The WriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour – The Die of Death (The Great Devil War #2) By Kenneth B Andersen

The WriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour – The Die of Death (The Great Devil War #2) By Kenneth B Andersen

Title: The Die of Death (The Great Devil War #2)

Author: Kenneth B Andersen

Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: Aug 31st, 2007

Format: Audiobook

Narration: ★★★★★

Writing: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

              The Die of Death is the second book in the Great Devil War Series by Kenneth B. Andersen. The Die of Death brings our Hero Phillip Angle the notorious savior of Satan, back the underworld. This time its Death who needs his help. Mortimer, aka Death, once again snatches Phillip from the world of the living this time to locate his stolen, Die. Phillip races against the sands of time on his search.

              After reviewing the first book in this series, I had some high expectations, and I was not disappointed. Kafer did an excellent job of keeping the same level of energy in his narration; his tone was consistently witty, serious, humorous, and childlike at all the appropriate moments. Kafer’s skill at voice acting is a perfect pairing with the excellent quality of Andersen’s storytelling and makes for an immensely enjoyable experience for readers of any age. Andersen again takes us on an adventure with an unexpected ending continuing to deliver moral lessons for the targeted adolescent/young adult readers along with witty, intelligent writing suitable for readers of all ages. I highly recommend this book; I highly recommend this series.

A Beautiful Reminder, Re-reading Octavia E. Butlers Xenogenesis Trilogy

A Beautiful Reminder, Re-reading Octavia E. Butlers Xenogenesis Trilogy

When I was in the fifth grade, my English teacher assigned Dawn by Octavia E. Butler as assigned reading material for our class. Dawn was the first science fiction book I had ever read. The first book by an African American author I had ever read, and I was completely enamored with the book. I ended up getting the additional books and reading the entire series.

That was more than 20 years ago. Since then, I  have read everything written by Butler that I could get my hands on and have NEVER, EVER been disappointed. Needless to say, after over twenty years, I had no real memory of the contents of the book; for the most part, I’m not much of a re-reader. There are too many books to read and not enough time.

Recently I decided to get the series on audio. I was feeling nostalgic and disappointed that my memory of the books had faded so thoroughly. I listened to the audiobook and wondered how my ten-year-old mind was able to comprehend what I was reading all those years ago. I concluded that there was no way I had. I’m sure most things went over my head; however, my memory of loving the series has never gone away, so I was obviously able to enjoy the series even with my limited understanding of the social, psychological nuances.

The series as a whole consists of three books, and together they are called the Xenogenesis series. The books are also sold as a compilation known as Lilith’s Brood. The series is Science Fiction, but can also be categorized as dystopian in my opinion. So what is Xenogenesis? Xeno can mean other, strange, or different, and genesis, as we all know, is the beginning. Xenogenesis = Different Beginning.

The series starts with:

  1. Dawn (the beginning of a phenomenon or period of time)
  2. Adulthood Rites (a ritual or ceremony signifying a transition from adolescence to adulthood
  3. Imago, (unconscious idealized mental image of someone, especially a parent, which influences a person’s behavior)

I’ve defined the titles because they were well thought out and have significant meaning to each story in the trilogy. Even the name of the protagonist of book one has meaning. Lilith, according to Jewish mythology, was a demon as well as the first wife of Adam.

It is amazing how much just these three books tell me about the author, she either researched or studied religion, mythology, and psychology either in college or as a prelude to writing these books. She seemed concerned about humanity’s inherent hierarchical nature. The Human “flaw”, the need for humans to subvert others, to be above one another. Which often leads to division, violence, slavery, war, and other destructive atrocities.

Butler has a practical matter of fact style of writing. Her world-building technique is magnificently stealthy. The first book Dawn begins with the protagonist Lilith Iyapo, awakened after a long sleep, rescued from the dying earth confined, scared, alone, ignorant of her situation. Butler builds the world for the reader as she creates it for Lilith, a steady, consistent flow of new stimuli and information experienced for the first time through our protagonist.

In the second and third books, the world is already clearly defined. We are instead introduced to the new characters at the beginning of the story and learn to see the world as they view it; we are privy to their thoughts and feelings as they arise. Books two and three follow Lilith’s children, one from infancy to adulthood and the other from adolescence to adulthood. They experience some very trying times.

As I listened, I felt as they felt. I’m not ashamed to admit I cried when it was confirmed that Akin would have to mature without his paired sibling. Butler writes stories that you get invested in. As I listened, I was utterly engrossed in each book, and I was bereft when the third book ended. For me, this was a highly successful re-read, as it was a beautiful reminder of why I fell in love with Butlers books all those years ago.

 

Gods of Jade & Shadow – By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Gods of Jade & Shadow – By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

  Genre: Magical Realism, Folklore, Historical fiction   Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is an interesting mashup of magical realism historical fiction and folklore. If you are not familiar with magical realism, it is a fantasy written in the style of prose or classic literature. Garcia weaves a tale of a young girl, our heroine Casiopea, who wants to be loved and treated fairly, instead she is used and abused by those closest to her. A small act of defiance starts her on a path that could either kill her or change her life forever. When the Mayan god of death and usurped lord of Xibalba Hun-Kamé conscripts Casiopea as his champion to regain his stolen throne, she will learn the real meaning of sacrifice and the nature of men and gods, but will she be able to choose her path? Gods of Jade and shadow is an artistically written novel. Every word is deliberate and extremely direct in its descriptiveness. Garcia writes in a way that leaves nothing to chance, holding a tight grip on the reader’s imagination, leading with a tether that forces you to follow the outlined path. Gods of Jade and Shadow is not a book that leaves much to individual interpretation; it’s written with a level of purpose that leaves no room for argument. I enjoyed the book; I enjoyed the intellectual use of language, which strayed far from everyday nouns, verbs, and pronouns. I enjoyed the originality of the story and the strength of purpose. Gods of Jade and Shadow is genuinely an excellent book to read.
The WriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour – Maurice Barkley – 5 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The WriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour – Maurice Barkley – 5 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Title: 5 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Author: Maurice Barkley

Genre: Mystery

Publication Date: Feb 20th, 2018

Format: eBOOK

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

 

5 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a novel by Maurice Barkley. The book is a compilation containing 5 Separate Sherlock Holmes adventures. Each short focuses on a specific case. Written from the POV of Holmes trusted companion Mr. Watson; the stories give the reader good insight into the detective’s intellectual processes for crime-solving. Each story is well written, direct and to the point, but is not lacking in originality, plot, or action and the style remains true to the original style of the Sherlock Holmes “franchise.”

I enjoyed reading the stories. Even though this isn’t the type of book I would usually read, I found the stories to be quick and interesting.

My Favorite Quote’s from the book:

◆ The Holborn Toy Shop

▪ “We must now enter the mine in search of our quarry. I must remind you gentlemen, we are at a great disadvantage. The mine is unknown to us whereas the three rats now hide in their own nest.”

◆ The Grosvenor Square Furniture Van

▪ “Yet off they go to the fray armed only with ignorance.”

I would recommend 5 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes to those who love detective and mystery novels. The book is available on Amazon, free for KU subscribers.

The stories can be purchased together in as the compilation, 5 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes or independently as titled below

◆ The Holborn Toy Shop
◆ The Legacy of Dr. Carus
◆ The Train From Plymouth
◆ The White Hall Papers
◆ The Grosvenor Square Furniture Van

Find it on Amazon

About the Author

@MauriceBarkley

Maurice Barkley lives with his wife Marie in a suburb of Rochester, New York. Retired from a career as a commercial artist and builder of treehouses, he is WRITING and busy reinforcing the stereotype of a pesky househusband. Favorite relaxation is throwing peanuts to squirrels, blue jays, cardinals, and chipmunks from his porch. Once, he built a doll hair-making machine using an old sewing machine. It worked, but his wife got tired of making Raggedy Ann dolls, so it sits in the garage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The WriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour – Venators: Magic Unleashed By Devri Walls

The WriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour – Venators: Magic Unleashed By Devri Walls

 

Title: Venators Magic Unleased (Venators #1)

Author: Devri Walls

Genre: YA, Paranormal Fantasy

Publication Date: October 1st, 2016

Format: Audiobook

Rating: ★★★

Venators: Magic Unleashed is a YA, Paranormal Fantasy novel, by Devri Walls. The book’s premise is that supernatural “monsters” come from a parallel world, and Venators who hunt monsters are humans from the other side of the gate. I thought the premise of the story was interesting and original. Several hundred years ago, Supernatural Creatures fled their side of the portal due to turmoil and encountered humans. It was initially thought humans were weak until the Venators came along. Venators are unique humans with particular strengths and instincts, which make them ideal monster hunters; according to the story, Van Helsing was the first Venator. The Venators were welcomed to the other side of the portal, where they became the law and kept the order.  Venators became power-hungry and genocidal and were banished back to the earth side of the portal. Hundreds of years later the council has decided that they need young uninitiated, impressionable Venators to defeat their enemy Zio while restoring order and advancing the council’s personal agenda.

Tate is tasked with traveling to the earth side of the gate to find Venators suitable for the council’s purpose. He finds our main characters Grey and Rune together they beat the odds and make it through the portal, and to the council. Up to this point, everything was going well with the storyline; then the story became a bit ambitious. Grey and Rune decide to go on a mission against the council’s wishes, and against all the odds, they come out victorious.

Rune and Grey have absolutely no training or political acumen; the point that Venators act on instinct is pushed pretty hard. Still, all the innate ability in the world wouldn’t have given Grey and Rune the level of skill necessary to succeed even with help from their allies. That’s my only issue, with the book itself. I thought the action was great, and the writing was good.

Venators is narrated by Daniel Thomas May, who did a great job; some of the voices were a little weird, though. May did a pretty good job with Rune’s voice, but Verida’s voice gave me an odd Antonio Banderas vibe, and Grey’s voice changed permanently to a medium whisper a few chapters into the book through to end, and I had to turn the volume high to hear him. But otherwise, the narration was excellent, especially given the number of characters used.

My overall opinion of the book is that it’s a good choice, whether reading or listening, because it maintains a good balance between world-building, plot, action, and resolution; you shouldn’t hesitate to read it.