November 2, 2016

(Rated 5 stars for compelling prose, an interesting twist, and philosophical highlight on current issues facing mankind.)

Dan Brown’s latest release, Inferno, is another entry that fits perfectly in his Robert Langdon Series of novels. Reading it, the reader falls into the suspense rhythm that every Robert Langdon story contains. With vivid descriptions and fast-paced action sequences, it’s easy to visualize the theatrical presentation of this work. Inferno reads as a novelization of a heady suspense blockbuster.

On a technical level, the work is professional. Short, powerful chapters keep the reader engaged to the plot throughout the story. Certainly, there are expositions that could be cut, most notably Robert Langdon’s detailed accounts of various art and history. However, they are short, if not prolific, adding to the scene instead of distracti...

August 24, 2016

Every once in awhile, I don’t connect with a book on its surface. I can see the merit, and I know the story will be wonderful for someone else, just not for me.

However, if I take a moment to look at the story in a deeper context, it resonates something powerful. The work becomes more than the sum of its words. So it is with Inherited, by Freedom Matthews.

To be fair, romance isn’t my go-to genre. Actually, I never read pure romance, and I’m far too cynical to believe in the “true love at first glance” trope. Picking up the novel, I hoped to connect as an author and learn about the mechanics of storytelling in a genre that grossed $1.8 billion just three years ago.

Overall, the story is very well written. Matthews has wonderful command of language, and her voice captivates the audience. In exposition, the protagonists go through violent emotional sw...

July 29, 2016

A novella rarely pulls me into a world and leaves me with so many unanswered questions yet wanting more.  However, Alsberg and Cummings write a white-knuckle ride of a space opera that rivals the relaunch of Battlestar Galactica with their collaboration Zenith: The Androma Saga #1.   Viceral and viscous, like the bloodstained kill counts on the katanas of the protagonist (Androma Racella), the story sticks with you days after reading.

Mechanically, the novella is tight.  Words evoke strong emotion in the reader. Deep characterizations are a rare, welcome quality in the format.  While there exists some flat archetype-characters, the brevity of the format prevents large character expositions.  Likewise, I see a geographic naming convention. At least two character names relate to islands in the eastern Mediterranean Sea region.  As an...

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