Friday, March 31, 2017

EMBERS by Kenneth W. Cain_Review

Embers: A Collection of Dark FictionEmbers: A Collection of Dark Fiction by Kenneth W. Cain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of EMBERS by Kenneth W. Cain

A sterling single-author collection, EMBERS is the third short story collection by prolific author Kenneth W. Cain. For readers who haven't encountered Mr. Cain, here is a wonderful introduction. Prepare for the stretching of your mind and the expansion of your imagination as Kenneth W. Cain boldly goes into unexplored territory, sometimes speculative, other times horrific, but always enlightening. My recommendation is sample one story at a time, taking time to savor the enjoyment or to reel from the horror; then let the story sink in.

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Dark Designs: Tales of Mad ScienceDark Designs: Tales of Mad Science by Thomas S. Flowers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I cannot highly enough rave about the DARK DESIGNS Anthology, edited by Thomas S. Flowers and Duncan Ralston (both of whom also contributed stories), and comprising 15 exceptional stories. I have my personal specific favorites, of course, based on my own preferred horror flavours, but each entry is exciting, intriguing, and yes, horrifying. I love science, and off-the-track science as presented here is, well, mind-boggling. (smile)

All proceeds from this outstanding anthology go to “Medicin San Frontiers” (Doctors Without Borders).

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Review_MJ-12: INCEPTION by Michael Martinez

Mj-12: Inception: A Majestic-12 ThrillerMj-12: Inception: A Majestic-12 Thriller by Michael J. Martinez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: MJ-12: INCEPTION
by Michael Martinez

I am so excited that MJ-12: INCEPTION is the first in a new series by author Michael Martinez. This novel is totally engrossing, and will appeal to any readers who love science fiction, history, conspiracy theories, espionage thrillers, and riveting writing with well-delineated characters and heart-in-mouth suspense. Back in 1945, at the U.S. Atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, an anomaly was “created,” directly below the atmosphere point at which the bomb exploded. Meanwhile, Nazi scientists predicted such, and secured subterranean chambers under the former Reich Chancellery in Berlin (even though that portion of Berlin was by then under Soviet control). They also managed to create conditions to which a similar anomaly appeared. As the years roll forward, the U.S. “captures” the Hiroshima anomaly and installs it at Groom Lake in Nevada: Area 51. The Soviets transfer theirs to a neuropsychological institute in Leningrad. Both sides battle for supremacy in understanding and utilitizing individuals who have been tracked, targeted, and changed by the anomalies: “Variants.” Many in both governments fear the Variants' divergent superpowers, and many others see them as future superweapons. Very few except Lieutenant Commander Daniel Wallace any longer recognise them as humans.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

BACKLASH by S. A. Hoag_Review

Backlash (Wildblood #0.5)Backlash by S.A. Hoag
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of BACKLASH by S. A. Hoag

BACKLASH is an exciting non-stop YA thriller, post-apocalyptic, with elements of Dystopia and science fiction, as well as a flavour of romance and young love. Sixteen years after World War Last, life is difficult, often made more so by Nomads and Scavengers. Protection and defense are lessons learned early. Young people, including adolescents, are trained as Scouts and Guardians. A minority are genetically engineered and have developed psychic capacities. If you love apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, if you love a fast-paced character driven YA with an easy suspension of disbelief (it could happen, after all!) and characters you can love to relate to, BACKLASH is a super choice.

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Monday, March 20, 2017


Book of Elements (The Everlasting Throne, #0)Book of Elements by Samuel E. Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Samuel E. Green and Dylan D. Oscar

(The Everlasting Throne Book 0, Prequel)

This delightful fantasy novella introduces the series “THE EVERLASTING THRONE.” Our feckless hero Deobard is seventeen years old, living with his mother since his father “disappeared” when he was very young. He studies with the Archivists in the city, and during summers at the isolated castle, he is under the tutelage of the caretaker, whom he considers a fanciful and out-of-touch old man. For several years he has tried every summer to enter “the forbidden tower,” unsuccessfully until now. Suddenly, after the caretaker allows two men and a young girl to enter the Tower, Deobard can sneak in. Eventually he finds a small library and a single book set out, as if purposely. Stealing the book, he returns to his room, only to discover that not only can he read the text, when he returns to the tower he can incant spells. Major change for a young man who thinks history is bunk, dead languages are useless, and magic doesn't exist. The authors suffuse this story with an unending vein of subtle humour, enabling the reader to both acknowledge the characters as fallible, and simultaneously to empathise with their quests.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

THE GENESIS CONSPIRACY by James D. Prescott_Review

The Genesis ConspiracyThe Genesis Conspiracy by James D. Prescott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE GENESIS CONSPIRACY by James D. Prescott

A fast-paced, imaginatively-premised, near-futuristic thriller with elements of science fiction, THE GENESIS CONSPIRACY rockets from contemporary maritime archaeology back to prehistory. Solidly grounded in both academia and corporate megalomania, the novel focuses on Dr. Martin Anders, an archaeologist, whose need for continuing research funding leads him into strange and dangerous venues. In the race to eradicate a fatal pathogen unearthed from a glacial, Anders and other scientists must open their minds to completely impossible viewpoints, or risk the extinction of the human species.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

EVIL SPEAKS by S. Woffington_Review

Evil SpeaksEvil Speaks by S. Woffington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of EVIL SPEAKS by S. Woffington
{Warriors and Watchers Saga Volume 1}

What a delightful and absorbing book! I was captured from the first page, eager to jump into the lives of these wonderful characters, who exist within contemporary American society, yet also reside in a kind of otherworldly “dimension,” where Fate (in the classical sense) makes the rules and we must follow its directives. Fifteen-year-old Benny has been “on the run” with his mother Neeve since he was three. He believes his father to be dead. His grandfather is a kingpin in a sort of organized crime syndicate. But there is so much more to this than meets the eye, including shapeshifting monsters, gods of the classic world (Greek, Egyptian, Indian subcontinent, Babylonian, Hopi, and more), and seven “orphaned” adolescents (including Benny) who were “found” and who are harbored at the OneWorldAcademy in upstate New York. Benny's arrival there proves the catalyst for the six to desire to discover their own “truths,” and eventually to battle untold evil. I'm so glad this is the first of a series. It's well-written, encouraging, and compelling. EVIL SPEAKS exemplifies all the reasons I first began to read YA fiction, and inspires me to continue to seek out this genre.

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CAMP SO-AND-SO by Mary McCoy_Review

Camp So-and-SoCamp So-and-So by Mary McCoy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

CAMP SO-AND-SO by Mary McCoy

I am ecstatic that I bought this book, because I found it totally enrapturing. It's sort of Appalachian rural fantasy plus Fae plus twists and turns that try the most intellectuallt brilliant reader, scares and dangers that awaken even the most jaded reader, and the coming-of-age of a sizable number of characters. There is brainwashing and personality separation, warmth and affection (possibly even love), friendship and tension and fear. In short, the novel has about everything, including a setting, a premise, and a plot line that is so outre, yet so engrossing. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say: if you love “urban fantasy” played out in a scenic mountainous setting; if you love fairy tales or the classic Greek gods and their ilk; if you cheer for strong female characters (both “good” and villainous are included); if you sympathize with weakness and empathize with characters who have failings, read CAMP SO-AND-SO.

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

BROKEN RIVER by J. Robert Lennon_Review

Broken RiverBroken River by J. Robert Lennon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


BROKEN RIVER is a deeply complex, multi-layered novel of literate noir: a novel encompassing mental disorder, crime, marital collapse, crime, coming-of-age, illusion and delusion (other-directed and self-indicted), psychopathy, narcissism, cancer, drug use, creativity, an isolated unappealing house that is at the center of all these variegated threads. There is also an entity, the Observer, which inexplicably comes into being the night of the "first" crime, and which finally a dozen years later, comes into FULK realization of itself and its nature as a witness of humanity.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

THE DRAGON ORB by Mike Shelton_Review

The Dragon Orb (The Alaris Chronicles Book 1)The Dragon Orb by Mike Shelton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE DRAGON ORB by Mike Shelton
(The Alaris Chronicles Book 1)

THE DRAGON ORB is the first in a new series which I categorize as YA fantasy (based on the ages and maturity levels of the three protagonists). AllI, Roland, and Bakari are youthful wizards in Alaris, a land ruled by judges. Alli is a battle wizard, Roland a counselor wizard, and Bakari a scholar-wizard. When a rebellion commences, and the barrier falls, all three must demonstrate talent, courage, and resolution.

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