Category Archives: reviews

RAZE - a weekly fantasy web serial

My serial needs your vote!

Every vote counts

If you’ve been following RAZE (or if you haven’t), I could use your vote and your rating on topwebfiction.com. This’ll help increase the visibility of my web series and get more readers. Just click here to cast your vote. Top Web Fiction and its sister site, Web Fiction Guide, are the premier place for readers of online serial fiction to find the best stories, all posted for free. Ranking will get me views, readers, and more votes.

I could also use your review. RAZE is listed at Wattpad and at webfictionguide.com. Those links will take you to the appropriate place to drop a star rating and a couple of words. It would make a huge difference so I hope you can spare a couple of minutes.

Lastly, tell your friends! RAZE is a series of short entries, readable on any of your online devices through my site and through Wattpad. If you know someone who likes mature, adult takes on fantasy literature, RAZE might be there thing. That said…

About RAZE and “mature” material

RAZE is an ongoing, weekly epic fantasy web serial, a serious, character driven portrait of the greatest warrior the world has ever known, told from his holding cell before his execution at the hands of the woman he loves; a cell he chose; a cell in which he waits. To find out why, you have to get to know RAZE.

RAZE is also fairly dark thus far, and explores some mature themes that may prove upsetting to some. I’m of the opinion that fiction is the correct place to explore and understand things that frighten us, disturb us, or even things that have traumatized us. I think it’s the right place, both for myself and for many readers. It’s not everyone’s thing and readers looking for lighter entertainment may not be interested in this story. Of course I want RAZE to be entertaining, but it’s also an outlet for my own thoughts, concerns, fears, and wounds. All that said, and with my intentions being what they are, I also know that there’s room for improvement and better understanding in my own work. I hope anyone who reads and has thoughts about the work will let me hear those thoughts.

Thanks everyone.

 

 

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Review time!

REVIEWS-Help-Authors-760x760Hey everyone. It’s time for me to push on y’all a little bit. Many of you have left reviews for Ours Is the Storm, and for that I thank you. Others I’ve asked not to post reviews, as you’re personal friends and I didn’t want all my reviews to be from folks who know me. That time has passed, and now I want to get everyone who’s read the book to post a review*. Whether you’ve got only good things to say, or bad, please post either way. I’ll only grow if I hear the hard stuff, so don’t let that stop you.

*Even if you’re just going to leave stars and a word or two, it helps.

There are a couple of places you can review. Feel free to copy your review, post different ones, or post in only one spot. Everything helps.

helpful

 

 

 

 

 

Liking the reviews of folks you agree with helps move those reviews to the top, where potential readers will be most likely to see them.

Last of all, tell a friend about the book!

Thank you all ever so much for your continuing support.

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Ours Is the Storm makes top 25 list!

Hey all, I ran across this yesterday which was a pretty cool find. BestFantasyBooks.com compiles several lists every year of their favorite works, and for 2016 Ours Is the Storm made their top 25 best indie fantasy books list! (You have to scroll down quite a bit, but there are a bunch of other great books to check out on the list too.)

It’s a great honor to be on there with a number of the top fantasy writers working outside of the big traditional publishers. There are a lot of us and I’m humbled that Ours Is the Storm  is so well-regarded.

Check out BestFantasyBooks.com for great fantasy recommendations and new books.

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Review – Crimson Peak

I love Guillermo Del Toro.

Watching this yesterday, I found myself trying to find the right adjective for his work, and I came to “lush.”

Decadent is wrong; nothing he does is extraneous, unneeded, crass. Rich is close, but implies a sweetness or savoriness that’s again, not quite right.

Crimson Peak is a great expression of his style and ability; it’s lush. The costumes, dialogue, sets, story, violence: all of it is full, brimming over, so good you can’t get enough. This is a blood-soaked, gothic, romantic horrorshow, but not a horror movie. It has its moments of classic scare, but the terror permeating every scene, the wait, the anticipation, is what distinguishes Del Toro from others who wish they had half his skill in engaging an emotion.

Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain are particularly fantastic – but I won’t spoil anything by telling you why.

Once again, I want to stress that this isn’t a horror film. It’s a Del Toro film, much more about human horror and nastiness than that of cheap evil spirits or motivationless monsters. Don’t go expecting to jump out of your seat every ten seconds only to laugh at it. This is awesome storytelling, amazing visuals, and creepy, Mary Shelly-like gothic horror, meant to hold up a mirror instead of zoom in on the machete blade. Awesome, 9/10 would be creeped out again.

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Review – The Lies of Locke Lamora

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Here I am, procrastinating on actually working on my new projects (The Festival of Masks, a Mona Scrap, and RAZE, a fantasy web serial) or old projects (The Victorious Death of Eliza Warden) but sort of doing something useful by blogging a little.

The Lies of Locke Lamora is funny, brutal at times, clever, and fresh. It’s Ocean’s  Eleven meets Dungeons and Dragons, Catch Me If You Can meets Lord of the Rings. It’s a fine long read and stands well enough on its own, but is also part of a planned seven (I think) part series. Settle in and enjoy the creative profanity, teeth-knocked-out fights, and witty banter. I wouldn’t suggest it if you’re squeamish about any of those things, but if you are you may have found the perfect modern expression of fantasy thievery and con-art.

Locke resides in the canal-lined city of Camorr, which shares a lot with Terry Pratchett’s Ankh Morpork, Lieber’s Lankhmar, and renaissance Venice. He works for the Capa, sort of a Don-like crime boss, in a city that regulates its crime right along with its nobility. He leads the Gentleman Bastards, a con-artist group without peer, as they scheme and steal and pull one over on just about everyone else in the city. Things grow more complicated, however, as their latest job takes a few unexpected turns, and meanwhile a mysterious gray figure begins stalking the city’s criminal elite.

I will say that I felt a few parts of the book had a little too much room to breathe; a few pacing missteps and a little bit of forced dialogue aside, , this is a fun, engaging read, written in a modern style that makes the characters, events, and wildly imaginative setting easy to relate to. If you’re a fan of modern fantasy, crime stories, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, this might be for you. Want to get away from fantasy involving worldwide wars, the fate of humanity, and esoteric magic systems? This will be your thing.

This and other goodreads reviews here.

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Review – The Book of Merlyn

The Book of Merlyn

I’m not certain that this volume is quite as necessary as the back matter suggests. That said, it has the wit and beauty you’d expect, and includes one of my favorite segments (the geese) from The Sword in the Stone. Some of the segments about communism vs. capitalism, property – the more political topics – detracted for me. Then, however, those segments would be interrupted by the poignance and emotion that made me love The Once and Future King so much, and I was glad I’d picked it up. If you’ve read the rest of the Once and Future King, it’s worth it, but only as the capstone to the series.

4/5 magic talking hedgepigs

Some other goodreads reviews here.

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I’m not telling you what to do but GO SEE FURY ROAD NOW

Mad Max: Fury Road was great. I was smiling the whole time when I wasn’t wincing or cackling. It’s fun, it’s exciting. It drops you face-first into a fully developed, vast, terrible world and doesn’t stop till the credits roll.

More importantly, though, Fury Road takes us away from the remakes and reboots. It’s a continuation, yes, a sequel, but everything about it was fresh and artistic and daring. That’s why you’ve gotta go. Support something new. Support something daring. If you’ve lamented the state of movies and Hollywood in the last decade, this is how you make yourself heard. I’ll be buying at least one more ticket for myself. It’s that great. Go. Witness.

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Review – North American Lake Monsters

North American Lake Monsters: Stories

North American Lake Monsters, by Nathan Ballingrud

Dark tales, some haunting, some disturbing, some hopeful. These stories are of human monsters and the monstrousness of us, in us; the others, the monsters outside, often are the less horrific. You’ll go places you’d rather have avoided, but come out the better. Some of these will stay with me for years, visions that I’m thankful for even as I wish I would never have had them. Fantastically written, with beautiful use of imagery and deep, powerful emotion.

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Review – The Left Hand of Darkness

by Ursula K. Le Guin

5/5

This is a beautiful book, beautifully written. A lot’s been said already by other reviewers, so I won’t go into that. This isn’t what you expect, if you’re unfamiliar with Le Guin and with a more thoughful style and speed of scifi. It’s extraordinarily political, heartbreaking, hopeful, and very, very human. I look forward to reading it again someday.

See this review and others on Goodreads

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