Sunday, August 13, 2017

Book Review: Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore

Dead Things (Eric Carter #1)Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eric Carter has been exiled from his hometown by a local gangster. He has since become a badass necromancer of some renown. Unfortunately his sister has passed away and it looks like murder, and it may be of the supernatural kind. Now he has to use all of his skills to find out what happened, and get revenge.

I found this as an audio book in a gas station while on a long road trip. The tale was a fun adventure through the world of the supernatural. The characters are all rich with their own wants, needs, and histories. The story itself is a bit predictable, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. This is more of a character driven novel and the characters are vibrant and interesting.

In the end Dead Things is an entertaining journey through a new paranormal world. I would recommend this to fans of the Supernatural TV show or those who enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.

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Writing Progress Updates


The Ghost Novella
Waiting on Cover Art

Virtual Wars: Running
First Draft: 45,136 words

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Book Review: Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton

Dragon TeethDragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As part of a bet William Johnson joins an expedition to the west to chase after the bones of dinosaurs. Professor Marsh is a world renowned paleontologist who is leading the expedition. He demands military discipline from his students while on the road. He is also supremely paranoid and thinks everyone he comes across is potentially a spy for his greatest rival, Professor Cope.

William is abandoned in the middle of the journey. Professor Cope finds the young man and entices him to join his expedition in spite of the lies and deceptions Marsh had filled his head with previously. They continue into the old wild west where they encounter hostile American Indians, outlaws, Wyatt Earp, and other impediments to the journey.

Dragon Teeth is a very well written adventure into the old Wild West. This novel captures the fast pace and intriguing story elements that are hallmarks of Michael Crichton novels. This time he tackles more of a western theme which was not my cup of tea. The subject matter didn't grab me as strongly as his previous technology based thrillers. If you are interested in Paleontology or the Wild West then the novel will be more interesting. Dragon Teeth will be more satisfying for fans of Crichton than Pirate Lattitudes was. The back and forth rivalry between Cope and Marsh were my favorite parts of the novel. Crichton was my favorite author and his writing has been fantastic. I would recommend this novel to anyone who finds the description interesting.

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Writing Progress Updates


The Ghost Novella
Ebook Formatting: Done!
Waiting on Cover Art

Virtual Wars: Running
First Draft: 44,208 words

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The White Room Interview

Hey everyone! I was interviewed by the great Emma Hardcastle on The White Room. It's currently on Youtube! Check it out!


Legos & Life

Recently I got a promotion at work which has also involved working a lot of overtime. A lot of the plans I had for the blog are getting pushed to the side because of this. The good news is that I am going to update this blog more often, but I won't be making the switch to being a video blog as I had been planning.

With my free time I have to balance my writing and entertainment. I tend to binge watch TV shows while working on writing and editing my work. So this week I want to talk about a few shows I have been watching and also talk about the awesome that is also known as LEGOS. Also I want to announce that final edits for The Ghost are done! I'm pushing it out to beta readers now, formatting for publication, and waiting for cover art to come back.

So recently I watched the new season of Orange Is the New Black and GLOW which are put together by the same producers. Both were well done. The story of GLOW has always been an interesting one to me and this first season goes over how it got started and the struggles that almost killed the project before it ever began. OITNB was just as fantastic as the show has always been. The characters are what make the show and they always find a way to give you insight on minor and major characters alike. The development of each one in this show is fantastic and I always tear through each season. They just released 4 episodes of Castlevania animated series which takes an anime style animation mixed with actual English speaking voice actors. The result is something that fans of anime and the video games should enjoy. I was left wanting more, but I think that was the point. Next on my plate is Shooter which is a TV show based on a movie by the same name. Also Gypsy is also catching my eye, so it might be next if only so I can see Naomi Watts.

LEGOS

Now we're into the good stuff! If you follow me on Instagram then you know that I occasionally put together large sets of LEGOS and document my progress there. I like the simple building process and many of the sets are undeniably cool. Tie ins with Star Wars, Batman, and many other franchises also ramp up the cool factor.

I usually just follow the instructions within the box to build these sets, but I have built a few practical things with these magical building blocks. The one I use the most is a cellphone stand that I use nearly every day. Nearly anything you can get at OfficeMax that is a plastic placeholder can be built using LEGOS. The only drawback is that sometimes you need more weight to hold things. There are 2 ways to do this, build a wider base, or add weights to the super light blocks.

When buying LEGOS I usually follow a simple formula for figuring out if a set is worth the price on the box. Most sets will average out to $1 for every 10 pieces. That means a 500 piece set should come out to around $50 for an average deal. I will overpay for some sets that I must have like the Millennium Falcon. The two newest sets I got were a steal with over 1000 pieces each and a price of around $50. Anytime I can get some cool Batman LEGOS for half off I am going to get them! If you are interested in seeing my progress on the most recent LEGO sets follow me on instagram. The link is at the top of the blog!

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Writing Progress Updates


The Ghost Novella
5th Edit Run: Finished!
POD Formatting: Finished!
Ebook Formatting: 10% done

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Book Review: Ubik by Philip K Dick

UbikUbik by Philip K. Dick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do you ever feel the need to read reviews before purchasing a book? Alleviate your worries with the fantastic Ubik! Just rub the pages on your skin or consume them orally. Satisfaction is almost guaranteed if used as directed. Side effects include pinching yourself, questioning reality, and confusion on whether you are dead or alive. Please use in moderation as Ubik is a strong remedy for what ails you and can be highly addictive!

This is my first venture into the land of Phillip K Dick other than the movies that have been made based off his works. The story follows Joe Chip who is everyone's favorite screw up. He can't afford the nickel cost to open the front door to his apartment. He works for Runciter and Associates as what amounts to a talent scout for anti-powers. The company he works for helps to protect corporate interests against those who have powers. Psychics, mind readers, etc. all have their powers negated by these anti-ability people who work for Runciter. Things change when Joe is brought a young woman named Pat Conley to test. Her talent is unique in that she can change the past which forcefully changes the visions that pre-cogs have. At the same time there seems to be an incoming showdown between the psychics and Runciter's company.

Ubik is one of the best written hallucinations I have read. I enjoyed the book thoroughly, but it wasn't a book I loved. The world it takes place in is an interesting futurescape that has a Libertarian influence that I had not considered before. There are many aspects of the novel that make you think about the world which I very much enjoyed. The only reasons I didn't give it 5 stars are because of the characters and the twists in the story. The characters for the most part are flat and without any humor. Everything seems to be strictly confusion and business. I did enjoy the twists, but also saw each one coming from a hundred pages away. Perhaps I am nitpicking and this novel deserves 5 stars, but I'm reviewing from my experience of the book. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mind-bending reads or SciFi in general.

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  Writing Progress Updates


The Ghost Novella
5th Edit Run: Page 45 of 47
Also commissioned cover art! Will have release date soon!