This is a collection of short stories. They range from horror to fantasy to crime stories. Most of the stories are stand alone, but there are severalThis is a collection of short stories. They range from horror to fantasy to crime stories. Most of the stories are stand alone, but there are several stories in the author's hitman series included at the end.
For the most part, the stories are entertaining. In one of the descriptions, the author describes the story as not having enough meat on the bone to make a full length novel. This actually describes how I felt when reading most of the stories. It was like eating half of a chicken leg. They just seemed like they were part of the story, (or to continue the chicken theme) part of the meal only. But at the same time, you got the whole story package. You weren't left wondering what was going on or what happened. I just wanted more. I guess it is pretty good when the worst thing you can say about a story collection is that you wanted more.
There are a few stories that might bother an individual. Personally, I could have done without the story about the abusive boyfriend, even though I understood why the author wrote it. While I liked the hitman stories, the hitman is hard to like as a character. He is crude and rude to the extreme at times. But then, he kills people for a living so what do you expect?...more
Darren Kiel continues his secret quest to do his part to make the world a better place. He uses his remarkable suThis is the second Darren Kiel story.
Darren Kiel continues his secret quest to do his part to make the world a better place. He uses his remarkable suit to fight crime. But Darren is not the only person that is using technology to do wondrous things. One of those people is using his technology to be able to target any person at any time and any place. He is using this power to target leaders in different European countries in an effort to destabilize the current situation and possibly cause another World War. Darren is used to working on a much smaller scale though. But when his old friend asks for his help, he finds himself working with a group of people that all that special abilities to stop this new threat to world peace.
This is superheroes for adults. Don't expect aliens that can fly and bend steel with their bare hands or mutants with the ability to turn to ice or shoot lasers from their eyes or anybody that gains superhuman powers after being exposed to radiation, dashed with chemicals or bitten by radioactive spiders. The heroes, and villains, in this story use technology to pull off their incredible feats. The greatest "power" is their intelligence. They rely more heavily on thinking their way through a problem than wading in and bashing things (but there is plenty of bashing things in the story).
Darren Kiel makes me think of Iron Man if Bruce Wayne (perhaps with Reed Richards help) made the armor. He doesn't fly, shoot missiles, or crush tanks with his armored fists. He does use his highly analytical mind to use his armor to the best of its ability, including keeping a very low profile. He knows that the more visible he is while following his mission, the more likely he will be overwhelmed by his foes.
The other special individuals with which Darren teams, are just as believable in their powers and in their motivations. This includes the villain of the story. The story mixes action and suspense to keep the reader wanting to read just a few more pages. The next thing you know, you have read all night and you are going to have a long day ahead of you.
This is a superhero story that could really happen. A story that uses realistic powers and origins for its characters with motivations that make sense. There is no spandex or energy bolts from a characters hands, but it is still one of the best superhero stories that I have read in a long time.
Annie Parker and friends decide to try and figure out who killed the crankiness woman in town.
This is the author's first story. I must admit that I suAnnie Parker and friends decide to try and figure out who killed the crankiness woman in town.
This is the author's first story. I must admit that I suspected as much while I was reading it. There is a roughness to the writing. Nothing major though. It is things like a missing comma, dropping off an a or the, or phrasing a sentence awkwardly. It is like when you travel somewhere and are suddenly hearing a new accent and different local sayings. It all makes sense but it just throws you a little bit off kilter at the same time.
As for the mystery element, it is fairly straightforward. There isn't any real red herrings to throw the reader. Part of this is due to the tale being a short story. There just isn't that much time to develop misleading trails for the reader to follow.
The thing this story did best was to introduce Annie and her friends. The reader gets a nice introduction to them and their little corner of the world.
I feel this story is a promising start to a fine cozy mystery series. I am confident that as the author gets more experience writing, the roughness will disappear and the mysteries will become more convoluted in nature. I look forward to reading more in the series....more
This is a collection of seven short stories. They each share a connection to Christmas, but truthfully some of those connections are fairly weak.
We stThis is a collection of seven short stories. They each share a connection to Christmas, but truthfully some of those connections are fairly weak.
We start with A Time For Giving. In this tale, we see another reason to not leave anyone off of your Christmas list and family can come in all forms.
A young boy uses his father teleportation invention to try and solve the greatest holiday mystery of all in The List.
Love Story at Gate 6B is a sweet little tale that shows us love lasts through the ages.
Teacher's Pets presents the tale of a new teacher and her unique way of dealing with troublesome students.
Vanishing Skills shows that even the wish business has its complications.
As long as your mind is open, there will always be something that you can learn. This is the lesson we learn in Last Canvas.
No Marbles This Year is a tale of unique Christmas traditions for a family and how they can be thrown into disarray with the passing of the family's leader.
I enjoyed this collection. The stories were fun even if some of them were only slightly connected to the holiday. This is one of the very few sci-fi/fantasy Christmas book for adults that I have found. If anyone knows of any others. please feel free to send me the title. Merry Christmas....more
The only Welsh detective that specializes in mystery dealing with the blues in Memphis is back. While he is closer to Scrooge than Santa, it is up toThe only Welsh detective that specializes in mystery dealing with the blues in Memphis is back. While he is closer to Scrooge than Santa, it is up to him to save Christmas for a beautiful dame and a bunch of retired... well let's just say they were very friendly ladies (for a price).(The City Union of Needy Tarts)
While this is part of a series, you can read it just fine without any real problems. I wouldn't call this that sweet of a story and probably shouldn't be read by kiddies. But it is fun and makes a nice introduction of the character.
The character does not seem to know about the past tense of verbs. I am guessing that is to show the character's Welsh accent. It can still be slightly annoying reading it though. Otherwise, a good story....more
Another collection of 101 stories by real people that will in turn inspire or entertain all but the most Scrooge-like Grinches. The theme of the storiAnother collection of 101 stories by real people that will in turn inspire or entertain all but the most Scrooge-like Grinches. The theme of the stories are all related to Christmas. All of the stories are just a few pages, so you can read one or two in your spare moments.
I felt like I was part of one of the tales this holiday season. I lost my father on October 14th this year. My mom was scheduled to have knee surgery that same day. Needless to say, her operation was postponed. She got it done at the beginning of December. This meant, she was going to be on a walker until right before Christmas. She wouldn't be able to do a lot of her normal Christmas preparations. With the help of my siblings, we have tried to pick up as much of the preparations as we could from my mom. But between my not-so-great health and their jobs, it has still been a challenge. The final thing is that my dog (it belongs to my mom and me actually) had a stroke and had to be put to sleep. We ended up burying him exactly 2 months after we had buried my dad. Needless to say, there have been a lot more tears than normal this season. But while reading these stories, I was reminded of a few simple things. It doesn't matter if everything isn't the same as previous years and we have to skip a tradition here or there. What matters is that the family is all gathering. While there also be some empty spots caused by loved ones being gone, they will still be there in our hearts.
So for me these stories helped to make a difficult time, less difficult....more
This was a fun, short story. It is part of a series but you don't need to have read the others. In fact, I have not read any of the other stories andThis was a fun, short story. It is part of a series but you don't need to have read the others. In fact, I have not read any of the other stories and had no problem following or enjoying the story.
There were two points that could bother some readers. The characters know they are in a story and will address the readers directly at times, This breaking the so-called fourth wall might throw some readers out of the story. The other thing, the characters tell the readers that they have held back a piece of information. This might cause readers to feel cheated at their chance to solve the mystery. Personally, I had no problem with either of these things. I found the characters talking to me just added to the humor. As for the withholding of the information, I was able to still guess the general if not the specific thing they withheld.
So, I found this to be a nice introduction to the characters and the series. I will definitely look for more stories....more