I’ll admit Necromancer Awakening has one of the most gripping opening chapters I’ve seen. Nicholas Murray, archeology student, is getting ready for his adoptive father’s funeral – a man who took him on as a teenager and got him where he is now – when supernatural visions cloud his sight and he’s sucked into another world before his girlfriend’s eyes.
I’m afraid the first third of the book was a struggle to get through. While I acknowledge that being yanked away from everything you’ve ever known would be stressful and disorienting, the cliché of whiny, clueless protagonists and grumpy, impatient mentor-figures gets old fast. Continue reading
We Are More Than Memories
Ex-assassin Azriel Odin – who has been working with the police to counter organized crime – lands on the mafia-controled planet of Barracus to meet a friend from ten years ago – and his own brother – who now hope to defect to the police.
Meanwhile, a young man called Delta-Six wakes in a forbidding facility with no memory. He’s told that his memory was wiped after an escape attempt, and that if he cooperates with certain “tests” he’ll be released.
What can I say? This game’s premise grabbed me from the start, and with the gameplay, puzzles, characters, story, and ending, it delivered an experience that still has me in “game-hang-over.” Continue reading
On the planet of Netaia, Firebird Angelo comes from a royal family that rules the stratified civilization with a rigid tradition of honor and detailed religious code. As an extraneous heir, Firebird faces the obligation of suicide once her older sister delivers a second child. Meanwhile, her planet nation prepares for war against the nearby Federation of planets.
While easily melodramatic, this sci-fi culture is handled well, the characters are nuanced and compelling, and the book overall was one I enjoyed. Continue reading
This book has a lot going for it: secret agent vibe, engaging plotting style, and the feeling of a learner’s guide for real-world hacking infiltration.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend it without some major caveats. Continue reading
Love is dynamite, every woman a detonator, and every man a fuse. In the hand of God, it builds castles…in the hand of man, it destroys cities.
This book felt like more allegory than story, and at 1800 words it felt like I sped through it. Although I’m much less familiar with the original “Beauty and the Beast” than I was with “The Fisherman and His Wife,” this retelling felt less like the Disney version and more like Taming of the Shrew. Continue reading
When a poor fisherman fishes up a magical fish promising to grant him any wish he desires, he and his wife must decide just what to wish for…and when to stop wishing.
I was familiar with this classic fairy tale, but author Suzannah Rowntree gave it both some eery twists and some captivating background-color. Continue reading
In Loom, we take on the role of Bobbin Threadbare, an inexperienced member of the Guild of Weavers, who must quickly master the magical arts of the Weavers to travel the lands of the Guilds and battle Chaos.
While the gameplay is pretty simplistic and the humor child-friendly, Loom provides genuine entertainment for the undemanding fantasy fan. Continue reading
In the good old simple days, when boys did chores instead of play video games and parents could be efficiently disposed of in farming accidents…Ten-year-old Joshua Jones is perfectly content living with his grandpa, great-uncle, and teenaged aunt “Auntie Lou”. Continue reading
Conversational, Accessible Tip-sheet
Jordan Smith’s previous work Finding The Core Of Your Story was a step-by-step guide to composing a logline – a one sentence summary of the “through-line” of a book’s plot. This is especially useful for authors trying to clarify and market their own works, but a logline can also be fun for readers eager to share their favorite reads with others.
For those (like me) who love to see things in action and so love examples, Loglines In The Wild provides eight case studies of real independent authors crafting loglines to help them with writing and marketing their ideas. Continue reading
Science. Darkness. Vigilante justice.
Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens allegedly said, “A classic is a book which everyone praises, yet nobody reads.” The inverse is equally applicable, in that a book which everyone is forced to read in high-school English is not, for that reason, a good book.
Published in 1886, A Study in Scarlet is the first story about Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. It introduces the world-famous champion of logic, the private “consulting detective” who specializes in solving sensational cases while patronizing the dumbstruck narrator, Dr. Watson. Continue reading