Thursday, December 4, 2014

To Love a Cyborg

Genetics, Corruption, Romance, and passion.

It is 2065. No-one knows the true identity of Detective Chief Superintendent Ben Tobin or where he came from.  His world turns into a nightmare with a spate of shocking homicides and abductions. Never encountering such evil before, Ben suspects they are ritual killings carried out by more than one killer.  Determined to solve the sinister notes left with the bodies, he turns to American psychologist Lucy Roberts.  She informs him genetic research could be involved. Working together they begin a passionate affair that turns into a nightmare. Can Lucy resolve her fears?   Can she accept Ben?
The clock is ticking, as the crimes take them across the world, and out to the Asteroid Belt. As Ben races to save the victims, Lucy disappears.

Author: Katy Walters
This book has a fascinating premise and has well-imagined characters. It is fast paced and the mystery aspects of it are well described and detailed. It's not a standard "whodunnit," but there is still a degree of guesswork and suspense. The setting is a little hard to wrap one's head around, as the reader is dropped into a futuristic world with absolutely no preamble or descriptive build up. Once you get past the setting, it is a quick read and has some interesting plot twists. I am a little at a loss as to how to discuss this book without posting spoilers; suffice it to say that this book should come with a trigger warning.

 Spoilers: There is a lot of implied rape in this book. Most of the scenes involve adults, but there is a scene where the detective saves children from a pedophile ring before they can be abused. While very little is described other than sounds that are overheard, there is no doubt of what is happening in these scenes. There are also many scenes with snakes, so if you are an ophidiophobe, you might want to give this one a pass.

 I received a download of this book for my honest opinion.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Time of Their Lives

The simple tale of what happens when a super hero and super villain meet by chance after years of retirement...  The original story was published in May 2004 by Top Cow Productions, and is written by Troy Hickman

I know I usually review books, with the occasional graphic novel, and one short story, but it still seems odd to now include a link to a comic that has been reblogged on tumblr.  This one is a short comic - only nine pages - but the story it tells is so perfect, so moving, so incredibly powerful, that I have to include it. I can't say anything more about it without telling the tale, so I'll let the author take it from here.

Nothing, really.  No swears.  No sex.  No drugs.  Just the amazing complexities of human interaction.

Friday, February 28, 2014


Ty and Marcus Mitchell are average middle school brothers growing up in a suburb north of Chicago until one night when they’re hurtled through an inter-dimensional gateway to a parallel world defined by its multiple moons and planet-wide apocalypse. As they struggle to figure out where they are and how to get home, the boys encounter refugees of “the last day” from the distant city of Atlantis and a mysterious girl called Bellana, the sole survivor and resident of the devastated metropolis of Spartanica. Ty and Marcus soon learn they only have seven days to get home. But before they can leave, they must battle through long-extinct deadly predators, find the elusive Professor Otherblood (if he’s still alive), and rescue a new friend from certain death. Is all of this insanity just Ty’s overactive imagination or are the brothers truly on the brink of being stranded in the brutal wasteland known as Spartanica?

Author: Powers Molinar


This was a fun young adult science fiction book.  The characters of Ty, Marcus, and Bellana are enjoyable to read about, their adventures are fascinating, and the world is vast and complex.  I am looking forward to reading more from this author - especially since Spartanica is the first book in The Survivors of Sapertys series.  This is not a book you can just power through and read quickly - although it's hard to go slowly!  The storyteller's point of view changes among the three main characters, and the world is described and defined through their unique perspectives, so this requires a bit more focus than usual.  The language and measurements of Spartanica were difficult to grasp at first since the contextual cues are initially vague - I could tell that one was a measurement of time, but not whether it was an hour or a century.  This is defined for the reader as Ty and Marcus figure it out, but was a little frustrating at first.  Place your trust in the writer - the ride is worth it!

Spoilers:  Ty and Marcus are very much alike in terms of their narrative style and I found it quite difficult to tell from whose point of view the story was being told unless the speaker was complaining about his brother. Which they both do.  At great length.  As I mentioned above, the contextual cues as to the meaning of Spartanican words are vague and are defined only after they have been used for several chapters.  This made reading quite frustrating for me and broke the willing suspension of disbelief - reminding me that I was reading rather than allowing me to stay lost in the story.  This book has a cliffhanger ending, so if this frustrates you, wait until the series is complete - the second book is still being written.  

I received a download of this book for my honest opinion.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni
In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends who share a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.


Helene Wecker's gorgeous writing, careful research, and clear passion for folklore and literature make this an enchanting, intriguing read.   She does a wonderful job of presenting supernatural creatures of folklore as main characters without making anyone into an idealized character.  Everyone in the story is refreshingly human, with merits, faults, worries, and humor.  The backdrop of turn-of-the-century Manhattan is beautifully rendered, and even those unfamiliar with the setting will not be lost.  The author embraces many cultures and sources of folklore and folds them together in a way that is both honest and refreshing.  This book is reminiscent of the tales of Isaac Bashevis Singer and Scheherazade, with a twist of Jane Addams thrown in for good measure.  An absolute "must read."

Spoilers:  This reads at times like a young adult book, but the ghastly conditions of New York City tenement houses in 1899 are described in some detail.  There are scenes of married and premarital sex, prostitution, murder, death from wasting illness, and use of both alcohol and drugs.   It also deals with concepts of faith, religion, apostasy, reincarnation, and eternal damnation - although not in a preachy way.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Scattered Links - Release Day Tour

Release Day Tour: Scattered Links is a novel that pulls its characters from the gutters and, in the end, celebrates the tenacity of the human spirit. Thirteen-year-old Oksana lives on the streets of Russia with her pregnant mama and abusive aunt—both prostitutes. When Mama swells into labor, Oksana makes a decision to save herself from abandonment, a decision that torments her forever. When her plan fails and her aunt dumps her in an orphanage, she never has the chance to say goodbye to her mama or tell her the secret that haunts her. Scattered Links is a story of family and the consequences that come from never learning how to love, of a girl’s inability to bond with her adopted family and the frustrations that follow. How can a child understand the mechanics of forming a healthy relationship when she never had a mother who answered her cries, held her when she was frightened, fed her when she was hungry, or loved her unconditionally? Only when the child meets a rescued abused horse, and recognizes the pain in his eyes, does she begin to trust again.


Scattered Links, (initially titled Love is Just a Word), was the winner of the 2013 Aspiring Writers Competition, sponsored by Write on Con and The Reading Room. Scattered Links was intended to show a glimpse into the life of a child with RAD, reactive attachment disorder, so prevalent in children who never had unconditional love in infancy. This novel was inspired by Michelle’s journey to Russia to adopt her orphan daughter. Upon seeing the neglect of orphanage children and learning of the effects of RAD in post-institutionalized children, Michelle researched this disorder, committed to giving her daughter the best chance at a healthy life. Sadly, many parents can’t cope with the behavior from kids with RAD and re-home their children like pets.

Buy on Kindle | Paperback


About the author:

Michelle grew up in the burbs of Detroit with five brothers. No sisters. Each time her mom brought the boy bundle home from the hospital Michelle cried, certain her mom liked boys better than girls. But when her brothers pitched in with the cooking, cleaning, and babysitting—without drama, Michelle discovered having brothers wasn’t so bad. They even taught her how to take direct criticism without flinching, which might come in handy with book reviews. Michelle blogs at Random Writing Rants where she teaches and encourages writers how to get published.

Follow Michelle:

Blog link: Random Writing Rants Teaching adults and teens how to get published   Website link: Facebook link: Twitter link: @MWeidenbenner1 Goodreads link: