Review Round-up!

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I’ve had a great couple of weeks. Releasing Dead Sight has gone terrific with more downloads than I was expecting. At the same time, Dead Sleep has seen a resurgence in sales and has gotten some great new reviews as well. One of them just came rolling in right here from fellow author Thomas Robins. I’m flattered and can only hope I live up to his expectations.

On the note of reviews, I decided to take a bunch of reviews I’ve written up for Amazon and Goodreads the past three weeks and share them here as well. This is a great time to be a reader — the quality of books out there is just phenomenal. A few notes before I begin. No review yet for John Hancock’s ROOF. A great book that I had the pleasure to beta-read. From what I understand, John added at least another 5,000 words, so I’ve held off on an honest review until I re-read the book. Looking forward to it.

Also left out here are reviews for Andy Weir’s The Martian and Nick Coles’ The Old Man and the Wasteland. I’m going to save those to for a future blog as a compare/contrast piece. I would recommend both, without question.

As for the reviews….here they are:

 

ImageAll the questions we had from Pennsylvania 1…2…3 — so many of those questions get answered in spades. Of course, I won’t spoil it here, but you can read PA4 for yourself and discover all the secrets Michael Bunker had up his sleeve all along.
By the time PA4 opens, Jed is living in “New Pennsylvania” along with a number of other old-world Amish, while the swirl of war between Transport and TRACE continues all around. The after-effects from the cliffhanger at the end of PA3 are felt through the first few chapters and helps the reader to understand what is really going on in this story. As the tale continues, Jed (and the reader) is slowly brought up to speed on what is really going on.
Not to say that this segment is left without action — on the contrary. In fact, the ending is once again a heck of a kicker to lead into Part 5…which is a month away?! Great work, Mr. Bunker. You’ll have me waiting with bated breath for the epic conclusion to Jed and Dawn’s story.

 

ImageI hadn’t read a Travis Mohrman book before I decided to read Singular Points. I immediately regret that decision; his previous books will all be added to my “To Be Read” pile, but for now, let’s talk about SP.
What’s in the description is the basis for the book. A man, David, is grieving for his dead wife and stumbles upon another dimension and hidden powers he had as he works through his rage. His best friend, Brian, his sister, Debbie, and his dog are all faithful companions on his journey of discovery, which turns out to be a necessary moment of self-discovery when the fate of the entire world is at stake.
I loved the quiet moments where David and pals are discussing philosophy and their new-found powers, but towards the end, the book takes a left-turn into a…dare I say it…almost Dragonball Z type direction. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the payoff at the end and will gladly look forward to whatever Mr. Mohrman has up his sleeve in the future. Good work!

 

ImageTo tell you the truth, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew that Logan Snyder had this story called This Mortal Coil up his sleeve for a while now, but the details were always a bit sketchy. I purchased without really reading the description and then dove in, completely unaware of what I was getting myself into.
And in a way, that’s what our book’s hero, Willem, does as well. With amnesia at the beginning of the story, the only thing he knows is that there are people trying to kill him. A clever and resourceful protagonist, Willem eventually teams up with Theresa and a few others in an attempt to turn the tides on the hunters.
Along the trip, we discover this world right alongside of Willem and Theresa and find out there is a lot more to meet the eye than we previously thought. The action is tight and well-balanced against the dialogue as Snyer weaves this story to an epic conclusion.
One of the only complaints I would have is that this story is a novella, but the characters and story would lend itself quite well to a full-blown novel. At least one character, I felt, would have been more fully realized in a larger setting, but the story still works exceptionally well as written currently. If nothing else, it will give Mr. Snyder reason to return to this creative world. Well done!

 

ImageTime Travel books can be tricky to pull off and the ones that work can be revered. It’s a little too early to tell how good Paul Kohler’s Linear Shift will end up, but through the first two parts of his episodic story, he’s got a great start.
I liked Part 2 better than Part 1. There was more meat to this one. The first part was a brief introduction to Peter and how he fits into a mission to travel to 1942. Like Peter, the reader can feel frustrated by the lack of openness by his boss about the proposed mission and it’s only at the very end that we get a good picture of what is really going on.
If I have one complaint, it is that the time travel aspect of this time travel story is saved until the very end and teased until the final parts of this story, but the cliffhanger leading into Part 3 is fantastic. Instead of launching right in, however, Kohler gives the reader a lot more background and character development leading into the linear shift. At the pace he had going into the finale, Part 3 looks to be dynamite.

 

ImageLike Jason Gurley, I’m a father. Like Mr. Gurley, I have felt many times like I am abandoning her when I go to work. The first few years of my daughter’s life, my job forced me out of the house for 50-60 hours a week and little to show for it. Luckily, I was able to make a career change and be in my daughter’s life more since then, but the feelings resurfaced tonight as I read through The Dark Age.
I had gotten the digital file the day Jason published and I received the paperback a couple of weeks ago. But, I put off reading it. It isn’t long, but I still waited. I convinced myself I had other, more important things to do, but the fact is: I was scared. I knew what the story was about and I wasn’t sure that I could face my own inadequacies as a father while reading the story. I shouldn’t have waited, but my fears were certainly justified.
Jason Gurley has put into a very short story the feelings many working parents have and put it into the story of a man leaving Earth for over 100 years in the process. The heartbreak of not being there — ever. It hit really close to home. I am in awe of this story and will treasure my autographed copy. Well done, Mr. Gurley, and thank you.

 

ImageWhen Thomas Robins last left Ineeka at the end of Desperate to Escape, Part 1, we found out there was a LOT more going on than she could have even suspected. The mechanical problems that plagued her space shuttle were not simple after all.
So we start in on Part 2, fully expecting those situations to come to a head, but instead Robins takes the reader in a whole new direction. As always throughout DTE, we are kept grounded with Ineeka’s story of personal tragedy and triumph on earth years before she ended up on that space shuttle. Robins has a skill in telling the story of a woman constantly running from her past, whether that direction leads her around the United States, or around a space station.
The kicker to this tale comes at the end when we find out where Robins really intends to take this story. Any conceptions I had going into this book were changed in just a few pages. Well done — looking forward to Part 3 with bated breath.

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