Tag Archives: e-book

Review – Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace (E-book)

EnvyofAngels_Final_hires I’ve been a casual fan of Matt Wallace’s for quite some time. His stories have been engaging and (in the case of Sundae) moving. When I read the synopsis for Envy of Angels, it piqued (I always have to Google this word) my interest. Was it a feast or a famine?

In New York, eating out can be hell.

Everyone loves a well-catered event, and the supernatural community is no different, but where do demons go to satisfy their culinary cravings?

Welcome to Sin du Jour – where devils on horseback are the clients, not the dish.

The Goods – An urban fantasy where food takes center stage? As someone who’s worked in the food service industry in varying roles and who loves cooking and eating fabulous food, I was intrigued. This initial book in the series shows us the inside of Sin du Jour through the eyes of two excellent cooks who aren’t where they want to be professionally. The staff have to prepare incredible dishes (using a very special main ingredient) and create a wonderful party for two rival demon clans.

This story has everything I want. The characters are interesting, memorable, and as well fleshed out as you can ask for. The protagonists are interesting and strange, though the biggest protagonist may well be the clock. My personal favorite part of the story is where the crew whose job it is to procure certain specialty items goes up against… Well let’s just say I’ll never look at a chicken nugget the same way again. The conflicts, as strange as they are, have real stakes. Wallace has taken all of his many skills and written a truly fascinating and hilarious piece of fiction.

The Bads – I got nothing. I mean seriously. NOTHING.

The Verdict – If the bit in “The Goods” doesn’t hook you in, I’m not sure what can. It’s a brilliant concept, wonderfully executed. It’s one of those “I wish I had thought of it” moments. Go and buy it. I give this Five out of Five Golden Arches.

BLOG – http://www.matt-wallace.com/
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/MattFnWallace
Amazon Link – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WDVL0HQ/

Review – Hell Bent For Leather by Josh Unruh (E-book)

leather I recently reviewed Josh Unruh’s book “Werewolves of Mass Destruction” on the blog. He was tickled by my honest review and sent me a copy of Hell Bent For Leather to review as well. So, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did recieve this e-book for free.

Chet Leather is the best cowboy West Texas has ever seen. He also has the Sight beyond sight, able to See to the heart of things. That means he Sees ghosts, demons, and the difference between honesty and lies.

That’s how he knows Dan Reed, his best friend, told the truth about selling his soul to the Devil. But Dan had died and the Devil come to collect before Chet knew anything about the pact. Now it’s up to a cowboy that sees ghosts and a washed-up old priest to save Dan’s soul.

But it’s going to take a confrontation with a bandito who can’t be killed, a battle with a hundred vengeful souls, riding against demonic cattle rustlers, and, finally, a chat with the Devil himself.

Chet’s out to make enemies of the Damned, and when he’s done, it’ll be Hell Bent for Leather.

The Goods – Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a sucker for supernatural stuff, especially though not limited to the Christian mythos, and Westerns. This should be the perfect blending of the two. And you know what? It is! It’s obvious from the title that Josh loves a good pun and there are a few of those in the book. By and large though, it’s a serious piece of Wild West Fantasy, though. I could easily see this being adapted into a comic book or other visual format, because Josh is very gifted at painting a solid picture with his descriptions. That’s especially true when we get to meet the denizens of hell. There’s one seen where he describes a demon and you don’t want to eat when he does. This isn’t a horror book, though. It’s less Hellraiser and more Hellboy. There’s darkness, but there’s plenty of action and slightly over the top magic/mysticism.

One of my criticisms of “Werewolves” was that it was light on the character development. This story proves that that wasn’t a shortcoming of Josh’s. I suspect, as I said in that review, that it’s a matter of having the room. Here, Chet and the other characters, even the Devil, are more nuanced and fully fleshed out.

It had me flipping pages as fast as I could to see what happened next. The pacing was great and the scenes between action beats were well done.

The Bads – I really can’t come up with any huge criticisms. Or any little, nit-picky ones. That’s not to say this book is perfect. No book is. But I had nary a single bone to pick with Josh’s story.

I give this story five silver bullets out of five.

Josh’s Site
Josh’s Twitter

Review – Assured Destruction by Michael F. Stewart (E-book)

I love social media. It’s a great way to meet new authors and discover their works. Every once in a while I’ll see a “free book” re-tweet from a friend and it’s about an author I don’t know. I’ll almost always click and usually I’ll grab it. Will I always read it? Eventually I’ll give it a shot. Sometimes I’ve even glad I did.

You can learn a lot about someone looking through their hard drive …

Sixteen-year-old Jan Rose knows that nothing is ever truly deleted. At least, not from the hard drives she scours to create the online identities she calls the Shadownet.

Hobby? Art form? Sad, pathetic plea to garner friendship, even virtually? Sure, Jan is guilty on all counts. Maybe she’s even addicted to it. It’s an exploration. Everyone has something to hide. The Shadownet’s hard drives are Jan’s secrets. They’re stolen from her family’s computer recycling business Assured Destruction. If the police found out, Jan’s family would lose its livelihood.

When the real people behind Shadownet’s hard drives endure vicious cyber attacks, Jan realizes she is responsible. She doesn’t know who is targeting these people or why, but as her life collapses Jan must use all her tech savvy to bring the perpetrators to justice before she becomes the next victim.

This young adult science fiction novel was a great read. I’m a big fan of Cory Doctorow and this reminded me a lot of Little Brother. The protagonist is a smart and sensitive kid who gets in over her head fast, just as Cory’s protagonist did. In this case Jan doesn’t end up going to prison, but things get dire for her fast. It’s written in first person and the pages fly by. First person doesn’t work for everyone, but I like the intimacy it can deliver. Jan’s a character I can identify with. I knew kids like her growing up and I know some adult versions of her. Having a strong, and yet far from perfect, lead is vitally important in fiction in general, more so when you make the first person POV choice.

The other things I enjoyed about this book were all of the issues it raised about cyber-security and the need for it whatever your age might be. I geek for a living and the technical details Michael includes are spot on, but he includes them in a way that won’t go over the head of most teens. This is the world most of them live in. We put our trust in companies of all shapes and sizes, giving them every bit of data they need to sink us. Many of us, myself included, put our lives online for hundreds of people to see. As an adult, I hope I do it responsibly. As a teen, I know I wouldn’t have and many today don’t. I hope this makes the readers think about it and have some fruitful discussions with their parents. The whole book is very timely.

The plot and pacing are very tight. This is a thriller and Michael keeps raising the stakes and making things tough on Jan, her family, and her friends. There are also elements of a mystery. He kept me guessing all the way through, though a more scrupulous reading may have told me what was going to happen. Regardless, this book did what mystery thrillers need to do.

Finally, let me make an appeal. I would love to see this as a graphic novel. If there are any artists reading this, give it a look and contact Michael. 😉

I give this story five thumb drives out of five.

Michael’s Site
Michael’s Twitter
Amazon Kindle Link
Amazon Paperback Link

E-book Death Match

We got ourselves a little e-book death match going on here. I declared to Keith Hughes aka the Penslinger that I could sell his book Borrowed Time better than he could. The punk said something along the lines of “Oh, yeah?” I know, clever right? And so the gauntlet has been thrown down.

We will spend the next two weeks trying to out sell each other. The trick? We’re not pimping out own books. I’m spreading the word about Borrowed Time (please purchase it from Amazon or Smashwords) and he’s letting people know about my horror anthology Through A Glass, Darkly. If his book out sells mine, I win and vice versa.

So what happens to the loser? This is where you come in (besides buying the books). Let me know what you’d like to have Keith do when he loses. Put something in the comments or shoot me an email. We’ll put a poll up a week from today and you folks get to decide. Want him to compose and sing a little song or maybe dance a jig or two? You can make that happen.

I’d appreciate you helping me spread the word. If you like thrillers, science fiction, or a fresh take on time travel I think you’ll like what Keith is doing. Here’s a brief synopsis:

Ness Relevant is living on borrowed time. Molecular implosion, cellular degeneration, and dangerous men are but a few of the perils faced by the friendly and unassuming forensic photographer.

His quiet bachelorhood is interrupted when he receives an innocent looking device in the mail from a friend and former college professor. Ness unexpectedly finds himself embroiled in events driven by his friend’s success.

This device is the focal point of a struggle that could overturn the whole world should Ness or his friend’s invention fall prey to greedy men. Before his time runs out Ness must travel back to an uncomfortable past to prevent an unthinkable future.

In the race for the future, time has no boundaries