Book Reviews by praetorian2004

No One Gets Out Alive by Harry Tinders is a humorous look at present-day cultural and political problems. It isn't that he doesn't take the present-day cultural and political problems seriously; he takes the issues seriously, but he presents the issues in the style of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Surely what we're missing in all the debates of the day is a sense of humor, satire, and, most of all, the willingness to listen to opposing ideas. The setting of this short story will sound all familiar: a polarized world.

Black Oak is Chapter 1 of the Loveless Chronicles by Titus Murphy. The story is set in present-day Wichita, Kansas, but has its beginnings farther back in the Great War of 1782.  The Great War was waged between three sects of Witches, Hunters, and the wolf-like beasts called Jackals. The Witches and Hunters were paired up against the Jackals. They were successful in warding them off but unprepared for the power of the Riffs. The Riffs are powerful creatures that are part vampire. The story moves forward to 1815, providing more background to this ancient conflict.

UnEntitled by Alex Richwagen is a practical guide to personal success in corporate America. This practical guide covers a range of every-day topics from mentorship to promotions to interviewing well. Each chapter has been sharply crafted so there are no wasted words. The sentences and ideas are punchy and pithy. The emphasis in this book is on "personal" success but not individualism, where a person starts looking out only for himself or herself. The goal of personal success and leadership is the good of the company (if it's a good company) and the building up of others.

Oneiros by Woodrow M. Bell is a futuristic story about earth-destroying dangers, space-trekking adventures, government intrigue, and human relationships intertwined in the adventures. The story begins with explosive dangers and moves us into the danger that threatens the earth: earth-crushing meteors cascading down upon the earth. But, there is deep mystery.   From where are the meteors coming? Why does it appear that the earth is being targeted by these meteors? The main character, Asher, is sent up into space to discover the secret to the meteors.

The Ravishing Riptides of Time by E. L. Soto is a story about finding love or rather love finding a person. Love is powerful; love is timeless. The story is set in Taos and Sante Fe, New Mexico, places which are dear to the heart of the author and that dearness also brings an authenticity to the story. There are two eras intertwined - Part One takes place in 1899 and Part Two takes place in 2008. There is magic, old and new, based on folklore, superstition, and some based on hopes or what could be. There is also conflict and danger, but in the end, the hero wins.

Ekleipsis, written by Tamel Wino, is a collection of five short stories all written from a first-person perspective. Each story explores the darker side of humanity as the characters in the story pursue their desires, some to extreme ends. The characters are ordinary people put in relatively ordinary situations, but their actions and words show the depths of human depravity. The big sins are on display throughout the stories: anger, lust, revenge, and even murder. The less-obvious, but equally devastating sins, are also on display: hatred, envy, lying, suspicion, and doubt.


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