Review: The Battle for Oz by Jeyna Grace

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Publisher: Inkshares

Publishing Date: September 2015

ISBN: 9781941758311

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.1/5

Publisher Description: When a foreign queen invades Oz and steals its citizens’ magic, the land turns to someone who has aided them before: Dorothy. But the silver-slippered girl has grown up, and in her years away from Oz the game has changed. So, in order to defeat this new and unfamiliar enemy, Dorothy seeks the aid of Alice, a legendary woman who once famously defeated a queen. 

Review: This was a very creative and inventive novella.  The characters were fairly one dimensional due to the abbreviated structure. I would have liked to have read a full length version of this story line with well built characters evolving around a  manifestation of evil. The world building could have been epic as well.

Still, a promising talent.

 

 

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Review: The Red Mohawk by Anonymous

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Publisher: Black Shadow

Publishing Date: May 2015

ISBN: 9780993257704

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating: 4.7/5

Publisher Description: Everything seems peaceful in the small town of B Movie Hell until a mysterious serial killer in a skull mask topped with a red mohawk shows up and starts butchering the locals. Government agents Jack Munson and Milena Fonseca are sent to track down and eliminate the masked psychopath. But as they soon discover, the residents of B Movie Hell don’t want their help. This is a town like no other, and the locals have many dark secrets…. 

Review: Jack Munson aint drunk, he’s just drinkin’. (Chorus) “But you’re so high!!”. Amongst this dysfunctional denial lies the cunning and skill of a CIA type spook who makes problems vanish and boy do they have a problem in the form of a maniacal serial killing machine. I really can’t say too much about the story line as it is fairly entrenched from start to finish. The characters are memorable and are built along with the fast pace. The world building is superb.

Wow, what a fun ride. That town had it comin’…….

 

 

Review: The Silver Ships by Scott Jucha

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Publisher: Smith

Publishing Date: June 2015

ISBN: 9780990594024

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 1.5/5

Publisher Description: An explorer-tug captain, Alex Racine detects a damaged alien craft drifting into the system. Recognizing a once in a lifetime opportunity to make first contact, Alex pulls off a daring maneuver to latch on to the derelict. Alex discovers the ship was attacked by an unknown craft, the first of its kind ever encountered. The mysterious silver ship’s attack was both instant and deadly. What enfolds is a story of the descendants of two Earth colony ships, with very different histories, meeting 700 years after their founding and uniting to defend humanity from the silver ships.

Review: This started out really, really, good. Young kid in space, snaring asteroids, flipping the bird at convention and snaring a derelict alien craft. Cool, eh? But nooooo, it all goes down hill from there as the writing turns clichéd’, patterned and smug. Alex goes from an interesting character to Mr. DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE, whom can do no wrong and has seemingly super human mental abilities that astonish everyone but himself. Oh, did he forget to eat again? That scamp, he works more than 10 people while performing multiple tasks and calculations simultaneously. I have an idea! Lets make him Captain of our alien craft as he is the only one that understands us. He put his life and honor on the line and cried like bigfoot when he cleared the ship of dead bodies.  WEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Fug me. So almost immediately upon saving the drifting ship and enabling the AI to revive all the aliens from stasis, every chick wants to bang him and every dude swears undying loyalty to him. His home planet makes him an ambassador to the aliens (who are human) in hopes of a trade/technology exchange. While being vetted by the HOLY Government, his professors get nasty in defense of his greatness, honesty and genius.  

Well see, Alex is a douche because he was written that way, so don’t fault his charismatic manliness because he is a manly space-man with manly mannerisms. His planet is rife with douchebags that cling to the idea that the Government is good, takes care of its people, has good socialized medicine (oxymoron?) and was voted to be in control by the lemmings….er people. Uh oh, sound familiar? It gets better as the insipid smugness creeps in at the edges of this disaster. See the huge big bad wolf on planet douche is, you guessed it, conservatives. Oh yeah, they represent not only buffoonery and egocentric tendencies but deadly mischief and guile in the form of stealing little alien secrets. CURSE THESE INDUSTRIALIST CONSERVATIVES!!….The jabs are endless and do the novel no favors but what is even more astonishing is that they would embrace the politics of their failed home world.   The aliens (who are human) are super sexy and thin. They live in a world with advanced technology where there are no bad guns and only good people. They have shockers for beasties and incorrigibles but that’s about it.

So Planet Biden agrees to help these aliens that are humans (that are all super hot and sexy), to go fight real aliens in silver ships that may be threatening their home world based on a vision that Superma…..er, Alex had. Really? Much of the novel moves around the assemblage of BAD weapons to fight aliens and uncovering the nasty conservative plot to garner technology for themselves…MUHAHAHHA!!! There is a cloying insta-love affair between Alex and an alien (human) while all the aliens that are humans get banged by humans that are humans. Fug me. Even the Artificial Intelligence loves Alex because who the fuck doesn’t?

A good read while getting laser hemorrhoid surgery.

 

 

 

Review: Skyeater By J. Alex McCarthy

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Publisher: McCarthy

Publishing Date: May 2015

ISBN: 9781511594318

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.1/5

Publisher Description: Crippled by a car accident, Los Angeles exercise-fanatic Cole loses his will to live. He tries to end it all with a bottle of pills, but instead wakes up healed, inhumanly strong, and able to create energy in the palm of his hand. Mystified, he experiments with his new abilities and seeks an explanation.  An answer that defies all logic comes when towering humanoid aliens descend from space. When the aliens go on a massacre, Cole employs his newfound powers to thwart the enemy. Convenient. Too convenient. 

Review: This was written in the third person present tense (thanks to Jana for clarifying that), which made for an interesting, albeit, detached point of view. I read the first version but was contacted by the author about my interest in a freshly edited copy as the original was rife with grammatical errors. I waded through the errors on towards a good storyline, solid character development and some crazy SciFi world building.

Cole is in a tragic accident (with alien designs) and has new found super powers that he attributes to his watch. As he recovers and finds that he can’t kill himself he begins to realize that there are bigger events in play than just his myopic take on life. The pace is quick and the author continues to develop his characters along with that intense movement. A tough trick to accomplish for any writer as the emotive is sometimes lost along with any character development.

Towards the end the scenes jump and shift schizophrenically. Logical scene progression takes a back seat to the frenetic action. Aliens blowing kisses and behaving like humans is not really what you expect when it comes to SciFi. 

This author has a lot of talent that needs to be toned down and made cogent.  Embracing creativeness is wonderful but can often times leave the genre shallow if there is not some realistic aspects to the interactions and subsequent story line.  A publishing deal would be great as the author could make use of editors and principally, Beta readers, in order to weave a tighter tale.

 

 

Review: The Ables by Jeremy Scott

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Publisher: CloverCroft

Publishing Date: May 2015

ISBN: 9781940262659

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.1/5

Publisher Description:  Phillip Sallinger’s dad has told him he’s a custodian—a guardian—and his genetically inherited power is telekinesis. He’ll learn to move objects with his mind. Excited to begin superhero high school until he discovers he’s assigned to a “special ed” class for disabled empowered kids, he suddenly feels like an outsider. Bullied, threatened, and betrayed, Phillip struggles, even as he and his friends—calling themselves the Ables—find ways to maximize their powers to overcome their disabilities, and are the first to identify the growing evil threatening humanity. 

Review: This was a pretty good read made for YA crowd. There were quite a few twists and turns at the end that keep you guessing, which tends to lighten an otherwise dark turn of personal events for Phillip. A good 30% of the novel is quite a bit of dialogue filler which tends to drag on a bit prior to the action. A little too much “setting the stage”.

The novel still delivers in the “root for the underdog’ genre and the powers that reside within the world building are creative and somewhat compelling.

 

 

Review: Secret Samurai: Book Two by Jill Rutherford

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Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd

Publishing Date: March 2015

ISBN: 9781784629571

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: DNF

Publisher Description: This is the second book in the Secret Samurai time-slip romantic adventure trilogy. The excitement and intrigue mount as we continue to follow the intermingling lives of Bebe, Kenji, Kai and Yoshi.
Bebe struggles to control her two lives; her own in modern Japan and the other she lives in the mind of Kai Matsuda, a samurai involved in the civil war of the 1860’s which ended the samurai system and gave birth to modern Japan. 

Review: Meh. Great idea, good world building and some great characters until you get to Bebe. She just ruins the whole story line with her whining and insta-love personality. Strange attempt at a romance novel when the main character lacks a backbone.