Review: The Impossible Race by Chad Morris

cover58507-medium

 

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Publishing Date: March 2015

ISBN: 9781609079796

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.4/5

Publisher Description:Every year the futuristic school, Cragbridge Hall, holds its most popular tournament–the Race: a series of challenges that range throughout the school and require the use of its amazing inventions like its holographic time machine! But this year is different. Rather than a monetary or academic reward, this year’s winner will be the recipient of a carefully guarded school secret: a secret that could prove both powerful and dangerous.

Review: This was really, really, really built for the YA although I have a hard time envisioning my 13 year old niece getting into it.  The characters were fairly one dimensional which is odd as the novel has really good movement. The characters just don’t seem to grow along with the story lines development. The dialogue was average trending to the mundane whenever “Super Funny Hip Flirty Gal” Carol, opened up her big inappropriate yapper in an attempt to provide levity to tense situations. I was cringing every time she inserted her viewpoint which was supposed to be funny but came off as contrived. Just let the situation develop and let the reader make the judgment call. 

I still liked the writing and the creativeness of the situations but the whole thing just tended to drag on.

 

Review: A New Day in America by Theo Gangi

cover58670-medium

 

Publisher: Full Fathom Five

Publishing Date: January 2015

ISBN: 9781633700307 

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 4.2/5

Publisher Description:Former Special Forces operator Nostradamus Greene lost his wife and teenaged sons. Now he struggles to keep his young daughter safe, waging war against desperate scavengers, rabid for any food they can find or steal. With only so much to go around, Nos and Naomi fight and scrap to survive the biological Armageddon. Each day brings new danger to their reinforced door. But when Nos hesitates in killing a pair of raiding brothers, Naomi is attacked and exposed to the virus.

Review: This was a pretty damn good post-apocalyptic novel. Fast pace, good character development and an engaging story line. The only downer for me was the absurdity that paper money is still relevant as an item of exchange for tangible assets. Just didn’t work. I think it was used as a convenience to expedite the story line rather than build the necessary scenes to accommodate barter.

Nos was a great character whom you have to just go with on these incredible forays into bloodshed against overwhelming odds. Just forget the non-reality of it and have some fuggin’ fun once in your life. Naomi was the most interesting characters of all. Knives, pitbulls, attitude, intelligence and did I say hot? She should have a novel of her own. You hearin’ me Theo?

 

 

 

Review: The Burden of Memory by Welcome Cole

cover58663-small

 

Publisher: Caelstone Press

Publishing Date: December 2014

ISBN: 9780989242981 

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: DNF

Publisher Description:Volume II of the Blood Caeyl Memories begins where The Pleasure of Memory leaves off. A coalition of witches and warriors, mages and mentalists, soldiers and pirates abandon their mutual suspicions to form a League of Enemies and unite against an otherworldly threat. Driven by forces far older and more powerful than themselves, these natural enemies come together to form an improbable alliance.

Review: Sadly another one that I couldn’t wade through. Story line all over the place coupled with frenetic dialogue. Maybe I do the author a disservice having not read the first installment.  

 

 

 

Review: The Moral Order by Philip Pauley

 

cover58647-medium

Publisher: Smith

Publishing Date: September 2014

ISBN: 9781909477223

Genre: SciFi

Rating: DNF

Publisher Description: Society has been ripped apart by environmental decay and the battle scars of progress. Solar storms, extreme weather, barbaric tribes and outcasts rule the planet. In the 22nd century, no one lasts in the Wilds for long. Shielded from this world, teenager Luca C. Mariner lives a privileged existence in one of the last remaining Megacities. Yet his tranquil life is about to be shattered as Luca and his friends are thrown into the brutal reality of the Wilds when Earth is attacked by a merciless alien alliance.

Review: I just couldn’t get through this. Really jumbled story line coupled with stilted dialogue. Definitely made for the YA crowd.

 

 

 

Review: Dead Drop by Jesse Miles

cover54076-medium

 

Publisher: Jesse Miles

Publishing Date: September 2014

ISBN: 9780990474005 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating: 4.2/5

Publisher Description: Jack Salvo teaches philosophy one night a week at a community college, but he pays his bills working as a private detective in Los Angeles. An aerospace company hires him to investigate a small-time embezzlement. It’s a piece of cake – a direct route to the embezzler and client with deep pockets. The company assigns a pretty, quick-witted security expert named Lilith Lin to work with him.

Review: Pretty entertaining read. The pace is great and keeps you moving through situational conflicts and contorted plots. Great character development too. Just a pretty standard private investigator thriller novel where the main character is a glib philosopher wiseass. Really good writing as well.

 

 

 

Review: Becoming Queen by Michelle Murrain

cover58735-medium

 

Publisher: Ursa Minor

Publishing Date: May 2015

ISBN: 9781301839407 

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 1.0/5

Publisher Description: Tomboy 19-year-old Daneli doesn’t get along with her mother. She’d rather be riding her horse or perfecting her archery skills than wearing finery and ordering servants around. But as the eldest daughter of House Trageri, Daneli inherits long-standing tensions and a seemingly impossible mission: to create peace between her cooperative, matriarchal nation and the violent, fiercely hierarchical patriarchy to the north.

Review: <zzzzzz,zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz,zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz> Wha? Oh, yeah gotta review this….zzzzzzzzzz.  You ever have a vivid dream in which the clarity is astounding and you fall asleep within your dream and are cognizant of doing so? This is the same experience only there is no clarity and visual alertness as all is mired in trenchant dialogue of the highest order.

Poor Deneli, no one understands her, least of all her overbearing mother. She has everything a future queen could want but is never happy with anything or any circumstance. She has these “Gifts” that everyone seems to have but no one wants to recognize as to bring death to their doorstep in the form a distant King whom has no real authority over Deneli and her realm. Except to threaten war.  Deneli likes girls and this is somehow a big deal but who really cares. The end.

The pace is exceptionally slow and the dialogue even slower. Most of the novel is mired in political world building and social structure. The only thing of note that happens is that the Queen is assassinated and Denali gets blamed for it. But everyone wuvs her so and the case is dismissed.  This was misrepresented by the publisher as being Fantasy when it should have been in the Gay/Lesbian genre. 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: The Great Zoo of China by Mathew Reilly

cover53960-medium

 

Publisher: Gallery

Publishing Date: January 2015

ISBN: 9781476749556 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating: 1.0/5

Publisher Description: It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years. They have found a species of animal no one believed even existed. It will amaze the world. Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing discovery within the greatest zoo ever constructed. A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see its fabulous creatures for the first time. Among them is Dr. Cassandra Jane “CJ” Cameron, a writer for National Geographic and an expert on reptiles. The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that they are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong. Of course it can’t…

Review: I need to get this straight in my head first in hopes that it brings clarity to potential readers. CJ Cameron’s bio reads like this: PhD, VMD (Veterinarian), Jujitsu expert, Pilot, weapons expert, speaks fluent fucking Mandarin Chinese and has photographic memory. Of fukin course. Hate her yet? You will, as her know-it -all personality rakes its ugly talons across your bloated westernized belly, spilling the contents of your disgust. This novel was so stupid as to make Twilight half interesting.

The levels of anthropomorphic spittle reach dizzying heights in this latest failure by a once riveting author. Dragons with pitiless black eyes, crests that are sinister, dragons that are openly offended and hideous screeches that pierce the night. Fug. Mays well just call them humans wearing flying dragon suits. It is a marked failure of any biologist when they begin to ascribe humanistic traits and qualities to anything in the natural order i.e. wildlife. So we have Dr.photographic super hottie-jitsu-mandarin pants with a PhD in crocodile research behaving like a ten year old with a dinosaur fixation.

The levels of fail are too numerous to count what with the unbelievable fight scenes coupled with a Jurassic Park plot. For instance, the group are soon to be executed but PhD mandarin pants somehow grabs a bottle of hairspray out of her pack and with her brothers help lights it and immolates a guard while simultaneously getting the grenades on his person to go off, thereby blowing him up and avoiding shrapnel at the same time. All under the watchful eyes of 6-8 guards. How grenades can go off with hairspray fire is one of lifes little mysteries you’re going to have to swallow like bilgewater on a floating wreck. While she has this photographic memory she forgets just about everything she sees. At one point Li asks if she is a doctor and she responds “I’m better than that. I’m a vet. Vets do everything”. Of course you do. Hate her yet?

Reilly just keeps trying to up the impact of every scene by adding more and more to it. This diminishes character development while creating an emotional vacuum only to be filled with whuffling, purring good dragons and snarling, screeching bad dragons. I really think, and this is just my opinion, that Reilly should shift to Fantasy writing and stay there. In order to fix this installment all that was needed was to toss in a little magic and <poof> the scenes can be readily accepted.

Upping the ante with every scene does not an interesting novel make. It relegates characters into one dimensionality and overburdens the reader with useless dialogue. Ego reaches new heights when the author, true to form, conducts a self-interview at the end. WEEEEEEEEEE!!!!…oops, I mean GRRRRR-SCREEECH!!!!