Michaels learns of one such, a community and conservation area known as Indian Falls when he is hired to find a missing person. Now that his home city is getting too hot to handle, from the criminals he's helped put away, to a failed assassination attempt on him, San decides to combine work and pleasure and heads for Indian Falls "undercover," as a vacationer.
Vacation won't be happening, though. San gets caught up with county police, a federal Special Agent, the conservation officer, and a paramilitary milita group, all of whom are trying to solve multiple disappearances. That's not to mention that apparently these really are "alien abductions," and nothing like we've been taught to expect.
Author Morton has a flair for delineating characters, and a uniquely creative approach to the aliens.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
REVIEW: UPGRADED (A Cyborg Anthology) edited by Neil Clarke UPGRADED is an anthology collecting 26 stories relating to the theme of Cyborgs, the idea being that "upgrades" result in "Better...Stronger....Faster" like TV's The Bionic Man, Steve Austin. Of course, their' s always darker alternatives, and there's plenty room for exploration in these 26 tales. I don't know if any of the authors have yet been "upgraded," but as editor Neil Clarke explains in his introduction, he himself has been "upgraded" to cyborg status
REVIEW: BONES NEVER LIE by Kathy Reichs Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan has confronted, and solved, many cases. Now she is summoned to the Charlotte (NC) Cold Case Unit, and a couple of surprises are in store. First is a detective from Vermont with a cold case, of child abduction and murder. Next is a current case of child disappearance in Charlotte. Then she learns that her Canadian nemesis, Anique Pomerleau, a female serial killer of children, may be the perpetrator in the Vermont case. As time runs low on solving the current disappearance, Brennan is tasked to locate off-the-radar Canadian detective Andrew Ryan, friend and former lover, who disappeared after the overdose death of his twenty-year-old daughter.
Monday, September 22, 2014
DeadGirl, by B.C. Johnson
Genre: young-adult, urban-fantasy/paranormal-romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication: November 6, 2014
Dead is such a strong word …
Lucy Day, 15 years old, is murdered on her very first date. Not one to take that kind of thing lying down, she awakens a day later with a seemingly human body and more than a little confusion. Lucy tries to return to her normal life, but the afterlife keeps getting in the way.
Zack, her crush-maybe-boyfriend, isn’t exactly excited that she ditched him on their first date. Oh, and Abraham, Lucy’s personal Grim Reaper, begins hunting her, dead-set on righting the error that dropped her back into the spongy flesh of a living girl. Lucy must put her mangled life back together, escape re-death, and learn to control her burgeoning powers while staying one step ahead of Abraham.
But when she learns the devastating price of coming back from the dead, Lucy is forced to make the hardest decision of her re-life — can she really sacrifice her loved ones to stay out of the grave?
About B.C. Johnson:
Born in Southern California, B.C. Johnson has been writing since he realized it was one of the few socially acceptable ways to tell people a bunch of stuff you just made up off the top of your head. He attended Savanna High School in Anaheim, and an undisclosed amount of college before deciding that weird odd jobs were a far greater career path.
This lead him to such exciting professions as: aluminum recovery machinist, lighting designer, construction demo, sound mixer, receptionist, theater stage hand, wedding security, high school custodian, museum events manager, webmaster, IT guy, copywriter, and one memorable night as the bouncer at a nightclub. He is trying very hard to add “vampire hunter” and “spaceship captain” to that list.
He currently lives in Garden Grove with his supernal wife Gina, his half-corgi, half-muppet dog Luna, and his new half-grayhound, half-living-tornado-of-destruction Kaylee. He also spends time with his two brothers, his parents, and his close friends, whose primary pursuit are usually healthy debates about movie minutiea. When he’s not working or writing, he’s been to known to pursue all conceivable geeky avenues of interest including but not limited to video games, the sort of TV shows/movies Benedict Cumberbatch might star in, graphic novels, podcasts, funny gifs, the whole thing.
He’s also been known to apply his special brand of hyperbole and mania to pop-culture humor essays for various websites that can be found on his homepage, bc-johnson.com. B.C. also has a high school noir short story called “The Lancer” available on Kindle.
Deadgirl is his first novel.
Find B.C. Johnson Online:
Website (http://www.bc-johnson.com/) | Facebook(https://www.facebook.com/pages/BC-Johnson/350421414990138) | Twitter(https://twitter.com/BobbyCJohnson) | Goodreads(https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5818208.B_C_Johnson)