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Many of the books I review were FREE in exchange for an honest review. I do not get paid to review them. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as ADs. They are promoting books but I do NOT get any money or goods for posting Spotlights. 
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Monday, December 30, 2013

Runner by Patrick Lee


This is one of those books that makes you squirm when you read it.   It is entirely too believable and too plausible.   Sam Dryden finds himself protecting a child he just met against odds that defy imagination. 

The genetic aspect of the book is well researched and oh so frightening.   Sam's past losses make him predisposed to protect a child.  The poiqnant question may be, "who will protect Sam from her?"
The characterizations were quite believable.  

The action was unremitting! 

The plot was a thorough emersion in a Machiavellian pool.

Lee's depiction of corporate greed and governmental intrusion was sadly quite believable for anyone who reads a daily paper or news blog. 

I highly recommend the book but budget enough time to do quickly because you will NOT want to put it down.



This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The High King Of Montival by S. M. Stirling


This book is set in a post Apocalyptic world where technology has been truncated by some unknown source.  This story focuses on the children of the initial survivors featured in the Dies the Fire, the first three books.  This book is the 4th of seven in the second series set in this world.   Rudi and Mathilda are the featured characters in this volume. 

Rudi  and Mathilda, the heirs to the Mackenzie lands and the Association territory are returning from Nantucket in this book.   They pick up allies on the way and face more of the treacherous "Cutters".   The idiosyncrasies established in the preceding books continue.    One of the ways they author keep each volume readable as a stand alone is how he has the characters fill in the back story when they acquire new allies.  

An interesting factor is the demonstration of fracturing society into schismatic ethnic and fantasy groups.  Fiction and religious tracts seem to carry the same weight with resulting  societal implications.  Stirling does an admirable job creating likeable characters with believable foibles. 

I highly recommend the series.


Website          http://www.smstirling.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Prodigal Son by Debra Mullins


A bounty hunter and a computer geek team up to save the geek's wayward, ne're do well brother. 


This book does a nice job blending the occult with action adventure and some romanticism.   Rafe Montana's character is fraught with guilt and fear over his inner demons.   Cara Mc Gaffigan is filled with self doubt and weak self esteem.   The author does a nice job portraying emotions and feelings that are believable based on the novels circumstances.

There are some steamy scenes that probably put this book into the romantic category but the action and general story are certainly palatable to the male reader.  No, that is not a sexist remark, that is an observation that most guys won't admit to reading an kind of romantic novel.  I do not categorize this book as a romantic novel.  I think it is a good action/adventure/urban fantasy with romantic overtones.  Huh!  How's that for a description.  

Oh, the occult relates to survivors of Atlantis and their innate powers.  Ms. Mullins uses Basque for her Atlantis language which was a nice, realistic touch. 

I am hoping this will be a continuing series.  The book was easy to read, captivating and entertaining.

I recommend it.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Reclamation by Jackie Gamber


 A new  book in the popular Leland Dragon Series

 Leland Province remains in danger. The sinister Fordon Blackclaw has returned from the shadows to strike at the heart of neighboring Esra, killing its Venur and making clear his intentions to retake what was once his: Mount Gore, seat of the Leland Dragon Council.

All around, the land grows weaker and weaker. Leland, once thought saved by Kallon Redheart, is without purpose, and within its borders, Murk Forest, a place of mystery and danger, has driven its inhabitants to seek aid. Esra is in flames, and the Rage Desert grows. Dragon and human alike struggle to find their way, and the wizard Orman can sense that there may be more at stake than the affairs of dragons.

Hope remains, yet it is not without obstacles. In Esra, Sela, the daughter of Kallon and Riza, found the well, a source of life, and made herself whole again. But her homecoming is not what she had imagined.

Old wounds buried deep must reopen if life is to continue. Dragons, humans, wizards, and shape shifters are all at risk as the peace between dragon and human has finally been broken.

War is here.

The stakes?

Perhaps the whole world.

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas, Mr. Babbers by Marco Guarda


Couldn't find a better cover shot. 


This is a short story with a science fiction Christmas theme.  

Mr. Babbers finds himself adrift in the holiday season with the death of his wife.  The story setting highlights an environment heavily impacted by artificial intelligence.

Machines are seemingly sentient in an idiot type of manner.   The story details what happens when Mr. Babbers responds to an unusual advertisement.  

The Christmas tree's personality was the most appealing to Mr. Babbers.
            

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars Volume 1 by Dynamite Entertainment

I read Edgar Rice Burrough's John Carter of Mars series back in the halcyon days of my misspent youth.   A graphic novel makes the story much more graphic.   I'm not sure my youthful heart would have been able to handle the bodacious illustrations found in this graphic novel.  

The work is vaguely reminiscent of Frazetta.  The characters all seem to have preposterous physiques.  I'm pretty sure I haven't seen a woman quite as robust as Dejah Thoris even in the pages of Playboy.   The illustrations seem to be the focus of the story as opposed to the story itself.   Depending on what you are seeking that is not necessarily a negative.   I don't know the word count but this story would be decidedly short without the illustrations.  

I loved comic books as a kid.   The graphic novel leaves me wanting more.   I realize packing more dialogue in conversation bubbles would be impractical but I like more story with my stories.

I don't read many graphic novels but this seems to fit the description.  

A+ on the preposterous physiques.
C- on the simplistic story line.

Web site: http://www.dynamite.com/htmlfiles/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Romulus Buckle and the City of the Founders by Richard Ellis Preston, Jr



This is a steam punk, post apocalypse tale of zeppelineers and their inter-clan rivalries.

The bulk of this story takes place on the Pneumatic Zeppelin, a hydrogen fueled zeppelin captained by Romulus Buckle of the Crankshaft clan.   Preston does an excellent job of painting easily imagined scenes, sets and characters.   The crew of the Pneumatic Zeppelin is colorful, memorable and entertaining.  Preston provides enough description to clearly see each character and their interrelationship.  

The mix of high technology as in robots and the extreme volatility of a hydrogen fueled zeppelin provides an excellent counterpoint to the plot.  The Founders are the villains in this tale.   A mysterious clan that seeks to gain domination over all the other clans.   Their tactics seem to first divide the contentious clans and embroil them in interclan feuding.  Once the clans are at each others throats then the Founders can strike.

Their plan is rudely interrupted by the actions of Romulus Buckle and his loyal crew. 

I recommend the book.



This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Eric Garrison's Sinking Down Cover Reveal! New Bonnie Wasson Cover Art!

Eric Garrison's Sinking Down Cover Reveal! New Bonnie Wasson Cover Art!

Seventh Star Press is proud to reveal the brand new cover art by Bonnie Wasson for Eric Garrison's forthcoming novel Sinking Down, Book Two in the Road Ghosts Trilogy!
  
Sinking Down is slated to come out in eBook next week, with print to follow within one week later. Sinking Down stars ghost hunters Brett and Liz, along with good ole "Uncle Gonzo". This time, instead of being chased by ghosts, they're on a cross-country race to save a poor little ghoul who's been kidnapped. Lots of surprises await, including Vampire LARPers (live action roleplayers) on a beach! This book also features the debut appearance of Skye, the main character of the spinoff series Tipsy Fairy Tales (to be published by SSP in 2014/2015).

The artwork was created by the award-winning Bonnie Wasson, who has been the artist for covers and interiors on the Road Ghosts series.
  
Full Sinking Down Synopsis: Paranormal investigators Brett and Liz find themselves back in over their heads when a forest hunt for a roadkill-eating creature offers up a little surprise. Back home with their ghoulish house guest, it becomes clear there’s more to this investigation than either of them thought. Worse than that, Brett's own fate is linked to the little ghoul's.

So it's back out on the road, with plenty of time for pit stops with a greedy ex, a convention of ghost hunters, partying with fake vampires, and even drinking and fighting alongside good ole Uncle Gonzo. But as the investigation goes deeper, and unseen connections come to light, Brett finds there’s much more at stake than getting through a rough patch with Liz.

A rescue mission. A race for a cure. New friends and old adversaries. Unbreakable bonds and supernatural danger. It’s going to be a wild ride. Can the friends save the nearly undead tween? Can she and Brett stop themselves from ...Sinking Down?

 About Eric: Eric Garrison is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and a cabal of cats. He also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape. Eric’s novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon.com during a promotion in July 2013. Seventh Star Press is the home of Eric's supernatural fantasy series, Road Ghosts, including Four 'til Late, Sinking Down, and the upcoming Me and the Devil.


Follow Eric's further adventures on http://sillyhatbooks.com

 This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.