For a kid who grew up in the 80's watching wrestling greats such as Andre the Giant, Jerry Lee Lawyer and Tojo Yamamoto, this book brought back a lotFor a kid who grew up in the 80's watching wrestling greats such as Andre the Giant, Jerry Lee Lawyer and Tojo Yamamoto, this book brought back a lot of memories. Back then, I believed the acting was real, that there were "good" and "bad" characters, but Squared Circle Blues takes you beyond the ring and delivers a much harsher background to the staged reality. Though the characters are fictional, they are based on the author's extensive research into the wrestling industry of the 80's, which is evident from all the industry-specific terminology used throughout the book.
The stars in the wrestling organizations of Squared Circle Blues are good at portraying their given personas. Whether he's a good guy (a babyface) or a bad guy (a heel), each wrestler's true identity is often the polar opposite. For instance, one of the main characters, "King Snake MacEvoy" is usually a heel in the ring, but is actually a family guy with a wife and three kids that he doesn't get to come home to often enough. There are some deliciously sleazy characters, like Gash, the wrestling promoter who's main goal is looking out for #1 no matter which wrestler's life he has to ruin to get there. The supporting characters are just as complex as the main gang and add a well-rounded feel to the whole story.
This, for me, was not a bedtime book. There is a huge cast of characters and changing scenes/settings/time periods with each new chapter, so it definitely required mental alertness in order to keep up with the plot. There's also a great deal of profanity, sexual situations, and gore so if you're squeamish about any of those, be warned. Otherwise, if you once sat glued to the TV watching those 80's greats doing their thing in spandex, mullets, and funky makeup, you need to read this book!...more
Good writing and command of language. Liked the characters, but the plot was painfully slow up until the end and even then the climax didn't reach theGood writing and command of language. Liked the characters, but the plot was painfully slow up until the end and even then the climax didn't reach the level of suspense and tension that it should have. ...more
Debut author Mick Williams has done a fine job in this romantic comedy about two people who meet under odd and funny circumstances. Tom and Emma bothDebut author Mick Williams has done a fine job in this romantic comedy about two people who meet under odd and funny circumstances. Tom and Emma both have pent up emotions due to things that happened in their pasts, and both of them (separately) have been trying to release their grief by going to the funerals of strangers. This may seem pretty morbid, but the opening chapters are quite the opposite, with several laugh out loud moments when perfectly good funerals go hilariously wrong. Of course, Tom and Emma end up at the same funeral and are instantly attracted to one another.
Throughout the remainder of the book, both are cautiously stepping into the waters of dating, but both are so gun shy, they're terrified of something going wrong. The supporting cast of friends and coworkers offers them advice along the way. The author did a great job of fleshing out these characters, giving them their own side plots that carried on through the book. Not only do we follow Tom & Emma's conflict, but we see how they intervene to help their friends in their own emotional battles. From time to time, those side conflicts became really serious and sad, but there were enough chuckle-worthy moments in the midst to break the tension a bit. My favorite supporting character was an older lady named Doris - she carried the story along with her wise words and cantankerous personality.
On a critical note, the pacing in the middle dragged a bit. There were also a few typos and formatting issues in the Kindle version that could be easily fixed, but nothing that severely threw me off the story. For a debut novel, it wasn't bad at all.
Due to some language and sexual content (non-graphic), I'd recommend this to YA readers and beyond. If you enjoy romantic comedy, grab your own copy and give it a try!...more
I enjoyed this Regency romance. The premise was really interesting and unique, with a very admirable hero whose character grew from haughty to charitaI enjoyed this Regency romance. The premise was really interesting and unique, with a very admirable hero whose character grew from haughty to charitable by the end. There was just enough of a love triangle to add some romantic conflict.
A few things kept it from wowing me though. Without giving spoilers, a few aspects of the heroine's life were highly unlikely, considering the circumstances. The heroine's thievery and lower-class lingo seemed appropriate for the time, but was often overused to the point of becoming a bit annoying, particularly "bubbies" for breasts. It made the heroine seem really immature.
Other than that, the pacing and love scenes are adventurous and fun. It's worth a read for any Regency fans....more
My youngest daughter Zoe (11) read this book recently. I was lucky enough to get a signed copy from an event. Zoe loved it and actually read a lot ofMy youngest daughter Zoe (11) read this book recently. I was lucky enough to get a signed copy from an event. Zoe loved it and actually read a lot of it while we traveled for spring break. In Zoe's words, here's what she thought of the book:
"I loved this book! It was filled with exciting action and mystery. I would say that there was absolutely nothing I disliked about Love, Lies & Hocus Pocus. You can really picture what is happening as you read. Recommending this book to people who like action and mystery. Thank you for writing this book. I really enjoyed reading it! <3 "
Notice the heart she added at the end. LOL I will be getting the next one for her soon. It always makes me proud when my kiddos really get into a book!...more
Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince is such a fun read! It's filled with action, magic, lovable heroes and memorable villains I've come to expect froAmanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince is such a fun read! It's filled with action, magic, lovable heroes and memorable villains I've come to expect from Dan Wright, whose adult novels I've been a fan of for some time. This story, however, is most appropriate for the older elementary and middle school crowd.
The book centers around Amanda Moonstone, a young sorceress with quite a sad recent past. She lost a baby, and went a bit mad. Her fiance left her, and now she's struggling to make ends meet by selling potions to the locals in the village. Trouble is, she's not always great at that job, so she ends up with irate customers. She's also behind on the rent and is on the brink of being evicted. While out hunting for potion ingredients, she stumbles upon a young boy, Daryl, whose village was destroyed by the evil king. She soon discovers a reward poster for the boy's return. That money could pay all her debts and then some.
But...Daryl is in fact a missing prince, and returning him to the king will in fact put his life in danger. Poor Amanda has quite the dilemma. The plot reveals how she struggles with this and the choices she must make.
Like Dan's other manga-inspired writings, this one has illustrations sprinkled throughout that complement the story very well. There are also ties to his adult Draconica series, along with a few innuendos that adults and those who know Dan are likely to enjoy. The characters have the over-dramatic flair of what you might expect from a Disney film, with the villain being despicable enough to hate without being so scary as to give young readers a nightmare.
While the story itself follows a rather predictable arc for adult readers, there is at least one nice twist that I particularly enjoyed. The writing is well-edited, tight, and paced well enough to hold my attention. It's definitely a story I'd recommend for youngsters or adults who enjoy a light, whimsical read....more
I bought this book at a recent convention, signed by the author himself I might add, and gave it to my 10 year old daughter to read. She loved it! MosI bought this book at a recent convention, signed by the author himself I might add, and gave it to my 10 year old daughter to read. She loved it! Most books she reads are those she has to read for school, but this one was totally extracurricular, and she finished it without me having to prompt her to read. The mom in me says this must be a good book for that age group since my daughter's not a dedicated bookworm. I also read the first chapter and thought it very well-written, appropriate language for kiddos in late elementary, early middle school, with a really cute storyline. If you're worried about the "undead" element, don't worry, there are no Walking Dead zombies in this book. Give it a try!...more