Tag Archives: fantasy

A Review of The Illustrated Hen

The Illustrated HenThe Illustrated Hen by Scott Charles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some have called it surreal. Others say absurd. It crosses genres. Read the description here on Goodreads for what’s up with the book. As a fellow writer, I look at it for technique even as I strive to be entertained. I did like it very much. Not everyone will. This is one of those books that will engender the “Huh?” response. As in, where is the author going with this. If you’re patient, you’ll find out. That requires your attention to be kept because you find it enjoyable. If not, you’ll just close the Kindle reader.

For me, it’s an excellent book with imagery that only occasionally borders on purple prose. The voice does vary, adding some confusion, which is resolved in time. That’s a pun, as you will learn sooner or later.
The book opens and closes with a frame—not so obvious in the prologue, yet that’s what is.

Without spoiling, here’s some foreshadowing from it:

“He paused briefly at the dates. The headstones shimmered a bit as he pulled his hand away.

She would be here soon.

He could see the energy rising up from the ground.

There was another Ray entering the tunnel. The possibilities were endless. Time was bending toward him but wouldn’t remain that way for long.

The headstones came back into focus, and she was standing there.

‘We’ve been waiting for you,’ she said.”

The opening chapter offers a PI character in negotiation with a shopkeeper. The narrative is vivid, putting the reader in front of the man. Again, in time, one will come to understand the point not of knowing the man but of getting why the description is supplied. The book is that well constructed.

“ ‘So what can I do for your, Burrberry comma Raymond,’ the man asked. He was a large, beefy fellow with a booming voice and thick framed glasses. He was holding up a business card and looking at it carefully. The man squinted through his glasses at the card, then Burrberry then back to the card.

The lenses were huge. The frames hung somewhat delicately on the bridge of his nose—a sculptured kind of nose, like you saw in those old Italian paintings.”

We could go on, but that risks telling too much. Here is the thing—it’s a story within a story. Rather, stories within a story. The writer’s voice varies because the stories do and it’s part of the evolution. Back and forth in time with characters and situations. It’s a rich book that I enjoyed. There are parts better than others. Parts that could have been better. But they can be overlooked as the sum of the parts makes for a wonderful whole.

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Review, Liars & Thieves

One more book review for 2020–may be running out of time for any more. 

Liars and ThievesLiars and Thieves by D. Wallace Peach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goblins, elves, changelings and more. Occasional humans too–rarely. It’s the interactions of the first three that holds the conflict and a storyline of finger-pointing over who is trespassing on whose territory–violating a treaty intended to keep competing interests from breaking out in war. They depend on one another–to an extent, so that’s preferable.

It’s my first reading of this compelling sub-genre and found it very entertaining. Just took a little while to figure out who was really who, their powers or attributes, and where it all would end up. I knew it really wouldn’t “end” because this is the first in a series. So, yes, I will read more.

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Book Review: The Voyage of the Lanternfish

Voyage of the Lanternfish (The Lanternfish #1)Voyage of the Lanternfish by C.S. Boyack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An entertaining book with serious (not too serious) characters–including normal folks, root? monsters, strange sea creatures and more. Took longer to read than I expected only due to interruptions that took me away from breezing right through.

Surprising details about weapons–some I’d never heard of. The same goes for parts of a sailing ship–more than I ever wanted or expected to know. But the main thing is that the storyline stayed on course even as the ship and its crew ran into one hassle–or battle, after another.

An enjoyable escape to a different time and places–some clearly based on some real geography but the names are changed somewhat. C.S. Boyack has great sense of humor as he tells his stories.

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Book Promo – Get ‘The Fountain: and six more fantasy and sci-fi stories’ FREE from 14th to 18th December…

Humor, twists and more in this collection of seven fantasy and sci-fi short stories.

Karma can be painful in “The Fountain”–when a plunderer meets a long-dead shaman.

A family adopts a retriever with special talents in “Lily, an Amazing Dog.”

The cover of The Fountain, a Kindle book

A vampire has a strange problem, in “Alfred’s Strange Blood Disorder.”

A perennial favorite, dimensional travel, with a strange twist in “The Closet Door.”

What could that column of fire be, rising from the Atlantic off the Outer Banks, read “The Flame” to find out what it meant to troubled writer Carson.

A wizard casts a spell that works well for a princess, but

will it be as good for him?

Check out “The Wizard.”

Finally, “The Fribble” offers an alien encounter of an odd sort, to a pharmaceutical company rep searching for new drugs in the Amazon Rain forest.

Source: Book Promo – Get ‘The Fountain: and six more fantasy and sci-fi stories’ FREE from 14th to 18th December…

The Fountain and six more short stories coming soon

A break from politics. About time, some might say! Yes, after a long delay John is finally getting something NEW published. The plan is to make that a more frequent occurrence–with novels out every year or two.  Working on one right now, in fact. But first a short story collection.

Check out the Fountain, in a Kindle edition only for the next 90 days, available on pre-order from Amazon now. It will be delivered July 10, 2017, for anyone ordering it now and thereafter for everyone. We’ll talk about free days and discounts later (can’t until after July 10.

The cover of The Fountain, a Kindle book

Humor, twists and more in this collection of seven fantasy and sci-fi short stories. Like what? Here’s what you will find:

  • Karma can be painful in “The Fountain”–when a plunderer meets a long-dead shaman.
  • A family adopts a retriever with special talents in “Lily, an Amazing Dog.”
  • A vampire has a strange problem, in “Alfred’s Strange Blood Disorder.”
  • A perennial favorite, dimensional travel, with a strange twist in “The Closet Door.”
  • What could that column of fire be, rising from the Atlantic off the Outer Banks? Read “The Flame” to find out what it meant to troubled writer Carson.
  • A wizard casts a spell that works well for a princess, but will it be as good for him? Check out “The Wizard.”
  • Finally, “The Fribble” offers an alien encounter of an odd sort, to a pharmaceutical company rep searching for new drugs in the Amazon Rain forest.
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 John Maberry