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Customer Reviews: 44
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Derelict: Halcyone Space, book 1
Derelict: Halcyone Space, book 1
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi YA, Deftly Handled, August 12, 2015
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Lisa Cohen’s DERELICT is a punchy, fast-moving YA sci-fi novel with a gripping story and lots of heart. The characters are complex, flawed, and well-rounded. They inspire, they annoy, they bicker and fight. They find (and turn away from) love, form bonds, endure tragedies, and conquer personal demons.

What I loved most about the book were the technical details. Cohen writes about technology and computers with more skill and acuity than any writer I’ve read in recent memory. In the hands of lesser writers, lengthy passages about hacking, electronic security, or repairing communications systems might get stale or unbelievable -- but Cohen writes with such adroit precision that this simply never happens.

This is not to say that the book neglects its characters -- far from it. Each is vibrant and well-drawn, and the conflicts are all organic and credible. DERELICT tells a story about the family you choose over the family you’re born with. The young men and women of the story are frequently alienated from the common family structures many of us take for granted, and must learn to be inventive and self-reliant in a universe that’s stacked the deck against each of them.

I enjoyed it a lot, and am looking forward to the sequel. Recommended.


Werewolves of Mass Destruction (Gripping Tales of the Impossible Book 1)
Werewolves of Mass Destruction (Gripping Tales of the Impossible Book 1)
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make mine Ajax!, April 7, 2015
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Joshua Unruh understands adventure. He knows what makes a pulp story tick. Werewolves of Mass Destruction is a perfect little nugget of high-octane pulp action. Despite being set in the modern day, this story is shot through with classic notes of the 1930s and 1940s tales of adventure.

Secret societies, dark cults, high-speed aerial chases, menacing villains, flying saucers, occult mysteries, magic and weird science -- Werewolves of Mass Destruction packs it all into a generous handful of pages, with a wit and enthusiasm that's downright infectious.

Unruh's tale also packs a lot of mythology into the narrative, and the author's enthusiasm and care is all over the page. Everything from the trade dress on the cover to the "in media res" flavor of the intro and outro holds promise of adventure to come.

Nearly pitch-perfect for me -- there were a couple small editorial errors here and there, but it didn't detract from the story for me at all. My dollar was well spent, and I am eager to spend many more on this series.

(Did you notice a lot of "action" and "adventure" in this review? That's not by accident. There's lots of it in the story, too.)


The Masked Songbird (Shrike Book 1)
The Masked Songbird (Shrike Book 1)
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern superhero epic that hits the spot., April 7, 2015
Gwen Maule is a fantastic protagonist, and Mears does a great job of creating a realistic plight and a vivid sense of time and place. Brisk pacing and unexpected twists. Overall, a very rewarding read and I'm looking forward to seeing what's next from Gwen Maule (and Emmie Mears).


The Minus Faction - Episode One: Breakout
The Minus Faction - Episode One: Breakout
Price: $0.00

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crackles With Energy and Promise, September 10, 2014
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I'll make this brief: if THE MINUS FACTION: BREAKOUT were the first episode of a promising new television series -- and it has the tight, fast-paced writing of one -- I would have been crying out at the end of the first episode, already eager for more, ready to become a fan.

THE MINUS FACTION is, on its surface, the story of an unlikely superhero; a crippled, broken soldier who can inhabit the bodies of other people. While stark and uncompromising, both the story and the main character are surprisingly compassionate. Regent, though in many ways remniscent of a gritty antihero, has a lot of heart, and it shows through in the story. The action is fast-paced and clean, the dialogue concise and pointed. And there's a great cliffhanger at the end. What more could you want from a serial?

I don't know what future installments have in store, but I will be checking out the rest of the series as they become available.


Battery+
Battery+
Price: $3.91

5.0 out of 5 stars worth it, July 26, 2014
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This review is from: Battery+ (App)
A great app for tracking my Kindle Fire battery life. Worth the money for the extra features. I also like the customization options.


The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree (The Outlaw King Book 1)
The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree (The Outlaw King Book 1)
Price: $0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Hunt knows beautiful prose, and he's likely only going to get ..., July 22, 2014
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A portal fantasy with a bounty of imaginative ideas, THE WHIRLWIND IN THE THORN TREE is a diamond in the rough -- and there is some rough going; jagged bits that feel unpolished and out of place, but also glimmering jewels of prose that shine in the dark. S.A. Hunt knows beautiful prose, and he's likely only going to get better. I thought this book had a few problems, but they're not worth going into -- it's still a four-star read, well worth your time.


If A Martyr I should Be: Being a Part of a Manuscript Written by Sir Edward Grim
If A Martyr I should Be: Being a Part of a Manuscript Written by Sir Edward Grim
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Being a Part of a Manuscript Written by Sir Edward Grim, June 26, 2014
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"I had no idea that I had in my foot locker a printout of a nearly 800-year-old manuscript written by a young man who was standing within shouting distance of Thomas [à Becket} when he was so abruptly removed from the list of Henry II's problems."

Ben Gerber's translation of the first-hand account of Sir Edward Grim gives us a brief, fascinating look into a moment in history - the moment where King Henry II, deliberately or not, ordered the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury. This short piece reads the way a medieval adventure might, with tension, betrayal, and a race against time. Except it all really happened. Gerber's translation from the old French is clear, brisk, and rich in nuance and detail. Added to which, the introduction is funny and insightful, and I would gladly have read more of the author's historical observations.

Highly recommended for writers of historical fiction or anyone with an interest in history. A short read, well worth your buck.


The Wizard and the Rat (The Voice of the Dragons Book 1)
The Wizard and the Rat (The Voice of the Dragons Book 1)
Price: $3.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh Voice, December 19, 2013
The Wizard and the Rat is a great read. It's gritty without being grimdark, features an openly gay protagonist who is in no way a "chosen one," and brings up hard questions about what life in a fantasy universe would be like, without relying on tired tropes or easy squalor. In short, it is the kind of fantasy I'm always saying I wished more people would write. I look forward to more work from this author.


Darrion
Darrion
Price: $0.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotionally loaded and fresh fantasy short, October 16, 2013
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This review is from: Darrion (Kindle Edition)
What happens after a young woman marries her magically gifted lover? This is a short, emotional tale of a woman raising a son with unusual gifts -- not the polite, easy kind of gifts that are charming and harmless, but the kind that are dangerous and difficult. Ames doesn't pull any punches in this short, and the crackling attention to detail that characterized MINSTREL is here as well. You can finish it in one sitting, but it's worth your buck.


The Blue Blazes
The Blue Blazes

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Mythology for the Charcuterie Set, June 24, 2013
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This review is from: The Blue Blazes (Kindle Edition)
If Terry Gilliam and Tony Scott teamed up to make a movie, I think it might end up looking a lot like the Blue Blazes. A cleaver-toting mobster ends up at odds with the underworld -- figurative, literal, and mythological -- and lands in the middle of a hyper-violent struggle to put the magical Great Below back on top.

One word that gets tossed around a lot when it comes to this book is the "mythology" of the world of Mookie Pearl. While there's plenty to recommend Blue Blazes -- a unique protagonist, a terrific gallery of memorable supporting characters, a breakneck tale of betrayal and double-crosses, Wendig's joyfully profane prose -- it is the mythology that truly stands out, taking the idea of a hidden occult world and integrating it with our own -- not seamlessly, but in the sort of dirty, untidy way that is Wendig's wheelhouse. The setting of the Blue Blazes is a New York where union miners wrangle with disgusting subterranean goblins, and nasty creatures of nightmare walk the earth disguised as vagrants.

The Blue Blazes is by turns funny, bleak, horrific, and awe-inspiring, and the mythology of the world is presented in tantalizing glimpses rather than sterile infodumps. Wendig has picked up a habit of remarking on the delightful absurdity of his own creations in the text itself, with characters taking on a "look at this insane thing that's happening!" demeanor as they go.

Blue Blazes is not for the faint of heart -- it's gory, slimy, icky, and full of unholy secretions you cannot identify and wouldn't want to touch. Like so many Wendig novels before it, it's anything but happy. There's plenty of humor, but most of it is dark and some of it is profoundly scatological. And the storyline is aptly described as "bleak." So if you're looking for a story of dashing heroes and clear morality, this is not the book for you.

Blue Blazes is one of my favorite books so far this year, and Mookie just may have bumped Miriam Black as my favorite Chuck Wendig protagonist.


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