Book Reviews – June to August

Book Reviews-June-August-2018New Feature

For a while now, I’ve been considering adding book reviews to my line up of regular features. The problem has been that I have a huge back-catalog of reviews, and I really didn’t know where to start. I read both fiction and non-fiction books, and time allowing I can read three or four books a month.

Usually my fiction reading covers Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Urban Fantasy/Paranormal genres, but I sometimes read outside those areas, if a book catches my interest, or it’s by an author I’ve come to trust.

My non-fiction reading ranges from author advice, to marketing, and topics related to stories I’m writing, or planning. I also pick up the occasional books on science, animals, and even biographies, or other subjects that catch my attention.

As a blogger, I often feature book spotlights as part of my regular posts, so don’t be surprised to see some familiar titles in my review posts. I’ve yet to decide how often I’ll be posting these review spots, so feel free to drop suggestions in the comments. Would you prefer to see each book review posted as soon as it’s live on the book sites, or does a round-up like this work best for you?

Reviews For Readers

FoolsOfParodyTitle: Fools Of Parody

Author: Scott Moses

Genre: Science Fiction, Satire

Rating: 4 Stars

Sci-Fi Political Parodys are a rarity

“Fools of Parody” was a fun read, but there were times when I felt a little confused by the motivations of some of the characters. Thankfully a lot of those confusions were resolved by the end of the story, as more information was revealed.
I would have liked to see certain characters fleshed out a little more, or at least more time on the page, especially given how instrumental they were expected to be in the outcome of events. However, it was a fun read, and I thankfully didn’t have to wade through a lot of hard science to feel that this was well placed in its genre selection.

Buy Now: E-Book, Paperback


TheHiddenCourtTitle: The Hidden Court (The Paranormal University Files: Skylar Book 1)

Author: Vivienne Savage

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Suspense

Rating: 4 Stars

A suspense-filled school year for the paranormal students, with a splash of romance

This book is a great read, and the romance element just adds to what would be an otherwise great story.
Starting a new school can be difficult enough, but when you’re going to a school for supernatural students things are always going to be a little different. I loved how each of the races had a unique perspective on not only each other, but the history of the magical world, and the events that are going on around them.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a suspense story without something going on to raise the tensions between the various races, or the individuals, and the author delivers on this in a wonderfully entertaining way.
What really surprised me though, is how much I came to care for the supporting cast of characters, just as much as I did for the protagonist and the love-interest. There is a great variety in the characters, and each of them has qualities that set them apart, as well as compliment each other.
I received a copy of this book as an Advanced Reader Copy, in return for an honest review, but I’ll definitely be adding more of this author’s work to my collection.

Buy Now: E-Book, Paperback


Reviews For Writers

LayerYourNovelTitle: Layer Your Novel: The Innovative Method for Plotting Your Scenes (The Writer’s Toolbox Series)

Author: C.S. Lakin

Rating: 4 Stars

This book made me rethink my book writing process

Lakin has produced a book that made me rethink my entire book writing process. Thanks to this book, I now have a way to help resolve problems I’ve been having with the plot of my current novel project.
I’ve been struggling with the plot for my first novel for years now, and this book came to my attention at just the right time. I was literally pulling my hair out at time as I wrestled with my subplots, and making sure they entered the story at the right time. But after reading through this book, not once, but three times, I’ve come away with new ways of looking at story structure, outside the basic three-act structure.
Lakin breaks stories into layers, and layers into key scenes according to how the layers fit in the story. The best part is that the entire process takes you from story premise to basic outline, and into layers of action-reaction and subplots that add depth to your story, and flesh out your characters in the process.
I’m glad that I picked this book up, even if it took multiple readings to wrap my head around the potential changes I can make to my writing process. I’ve actually made great progress breaking down the mess that is my current draft, and look forward to reshaping the subplots so that they actually make sense.

Buy Now: E-Book, Paperback


 

Advertisements

Book Spotlight – “Fools Of Parody” by Scott Moses

Book Spotlight - Fools of Parody by Scott Moses

Book Blurb

Two aliens, Anu and Matrona, who first made their appearance on Earth 5000 years ago to help mankind develop civilization, return after a 2000 year absence. And they’re pissed. Instead of cleaning up our mess again, they choose seven humans, calling them angels, teaching them the ways of universal love and joy. Can the angels spread the message in time? Will their opponents succeed in stopping them? Will Anu and Matrona destroy humankind and turn the planet over to the dolphins?

Read my review

Buy Your Copy Now! E-Book, Paperback

From the Author

The Laughing Warrior Scott Moses is the author of the reviewer acclaimed novels “Between Truth and Eternity” and “Fools Of Parody’. His turn-ons include taking long hikes with his dogs, jello wrestling, and homemade chili. Turn-offs include mean people and driving behind someone with their blinker on for five miles. He lives among the majesty and clean air of the San Francisco Peaks.

Where To Find SCOTT MOSES

Facebook, Website (Laughing Warrior)

English Rules Broken – Phonetics

Broken Phonetics - GHOTI=FISH

No, A GHOTI is Not A Type of Beard!

So, have you figured out what a ghoti is after reading the image above? And that last sentence is a huge clue.

If you need another clue, just remember, I love my ghoti deep fried in beer batter, slapped on a plate with a nice side order of chips (or steak cut fries), and smothered in salt and dripping with malt vinegar. Anyone suggesting I might want to dip my ghoti in tartar sauce with probably get a funny look, as I sprinkle on more vinegar.

Ghoti=fish.

By now, it should be obvious that I’m talking about fish in the paragraph above. But why do I keep calling it ghoti?

Simply put, phonetics are the building blocks of the spoken word. There are approximately 44 phonemes in the English language, based on the 26 individual letters, and some letter combinations. Unfortunately, there are way more ways to represent those sounds when written down (called graphemes).

This PDF file from Dyslexia Reading Well shows just how complicated spelling can be when we account for possible grapheme variations of the same phoneme.

Breaking It Down

Gh as in couGH (F)

O as in wOmen (i)

ti as in naTIon (sh)

Fish!

English Rules Broken – “I before E”

I know I’m not the only one who was taught that “I comes before E, except after C”. But, then as I got older, I discovered an endless supply of words which broke that rule.

My wife brought the above example to my attention last night, after spotting it on a Facebook post, and I knew that I had to share.

There are many more “rules” of the English language that are frequently ignored, or aren’t hard and fast rules, as we’re led to believe. If you have any, please feel free to share them…

Book Spotlight – “Zombies From Space…and Vampires” by Angela B. Chrysler

Book Blurb

Alien invasion? Zombies? Vampires!? I don’t think so!

Aria was an average 19-year-old with average problems. Average was quite realistic until zombies landed their UFO in her backyard. If Aria wants to survive, she’ll need some help, and who better than a pirate captain, a steampunk inventor, a bazooka wielding slayer, and a deranged Englishman who insists he is Doctor Who?

Stuck in a war between vampires and zombie-walking Weeches, Aria and her eccentric crew take a stand for mankind as they fight for their right to survive. Hey, if you have to slaughter zombies and vampires, why not enjoy it?

Buy Your Copy Now! E-Book, Paperback

From the Author

Angela B. Chrysler is a writer, logician, philosopher, and die-hard nerd who studies theology, historical linguistics, music composition, and medieval European history in New York with a dry sense of humor and an unusual sense of sarcasm. She lives in a garden with her family and cats.

Where To Find Angela B. Chrysler

E-mail, Website, Newsletter