The cover art of Will Alers’ Origins: A Descent into The Wicked promises an epic and high-concept science fiction adventure story with bold splashes of horror, and that is exactly what you get when you pick up this novel.
The story begins with a prologue of interviews involving miners who encountered the mysterious substance only known as “Dream Matter.” “It turned us into savages,” Prisoner #15 says, giving readers a sense of dread right from the beginning of this story and elevating the level of intrigue early. “Having children became a rare commodity; food became scarce.” This is a promising start to a novel with an intellectually stimulating premise.
After the prologue, we meet our hero Samuel O’Dalis – an everyman who unwillingly discovers an ancient inter-dimensional alien species that threatens to destroy the very fiber of reality. This dark science fiction story reminds me of the literature of H.P. Lovecraft combined with the Alien franchise.
Video games have gotten pretty good over the years, and the dialogue in Origins sounds to me like it could have been from some forgotten video game in the early 2000’s. Or maybe I just played a lot of alien invasion video games. While the characters are interesting, I thought that their dialogue could have been more streamlined and grounded.
This is a high concept science fiction story with a lot of thought put into the ideas and science behind this epic fantasy world. There is a lot of time spent explaining all the different concepts and technical aspects of a variety of things throughout the story. Readers who like to delve deep into the technical aspects of a story and immerse themselves in the details of a fully fleshed out world will have plenty to enjoy in Will Alers sci-fi epic.
Just like the ancient alien species that terrorizes the world of Will Alers’ Origins, there is a good story lurking within these pages. Origins: A Descent into The Wicked is a fascinating alien invasion story with thought-provoking ideas inside of a detailed world.
Pages: 94 | ASIN: B09DQ9XMCW
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Uncle Bill’s Missing Tooth takes readers on a lyrical journey to discover the truth behind a missing tooth. Uncle Bill is missing one of his front teeth and the children play a guessing game to find out how he had lost it. We follow the children through this fantastical, and sometimes bizarre, mystery that is entertaining and fun from cover to cover. I was even guessing how he had lost the tooth, but I was wrong, as were the children, but don’t worry by the end of the book the mystery is solved and readers will surely have a laugh.
The book tells a fun story with wonderful illustrations in a unique combination of watercolor and sketch art that is very appealing. The rhymes were creative and funny and will keep young readers engaged with each guess. I really enjoyed the imagination that went into each guess and I thought the accompanying images really exemplified the situation in a humorous way.
Uncle Bill’s Missing Tooth is an imaginative children’s book that will inspire the imagination as it takes readers on a mini mystery that begs to be solved.
Pages: 36 | ASIN: B09B2JRPHY
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You know the saying ” Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer”. This saying couldn’t apply to someone more so than Grant Davis. He’s a man that woke up one morning only to discover his world had been turned upside down by his so called friends that are dedicated to his demise. But with friends like these, who needs enemies?
Now, Grant is running for his life from both sides of the law!
WHO OKAYED THIS?! This is the diary of the riveting life of Grant Davis.
Posted in book trailer
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Enough to Make the Angels Weep by Ernesto Patino is the story of a private detective investigating a murder case that has been cold for four years. Detective Joe Coopersmith follows the trail which leads to several more dead bodies and a conspiracy over 150 years in the making.
A hidden diary recounts the little-known events of Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine, eager to make a new life in America. They joined the US Army for the promise of good pay and found themselves in a war with Mexico which pitted them against members of their own Catholic faith.
This book reads like an old gumshoe novel. I kept picturing Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade in the Maltese Falcon. I heartily enjoyed reading this riveting historical fiction novel. While the bulk of the story is fiction, there really was a St. Patrick’s Battalion made up of Irish soldiers who fought on the side of the Mexicans during the Mexican American War. This is a fascinating true story told in a very interesting way, which kept me turning the pages as I read with great interest to see how the author was going to tie these events to the murder Detective Coopersmith was investigating.
The author remains focused on the Irish soldiers, highlighting their contribution to history throughout the story. This is certainly a fascinating piece of history that I didn’t know about and appreciated learning about. I felt that the mystery driving the story forward could have used a stronger motive to explain the murders, but it serves as a decent vehicle to deliver an intriguing murder mystery in a historical setting.
Enough to Make the Angels Weep is a captivating war fiction novel with fantastic historical elements that color the entire novel. This enthralling murder mystery is filled with compelling characters that will entertain any fans of crime fiction or historical fiction novels grounded in reality.
Pages: 218 | ASIN: B09FJ4Q136
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Chindi by Timothy Bryan begins in Northeastern California in the fall of 1862, diving into the story of a man named Abraham. As Abraham and his brother Billy dig something up in the rural landscape, they find a horrifying skull that strikes fear deep into their hearts. The story then travels across the plains to find a Native man named Chief Hakan as he discovers the bodies of a murdered family. He assumes the worst—that their tribe is being attacked.
The meat of the story begins with conflict. After the shocking deaths of many good people, Lieutenant Crook realizes that the Native Americans must be attacking white settlers. This spurs him to ready his men for battle, as more disastrous deaths occur around them. As we watch him struggle to understand why the conflict is happening, we learn that Abraham has been possessed by a being named Chindi—as he traverses the landscape, he collects the bodies of the dead, raising them to join him in his trek.
I found Chindi to be a harrowing story that explores history while emphasizing elements of horror. I loved the action throughout the story, and found Crook’s battles with the creature haunting and intriguing. As Crook and his men learned of the demons entering the bodies of the dead, I felt their fear along with them, completely entranced by the terrifying tale.
I would have liked to see even more description of the actual monsters. I had a hard time picturing the creatures at first, but I was thankful when Bryan explored the fearful aspects of their appearance. However, I sometimes felt that the increased dialogue took away from the atmospheric terror.
If you’re a fan of horror stories, Chindi takes the idea of a classic western and turns it into something absolutely haunting. I loved the unique nature of the monsters and enjoyed how history played a part in this spooky story. I recommend it to anyone looking for an exciting and scary read this Halloween season.
Pages: 243 | ASIN: B09FSCS87K
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Memoir of a Nerd shares your personal stories growing up in the ’50s and the hilarious situations you got into. Why was this an important book for you to write?
My children and friends are used to me telling stories about the countless strange and humorous situations I found myself in, and they encouraged me to “write them down.” I feel fortunate to have had a very full and satisfying life and felt compelled to share my story with others.
There were a lot of humorous situations in the book. What is a moment in the book that makes you laugh every time you think about it?
My favorite story is the chapter titled “A McDonald’s Bag of Cash.” I cashed a check for over $18,000, and the only thing the teller had to put it in was a used McDonald’s bag. My second favorite is the chapter “Déjà vu,” about a prank we played on a fellow missionary.
What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?
Life is better when you enjoy what you are doing. Looking back on my life, I realize that my enjoyment was more of a state of mind than the circumstances or situation.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
I hope that readers will enjoy reading about my escapades enough to brighten their day.
Posted in Literary Titan Book Award
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It’s 1979, and Ken has returned to Liberia. It’s been ten years since his last adventure in Africa, and now he’s on a mission to obtain uncut diamonds to support his air carrier business. Immediately, Ken and his wife, Sam, are hit with a tidal wave of sweaty bodies and riotous citizens storming the Executive Mansion, home of Liberia’s suppressor, President Tolbert. Liberian natives continue to grow restless with the oppression from the Congo people, and the breaking point is near.
All the while, behind the scenes, the American government is adding fuel to the fire. Two CIA agents infiltrate the Progressive Alliance of Liberia and offer them what they’ve been desperately trying to get their hands on – guns.
A storm brews and tensions rise as Sam and Ken try to get out of Liberia as fast as they can.
In Blood Before Dawn, Daniel V. Meier, Jr. brings to life a story of innocent bystanders caught up in the terror of espionage and revolution. Based on true events, readers will be captivated by this sequel to the award-winning: The Dungun Beetles of Liberia.
Meier is a powerful writer and will immediately capture your attention on page 1. As a reader, I personally am afraid of the writer that loves to describe everything from the shingles on the roof, down to the pebble in their protagonist’s shoe. Meier, however, has created a beautiful balance between thrilling dialogue and painting his audience a detailed picture of Liberia’s dark underbelly; the turmoil, the struggles and the blood bath that grows with each chapter.
Readers may find the Liberian accent difficult to understand, but some readers may love the broken-down English that makes up the accent or they will hate having to work out every conversation. Though, I believe because Meier uses very little accent, it makes for authentic and interesting dialogue.
While I enjoyed the relentless pace of the novel, there were some things I didn’t quite understand. For example, I felt that there was an odd interaction with the CIA agents and their handler, but maybe it’s an inside joke that we, as the readers, are not supposed to understand. Essentially, the conversation goes like this: We’ll dangle a carrot in front of him, and in the off-chance, he doesn’t bite (queue agent leaning in for a theatrical, conspiratorial whisper), we have more carrots. The agents have a good chuckle and I couldn’t help but laugh along.
This is a thrilling story and was fun to read. I felt like the ending was a bit hollow but I think that this was the point. The point, in the end, was to portray the protagonist as numb. There is so much in this novel to think about and it really leaves you feeling like you had a fully engaging experience by the end. I was invested in the story and I enjoyed the adventure.
Pages: 250 | ASIN: B08SJ95ZC9
Posted in Book Reviews
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Dangers, Darkness and Destitution in Nineteenth Century Britain examines the life of a notorious serial killer and baby farmer, Amelia Dyer. Her actions ultimately led to the formation of modern child protection laws. Ellis uses Dyer’s case as a jumping off point to examine the danger and limited options of a woman living in the late 1800’s in Britain’s East End. Often as victims of circumstance, Ellis argues many women, including Dyer, did not have options to makes ends meet and fell prey to dangerous and dark professions.
This was a well researched and thorough examination of women in the late 1880’s. The argument presented, gave excellent details and a well rounded account from many academic perspectives to argue the idea. Author Jo Ellis’ analysis of Amelia Dyer’s case drew connections to fairytale witches to vilify women serial killers. Further, how the actions of Dyer and other accused “baby-farmers” should not be considered horrific solely based on the perpetrators gender, but more as a cultural practice. Women in Victorian times were expected to be utterly selfless and the perfect ideal of a mother; this dissertation drove home the fact that female criminals were presented as a form of “domestic betrayal” (pg. 46).
I particularly enjoyed how Ellis bridged Dyer’s case to Jack the Ripper’s case from 1888, stating there is significant evidence that would point towards it being a female serial killer, “Jill the Ripper.” I thought this was an excellent way to supplement their argument. It is interesting to read how many still discredit this theory despite the overwhelming evidence, because of their beliefs that “a woman could never do that.”
Danger, Darkness and Destitution in Nineteenth Century Britain was a great read and was not too muddled with high-brow jargon. The argument was straightforward and introduced me to many new concepts from Britain’s dark history. This is an informative and riveting book that conveys intriguing content in an entertaining and straightforward way.
Pages: 88 | ASIN: B09GKW3RFV
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, danger, Darkness and Destitution in Nineteenth Century Britain, ebook, goodreads, history, Jo Ellis, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing