Friday, December 28, 2018

The Xeno Manifesto

 The Xeno Manifesto 
I was given an e-copy of  The Xeno Manifesto by Brysen Mann for review.

The best description for this book would be for me, Ancient Aliens meets The X Files, and that's a good thing. It feeds my literary addiction for stories that fall under the heading of "conspiracy theory". I love it.

Aliens, Bigfoot, lost technology, government cover-ups. It's all here. Sci-Fi fantasy with just enough technology to be interesting but not overwhelming. Lots of twists and turns. Violence, suspense, mystery and redemption. I really enjoyed how the tables were turned in this tale. How, you ask? You know me better than that, no spoilers here. The main character, Frank, is not the most sympathetic character, but the author does develop him well, we easily understand him and his motivations.

My negatives? The file I received was not that clean. Many typos that should have easily been caught by proofreaders. Stylistically I had a bit of difficulty with the author switching from a third person narration to first person action. This left me a bit unsettled at times. The back story on Frank while very interesting and compelling on it's own, was very lengthy and distracted from the main story because it took so long to resolve.

Negatives aside, I found The Xeno Manifesto very interesting and fun. A cleaner version would probably have received a higher rating. Fans of aliens, Bigfoot, cover-ups and intrigue will like The Xeno Manifesto by Brysen Mann. Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Snow City

 Snow City

I was provided a print copy of Snow City by G. A. Kathryns for review.

Our heroine, Echo Japonica, wakes up in the city (Snow City) of her dreams and fantasy. The story follows her integration into the city and the discoveries she makes about herself and her dream world along the way.

At first I thought; "okay a Twilight Zonie kind of story, I'm in". I was disabused of that idea rather quickly. The depth of this book is extraordinary. Author Kathryns mastery of the written language is so powerful. She is able to bring the reader both the heartbreaking and heartwarming experiences of the characters. There are books that transport the reader and then there are books, and Snow City is a stellar example, that transform the reader. We become a participant (benign) in the story, we experience not just witness . It is a story of relationships, agape love, the power of music and so much more. 

As I avoid spoilers, I will share that Echo meets and befriends characters who take us in very non-traditional directions (not from a social justice view) that are refreshing and uplifting.

The story often highlights various music pieces being played by Echo. I am in fact listening to the most predominant piece as I write this: Bach's Chaconne in d minor on guitar (beautiful). Our author obviously has musical talent as well as story telling talent.

Suffice to say I did not expect to be drawn so completely into the story. I found it at times soul-shatteringly heartrending and at other times so powerfully uplifting. The book contains 16 chapters. I only point this out because at the conclusion of chapter 13, I thought the story felt complete. I was so wrong. 

I could have gone on and said "nice book" at that point, but our author had other ideas. She took the story to such a level beyond a simple ending that stunned me as a reader. As I continued, I found myself saying; "wow" over and over again. I enjoy a lot of books but it is not often that I find myself  so strongly affected. Snow City knocked me out. Thank you G. A. Kathryns for such a moving experience. Enjoy!


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

My First Ten Days in Heaven

My First Ten Days in Heaven 

I received a print copy of My First Ten Days in Heaven by Robert Brown.

This book is going to be very difficult for me to review. Not because it is a bad book by any means, but because as a Christian it opposes several beliefs I hold. 

I have read and reviewed many books that are decidedly un-complimentary to Christianity. Not a problem, I don't require all my reading to be "Christian" oriented.

My First Ten Days in Heaven explores exactly that; a man (an atheist) awakes and finds himself in Heaven (OOPS!). Great premise. He is actually in kind of a reception area Heaven where he has to learn what Heaven is. Author Robert Brown presents a Heaven markedly different from the Christian concept of Heaven. 

Mini-spoiler: He's not sure he wants to stay, and we're not really sure if he does. He spends the ten days exploring his beliefs, understanding how this Heaven operates, and the mysteries of the Universe. All in preparation for entering (for lack of as better term) "full Heaven".  

I did find profound ideas expressed at times, thing I could and did agree with. To sum up; though I personally disagree with much of the book, I found it to be well written and thought provoking. To paraphrase a college professor's comment on a paper I once wrote: "While I disagree with your premise, you defend it admirably". By the way, I truly enjoyed the ending.

If you are willing to read a book that may challenge your conceptions and (as it did for me) help you codify those beliefs, My First Ten Days in Heaven by Robert Brown may just fill that bill for you. Enjoy!


The Last Living Detective

The Last Living Detective

I was provided an e-copy of The Last Living Detective by Bruce S. Levine for review. 

The cover shown above was found at Amazon shows a different cover. The file I received did not have any cover art included. I usually provide the cover for the edition I actually read in the interest of honesty. I liked this one best so there you have it.

This book was so much fun! We have a hard-boiled detective story with lots of action and suspense. The twist is that he lives and works in a world inhabited by mythic monsters as well as humans. How it came to be so is more of a spoiler than I care to share here.

Our detective, Elmer, is a human (aka; Pink) who doggedly continues to ply his trade while surrounded by vampires, werewolves, elves, fairies, ogres, dragons, aliens, even Godzilla. He has the ubiquitous bombshell secretary (Val, who just happens to be a vampire). She won't bite him because she doesn't want to screw up her job. Elmer has to continuously factor in the vagaries of the various monsters he comes into contact with in order to conduct business. 

The story revolves around his search for a missing ring. He comes to discover the ring is considerably more valuable and powerful than he was led to believe.

The Last Living Detective is actually two separate shorter stories starring Elmer and Val. Hopefully it is an ongoing series, these characters are just too much fun. Enjoy!