Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Line Between

The Line Between

I was given an e-copy of  The Line Between by Tosca Lee for review.

It took me a while to really get into this story. The prologue set me up for one story, but then it seemed the main story started in a different direction. It took me a while to connect the two. Don't get me wrong, the story started very interesting, but I wasn't feeling "thriller". 

I predicted the connection, but as usual, missed by just a bit. When the connection was made, the story took off for me. Then it had me and it was, hang on. It truly lived up to the promise of thriller. The perfect blend of suspense and terror with a wholly sympathetic main character. The plot complications were tight and believable with solutions not worn out, trite, or expected. The characters were well developed and behaved true to type.

My biggest complaint? The file I received was not reader friendly. The type was sooo small and couldn't be adjusted. The only way I could read it at all was to set my reader on landscape. This of course does not affect the story, but did slow me down a bit.

We have cult life, abuse, megalomania, deception, redemption, anarchy, selflessness, a plague, apocalyptic mayhem, preppers, good guys vs bad guys, and some who fall in between.

So I started out not feeling "thriller", but by the end my heart was racing and I was thoroughly entertained. The Line Between  by Tosca Lee is definitely worth your time if you like thrillers. Enjoy! 


Mike

Monday, January 28, 2019

The Tyre




I was given an e-copy of The Tyre by C.J. Dubois & E.C. Huntley for review.

Set in India, an untouchable caste man finds a huge tyre (tire in America) and we follow the changes this brings to his life.

What I liked the most about this story was Ranji, the main character. Immediately sympathetic, he is at once illiterate yet very wise. His existence is a daily struggle to keep body and soul connected but he does not bemoan his state. He doesn't whine about injustice or unfairness. 

He has a beautiful wife and loving family (they actually respect him, how unusual today). I enjoyed the strength of their bond and their unity in working to benefit the family. 

Obviously I can not speak to the accuracy of the portrayal of life in India, but the narrative was rich in detail and feeling. It captured me completely, drawing me into a much different lifestyle.

I truly enjoyed my time with Ranji and his family. I saw on the authors Goodreads page that they were considering a sequel, I hope they do. Enjoy!




Mike






Caina


Caina

I received a print copy of Caina from author Joe Albanese for review.

I enjoyed this book quite a lot. Although not a new premise; basically one twin taking the identity of the other, it is engaging and suspenseful. The moral could be; the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but you don't see the weeds until you've climbed the fence.

Our main character Lee, finds this out when he assumes the identity of his more successful twin Grant. Lee is not a complete loser but he is pretty close. He learns all is not as he interpreted it. Good character development, a good mix of good, bad, and shades of gray in between. 

The plot is very complex, more than I expected anyway and it is unclear for most of the book who the good guys and who the bad guys actually are.

Good read for those who like action, suspense, and redemption. Enjoy!



Mike





Sunday, January 27, 2019

Godan 2: Lycaon Strikes

Godan: Lycaon Strikes!

I received a print copy of Godan 2: Lycaon Strikes from author Garret Schuelke for review.

I received both the first and second books in the series, at the same time, so I was able to read it immediately after the first. I found this helpful and it increased my enjoyment. The second book maintains the same style as the first; minimalist action only. I still feel on the outside of this genre but was more comfortable with the book. This second installment is based on one situation to be resolved by Godan. 

For me this second book was more clear and focused. Fans of the first should be pleased with the second. Enjoy!

Mike



Godan: The Gray Wolf of Chicago






Godan: The Gray Wolf of Chicago by [Schuelke, Garret]


I received a print copy of Godan: The Gray Wolf of Chicago from Garret Schuelke for review.

Mixed reaction to this book. I am guessing that I am probably not the target audience for this book. Not that it is so far out of my reading taste but rather that it is written in a style I am unfamiliar with. Godan is a true anti-hero. For me very little to feel a connection to and therefore difficult to root for. 

Having not read graphic novels, I got the feeling that I was reading one without the graphics. Minimalist narration, full-on action, little plot beyond linking violent encounters. I had the feeling that I was supposed to know the main character, perhaps from another work. I felt kind of lost because I didn't understand who he was. Much of the story is presented this way. His powers are revealed in a "Oh yeah, he can do this or that" takes this to a strange place for me. The same with the bad guys.

The "gutterpunk" lifestyle is a bit beyond me, sex drugs and rock and roll I get, but author Schuelke take this to a strange place for me. A completely amoral existence without meaning or purpose. I finished the book a bit bewildered, kind of like being the only sober person at a big party. 

A good book for non-stop action fans who don't need much in the way of plot. That's not me, but if it's you, enjoy!

Mike








A Tongue in the Sink

A Tongue in the Sink: The Harrowing Adventures of a Baby Boomer Childhood

I received a print copy of A Tongue in the Sink by Dennis Fried for review.

A book definitely written for all of us babyboomers, Author Dennis Fried's memoirs of childhood pre-political correctness or social justice is a real treat. Evoking a feeling akin to Jean Shepard's Christmas Story we relive 50's and 60's childhood through the eyes of an actual eyewitness. A great trip down memory lane for those of us who experienced the times and a good picture for those born in the time of cell phones, computers and online video services. Kids left to their own devices to entertain themselves and learn the lessons of life "on he streets".

Hilarious at times (the introduction to sex is priceless) seeing the world through innocent eyes is so much fun. Irreverent without being rude. Well written, it paints a vivid picture of the times. I recommend it to those who want to relive the "good old days", or those younger folks who want a peek into how "old timers" (as I was called for the first time recently) can openly scoff at the computer age. I thoroughly loved this book and I bet you will too. Enjoy!


Mike





Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Last Voyage: And Other Stories

 The Last Voyage: And Other Stories  

I was given an e-copy of The Last Voyage and other stories by Fernando Sachetto for review.

I don't usually review short story anthologies, I've done a few short stories as stand alone works. In anthology format I find stories abruptly ending leaves me unsettled. That would be my complaint about this book, abruptly moving from story to story just doesn't work well for me.

As for the individual stories presented here; some were very good and others okay. None of them could be called bad, the most I could say is that I figured out a couple before I should have. 

The first and last stories of the compilation were for me the best. Good fantasy with a bit of a twist. 

Over all, the stories were engaging and entertaining quick reads worth a look. If the format works for you, you will probably like this collection. Enjoy!


Mike


The Mummy Cursed

  The Mummy Cursed
I was given a print copy of The Mummy Cursed by Jerry Flu for review. 

The book is billed as a "Hysterical Historical Fantasy" it says so right on the cover. In this case you'll get no argument from me. This book is seriously funny. 

We follow the misadventures of Djoe the mummy, who is stuck as a museum display in Cornblight Kansas. Djoe relates the story of how he came to be in this less than exalted state. 

Djoe is (was) a beer delivery guy in ancient Egypt who unwittingly gets caught up in underhanded dealings involving religious personages, union types, gods of various power and importance, organized crime and the afterlife. 

Along with Bra'at a beer brewing Temple Dancer, and Shehaw, his donkey, Djoe tries to get himself clear of his involvement only to find himself deeper and deeper enmeshed in a twisted plot. The author does a great job of creating a current feeling atmosphere while using ancient words and expressions to keep us in the moment. 

Jerry Flu takes great liberty with Egyptian culture and myth twisting gods we may be familiar with and putting them in hilarious settings. He takes the serious sanctity of Egyptian mythology and sets it on its ear (or, knocks it on someplace lower).

Having read more of Mr. Flu's work (Who Killed Randy Ratphink?) I expected something wild and fun. I was not disappointed.

Fun, funny and irreverent, The Mummy Cursed is well worth a read. Enjoy!


Mike