Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko Published in 1998 Andrew Bromfield Translation Pages: 455 Genre: Supernatural “The escalator crept along slowly, straining upward.” So begins a tale of Others; supernatural beings that range from magicians and shape-shifters, to vampires and werewolves. Sergei Lukyanenko’s 1998 novel, Night Watch, tells the story of a member of the Night […]
Tears of Heaven
by R.A. McCandless
Review by Jacob Pelley
They obey, or they’ll be destroyed.
Normally, banishing a rogue demon back to Hell wouldn’t be a problem. Del and Marrin have a few centuries of experience. It’s all part of the job description. But when Ahadiel orders them to take down three demons at the once the job goes from bad to worse. The demons, with supernatural powers and their own agenda, have kidnapped children for their own nefarious ends.
With angels breathing down her neck, children to save, and demons gunning for her blood, Del is running out of time.
That’s exactly where she wants to be.
Warning there is a little spoiler ahead
This book covers two eras of human history from the modern times to the roman. Both are important to the main story. Most of this book takes place in modern day Salt lake city, Utah. When in modern time R.A. McCandless does a great job of making it feel like the times we live in. Then when it is in Roman times it feels accurate to the era. In the book Game of Thrones it goes over a lot of characters stories. After a while there are characters you love to read and others you power through to get back to your favorites. During the beginning in Tears of Heavens I enjoyed the Roman times over the main adventure in the modern time. Every jump back to the past was enjoyable and fun, but over time that changes. I have to hand it to the author on that transition it was well done.
Omedelia bar-Azazel or Del if you don’t want to be slapped is the main character of this story. Del is a “nephilim” the daughter of an angle and human. At the start of this book I hated Del. She is hot headed, mean and a jerk. As the story goes on you start to understand why she is this way. Del will start to grow on you and by the end of the story you will be cheering for her. Del has a partner Marrin and a lot more likeable. Where Del is hot headed Marrin is clam and cool. I believe Marrin is also a nephilim, but the book is a little fuzzy on how that came to be. They balanced each other out nicely.
Recommendation and Ratings
If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy, Modern day Fantasy, Paranormal, Modern day Paranormal, Angels, Dresden files, The Iron Druid or Mercy Thompson this book could be for you. I am a huge fan of the Urban Fantasy genre and this book scratches that itch. This book is part of a series and I already bought the second book. Over all I give this book 4/5. It is not for someone younger than 13. There are some ruff parts writing wise, but that is just me being picky. For me the best parts of the book are in the second half, so stick with it till the end. This book could be a standalone, but leave the door open for more adventures for Del and Marrin. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
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For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic in a cynical world. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite. . .
Kendra and her brother Seth have no idea their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws give relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, an arcane evil is unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save her family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world, Kendra must find the courage to do what she fears most.
Modern Fantasy is one of my favorite settings when done right. This book did it right. It took the things we enjoy in the modern world and put them in a cabin like setting. The grounds of Fablehaven feel like that park you visited as a kid and always found something new about it. There was the safe area you parents told you to play in and when they were distracted had the fun adventurous parts. Brandon Mull does a excellent job of world building while letting the reader still imagine what the world could look like. It feels like you could spend your whole life in Fablehaven and never see it all.
There are two Main characters and a host of support characters. Even though the story is around Seth Sorenson and his sister Kendra all the supporting characters are well done and relevant to the over all plot. If you have a high energy little boy in your life you can relate to Seth character easily. Kendra is a little dry, but will grow on you. She is the kid that never leaves the safe zone of the playground unless she knows for sure can get away with it. I feel like all the mistakes Seth makes in this book I would have made them too.
Recommendation and Ratings
If you are a fan of Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Adventure, and Clean family friendly Fantasy this could be the book for you. If you are taking a plane or bus trip this is the perfect book for that. It took me two days of leisurely reading this book to finsh it. To this day I still pick it up and read it once a year. Overrall 5/5 for a great family book that you can pass to your kids one day. This book could be a stand alone and you could be content with how it ends. Thankfully there is five in the series and a new run that just started if you wanted more.
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
This book is set in the world after the zombie apocalypse. Humainty has won the day and now it is time to reclaim what is thiers. The story goes over the cause, the effect and the failings of humainty during the zombie apocalypse. It also goes over the trumpits and the sacrifices people had to endure to survive. The history is vast, but manageable to take all in. From the battle of Yonkers, to the rise of Cuba the author crafts a great narrative of what the landscape looked like during and afterwards.
There is no real main character of this book outside of the Interviewer. He is cataloging s major events from people perspectives that survived. Though I did have a favriote story and that was from Todd Wainio a soilder at the battle of Yonkers. He is even voiced by Mark Hamill in the audiobook. Each interview is relevant to the over all story and intresting. I did find the Whackos parts a little slower in pacing than the rest.
Recommendation and Ratings
If you are fan of Science Ficition, Thrillers with a supernatural side, A little bit of humor in your Science Ficition or Zombies this is the book for you. I give this book 4/5 due to its garphic nature. This is a rated R book, so not suitable for kids under the age of 16. Now if you are over the age of 16 and okay with that rating this is a 5/5 book. This is one of my favorite audiobooks of all times. The book is an fantastic read, but the audiobook is just amazing. Here is a small list of the voice actors Max Brooks, Nathan Fillion, Simon Pegg, Denise Crosby, Bruce Boxleitner, Jeri Ryan, Mark Hamill, Rob Reiner and Rene Auberjonois. If you had to choose between reading this book or listing to it go the listing route 100%. Also avoid the movie at all cost it pretty much has nothing to do with the book.
Child Of The Daystar
Book one of the Wing of War Series
By Bryce O’ Connor
Book review by Jacob Pelley
Raz i’Syul Arro.
A sellsword of the utmost caliber, Raz is a killer of paramount skill and highest regard. Towering tall even amongst the atherian, he is the only of his kind to live free in the “civilized” confines of mankind’s varied cultures. He has no need of loyalties, his sole affections pledged to the gold crowns that buy his time and skills. Wed to his blades, Raz’s only friends are the Moon and Her Stars and the shadows they bring with the night.
But Raz was not born to the mercenary’s way, to the butchery and battle of day-by-day survival. Raz, like a sword, was hammered from steel and fire and ashy smoke, forged on the ruins of an old life. And Raz knows who he owes this new path to, this carved way of blood and iron. The Monster of Karth, after all, would never forget who gave him that name.
And some debts can’t be paid in gold…
Bryce O’Connor did a great job of world building in this book. At times I could feel the heat of the dessert sun on my neck. Other times the chill of the winter winds from the north. The pacing in this book was good. Something you could read and come back to easliy. This is a epic fantasy book and I always judge these books harshly for its settings. The Auhor did a great job on coming through on that end. Yes there is magic, other races and monsters that feel natrual to this world. Tolken would be pleased with the work.
The main and supporting character are beileveable and likeable. Raz is a well rounded protagonist. Even though he is not human he is written like someone you could have dinner with. I was not a big fan of Sryah. I usally wanted to get past the Syrah chapters and get back to Raz. Though Sryahs development is important her first chapters are weaker.
Recommendation and Ratings
If you are a fan of Fanstay, Epic fanstay, Horror, Dark fanstay this could be a good fit for you. This book is not for people under the age of 16 as it gets a little graphics. I would give this book 4/5 stars. The only reason why I knocked of 1 star is that I can’t reccomend it to people of all ages. If you want to check out more of the Authors work you can find it here. https://www.bryceoconnorbooks.com/dragon-fantasy-the-wings-of-war/. Which BTW he has one of the nicest Author web pages I have ever seen.
State of the book
It has been over 91 days since my book the Wanderer’s Curse has been released. I have sold over 150 copies in that time. That is 1.6 books a day which is fantastic. Adjusting for all the debt to profits I have made $115. That is accounting for a new suit, a 10X20 poster, event cost, hosting and domain for the website. Though it has been a long time since I have actually sold a book as of late. Here are a few things I have been up to since the launch of the book.
Book blurb nightmare
I had to rewrite the blurb a lot. It took a total of 10 rewrites to finally get it where it needed to be. That is not just rewriting the same paragraph over and over again it was 10 new and unique blurbs every time. These are some of the ones that didn’t make the final cut. My coauthor Sarah finally came through with the best one.
Maazer Basilisk is the trusted leader of the wanderers of Helix, a settlement fighting to survive in a toxic world gone mad. But civilization comes at a cost, and to ensure humanity’s survival behind the walls of Helix, someone has to travel beyond. It’s a dangerous job, something Maazer becomes all too aware of when his partner is killed and he’s left alone for the first time in living memory.
Now he has been tasked with finding two new recruits, and the most obvious candidates are best friends Jennifer Lacewing and Collins Foss. Observed for years by the powers that be, both yearn to serve their settlement, but is becoming a wanderer what they truly want? Even being in contact with Maazer is perilous, and if they are chosen, it means becoming Outcasts…and leaving any chance at a normal life behind.
Since the fall of the last great city, Granite Heart, the settlement of Helix has been struggling to survive in a dangerous and toxic land. How does humanity continue? Sheer will? Partly. A stubborn unwillingness to die? Definitely.
Jennifer and her best friend Collins, teenagers that have been observed for years, are about to be given the worst job placement ever: Wanderer. Wanderers brave the wastes to protect the colony from beasts, bugs & bandits. If life wasn’t already hard enough, Jennifer and Collins are sent outside the colony’s limits on a simple mission that quickly becomes rife with murder, blackmail, and peril. What is at stake?-father’s life/exile, friendship, Kara’s life, the town under attack, frenemy Kara
Jennifer Lacewing is a lonely teenager whose father is too important to be around. Surviving in Helix, a last bastion to the small human existence on a decaying Earth, she longs to be a peaceful farmer. But things never go as planned. When Jennifer and Collins, her best friend, are forced to join the Wanderers, a small group that can mysteriously survive outside the safety of Helix’s fences, she is devastated.
And something else is amiss. Was it a coincidence that she became a Wanderer at the same time her father has been falsely accused of murder?” In a rush against time, Jennifer must complete her Wanderer training and clear her father’s name…or lose him forever.
Here are the resources that I used to fix the blurb
Starla Huchton was a big help in reworking the Blurb. Her site has one of the best run downs on how to write a better blurb.
Dave Chesson over at Kindlepreneur has a huge wealth of knowledge that is free on how to become better at being a author. Dave does care about you being successful. He took the time out of his busy schedule to give me advice and looked over my many many blurbs revisions. He also has a great podcast and created KDP rocket which is useful for making amazon adword campaigns.
Lastley under the recommendation of Dave Chesson I read the book How to write a sizzling synopsis by Bryan Cohen. It was an easy read, but gave important insights on what to do. I read the book in under 3 hours and I am not the fastest of readers. His basic rundown on how to write a blurb looks like this
1:Introduce the main character
2: Establish the Beginning stakes for the character
3:Escalate the tension for the character
4:Repeat steps 1-3 for additional main characters
5:Bring the characters together
6: Raise the stakes even higher for the characters
7: Put the characters in the ultimae danger of failing,dying ETC
Once you have the beta Blurb trim it down more
1: simplify as much as possible
2: Trade down words
3: Remove ant phrases that will slow the reader down
4:Read out loud and for areas that need additional emotional Impact
5: Ensure that you end with a Bang
7: Read it out aloud one more time
Bonus try to keep it under 300 words
But you should read the book as well!
For those that like twitter @Jac_Onue enjoys helping people with thier blurbs to. He helped me with mine and gave constructive feedback.
What I am working on now
I am trying to network more, so much more than what I have been doing. Also reaching out to different book bloggers and podcaster. Next week I will going to be on Central Valley Talk.com, working on getting on to a local tv news station, and hosting a small event here in town. Finally getting in touch with artist for reworking the book cover and hydra logo, but I really like my cover right now.
Seeing as it has been over two years since I began The Past Due Review, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on some of the unforeseen consequences of running a book blog. I realize that I have expanded my content to include movie reviews and Music Monday posts, but this site began with […]
September is all about pencils, pens, markers, paper, and of course… BOOKS!
An alternate cover for The Wanderer’s Curse out this summer. Gotta love science fantasy.
I just finished Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins and boy it was a good book. It is rare that I find a self help book that is of actual quality and this one was the best. I would put it right there with Rich dad poor dad for eye openers. Usually with these self help books you get the same message over and over again without guidance on how to change. This book not only give practical knowledge, but methods to make it happen. If you are looking for a book that can change your views and make you a better person look no further. I highly recommend this book. Here is link if you would like to by it https://www.amazon.com/Awaken-Giant-Within-Immediate-Emotional/dp/0671791540. Also be sure to check your local library this book is usually in stock as well.