Devils by Erik Henry Vick is described by the author as a collection of devilish short fiction. True, it is a collection of five stories. They are followed by four chapters of Errant Gods, a preview of a longer novel (730 pages) by Vick.
I don’t believe Dare to Imagine by Nilza Elita was written by a native speaker of English. It is not because Johnathan’s father has the name of Niraj or that there are frequent references to India. It is because that for lengthy passages there is a lack of rhythm to sentences. Long tracts of text use sentences of uniform length. It is like a speaker using a “robot” voice. Aside from that, there are is phrasing that comes across strange to readers who have English as a native language. The unusual phrasing causes readers to pause as if stumbling over small rocks on a path. This does not mean a novel is bad; it is just a feature worth remarking on.
The title for Bitch on Wheels by Gregg Olsen comes from a description by one of Sharon’s “colleagues.” Sharon probably never had true friends. Sharon only had feelings for people who could provide benefits to her, either monetarily or connections with those who demonstrated the potential for future exploitation. Those feelings changed from moment to moment. People who initially had feelings of friendship for her would change their perceptions over time as Sharon’s true nature would inevitably emerge. Throughout the story, I wondered if author Olsen was giving an accurate portrayal of Sharon. Her documented actions were deplorable on their face; it was Olsen’s description of Sharon’s acceptance of her own actions that caused me to speculate. If Olsen’s description of Sharon’s self-perceptions is accurate, Sharon is a monster.
Carly was a very serious student of the Bible. She listened to the Pastor’s sermon every week and followed up with research to find Bible quotations that would illustrate and supplement the weekly message given by the Pastor. In Hypocrites by LuAnne Turnage, we meet Carly as she attempts to get in serious morning study before husband Paul woke up and prepared for work. Luckily, Paul was knowledgeable of Bible verses and could direct her studies. She had so many questions.
In Peace and Goodwill by LuAnne Turnage, we have a short horror story of medical research run amok. The night should have been a great one for Senator Ted Stone. His signature bill, one he had worked for with all his strength had passed. He had worked hard in the Senate and hard at home. His wife Carol had not supported him at home and, from her elevated position of morality bolstered by religious faith, had even opposed him. It didn’t help that the new law had the unfortunate title Mandatory Flu Vaccine Bill 666, it further incited the ultra-religious fanatics.
It’s another one of those special events that lay claim to being a holiday but what the heck, how can you criticize a holiday that expresses love, even if some of it is in the puppy stages. Like when you were young and naïve and didn’t wonder what the candy was going to do to your teeth. Two guys in my story this week didn’t have to worry about that. They were probably on their second or third set anyway (of teeth, not hearts). But as Boomers shrink to something more resembling Echoes, there are other health worries.
Join the fun, write a few thoughts in a compressed 280-character format. Send a link to Kat and look at all the stories from last weeks’ posts. Also send a bunch of hearts, emojis, 3D holograph moving things and such to Kat. She works hard to collect and report all our efforts weekly along with daily creative posts AND still has time to push a nine-to-five rock up a hill every day.
After completing the novel Sedition and writing the review below, I want to emphasize that (IMO) this is a highly recommended five-star Amazon read I label a Political Horror Thriller. At 615 pages, it created havoc with my reading schedule. It was scary enough that I woke up in the middle of the night to continue reading. I will post most of my comments on Amazon, but this paragraph and the final two rant paragraphs below will appear only on my blog. This book affected me more than anything I read last year (2018). I don’t want to make a comparison to this year because it is only February.
In Idle Hands by LuAnne Turnage, we meet a retired couple, Joe and Eva. They had lived their adult working lives in the woods of Michigan but had lived in retirement in Florida for twenty-one years. This made them very old; they might even be past their expiry dates except for the beer. There was only one thing older than Joe and Eva; something that could outlive anyone and anything: cockroaches. Eva had been terrified of them when she first moved to Florida but after an introduction to the local exterminator, she was able to lead a “normal” life.
Good Girl Bad Girl by Ann Girdharry is a three hundred plus page crime thriller highlighting a larger than life female Main Character acting out her part mostly in India. The geographical setting and the observations of a different culture are the parts that make the novel at least interesting. In the categorizing of “heroes,” there is a level which includes superheroes with incredible powers like the Hulk or the Marvel hero group and a level which includes real-life folks with great abilities like Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris. Between these levels are characters like Kal Medi who demonstrate abilities incredible but believable.
Flashes of Death and Darkness by Eli Taff, Jr. has a publication launch date of 19 February 2019, but I received an advance copy from the author because I liked and reviewed some of his earlier writing. Taff writes short flash fiction and claims that each story is exactly 500 words. Despite the temptation to count each word, I will bypass the challenge and just read the stories as I open another beer. The ten stories in this collection are one-beer read. There is an introduction (of exactly 500 words) and an afterword (of 50 words) but the additional reading should not spark another visit to the fridge. With such short stories, my comments will be one or two sentences as initial takeaway impressions. No spoilers. No pontification. Few Puns. Lots of Flash (as in lightning quick impressions).