Hell’s Nerds and Other Tales by Stephen Lomer starts out good and gets better. The “twisty” parts of the short stories twist and turn in more and more unexpected ways. Reading earlier tales will not train a reader for what to expect in later stories. Did the author do this on purpose? How does he know what will impress me? A couple of notes on this too-quick read follow. I wanted to read more but the only way that is going to happen is to read other Lomer works. I’ll get on that right away.
The cover of my Kindle edition of Game of Greed by Charlotte Larsen describes this novel as a Francis Scott-Wren Crime Thriller. True, Francis Scott-Wren is the main character, the head of one powerful business organization with a mission to at least attenuate the greed and corruption of predatory business entities with a disregard for humanitarian concerns. True, he is unbelievably wealthy due to inheritance and he is willing to spend unbelievable amounts on his self-declared mission. And he has built up an intelligence organization that rivals those of many governments through the time-tested strategy of hiring disaffected employees from those same government agencies. As a leader of such an organization, it seems to follow that Francis will assume the façade of a dilettante playboy and womanizer while still maintaining a heart that is pure. Some might think this could lead to a split personality resembling schizophrenia but there is the controlling element of a pure heart. Then there are ninjas, but we may come back to that.
The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher is a novel I both heard on Audible and read on Kindle. I find listening…
The Wendy by Erin Micelle Sky and Steven Brown is a thoroughly charming re-imagined tale of Peter Pan. It is…
The Maltese Incident by Russell F. Moran reinforced a lesson I should have learned before but after decades I still don’t get it. Don’t judge a book by its cover. In this case, the novel has a perfectly fine, even pleasant, cover. No criticism. As I was reading the first chapter, I thought, what a pleasant premise. What likable characters. This is going to be fun. What followed the first chapter required such a suspension of disbelief that even the effort was absurd. So, a personal modification. Don’t judge a book by its cover, blurbs, recommendations from carefully selected reviewers, or the first couple of chapters. In this case, I had already mentioned to some of my colleagues that this novel looked promising. My friends knew me for the fragility of my promises. But I’ll have to do a personal credibility repair job with them on this one.
Sticky Fingers Volume 2 by JT Lawrence is the first collection of stories I have read by this author. This collection has twelve short stories; they are all a bit weird or twisted but not in an in-your-face way. To appreciate these, there must be reader engagement; readers will, on occasion, be required to provide their own conclusions. It is helpful to note that this author lives in Johannesburg. To find out why this is helpful, read the short stories. A quick note about the title (my impression). Why “Sticky?” Because the stories will stick to your mind either as amazing or as an impression of something like “What did I just read? What was its purpose?” If the purpose was entertainment, great, this collection did that. I gave this five Amazon stars for the way it woke me up and broke a pattern in my usual reading routine.
Willow Rose writes interesting stories and Edwina, although full of grotesque descriptions, is a good story. Her genre is horror. Grotesque, horrible, weird, and gross descriptions are what the genre is all about. I will write positive things about the story but there is one thing about this Kindle edition of Edwina that I find extremely annoying, almost to the point that I do not want to read further things by the author. It is a structural thing.
In this 50-page story, Jitters by Ken Stark, the narrator, Harold, describes all the failures in his life from the time of the first remembrance to present. At approximately 31 years of age, Harold has failed at everything and has ended up living in the same basement accommodations where he had started out years before. His parents still lived upstairs although they had gotten considerably older. Harold’s mother was never slow to tell Harold “I told you so.” The parents had produced a child that took no responsibility for anything wrong in his life. It was always someone else’s fault. His mother had always promised Harold he would fail at whatever he tried and the dutiful Harold proceeded to fulfill her predictions. His father, providing the ideal example to Harold, never contradicted his wife.
Doll’s House by James K. Pratt is a fun short read to introduce a reader to the style and content of the author’s writing. I received this two-story set through the author’s offer on book funnel. These two stories are funny for their interesting story ideas. After reading these, readers will be directed to the author’s website, http://www.jameskpratt.com/ where these stories cannot be found. They are free and (I am guessing) readers subscribing to the website will be offered this download for free. The three works listed on the author website are available through Amazon at a nominal (USD 0.99) cost and free through Kindle Unlimited.
Doll’s House is a story about Dave, a guy who is cheating on his wife with a computer virus, called either Virus Girl or Elena. Dave had not set off to find a mistress either real or a computer virus. While working, Dave had been flying a plane when he lost control to a virus. Ground control had quarantined the virus and returned control to Dave, but Dave could not get the sexy voice of the virus out of his head. Jake had allowed Dave to copy the virus on a jump drive and take it home.
Starry Night is a post-apocalyptic short story by Rhonda Parrish. It is a world-building short story. The old world is gone, the result of bombs falling. Presumably, it was a nuclear war because following the violent explosions there was a period called the Great Wasting, probably slow, gradual, and inevitable death due to radiation poisoning.