Review: Accession by Terah Edun


Publisher: All Night Reads
Publishing Date: August 4, 2014
ISBN: xxxx
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 2.5/5

Publisher Description: Sixteen-year-old Katherine Thompson wasn’t trained to rule a coven. That was her sister – perfect, beautiful Rose. But when a mysterious plane crash kills off the heir presumptive of the Sandersville coven she has no choice. After stepping in to fill her sister’s shoes, Katherine realizes she didn’t have a clue – faery wars, depressed trolls and angry unicorns are just the beginning.

Review: Cover art is not too bad.

Katherine is a bitch witch whom is heir to the sleepy town of Sandersville. At 16 years old she wields immense magical powers which would be really frickin’ scary if it were true. A self-centered, vindictive, immature and nasty witch is no one you want to be around for long. And that’s what most people in her circle of influence do.

I really wanted to like Katherine, but she never gets it. She more or less is a tantrum based character that has issues with everyone and everything. Cecily was well crafted, but sadly doesn’t garner a large portion of the novel. The only thing to really like about this novel is the pace, some of the scenes and the general plot. There was quite a bit of info dumping during the development of tense scenes where you were left forgetting where the heck you just were, only to be thrust back into the scene again. There were also a myriad of grammatical errors and nonsensical topic shifts within paragraphs. In one scene, Katherine hot wires an SUV magic and hairpins then when the scene culminates she tosses the SUV keys to a guardian. There are few instances of logic fails throughout.

This novel needs a major cleanup. I would get another in this series as I am curious to see if the author’s voice develops as there is potential here.

Review: Unborn by Amber Lynn Natusch


Publisher: 47 North
Publishing Date: August 2014
ISBN: 9781477824290
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: DNF

Publisher Description: Born into mystery. Shackled to darkness…

Khara has spent centuries discovering everything about the Underworld―except her place in it. But when she’s ripped from her home, solving the riddle of her origins becomes more important than ever. With evil stalking her through the dark alleys of Detroit, she finds salvation from an unlikely source: a group of immortal warriors sworn to protect the city. Khara needs their help to unravel the tangled secrets of who and what she is—secrets many seem willing to kill for. But time is running out, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer necessity binds her to an arrogant fallen angel.

Review: Sorry folks. This was a DNF due to the lengthy and unappealing dialogue coupled with schizophrenic scene development and unlikeable characters. I figure that once reading becomes a chore/job and does not entertain, is the time to move on. Gawd this was bad.

Review: Fight For Life by M.D. Webb, Jr.


Publisher: Publish Green
Publishing Date: August 2014
ISBN: 9781634130325
Genre: SciFi
Rating: 1.0/5

Publisher Description: This is the story of us. How we got here. Told in two dimensions, the Real World, and Inner Space. Michael and Lisa, husband and wife have been trying for 5 years to conceive. Lisa’s powerful antibodies are killing Michael’s sperm. As Lisa withdraws into herself and pulls away, Michael resolves to do anything he possibly can to save his wife and his marriage.

Review: Honestly I requested this novel because of the cover. I really don’t know what is going on here. Is she lying on her right side because she is confused and constipated? Is the dude looking at her butt to see if she passes the blockage? Or maybe this is “clothes on porn” of the future? Or maybe she said “smell my perfume before we go out…is it ok?”. Perhaps he is waiting for some sign that his sperm has impregnated her and she is stuck on a feeling. Or maybe the dude has downs syndrome and his big protective sister is leading him down….er up, to escape? Or maybe she is, really fighting for her life and she’s trying to keep her perfect makeup from getting smudged on that dirty floor. The earrings and the plucked eyebrows are a nice touch though. The big question is, will the novel be as bad as the cover? Read on!

The plot is completely ridiculous. This inner space of which the publisher skims over in the description, takes place in Michael’s junk. Captain Gameta (gamete, get it?) is hell bent for leather to penetrate (lol) Planet Ovaria. This military ensemble resides within the Corpus (Michaels penis) and they use phrases like “Docking in Port Va-gi-na…drilling time 45 minutes, releasing soldiers in the C-Vix Avaria region….” Fug. This tireless effort (fight) parallels Michael and Lisa’s trials and travails in their effort to conceive.

Meanwhile back in the real world we have Michael and Lisa conversing in endless stilted dialogue and generally behaving like two little children. See they can’t conceive and this is the source of their woe. Rather than behave like adults and figure it out, Lisa stomps around and eventually leaves. Ultimately you know what happens and everyone is happy. The End. I really don’t know what the author was hoping to accomplish. Is this supposed to be satirical comedy or a weird mix of the movies “Fantastic Voyage” and “Debbie Does Dallas”? This might be a case of the author falling in love with their own ideas and not involving anyone else in the creative process. This plot really should have been farmed around before putting pen to paper.

Review: Murderess by Daya Marnin


Publisher: Morphus
Publishing Date: May 2014
ISBN: 9781632959546
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.7/5

Publisher Description: Lu Killer never wondered if her name was strange. ‘Killer’. How was she to guess her ancestors fought ferociously against the royal family for generations? How was she to know her family lived in a completely different world called Greywall’d? All that 16-year-old Lu cared for was when she could next listen to her music, next be left to her own devices and when she could truly feel at peace.

Review: Trippin’ on the cover art. Really like it.

This novel was a “Oh crap it’s 1 am, I have to get up for work. Oh Crap it’s 3 am….” The world this young author has created is just spectacular. The characters, and I mean all of them, are built wonderfully. The scene development puts you right in there alongside Lu and coupled with the constant movement makes for a riveting read.

I have to say when this novel ended I was disappointed. I just wanted to keep on reading about the alternate (parallel) world of Greywall’d. Not going to give anything away in this review. Just GET IT, NOW!

Review: Once Dead by Richard Phillips


Publisher: 47 North
Publishing Date: August 2014
ISBN: 9781477824108
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3.6/5

Publisher Description: Gregory, once the CIA’s top assassin, went rogue after a mission gone wrong. When a confrontation leaves him bleeding out on death’s doorstep, he’s faced with an offer from a dark figure ..If Jack is willing to act as its human host, the entity will revive him and give him another shot at life.

Review: Wow, that is one of the worst covers ever as it doesn’t even closely relate to anything in the novel.

So……………..Jack, a CIA operative, is attempting to kill a special forces dude in an alley in Calcutta India, surrounded by 6 or so knife wielding (and I mean knives attached to pike poles) in a fight to the death. As Jack slowly dismantles SF dude (whom killed his brother) the Indian gang starts cutting him. Jack ,Jiu Jitsu fu’s his way past all the bad guys by disarming, disemboweling and just plane dissing all over the sitch. An old leathery nun finds him and Jack is eventually pronounced dead. Later, they find Jack gone, the nun cowering in a corner with a half mumbled phrase on her lips…”JACK THE RIPPER IS BACK!!”. Huh? How the fug would a nun in Calcutta India in the 21 Century know that Jack the Ripper had taken up residence in, well Jack? Besides the lame fight scenes and why a gang in Calcutta would stage a fight to the death between two sworn enemies in a dark alley (which makes even less sense now that I write it down) and a nun’s discernment of all things ethereal and other-worldly, this was a pretty good read.

Jack eventually becomes a kind of hit-man. I say “kind of” because if an assassin works for the side of good, is he really an assassin/hit-man? I guess it is a matter of perspective, as in “One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter”. The torture scenes are pretty graphic. I think this helps the reader to build up a full steam of righteous indignation where we can’t wait to see the bad guy(s) done in by an almost super human assass….er….hit-ma…er…..vigilante. Do vigilante’s get paid? There is super hottie spy chick, Janet, who is the only one to beat Jack’s 1,000 meter sniper record and the only girl to ever pass the dreaded Special Forces Training (only no one can ever know about it, or her) but she moves like a dancer and is built for speed, if you know what I mean….YAWN. Jack can hold his breath for 6 minutes and quickly get his heart rate to 60bpm while killing bad guys…YAAAAAAAWN. In one scene, Jack is in the shower and the bad guys bust in. Jack takes off into the woods and kills everyone. My question is, does the guy shower with his clothes on because all of a sudden Jack has his clothes and his killing knife, but has no shoes. Ah, well artistic license and all that.

I still don’t know how Jack got the “Ripper” nickname. Besides a nun who said it to herself and is now an addled, insane hunchback, there is no one that would ascribe that moniker to Jack. But somehow the legend of the RIPPER is fluent at all levels of spy-dom. I still don’t know how to rate this one. I loved it, but at times it was so fugging stoopid. Jack and Janet are pretty believable at times, then in others its the old suspension of disbelief. I am going to go with pure entertainment value and look past the glaring errors…..mostly.

Review: The Gods of War by Graham Brown & Spencer J. Andrews


Publisher: Stealth
Publishing Date: August 2014
ISBN: 9781939398185
Genre: SciFi
Rating: 3.7/5

Publisher Description: In the year 2137 the world stands on the brink of ruin. Pollution, war and overpopulation have darkened the skies, photosynthesis has begun to fail and most of the Earth’s twenty billion souls face starvation and death. The only hope for survival lays with the fertile fields of Mars, where a thirty year terraforming effort is turning vast swaths of the red planet to green.

Review: I like a good SciFi novel. To me, going to Mars in the near future, although believable, is not really SciFi. Dystopian maybe, but not SciFi. Why dystopian? Earth is on its last legs, humanity is reduced to a feral state and hope lies in the arms of Mars with a few good people to battle the “Cartel”.

I thought, initially, that this work was going down the old hero road. James Collins the president’s son is described as joining the army under a different name at age 17, is a platoon leader at 20 and the only reason he is still a Major is because he has turned down every promotion. Yawn. Well as life progresses, we find that the president is no longer in power and the “Cartel” has attempted to assassinate James “Ares” Collins. Only they are unsuccessful and he ends up a slave on Mars. There are moments of James playing Costner as the reluctant hero but thankfully they are few.

This novel surprised me. All the things I like in a good read: Fast pace, movement coupled to character development, a little bit of hinted at boinking but no over the top wuv twiangles, good scene development in the form of descriptive and emotional elements and a plot you can hang your hat on. The surface of Mars is rendered wonderfully as is the plight of the slaves sent to Mars to build its environs under the “Cartel’s” thumb. This novel will make for a good series. We have yet to experience the ire of Lucien at full strength. The war for Mars should continue in good form.

Review: Artful by Peter David


Publisher: 47 North
Publishing Date: july 2014
ISBN: 9781477823163
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5

Publisher Description: Oliver Twist is one of the most well-known stories ever told, about a young orphan who has to survive the mean streets of London before ultimately being rescued by a kindly benefactor. But it is his friend, the Artful Dodger, who has the far more intriguing tale, filled with more adventure and excitement than anything boring Oliver could possibly get up to. Throw in some vampires and a plot to overthrow the British monarchy, and what you have is the thrilling account that Charles Dickens was too scared to share with the world.

Review: Wow. This surprised me. You know when your preconditioned bias comes into play when doing reviews with unknown publishers or little known authors? I move through those constipated blocks and try to turn a fresh eye on the work before me. Yeah, … I am the greatest. Anyway, I am glad I set my ego and preconceptions aside. This novel had movement from the first page and doesn’t stop until the end. Coupled with the movement, is spectacular character development and scene transitions. Really superbly crafted.

Jack Dawkins has grown a bit through the intervening years when last he saw Oliver Twist. Jack is on his own and lives hand to mouth with a fairly positive attitude. Fagin’s band has either been dispersed or found the hangman’s noose. Fagin in particular meets a tragic end…or does he? Jack stumbles upon a young woman and a small boy and discover that vampyres are profligate and run the city. They have evil designs in store for the girl and use the boy as a hostage. Centered squarely in the tumult is Jack, who turns out to be a sort of antihero.

There is this funny narrative that follows Jack and the story-line throughout. It added levity to the novel when it was most needed. I think this was built for a younger crowd but adults will enjoy this as well.

Review: The Time Roads by Beth Bernobich


Publisher: Tor
Publishing Date: October 2014
ISBN: 9780765331250
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 1/5.0

Publisher Description: Éire is one of the most powerful empires in the world. The Anglian Dependencies are a dusty backwater filled with resentful colonial subjects, Europe is a disjointed mess, and many look to Éire for stability and peace. In a series of braided stories, Beth Bernobich has created a tale about the brilliant Éireann scientists who have already bent the laws of nature for Man’s benefit. And who now are striving to conquer the nature of time.

Review: How does the cover relate to Dr. Breandan O Cuilinn? Breandan was a young dude.

Reviewers (all three of them) had this one at 5 stars or 1-2 stars. Seems that the low ratings were due to plot shifts and story-line progressions that didn’t make sense. The bit characters were thinly developed and the main characters, Queenie and Aidrean Ó Deághaidh were built fairly one dimensionally… ” I want. I feel. I am mad. I don’t feel like it. I am horny.” etc. You never really get to know reactive characters as the movement is separated from revealing their inner emotions when placed under stress. For instance, Queenie gets shot and throws up on herself, then ends up sequestered. There is no plight or fight with another, whether foe or friend in this instance. If she is alone in her pain, build on that instance to mold and develop a different person. Perhaps she becomes Super Bitch Queenie and starts lopping off heads and takes the fight to those who would see her unseated.
Sadly this receives a DNF, mainly due to the lengthy dialogue that IMO was not needed.

Review: Dragons on the Sea of Night by Eric Van Lustbader


Publisher: Open road
Publishing Date: August 2014
ISBN: 9781497654945
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3.7/5

Publisher Description: he was but a man named Ronin. Trained as a swordsman, endowed with breathtaking skill, he was not destined merely to live and then die in a doomed city beneath a frozen world. Many years have passed since he first ventured into the void. Now he possesses powers beyond all imagining—godlike abilities both marvelous and terrible. Now he is revered and feared as savior and avenger, the tamer of monstrous beasts, the destroyer of the dark angel of Chaos—and dearly loved by his devoted bond-brother, Moichi Annai-Nin, and the beautiful, enigmatic, and lethal Chiisai. Now he is Dai-San, the Sunset Warrior.

Review: Having read The Sunset Warrior and not been too excited about this series, I decided to take a chance on “Dragons on the Sea of Night”. My issues with Sunset Warrior were many yet was very surprised how good this installment was. Gone was the confusing story-line, inexplicable plot twists and unappealing characters. This had great story-line progression, characters with great depth and really good scene development. It is almost like another person wrote this novel.

The magic is not over the top and coupled with Moichi and Sardonyx traveling far and wide it makes for an interesting and enjoyable read. There is a bit of info dumping at the end, almost like the author wanted to conclude this installment because he had a publishing deadline. Bjork the Bear was a good character that might have had a better and longer run in this novel. The Dai-San really doesn’t make too many appearances throughout the novel and isn’t too integral to the plot until the end. This is mostly about Moichi and Chiisai’s ultimate destinies intertwined with Chaos.

Review: The Distance by Helen Giltrow


Publisher: Doubleday
Publishing Date: September 2014
ISBN: 9780385537001
Genre: Mystery
Rating: 2.0/5

Publisher Description: Charlotte Alton is an elegant socialite. But behind the locked doors of her sleek, high-security apartment in London’s Docklands, she becomes Karla. Karla’s business is information. Specifically, making it disappear. She’s the unseen figure who, for a commanding price, will cover a criminal’s tracks. A perfectionist, she’s only made one slip in her career—several years ago she revealed her face to a man named Simon Johanssen, an ex-special forces sniper turned killer-for-hire. After a mob hit went horrifically wrong, Johanssen needed to disappear, and Karla helped him. He became a regular client, and then, one day, she stepped out of the shadows for reasons unclear to even herself. Now, after a long absence, Johanssen has resurfaced with a job, and he needs Karla’s help again.

Review: Cover art sux. The side of a car and half a redhead’s face?

(zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)…WHA? Oh yeah review time. If you read the reviews on this novel, you would think that it is up for the Nebula/PKD/Edgar/Hugo/Nobel award(s). For instance the accolades read like the author’s that pay Kirkus. “Expertly done!”. “An incredible debut!”. What was funny was one reviewer stated plainly that she didn’t like it but gave it 5 stars.

This was a really boring novel. From the story-line to the characters. So much time is spent on a dreary story-line and insipid dialogue that the characters are never fully developed. The premise that there is some hidden lockup facility is absurd and that anyone would entertain getting someone in to kill a woman that may or may not exist and then extracting said killer from an impenetrable shell is laughable. Then there is this “shadowy” organization that Charlotte works for. Really? Shadow-kee-dee-boom-boom. Why the cloak and dagger? Who gives a shjt? Charlotte needs to determine if this is a legitimate assassination as the mark may or may not exist. Wouldn’t you figure that out before you took the job? What is a legitimate assassination anyway? That’s like an having an optimal enema or a refreshing prostate exam. The scene descriptions are exhaustive. For instance Karla is going to bust into an office complex and this soon turns into a chapter on what every frickin’ office looks like. From the copiers to a glazed bookcase then back to another office. How is this suspenseful?

I feel like the red-headed step kid who gets picked last for sand lot games. While everyone in review-land raves and praises this work, I feel that maybe I should have read this with more alacrity and focused discernment on the hidden emotive climes that existed within and between the characters as they groped in an endless sea of dark, machinating and tentacled agendas…BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!