Sunday, December 31, 2017


I was given an ecopy of Destiny by Elyon Zarall for review.

Destiny is an interesting mix of steamy romance (very steamy), action/adventure, and, get this: Angels.

We don't have the usual Angels warring on the etheric plane, their business takes place here on earth. That's as close to a spoiler as you'll get out of me. You'll have to read the book to see how the angels fit in, and which angels (yeah, you'll probably know them).

Our heroine is as usual a kick-ass female more than capable of taking care of herself. Getting to be a quite popular theme these days, but so far I don't have any problem with it. Jade (the ass-kicker) is portrayed as a likable character even in her bad-assery.

There are also bad guys, human and angelic. Mafiosi, military, and family. As I said; an interesting mix. One I have not encountered before.

Although I enjoyed the book a lot, there are a couple of glaring problems. First, and hopefully this is merely that I was sent an earlier draft of the book, but there were way too many mistakes and typos. This really plays havoc with the flow of the story. So I will hope that this has been addressed already.

Second, and for me far more disappointing, the book ends in a (drum roll please) CLIFFHANGER! You know how I feel about those. I didn't have any info that this was the start of a series, and my copy is over 600 pages long (short pages due to formatting, but 600 still). As I was nearing the end of the book I started telling myself "this isn't going to end with this book" and I was right. I don't know how many more may be in the works, but I am hooked.

Characters, at least Jade, are well developed. Others will need a bit more as the story continues. This isn't a negative for Destiny as the development of other main character's motivations are part of the ongoing story. So I am not overly concerned at this point.

Those of you reading this on a site where stars are used for rating may be curious why I gave four stars when I have been a bit more critical in this review. Well, stars are arbitrary, which is why I don't use them on my blog, and as I said earlier; I am counting on my copy being an earlier draft and am willing to overlook it for now. I obviously can't (won't) overlook the ending, I hate cliffhangers!

Destiny by Elyon Zarall is well worth your time and I do recommend it. Enjoy!


Jubilee Year

I was fortunate to win a print copy of Jubilee Year by Gerard O'Neill.

Jubilee Year is touted as a "techno-thriller" on Amazon, but personally I tend to agree more with the blurb on the back of the book calling it a "dystopian SF" start to the Erelong Trilogy. Pigeon-holing aside, Jubilee Year is a good story that held my interest throughout.

Set in Australia, there are quite a few things going on here. We have a secretive government about to be unmasked, an outer-space story line which promises to be very intriguing as the series progresses, of course a romance and family dysfunction.

I enjoyed each of the story lines as they developed, but I have to say that my biggest complaint is: the story read choppy to me. It doesn't do a great job of blending the various stories or letting the reader know when the story has shifted. Fairly minor and able to be overlooked because of the strength of the over all story. But I would be remiss if I didn't mention it.

As the first entry of a trilogy, Jubilee Year from author Gerard O'Neill, does a good job of introducing our main characters and setting up what is sure to be a riveting story. I know I am looking forward to reading how this one turns out. Enjoy!


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Hell's Detective

I won a print copy of Hell's Detective by Michael Logan in a Goodreads Giveaway.

Hell's Detective is a seriously funny book. That is if you are a fan of dark humor. I am just such a reader. The story of Kat Murphy, recently deceased (read suicide) private investigator is set in Lost Angeles, an apparent subdivision of Hell. She is hired to retrieve a stolen item for the Chief Administrator.

There are so many twists on the real world that make this read like a plausible place. Our heroine(?) Kat learns how to use the system to her advantage. Herein lies the dark humor. Since I don't do spoilers, you'll just have to read for yourself. Suffice to say she comes up with some extremely out of the box methods of sleuthing.

Hell's Detective does leave the door open for continuation. The story is fully resolved here, but lends itself to a sequel. My plea to author Michael Logan: Please, please, PLEASE, give us more. This world is just too good to leave.

There is sex, violence, drugs, gangs, basically any vice you can imagine (it's Hell what else would you expect?). But there is also love, honor, and loyalty. Plenty of scheming, dirty dealing and back stabbing mystery to keep the reader hooked. If you are a reader who is concerned about reading books that glorify Hell, demons and evil, fear not, Hell's Detective does not. We know the inhabitants of Lost Angeles belong there and are getting precisely what they deserve. So read it guilt free.

Hell's Detective by Michael Logan is as I said, a seriously funny read, I recommend it. Give this one a look, I doubt you'll be sorry. Enjoy!


Monday, December 11, 2017

Perfect Little Angel

I requested an ecopy of Perfect Little Angel from author Rebecca McNutt and she graciously gave me one.

This is the second work I have read by Ms. McNutt and find her to be an excellent story teller. Perfect Little Angel is identified as a "Christmas" story, but I disagree with categorizing it as such. It may be a semantic difference but for me an important one. The story is set at Christmas but is not really dealing with Christmas themes. Meaning basically that Perfect Little Angel is a good read at any time of year and should not be pigeonholed as a story to be read only during the Christmas season.

The author deals with some heavy cosmic questions here; fate, destiny, karma (though not specifically stated), and duty. Ms. McNutt takes the reader on a surreal ride with predominantly the mother of the Perfect Little Angel and a very scary visitor.

Perfect Little Angel is very short, but packs a lot of story into relatively few pages (an apparent trademark of this author), no fluff, no fill, just riveting story with twists worthy of The Twilight Zone.

If it takes calling Perfect Little Angel a Christmas story to entice you to read it, so be it, but I will say don't think of it only in that context. It is an awesome story any time of year. Check out Rebecca McNutt and Perfect Little Angel. Enjoy!


This Thing of Darkness I Acknowledge Mine

Thanks to author Mark Rounds for providing an ecopy of This Thing of Darkness I Acknowledge Mine. 

This Thing of Darkness I Acknowledge Mine is the third entry of the Plague Years series. Trilogies seem to be de rigeuer these days and I was operating under the belief (erroneous it appears) that this was going to be the conclusion of the story. Reading with this preconception I kept waiting for the turn that would signal that conclusion. WRONG! Fortunately the story does not end here. I for one am glad because the story is so broad and complex, to end this soon would leave a lot unsaid. So it appears that we will get more. I have to say though, I haven't any official confirmation.

The story is one of a plague creating zombies who naturally wreak havoc on the general populace. This third installment focuses more than others on specifically the military response and its' attempts to re-establish control.

One of the better aspects of this chapter in the series for me is how similar both groups of combatants are. Without giving spoilers, both sides have power struggles within their hierarchies. Within the ebb and flow of the conflict we see the range of human emotions, positive and negative, altruistic and self-serving.

A lot more action oriented that the earlier books with a little less focus on relationships and general survival. It is more military action and strategies employed by both sides of the conflict. Mark Rounds does a great job of keeping the suspense level high without feeling the story is dragging. I enjoyed This Thing of Darkness I Acknowledge Mine every bit as much as I did the first two books. The story is evolving in such a way as to keep me interested in what comes next. It's just a drag that we will have to wait for it.

If you have not read the first two books in the Plague Years series you need to, This Thing of Darkness I Acknowledge Mine by Mark Rounds, is not a stand alone by any stretch, but the whole is very much worth reading, and I recommend it. Enjoy!


Saturday, December 2, 2017


Author Ayo Ajumobi provided an ecopy of Raindrops for review.

I have very mixed emotions about how to approach my review of Raindrops. Fortunately, here on my blog I do not use a star system, but other sites want such a rating. When I post this review on those sites I will try to bypass stars. Either way I go will be less than representative of my reaction to this book.

"Reaction" is the most appropriate word I can use here: I had a visceral reaction to Raindrops.

First, the positive reaction. The story started out as a nice idyllic setting involving a forest world. Ayo Ajumobi does a wonderful job of painting the verbal picture. The characters are well presented. The story line hooks the reader. Very well written.

Now the other reaction. A little back story; the description of Raindrops on Amazon presents a story of nature, wildlife and the arrival of humans. Fair enough. The Goodreads description starts out with the sentence..."Guilt can be a good thing...". That is the crux of my reaction, Raindrops paints humans as basically an evil that is destroying the harmony of the planet. Now, I am not an environmentalist, but I do believe in living responsibly as it pertains to nature. But I do not give credence to the idea that an anthropomorphic tree has equal moral standing to a human. I do live in a house made mostly of wood, I have sat around a campfire burning wood for the sheer enjoyment of the moment. Guess what, I don't feel the least bit guilty!

Raindrops, in the end hit me as just another attempt to make the reader feel guilty for existing. I am a man, I am white, and I am a human. As I recall I was not consulted or given a choice as to whether this was what I wanted. I am quite tired of people pointing the finger of accusation at anybody based on criteria they had no say in. Had the author been interested in presenting a story that could help the situation perhaps he could have included ways for that to happen in his book. As it is all he provided was another example of finger pointing.

"Guilt can be a good thing...", not this time. Raindrops by Ayo Ajumobi is a well written book even if I find the premise faulty, but I can't recommend it.