“Empire of Light”, by Alex Harrow – Review

Alex Harrow kicks off the first of the Voyance series with a bang, literal and figurative. The action is non-stop, filled with betrayals and plot twists when something isn’t being blown up. The writing is very tight and the characters well developed. I would caution there are fleeting scenes of graphic sexuality (if that is a concern) which were fully in support of the storyline. I was left still not knowing much about the Voyance, but I expect it will be fully explained in later installments.

I rate the book a solid 4.0, based on the FCP book review standard. Priced at $6.99 on Amazon Kindle, it’s a fair entertainment value.

(Disclosure: I received my signed paperback copy at a charity event for child literacy)

Image by Omni Matryx from Pixabay

“Wolf’s Soul (Firekeeper Saga Book 8)”, by Jane Lindskold – Review

Jane Lindskold has done it again; produced a gripping Firekeeper novel which has a storyline easily capable of standing on its own. The characters are vividly painted and the plot is well-tuned (as usual). I purchased the paperback version, which is beautifully presented in both cover art and interior formatting. It isn’t often a reading experience is as delightful as this one.

Will I read it again?: Absolutely, and probably before she finishes the series.

I rate the book a solid 5.0, based on the FCP book review standard. Priced at $7.99 on Amazon Kindle, it’s well worth the premium.

Image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay

“Mortgaged Goods”, by Lorraine Cobcroft – Review

This is a book which veers from tear-jerker to thriller to morality tale and finally redemption storylines. Normally that indicates a lack of focus on the part of the author, but Lorraine Cobcroft succeeds in pulling it all together in this technically well-written book set in Australia. I had to chuckle at her multiple references to Australian aristocracy, but I suppose all barn yards do sort out their chickens.

The dialogue is fairly flat, as most of the characters use the same turns of phrase and speech mannerisms regardless of education or background. Also, in my experience, lawyers achieving at the level described of the protagonists would be much more complex in thought, but verisimilitude is not necessary to enjoy this read.

I rate the book a 3.5, based on the FCP book review standard. Priced at $2.99 on Amazon Kindle, it’s a solid entertainment value.

“Tribe Earth”, by Tony Saunders – Review

Tony Saunders puts up a story which has been told and retold many times, the earliest I remember would be a Tom Swift, Jr. book which uses a similar propulsion drive principle in the 1960s. However, the author doesn’t demonstrate a working understanding of the physical sciences, engineering, business, or government in this book. Those can be set aside if the author is telling a compelling story, which in this case he does not. There’s a story here, it just isn’t presented in its best form. The biggest issues are pace and characterization. The dialogue is mostly unattributed and spare of descriptive detail. All speech sounds like the same person is talking monotone, without emotional context. What do the characters look like, do they smile, how do they move, what are they thinking, etc. Why are there variable jumps in time from one paragraph to the next? What were the aliens doing for the years it took to launch Earth’s spaceship? Did the editor only provide a spelling and grammar check?

My recommendation is that potential buyers read the sample text on Amazon before buying a copy. The sample is very representative of the overall quality in this case.

As it stands, I think this is most suitable for a young teen SciFi audience, I rate this book a 3.0, based on the FCP book review standard. Priced at $2.99 on Amazon Kindle, it’s a fair entertainment value.

(Disclosure: I learned of the book through Veracious Readers Only! and purchased a copy)

“The Rescue Nurse”, by J. Philip Horne – Review

Well written albeit less-than-believable plot with simple characterization. Amazing how quickly bullet wounds heal in this book. Hey, it isn’t any more far-fetched than the latest Dan Brown or David Baldacci formulaic screeds. The female lead is a unicorn, an Italian of Albanian extraction who flawlessly speaks and understands colloquial English. She’s beautiful as well as deadly (chortle).

Having said all that, the book is perfect for a lazy weekend afternoon bunkered against viral contagion and can easily be read in one sitting.

I rate this book a 4.0, based on the FCP book review standard. Priced at $5.99 on Amazon Kindle, it’s a fair entertainment value.

(Disclosure: I received a free copy through Veracious Readers Only!)

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

“Alias: Mitzi and Mac”, by Victoria Landis – Review

Solid storytelling and a fun concept: Imagine a financial advisor steals your retirement nest egg and leaves for parts unknown. It happens to an older couple living on the poorer side of a Florida beach town, and now they can’t afford to stay put. Luckily though “Mac” looks like Harrison Ford and his equipment is still functional as “Mitzi” will attest. With so many rich older women in town, surely there is a solution to their financial problem. Nothing can go wrong, right?

I enjoyed the story and its setting (I live in Florida). Secondary characters were hard for me to remember, and indeed interchangeable in some respects, but the primary ones are more than sufficient to carry the story. The plot is a bit far-fetched, but what caricature isn’t? We’ve all met Florida people very much like the ones featured.

I rate this book a 4.0, based on the FCP book review standard. Priced at $3.99 on Amazon Kindle, it’s a good entertainment value.

(Disclosure: I bought a signed copy at Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore – Delray Beach)

“Colt Harper: Disparaged Vampire Cat”, by Tyrolin Puxty – Review

The second installment of Colt Harper didn’t live up to the promise of the first. The plot arc is haphazard and while it has its moments the kinder gentler Colt isn’t nearly as interesting. It’s short as well, coming in at 155 pages.

One note to the author; even Stephen King couldn’t insert himself into a story without eventually dragging it down (Dark Tower series), so it’s not a surprise Tyrolin Puxty cannot either. The first time (or two) in the first book rated a chuckle, in this one it comes off as shameless self promotion and not at all amusing.

I rate this book a 3.0, based on the FCP book review standard. Priced at $3.99 on Amazon Kindle, it seems expensive given the content and length.

(Disclosure: I received a free copy through Veracious Readers Only!)

Image by ana carla from Pixabay

“Where Weavers Daire”, by R. K. Bentley – Review

I love this kind of book generally, so I hung in there hoping it would get better. Sadly, if anything the plot and characters were even more confusing at the 25% point, which is where I threw in the towel. Lots of really interesting concepts are teed up, but the characters are an undefined hot mess. The lack of motivation, character development, political details/history. combine into a confusing mishmash of conversations meaningless to a reader. The cool stuff, like magic combined with physics, gets lost along the way due to that. Also needs a good structural edit to eliminate the many homonyms used incorrectly (e.g. rapped versus wrapped..etc).

I rate this a 2.5 on the FCP book review standards scale. Priced at $4.99 on Amazon; seems expensive given the content.

(Disclosure: I received a free copy through Veracious Readers Only!)

“Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat”, by Tyrolin Puxty – Review

There are many things to like about this first Colt Harper installment; a new vampire concept, relentless wry humor interspersed with things any cat owner would recognize, and an interesting backdrop universe where the action takes place. I especially enjoyed the many small obscure jests and references. Tyrolin Puxty is one of those authors who I would love to have a leisurely conversation with, as I am certain it would be hugely entertaining.

As the first book in a series the stage is being set for the sequels, although the book does present a standalone story which is mostly complete by the last page.

I rate this book a solid 4.5, based on the FCP book review standard. Priced at $2.99 on Amazon Kindle, this is a very good value and punches well above its weight.

I learned of the book through Veracious Readers Only!, and bought my own copy.

Image by ana carla from Pixabay

“The Corona Book of Ghost Stories”, by various authors – Review

Editor Sue J. Eaton has pulled together an entertaining collection of sixteen ghost stories. The Kindle presentation is well considered and doesn’t structurally distract the reader, which deserves comment as many are not so well done. The volume itself is short, and requires very little time to read its entirety.

I must be getting jaded when it comes to ghost stories (I read many), as none of these were particularly surprising or suspenseful. I did enjoy reading the book however. My favorite stories were “Everything Here is Mine”, “Anna in the Night”, and “Ligeia”. This is the kind of book you’ll read once, happily enjoy while doing so, and likely never come back for a second go.

I rate it a 4, based on the FCP book review standards. Priced at $2.99 on Amazon, this is a good value and sure to entertain.

Image by ariadne-a-mazed from Pixabay