Required Reading

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Mongrel Mage by L.E. Modesitt, jr

I am aware it is not a steampunk novel but
I love this rating graphic. 
Once again Modesitt provides an entertaining story with philosophic undertones that provoke thoughtful ponderings.   It may be a stretch to compare the plot to the very current brouhaha over Transgenders but in Modesitt’s world  if you are a mage, identification as to white or black can be a life or death decision.  Similar unthinking prejudice provides thoughts about the plot.

Beltur, a weak white mage, discovers things about himself that dramatically change his life.   The plot centers on his journey of self discovery and it is leavened with a tyrant’s attack on his new home.

Another thought that struck me was the title and use of mongrel is indicative of the strength of our nation.  The good old USA is made up of a wealth of ethnicities that meld together to a dynamic and vibrant population.   It is imperative that we do not let our politicians polarize us into reds and blues, we are all red white and blue.  This is the problem with Modesitt’s books, they make me think. (gasp!)

Modesitt suggests that a truly ordered mind would have difficulty dissembling.   Beltur discovers that hatred can be unthinking and have no basis besides erroneous perceptions.  In spite of the consistent pattern of Modesitt’s protagonists, I enjoy how each discovers their strengths and weaknesses and grows into a laudable character. 

I am a FAN!

I highly recommend.  

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Twelve Days by Steven Barnes

Barnes work is very thought provoking.  This story focuses on the untapped potential of the human brain.  It is touted as a paranormal thriller but frankly I believe there are many factors of the human brain that we have yet to identify, quantify or explore.  Consequently I would label this as a thriller and skip the paranormal.  What is normal anyway?

A charismatic cult leader has plans to change the world.  A small boy who is on the autistic spectrum may be the key to her success.  Standing in the way of her exploiting the child is a former military man with a martial arts background and a mother who adores her special needs child.

There is lots of action and questionable decisions in this book.  It was an enjoyable read.
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.