Mr. Heldrik lives in a house by himself doing nothing more than sitting around and sharpening his knife. The neighbor kids are afraid of him and create rumors that kids who get too close to THAT house risk losing body parts. So, is this going to be a slasher murder/mystery book? No way, this is a fun YA novel with lots of fantasy, an alternative universe, a bit of time travel, and an unstated invitation to make some comparisons to Game of Thrones (GoT).
Although a fan of Stephen King, I stayed away from this for a while with the thought “Not another Kennedy book!!”. Needing another King fix, I came back to this one on the “to read” shelf and found, of course, that it is not another Kennedy book. It is more about the sentient, vengeful, “obdurate” nature of time. To pick another slogan from that time, “Don’t mess with mother nature.”
I like to read several books at the same time. One at work, one or two at home, and a different selection while traveling. The last selection is usually from Kindle Unlimited in the form of a short story. I can finish two or three of them in an Indonesian traffic jam. With this novel, I was unable to switch between reads. I was completely caught up in the story. After finishing it, I went to an author profile page; I will be reading lots more from Chuck Wendig.
Atlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig
Book Marketing for Authors by C. A. Price
It is unusual for me to start a review with a quote from the author, but it is appropriate here.
“You want to definitely make sure your book has been edited well and an excellent cover. If not, the reviewer will bash you on it.” Book Marketing for Authors (Kindle Locations 427-428).
Let the bashing begin. As the author noted, reviews should be constructive. The author will have to decide whether this one is.
Trading with Death is a short story, a time filler for annoying free time; the time created by others who can’t be bothered to be on time. There are lots of things going on in the story that will keep a reader’s mind occupied. Here are some thoughts that occupied mine.
A Reading Resource
Library Thing Early Reviewer Program
Library Thing Member Giveaway Program
This is an administrative post which I will recommend my students read about a way to get free books from Library Thing. Readers can join the Library Thing Member Giveaway Program and get free books in return for a review. In the Member Giveaway Program, the authors send you books for free. You can get hardcopy books, but watch out if you live outside the US (as I do). Import taxes on books coming into Indonesia are unbelievably high; it is just not worth it. Books are provided by the author in other formats: eBooks, mobi (Kindle), and audiobooks, to name a few. With this program you are requested to provide a review, but you do not have to. It seems sort of logical to me that if you do not provide reviews, you will not receive further offers.
Another program is the Library Thing Early Reviewer Program. Books are provided by the publisher, not the author. The reader is expected to provide a review. If you accept one of these books and do not provide a review, you will not receive more books from this program, although you might still receive books from the program above.
Each month two lists are published on the Library Thing website. I don’t count, but there are probably at least one hundred books of all genre offered for review. You choose which ones you want to bid on (receive to review). I typically ask for four on Early Reviewer list and ten on the Member Giveaway list. I typically “win” two from the first list and six from the second. Although I read them within the month, there is not a time limit on the second list; for the Early Reviewer Program, it is a couple of months.
Joining the program is free. On your personal library site you can have up to 200 books. If you have more than 200 books (I do) there are additional requirements.
I was prepared to open the book and immediately read about Chinese Education in Singapore. I work at a Chinese university in Indonesia and one of my lecturer colleagues is from Singapore, so I was looking forward to a pleasant read that would further social discussion with my expatriate colleague. This book will do that, but not in the way I expected. It is non-fiction, occasionally dense, and certainly supports my idea of “Read Everything.”
Chinese Education in Singapore by Zhang Zhixiong