Category: Book Reviews

Book Giveaway – Enter to Win a Free Copy of “Lockdown” by Alexander Gordon Smith

Book Giveaway – Enter to Win a Free Copy of “Lockdown” by Alexander Gordon Smith

We are hosting our first official book giveaway here at The Word Zombie.  We are giving away a free copy of “Lockdown” by Alexander Gordon Smith.  It’s the first book in Smith’s “Escape From Furnace” series (the third installment of which – “Death Sentence” was released on August 2nd of this year).

Beneath Heaven is Hell….Beneath Hell is Furnace! Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world.

So, how do you enter to win the book?  Simple – just leave a comment below and you will receive one entry in the giveaway.  Want an even better chance to win?  Tweet the following and you will receive TWO entries into the contest – “Check out @thewordzombie and enter to win a free copy of “Lockdown” by Alexander Gordon Smith.  Visit them here – http://bit.ly/pRCZo6″

All entries (both comments and tweets) should be received by 5:00CST on Saturday, September 3, 2011.  You can both leave a comment and Tweet once each day between now and the 3rd.  The winner will be randomly chosen on Sunday, September 4th.  Thanks – and good luck!

 

www.alexandergordonsmith.com

http://us.macmillan.com/author/alexandergordonsmith

 

Review – “Samson and Denial” by Robert Ford

Review – “Samson and Denial” by Robert Ford

“Samson and Denial” is a new novella from Bob Ford.  Part good old-fashioned horror story, part character study on the necessity and danger of denial as a survival mechanism – it’s an engrossing story that hides a surprising depth.  Ford packs a hell of a lot (and a lot of hell) in to these 125 pages.

 

The story follows Samson, a man of not a few faults and shortcomings:

 

We’ve never met, you know me.  There’s someone like me in every crowd.

 

I’m the guy who always has a stain on his shirt or has his fly unzipped.  I’m the guy who leaves the men’s room with a ribbon of toilet paper trailing from the heel of his shoe.  On a Chinese calendar I’m the guy who’s born in the year of the pig or the rabbit or the cock.  Never something cool like the year of the tiger or the dragon.

 

I’m never the cool guy.

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Review – “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

Review – “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

When I go back and watch a Spielberg film from the late 70s or early 80s, it has a certain look and feel to it – a tone that is instantly recognizable.  When I watch a sitcom from the 80s, it has a singular cadence that instantly puts me at ease, and prepares me to have my problems solved in 30 minutes or less.  When I play a video game from the late 70s or early 80s, it makes my fingers itch for a quarter.  And, when I read one of the books I loved when I was a teenager, it brings back the pure joy I would find in losing myself in another time and another place.  I spend so much time thinking about what I read now; it’s becoming more and more rare for me to find that unadulterated escape in a book anymore.  I found it when I read “Ready Player One” – and I loved it.

 

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Review – “The Neighborhood” by Kelli Owen

Review – “The Neighborhood” by Kelli Owen

When I reviewed Kelli Owen’s novel “Six Days” earlier this year, I had this to say:

 

Owen has set the bar very high with her debut novel, a bar I have no doubt she will be able to surpass.  Her blend of human observations, horror sensibilities, and gifted prose portend great things for her in the future.

 

With the release of her novella “The Neighborhood” in September, you will find that she is delivering quite nicely on that potential.

 

The titular neighborhood in the book is Neillsville, a town so small it “doesn’t even have its own Local Weather on the 8s”.  It’s the kind of small town where the idea of idyllic living is far more important, and far more real, than the living itself.  The kind of town where the best-kept secrets are the ones kept out in the open for everyone to see.

 

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My Interview with Brad Thor – “Full Black”

My Interview with Brad Thor – “Full Black”

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a book signing in Little Rock, AR with Brad Thor.   Brad is wrapping up a promotional swing in support of his latest release “Full Black”.  (If you haven’t had a chance to read “Full Black”, it’s one of Brad’s best books to date.  You can read my review of it here.)  It was the first Brad Thor book signing I’ve had a chance to attend and after my experience – it definitely won’t be the last.

The signing was held at Books-A-Million in Little Rock.  That meant a 3 ½ hour drive for me.  I was a bit tired when I finally arrived, but the staff at Books-A-Million were all very helpful.  The setting for the event was casual and intimate.  When Brad arrived, he greeted the crowd and thanked everyone for coming out to support him.  He then spent the next half hour talking about a wide range of subjects; everything from the inspiration for “Full Black” (“I went out to people I knew in the intelligence and special operations community and I said – I write about what keeps me up at night.  This time, though, I want to know – what keeps you up at night?), an update on the adaptation of his Scot Harvath books into films (“We signed a big deal with Warner Brothers in November.”), and his views on Islam (“I’ve never been anti-Islam.  I’m definitely anti-Islamist.  There is a difference.  If you say your religion compels you to go kill people – your interpretation of your religion sucks.”)

After a few questions from the audience, Brad jumped in to signing books.  He was genuinely excited to meet and talk to his fans.  He took time to speak to everyone personally as they reached the table, he took pictures with anyone and everyone who asked, and he was happy to sign as many books as people had brought with them.  In short, he showed true class and an appreciation for those that have read and loved his books over the years.  (In another classy move, he invited any veterans and any parents with small children to come directly to the front of the line.  That, more than anything, impressed me – and spoke to his character.)

As the evening was wrapping up, only I was left, along with quite a few active members of the Thorum – Brad’s online discussion forum.  As I sat and listened to Brad talk with them, I was struck by the camaraderie they all shared.  It was more an easy conversation among friends than a book signing between author and fans.  I realized that I was seeing the true secret to the success of Brad Thor – a desire and willingness to truly connect with people.  To have a conversation – not just give a lecture.

After the event was over, every book signed and every picture taken, Brad was kind enough to spend some time talking with me.  It was great to sit down and chat with him in person.  He has an infectious energy about him and an engaging personality.  It was late, he was feeling a bit under the weather, but he was more than gracious with his time.  I hope you, faithful reader, enjoy our conversation.

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