Category Archives: Book Reviews
When I was asked to review “Exponential Apocalypse” by Eirik Gumeny, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was a thoroughly entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny book that hit on so many familiar pop culture references, I felt right at home. How funny was it, you ask? Check out my review here to see for yourself.
Eirik was kind enough to chat with me recently, and put forth one of my favorite interviews to date, here at The Word Zombie. It’s a veritable cornucopia of useful information on topics including the mission of Jersey Devil Press, the unlikely savior of Timmy the Super-Squirrel, gang-wars between Munchkins and Ewoks, and – of course – the impending zombie apocalypse. It a fun ride – buckle up and read on…
This past week, I had the opportunity to chat with Ross Cavins, author of “Follow the Money”. If you haven’t had a chance to read my review of the book, you can find it here. We covered a wide range of topics including his experience with self-publishing, who and what makes him laugh, the stalker on his front lawn, and, of course, his plan of action once the zombie apocalypse finally occurs.
I was recently contacted by Jersey Devil Press, and asked if I would review one of their novels – “Exponential Apocalypse”. Having the word “apocalypse” in the title immediately grabbed my attention, so I shuffled over to Amazon and downloaded a sample for my Kindle. One fallen Norse God, one cloned ex-president, and one zombie cow later, I was hooked.
I’m a fan of “secret-society-lost-continent-aliens-might-have-been-here-before” novels. They appeal to the 14 year-old sci-fan reader inside of me. As I’ve grown older, however, I’ve moved away from much of the hard sci-fi I read when I was younger. Gone are the sweeping space operas (for the most part). Instead, I like my sci-fi and/or fantasy with a healthy dose of reality mixed in; stories that have their roots in the world that we live in – but just their roots. I also like a large helping of “what if…” thrown in as well. That’s why I decided to pick up “Search” – with the tagline of “a novel of forbidden history”, it sounded like my kind of book.
A few weeks ago, I joined Library Thing – a website dedicated to book lovers and book reviewers. One of the services that Library Thing offers is the opportunity to request review copies of both current and upcoming books. I checked the current list of titles offered and put in a request for “Follow the Money” by Ross Cavins. A few days later I was notified that I was one of the members chosen to receive the book. Luckily, it arrived on an afternoon when I was between books, so I dove right in.
On the cover, “Follow the Money” is billed as “a collection of interconnected short stories”. That, more than anything is what led me to request the book. I don’t normally read much short form fiction – but adding in a thematic element to join a series of stories together is right up my alley. I love a story that makes a non-obvious or previously unseen connection to another story (Wicked). I love a movie that looks at the same event from many different angles (Noises Off…). I love an author who pays off the careful attention by his or her readers by recalling characters or events from previous works (Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay). Give me a taste of one of those elements and I am intrigued.
All right. I’m just going to come out and say it. I know that it will open me up to criticism by some, and will endear me to others – so here is goes. No turning back. I first heard about this book from a table tent at Waffle House. There – I admit it. I own it. My family and I grew up Southern, remain Southern, and enjoy taking the occasional Saturday evening to drop a few quarters in the jukebox at our local Waffle House and enjoy breakfast for dinner. It was during one of those family outings that I discovered “Big Appetite”.
Let me start by saying that I read “The Passage” somewhat against my will. I don’t do vampires – or virals – or whatever you want to call creatures that drink blood, can’t survive in direct light, and can only be killed by a projectile through the chest. They’re not my cup of tea. I also shied away because there has been SO much hype around the book. To me, that’s more often that not, a reason to stay away. So why did I it? Two reasons. First, Stephen King put it on his list of 10 great summer reads. That’s pretty high praise. Second, a personal friend suggested the book to me. With those two recommendations in mind, I decided to take the plunge and give it a chance.
I know that summer is almost over, but I have a great summer book to recommend. “Book of Souls” is the sequel to “Secret of the Seventh Son” (which I read last year, and highly recommend). If you are a fan of Dan Brown, James Rollins, and the like – you are in the right place with “Book of Souls”. If you are going to be stuck on a cross-country flight this week, you can easily sing your teeth in to “Book of Souls” and dispatch the time with ease. If you are going to be stuck at a family reunion over the weekend, this book is a perfect balm for hearing about Aunt Matilda’s corn surgery for the 3rd time. If you are just sitting at home, feet up, television off, kids in bed, glass of wine on the coffee table next to you – this is a good book to have in your hands.
Everyone has a few “go to” authors. You know that ones I am talking about – no matter what they publish, you pre-order it from Amazon and wait to have it show up on your door on release date. They rarely disappoint you and their voice becomes a familiar companion on the page. Stephen King is one of those authors for me – and so is Brian Keene. His writing is like an ice-cold beer on a hot day – it goes down smooth and always satisfies. His latest release, “A Gathering of Crows” is no exception to that rule.
“7 Events That Made America America” offers up a collection of historical moments that helped define the American experience. These slightly larger than bite-sized morsels give you a taste of some of the turning points in American History – turning points that might not be obvious on their face. Moments that had ripples far beyond a single point in time. It’s a fascinating read.