The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

By Daniel Defoe

Rereading this after many decades I’m far more impressed that this belongs on a must read in your lifetime book list.

The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808)My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four Stars, recommended as a classic.

In summary, this is written as an autobiography of an English youngster, born in the year 1632, in the city of York, anxious for adventure against his family’s advice. He sets upon the sea to satisfy his adventure yearnings. He endures some hardships, some enslavement, and some fortune obtaining a plantation in South America. To enhance his fortune he voyages to find laborers to work on his plantation, slaves. (He had been a slave to moslems for some years during his adventures, this isn’t a controversial point in this 1600s novel)

During his voyage he is shipwrecked and is the sole survivor on a deserted island for some 27 years when circumstances change to allow him to return to England. There after are some other minor adventures, re-obtaining his properties and monies he had entrusted to others before he vanished at sea.

The meat of the novel is his adventures as a sole survivor on a deserted island. Continue reading “The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe”

Love and War

by David Archer

Love and War (Sam Prichard, #3)Love and War by David Archer

 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Again, I really liked another Sam Prichard Mystery. This book. That would be four stars. I liked its writing, and Mikael Naramore’s reading of it. I’m reviewing both the ebook and the audio-book.

In this book we open with Sam singing in the shower with joy of his upcoming nuptials. Which reminds me of a review of the previous Sam Pricharcd novel, “ Death Sung Softly”. I’m reminded because I mention the previous novel is a “musical”. This book is also a musical in the same ways. The audio-book sings, the ebook has the lyrics and links to the singing, but it isn’t as extensive a musical as “Death Sung Softly” where Sam became the lead singer of band who hired him as a private investigator to find their missing lead singer.

I digress. Continue reading “Love and War”

Wraith (Debt Collector #10) 

by Susan Kaye Quinn

Wraith (Debt Collector #10)

Wraith by Susan Kaye Quinn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story, as short as it is, remains exciting. This book is very much about establishing Wraith, who she is. I give it three stars for some “internal-editor” reason I may remember to mention, but I do recommend the season and all the books in it as I’ve grown to respect Susan Kay Quinn as a person trying to do some remarkable things with her writing. I do pray I will write something about this at length at some future time.

This second season likely will be about Wraith’s “growth”, if my editor-critique-gut is working. This “Season” will be about Wraith going from being a mainly naive debt collector to accepting the reality of actual “good guy” debt collectors (as far as such a thing can be imagined). While Wraith will have some exceptional qualities, the events will shape her from one barely surviving situation until the next until she finally “gets it”- and my great hope is that Susan Kaye Quinn allows her to survive the entire season. I do know for a fact that Mr. Quinn does have the writer’s courage to make remarkable literary decisions, even as monumental as killing off primary characters. Continue reading “Wraith (Debt Collector #10) “

Back to War

by C. G. Cooper

The young man was five feet away and had a look on his face that Shorty wasn’t expecting. Shorty thought the young man would be scared shitless. Instead, his pursuer looked stone cold determined without the smallest trace of fear. What the…? Shorty thought.

Back to War (Corps Justice, #1)Back to War by C.G. Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Explicit LanguageBack to War is the title of a book about Cal Stokes, a recent honorably discharged Staff Sergeant in the Marines who had been awarded the Navy Cross. Engaged to his beloved Jessica they were attacked while on a date by a local gang.It was an initiation for a new member of the gang and was otherwise meaningless.

The gang intended to do some harm, but not kill the couple. Beating the guy was definitely in the plan, what they would do to the girl wasn’t clear. The gang initiate, “Shorty” was armed with a knife and a mallet. The attack was well planned. Cal and Jessica were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

When the gang member grabbed Jessica and dragged her into the alley, Cal was instantly “Back at War”. The other gang members moved in and blocked the alley so “Shorty” could do some damage to the pursing Cal. Dante West, the gang leader was already in the alley to evaluate the new recruit in action. Continue reading “Back to War”

Patternmaster

by Octavia Butler

A year without a major Clayark attack on any sector of Patternist Territory. A luxury. Rayal had known enough years of fighting to be glad to relax and enjoy the respite. Only Jansee could still find reason for discontent. Her children, as usual.

Patternmaster (Patternmaster, #4)Patternmaster by Octavia E. ButlerMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

Patternmaster is after the Octavia Butler’s intentionally “unpublished” Survior book (Patternmaster #4) So you read “Clay’s Ark” (#3) then on to Patternmaster (#5). (Survivor can be obtained… I have it, just didn’t read it. If Octavia hated it and didn’t want it in the series, I figure she would be the best advisor on the series)

Patternmaster is a considerable jump into the future of the series, chronologically. Clay’s Ark, the previous book establishes that time jump. In this conclusion of the series, every character you have connected with previously in the series is “history.” Just back story and not much relevant except YOU would know it.

The “Patternmaster” established in Mind of My Mind has evolved with even more zeal than Doro, (Wild Seed, Mind of My Mind) ever imagined. Doro’s evolved plans, carried on by “Mary” has swept the globe… with the exception of the Clay’s Ark “issue” which has become a war with another segment of the devolved/evolved species of humans. While this “Clay’s Ark Humans” vs “Patternmaster” people is a subplot is it barely worth noticing. Continue reading “Patternmaster”

Clay’s Ark

by Octavia Butler

She was terrified of Ingraham, certain that he was crazy, that he would kill her if she were not careful. If she committed herself to a poorly planned escape attempt and he caught her, he would certainly kill her.

Clay's Ark (Patternmaster, #3)Clay’s Ark by Octavia E. Butler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This seemed a abrupt sideways twist of this series that had spanned a millennia following primarily one of the most interesting villains contrived in my thousands of reads. Since it is a series, including one book Octavia insisted never be published again (Survivor #4) and this being #3 in the series, I wouldn’t normally have anything to say except, “Yep, this series is still good.”

Here’s the deal with this one. If the next book Octavia wants you to read, “Patternmaster” (which I’ve read) wasn’t the book it is, this book could easily be a “Steven King” independent book, noting that King so frequently fails to “conclude” his stories. Continue reading “Clay’s Ark”

Mind of My Mind

by Octavia Butler

Mind of My Mind (Patternmaster, #2)Mind of My Mind by Octavia E. Butler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is number 2 in the Patternmaster series by Octavia Butler, one of the best all time of Speculative Fiction writers. So what do you say about book 2 in a series that would not be a spoiler?

I gave it 4 stars, probably deserves 5. I recommend it.

The first two books has “Doro” as a primary character and a variety of people are co-primary as you progress through these 2 books (Wild Seed & Mind of My Mind). It is relative to who is the focus of Doro at any given time. Oddly, the person who is the focus of Doro is usually the viewpoint character and the events of the plot are in relation to Doro. While I call Doro “the primary character”, he is definitely the antagonist.

Anyanwu was largely the main character in Wild Seed, and without spoilers I can say, she was very interesting to me. I was able to relate to her and feel like I understood how she felt or why she did the things she did.

Anyanwu is in Mind of My Mind as a very minor character, the focus is now on Mary. The book opens as Doro arrives to find one of his favorite projects, “Mary” bruised and beaten, in bed naked at age 3. Her mother Rina, is drunk and with a bum of guy. Doro arranges to move Rina and Mary next door to Emma (One of Doro’s favored from Wild Seed).

Octavia doesn’t spend a lot of time on the miserable life of Mary growing up, but it is easily imagined. Next scene with Mary, she is 17, nearly kills one of Rina’s John’s and leaves, takes a bus to Los Angeles. There she goes on a stealing spree (which Doro has forbidden).

Looking at my notes of the beginning of the book, then at the end, I see a massive transition of “Mary”, but reading it, the changes happen so gradually and naturally I barely noticed. So often protagonist type characters have an epiphany then a sudden change. I didn’t notice this until I started writing the review.

If you’ve not read the Patternmaster series, start with Wild Seed. You start thinking Anyanwu is the main character, and she is, but Doro shows up and from there forward near everything about Anyanwu is relative to Doro. In Mind of My Mind, even when Doro is not “on stage” you can feel his influence with what ever is going on.

I think it is safe to say that Doro is the antagonist and the primary characters, Anyanwu in Wild Seed, and Mary in Mind of My Mind are the protagonist. With great writers like Octavia Butler, her characters are real, and complex enough that saying “good vs bad” is possible but you’d have to add that phrase that is popular today, “It’s complicated”.

To those who have read the whole series. I have a question. Octavia hated Survivor, forbid it being reissued, and obtaining a copy isn’t the easiest thing… but I have it. It is supposed to be the 3rd book in the Patternmaster series, but in newer Omnibus editions of the series, Survivor is “gone”. My question to those who know… should I read Survivor?

These days, a large portion of my reading any book is in audiobook form. Survivor, I do not have an audiobook so it isn’t one I can “listen to” while doing other mindless tasks. Your comment or recommendation is appreciated.

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