reviews
Villains Rule (The Shadow Master #1) Book Review
06, Mar

Have you ever wanted to reach into the reality of book or movie and shake the villain? Ever since Scott Evil pointed out he had a gun in his room and it would take just a few seconds to get it so they could kill Austin Powers, we have been in dire need of a villain consultant. This book seems to have been inspired by the Evil Overlord's List and that's fairly high praise by itself. We've all wanted a smarter more savvy villain in our fantasy and that's what the protagonist of this book provides as a service.

Dreadnought (Nemesis #1)
23, Feb

DREADNOUGHT is the first novel of the Nemesis series. The premise is Danny Tozer, young transgender girl, is there when Dreadnought the world's greatest superhero is killed. Danny inherits the power of Dreadnought but also becomes her idealized self (effectively Supergirl). This is problematic since Danny is still hiding her trans identity from her transphobic parents as well as schoolmates. She is, after all, only fifteen. But there's more to her life than dealing with them. There's an entire army of evil she needs to defeat as the other superheroes have nothing on Dreadnought--and the world needs a Dreadnought.

Strange Days (Bill of the Dead #1) by Rick Gualtieri Book Review
21, Feb

STRANGE DAYS is the reboot of the TOME OF BILL series that remains one of my favorite literary guilty pleasures. The second series, called BILL OF THE DEAD, is the start of a new storyline that reverses a lot of the final changes in the finale as well as sets up an entirely new chronicle of what I hope to be an equally lengthy series of books. It's an entertaining book, one of the author's best, and fans of the series should definitely pick it up.

Never Die by Rob J. Hayes Book Review
03, Feb

5/5

NEVER DIE is a stand-alone novel by popular grimdark novelist Rob J. Hayes (The Ties That Bind, Best Laid Plans, Drones). I've always been a fan of Rob J. Hayes and will recommend all of his books to those who want an awesome dark fantasy story. I think he stands up there with Ben Galley and Mark Lawrence for stories that are just plan good. Never Die isn't quite up there with the Best Laid Plans series but is certainly as entertaining as Drones. I also applaud the book for having a non-Western setting with this having a Chinese/Japanese fantasy kingdom as its premise.

Mountain of Daggers (Tales of the Black Raven #1) by Seth Skorkowsky Book Review
27, Jan

4.5/5

A big fan of the Valducan books by Seth Skorkowsky, I was interested in other books by him and the release of a new fantasy series intrigued me. MOUNTAIN OF DAGGERS is the first collection of short stories by him about the Black Raven. Who is the Black Raven? The Black Raven is the alias of Ahren, a thief and assassin who haunts a Medieval Fantasy world. Well, Medieval bordering on Renaissance fantasy world.

Star Quest: The Journey Begins (Star Quest #1)
18, Jan

PATRICIA LEE MACOMBER is a author I was interested in checking out the works of since I had her writing recommended to me by a friend. I decided to check out STAR QUEST: THE JOURNEY BEGINS in large part because of the cover due to the fact I'm a big fan of STAR TREK and the author clearly communicated they were going to go for that sort of feel. I wasn't disappointed and found this to be a delightful afternoon read.

Knights of the Dead God (Broken Redemption #1)
10, Jan

KNIGHTS OF THE DEAD GOD is the sequel to JACK BLOODFIST: FIXER but its own separate series. This is interesting because they're two separate genres. Jack Bloodfist: Fixer is a urban fantasy while Knights of the Dead God is a more traditional fantasy. The two can be together because travel between worlds is a real thing in this setting and plays a major role in the story. Like if a story took place in both Narnia as well as New York. This is the Narnia section where Arthur Shield, an antagonist of the first book, must undergo a fascinating as well as gut-wrenching bit of soul searching after his god dies.

The Call of Distant Shores by David Niall Wilson Book Review
06, Jan

Note: I've worked with the author and his publishing house but these are my honest thoughts as best I could make them. Consider yourself forewarned.

THE CALL OF DISTANT SHORES is a homage to the works of H.P. Lovecraft with a twist. David Niall Wilson is a author I have very much enjoyed the writings of ranging from his work for licensed properties like STAR TREK, VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE, and STARGATE SG-1 to his original stories like GIDEON'S CURSE as well as the DECHANCE CHRONICLES.

Deep Roots (The Innsmouth Legacy #2)
04, Jan

DEEP ROOTS is the sequel to Ruthanna Emrys' WINTER TIDE and THE LITANY OF EARTH. It is a story set in a "perspective flip" Cthulhu Mythos. The basic idea behind the Innsmouth Legacy is the Cthulhu Mythos is not actively hostile but simply different. The Deep Ones are just another race of human beings, the Mi-Go are busy-bodies who want to make humans better, the Yithians (actually the Yithians are much worse). It moves the setting from the realm of horror into that of science fiction.

The Spider in the Laurel (Rafael Ward #1)
03, Jan

4.5/5

The Spider in the Laurel has some pretty hefty hurdles to overcome in its premise: it is a religiously-themed series about a militant anti-religious government having taken over the United States and yet has its hero be an atheist. The idea of such a government coming to pass in the not-so-distant-future is, itself, only slightly more plausible than North Korea taking over the USA in the Red Dawn remake.