At a Crossroads

by Norm Davis aka Aegiswiz

And believe I’ll just sit here a bit.

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Some time ago I was struggling to catch up with book reviews having at least 30 I wanted to write.  I put a lot of time into the reviews and actually worked rather hard at it.

I never really expected anything to come of it except I liked that I could do more, be more creative on WordPress than on Goodreads. So I was excited about that.

I do have 30+ years experience in the writing field, mostly doing critiques on unpublished manuscripts and helping people improve their writing.  That’s a uniquely difficult avocation as critiques by their nature are criticism and even when folks are asking for you to be honest with them, when you are, they are usually very unhappy about it. Not always, there are some wonderful folks who love to improve their craft and know how to take what they can use and leave the rest, remaining grateful that you’ve shared your experience with them.

I’ve done my own writing over the years as well. Oddly it is fiction I enjoy writing, editing, and critiquing, and non-fiction is what I was routinely paid for writing.

I burned out with editing and critiques some years ago.  I’ve never stopped reading so thought I would enjoy writing book reviews. I enjoyed what I did and then the wonderful folks among WordPress bloggers “liked” some of my reviews and even had ONE comment over the last year or so.

So recently I decided to take it more seriously and posted a review every Monday and Thursday for a month or two and it was as if my blog had dropped off the internet.

This gave me cause to think about this. While I began doing this blogging believing I didn’t care much what anyone thought, I was just doing it for myself. I was working hard and a lot of hours and the results were going backwards. I believe the one or two folks who always liked my reviews and made my day each time I posted had unsubscribed or stopped following.

I get that and have no ill will or hard feelings towards anyone, but after working so hard and having things go backward as a result I had to admit to myself that I do care.

It wasn’t just the blog and reviews, I had a bout of health issues and found myself struggling to keep up with daily chores let alone sharing anything online.

I don’t want to be rash and just delete the blog entirely, but these recent series of events have left me in a place where I know care more about the blog and the reviews, but have lost the will to do much about it.

I want to thank you wonder folks who have encouraged me and who have been so kind towards this blog. It meant a lot to me. Perhaps when or if things make a turn toward the better in my personal life I’ll find myself wanting to share book reviews or other opinion and commentary. Until then, thanks again for all the love. You’ve all been wonderful.

Keep up your beautiful efforts.  I’ve visited each blogger who liked any post I made and there are a lot of talented people out there and some beautiful souls whose blogs are like a beacon of light upon a hill.  A lot of characters who are just a joy to behold.  You’ve enriched my life and I’m grateful I’ve had the chance to run across a great number of you.

Suck My Cosmos

by Steven Campbell

I did not consider myself a great lover. In fact, epic poems had been composed about how bad at intercourse I was.

I knew my strengths and I knew myweaknesses. I prided myself on that.

When I spent the night with Malla, it was clear something was wrong based on my prowess in the bedroom. Throwing around cars, sprinting across the city screaming, that was nothing compared to my acrobatics and stamina in bed that night. I started to believe that Malla had been sorely regretful about seducing me.

Stephen_Campbel_Suck_comboIts_the_best_Skm_CosSuck My Cosmos by Steven Campbell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars. Recommend to Sci Fi Humor fans. I believe everyone would enjoy Steven Campbell’s wonderful creation “Hank” and the wonderful sense of humor that comes from Hank’s point of view.

Suck_My_Cosmos_Rate_ChartFolks who make honest attempts to review a “later” book in a series of books and do not want to include spoilers are stuck with saying little more than, “Wow, this is another good Hank book.” There’s little to say that won’t spoil it for other Hank fans. It’s pretty much “more of the same” but different, like Steven Campbell has proven he can do expertly.
Continue reading “Suck My Cosmos”

Behemoth

by Scott Westerfeld

Alek clenched his fists. “I can’t do this without you! Not any of it!”

“I’m afraid you must.” Volger saluted with his saber. “Good-bye, Alek. Make your father proud.”

But my father is dead … and you’re not.

BehemothI_get_it_BehemothScott_WesterfeldBehemoth, by Scott Westerfeld
Book 2 of the Leviathan Trilogy
Rating 3 of 5 Stars

I like it. It’s a young adult fantasy of an alternate world war one history.

It is evident Mr. Westerfeld did a great deal of research into the “story” or “trilogy” if you like. I would be critical of “historical” parallels in this story but it would be like debating if Superman is from Krypton. It’s an imaginary alternate history. Mr. Westerfeld has based some of his story on some of the popular beliefs about world war one. In that way I recommend this to young people more than I might otherwise. Perhaps it may spur some youngster to investigate the real facts of history.Behemoth_Rating_Chart

I dread the fact our current actual “history” is too often transformed into fictional stories presented as true as the fictional histories of Dune, The World of Tiers, or Ringworld. So it is at this point I pray all young people ache to attend Hillsdale College. One of the last lights upon a hill that refuses to teach nonsense when it comes to history.

I digress… I liked Mr. Westerfeld’s story. Let’s get started… Continue reading “Behemoth”

Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade

by Diana Gabaldon

There was a sudden chill as the dressing on Grey’s chest was lifted, and he heard the sharp-edged hiss of metal and the surgeon’s deep, impatient sigh. Hal’s fingers tightened, grasping his.

“Just hold on, Johnny,” Hal said in a steady voice. “I won’t let go.”

Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (Lord John Grey, #2)mixed_signalDiana_GabaldonLord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I like it. I recommend it only to die hard Diana Galbadon fans and gay men in the military. It’s another outing with Lord John Grey.

Of the 4 John Grey stories I’ve read, this has been the most interesting.

I’ve tried to imagine Diana’s fascination with this John Grey character of hers. So far I imagine she enjoys writing about him more than I like reading about him. Brotherhood_of_BladeRevisiting this review: After reading nearly all of her Outlander books, John Grey does become a rather interesting character. In these early singles about John Grey, not so much. Continue reading “Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade”

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows

By Diana Gabaldon

Not only was the plane gone, it didn’t seem ever to have been there. There was no trace, no furrow in the thick meadow grass, let alone the kind of gouge in the earth that such a crash would have made.

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows (Outlander, #8.5)A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon3 of 5, that's cool
My rating: 3 of 5 stars.

Read and listened to in 2017 on 4/18 to the end. I liked it and if you’re an Outlander fan this short story of trivial fill towards the end of the Outlander series will be a fun read. A Leaf in the Wind..  If you’re still not an Outlander fan,  you’ve strayed into the wrong review.  Thanks for coming, keep coming back.

Diana Gabaldon knows her characters. I presume she has a master sheet somewhere, or an Outlander “Bible” if you like, and over the years has added to it like a collage and resume workbook. It was probably intended to remind her to keep the character’s eye color consistent, so in one novel they aren’t purple and the next novel bright orange. But if she’s like most series authors, she has ventured down the “backstory” side-roads at various times, spending far too long writing a very interesting “history” of some seemingly minor character. Who was his mother? His father? What’s the story? Why is he like he is? What if he’s actually… hey it is a time travel series, this could go anywhere… Continue reading “A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows”

Warheart

by Terry Goodkind

It was a sight of hope, of love, and at the same time it was horrifying to know it meant death for her.
“This is her choice,” Nicci said as if reading Kahlan’s mind. “She is doing what she must, and doing it of her own free will.”

Warheart Book Cover SMgeek-sundryapprvTerry Goodkind by Sandy Aquila, Photographer.jpgThe last book in the Wizard’s First Rule series, in the “Richard and Kahlan” adventures. Whatever you’re going to call it, Richard and Kahlan’s adventures are forever fading in the memory of Terry Goodkind. May they rest in peace.

Read and or listened to audiobook in 2017 on 2/19 to page 86, on 3/4 to page 123, on 3/6 to the end. I loved it
Warheart

Severed Souls Spoilers

One reason I rated Severed Souls as highly as I did

is that Terry Goodkind had the guts to kill of Zedd, Richard’s grandfather and a steady fatherly counselor since book one having also been the First Wizard and having named Richard The Seeker.

There have been many times over the series I’ve wondered… since Zedd had done “this thing” why couldn’t he fix “that thing”. There will always be inconsistencies in a series with over ten books.

Mr. Goodkind also killed Kahlan, leaving Richard desperately alone with his soulmate ripped from him. He seemed breathless with terror of the loss and dread of living without her.

But that is was “Severed Souls“. We begin “Warheart” at a funeral pyre as well. Continue reading “Warheart”

Severed Souls

by Terry Goodkind

Being in the shackles, he couldn’t reach his sword, but it was still on his hip. They had probably left it there because it helped remind him of how helpless he was. People like Dreier liked to make people feel helpless.

Severed Souls (Richard and Kahlan, #3)win-dance-vader-smallSevered Souls by Terry Goodkind
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read in 2017 on 1/20 to page 52, on 1/27 to page 77, on 2/6 to page 169, on 2/7 to page 307 on 2/9 to page 340, on 2/18 to the end. I loved it. Probably for all the wrong reasons, but that’s 5 stars in my book. I recommend Severed Souls to any fan of the Richard & Kahlan series. Richard & Kahlan series, in my opinion, includes 17 of the 19 books Mr. Goodkind has written. Two prequels and 15 Wizard’s First Rule novels.  I have “Death’s Mistress” (Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles #1) but haven’t read it.  If not a Richard and Kahlan novel, it’s in the same fantasy world.Severed-Souls

Since this is book 14 of the 15 main novels it is likely impossible to not write a spoiler. By book 14 in a series of books it may be a spoiler to mention a main character as the implication at the end of earlier novels may conclude with the impression one or more of the main characters are dead or dying. So, even mentioning a main character may be a spoiler.

Still, I will be writing a review here, so damn the consequences and bring on what spoilers I can recall.  Just don’t click “read more” and your future reading enjoyment will be safe from this review. Continue reading “Severed Souls”