Friday, February 24, 2017

Review_NLI-10 By Lee Isserow

NLI-10   (The APEX Cycle # 3)NLI-10 by Lee Isserow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: NLI-10 by Lee Isserow

Conspiracy theorists, rejoice! I couldn't put NLI-10 down. I love reading of a mega-corporate . Conspiracy so pervasive, so insidious, so all-consuming, with villains so sneaky (Fu Manchu would have admired this Dragon Lady). The concept of a human "operating system," of implants that allow the human brain to function as a computer, is not nearly so incomprehensible as it was even one decade earlier. With plausibility comes believability and this intensified the entertainment value of the story for me, resulting in a real page-turner.

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The Mask of Minos / Bruno's InfernoThe Mask of Minos / Bruno's Inferno by Robert Walton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review of THE MASK OF MINOS/BRUNO' S INFERNO by Robert Walton

Bon vivant archaeologist Harry Thursday returns in a second daring adventure, a quest with tentacles to the World Wars, and roots in the legends of ancient Crete. The Hyperboreans continue to trouble the waters as Harry is tasked by a secretive Federal agency to uncover the Mask of King Minos of Crete , the legendary son of Greek gods and father of the Minotaur. "Lost" since World War II, reputedly the Mask confers tremendous power. Who better to search it out and recover the Mask than intrepid Harry Thursday, the James Bond of archaeologists.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

review of IN THE BLOOD by Lee Isserow (THE BLOOD LIVES BOOK 1)

In The Blood: The Blood Lives (book 1)In The Blood: The Blood Lives by Lee Isserow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


By Lee Isserow

This initial installment of the paranormal/sci fi series IN THE BLOOD is an exciting, fast-paced, deeply emotional novella with an intriguing scientific premise. There really do exist monsters, “haemogoblins” which consist of, quite literally, blood: sentient, active, almost uncontrollable blood entities. Certain individuals carry these, and when threatened or in danger, the blood monsters are aroused and injure, even kill, the threats. Of course, secretive governmental agencies are formed to study, analyse, and combat the entities. Carriers, when possible, are trained. One such is Ben, whose mother was killed by a “monster” when he was very small.

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Review of ROAM by Erik Therme

RoamRoam by Erik Therme
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of ROAM by Erik Therme

Difficult to express how much I love this totally perfect, compactly-written, story. I loved it, loved it, loved it, finished it wanting to read it again immediately, and yes, it was a one-session straight readthrough. I've read the author's earlier books, MORTOM and RESTHAVEN, and enjoyed them immensely, so I leaped to read ROAM, which blew me away with its entertainment value combined with thrills, suspense, deep human emotions, mild violence (primarily offscreen), date abuse, familial psychological abuse, and so much else. This was akin to standing before a painting in a museum and watching it come to life and portray a vignette of life. ROAM is excellent. Don't miss it.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Review_CHALK by Paul Cornell

ChalkChalk by Paul Cornell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: CHALK by Paul Cornell

Paul Cornell became one of my favorite authors with his SHADOW POLICE series. His newest novel, CHALK, however, is completely different, set on the chalk downs of Wiltshire rather than in esoteric London. I found it an intriguing but disturbing read, a novel which is up front about bullying violence and its repercussions. It is also a story illuminating the dangers of awakening history. On one level, it could be viewed as a chronicle of mental disorder stimulated by traumatic violence [and certainly there are contemporary examples of that]. Beyond that view is a very intense paranormal framework, one which invokes entities, prehistory, and events of Roman Britain. Those who watched for Roman invasion still watch on. Whichever viewpoint one chooses to elicit the novel's themes, this story will shake up one's own received world view and refuse to be forgotten.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

GYPSY by Dan Foley_ Review

GypsyGypsy by Dan Foley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: GYPSY by Dan Foley

Gosh I love this book. It's compactly taut, requiring only a minimal suspension of disbelief. Starting with a carnival in Vermont in 1956 (a decent carnival, where the carnies demonstrate family feeling, not the horror show type often found in fiction), we the reader quickly discover that the carnie crew, and most of the townspeople are good guys. Unfortunately, the town does contain some bad apples--or rather, one monstrous (in both character and size, most unfortunately) and his personal cache of five acolytes, for whom he constantly plays his own version of Simon Says (or else). He is seemingly unstoppable; and not too stable. When he and his followers (not equal enough to be buddies) commit a horrid crime in July 1956, his own personal enabler, his brother the Sheriff, blows it away.

Fifty years later, a seventy-two-old man, a Vietnam vet, originally from New Jersey, happens into the carnival, mostly for distraction. With brain cancer, he only has three to four months to live--until he meets his destiny and finds his purpose, discovering himself returned to 1956. His hero's quest: to right a terrible wrong, to overturn a gross miscarriage of justice, and to wreak someone else's revenge. What a page-turner!

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Monday, February 6, 2017

RECOVERED by Amber Polo_Review

Recovered (The Shapeshifters' Library, #3)Recovered by Amber Polo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

2/06/17 (blog tour)

Review of RECOVERED by Amber Polo
[The Shapeshifters Library #3]

RECOVERED is a doggily-licious, dog-delightful story, and I can't wait to read this entertaining and imaginative series in full. In Southern Ohio, there is a pack of dog shifter Librarians (yes, you read that accurately), most of whom are late-in-life shifters, and other Librarians who are shifter friends. This small community also houses a more aggressive and generally unfriendly werewolf pack. The Dog shifters also maintain an academy for guiding and training the shifters, and are investigating and uncovering a mysterious Mound, which may contain the Library of the Ancients.

The characters are treasures, and their interaction is uplifting and heartwarming. The story is a positive joy, the kind of story that makes a reader happy to read it. If you like stories that raise your spirits, don't miss RECOVERED, and the series, THE SHAPESHIFTER'S LIBRARY.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

BLUE DEMON by David Bernstein_Review

Blue DemonBlue Demon by David Bernstein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: BLUE DEMON by David Bernstein

Who doesn't want justice served? Who doesn't think bullies, rapists, and murderers should be stopped, unable to commit further offenses?

BLUE DEMON is a story of justice taken to an extreme; of justice mutating into vengeance, of "an eye for an eye" doubled, even tripled. It's also the story of family strength, of loyalty, compassion, and love. The many tragedies that befall Dan, Jackie, and their son Cal are inexcusable and could have been avoidable (not by them, but by the perpetrators). But in the background there is one who patiently waits, and when called upon, avenges.

BLUE DEMON is a story with a heartwarming family suffering terrifically, and the imaginatively creative methods in which justice is delivered--permanently.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

WINTER TIDE by Ruthanna Emrys_Review

Winter Tide (The Innsmouth Legacy, #1)Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of WINTER TIDE by Ruthanna Emrys

WINTER TIDE will clearly be one of my favorites of 2017, and one of my all-time top novels in the Lovecraftian Mythos category. Appropriately in Women in Horror Month (February), I want to acknowledge the influence of two women horror writers, both of whom excel at play in the fields of The Lovecraft Mythos: Ruthanna Emrys, and Caitlin R. Kiernan. The writings of both are truly exceptional.

In WINTER TIDES, I am gifted with all that I seek in fantasy, all that I ask of science fiction, all I could imagine in Lovecraft's universes, and my mind is stretched beyond its usual capacity. Ms. Emrys waives any need for suspension of disbelief. Everything in the novel seems as real and as vivid as anything I might view through my windows. Innsmouth and Arkham; Miskatonic University and its sister institution, the Hall School; body thieving and the various species of humankind (people of the rock; people of the water; people of the air) are so vividly realised as to make them, indeed, real to readers. Even in its post-World War II setting, there are serious overtones reaching back to the U.S.'s interment of Japanese-Americans during that war, and forward to the political witch hunts in the 1950's by Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee in their quests to find Communists under each rock, and further to today's political climate and fear/hatred of the unknown (in this case, the “unknown” ethnicities, such as the “fish-folk” formerly of Innsmouth, and any practitioners of magic, and the Yith).

H. P. Lovecraft might in his day have taken exception to the idea of a female writer working in his Mythos, but I for one am very thankful that Ruthanna Emrys has chosen to expand on his foundation. I'll be rereading WINTER TIDES repeatedly, enclosing myself in its literate explications, reveling in the language and in the metaphysics of the Lovecraft Mythos.

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