Saturday, August 30, 2014

A New World: Storm


A vengeful darkness… 
Gathers in the night… 

One threat has been destroyed - another grows stronger. 

Even though Jack and the teams have won a major confrontation, their lives still hang by a thread. There are decisions to be made, and ones that have never been more critical. 

Leonard continues to try to keep his crew together after being hit by another soul-shattering blow. They’ve only recently become aware of this new world, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon as they silently plunge through the Pacific, looking for answers Leonard knows they may never find. 

Michael knows he can no longer stand idle and wait as he feels thousands of his kind disappear from his mind night after night. The weight of the survival of his kind weighs heavily on his shoulders and he pushes forward to end the threats to their existence. 

The new world must find its balance… 
And the scales are about to tip… 

Publisher: Self
Print Length: 264 pages

I purchased this book from Amazon for my Kindle.
I gave A New World: Storm 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads

I finished reading A New World: Storm a few minutes ago. I was going to wait to write the review until I had a chance to process the story and its ending but decided not to. I want to write while my mind and emotions are still bound to the story. 

I am simultaneously "wowed" beyond words and feeling something else that I will not describe. If I try, I will fail miserably and will most likely end up creating an unintentional spoiler.

In past reviews, I think I have made it clear that John O'Brien is my favorite writer in this genre. I hope I've also made it clear that he is one of my favorite writers of all the genres I've read. Storm solidifies that conviction for me. Why? The answer is simply this: John O'Brien is a talented writer and an amazing story-teller.

The first part of the book is dedicated to tying some loose ends together and setting the stage for the rest. There is not much action during this portion, which is unusual for most of the books in the series.  Rest assured, the necessity to slow down for a bit does not mean it's boring. I mean, this is John O'Brien. Are his stories ever boring? No.

The action picks up once Jack hits the road sky in order to take care of some unfinished business. It continues through the rest of the book as he and his group encounter new threats, as well eliminate some old ones.  In addition, a couple new groups of survivors are introduced and plans to work with them are established. Meanwhile, Jack is doing his best to lead, although he is tired and not always certain he knows the direction he needs to take.

It is the last part of the book that made me clench my Kindle in a state of tightly-wound emotions and caused me to scowl at any poor soul who dared to interrupt my reading. As I write this, I am still reeling from the roller coaster ride Mr. O'Brien created. The ending packs a punch so be prepared, but do NOT read ahead. You will be kicking yourself forever.

As with all of the A New World books, I appreciate the hard work and pride O'Brien obviously poured into writing Storm. He is a first-class writer and can tell a story with the best of them.

If you have not read A New World series, you can find a chronological list of his books here.

About the Author
John O'Brien is a former Air Force fighter instructor pilot who transitioned to Special Operations for the latter part of his career gathering his campaign ribbon for Desert Storm. Immediately following his military service, John became a firefighter/EMT with a local department. Along with becoming a firefighter, he fell into the Information Technology industry in corporate management. Currently, John is writing full-time on the series, A New World.
As a former marathon runner, John lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and can now be found kayaking out in the waters of Puget Sound, mountain biking in the Capital Forest, hiking in the Olympic Peninsula, or pedaling his road bike along the many scenic roads.

A New World

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Orphans by Mike Evans

Source: Amazon

Bio chemist, Frank Fox, has been single since losing his first wife to cancer eight years ago.  There is a constant struggle between himself and his son Shaun, who blames him for not being home when his mother passed.  She passed while he was working on the cure to help soldiers.  He went home a broken man to care for a young child.  He misses what happens with the cure developed in the army. 

Now, eight years later, Frank finds new love but receives news that she is losing a battle to cancer. Frank takes the cure from the army not knowing what happened eight years ago with it. His cure is anything but that; it is hell unleashed.  The Orphans is an intense ride, suspenseful and emotionally charged!

Publisher: Self Published, June 2014
Print Length: 363 pages

I gave The Orphans 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon 
Purchased from Amazon in Kindle format

I have expressed this in past reviews, but I'm going to say it again-- the most important part of any story, to me, is character development. That means I get to know the characters well enough to form an emotional connection to them. Sometimes the connection is negative, sometimes it is positive.

The Orphans is a book that satisfies my desire to grow attached to the characters perfectly. The story starts out with a very brief introduction of two of the main characters in the midst of firing at a large group of zombies.  Then, Mike Evans does something somewhat unique; he spends the rest of the book telling the story of the main characters and the events leading up to the apocalypse. By the time I finished The Orphans, I knew the complete story behind the spread of the zombie outbreak, I got to know the characters thoroughly, and I grew to care about them. 

In addition to Evan's impressive ability to build up his characters, he's also a talented writer. He has a natural gift for the craft, with a style that is straight-forward.  He doesn't add unnecessary descriptions or dialogue. He seems to know his audience and delivers a story that flows with consistency, making it a fast-paced and enjoyable read.

The author is currently working on the second book in this series.  I will definitely be picking it up as soon as it is published. 

To purchase a copy of this terrific book for yourself, click on the box below!

About the Author

As a fan of suspense and all things that go bump in the night, Mike Evans believes readers should be pulled in, made to feel for the characters, and always be left wanting more. He hopes that, by reading his work, you will laugh, cry, and be terrified ... love, hate and worry for the characters and their predicaments, but, most of all, he hopes you've enjoyed what he's written and had the opportunity to laugh out loud, especially in a public place, where other fans of science fiction will want to see what you're reading.

Follow Mike Evans on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Outage by T.W. Piperbrook

When newlyweds Abby and Rob awaken, the power is out, the neighborhood is covered in snow, and the house is freezing. 

They'll soon find out that the storm is the least of their worries. 

Somewhere outside, something else is lurking. 

Waiting for the chance to strike...

Publisher: Post Script Publishing (June 16, 2014)
Print Length: 99 pages

This review can also be found on The Bookie Monster. For more great book reviews, visit their site!
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on TBM and Amazon.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion or review of the book.
The beast watched her through the trees. It could smell her scent from several hundred yards away— the odor of fear and sweat, cutting through the air like the sharp edge of the knife she was holding. It didn’t care about knives. There were a lot of things it didn’t care about. It didn’t have to. It could heal from most of them. Ever since the start of the storm, the neighborhood had become the beast’s playground, its hunting quarters, and it would do whatever it pleased. The snow was little more than a prop in its game, a backdrop for the kill. It had waited for this moment for what seemed like forever, and now that it was here, the beast could barely contain itself. -- Excerpt from Outage.
T.W. Piperbrook's Outage is a quick read, and not just because it's shorter than most novels. I read it quickly because I couldn't put it down. The story oozes creepiness from the very first page and doesn't let up until the final word at the end of the book.

In many ways, the telling of this story is reminiscent of Stephen King. Like King, Piperbrook creates tension through the thoughts and feelings of his characters. When it's done right, the reader's fears rise and fall right along with the characters' fears... and T.W. Piperbrook does this very well.

I was not expecting the story to end how it did and it definitely left me wanting more. Outage is scary, intense, and a lot of fun-- sort of like a roller coaster ride for the mind.  And like any great roller coaster, once you're off, you want to get back on! Fortunately for us, Piperbrook is supposed to have Outage 2 out very soon. I'm looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here.

I recommend Outage to anyone who enjoys a well-written story filled with heart-pounding thrills and chills!

About the Author
T.W. Piperbrook was born and raised in Connecticut, where he can still be found today. In addition to writing, the author has also spent time as a full-time touring musician, touring across the US, Canada, and Europe.
He now lives with his wife, a son, and the spirit of his Boston Terrier.
Follow Piperbrook on Facebook
Sign up for T.W. Piperbrook's Newsletter  
Visit his website here!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Edifice (Drifter Book #1) by R.K. Holliday


Age Level: 10-18
Grade Level: 5th-12th

In The Edifice, Connor Laurel, a normal boy, lives in a neighborhood with his mother and father and an energetic neighbor, Samantha. 

One day before his thirteenth birthday, he receives shocking news that he may have a rare medical condition. Two men from the Greater Coalition visit his happy home and schedule to take him to a hidden facility for treatment. Once Connor leaves home he finds that events unfolding aren’t what they seem. Dr. Ferdinand Finn and his stern ally, Colonel Albert, explain that he has a mysterious ability called Impetus. 

Now he will be taken to a large spacecraft named Eden, where the leader of the facility is the dark operator Malinda Marks. Connor is introduced to the facility by receiving an exciting device called an ornament. Once he arrives he is befriended by the comical Liam Hudson and the loyal Natalie Finn who each have unique powers of their own. 

Connor is given dark brown robes and soon is assigned to many challenging classes such as combative training and aviation. He soon learns that Eden is a miraculous place full of mysteries. If he is to solve the mystery of his ability and this hidden craft then he must dig deeper to find out the agenda of those around him. 

Connor must find out the truth of the Edifice. 

Publisher: Self Published, July 17, 2014
Print Length: 304 pages

I gave The Edifice 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

On Amazon, the age range suggested for this book is ten through eighteen.  In my opinion, it's probably more appropriate for ages ten through fourteen. I kept the audience in mind as I was reading and deciding how I would review The Edifice. This is the first juvenile book I have reviewed and hope it's helpful to parents and teachers who are considering purchasing this for their child or students.

The Edifice is a great read. R.K. Holliday does a nice job presenting and developing the characters in the story. The main character, Connor, has qualities that make him very likable. He is respectful, thoughtful, unselfish, and loves his parents. At the same time, his emotions and concerns are realistic. The story places high value on friendship, loyalty, and trust. All of this adds up to being a nice contrast to many of the characters young viewers see on television these days.

The story itself is fun and suspenseful. I found myself engrossed in the story, even though my age is not the target audience. There are enough twists and turns to keep it moving, but not so many that the plot becomes confusing. Overall, I think most young readers would enjoy The Edifice. I mean, what kid (or adult) doesn't dream of having a super power? 

As former teacher and a current homeschooling parent of the age group this book is suitable for, I would like to make this appeal to the author: please consider investing in an editor or a proofreader. The book is filled with punctuation errors and has a few places where the incorrect words are used. The amount of errors would be the only thing holding me back from adding The Edifice to my classroom or home library.

I would like to see more from this author and hope The Edifice and its sequels find their way into the hands of many young readers.

Follow R.K. Holliday on Twittter

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Shrouded World-- Whistlers by Mark Tufo and John O'Brien

When two worlds collide… 

Jack Walker and Michael Talbot come from two worlds; the same, yet different. They both find themselves transported into an alien one, where things aren’t as they seem. While it appears similar to the ones they come from, there are some terrifying differences. Is it a dream? Or has reality been somehow warped? 

Jack comes from a world filled with nocturnal creatures that were once human, but now seek to destroy the last vestiges of humanity. Mike, living under a constant threat from hordes of the undead, arrives with a companion, John the Tripper. Ripped away from their family members and thrown into the unknown, they find that the nightmares from their worlds have preceded them. Survival becomes moment to moment as they encounter old dangers, and new. 

Each wants nothing more than to be reunited with their loved ones. With dangers lurking around every corner, they seek to unravel the mystery that brought them. It may be a long road ahead, but they begin by taking the first step, hoping the next one will be the one that takes them home.

Publisher: Devil Dog Press, August 6, 2014
Print Length: 242 Pages

I gave A Shrouded World-- Whistlers 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon
Purchased from Amazon for the Kindle

I know I am not the only one who was eagerly waiting for Mark Tufo and John O'Brien to finish and publish this joint venture.  Apparently, it had been in the works for quite a while. Two of my favorite zombie fiction writers? My favorite characters? Together? There was no question: I would be getting this book.

Then I read the synopsis. My initial reaction was something along the lines of, "How the heck are they going to pull this off?"

There's a reason Tufo and O'Brien are among my favorite authors. The simple truth is, they are talented at their craft. They successfully intertwined their characters and antagonists, making an entertaining-- and often comedic-- story.

What I enjoy most about this book, besides... well... everything, is clearly seeing each author's unique "voice" with the alternating perspectives of Mike and Jack. Tufo and O'Brien each bring their own style to the book and they complement each other well. 

Mark Tufo's overt sense of humor is not lacking as he tells the story of Michael Talbot in this strange, new reality. John O'Brien's more subtle sense of humor also shines through brightly as he tells the story through Jack Walker's experience. The two styles together are refreshing and make the story a fun, exciting read.

Speaking of humor, it was great to see O'Brien's lighter side emerge once again. Although all of his books are amazing, the last couple books in his series have been very intense and I've missed his dry, subtle humor. He brought that side back in this book, and then some! There's this one scene where John the Tripper needs to... uh, well... you'll have to read it for yourself. I'm sure you will crack up as much as I did! I'm still laughing, just thinking of it. 

Do I recommend this book to fans of Mark Tufo and John O'Brien? Absolutely! Do I recommend it to those who are unfamiliar with one or both of the authors? Again, absolutely! It would probably help to read a few of them first, just to get the gist of the unique stories behind the characters, but it's not mandatory. Even if you've never read anything by either of these authors, you will not be disappointed. A Shrouded World-- Whistlers is able to stand on its own... just be prepared for a wild ride!

About the Authors
Mark Tufo

Mark Tufo was born in Boston Massachusetts. He attended UMASS Amherst where he obtained a BA and later joined the US Marine Corp. He was stationed in Parris Island SC, Twenty Nine Palms CA and Kaneohe Bay Hawaii. After his tour he went into the Human Resources field with a worldwide financial institution and has gone back to college at CTU to complete his masters.
He has written the Indian Hill trilogy with the first Indian Hill - Encounters being published for the Amazon Kindle in July 2009. He has since written the Zombie Fallout series and is working on a new zombie book.
He lives in Maine with his wife, three kids and two English bulldogs. 
Follow Mark on Facebook and Twitter                                                                                              Mark's blog: Zombie Fallout and Website

John O'Brien
John O'Brien is a former Air Force fighter instructor pilot who transitioned to Special Operations for the latter part of his career gathering his campaign ribbon for Desert Storm. Immediately following his military service, John became a firefighter/EMT with a local department. Along with becoming a firefighter, he fell into the Information Technology industry in corporate management. Currently, John is writing full-time on the series, A New World.
As a former marathon runner, John lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and can now be found kayaking out in the waters of Puget Sound, mountain biking in the Capital Forest, hiking in the Olympic Peninsula, or pedaling his road bike along the many scenic roads.
Follow John on Facebook and Twitter                                                                                                 John's website A New World Series

Sunday, August 10, 2014

New Reality: Truth by Michael Robertson


#1 Bestseller in British Horror 

A post apocalyptic / dystopian thriller. 

When New Reality, a fully immersive, five-dimensional entertainment experience, was introduced to the world, everyone logged on. 

Everyone except Jake and Tom. 

It doesn’t take long for the world to crumble into ruin, leaving Jake and Tom wandering through leveled cities occupied by New Reality dreamers. In order to find one gamer among many, they must risk everything—going up against Rixon, the corporation behind New Reality. 

Facing starvation, the New Reality headsets offer sustenance from a synthesized sludge pumped directly into the gamer’s body. With a headset, they’ll get fed and their only limitations are their own imaginations. They can have paradise, comfort, and peace. They have the power to realize their deepest desires. 

But for Tom, it’ll mean sacrificing his son to the false reality masterminded by Rixon. For Jake, it’ll mean sacrificing his dream of living a true existence, no matter how stark. 

Wrestling with the decision, they soon find out they aren’t the only ones living in the ruins. Someone… something else, has taken an interest in the pair. 

Turning from scavengers to prey, they have to make a decision. Family or self? Faith or fear? Truth or New Reality?

Publisher: Self Published, June 21, 2014
Print Length: 250 pages

I gave New Reality: Truth 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads
Purchased from Amazon in Kindle Format

I started this book late last night and lost quite a bit of sleep because it was just too good to put down.  I was halfway through it before I finally forced myself to stop and go to sleep. I eagerly read the second half as soon as I had a chance today.

First of all, I want to say that Michael Robertson is a talented writer. There are certain styles of writing that appeal to me more than others and Robertson's style definitely appeals. He is insightful and emotionally engaging with his use of words. His main character, Jake, has a ton of depth and I couldn't help but find myself wrapped up in his story.

When I finished reading A New Reality: Truth, it occurred to me that part of the reason I like it so much is because it reminds me of my favorite childhood show: The Twilight Zone. I felt like child again, engrossed in a creepy story, thinking I had it figured out, only to find that I was wrong, and the ending was even creepier and better than I could have imagined. In my world, that is a great book! 

There is a little bit of repetition when it comes to certain phrases and dialogue in the story, but it is infrequent and minor enough that it does not take away from the overall awesomeness of the book. 

I highly recommend New Reality: Truth for readers who enjoy science fiction and dystopian stories. I also recommend it to anyone who wants a thought-provoking, creepy, well-written book to get lost in for a while.

I will definitely be reading more from this author!

If you found this review helpful and you decide to purchase this book because of it, please use the link above. Amazon throws a few pennies my way for purchases made through my blog. Thank you!

About the Author
Michael is a writer from the UK with several publications to his name both online and in print. He has recently won a competition with HarperCollins for his zombie short story 'In the Name of Science'. He writes because he needs to. He writes dystopian, sci-fi, and apocalyptic fiction. Crash is his first ebook release.

Follow Michael Robertson on Facebook and Twitter.
Michael's website: Michael Robertson-- Author

Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie by C.A. Verstraete

Synopsis Life can suck when you're sixteen. It can suck even worse when you're not- quite- dead.  Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager's biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead.

Becca's life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he's becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.

The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for. Then she meets Gabe, a good-looking part-Z like her, and fears falling for him. After all, how can he, who shows hardly any Z symptoms, be interested in someone like her?

But time is running out... Becca needs his help as she and her cousin Carm search for their missing mothers and fight off hungry Zs.

Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late...

Publisher: Intrigue Publishing (July 29, 2013)
Print Length: 206 pages
Young Adult Fiction 

This review can also be found on The Bookie Monster. For more great book reviews, visit their site!
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on TBM and Amazon.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion of this book or the content of this review. 

C. A. Verstraete's novel, Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, is the first zombie book I've read that fits into the "Young Adult" category. Prior to this, I often wondered how an author would handle the zombie fiction genre when written for a younger audience. Although I have nothing to compare it to, I appreciate the approach taken by Verstraete.

In Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, Verstraete tells a scary tale without being overly gory or using language that is inappropriate for the audience. The issues that Becca, the main character,  faces are realistic for someone who is sixteen-- realistic except for the whole zombie thing, that is. Her biggest concerns include school, being accepted by her peers, clothes, friendship, and boys. These become somewhat minimized, however, when she finds herself infected with a virus that turns people into zombies.

For the most part, the values represented by the main characters are admirable. Becca and her cousin, Carm, are not only family, they are best friends whose relationship gets tested beyond the ordinary. Through it all, they remain fiercely loyal to each other. Family is also very important to these girls. They treat their aunt and moms respectfully, which is a refreshing change compared to much of what is portrayed on television and in other stories.  The consequences of hooking up with the wrong friends and teenage pregnancy are addressed briefly and with sensitivity. As I read Girl Z, I asked myself if I would be okay with my teenager reading it. My conclusion: if I had a high school age child, this book would be appropriate for him/her.

There are humorous parts of the book when the main character tries not to take herself or her situation too seriously. The characters are endearing and fun. For a zombie story, it is quite positive and light-hearted. The book did not end the way I expected it to, making the story even more enjoyable.

The last quarter of the book is where the action picks up. Prior to that, a lot of the story is spent discussing clothes, starting school, and makeup. I wouldn't have minded some of that since those are important parts of most girls' lives.  There was just a bit too much of it for me, especially considering the world was supposed to be going downhill quickly.

The story seemed to have a few inconsistencies in the first three quarters of the book, as well. For example, the television news footage showed hordes of zombies wandering the streets and being eliminated by the military, yet the main characters were able to take cabs, start school, and pretty much be out in public without seeing any of the undead in person.   In addition, the girls' moms were unable to get home due to the zombie population. I found myself wondering why they didn't just call a cab. I'm not exactly a zombie purist, but these inconsistencies bothered me, which is why I give the book four stars instead of five.

I recommend this fun book to readers who are in their early to late teenage years.

If you found my review of this book helpful and decide to purchase it, I'd appreciate it if you would use the link above. Amazon throws a few pennies my way when purchased through my blog. Thank you! 
About the Author (in her own words)
As the family "bookworm," I think my writing desire was a natural progression. I always read and still do, enjoying books by Barbara Taylor Bradford, Debbie Macomber, Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, and many others. 
My career has mostly been in newspapers and magazines, although fiction writing always called to me. Discovering online writing groups inspired me to get more involved in short fiction. 
 A favorite pastime, building dollhouses and miniature rooms, has served as inspiration for nonfiction stories, my nonfiction book, In Miniature Style II, a Christmas eBook and influenced my kid's mystery, Searching For a Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery. Visit my Miniatures gallery to see photos of some of my miniature projects. Follow C.A. Verstraete on Facebook and Twitter Website: Site of Christine A. Verstraete

Saturday, August 9, 2014

After Death by Derrick LaCombe


After returning from a week-long expedition, a team of scientists realize - too late - that they've brought back more than they bargained for. The result is a terrifying onslaught that quickly overwhelms the resources of a small town, placing it in peril. 

Do you have what it takes to SURVIVE the zombie apocalypse?  F
ollow the characters of After Death and see if you can. Learn! Adapt! Survive! 

Will you be the person cowering in the corner of your bedroom or the hero that leads the way through hordes of zombies? Take a hold of the reins in this zombie thriller. 

Join a group of people in Texas, and see if you have what it takes to survive for the sake of all humanity. Pick a character. Be that person. Will you work together or will you and the rest of the group fall apart in the face of bone crunching death? This epic will have you wondering if you could overcome the odds or if you're all talk. 

Publisher: Self Published, March 29, 2013
Print Length: 260 pages
Edited by: Monique Happy
Winner of the Facebook
Zombie Book of the Month Club
Illustrator: Derek Edgerton

I gave After Death 5 stars on Amazon
Purchased via Kindle Unlimited

As I mentioned in a previous review of a book written by Derrick LaCombe, I am fan of his work. His stories are always colorful, exciting, and very fun.  I've come to expect this level of entertainment from LaCombe, and After Death does not disappoint.

After Death is a book about zombies, so naturally, blood and guts are a big part of the story. Derrick LaCombe is descriptive when it comes to gore, but I didn't find it offensive or inappropriate to the story. In many cases, his descriptions are mildly humorous. That is why, when I think of Derrick LaCombe's writing, the word "fun" immediately comes to mind. 

The story is very fast-paced, with every chapter more exciting than the one before it. Try not to get too attached to any of the characters, because the chances are good that he or she won't make it to the end of the story. 

This isn't a book that is going to take you through months or even weeks of surviving a zombie apocalypse. The entire story takes place over a span of less than three days, and I have mixed feelings about that. I like that the short time span makes After Death move very quickly. The drawback, for me, is that there isn't enough time to really get to know the characters.  

I recommend After Death to those who like their zombie fiction bloody, exciting, and uncluttered by complicated subplots. 

If you found my review of this book helpful and decide to purchase it, I'd appreciate it if you would use the link above. Amazon throws a few pennies my way when purchased through my blog. Thank you! 

About the Author
Derrick LaCombe was born and raised in New Orleans,La. Growing up in "The Big Easy," he was exposed to a unique culture, culinary treats, the arts, and of course Mardi Gras! All of these ingredients and a heaping more shaped his creativity and zest for life. He puts this passion into the things he writes about; whether it's holiday fantasies, zombies or Twilight Zone style enigmas, and creates an awesome literary gumbo. Join him on the many adventures YOU'LL both take as he explores the rest of his imaginative mind.

Follow Derrick LaCombe on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Kronos Duet by A.H. Richards


Psychic Gareth Pugh and daughter Adrianna leap back in time through the minds of others; dead others. Gareth's mission, to reach the beginning of earth time, and confront Earth's God. He's just not too good at getting there. Dead people can be unpredictable. Even dangerous. Adrianna flies with him down the ages, determined to fix their dysfunctional relationship, and to cure herself of her deepest fears. 

Brutal Dr. Buckleigh picks up the scent, missioned by the elitist Foundation to eliminate Pugh and Adrianna, and any evidence of God and time travel. His flunky Cabot Greenaway gladly takes up the hunt, sadistically lustful to own Adrianna, in a space/time of his choosing... 

... But nobody factored in Rasputin, ancient Welsh magic, Stonehenge or Black Holes. 

Publisher: Self Published
Print Length: 275 pages

I purchases this book via Amazon Unlimited
gave Kronos Duet 4 Stars on Amazon

I'm going to say right up front that it was difficult for me to come up with a rating for this one. There were large chunks of the story that completely lost me, but the parts where I wasn't lost were terrific. 

Kronos Duet's beginning was very well done and kept me intrigued.  I really liked where A.H. Richards was taking the story. Then somewhere around the middle, the story started going in a few different directions, and I found it a little difficult to follow. It became unclear what the main character's purpose was in traveling through time.  First, I thought Gareth Pugh was trying to find a way to connect with his true love who died many years before.  Then, it seemed he was looking to meet up with God. 

About three-quarters of the way through, the story got even more convoluted. I felt like I was reading a different book than the one I started.  Up until that point, I was enjoying Richards' style of writing.  He is gifted in how he weaves words and ideas together to create descriptive scenes and interesting characters.  With that said, I think the reason I got so lost during this part of the book is because of paragraphs like this one:
They stood on a high hill at night.  A camel's hump, at the foot of which flowed the dark tan, moon-glowing fields of grain.  Or were they people?  They heard a sound of rushing, as of a million tongues, or of wind through grain.  There was no time to distinguish if one, or both, existed below; for above them, out of a black that glittered like jet, there came masses of flying stars, surf-waves of stars of different colors advancing silently and at light speed, like fireworks exploding, spitting fiery trails.  They kept on, rising out of infinite distance; something profound, something eternally desirable dwelled in the stars.  Not in the dancers, but in the dance; making all bliss. - Location 4050 in Kindle format
Beautiful?  Undeniably.  Confusing?  To me, yes.  

Now, I do not want anyone to think I do not like Kronos Duet.  As a whole, I do like the book.  It started out great, got a little confusing in the middle, lost me about three-quarters of the way through, and captured me again towards the end. 

Here are the positives about the book and why I definitely think it's worth a read for those who enjoy science fiction, fantasy, and stories of time travel:
  1. The characters are well-developed; the good guys are good and the bad guys are really, really bad.
  2. There are many interesting concepts presented in the story, making it an intellectual read.
  3. As mentioned above, the style of writing is quite beautiful... almost poetic.
  4. The references to history and historical events are well-done; if you like history, you will enjoy that aspect of the book.
  5. There are many philosophical ideas placed in the story, so if you enjoy that sort of thing, you will most likely enjoy Kronos Duet.

If you found my review of this book helpful and decide to purchase it, I'd appreciate it if you would use the link above. Amazon throws a few pennies my way when purchased through my blog. Thank you! 

About the Author
Born in Wales, Aldous Richards has traveled much of the world, living in the U.S., Europe, England, Wales and Japan. Among jobs too numerous to list, he has taught classical guitar, dug huge ditches, gone comatose in factories, taught undergraduate English, busked in Tokyo subways, and harvested fruit in British Columbia. He now lives in a sane enclave called Wortley Village, where he writes full-time.

Says Richards, "I am in love with a hybrid historical/fantasy Joan of Arc: It has never done me any good. I continue, obstinately, to write and publish fiction, essays, short stories, and literary criticism, with no immediately evident signs of mental injury."
Blog: lit 57- Junk DNA Loves You
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