Nico Laeser gave me something else to be afraid of.
In Skin Cage, we are introduced to a young man named Daniel Stockholm--an unfortunate individual whNico Laeser gave me something else to be afraid of.
In Skin Cage, we are introduced to a young man named Daniel Stockholm--an unfortunate individual who, at the age of fifteen, was reduced to a vegetative state by a tapeworm. Though it’s hard to detail the story without giving too much away (given the book’s relatively-short length,) the story follows Daniel’s musings about his past, his person, his potential futures in a world where he cannot move anything but his eyes, and, most of all, his ‘lucid dreaming.’ We meet caretakers Cassie and Anna -- who become pivotal to the story at a later point -- as well as a man named Marcus: one who, without knowing it, changes Daniel's life forever.
Though I went into this story believing that it would be horrific in nature (given its horrifying premise,) what I found instead was a humble story about the power of the human spirit.
SKIN CAGE is an absolutely brilliant read, one that I feel any fan of literary fiction would enjoy....more
Dark fantasy and steampunk collide in Wolves of the Northern Rift, the first in the Magic and Machinery novels by Jon Messenger. Detailing the exploitDark fantasy and steampunk collide in Wolves of the Northern Rift, the first in the Magic and Machinery novels by Jon Messenger. Detailing the exploits of a royal inquisitor named Simon and his apothecary companion named Luthor, Simon—under the request of the king—is dispatched to the northern continent of Ocker and the city of Haversham to investigate claims that werewolves have appeared from something known as the Rift: an immense magical portal which has spilled into the world to let loose demons and other monstrosities. Though Simon and Luthor have spent the past two years debunking such claims of the supernatural, something about this case seems different. A veneer of secrecy lies throughout the beginnings of the investigation, as the man whose mining properties are under attack seems hesitant to reveal certain information, and it is only a matter of time before they realize that magic—an abomination that must be removed from the world—holds a far greater case than they could possibly imagine.
Wolves of the Northern Rift is undoubtedly fantasy at its best. Told in an omniscient perspective not often found in fantasy novels, it details the happenings of two very unique and completely dynamic characters in a way that shows a practiced writer who has obviously honed his craft. As the first book in a series, it’s always important to hold the attention of the reader, and Wolves of the Northern Rift does all that, and more. The world-building is immense, the writing is crisp, the execution flawless. Its blending of steampunk and magic is utterly enjoyable and is done without making it come across as cheap. The world is fully integrated with both magic and machinery (as its title states,) and though we don’t see much of the latter in the novel, we definitely see a lot of the former, especially when the book begins to speed up at the end.
If you like fantasy with a sense of mystery along with your adventure, then Wolves of the Northern Rift is the kind of book you’ll love....more
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading FURTIVE LIASON. Though I’ve always been a fan of gay fiction, I haven’t read a lot of it,I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading FURTIVE LIASON. Though I’ve always been a fan of gay fiction, I haven’t read a lot of it, which was why discovering, and then reading, this was a huge treat.
The story follows a young entrepreneur named Shawn, a forty-some owner of his own company who seeks out companionship one night only to find something more. As a businessman, Shawn is all business; but as a person, he’s yearning that one thing everyone wants to call their own: love. He finds that one night in the unlikeliest place: an XXX bookstore. At the time, he thinks it’s just going to be a one-off. But after meeting up with his one-night-stand, Shawn finds that Marc—the captivating younger man he met in the bookstore—may have more to offer, both good and bad.
Though FURTIVE LIASON is a short read, it is undoubtedly one that captures your attention and keeps you reading. From the emotional struggle that is found within, to the blazingly-hot sex scenes, to the storyline that keeps you reading from start to finish, it is, without a doubt, a fine story, one I wish would have been longer but that ends with an extremely satisfying conclusion. Fans of gay erotica, and gay romance, will love this novella....more
Moving swiftly, downstream, while kayaking with her swim team, a girl reacts to her stupendous joy the only way her body knows: by turning invisible.Moving swiftly, downstream, while kayaking with her swim team, a girl reacts to her stupendous joy the only way her body knows: by turning invisible. Panic ensues, a search is made. Then something extraordinary happens: she appears, ashore, completely dry and unharmed.
Thus begins the story of Samantha Baker, the genetic inheritor of the Rippler gene.
Rippler by Cidney Swanson is a hard book to describe. Part urban fantasy, part science-fiction, with a tad of mystery, it's a novel that escapes easy classification--and, as a result, allows an organic narrative to flow. Unlike many novels -- who would introduce a protagonist with complete understanding of their powers -- Rippler begins as an origin story and details a young girl's discovery of her powers. From learning 'how' to become invisible, to how to control it, to the consequences of particular actions and the spiraling results that can come as a result from them, it is incredibly engaging and sweeps you along at an incredible pace. It is, as a whole, an extremely difficult book to review in-depth, as the scope of its plot is quite short, but it has a bit for everyone and those who enjoy the young adult genre will find it extremely enjoyable. It's the first in the promising series, and one I will be sure to continue in the very near future....more
In most science-fiction and fantasy stories, we like to believe that our heroes are special—that they are destined by fate, chosen by the Gods or theIn most science-fiction and fantasy stories, we like to believe that our heroes are special—that they are destined by fate, chosen by the Gods or the Universe, or simply possess something that makes them able to overcome astounding obstacles. This, as a staple in literature, has been seen throughout generations. But in Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average, that role is completely reversed—because our hero is, in fact, anything but extraordinary.
Enter Jacob Smith—a twelve, almost thirteen-year-old boy. In the grand scheme of things, he isn’t anything special. He gets average grades, does average in sports, is average in height and intelligence. He’s even statistically average when it comes to the number of siblings in an American household. Normally, we wouldn’t think anything of this. Average people aren’t normally capable of anything extraordinary. But what if an alien species was able to use that to their advantage—to ‘harness’ the average in order to potentially take over the human race? That is the challenge Jacob Smith faces in Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average, and the driving point of its plot.
As a mid-grade/young-adult novel, Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average nails every aspect that the genre requires. It’s easy to read, its pace is fast and the plot doesn’t meander, and it features likable characters and scenarios everyone can relate to. Where the novel truly stands out is as a science-fiction piece. The wonder presented in the novel is slow to creep in, but once it does, it hits you full force. But unlike many sci-fi novels (where, even in YA, the reader can become confused and overwhelmed,) Jacob Smith makes sure to introduce the fantastical aspect of its narrative slowly and simply. Aliens are usually described in minute detail. Technology is only explained in what it does and not how it does it. The action incorporated within is exciting but not in the least bit gruesome and its fast pace speeds the reader throughout the narrative at a near-unstoppable pace. I had trouble putting Jacob Smith down even when I was completely exhausted. It’s fun, energetic, and definitely something I wish I was able to read as a kid. I highly recommend it....more
Beginning in the summer of 1983, The Summer of Winters tells the story of an unlikely individual whom many can identify with. At only eleven, Mike GunBeginning in the summer of 1983, The Summer of Winters tells the story of an unlikely individual whom many can identify with. At only eleven, Mike Gunthrie exists in a state where life is better left in fantasy than to the arduous wasteland of reality. Ridiculed by his peers, he has no friends. Most of his time is spent in his backyard, playing games or making others up. He reads when he’s inside. His mother works constantly after being abandoned by their father. They eat leftovers religiously. Everything seems just on the verge of his grasp. On the cusp of adolescence, it seems impossible that anything will change. But when a little girl named Paige Moore moves in next door, Mark will realize that this is, truly, a summer he will never forget.
Due to the length of the story, it is hard to accurately detail the work without giving the plot away. Written in flashbacks, we are introduced to a narrative that is very much like Stand by Me, albeit with one central character instead of several. Unlike similar works in its vein—which seem written solely to display an overwhelming sense of symbolism—Gunnells concentrates solely on the narrative. We see Gaffney as it’s supposed to be seen—small, quaint, obviously quiet, a small town we all remember either by heart or passing. The people are friendly. The kids are mean. And what begins as a seemingly-charming story about friendship and the trials that come with it soon turns dark when a little girl named Sarah Winters is found dead. From that point on, everything changes—and Mark, caught in the midst of it all, is left with a sense of morality that will change his life forever.
While there isn’t much that makes The Summer of Winters stand out in the broad scheme of literary work, its fluid writing and careful attention to detail lend to a powerful narrative that is literally teeming with life. Gaffney breathes in the pages of this work—a living, persisting world that isn’t fabricated and instead feels like a real place, where the events depicted seem as though they actually happened and the history within is that which is chronicled in some archive in a place we’ve never been. In that sense, you can say the work is stunningly brilliant. Smooth in execution and steadfast in its pace, it’s not often you read something that compels you to finish in one sitting. The Summer of Winters is one of those works, and is undoubtedly a coming-of-age story that will resonate with any who experience it. ...more