Tag Archives: Read

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!

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A Beautiful But Difficult Read

Hard To Be A God by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

This book is a beautiful work of art. It is a deeply moving work, that causes you to ask yourself questions and consider the consequences of actions you would take if you were in the lead character’s shoes.

Although this was a very beautifully told story I had a difficult time connecting with the characters myself. This is one story I am glad I encountered, and feel that I will appreciate it more when I return to it later down the road.

Horror meets SciFi meets Spy Fiction meets Mystery

So let’s talk about how good The Southern Reach Trilogy is! Jeff Vandermeer created a great combination of mystery, SciFi, spy, and horror all rolled up into one story. Each book has its own feel and strong characters telling you a part of the story. The pacing is truly well done as it leaves you both expectant and frustrated all at once! One thing about trilogies like this one is that it can be difficult to end them well. I think the author did a great job of giving you the right amount of resolution and openness that leaves you both happy and able to imagine where the story would progress to. This is one trilogy I recommend. I think you’ll really enjoy it. I know I did!

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Charleston’s Ghosts Come Out To Play In Deadly Curiosities

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z Martin Published by Solaris Books
Release Date: 06/25/2014

Let me start by saying this book was awesome! Very engrossing right from the start! I’ve enjoyed every Gail Z Martin book I’ve read and Deadly Curiosities is no exception to this!

Cassidy (the protagonist) owns a very interesting antique shop in historic Charleston, South Carolina. I couldn’t be happier with the respect the author handle one of my favorite cities here in the South. Charleston is beautiful and she brings the city and its ghosts to life!

The antique store Cassidy runs is actually a front for her true business: that of identifying and eliminating dangerous supernatural objects with the help of her business partner Sorren: an ancient vampire.

The author peoples the book with interesting characters that she breathes life into. The care Gail Z Martin puts into even bringing animals to life (Cassidy’s dog Baxter is a show stealer!) causes this story to leap off the page and pull you in. She sets the perfect emotional stage for this Urban Fantasy with ghosts and shadows that appear just beyond your range of vision, and heroes that you want to be friends with.

RedStarReviews highly recommends this and all books by Gail Z Martin! There’s magic within her writing to bring stories to life and cause you to be pulled into those stories so deeply that you don’t notice time passing you by. Deadly Curiosities is well worth your time and I can’t wait for another chapter in this new series!

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RedStarReviews: Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z Martin

As I posted my first ever advanced book review I discovered I was approved for another one, and this book has me really excited!

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z Martin (Scheduled for publication 06/25/2014) is an Urban Fantasy set in one of my favorite of cities: Charleston, South Carolina.

Gail Z Martin has already established herself as an incredible fantasy author and is well known for the realistic worlds and systems of magic she creates. Now she brings that talent to play in one of the most historic cities in my country.

Charleston has seen its share of history (both good and bad) in its time and it is the sort of city that attracts all kinds of interesting souls: living, dead, and undead. Deadly Curiosities follows Cassidy Kincaide and her 500 year old business partner Soren, who happens to be a Vampire, as they try to protect the city against forces dark, unknown, and ancient.

I’m truly looking forward to reading this story and sharing my thoughts on it! Honored to have been selected to review this before it is released. Gail Z Martin is an enjoyable writer so I know I’m in for a great read!

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Approved For Our First Advanced Review: Fiefdom by Dan Abnett

RedStarReviews was just approved for our first ever ARC book to review! Very excited about this opportunity and excited to see this grow from a love for sharing books with other book lovers! Thank you for being a part of this dream!

The book is Fiefdom by Dan Abnett of Warhammer fame! It’s off to a engaging start and looks to be a very enjoyable read! It is a SciFi book set during a future Ice Age on Earth after years of war between alien invaders and the mutated warriors humanity created for our protection.
Looking forward to diving into this and reviewing it for everyone as soon as possible!

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A Compelling Voice: Prince Of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Prince Of Thorns is Mark Lawrence’s first book of the Broken Empire Series.

Prince Jorg is a vicious man in a vicious world. He ceased being a boy when he survived a brutal attack on those himself & on those he loved. Twisted by those dark events he pursues his vengeance upon the whole world.

What is left of his humanity is a tortured and scarred thing, but that grants him such a compelling and powerful voice with which to tell his tale.

A well written an enjoyable story that leaves me looking forward to the next in the series.

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