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Book Blog

February 25, 2024

Butcher & Blackbird (Review)

ooookay. So this was a weird one. I was talking books with a surgery-follow-up doctor and I asked for a recommendation (as a reader, it is the most precious gift I can grant another reader). This female doc was listening to this book on audible and really liked it. You be the judge. So Butcher & Blackbird is chick-lit at its most extreme. The two characters (kinda from the title, but properly named Sloane and Rowan) are both serial killers. To make them sympathetic, their victims are the lowest of society – other serial killers if they can, drug dealers […]
February 19, 2024

Destroyermen 8: Storm Surge (Review)

eesh. So here we are on book eight of this series. The world (and cast of characters) keeps expanding with the realization of the existence of a new race (South Africa), mounted riders led by (of all things) a Czech (in Northern India) and a crazy change to our world over in the Dominion area (over in South America). So we resolve India and the double stalemate there (and nobody seems happy about it), our wonder weapons – those P-40s – finally get deployed (that was fun). And the crazy Silva gets to break more things (as he is prone […]
February 12, 2024

Shuna’s Journey (Review)

ound this one in a coffee shop/game store, the same place I found “Lupin III“. This one was an early work from Hayao Miyazaki (yeah, the Spirited Away, Porco Rosso, Kiki’s Delivery Service guy). This one is set in a world very much like Valley of the Wind, very open, very vast, with ruins and left-over tech littering the landscape. The characters are Tibetan in appearance (just like Valley). They even have the riding elks, always a classic. Anyway, in this, a young prince wanders to the west, looking for seed stock to replace his villages worn-out seeds. It’s all […]
February 4, 2024

Destroyermen 7: Iron Gray Sea (Review)

he seventh book in the Destroyermen series finds (finally) that the author has given us a break and actually included a list of characters in the front (eleven pages – that’s how big this war has become). So in the west, the first fleet in this “prehistoric” world battles to take India from the monstrous Grik, only to overextend and be encircled. An airlift keeps them supplied, but how long can they hold out? Meanwhile, in the east, the English based out of the Hawaiian islands continue the war with the Doms (Spanish time-castaways who have infested South America with […]
January 21, 2024

Tales from Watership Down (Review)

ne of my most influential books on my writing and storytelling was Richard Adams’ Watership Down. While the story is reviewed by me HERE, it is, in a nutshell, a story of an epic quest and a stirring battle as a band of rabbits leave a doomed warren for their holy high ground, which is Watership Down (a hillock in England). Anyone I respect as a reader has cracked this one open. Great story. I even convinced a mother and her daughter to read it as related HERE. Got a Christmas card from them and they have completed (and loved […]
January 14, 2024

Lupin III: Thick as Thieves (Review)

wasn’t going to buy anything other than coffee when my wife and I visited a cafe/comic/game/manga store. But when I saw Lupin III: Thick as Thieves, a manga (Japanese comic) on their shelf and looked it over, okay, had to have it. For those of you who don’t pay attention to things on the other side of the globe, the Lupin III phenomena is a popular and timeless Japanese story about Lupin, the grandson of the famous French Gentleman Thief (with one of the books of that series reviewed HERE). This new fellow is a comical character, with his monkey-face […]
January 7, 2024

ImPossible Histories (Review)

eah, I’ve read Turtledove. And Dick. And all the famous alternate historical fictions. Even tried my hand with Early ReTyrement. Historical fictions can be fun to read and even to contemplate. But then comes Im-Possibe Histories by Hal Johnson. On one hand, this book about ways the world could change was well-thought out. in others, it was a laf-riot. Johnston has a witty sense of humor that he sprinkles across interesting ways that history might have changed if something had gone elseways. Some of them are far reaching in fallouts one couldn’t see coming. Some are funny and obviously dead ends […]
December 31, 2023

The Master and Margarita (Review)

he Master and Margarita, from the Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, is an odd birthday present to get. In fact, outside of the smiling black cat on the cover (with a weird forked tongue), I didn’t “get” why my wife gave this to me as a present. I mean, outside of Anna Karenina (which I read so long ago it isn’t even on my book review list), I don’t do much Russian Literature. Then my wife reminded me – this was the book Sonja was reading when Ove first met her (from A Man Called Ove). Her eyes sparkled when she […]
December 24, 2023

Rail Fiction Classics (Review)

swear I borrowed this years ago because when a downsizing friend dumped it in front of me, I snatched it up. So let’s get to it – Rail Fiction Classics  carries three sections, as follows: The Nerve of Foley and Other Railroad Stories by Frank Spearman in 1900: Written in the time and phrase of the turn of the last century, these quick tales pretty much cover the same storyline; a railroad in crisis (strike, excess cargo, winter storms) and the frantically brave engineers who have to fight these impediments to get their train to its destination (or die, occasionally, […]
December 17, 2023

Fool’s War (Review)

n interesting scifi from the used shelves at the local bookseller. Every ship in space takes weeks, even months, to get somewhere. Ships don’t stay staffed; they hire up most of the professionals they will need before each trip. And in Fool’s War, one of the professionals you need is a “fool”, that being a professional jester, guild certified, who comes aboard and does Tomfoolery for the benefit of the crew – you’ll even get a rating bonus if you do. So the Pasadena, captained and partially owned by the very Turkish, very Muslim Katmer Al Shei, is setting out […]