Tuesday, July 31, 2018

3 Hour Dad: Reading Is Believing by [Hourlution, Adam T]

Author Adam T Hourlution's publicist provided an ecopy of 3 Hour Dad for review.

I'm not sure why, but I didn't catch that this is a true story when I started reading. I kept waiting for the joke to made clear. But, it's true. An interesting tale of a surprise birth (I don't think I'm giving away anything here). 

The story is at once scary, when you consider what could have happened, and miraculous when you read what did. A short, intense, at times funny, but ultimately heartwarming story. I dare you not to feel good after reading 3 Hour Dad by Adam T Hourlution. Enjoy!

By the way, a potion of each sale is donated to a random act of kindness fund (not trying to be an ad, but that is kind of cool).


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance (MaĆ¢€¦

Author David Ahern provided an e-copy of Madam Tulip and The Bones Of Chance for review.

This is the third entry in the Madam Tulip series, and for me the strongest so far. The story is more focused, tighter. As I gave the first two books high marks, this is saying something. Set in the Scottish Highlands, our hero is ostensibly there to make a movie. But as fans of the series know, trouble is never far away (I'd be really worried if Derry, aka Madam Tulip, moved into my neighborhood).

As readers have come to expect from David Ahern, the story is full of twists and turns. No character is all they appear to be keeping the reader on their toes.

Madam Tulip actually appears a bit later than usual this time. The action well balanced, the intrigue tight and the suspense builds to an incredibly satisfying climax. The supporting cast is still there; business minded Mom, devil-may-care and flamboyant Dad, and the rest we've come to know. They stay where they belong; on the periphery. Made for a much smoother read. 

Madam Tulip and The Bones Of Chance by David Ahern is for sure my favorite so far. It's a good thing when later entries in a series get stronger as they go. Enjoy!


Wednesday, July 11, 2018



A publicist sent me an e-copy of  Literature® by Guillermo Stitch for review.

Literature® is an interesting spin on the dystopian theme, corporate rule. In this world reading books is considered rebellion. I didn't get a good sense of why though. (We Goodreads members would be the subversives here). Our hero, Billy, is the hapless and clueless pawn in the conflict. 

A bit choppy for me, time frames changed without warning. We eventually wind up with a man running for his life. Well written and complex, but it left me a bit unsatisfied at the ending. Don't get me wrong, the ending was beautifully written and emotionally engaging. Just unfulfilling for me. I got the feeling that I missed something important along the way, or maybe that I am just not cerebral enough to get the full benefit from Literature®. 

If you like cerebral and at times ambiguous motivation, go for it. Enjoy!


Horsemen (City of GodsII)

City of gods II: Horsemen by [Maas, Jonathan]

I received a print copy of Horsemen the second entry into the City of Gods series, from author Jonathan Maas with no expectation of providing a review. You know I'm going to do it anyway.

I may have a problem here. I gave the first book in the series; Hellenica 5 stars in all the places that require such things, and it fully deserved that rating. But what am I supposed to do now? I'm all out of stars. Giving Horsemen another five stars seems to be damning it with faint praise. Horsemen has taken the story to new heights. Considering the four main characters (Horsemen) are teens, we must believe this book is to be pigeonholed as YA. That would be so wrong, so limiting. 

Our "teens" are tasked with bringing order to the "Conurbation" while dealing with petulant, scheming, greedy, and double dealing Gods. Thankfully the Gods here are second tier. Most are recognizable as deities, but they are not the "Big Guys". Poseidon is probably the highest ranking god mentioned. Okay, maybe Zues, but both of these appear mostly as backstory. We instead, spend time with lesser gods; Loki, Heracles, Oshun, Dagon, Lillith and more of that ilk.

Author Jonathan Maas has created such a wonderful "conurbation" of districts which worship all these lesser gods. This really facilitates the interactions between various districts. 

Our Horsemen are familiar, in principle, to most readers: Death; Kayana Marx. War; Gunnar Redstone. Pestilence; Tommy Alderon, and the White Knight Saoirse Frost. This group destroyed my ability to call Horsemen as a YA book. These characters are incredibly wise and consider their actions deeply before acting. Many YA stories have young people who are the smartest or most clever around, but these four are so far beyond that, there age becomes irrelevant. 

We have violence, political intrigue, no sex (kind of difficult when the slightest touch from two of the characters causes death), loyalty and distrust. 

The story is so well crafted, the character and world building is superb, and the author speaks to his audience with such respect and intelligence that Horsemen holds its own in any age group from YA on. I think it appropriate for even the mature middle grade reader.

There is some veiled social justice message hanging around the periphery. Why else would Frost Giants, Spartans, Apaches (yes, Geronimo and Cochise), Norse and Amazons all live so closely together? Can you say diversity? Thankfully the focus is on the story and not the social justice. The balance works for me.

If I haven't been clear, I think Horsemen (City of Gods II) is an incredibly good followup to Hellenica and has definitely hooked me. Jonathan Maas has hit this one out of the park. Bring on more! I encourage everyone who has even a passing interest in epic fantasy to check this one out. Enjoy!