Another 5-Star review for Bob Drifter!

Another 5-Star review for Bob Drifter!

2017-02-23-bob-drifter-coverI always love feedback. It’s even more awesome when the reader enjoys my work.  I just wanted to share this 5-star review for The Journals of Bob Drifter. Writing is pretty much a war of dedication and attrition. Reviews like this help keep a writer going.  You can read this newest one here.

Book Review: Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson

Book Review: Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson
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Cover image used for review purposes under fair use.

Character:  Davis and Chaz are interesting enough characters. Chaz isn’t likable at all, but that’s what makes him compelling. I found myself reading the book more just to find out what he wouldn’t do with the power he had. Davis is the more compelling and interesting character (he’s the main character after all). I found his arc sad. He’s a man trying to prove himself in every way, but the path he’s chosen isn’t one that will prove what matters most. What disappointed me about this was the end. Sure, the plot twist was as surprising as any Sanderson novel, but what I gained on the satisfaction of a clever plot twist, I lost in association with a character.

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Photo by Nazrilof. Image taken from Mr. Sanderson’s website. 

Description: Here Sanderson does something clever that kept me turning pages. There’s a detail thought the book that just drives a reader crazy trying to imagine all the way to the end. It’s a pleasant little mystery just for the reader, and I would have burned through the book just to find out the answer to that riddle.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

A 5-Star Review for Caught

A 5-Star Review for Caught

caught-front-coverI came home from work yesterday to a wonderful surprise. I have a new 5-Star review for Caught on Goodreads. I’m always grateful for reviews of any type. Feedback is how authors get better. That said, when those reviews are positive and with a bunch of starts, well, that makes my day!  Check out the review here to see what one reader thought of the new book!

Book Review: Betrayer’s Bane by Michael G. Manning

Book Review: Betrayer’s Bane by Michael G. Manning

Character:  I’ve spoken about sympathy a few times, and I always made it a point to mention there is a distinction between sympathy and likability. Tyrion, and most of this cast, are horrible. The only thing more horrid than their actions is what was done to place them in this path. I had an advantage here that I don’t think other readers had. I read this book first. Now I’m eagerly reading the first book in the series simply to find out how Tyrion came to be the way he is and act the way he acts.  He’s a brilliant character with devastating flaws that are all born of circumstances he couldn’t control. Readers will rip through the pages to find out if he can at least control himself.

Description: I’m pretty forgiving with description. If anyone argued that it was a bit hard to see some of the characters, I probably wouldn’t punch him, but the placement of the descriptive phrases allows my imagination to take over, which is preferable to me than painting a scene with words.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

A 4-Star review for Bob!

A 4-Star review for Bob!

2017-02-23-bob-drifter-coverI just wanted to share a new review for The Journals of Bob Drifter that just posted. I don’t care how many reviews, good or bad, I get; I’m always happy to see them. I’m honored when someone takes the time to read and review my book. If you’re curious about what was said, head on over here and have a  look!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Audiobook Review: Our Crime was Being Jewish by Anthony S. Pitch

Audiobook Review: Our Crime was Being Jewish by Anthony S. Pitch

51HTORYAzBL._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_I’ve been working on Perception of War for the better part of two years now (off and on). As I started drafting the first book in that series (Images of Truth), I felt it was necessary to do some research.  The backdrop of this science fiction series pulls from WWII and the Holocaust.  I care about that event. I respect it, so I want to do it justice. I didn’t want to just write.  I took great care in finding unfiltered, personal stories about what Jewish people went through in those days.

Our Crime was Being Jewish by Anthony S. Pitch was exactly that. Where I was afraid I’d be too dramatic or flippant, I learned something horrible.  There simply is not depraved act or inhumane torture I could dream up that’s even on par with what narrators Mark Williams and Fenella Fudge had to retell.

I usually burn through books (especially on audio), but it was just too hard.  Then I heard one of the later records.  A woman called those who don’t listen cowards.  For people to have gone through it, and others to refuse to act as witnesses to those acts so that humanity might never again see such wrongs is selfish, according to the file.

I think speaking further on how this audiobook made me feel would only sound self-indulgent or ignorant. So what I have to say is if you want to really know, to really understand, what those people went through on every level, this book does that. It’s a simple record. Each anecdote is backed up by a specific file number and reference point. I wanted to learn more, and I think this book deserves, maybe even demands, to be read. It’s the history of a people crying out to be remembered.

Williams and Fudge did an amazing job bringing these records to life. History such as this needs to be remembered.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: Hidden Magic: The Portal Opens by C.C. Rae

Book Review: Hidden Magic: The Portal Opens by C.C. Rae
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This image and all other images were taken from C.C.  Rae’s website for review purposes only under Fair Use doctrine. It’s done with the intention of bringing attention to the author and her work.

Character:  So I have to admit a bias here. This is absolutely a YA book.  With that said, there are some aspects of YA storytelling that I’m personally not a fan of, but fans of YA don’t mind at all.  The biggest issue is the decision making and reactions of the characters.  I liked this aspect least of all the parts of this book because it’s just hard to believe everyone would just roll with some of the things that happened in this story. I don’t find YA in general believable. Now, this is a personal bias of mine, and I want it known that this isn’t a break from what most YA does. I’d just appreciate the genre more if the characters didn’t just roll with the plot so easily. I’m most angry at the father in this story. I’m not blessed to be a father, but I’m an uncle, and there’s no way on earth I’d just roll with things the way this main character’s dad rolls with things. If you like YA, and you don’t mind this aspect, go for it because there are some very cool aspects to this book. While hard to believe, the characters are indeed proactive. I wouldn’t exactly call them sympathetic, but I’l give mad props to Gordon. He’s the character I was most drawn to, but he has the least air time.  Why read a book outside of your genre? Because you have to stretch. I admit my bias in this review because I can not like rap music but still appreciate what it does well.  My distaste for the genre in general doesn’t erase my ability to give credit to what the author does well.

picture-4World building:  Bonus points for Rae here.  You see, she and I are both from Yuma, Arizona!  Why does that matter? The book is set in Yuma.  Now I have to deduct a point because I’m a Criminal, and she sets the scene closer to Cibola High School.  (At least it wasn’t Kofa.) I know…that doesn’t mean much to you dear readers, but imagine a book set in your hometown? Wouldn’t you geek out? I did.  Oh…That reminds me, I discovered this book while home on leave. I met Miss. Rae at a local bookstore and bought her book (with an autograph of course).  So she has my support! Now that the home town angle is sufficiently covered, the world building is interesting.  The idea the our world and a magical world goes back to the days of Lewis. What I like is the explanation for this, and how that explanation drives the plot by providing conflict. I’d hope that future books explain more of how the source of the portal came to exist, but that’s what series do. The magic system is fairly soft right now. But I’m okay with that because magic is more of a source of strife and conflict than plot resolution.

Description: This is solid. It’s not vivid or entrancing, but it’s not overly vague. I probably could have used a bit more detail here and there, but I’m way more glad I didn’t get a description of every blade of grass or article of clothing. The characters are visually stronger in my mind than most settings (though the location of the final conflict is pretty clear to me).

Thanks for reading,

Matt