Book Blog
Patriots (Review) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 19 November 2017 00:00

haven’t read David Drake in a while – not seriously since college and his Hammer’s Slammers break out novels. And here we have another one written in 1996 (which is more than twenty years ago, a fact that continues to surprise me). Saw this in a used book store and figured why not.

So this story is a thinly veiled allegory (so I’m told) of the Revolutionary War, and what took place in Vermont with Ethan Allen (whom I knew just from the PR he gets in America and if it’s anything like what Sam Adams got, then yes, it’s wildly inaccurate). But in this case, it’s the planet of Greenwood which is being threatened by developers who are getting tracts of lands claimed by off-world authorities (which also occurred in Vermont). So settlers come in and clear, adding effort and value to their homesteads, only to have it snatched up from them by outside interlopers.

Standing for the locals is Yarby Bannock, a tavern-smashing mountain of a man (apparently just like Ethan Allen). And while he’s big and wily, he’s just saved an offworld student lawyer from a beating. Of course, with will all come together when the offworlders try to push the settlers off their homesteads. The heroes are bold and true, the invaders vain and posturing, and it’s what you’d expect from classic Space Opera.

Patriots was a fun enough novel, a little light and breezy in places yet not attempting to be otherwise. I did enjoy it. It did feel (and this is my own personal inclination) that for a novel written by a military scifi guy, the forces of good and bad never quite came together, not in the jungles of the edge of space, in the frontier battle I was half-expecting. There were one or two inept tries at a landing, some courtroom drama, all that stuff, but no back-woods fighting. But outside of that, yes, it was a good read, worth picking up if it comes to a used bookstore near you.

>>>FIRE AND BRONZE IS ABOUT THOSE SAME INTERLOPERS, THIS TIME DISPLACED PHOENICIANS SETTLING IN NORTH AFRICA. YOU CAN GET IT HERE!<<<

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 November 2017 09:02
 
Utah Blaine (Review) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 November 2017 00:00

amilies have dark secrets. My sister likes romance novels. Me, I love an occasional Louis L’Amour western. It’s all wide open spaces and honest heroes who have to fight against massed opposition for the sake of good and right (rather like my own life, seems to me). L’Amour can hold an audience; that’s been proven around the world.

So the hero with his cool name, Utah Blaine, is on the run after springing himself from a Mexican jail (for attempting to help a revolution). He’s moving north, back into the states, on foot, without a gun. Then one night he wakes up to hear a band of dishonest men hanging an older fellow out in the nowheres – thankfully they don’t rig him so he breaks his neck. Like Batman villains, they dangle him all choking, laugh at him and leave him to die alone. Of course, Blaine decides that the secrecy of the act speaks of its illegitimacy and saves the gasping rancher. Turns out this guy runs the largest cattle spread in the territories. Also turns out that a vigilante squad he helped established is now intent on killing him and breaking his land up.

In gratitude, the neck-rubbing guy accepts Blaine’s proposition – the rancher will hide out like the king in chess while Blaine goes after his enemies (and if he pulls this off, he’ll be the ranch foreman). Of course, it means taking on a band of thugs backed by rich ranchers and town dudes, all who can import all the mugs, pugs and thugs money can buy. So, with his own small group of good castoffs, Utah goes head to head with wealth, power and human evilness. Yeah, slap leather, partner.

This is just another book from a long-established author, a great read for a rainy day. Unlike the massive Tom Jones that I’m digging my way through, this one is a breezy 160 pages, short and sweet. If you haven’t read westerns, just pick up this book (hell, any book) from this master. You’ll find yourself really enjoying the ride, and you won’t have saddle sores by the end. Guar-o-tee it, Partner!

>>>SUPPORT THIS SITE. PICK UP ONE OF MY OWN BOOKS OF HISTORICAL FICTION RIGHT DOWN HERE!<<<

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 November 2017 08:27
 
Stone Lake (Review) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 29 October 2017 00:00

tone Lake was an odd book sent to me by a friend (you want to challenge me, Boy? Think you can send me books and not get ones in return? Well, we’ll see about that). When I first got it, I frowned at the cover, frowned at the back, and thought “Why is this guy sending me chick-lit?”

So Jon (See, chick-lit) is a dude who lost his company to his shitty best friend. Most of his time is spent working for free. Most of his money goes to his blubbery lazy mom. He’s divorced – and his ex hooked up with Mr. Shitty. So Jon lives the country-western song life – out in a cabin in the woods (with an outhouse) – just a quiet life with him and his truck and his books. Nothing is going to change for Jon.

Until he rear-ends Morgan, a troubled rich girl (all the rich folk live around the lake – just like those North Carolina old-rich enclaves) who is hanging around her parent’s house and dreading her upcoming wedding to a nice quiet lawyer. And she’s got her own dark past, one her parents sneer at her over. Yeah, so everything’s screwed up.

And Jon and Morgan fall in love, the quiet hero and the crippled sparrow. Tenderness ensues. Romance blossoms. But what can they do? Their lives are fixed. Will they just pass in the night? How will love win out? Will there be a happy ending?

Truthfully? I was about to drop it. It was just a little too syrupy. Maybe my sister would like it.

And then the story wrenched into a turn I did not see coming.

Bravo!

I really love, as a reader, when writers break from standard melodramatic crap that most stories follow. It’s refreshing to find one’s bookmark moving through uncharted territory. Another couple of pages and I might have bailed. So off we went in a new direction, just setting things in a totally unexpected way. Not quite chick-lit, not by the end. And, as they say, “a long way to get to the punchline” but it was enjoyable all the same.

If you like romance and you like interesting off-the-wall twists, you’ll love Stone Lake.

>>>I CAN’T SAY FIRE AND BRONZE WAS UNEXPECTED – I KILLED THE HEROINE IN THE FIRST SENTENCE. BUT HOW WE GET TO THAT POINT, THAT’S THE INTERESTING BIT. BUY IT OFF THIS LINK AND SEE FOR YOURSELF!<<<

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 October 2017 20:03
 
Pygmy (Review) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 22 October 2017 00:00

ll the Cedar family knows is that they have, at the urging of their church, adapted a young boy from a third world country, one that they wish to share the blessings of American culture and consumption with. This family is pretty screwed up, with the son a moraless turd and the daughter sniffing solder fumes, mom burning every battery in the house in her vibrator and dad just oblivious to it all. They've even renamed him "Pygmy" without the slightest thought or hesitation.

All Agent Number 67 knows is that he's succeeded in being imbedded (along with several fellow agents) into oblivious American families. He's been stripped from his natural family at an early age (and told they died in an American Nuclear attack the evidence of which he's never seen), trained for years and turned into the perfect weaponized human. And with his fellow agents, he will bring about Operation Havoc, whatever that might be.

This weird story comes to us from Chuck Palahniuk of Fight Club fame. It's a neat little scramble of the things America does to other nations (through its open wars and cultural exportation) and the things other nations do in crazed response (terrorism and worse). Written from Agent 67's POV, it is a funny outside-looking-in critique of our world, of how lazy and ill-trained our youth is to the ineffectiveness and disinterest of government. And through it all, 'Pygmy' tries to make sense of this society he's being sent to destroy via his pigeon-English dispatches (amazing that agents who can spell any word in a spelling-bee can't construct a simple English sentence). But it was cringingly funny and after the initial stumbling of getting used to the main character's cadence, it reads fine (I had to laugh when my mom's friend picked up the book, glanced at a random page and frowned - yes, this book is about you, I suppose). So, yes, quite an enjoyable read, all the way down to the ticking-bomb end.

I've never read Fight Club (just seen the movie) but perhaps I'll have to read it now. I sure enjoyed Pygmy. Ever since I read A People's History of the United States, I've been looking for something like this. Fun and poignant, a great read.

>>>IF YOU LIKE JUST DEALING WITH PHOENICAN WORDS IN FIXED CONTEXT, TRY MY BOOKS INSTEAD. DOWN THIS LINK!<<<

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 October 2017 10:04
 
«StartPrev12345678910NextEnd»

Page 1 of 78