Required Reading

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fury by Rachel Vincent


I read Spectacle and enjoyed it, this is the follow up. The stage was set with Spectacle and I would recommend reading it prior to this book as the back story is really important. Delilah, Gallagher and the others continue their journey in this book.   The story is more in the moment and less philosophical than Spectacle

Gallagher and Delilah are on the run as are all cryptids.  There is an outside influence that is loosely, vaguely and briefly alluded to that may be the cause of all of the aberrant problems.  It is never made clear if “others” are who set the stage for the mass murders that are blamed on the cryptids.  

The relationship of Gallagher and Delilah is given greater attention in this book.   The other cryptids are more of a supporting cast.   The confrontation with the surrogates leads to the conclusion of the book.

I enjoyed the work and 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, September 21, 2018

Time traders by Andre Norton


I have read Norton for more years and I can remember. This story says the first printing was in November of 2000. I suspect that it was printed by someone else prior to then. The technology is somewhat dated but Norton as a storyteller is outstanding. The US is in a race with the Russians to find a source of advanced technology. The race is because the Russians have found some trove of advanced technology and the US needs to prevent  the Russians from getting ahead of them.

This is a first book in the series. The protagonists are sent back in time to try and discover where the advanced technology the Russians have found originated. The story has a limited relationship to the Russians and more so to the adaptation of the protagonist to the advanced technology they discover.

Their adventures and explanations of alien culture provide the excitement to the book.

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.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Need an Illustrator For Your Book?

Introducing DART

Dani has illustrated 10 books for me.  I also produce books for clients and she has illustrated 6 books for them.  My web page is www.bentrim.info .  Click on Terrific Illustrator on the left hand tool bar to see examples of the work she has illustrated.   Her prices are very reasonable. 

I am posting this as a favor, no money changed hands for this recommendation.   Dani is attempting to go full time as an illustrator and needs more work.   Please take a look at a page on my web site to see examples of her work. 

She is available at:


Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Study in Honor by Claire O'Dell



This book is set in a not too distant future that is been impacted by the divisiveness of today's politics. You don't need to be clairvoyant to consider the impact that the divisiveness in our nation today could easily lead to a second Civil War. When the commander-in-chief is suggesting that we assault  our neighbor if they disagree with anything he says then you can see how this could lead to future Civil War.

 The protagonist is a surgeon who has lost her arm in a battle and is currently trying to survive on veteran’s benefits and a prosthetic arm that is insufficient to allow her to continue her profession as a surgeon.

Our protagonist is also black and this fact postulates that in that divisive near future skin color will lead to discrimination and anger. Our doctor is angry, angry at a society that is treated differently based on their color,  angry at a society that can have a civil war and angry about the loss of role of her arm.

She becomes embroiled with a woman who confuses her as to her motivations and talents.  The two of them seek to find what is truly the root cause of the many deaths and the destruction internally of a nation.

This book was really well done and you could feel the anger coming off the pages and say that was justified.

I highly recommend. 

After posting on Amazon, I read some of the other reviews, I don't do that before I write my own for obvious reasons.   I was surprised at the number of people who got hung up on a Sherlock Holmes comparison that seemed like a stretch to me.   

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, September 11, 2018

The Rift Coda by Amy S. Foster


This is a third book and an excellent trilogy.  Foster has created a very strong female protagonist and brings the three book series to a very satisfactory conclusion.

Ryn has matured through the 3 books.  I enjoyed how she learned to deal with maturity.  The plot does a nice job of showing how cooperation even among those who are radically different is necessary to achieve some goals.

I have seen this series as a young adult series and I was a bit put off at how detailed Foster made the final connection between Ryn and Levi.  It is probably naivety on my part to think that young readers are not familiar with everything Foster suggested.   I just thought the final connection was more detailed than it needed to be. 

I enjoyed the book and the series however I will not be giving it to my granddaughter. 

The other books in the Trilogy




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, September 6, 2018

Cyberstorm by Matthew Mather


This book was entirely too frightening considering the incredible amount of technology that is dependent upon communication. If you take out the net think about all of the things that are currently connected to each other via the internet and what would happen if none of it work.

The author does an excellent job of showing a post Armageddon type of reaction in community as densely populated as New York City.

The characters are well portrayed as having faults and flaws and having altogether too human responses to the collapse of society.

Hopefully those with the ability to cripple our infrastructure will recognize the crippling one nations infrastructure in today's interdependent world could easily lead to a worldwide catastrophe.

I can't say I enjoyed the book as much as I found frighteningly plausible

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

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Star Nomad:Fallen Empire, Book 1 by Lindsay Buroker


For those of you who read my reviews, you are already aware that I really like butt kicking female protagonists.   If you haven’t read my reviews (or any of my Charlotte series picture books) then take note, I really like strong female protagonists.   I am mystified as to the number of closet misogynists who are unable to understand that strong female characters are essential in helping young women to reach their potential.  Or, maybe they are aware and are terrified of the result.  Digression is part of my nature, while a teacher some of the best class reactions came from going down an unexpected path and discovering new and wondrous things.  However this book is about a down and almost out fighter pilot after an interstellar war.   Her goal is to retrieve her daughter but she needs a star ship to get there.   Along the way she gathers a motley mixed crew and faces dire circumstances.

Buroker has an easy to read style that draws you into the story.   She provides a hard core fighter pilot with a crusty shell who has a strongly developed conscience and a reluctantly open mind.   The quirky support cast provides both humor and depth to the story.   Beck is the first armored warrior I’ve encounters who is also a grill master.

This story has plenty of action, some good role models and provides good old fashioned entertainment. 

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.