Tag Archives: bookreviews

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!

DNF Books!

DNF Books: Did Not Finish Books. What makes you not finish a book?


Maybe you found the book to be boring, predictable, and have shallow characters?


Maybe you tried to read the entire series at once and got burned out on it?


Maybe even though you love the author and it’s not a book in a series you find that the author has told the same story one too many times?


Or maybe you just got bored?


What makes you not finish a book? Any of these reasons? Or another? What causes you to walk away from a story? 

Bonus notes: 

If you want to see how to remove pesky sticker covers from your books you can find out HERE. 

If you’d like to see me chat about these books you can watch me on BookTube.

Hope y’all are having a wonderful April!

The Winner Of RedStarReviews’ Favorite Book Of 2016 Is….

Each year I select my “Favorite Book Of The Year” and it is definitely a difficult task! I have tried to keep the book selection to one of the more current books I’ve read in that year which helps me narrow down the selection process, but as this is a subjective award I feel free to award it to any book I read in the calendar year. That said let’s look over the past winners of the award and then announce 2016’s Favorite Book Of The Year!

First up is 2013’s winner of Favorite Book Of The Year:


Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It fought off tough contenders in 2013 such as Ship Of Fools to win this award. It is an interesting tale marvelously told. A multi perspective character to start things off with a bang! Seriously the primary character starts off with multiple view points and that’s neat to me! Also this book challenges gender bias and does so in a unique and interesting way. Excellent SciFi. 

This leads us to the 2014 winner of Favorite Book Of The Year:


Red Rising by Pierce Brown takes The Iliad and combines it with Warhammer40K style action and weaves a grand tale of betrayal, intrigue, vengeance, and heartbreak. Imagine your people slaving away in dangerous conditions in mines never to see the light of day, dying young, risking everything, with only the belief that you’re doing this so that mankind itself won’t perish keeping you strong. Now imagine that after sacrificing everything you learn that all that you know is a lie and your people are merely slaves being used to enrich your masters above you…. That’s where this story starts, and from there an amazing adventure takes place. Red Rising beat books such as Half A King, Consider Phlebas, The Southern Reach Trilogy to win the award. 

The book that won the 2015 Favorite Book Of The Year award is:


The Girl In The Road by Monica Byrne which is a beautifully told story that will place you within the hearts of the characters and let you see life through their eyes! Monica Byrne has a way of pulling you not only into the story but also into the characters too. This tale is an outward adventure that reflects the inward journey our characters are on. It is a masterpiece and it’s one that causes you to see this world we’re in through different perspectives. I had thought Golden Son would be my favorite of 2015, or Armor, or Half The World, but in truth The Girl In The Road surpasses them!

Which brings us to…

The WINNER…

Of the 2016…

RedStarReviews…

Favorite…

Book…

Of…

The…

Year…

Award!

And the winner is:


Jeffrey Alan Love for his book: Notes From The Shadowed City! 

This book is AMAZING! It is an illustrated tale of a man who has forgotten who he is while finding himself inside a magical city filled with dark and dangerous wonder. I love the artwork and was completely captivated by the story. This is a book to fire up the imaginations of the readers! A fantasy that introduces you to some of the lessor known magical swords hidden away within the Shadowed City. This beat Passage At Arms, The Incorruptibles, Children Of Fire and all others to carry away the award this year!


I am looking forward to finding out what book will win the award in 2017! 

999 Books? 999 Books!

Acorrding to GoodReads I just read my 999th book. 999. That’s pretty cool!


Book 999 was A Hat For Mrs Golden by Michelle Edwards and G Brian Karas. It was amazing. A really touching story about knitting and love that brought a tear to my eye. Cute illustrations and great storytelling combine in one book. This one is well worth your time!


999 books read. I know this doesn’t count rereads, and also I’m sure I’ve forgot to add all the books I read as a child to the list; but still 999 books read is pretty cool!


I’m currently reading 8 books right now. Whichever one I finish first will be my 1,000th book read. I’m just shaking my head and thinking how cool that is. I’m also thankful for something like GoodReads that has helped me count up and keep track of initial reads of books and helped me remember my thoughts on those books. 


We’ll see which book becomes the 1,000th book read and then excitedly see which is book 1,001 and then 1,002 and then 1,003 and so on! Because the joy of reading should never end! Looking forward to my next 999 books! Happy reading everyone! 

Shooting At Myths: Fiefdom by Dan Abnett and Nik Vincent

“Me, I was just shooting at myths.”

With these words near the opening of the book the story magically takes shape within your mind and you are hooked. The characters immediately bring you into their brutal kill or be killed world, and make you desire to belong to their singsong speaking pack.

The Aux, a bioengineered fighting force, are humanity’s last answer against THEM: a ruthless alien force attacking the Earth. The war was brought to a standstill due to the new Ice Age brought on by the devastation. During this Ice Age the Aux have allowed their enemies to become myths to laugh at.

But a few Aux know the myths are true….

I truly enjoyed this book! The singsong language of the Aux causes you to truly see the world through their eyes and engages you directly into the story. The pacing keeps you breathlessly turning the pages to see what happens next. This is a book I happily recommend and look forward to more by the authors! As the Aux would say:
This tale is a good tale truer and true.

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