Showing posts from March, 2016

Book Review: The Digital Now

The Digital Now by Roland Allnach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Carly has always been a member of Patrol; it’s always just another day. She patrols with her partner, Graham, they eat the same food, put down the same endorsed, cyclical riots, drink and party. Until she suffers a severe crack on the skull from a dropped brick, and has to be reformatted. After all, that’s got to be where all these strange thinks are from, right? Or is it possible that she has unlocked a part of herself that Central fears? Can she possibly be on the run from Central, or is this all a part of a much grander manipulation?

Set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future, The Digital Now explores both the positives and negatives of an autocratic, central authority that makes the call on who lives and dies, rations the meager provisions, and guides consumer desires in a way that makes them think they are doing it all on their own. Written in an unapologetically Orwellian/Huxlian style, The Digital Now is a throwback to …

Book Review: Brink of Dawn

Brink of Dawn by Jeff Altabef
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Juliet and Troy are on the run, following the path of Juliet’s destiny, laid out by her grandfather, Sicheii. Together they meet up with the other Chosen to begin their training. Juliet is discovering her new powers at an alarming pace, which leaves her wondering how much human is left in her anyway? Will she lose her identity completely? And what about the Deltites, is she really powerful enough to defeat them before they turn humanity into a cosmic pawn?

Book 2 in the Chosen series follows up with newly discovered hybrid Juliet as she struggles to carry out her destiny. I thought it was well written and insightful, exploring teenage insecurities a little too accurately in some cases. Pulling in the group dynamic was a little clunky at the beginning, particularly for a novel written largely in the first person, but I really enjoyed their interactions. Incidentally, I don’t think you will miss much if you accidentally start with th…

Book Review: From a Broken Land

From a Broken Land by William R. Herr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gidon has been sent on a mission to discover the cause of the blight plaguing the land. He doesn’t expect to come home alive, but things never quite turn out the way you plan. All he is trying to do is find the local Seer, not join the local Guard or meet the most enchanting woman he has ever his limited experience growing up in a monastery, of course. Surely she could not help him accomplish his mission, but why won’t she leave?

From a Broken Land is Book one in the Broken Throne series, and it does a great job of setting the scene and explaining some of the politics and back story of the fictional countries of Sidhea and Hammat without resorting to long monologuing or awkward exposition. The main characters of Gidon and Kira were developed well, as were some of the more interesting aspects of this world’s spiritual realm, such as the extremely binding nature of oaths. I thought it was a really well done first b…

Book Review: Stuart Duffelmeyer and the Masters of Plagues

Stuart Duffelmeyer and the Masters of Plagues by Dewey B. Reynolds
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Stuart suffered a horrible injustice, a prank pulled by eight of his so-called friends. He vowed to get back at them, whatever it takes, and apparently the Universe agrees. Armed with preternatural powers to control animals and elements, Stuart takes on revenge and social justice with his new found powers, and travels the country on his quest.

As I read this I could feel the author was trying to tackle a difficult subject - injustice and vengeance.The plot will resonate with anyone who has ever been bullied, as the main character, Stuart, has a cruel prank pulled on him right before college graduation, and is rewarded with phenomenal cosmic powers in order to teach the bullies a lesson and right a lot of other wrongs along the way. Unfortunately, the writing really distracts from the overall message, as nearly all the sentences are structured in the passive voice, and there are some really repe…

Book Review: The Antioch Testament

The Antioch Testament by Donald Joiner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ken never expected to take on his wounded brother’s project, but how could he say no when Charles may never recover from his IED injuries during his tour as Army Chaplain? He had the ability to communicate and collaborate with some of the most amazing historical analyst on a manuscript that possibly predates most of our written texts by several hundred years, and may verify some Church history. Unfortunately, he is not the only one interested in this text, and the other guys are willing to die to get it.

The Antioch Testament is written, Epistle style, from the perspective of Ignatius of Antioch, one of the earliest Church fathers. While obviously a work of fiction, it is equally obvious that author Joiner is heavily invested in historical accuracy and evidence. As one who holds a degree in history I loved the retelling of some of the lives of Jesus’ disciples persevering on the mission He gave. While the history was soli…

Book Review: Get Organized. Get Focused. Get Moving.

Get Organized. Get Focused. Get Moving. by Cynthia Kyriazis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Are you good at what you do but not good at managing the business side of it? Or is something holding you back from moving up to the next level in your business, but you can’t put your finger on what the roadblock is?

Enter Cynthia Kyriazis, professional organizer and motivator. In Get Organized, Get Focused, Get Moving. Kyriazis breaks down the basics of organizing as it relates to productivity in your business. Her advice works whether you are a solopreneur or manage a large department in a Fortune 500 company. The chapters are short and efficient; they give you practical steps to take to identify and correct productivity problems. She also gives a great list of helpful tools at the end of the book, both paper and electronic. I can’t tell you how happy I am to read this book, as my agency is in an organizing transition now, as our long time secretary left recently. I am tasked with reorganizing a sy…