Category Archives: Book Reviews

You’ll Love When You Read

We interrupt this unintentional period of silence with good news: You’ll love when you read You Die When You Die by Angus Watson!


Every so often a book comes along and completely interrupts your currently reading pile and all your carefully made to read plans! Angus Watson has written such a book! The title caught my eye, the cover interested me, the premise intrigued me, and the story delivered even more than I had hoped for. 


You Die When You Die is a Fantasy set in a world similar to North America prior to the Europeans, except that a small group of people similiar to Vikings have somehow made their way far into this land and created a settlement where they lived mostly in peace. That is until their settlement is massacred and the few survivors set off on an epic journey to try and cross the land and find the safety that has prophesied far off to the West….


This story is excellent. It’s a fun page turner of a book! The chapters are short and action packed, the characters are interesting, the conversations witty, the blending of possible history and fantasy is well done, and this all works together to draw you in to an incredible story! How much did I enjoy it? Well since I have to wait until 2018 for the sequel I went ahead and bought Age Of Iron which is a separate trilogy the same author wrote before writing You Die When You Die. The two stories are unrelated, I just wanted to read more by Angus Watson immediately! 

Awaken To An Incredible Tale! 

When you review books you often encounter very pushy people who only talk to you because they want their book reviewed. It happens! I can even understand it from their perspective. It helps to get your name out there. But there are right ways and rude ways to go about getting reviews. Let me tell you about how much of a class act Edward Lazellari is and say if you want to gain someone’s interest: Edward is an author to model your approach after! 


Here’s an author who is published by Tor (and if you don’t know who Tor is then suffice to say it is one of my most favorite and trusted publishing companies) who talked with me as a person with shared interests and just politely asked if I’d be interested in reading his book. I normally don’t accept submissions as I’m trying to work through my unread books on my shelves, and I cautioned him that I was very backed up in my reading stack, but he was very polite and sent me an autographed copy of his book AWAKENINGS. A class act from start to finish!


Awakenings joined my currently reading stack and I also purchased a copy for my Kindle to be able to read while on trips. This book is an Urban Fantasy and it’s the first book of The Guardians Of Aandor trilogy. It’s also incredible!


Awakenings is a take no prisoners kick ass fast paced all out battle of a book! Right from the start you’re deep in the action and striving to learn what is happening around the characters just as they are! You see it spans across multiple worlds and the primary characters have unfortunately lost their true identies along with their memories and they’ve lost their purpose. That past quickly charges up at them and threatens to destroy them before they have the chance to learn who they are….


As I said this is a kick ass story! I took it around town to read and was quickly drawn into the world the author created. The characters are strong, the action first rate, the world building interesting, the plot compelling, the drama engaging, and the story is great! 

This is a book I not only recommend, it is one I have purchased the sequel to and look forward to reading more!

Five Books Fifty Pages!

As you can probably guess my TBR Pile has actually grown so much that it is a living breathing sentient being and desires world domination…. but that’s another post entirely! This post is about how I was inspired by my friend The Little Red Reviewer to select five books from my TBR Pile, read the first fifty pages, and decide if I want to read them now, later, or never! Time to find out which books were YAY, which were NAY, and if any were MEH! The books I selected were:

Norwegian By Night by Derek B Miller

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

The Vorrh by B Catling

The Depths Of Time by Roger MacBride Allen

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell


Norwegian By Night by Derek B Miller is interesting! I saw the cover and was immediately intrigued. A Crime Fiction that follows an older Korean War vet named Sheldon as his last surviving family member takes him away from NY to live in Norway. Sheldon is possibly suffering from dementia, he is xenophobic, he is combative, and he is out of his element. Yet he opens his door to help try to save a lady and her child from a violent crime which leads to an unexpected adventure. This book was really captivating. Sheldon isn’t a good person or a bad person; he just is a difficult person with uncomfortable views that have been negatively reinforced through the years, but he’s a person that you want to get to know and see how he might develop! Will I continue reading? Yes!

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes is a book that I have wanted to read for ages! I’ve heard only good things and rave reviews for this book. I picked it up excitedly andddddd forced myself through 50 pages. There is a house that time travels and it has selected a killer to travel through time and it wants him to murder people? It’s an interesting premise but I’m not impressed with either execution of the premise or the characters. I sadly found the book quite off putting. Will I continue reading? No. 

The Vorrh by B Catling was a book that captivated me as soon as I saw the cover! It was a gift from my lovely wife, and I went in knowing that it’s an odd story, but I don’t think I was prepared for exactly how odd it was! This is one that needs to be a solo focused read. Will I continue reading? Not now, but one Winter I’ll read this odd book!

The Depths Of Time by Roger MacBride Allen is a SciFi that has to do with the spread of humanity through the galaxy via time travel through closely guarded worm holes. It starts with a grand premise and then quickly gets lost in the weeds. Way too many little details that slow down the story and make it an unappealing read for me. Will I continue reading? Nah. 

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell You should stop whatever you’re reading and get this book now! A near future SciFi in which we’ve discovered alien life, and while humanity is deciding how to approach and contact them: The Jesuits do what they’ve done throughout their history and send their own mission to make contact. This book is so smartly written! The characters are fully realized, the style of writing creates a mystery that draws you in, and the author’s writing is a joy to read! Will I continue reading? YES!


In the end: Yay, Meh, or Nah:

Norwegian By Night Yay!

The Shining Girls Nah!

The Vorrh Meh…

The Depths Of Time Nah!

The Sparrow YAYYYYY!!!! 

Have you read any of these? Would you Yay, Meh, or Nah any of these? Also: I’d love hearing from you if this post has inspired you to try the five books fifty pages method yourself! Let me know about the results!

Hyperion Summer!

Starting on June First my friend Sadie and I hosted a Group Read of Hyperion by Dan Simmons who I knew of from his SciFi and Sadie knew of from his Horror. When we both realized we enjoyed his work we knew we wanted to do a Buddy Read and when we told folks we were going to read his famous book Hyperion we discovered a lot of folks wanted to join in! So we announced a group read and had over twenty other readers join in! #HyperionSummer was a go! 


As a SciFi reader I had seen Hyperion around for ages! So I was already in love with this distinctive cover. I had a difficult time finding it so I turned to the wonderful Collectible Science Fiction and they were able to locate exactly the book I wanted! And what an awesome looking book it is! 

So now I had the book, I had reading buddies, and I had a start date. There was no turning back from my journey to Hyperion! Time to find out what all the hubbub was about! 

I won’t keep you in suspense. I enjoyed the book. BUT I didn’t enjoy the author’s tendency to show off his own intelligence. Dan Simmons is obviously a smart man. It just feels like he has to waste a lot of time in his books proving that. It’s been the same way in every book I’ve read of his. Kind of off putting for me. Also he realllllllllllllly likes dragging things out. To read his work I find that I need to be ok skimming the pointless distractions he fills his stories with. I hate skimming books. All that said it was a good book! Ok now we have the high points out of the way; now to delve more deeply into the book. This will be mostly non spoilerly as I hate spoiling books but there’s a chance something might be too revealing so read on at your own peril!


Hyperion is broken into several back stories featuring the tales that brought the main characters together on a pilgrimage to the planet Hyperion. In the background is an interstellar war, but although you think you know the sides in the war you realize quickly that there is more to the story than you realize at first.

The Priest’s tale was told in a journal style. I have to be in the mood for a story like that. Honestly it wasn’t bad, but this story was the weakest link in the book and should have been edited down 75% as it dragged on way too much. 

The Warrior’s Tale was…. unexpected! It THRUSTED you into the action…. ok silly joke but if you’ve read it you’re hopefully laughing now! 

The Poet’s Tale was intriguing! You get a picture of how the future developed and what happened to Earth and where Hyperion came from. 

The Scholar’s Tale was quietly horrifying. Putting yourself into his shoes is terrifying. Very well done. 

The Detective’s Tale was boring and drawn out. Glimpses into who the real enemy is, but honestly this is one of the worst Detectives ever. The author has had her asking the most pointless questions this whole book. If he didn’t tell you she was a Detective you wouldn’t know. 

The Consul’s Tale. Best. Tale. Period. 

Then right when everything has built up to a huge climax…. you run out of pages. The end. Disappointingly so. Which leads to you buying and downloading the second book while away on vacation because you just have to KNOW, you know? Or is that just me? Anyone? Bueller? 

So how did I like The Fall Of Hyperion? Well that’s another story so I’ll tell you in a future post! 🙂

A Word From The Father: Andre Norton’s The Sioux Spaceman 

Today’s Circle Of Bookish Friends challenge on Bookstagram is about the father figures in our lives and I am fortunate to have an incredible dad who invested his life and love into his family and will always be my inspiration and standard. I grew up in a reading family and my parents to this day are discovering new to them authors! My dad just read his first Andre Norton book and gave me the following review to share on The Sioux Spaceman. Enjoy this word from my father:


First off, “The Sioux Spaceman” by Andre Norton was written in 1960 when I was 12. Skip forward to a great many years and this paperback edition caught my attention on the $0.50 sale rack at The Book Nook, a local treasure house of primarily used books that I like to frequent. Knowing nothing about the author, I looked her up (yes, her) on the Internet only to find out that she was a science fiction and fantasy (along with a couple of other genres), but that she the first woman inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, among other awards (twice nominated for Hugo awards). She wrote for over 70 years having over 300 titles published. I also found it interesting that like another woman author S. E. Hinton, she was advised to publish under a male’s name to increase her marketability to young boys, the main consumer of fantasy.

Since “The Sioux Spaceman” was primarily written for the young adult market in 1960 it would not have caught my eye back then since I was more interested in comics at 12 years of age. Today, 57 years later it caught my eye on that 50-cent sale rack. After all, what’s 50-cents really worth now-days? I found that it was well written, with excellent main character development and well worth my investment of time for an enjoyable read of older works of science fiction. The protagonist, Kade Whitehawk, a Trader for the Space Service, finds himself being reassigned to a Team on the planet Klor in disgrace. Once on Klor, he is slowly being drawn into a battle to help the indigenous population free themselves from the alien Styors who have enslaved mercilessly enslaved them. Again, Whitehawk goes against Space Service policy and sets a plan in motion to help the Ikkinni get free from the hated Styor’s star empire. The plot is, well, just a bit juvenile (after all it was written with that reader in mind), but is sufficient to keep the reader engaged. Since Whitehawk is of Sioux warrior descent he succeeds in getting horses delivered to the planet and helps to get the natives to trust in using them to begin the their liberation. After the battle begins, he is abandoned on Klor in the not so gentle grasp of those he was trying to help. The Space Service sent a rescue ship to his summons and what is revealed to him after the ship lands astounds him. With the Space Service there is the Policy (think Prime Directive of Star Trek) and the Plan. He is one of the few whom the Space Service consider a black sheep who serve in a rebellious state they call the warrior breed. He is then given the opportunity to remain and continue assisting in the Ikkinni’s freedom struggles or go. After all, he is told, “a push here, a push there topples a star empire.”

Our kinda sorta one day will be weekly again Dark Horse Presents Volume 28

We’ve all been missing the weekly Dark Horse Presents reviews so here we are! Back again reviewing the greatest comic book anthology ever. Time to look at the awesomely huge 28th volume! This one was released to celebrate four years of Dark Horse Comics existing! No mean feat in the 80’s when Marvel and DC ruled comicdom with iron fists!


This comic book contained four AWESOME stories….. and two comedic monster throwaways in my opinion. Maybe cheesy monster comic short stories are your thing! If so you’d probably enjoy Roachmill or Mr Monster. It isn’t my thing so less said about those the better. 


Homicide by John Arcudi and Doug Mahnke really causes you to be afraid with this intense episode. The use of Pat Brosseau’s lettering for the shotgun blasts and cocking really hits hard. Well done!


Concrete by Paul Chadwick AGAIN proves to be way ahead of its time! This conversation on what we are doing to our planet and the realization that we’re connected to it needs to happen today! Thankful he was bringing it up in 1987, saddened that we still neglect this topic in 2017. 


ZONE! I’ve been waiting for Michael Kraiger’s intelligently done comic book to make an appearance! Love his use of grey tones in his art and how he uses the lettering to draw you into his work. We’ll see more of this as DHP continues!


You might be bad ass. But you’ll never be Black Cross clutching barbwire after killing a small army bad ass. Chris Warner again delivers on this emotional action as Black Cross wages his solo war against an immoral enemy. 

Almost reached a few of my favorite stories! Eager to read and review on!

Rock Star Mercenaries Getting The Band Together Again!

Do you remember that rock band you loved as a kid? The one that everyone knew was the BEST?! The one you’d always measure every other band against? And then they all went their separate ways… disbanded… settled down… got old…. Well, what if you could get them back together for one amazingly glorious tour? Do you think they’d rock it?? Could they still slay?


Kings Of The Wyld by Nicholas Eames doesn’t feature an aged rock band getting back together. Instead it features an aged band of mercenaries in a world that reveres mercenary bands as ours does rock stars, and this particular band was the greatest ever! That is they were the greatest ever before they quit, broke up the band, went their separate ways, and got old. But now years later their front man needs the band back together again for one last quest and this quest is the most dangerous one they’ve ever taken on, but it’s also the most important. If they fail, the front man’s daughter dies, and civilization might follow into destruction soon after. 


This book kicks ass! It’s downright funny, adventurous, exciting, touching, heart wrenching, and engaging! The world building is fun, the action is intense, the characters well done, and it’s an all around good read. I downloaded a sample and after the first chapter I purchased the whole book because it’s amazing! It’s difficult to believe this is the author’s first book but it is so the future is bright! Give Kings Of The Wyld a try, just be prepared to set aside all your other books for it! This reader can’t wait for more from the author.