Book Review: The Omega Project book 2 by Angus MacM. Hodgson


Publishing Date: February 2018

Publisher: Dog Ear

ISBN: 9781457562259

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 1.5/5

Publisher’s Description: This book starts off with Jon reminiscing about one of his early CAG missions in Afghanistan hunting for Taliban controlled caves. Later during a lull in operations he is invited to go hunting on the surface with the Chiricahua Apache. After the hunt one of the Chiricahua medicine men has a vision of the future that reveals a new enemy. An invasion from Mexico by a coalition of Mexican and Chinese forces. Jon has a little time to prepare for this threat while at the same time eliminating another threat that started in Book 1.

Review: Not sure what to make of this novel. The stilted dialogue between the characters that is overlaid with backstory and their personal histories came off a bit contrived. There was no flow to the exchanges and everyone in Omega 11 is either an expert commando do-gooder/jujitsu master, or a hot looking female sharp shooter/Olympic gold medalist x2/sword expert. The delivery is a bit smug with every event showcasing how great they, and their Indian neighbors are. If you have read any of John Ringo’s books, this follows the same pattern. The whole “Klavia The Superdog” shtick wore a bit thin especially when the narrative switches to her perspective. Anthropomorphism really has no place in literature except SciFi/Fantasy.

A few instances where you really needed to suspend your disbelief is the inaccurate portrayal of “The Hunt”. In about a day they kill 42 wolves that are attacking their small party. Wolf behavior is thrown out the door on this one as is the idea of hunting “vicious” coyotes with spears. Of course Becca kills a 170 lb. cougar with a spear and shoots freehand a lame deer at 740 plus yards with iron sites. She uses a .308 round that is special because the bullet and load is different and custom made by Westley Richards. The round “looks different” than a regular .308. Huh? A custom load is a well developed process of matching your gun to bullet type/weight, powder type/weight and most importantly, distance from the lands for seating depth. Not to mention all the prep that goes into case selection, sizing (neck or case), fire sizing to chamber, trimming/chamfer, truing- out of round necks, truing primer pockets and flash holes, weighing each bullet for consistency and proper crimp. To say that a round is custom because it looks different is not sufficient. Additionally, Westley Richards does not make custom loads for clients.

The idea that John and his MWD-k9 and Becca are accepted into the Chiricahua nation as warriors is pretty funny. In case you missed the last 150 or so years, natives don’t really like us. How do I know? I have worked on Indian reservations for 25 years an am a First Nations decendant. Sure I have a lot of friends, but generally, Tribal Council’s are careful to exclude non-tribal employees/members from ANY tribal events and you will not lead from the front on any policy issue. Also the idea that there is a traditional tribal gathering being acted out in ancient Indian escape tunnels where elders have visions which the military takes seriously, is ridiculous. The whole special warrior knife thing where “warriors have to kill anyone that touches their knife”, is bullshjt.

This novel never gets off the pot. The war that you waited for, never comes and each day is an endless hashing of “topside” conditions. I will say that the guessed at political perspectives might be pretty close in a real situation based on the current state of anarchy that resides around the world. The characters are fun to follow in that the movement flows at a good clip WHEN MOVEMENT OCCURS.  The writing style grows on you and only wastes your time with verbose military verbiage if you’re not into it. There were way too many firearm, Indian and wildlife fails, but was balanced out with some good action and interpersonal interactions.

The novel was cogent but I would say that the author either lost his voice or never developed one to enhance the characterization. Every character was patterned: like watching a B-grade military movie where characters exchange patterned dialogue. I will not be visiting the next in the series unless the author pays me.


Book Review: Ray Vs the Meaning of Life by Michael F. Stewart


Publishing Date: May 2018

Publisher: The Publishing House


Genre: Fiction/Humor

Rating: 4.9/5

Publisher’s Description: Grandma’s last will and testament names Ray to inherit the trailer park. It’s a million-dollar estate with one hitch: to prove he’s not as aimless as he seems, Ray must discover the meaning of life by the end of the month. (She left the answer in an envelope.) If he fails, the camp goes to his estranged family. How does anyone find the meaning of life while running a park full of misfit miners, would-be truck racers, and one demanding little girl? There’s a bear too. A grizzly. Maybe that’ll help?

Review: What is the meaning of life? The author does a great job of delving into the unanswerable with a dose of wit and a load of funny. I found myself wanting very badly to know what the answer to life is, only to be relieved  that perhaps the Dalen Anders’ and Werner Erhard’s of the world have only pieces to my individual puzzle.

Review: The Han Agent by Amy Rogers

Publisher: IBPA

Publishing Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9781940419152

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 1.4/5

Publishers Description: In the 1930s, Japanese scientists committed heinous crimes in their quest for the ultimate biological weapon. The war ended. Their mission did not. Eighty years later, Japanese-American scientist Amika Nakamura won’t let rules stand between her and scientific glory. When the ambitious young virologist defies a ban on the genetic manipulation of influenza, she’s expelled from the university. Desperate to save her career, she accepts a position with a pharmaceutical company in Tokyo. Soon after, a visit to a disputed island entangles her in a high-profile geopolitical struggle between Japan and China.

Review: ‘Nothing new under the Sun here. Move along, move along.”This story line is one of many that have been done over the years. Only this one was not very interesting due to the shallow characterization and weak plot.

Amika is extremely self-centered and narcissistic gurl yet is not so myopic that she fails to notice how hot her rich, handsome and hunky evil billionaire sponsor is. She wants to bang him if only to secure and further her career.  Can you say writing for a movie deal?? Well I can, and as disappointed in Amika as I was, I was more disappointed in the stilted dialogue and not so surprising deus ex moments that littered the pages of this failure. I stopped and started this novel quite a few times but mushed on to the end in hopes of some characterization revival in the form of movement and depth. It just gets worse with evil guy becoming more evil-ish and the storyline more mundane.

I think Harvard is calling and wants their PhD back.

Review: Dead Blossoms by by Richard Monaco


Publisher: Venture

Publishing Date: July 2016

ISBN: 9781300509561

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 3.8/5

Publishers Description: Jiro Tazeko is a ronin samurai – tied to no clan and scorned by many. A hard-drinking mercenary and master swordsman, he is looked down upon by his fellow samurai, thinking him without honor.  

Review: Well I finally made it to the end of a very long and interesting tale of a disgraced samurai whom likes to drink the sake….a lot. This was really good but was flawed with sequencing mistakes and a storyline that sometimes drifted and hopped around. This lack of cogency puts the hard test to the reader to follow along but once you slip into your comfortable shoes, the writing style grows on you.

Tazeko is a wonderfully flawed character that grows and changes through the course of the novel as life impacts him in a myriad of ways. These instances help define the persona and drags the reader along for a sympathetic and jovial ride.

“So why you no give 5 stars!”. At times, the novel had sequencing issues where the story line jumped around and lacked connectedness. In one instance, Tazeko and Yazu are poisoned and Tazeko wakes up in a cemetery but there is no mention of what becomes of Yazu, yet he mysteriously re-appears in the story line.  In another, Tazeko loses his sandals and arrives at his destination barefoot, then proceeds to remove his sandals when he enters the domicile. This disappearance and reappearance of people and items occurs throughout the novel. Still, a riveting novel that gets a solid metric.

Review: An Oik’s Progress by Steve Eastwood



Publisher: Troubador

Publishing Date: March 2015

ISBN: 9781784629403 

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 2.4/5

Publisher Description: Psychopathic tendencies begin to arise in Benny, which come to light when faced with a local thug with a grudge against his father. How far will Benny go to stop the man from threatening the father that has always put him down? 

Review: I thought this would be ones man’s psychopathic walk through life from child to adult, according to the description. What it turns out to be is a normal jaunt through life for about 99% of the novel, detailing Benny’s mundane life as a policeman. Its really a novel without a plot which makes it a fictional biography?

The stories within are well written and often funny. The novel follows a typical English writing style that details everyday intricacies from scene descriptions to ordinary dialogue and personal interactions. The ending is abrupt and without merit but makes a bit of sense when you follow an ordinary life for most of the novel. It needed something like the ending to make some sort of plot sense.  A really good read if you’re waiting at the DMV for your license renewal.


Review: Doomsday Kids #2: Nester’s Mistake


Publisher: K Squared
Publishing Date: September 1, 2014
ISBN: 9780692261034
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 3.2/5

Publisher Description: Inexperienced with firearms and conflicted about killing people, Nester struggles with whether there’s a place for compassion in a world without laws or authority. Then, as nuclear winter sweeps over their mountain home killing crops and animals, a medical emergency threatens one of their number. Nester must make a desperate choice that shatters their little community and irrevocably alters their chances for survival.

Review: I guess that’s Nester on the cover. In the novel he supposedly is bald with broken glasses and looks like a blind naked mole rat.

All or most of the Doomsday kids have arrived at the promised land….Liam’s cabin in the mountains, where life quickly devolves into the Lord of the Flies. There is a constant inter-play of petty jealousy and angst ridden recriminations that thread through daily challenges. Kids and animals are dying of radiation poisoning and live under constant threat from outsiders. The author does a great job creating this myopic world of malaise where constant fear drives the juvenile mind in all sorts of directions.

Back in the 60-70’s I grew up with an M.D. as a father whom was way before his time in terms of being a prepper. Reloading room, organic garden, medical supplies etc. In the landscape of TEOTWAWKI guns and ammo are rare commodities with ammo worth its weight in gold. In order to give a post-apocalyptic novel some credibility, writers have to infuse a knowledgeable sense of firearms/calibers and their use. Like the first novel, this one was pretty thin in that area. Shotgun blasts don’t “zing” off metal and young kids like Amy are not shooting champions especially without any specifics given. Other critical details like; what are the bullets in the bandoliers?, what are the guns?, what are the calibers? I am sure Liam’s dad taught Katie and Marty something?? These details help to build a credible story-line and were sadly non-existent.

When the reader cares enough about a novel to read any subsequent novels in the series, I think the author should spend the time getting every facet correct, as this shows that they care for their works as well. This novel really needed a good editor as there were quite a few grammatical errors.

The great thing about TEOTWAWKI is that no one really knows what will happen to society after a myriad of events that could occur. That leaves this particular genre wide open in terms of creative license. As long as the writing is good (which it was) you can take this story line/plot anywhere. There will always be someone who disagrees with future outcomes and that’s ok as long as the story line maintains a credible foundation. I initially scored this pretty high but the grammatical errors and weak firearm portions brought it down.

Review: Archangel by Michael Vorhis


Publisher: FreeFlight
Publishing Date: January 2011
ISBN: 9780983898504
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 2.0/5

Publisher Description: But coincidence, perhaps Fate, causes Mick Calahan to become entangled in the equally mysterious saga of strangers. And circumstances bring him unwillingly into the open, where looms his greatest fear–that his decisions might affect and destroy real lives.

Review: The cover art truly reflects what resides within.

Oh yay, reluctant hero with checkered past and a heart of gold,..time. There is evil white men and poor downtrodden natives with a hottie native temptress thrown in. And it all takes place in Buttfug, Montana. This was published back in 2011, so not sure why it is getting a new release.

So Padre Mick finds himself appointed by the Catholic Church to preside in Buttfug, only to find that the towns inhabitants are fugging weird. I mean, most people, if not all, are fugging weird but this town takes the cake. Mick finds two native boys lying in the street, unconscious and Joe Shmuck says that the first thing to learn living here is to mind your own business. Street toughs working for LUCIUS KNOX (lol) walk the town with impunity, raping and pillaging with the Sheriff’s collusion.

This read like Walking Tall, Billy Jack and Jack Reacher had a love child (see how I made a love triangle? Khul huh). Mick finds that LUCIUS KNOX is evil (duh) and is stealing Tribal land to conduct mining operations and means to eradicate Native life as we know it. His thugs walk around town beating up natives, raping native girls, hurling racial epithets and generally being dodgy all day long.
Mick’s final straw is when super racist thug, Daryl, rapes native temptress Gabriella. Blah, blah, blah Mick takes everyone down with the help of the Washokki and Tissoma tribes whom speak a Kalispel dialect.

FWIW, there is no such thing as the Washokki and Tissoma Tribes of Montana. There are no native “chapters” and corralled youth speaking in hushed Kalispel dialects. There is no Kalispel dialect (Kalispel, Spokane and Flathead speak a Salish dialect). Additionally, there are no towns with racist assholes walking around raping native girls, prostituting native girls. beating and killing native people and talking like that kid on the bridge playing banjo. There are no groups of Indians planning to kill whitey over a mining claim. There is no paying off or buying the Bureau of Indian Affairs. What this novel attains is the conjoining of two perceived disparate groups, the heavy application of race bait and culture trampling and POOF! there is your emotive content and story-line. I might be wrong about the tribes mentioned in this novel, but according to the Tribe I work for, there is the Salish-Kootenai, Crow, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Sioux and a few others in Montana.

Here is my own opinion that resides outside the bounds of this novel. ” There seems to be this weird mockery of the tired and well worn racial shtick you saw in westerns as a kid is just not applicable by modern standards. Today, some groups that see and point the racist finger where none exists or hoist their culture in hopes of claiming ascendancy over others are guilty of inciting tension and fail to understand that by their lack of awareness and entrenched identities, that they merely serve their own egos.”

I get that this is just a fictionalized story meant to make some money and possibly broker a movie deal. The novel was really built for Hollywood and not the reader.

Although I understand the spin in fiction, I think the written word can be carefully crafted to imbibe the reader with certain realities while attempting to entertain. I think the author is a good writer but the recipe was way too clichéd’.