Monthly Archives: January 2015

Strong And Compelling Characters In Half The World

Half The World by Joe Abercrombie is an incredible story. Although it is the second book in a series it truly could stand alone on its own merits.

Abercrombie is known as a master of GrimDark Fantasy and deserves that accolade but he also deserves praise for creating realistic and endearing characters that you can admire and identify with which is exactly what he did with the POV characters he created for this story.

You will be put through the emotional wringer with this book! Abercrombie will surprise you, excite you, anger you, cause you to fear, but he’ll also cause you to clutch greedily to hope as you turn page after page. This isn’t a book you can easily set down.

This book will be released for sale on 02/17/15 and I do highly recommend that you get ahold of it!

You can’t set it down until the end!

The End Of The Sentence is such an incredible story to read! The authors (Kat Howard and Maria DahvanaHeadley) get you looking over your shoulder to see if your house might be haunted. Very descriptive and very enjoyable. A masterful tale of love, guilt, pain, redemption, purpose, and mystery. A beautifully written story that will stay with you after you’ve finished it. Make time to read this story because once you start you’ll want to keep reading until the end.

What Is The Best Superhero Comic Book? Invincible!

How can I convince you that Invincible is the BEST coming of age superhero comic book ever created? Because it IS!

Robert Kirkman (of The Walking Dead fame) has set his gifted story telling abilities to the realm of superheroes and has created a comic book that I’ll now be judging other superhero stories against. He set the standard high.

So how do I describe this without spoiling plot lines for you while still interesting you enough to read it? Well let’s say that two major components are missing from almost every superhero comic book out there: Consistency and Consequences. Invincible has both.

If a city is destroyed in the midst of a super powered struggle then it stats destroyed in the next issue while the survivors try to rebuild. If aliens attack then humanity has to deal with the repercussions. If the main character tries to handle having a secret identity and a girlfriend then he has to deal with an upset girlfriend who knows he is hiding things from her.

Robert Kirkman did a wonderful job creating a superhero we can all love and cheer for. Each issue leaves you satisfied while eager for the next. In the end I know I can’t convince you that this is the best superhero comic book ever, I’ll just ask you to give it a try and let the story convince you.

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Revival Is At Hand!

Revival by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton is an interesting story of life after death set in rural Wisconsin.

At first I was led to believe that this would be your typical zombies need brains tale from a few of the reviews I had seen but nothing could be further from the truth! This is an engaging story about many things and central to the story is how and why several dead people returned to life in a small town and how it affects everyone.

The art is great and sets a perfect stage for the story. The pacing of the story draws you along scene by scene giving it the feel of a movie. The characters are well fashioned and believable. This is one story that I can’t wait to read more of! Looking forward to seeing how this unfolds.

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Gordon R Dickson A Vintage SciFi Month Review

A fellow Book Reviewer has declared January to be Vintage SciFi Month! For Vintage SciFi Month I decided to read a couple of books by Gordon R Dickson: Hour Of The Horde and Dorsai! GRD writes interesting books! His work feels like a mix between David Drake and Frank Herbert. GRD has been a very heavy influence on Military SciFi and spins very interesting tales that feature the continual evolution of mankind.

Hour Of The Horde puts the Fiction into Science Fiction. It’s a slightly laughable tale describing a horde of aliens that travel from Galaxy to Galaxy and eliminate all organic life before moving onto the next one. Somehow we know they do this and somehow we know they’re attacking us next. Ok so the overall plot fails because of simple distances involved. But the story itself is enjoyable because of the main character and his incredible drive to accomplish the impossible. He’s a flawed man that gets selected to represent humanity in our greatest hour of need and has to find ways to motivate several different alien species to accomplish their unified goal. A fun and enjoyable read.

Dorsai! is excellent. This is the first book of GRD’s famous Childe Cycle and it is a page turner. The main character (Donal Graeme) is like Paul Atreides without his prescience. He’s a person set apart longing to belong but embracing his uniqueness and in so doing possibly opening up the next step of human evolution. This book involves a lot of Military SciFi action and is one of the classics in that field. Well worth your time.

I’ve enjoyed Vintage SciFi Month and still have one more book to finish and review so be looking forward to my thoughts on Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C Clarke!

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Ten Of My Favorite Books And Honorable Mentions

Narrowing down a favorite book list for me is difficult. Might as well try and select your favorite star in the night sky. I was recently asked to create such a list and these are ten of my all time favorite books in no particular order and some of my reasoning included with the ten. Honorable mentions below.

1) The Silmarillion/LOTR/The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien because these books are the reason I learned how to read. My folks had awesome copies of them that inspired my imagination and I wanted to read them. My parents made me learn to read and prove that I could before I was allowed to read them. Read through them when I was eight. Which leads to:
2) The Iliad by Homer because this was the book that I read to prove I could read well enough to read Tolkien. It was and still is fascinating.
3) My War Gone By I Miss It So by Anthony Loyd as it is one of the most interesting and personal war journals I’ve read dealing with the Bosnian Conflicts. That is a time that interests me and his very personal story and struggles with what he experienced help to bring everything home in my eyes.
4) If I Die In A Combat Zone Box Me Up And Ship Me Home by Tim O’Brien for similar reasons as MWGBIMIS but set in an earlier conflict that of Vietnam. I found that O’Brien’s method of mixing story and truth while relaying his experiences helped me to see the Vietnam War from the eyes of those over there. It cut through a lot of the typical politics that flood books about this time.
5) Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is one of the most thought provoking books
6) The Dune Saga by Frank Herbert probably one of the most influential and enlightening set of books that one can read while also being amazingly entertaining.
7) In The Woods by Tana French simply the BEST mystery and set in Ireland. She solves the wrong mystery in her book though.
8) Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie as it is an incredible SciFi that tackles Gender roles and bias in a very jarring and interesting way.
9) The Giving Tree for rather personal reasons and because one day I’ll be reading it to my future children as an example of selfless love for them.
10) The Great Divorce by CS Lewis as this book I feel is Lewis’ best and does such a wonderful job of laying out the truth as he saw it.

Honorable mentions go to:
Mind MGMT by Matt Kindt
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
The Recluse Saga by LE Modesitt Jr
The Word And Void Trilogy by Terry Brooks
On Writing by Stephen King
A Talent For War by Jack McDevitt
Killing Rage by Eamon Collins
Thieves And Kings by Mark Oakley
The Sun, The Moon, And the Stars by Steven Brust

What are some of your favorite books?

Golden Son: Best Book Of 2015?

I’ve just finished reading my advance copy of Golden Son by Pierce Brown and though it is very early in 2015 I may have just finished reading the best book I will read this year.

Red Rising (the first book of this series) captured my imagination in 2014 early on and held its place as the best book I read all year. As a result my expectations for Golden Son were extremely high. I was not disappointed. In fact Pierce Brown exceeded my expectations with this book.

Golden Son returns all of the intensity and excitement of Red Rising while raising the scope of the story. We move from the training grounds on which our hero Darrow was forged into the crucible of war. We face open enemies and the hidden daggers of secret enemies. We encounter new allies and old hatreds. With this book Pierce Brown lets all the world know his success with Red Rising was not a fluke, only an opening salvo in a hopefully long and sure to be impressive career.

If you haven’t read Red Rising yet you should pick it up as soon as you can and then dive right into Golden Son. If you’ve already read Red Rising then open up Golden Son and enjoy the wonderful intensity you will find within its pages. Truly a wonderful story and quite possibly the best book you’ll read in 2015.

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