Fangs & Fairy Dust by Joynell Schultz is described by the author as “An Angels of Sojourn Spin-Off Novella.” This was a good chance to explore a writer style in a genre outside my usual preference. Unfortunately, this was a politically correct, social justice, simplistic tale disguised with fairies, vampires, and an omniscient, controlling body dedicated to stamping out evil when it first appeared so that evil could not develop to its full, powerful self. This tale will not motivate me to read more about Angels on sojourns.
We see many novels promoted by comparing the work to other successful, talented writers. It is easy to compare Pushed Too Far by Ann Voss Peterson with novels by Blake Crouch and J. A. Konrath. Peterson has co-written spy thrillers with Konrath. She thanks J. A. Konrath, Maria Konrath and Blake Crouch in her acknowledgments. Were the claim of similarity made, it would be truth in advertising. Which is almost an oxymoron, but I digress.
This excellent thriller will appeal to readers who like to see a feminist protagonist overcome serious challenges. Val Ryker has many of those. A small-town police chief in Wisconsin, she obtained her position in advance of seniority rights by a successful prosecution of a serial killer. Fame allowed her to claim the position over an assumed successor after the retirement of Chief Schneider. Val had considered Schneider a valuable mentor and, in a town where everyone knew everyone, his support meant much to the town citizens.
The Bad Bad by Bones Monroe is a very short story, a coffee break read for when nobody wants to talk to you during the community coffee break and you want to appear busy so that you don’t look like an abandoned person. The downside is someone might ask what you are reading. Monroe writes of twisty horror situations. Maybe you will be Monroe’s fan but you may not want to admit it.
After reading any novel, I like to write a short review and then check other reviews either on Amazon or Goodreads. I am not always in agreement but I have never been so far off that I felt a need to change my comments. Demons by Perrin Briar changed my routine. My Kindle download of this novel has a very short story, Demons, that occupies only14% of the download. It is a very quick read that might take fifteen minutes to read. And it is very annoying. Demons is followed by a bonus read, Blood Memory, Book One, the first of a three-novel series. Blood Memory is good and is not at all annoying.
Foot Ways by Lynn Veach Sadler is an 84-page novella full of “down home” country wisdom that rationalizes strange occurrences…
A Dangerous Secret by Peter Martin did not impress me as far as believability in several plot points. Garry Flynn got a phone call from his mother requesting help. She was near death. Although he responded in time to hear her last words, the death was inevitable. But the words she spoke to him just prior to death were explosive. She told Garry that she was not his birth mother. Garry had no memories of a mother before Doris Flynn but since he had never expected he was adopted, this was logical. Garry and wife Delia lived according to their means; they were not wealthy but they were able to pay their bills. All this changed after a reading of Doris’s will. Garry and Delia would have no further worries about money. They would not have to work for the rest of their lives.
Willow Rose writes lots of books; most stories are in the genre horror, suspense, or fantasy. Someone assigned another genre, paranormal romance but I consider that horror even though I have never investigated tales with that designation. I know that her novels are a form of escapism for me because they are always entertaining in some twisted way. To Hell in a Handbasket is dark and entertaining. Twists many times come near the end or in the concluding few pages. With Handbasket, the twist is the very last line and I doubt anyone will see it coming. There are deceptive paragraphs preceding the end that will lead a reader to an erroneous conclusion.
Snow by Howard Odentz is as near perfect a short story as I have ever read. It occurred to me at one-third of the way into the story that every paragraph served a purpose. There were no wasted words. Each paragraph enticed the reader to go on to the next one. There was no sense of an author writing, “Oh, I forgot to mention this so I will explain things in the next couple of paragraphs.” This story charged forward at a very aggressive fast pace and then rewarded the reader with a nice surprise at the end. Many readers might figure out what was coming at the 90% point but if they don’t, the surprise is clever and twisted. Best of all, the price on Amazon is USD 0.00. I gave this novel five Amazon stars and will certainly download his longer novels, even the one with the weird price of USD 3.03.
My favorite reading genres are crime, dark, horror and dark. Constant reading in only favorite genres can lead to a reading slump and a feeling of “Isn’t there anything new out there?” Little Killers: A to Z by Howard Odentz will bring anyone out of reader ennui. The front blurb for this book is great: “Bad things come in small packages.” In this case, Odentz delivers twenty-six small packages with a large variety of bad things. All involve children who are atrocious, horrible and abominable in their actions or the children are witnesses to actions which are the same. You may never look at ten-year-old children in your neighborhood again without wondering what is going on in their heads. Not your children, of course. They are angels. The stories in this collection are about other people’s kids. In your neighborhood.
Merrie Destefano describes Shade as “A Re-imagining of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” (Kindle Location 29). When was the last time you read the original Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? Are you worried that this novel would make comparisons that you would not have the knowledge to refute or confirm? No problem, this is a good novel on its own. It is, however, the first novel in a three-book series so you should not expect a complete all-bases-covered ending. If you are concerned about historical accuracy, Destefano writes a section at the end of this novel which delivers a lot of facts. As claimed, this novel is a re-imagining. This seems to be a good idea for aspiring writers who find it hard to start. Just take an actual event and spin it, something like politicians do every day.