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H. Cummings "JediSoth" RSS Feed (Indianapolis, IN)

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Iron Edda: Sveidsdottir
Iron Edda: Sveidsdottir
Price: $4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Norse-inspired fantasy, May 1, 2015
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I bought this not knowing quite what to expect. I back the Iron Edda Kickstarter, so I knew there would be bound bones of giants, but that's about it.

Sveidsdottir primarily follows a young-woman born with the power of a Valkyrie who then gains the power of having the bones and spirit of a centuries-dead giant bound to her of course, with great power comes great responsibility and it is this lesson our protagonist must learn as she sets out to prevent Ragnarok.

The descriptions are evocative and the action moves along at a good clip. The characters are interesting and well-developed with ambitions, dreams, and flaws we can relate to. It's a good, quick read set in an interesting fantasy world that is at once new and original yet not unfamiliar.

My only issue with Sveidsdottir is something I think is a personal hang up. It's written in a shifting viewpoint 1st person present tense. The only other time I've tried to read a shifting viewpoint first person, I found it extremely difficult because it would take me several sentences to figure out which character's eyes I was looking through. Tracy Barnett helpfully labels each chapter with the name of the viewpoint character, so that helped. It's a narrative style I'm not used to and I'm not sure I particularly like, but some quick research shows it seems to be a fairly common, modern style for this type of fiction. Like I said, it's a personal hang up, and if it doesn't bother you, then you'll zip right through this story.

Sveidsdottir is an excellent freshman effort from Tracy Barnett and I look forward to seeing where the story goes from here.


A New Dawn: Star Wars
A New Dawn: Star Wars
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Prequel to Star Wars: Rebels, May 1, 2015
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A New Dawn is an action-packed look at the origin of the partnership between Hera & Kanan. While independently working against an Imperial scheme to mine a world in a manner that make strip mining look environmentally friendly, Hera and Kanan meet and agree to work together to stop the Empire's plan.

It gives a good look at Kanan's background, and the source of his self-doubt. It also develops Hera more than the animated series has thus far, shedding light on her motivations and dedication to the budding Rebellion.


G7 Power Boulder LED 0.5 Watt (5W) 15 Lumen C7 Night Light Bulb, 2900K Soft White Light, E12 Base 2-Pack
G7 Power Boulder LED 0.5 Watt (5W) 15 Lumen C7 Night Light Bulb, 2900K Soft White Light, E12 Base 2-Pack
Offered by G7 Power
Price: $6.95
2 used & new from $6.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Low-Powered, Bright Solution to replace those old incandescents, September 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Best LED night light bulbs I've seen yet. The color matches a typical incandescent night light bulb and the brightness is on par with them as well.


WHO ON EARTH IS TOM BAKER? An Autobiography
WHO ON EARTH IS TOM BAKER? An Autobiography
Price: $7.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet, poignant and funny... but NOT about Doctor Who, September 26, 2014
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A bittersweet, poignant, and often funny look at the life of the man who occupied the shoes of a certain Time Lord in the mid-late '70s. You can tell that Tom Baker is a very intelligent man, yet, despite his popularity as The Doctor, has almost crippling self-esteem issues. He admits as much and lays the blame for most of his misfortunes in life solely at his own feet, though I would argue his upbringing in Liverpool is more to blame to that than his own shortcomings.

If you're looking for a behind-the-scenes look at Doctor Who, look elsewhere. It was a short 7-year period in this man's life and largely seems to have been an escape from reality for him, a reality he perceives as being a string of failures, both before and after his time as The Doctor.

Who is Tom Baker? He was The Doctor and The Doctor was him. He remains a gifted, captivating story-teller.


Twitter for Writers: The Author's Guide to Tweeting Success (Writer's Craft)
Twitter for Writers: The Author's Guide to Tweeting Success (Writer's Craft)
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Should Be Required Reading for All Writers, June 16, 2014
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I consider myself a fairly proficient Twitter user. I have two accounts and over 27,490 tweets under my belt. So, not everything in this book was news to me, but there was still a fair amount of things Rayne Hall covers that I was unaware of.

If you're an Author/Publisher or an Author just looking to drum up interest in your novels and you're thinking about using Twitter, you need this book. It explains what Twitter is, how it works, how to use it, and common pitfalls of using Twitter. Sharing her own mistakes, Rayne Hall distills the pros and cons of Twitter into an easy-to-read guide. And believe me, if you've ever followed writers on Twitter, a lot make the very mistakes she covers in this book. Don't be one of those writers. No one wants a feed full of advertisements.

Using Twitter as a marketing tool is difficult and time-consuming. This book will help you make the most of your limited time and help keep you from being a nuisance on Twitter (it's really easy to do, and most of us are guilty of at least one of the mistakes Rayne Hall talks about).


Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2)
Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I've heard this is the worst of the series..., March 25, 2014
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It took me longer to finish Fool Moon than it really should have. Real Life™ intruded, and the fact that several people were telling me that this was the worst of the Dresden File books probably didn't help.

I can see why people think this book is weaker than the first Dresden Files book. Harry makes several well-intentioned, but boneheaded decisions which cause no small amount of complications that would've been avoided if he had just been up front with someone. It's nice, however, that he gets called out on this sort of thing, and I think it's just part of his character development. I also understand that some of the characterizations are shaky in the first several books and these problems all go away once Jim Butcher finds his stride and decides what the Dresden Files are going to be.

Fool Moon can be summed up as Harry Dresden vs. werewolves. I liked that the story featured several different types of werewolves, as well as the continued exploration of the negative side of using the more primal emotions (anger, fear, lust) to fuel magic, and indeed, as a motivation.

I can't really get into more detail on my feelings about this because of the breaks I took; all I can say is I never felt like reading it was a chore, I never felt like I wasn't connecting with the characters. I just got distracted by life, and it's causing me difficulty in being detailed with this review. I enjoyed Fool Moon, and I have to say, if this is the WORST Dresden Files has to offer, then getting through the rest of this series is going to be very enjoyable indeed.


Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)
Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT Urban Fantasy, February 25, 2014
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True Confession Time: Until this past weekend, I had not read any Dresden Files books.

Sure, I was familiar with the property from my involvement in the gaming industry. I just never got around to reading it (and I do wonder where I was when these books came out; I would've read the heck out of these).

Storm Front is the first book in the vaunted Dresden Files urban fantasy series. It reminds me of a hard-boiled film noir detective story, if the bad guys were vampires, wizards, and werewolves instead of corrupt bankers and gangsters. (Of course, in Dresden Files, there's nothing stopping the gangster from being a werewolf or vampire!) The first-person narration style strengthens this perception. Harry Dresden is a down-on-his-luck wizard, the only one listed in the Chicago phone book. He's likable, despite a character flaw which is a personal pet peeve of mine: poor communication skills (he often withholds information for someone's own good which ends up causing him much trouble and many misunderstandings...if ONLY he'd told so-and-so the truth...etc.). It remains to be see how much the character grows out of this unfortunate habit in subsequent novels.

In short, Harry Dresden is called upon by the Police to help them solve a murder which clearly has supernatural origins. In the meantime, he's hired to privately investigate a woman's missing husband case. To give the resolution would be spoilerific, so I'll just say it's entertaining, the world is engaging and believable (assuming you buy into the whole urban fantasy schtick to begin with), and the characters are likeable when they're supposed to be, and hissable when they're bad. The book was shorter than I expected (I've gotten used to doorstoppers by default for anything remotely labeled as fantasy) and read very quickly. Butcher gives you just enough information to "get" the world & characters he is creating without overloading you on unnecessary details. It is an approach I appreciate since reading should be enjoyable, not a chore.

If you're interested in reading urban fantasy and have not yet begun exploring this rich and entertaining genre, you would be well-advised to start here.


Ghirardelli Chocolate Flavored Sauce, Chocolate, 16- Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)
Ghirardelli Chocolate Flavored Sauce, Chocolate, 16- Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)
Price: $29.91
3 used & new from $24.30

5.0 out of 5 stars Best Chocolate Syrup Ever, February 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
No HFCS or other funky chemicals, delicious on ice cream & in coffee. We love it. I could make it better myself, but buying Ghirardelli is much less work!


Fargoer: A Viking Age Tale
Fargoer: A Viking Age Tale
Price: $3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical heroic journey story, February 3, 2014
I received a copy of this novel for review purposes. When I first heard "Finnish Fantasy," I was excited because I've been on a sort of Norse kick lately. I dropped the non-fiction book I was currently reading and dove right into Fargoer.

For a translated book, I was pleasantly surprised how well almost everything was translated. Often, there are passages and idioms that get lost a bit in translation, and there were a few places where I initially scratched my head, but upon a second reading, I realized that my confusion came more from my reading speed than any problems with the translation. If I didn't know the novel was translated from Finnish, I would not have assumed it was a translation.

The story is written almost as a collection of slice-of-life vignettes from the point of view of a woman of the Kainu tribe, Vierra. She's strong and stubborn to a fault, protective of the ones she loves. It starts as an almost textbook "Hero's Journey" story, but goes off those rails fairly quickly, and that's a good thing. There's nothing wrong with the heroic journey, but it's been done. Unfortunately, Vierra is the only character we really get to know very well. We're often introduced to characters important to Vierra and don't get to see her relationship grow with them before they're taken out of the story. This lack of development for the secondary and tertiary characters made it hard to feel anything for Vierra's many hardships, even though I did feel sorry for her that she had to endure so much. I wanted to see more of her relationship with her cousin. I wanted to learn more about the Kainu people. Some of these problem probably could've been alleviated with a longer narrative.

Despite the story feeling rushed, I did enjoy it. I had sympathy for the main character and wanted to see her succeed. I am only tangentially familiar with Finnish myth and folklore, so I don't know how much of what I read was based in that, and how much was the author's original creation. I knew of Meilikki and the Great Hunt, Loviatar, & Illmater, the latter two of which are NOT in this story, but that's about it. I was intrigued by this world and would like to read more novels set there.


Humanity Gone: After the Plague
Humanity Gone: After the Plague
Price: $3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Post-Apocalypic Fiction, January 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
...but it is not without problems.

First the good. The characters are interesting and well-rounded. The story moves along at a good pace and pulled me in within a few pages. I found myself rooting for their survival, and I didn't feel any of them acted particularly idiotic to move the plot forward, though they do make bad decisions from time to time, just like normal people do, and these are just young adult in very stressful circumstances. Most everyone over the age of 19 dies of a mysterious plague in this book, which seems suspiciously specific, particularly since there is nothing special about turning 20, but that didn't bother me because in this type of story, something must act as the apocalyptic catalyst and usually isn't important to the plot itself. However, since there is at least one exception to the everyone-over-19 plague, if the authors expand on it in future books, it better be good. As it is, in this book, the explanation is not necessary.

Humanity Gone: After the Plague is written in a shifting first-person, present tense. An unusual choice, and I don't believe I've read first-person present ever before in novel-length fiction. Normally, shifting viewpoint first person drives me batty to the point where I can't read it, but since each chapter is titled with the name of the point-of-view character (ala Game of Thrones), I did not get lost, nor did I mind it. The present tense did feel a little awkward at times, and I wonder how much the feel of the story would've changed had it been written in past tense, as most novels are. It's not a big deal, just a point of curiosity for me.

Now, I did notice a LOT of formatting errors, and this is another instance where I really want to be able to rate half-stars, because 3 stars seems a little harsh. I found them distracting enough that rounding up to 4 stars seems overly generous, though. Now, many readers may not notice the errors, and I don't know if they were caused by the e-book conversion process or if they're the fault of the authors (or whoever they had do the page layout). Having such obvious formatting errors distract me caused me to notice more spelling & syntax errors than I probably would've noticed. No matter how many editing/proofreading passes a manuscript gets, it's virtually impossible to catch all typos, and I'll bet most people won't notice them anyway. The formatting, though, that really bothered me because it made the book look unprofessional.

Still, if you're not bothered by that and you want some entertaining post-apocalyptic fiction, then you certainly could do worse. I was in the mood for a story of that nature, and this did not disappoint. I'm definitely going to add book 2 to my reading list.


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