08 October, 2014

Review - The Fortress in Orion (Dead Enders #1) by Mike Resnick

Review #1:

"Hey guys, who wants to go to an impenetrable fortress on an impossible mission where everyone will certainly die?" says Coolguy.

"Me!" says Muscles.

"Me too!" says Thief.

"Of course! I don't need reasons for going on missions where I will certainly die!" says Powers.

"Even though you cloned me and I have no actual reasons for believing your society is better than my alien one, I too can't wait to go die!" says Clone.

Spaceship time.

"Wow, it's really dangerous out here, but somehow things are going really easy," says Coolguy, "we made it all the way here with not even a minor hiccup, but remember about the danger!"

Impenetrable fortress time.

"I can't believe how easy this is going, how is it so easy? we got into this impossibly impenetrable fortress without even one problem and we already got our badguy, but watch out for all the danger!"

Leaving impenetrable fortress.

"You guessed it, it's dangerous out here guys! How did we make it back to safety with what can barely be described as a slight stir? We're one crazy team of course!"

Review #2:

How this story should have been written: 
A group of people with different, yet exceptional talents are given a mission, which they perform flawlessly and without incident. 
In other words, the events of this book could be summed up in the beginning of the first page of another book, possibly making up an entire prologue, though that's stretching it still. I'm honestly not joking when I say this.

Review #3:

What started out grabbing my attention, literally from the first page, quickly had me completely baffled. This group of characters seemed cool and fun and then nothing happened. At first, I thought it was the author trying to quickly get from A to B because all the good stuff was going to happen at B. But then it didn't ... literally nothing happened.

Why would anyone need or want to read a whole novel about the lives of these people and this event that literally went off without a single hitch? That's not something for the history books ... for any books. It's obviously an important moment ... to capture in a blip, an epigraph, something besides a whole book.

Luckily it's less than 300 pages, but like I said at the beginning of this review #3, I kept thinking that finally something would actually happen. Something! Please, Mike Resnick fans, please tell me this isn't representative. I don't know if I can read any more of his work that's won Hugos and stuff. How, if this is the product? Let me know.

2 out of 5 Stars (I finished it so I guess that's something)

06 October, 2014

Halloween Giveaway - The Legend of Sleep Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving with Introduction and Notes by Elizabeth L. Bradley

I thought this would be a nice way to get into the holiday spirit, run a giveaway for a creepy book! Who doesn't love the tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horsemen found in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Enough someone's made a popular television show about it I guess.

This new addition to this classic, which was just released last month, not only includes other stories from Washington Irving, but has notes from Elizabeth Bradley, who wrote Knickerbocker: The Myth Behind New York and who's literary consultant to the caretakers of Irving's Tarrytown, New York home. She may know a thing or two about the author and the legend.

If you'd like a chance at this newly fancified version of the classic The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories, here's what it takes:

1. Please include your name and physical address (you know, where the books goes)
2. Also make sure that physical address is in the US or Canada (because I obviously hate the rest of the world ... no, you know I don't mean that, sorry!! **ducks fruit**)
3. Email the above to onlythebestsff@[remove this]gmail.com
4. Snark increases your chance of winning, and I mean really good snark. Let me have it. It's not hard, I suck at lots of things.

30 September, 2014

Review - American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett

I gotta get this out of my system right off the bat. I don't like the cover to this book. It doesn't stand out, it's only mildly representative of the story, which is rich and vibrant (i.e., bland and boring), and it's just plain blah. Hate it.

Whew, that felt good. Now back to our regularly-scheduled review.

Other than the cover, this novel, American Elsewhere, was brilliant. This was not unexpected after reading only one other book by Robert Jackson Bennett. That book, The Troupe, happened to be my favorite book of 2012 as well and he does not disappoint in this instance.

I hesitate to make comparisons, but there are elements of H.P. Lovecraft and Neil Gaiman. But the problem is, no one compares to Bennett's imagination. That's what I learned in The Troupe and what's reinforced in American Elsewhere.

The prologue grabs you right away, I recommend reading it asap. I'm sure it's free somewhere, just keep your wallet ready. Then the mysteries keep building up until about 200 pages into this 660 page book, when suddenly the reveals begin and the whole entire two third plus of the book is one crazy ride. It's compelling from page one and though large, this book doesn't let up.

I've strayed from actually describing events. I guess I'll leave that to the description on Goodreads (linked above) because if I told you, I'd have to kill you ... erm ... actually, I really have no clue how to describe this book without giving way too many spoilers.

Suffice it to say, go read it, it's creepy, weird, gross, creepy, and super creepy. And awesome. Oh, and it's stand-alone.

4.5 out of 5 Stars (very highly recommended)

20 September, 2014

eBook Deals - Way of Kings FREE, plus more...

You've probably seen this already, but I thought I'd post it here too. Apple is promoting its iBooks app and has a number of books for free for download including books by Brandon Sanderson and Brandon Mull, plus a DC Comic. Check them out below.

I added a couple more deals I saw too.

iTunes link:
[FREE] The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson
[FREE] Wild Born (Spirit Animals #1) by Brandon Mull
[FREE] Justice League: Origin by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee

[FREE] Bitterwood (Bitterwood #1) by James Maxey
[$0.99] Dragonforge (Bitterwood #2) by James Maxey
[$2.99] Dragonseed (Bitterwood #3) by James Maxey
[$2.99] Dawn of Dragons (Bitterwood #4) by James Maxey

[$2.99] 11/22/66 by Stephen King
[$2.99] Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff VanderMeer

[$3.99] Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - I will include this as long as it's a decent deal. Love this book.

Today Only:
[$1.99] Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut