Review: Sorcerer by Susan M. Bowes



Publisher: Smith Publicity

Publishing Date: October 2014

ISBN: 9781483532318 

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 1.0/5


Publisher Description: In a time when mystical spells are the norm, deception is the instrument a mere magician uses when he learns of a prophesy about a unique individual who’ll rule many lands through the true ability of conjuring. In his unending lust for power, the magician plots to control the child in order to secure a vast kingdom. The self-proclaimed sorcerer kidnaps the baby at birth and raises the boy as his own. Despite the man’s evil plans, the lad grows into maturity having a mind of his own, but fearing the man he believes to be his father, the youth is forced to submit to the sorcerer’s cruelty. The young man has to travel a long, rocky road before he finally discovers that his father is not the benevolent king he claimed to be.

 Review: Liam, the young Prince of an evil sorcerer, likes to stroke it. He gets a boner at the drop of a hat, and finds a place to start masturbating. He is either thankful he is not fully erect or glad that he is. See, a young Prince has urges, that if not met, must be released in some fashion.  Usually in a garden while eavesdropping on the servants having sex. The way in which these instances and others are purveyed, lends this classless sheen to the characters as they run around, ruled by their baser instincts.  Shanja, Liam’s love interest rarely thinks in a logical fashion. Hers is all emotion, spit, vindictiveness and lust. None of these characters were believable as they all exhibited pure animal instinct without an ounce of intellect. Even the evil sorcerer wants to constantly rape and pillage surrounding kingdoms and went so far as to tell Liam’s real mother that he would kill her once she had weaned the boy.  Also, when Liam first meets Shanja, they barely introduce themselves before he has his tongue down her throat and his “erection” pressed against her. Fug. 

Initially I thought the story-line would evolve into a Kingdom spanning quest for the magic and the inherent development of Liam as the “Chosen One”.  Where Shanja is found running from her own kingdom as it is being invaded by the Sorcerer. But….nope.  The whole tenure of this novel is Liam getting laid, thinking about it and pining over his love of Shanja. Ultimately Liam is forced to take a bride who turns out to be a little girl. Lucky for her he has been drinking wine on their wedding night otherwise his massiveness would never fit in her. Double Fug. Shanja is reduced from Princess to repetitive rape victim but promises retribution that she never fulfills. Additionally the Sorcerer is really not one. He uses tinctures and potions coupled with MIND FOCUS, and poof you’re entranced or whatever.

So the characters were poorly developed, the story-line stilted and lacking logical progression, with the overall plot uninteresting in every way. Lucky for us at the end of the novel, Shanja’s son exhibits evil intent so we are left with the promise of nails on blackboards.    






Review: The Red Magician by Lisa Goldstein




Publisher: Open Road Media

Publishing Date: 1982, July 1995, October 2014

ISBN: 9781497673595 

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.4/5


Publisher Description:  In the schoolroom of a simple European village, Kicsi spends her days dreaming of the lands beyond the mountains: Paris and New York, Arabia and Shanghai. When the local rabbi curses Kicsi’s school for teaching lessons in Hebrew, the holy tongue, the possibility of adventure seems further away than ever. But when a mysterious stranger appears telling stories of far-off lands, Kicsi feels the world within her grasp. His name is Vörös, and he is a magician’s assistant who seems to have powers all his own. There is darkness growing at the edge of the village—a darkness far blacker than any rabbi’s curse. Vörös warns of the Nazi threat, but only Kicsi hears what he says. As evil consumes a continent, Vörös will teach Kicsi that sometimes the magician’s greatest trick is survival.

 Review: This was originally written back in 1982 and was granted wide acclaim. Philip K. Dick even praised this work. The writing style is this strangely stilted dialogue and scene shifting that is never mired in the past. The prose hiccups and burps its way into present instances that become an impactful source for the characters.  It is at once simple yet resides within a complex fantasy of magic without understanding what is really at play. This unknown quality keeps you wending your way through the story-line, seeking answers to a mystery that lays just beneath.  There are some areas that involve lengthy scene and dialogue expressions that help to build the characters yet fall a little flat IMO. Still, a very good work to settle into.





Review: Baby It’s Cold Outside by Kerry Barrett



Publisher: Carina UK

Publishing Date: September 2014

ISBN: 9781474007801

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 1.0/5

Publisher Description: Esme and Jamie have finally got their perfect wedding day planned. Beautiful snowy landscape – check. Amazing venue – check. Stunning dress – check. But when an avalanche seals off their gorgeous mountain hometown from the outside world, their dream day starts to look more like a nightmare. Especially when Jamie’s ex turns up on their doorstep with a surprise neither of them expected!Esme’s magical powers can solve a lot of problems, but it looks like their big day is doomed! Is Esme and Jamie’s wedding simply not meant to be, or can they still make it down the aisle, against all the odds?

Review: This was pretty self-indulgent writing. The characters are so speshul.  A doctor, a lawyer, business owners and witches with amazing powers. Fug. I know I am going to be lost in endless dialogue as everyone that is pertinent or not, to the story-line are trapped under an avalanche. <sigh>

Esme is a hater. She gets catty and insecure about a woman that was in her fiancé’s life a long time ago. She shows up with his child in tow and then an avalanche traps them all together to deal with their dysfunction. What follows is a long and tired trail of petty emotions coupled with endless situational dialogue and her mom getting banged by Douglas, a funeral owner.

This was one of the year’s best failed story-line’s. How is it interesting to read about people bitching and machinating in a closed space for an entire novel? I really can’t imagine anything worse than being trapped indoors with your mother-in law and her creepy dead body fondler boyfriend. Plus there is this sparkle magic that makes chocolate cake, champagne and disco balls appear out of nowhere. I kid you not, the entire novel is about Esme and her bitching. It revolves around her wedding and everything leading up to her wedding. This is by far the dumbest novel I have ever read….um, except “Fight For Life” by M.D. Webb.


Review: The Stained Glass Door by John Marvin


Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Publishing Date: December 2013
ISBN: 9781626525122
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3.6/5

Publisher Description: Before he can really adjust to death, Martin finds himself in a supernatural conference room of constantly shifting moods and appearance. Guided by an uncannily perceptive group leader, Martin and other recently deceased strangers are assigned to write and talk about . . . stories. With little time to adapt, Martin and his new companions begin writing. The result? Free of the constraints of the living, eight strangers write, read and talk. Through their stories we discover the laughter, joys and tragedies of hidden lives.

Review:  This is a novel that combines the short stories of many authors and condenses them into a viable whole. These disparate stories are part of many characters within the main story line.  This format was developed by John Marvin as part of his WriteReadTalk company. The main story between the short stories involves a sort of round table of different people, post-death that sit around writing short stories and discussing them. Not sure why people would willingly sit and write stories when so many questions about where they are and how they got there go unanswered or unasked. Is it a kind of purgatory or are they developing into something more by this process. Too many logic gaps with little resolution.

This was a wonderfully crafted novel as Marvin puts all the disparate short stories into a cogent, collective whole. The ending is rather abrupt and cryptic as to further this story line into another edition.  Still, there is some good writing talent on display and well worth the time spent reading.

Review: Wet and Wild by David Ellis


Publisher: Cameron Publicity
Publishing Date: October 2014
ISBN: 9781784550097
Genre: fantasy
Rating: 2.4/5

Publisher Description: Wet and Wild’ is a pet shop on the Holloway Road in Islington, North London. Outwardly, the shop seems normal, if a bit rundown, but on the inside it becomes a glorious and other-worldly emporium, and its animal inhabitants have a habit of attracting press attention due to their talents and the mishaps they get into.

Review: That cover will certainly hurt sales.

I think I am the only one of a handful of reviewers that didn’t rave over this work. Although the stories were many, and entertaining, there was this underlying comedic theme throughout the novel that mirrored Douglas Adams writing. In some instances there was adhesion to a generalized them of Brit-Wit (sarcasm coupled with self-deprecation/innuendo etc.) yet most of the time it was the Adams approach, utilizing the absurd and surreal to bend satire. There are even some direct quotes from Adam’s within the novel.

This novel should have been categorized as gay and lesbian as most of the characters and their interactions form that community. Not a bad thing, just not something I am very interested in knowing about. The only gem in this otherwise gay calamity was Brian. I thought that the entirety of the novel would revolve around Brian, whom can communicate with animals. Sadly he plays a bit part to Roderick, a gay and straight shape shifter, (fug) up until the end where he follows a bunch of goldfish through a wormhole.

Way too much time was spent on Roderick. His character was evolving nicely into kind of a demented Dr. Doolittle, but quickly plummeted into obscurity with his penchant for acting and kissing men. There are pages and pages of dialogue with Roderick as the star and busting his chops while acting. Bor-ing.

Review: The Wizard and the White House by Mike Maggio


Publisher: Little Feather Books
Publishing Date: November 2014
ISBN: 9780991332977
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 1.0/5

Publisher Description: President Gerald Wellington Thorne, a bumbling, ineffective leader, wakes up one morning to discover that his mouth has disappeared. On the very same day, Larry White, a porter at Union Station, wakes up from a long night of drinking and realizes that he now has two mouths. His wife decides that this is actually a blessing in disguise, one that offers her a chance to save her husband from drink and eternal damnation. She enlists the help of her pastor, who in turn recognizes this as his once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform his run-down storefront mission into a lucrative mega-church.

Review: This novel tried a little too hard to be funny. There is a lot of tongue n’ cheek-i-ness in the form of personal motivations that paled in depth. The Presidents wife is presented with thin morals and a shallow machinating personality. Most of the story-line is spent going back and forth between the Wellington camp and the saga of Larry White. The plot doesn’t transport you anywhere other than to the inner fumbling relationships of Larry, Gerald and Choudry.

The dialogue is seemingly endless and the characters are really boring with the exception of the crazy wizard, Sharir. His acolyte, Akram is fairly interesting but plays a minor role. I found myself speed flipping through pages and pages of dialogue, which is my bad as I have no patience for this form of writing. I was looking forward to this work as the publisher pumped it up with this novel being “A clash of cultures in contemporary American society…..full of humor and imagination”. There really was no “clash” of cultures and it definitely was only half-full of humor.

Review: The Lost Legend of Jevalya by Alex Cole


Publisher: Alexander Cole
Publishing Date: September 2014
ISBN: 9780692272176
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 2.8/5

Publisher Description: Emma’s life has suddenly gone crazy. First it’s the swimsuit disaster at Kasi’s sucktastic summer pool party, and then she almost gets flattened by a car. The weird part? The person who saved her isn’t even a person–he’s a horse. A talking horse. Venitel, her savior, is from a land where strangeness abounds, from the flowers that smell like buttered popcorn to the horses sworn to protect kids.

Review: This author really captures the plight of a young girl going through a period of ridicule and antagonism from her school peers. Although isolated, she has this ability to think and choose differently in order to cope. Emma does a wonderful job of moving forward with her life when she is suddenly thrust into another world where “strange” is only the beginning of the weirdness. There are talking peacocks and evil unicorns. The portals between worlds helps move the story-line away from static.

Some minor fails for me were the grammatical errors. Perhaps this is an un-proofed version prior to publishing. Also, the story-line struggles to find footing and move in a completed direction. Maybe there was originally some intent to make this a series when it could have been a great stand alone. The novel lacks compression and feels stretched with dialogue.

I can see how this would really appeal to YA and children that tend to identify with Emma’s plight and yearn to be hero’s, or at least in control of their lives. I like that the author uses Emma to teach whomever reads her works in how to overcome these life struggles and internal battles of emotion. A solidly crafted read with insights into the journey of ‘self’ for anyone of any age.