Alphas: Origins by Ilona Andrews

I couldn’t do it. I’ve enjoyed some of the other Ilona Andrews books that I’ve read, but I couldn’t bring myself to like this one—not even a little bit. There are just some themes that should not be in fiction at all, and especially not mucking up decent SciFi and Fantasy.

And the number one theme that fits that category is the romance novel trope of Stockholm Syndrome.

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An Awesome Bundle of SciFi Books

Humble Bundle is doing an offer right now that I immediately had to purchase: Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy book bundle. At the lowest price point you get books like Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler and Kate Elliot’s Jaran. And since this is the Humble Bundle, you can pay as little as $1, and get some great books.

If you pay slightly more you’ll get Robin McKinley, more Octavia Butler, Elizabeth Hand, Jo Clayton, and others. And if you pay $15 or more you get even more books. This is a great deal for anyone who likes Science Fiction. I haven’t read every book in this bundle, but the ones I have are excellent. When I found out about this bundle I immediately went and paid for the top tier, as these are books I know I would want to read or re-read as the case may be.

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A Different Type of Urban Fantasy Series

InCryptid Series Review

InCryptid Series Review

Lately I’ve been filling my book shelves with urban fantasy books and I especially like reading books in a series. The benefit to a series is that if I like the characters and the books, there are more. I don’t have to wait. I hate waiting. 🙂 I first read the “October Daye” series by Seanan McGuire and when I ran out of books, I discovered her “Incryptid” series.

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Annoying Your Readers

The Twenty-Sided Sorceress Review

I’ve been reading the fast and fun series by Annie Bellet called The Twenty-Sided Sorceress series. I have read the first five books of this seven-book series. They are:

This is, as I said, a fast and fun series about a sorceress who is also a gamer. She plays Dungeons and Dragons, video games, and likes pop culture, especially nerdy pop culture. This means there are a lot of quips and quotes from a multitude of fantasy and scifi works. Fans, like myself, will enjoy the references and the apparent in jokes that she regularly works into the stories.

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Stealing Symbols & Souls Stole My Heart

There are some books that I wish would never end. I wish I could live in their world and follow the adventures of the characters forever. Stealing Symbols & Souls is one of those books. I started reading this book and couldn’t put it down. In fact, the way I got myself to put it down was by reminding myself that if I read it too fast it would be over. And since this is the first (hopefully) in a series of books about Stephanie Blackraven and her friends, there’s nothing yet to follow it. (Hint, Hint, D.T.…)

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Banished of Muirwood Book Review


When I first started reading this book I was pleased to see that it wasn’t just another cookie cutter high fantasy novel. The characters are interesting and the world is different enough from our world or other fantasy worlds to be engaging, but not so much that I was confused. It starts out like a coming of age story, with the main character, Maia, traveling with a hired killer called a kishion. She is either on the run or in hiding—it’s not clear which and has to make her way across some inhospitable lands to save herself and her kingdom.

But then confusingly, the timing would change and suddenly we’d be back seeing what her life was like as a young child and then growing up. After two or three abrupt shifts like that it becomes clear that she is reliving her past when she falls asleep. Those transitions are very rough, and I almost didn’t make it through the book because I didn’t understand what was going on. That type of writing device can be interesting, but it tends to jerk the reader out of the story. And I didn’t really like that.

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World War 97 Part 1

Update: Book Discontinued Prior to February 25, 2017

I just discovered that this book is no longer available for sale on Amazon, and I cannot find it anywhere. But I have left the review intact in case Mr. Normoyle reconsiders.

###Review of World War 97 Part 1

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I was not disappointed. In fact, if there was any disappointment at all, it was that it’s a serial and I had to wait to read Part 2. The story starts out quickly with a character who is immediately engaging and interesting. It’s a fun surprise to learn that his brother is the president of the United States. So often books star the obvious people, and I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a sibling of someone famous. Not that this book really answers that question…

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The Book Needs Work, But Hopefully the Author will Consider Resurrecting It

Resurrection by Zed Amadeo

I received a free copy of this book and it looked interesting. But this book is really more of a first draft than a final manuscript, no matter that it’s published and sold on Amazon. I have been in several writing groups for years and that experience combined with my own writing efforts makes me think that this story needs more work before it’s ready to be read.

Some of the problems I had with it include:

It’s written in first-person with mostly I-subject sentences. In other words, most of the sentences read: “I did this. Then I did that. I did something else. I felt this way, then I felt that way. And finally I did another thing.”

There is nothing wrong with first-person POV. But that’s only if the author doesn’t spend all of his or her time expounding on what “I” did. In fact, I can’t remember the name of the character, because most of the time she referred to herself as “I.” (Her name is Dina Durst.)

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Mystery, SciFi, Alternate History—It’s All Here

Different World: A Gina Stone MysteryThis story is hard to describe. It’s an alternate history story, but it’s set in modern day Seattle. It’s a modern crime investigation, but the deaths are being discovered in the 1800s. It’s science fiction, but it’s also a murder mystery.

I started reading this book and immediately got hooked. The main character, Gina Stone, is engaging and interesting. She presents a believable portrait of a beleaguered police officer who has decided to take a less stressful job in a small town. It’s just that her small town is New Essex and it’s across a portal in a world where the American revolution never happened.

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