Listen to my latest short story "Cue Bull"

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Second Suicide by Hugh Howey | Book Review

This short story was a great read and really cool! It was not what I was expecting. It's hard to know what to expect with a title like Second Suicide. What the heck could that mean? And why would I want to read about suicide anyway? You'll find out if you read this book. It was written in first person through the eyes of a character who has tentacles. Yep, you just read that right - tentacles. He is an alien who is in a spaceship headed for a planet that he and his kind are going to try and take over. It is amazing how easily you find yourself quickly relating to this character even though he is an alien with long slimy appendages. He thinks like you do, plays cards, uses the toilet, fights, and researches. He learns of the cultures that he and his fellow aliens are heading towards to take over.

I'll let you read the story to discover what the title's meaning is all about but let's just say it's a very intriguing idea. You may rethink suicide, not for us humans but for the characters in the story once you learn of their society and circumstances.

Somehow this is a huge story and at the same time a very small story. Its first person narrative draws you in and you feel for the main character right away. I wanted to know how he felt about his situation and what was going to happen to him. I also wanted to know about his spaceship, what it was going to do, and what his entire alien race was going to do. Howey gives you just enough information to keep you satisfied as you read. You get little snippets and snapshots of information about the aliens and their past. So you're learning about one being's life and the massive race he belongs to as they fly through space ready to try and conquer another world among many.

I thought the character and point of view of the story were very inventive and it was really cool reading a story where the protagonist is an alien so different from me physically and yet very relatable and likable. I was very pleasantly surprised by this intriguing science fiction story. You will be too. Thanks for stopping by!

Link to the book:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 3
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

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In this third episode I review Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. This review comes from a time when I was trying to read some of the classics of the science fiction genre.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ravenhill Court by David R. Beshears | Book Review

This was an interesting read. I was not expecting the story to go where it did. I won't spoil anything, but lets just say there's a really big reveal. It's a bit mind boggling. The main characters are a group of kids. They have a really cool clubhouse in the middle of the woods behind their neighborhood. In this way it reminded me of Stephen King's IT or The Body. The kids are on to something strange going on in their neighborhood. They visit an old professor who doesn't let them in on the secret but asks for their help. They go on an adventure and by the end of the book they find out some pretty crazy things about their world.

I loved how well the author described the clubhouse the kids were always sneaking off to. I could picture it in my mind. It is an awesome clubhouse and reading about it made me think fondly back on the tree house my brothers and I had as kids. The characters do a lot of talking about the odd things going on around them in that clubhouse, and it was a great setting I was happy to visit every time a scene took place there.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story. The narrator Karen Krause was great. Her voice welcomes you into the world of Ravenhill Court. She fit the story well and I think the author made a good choice selecting her to read this book.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 2
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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In this second episode I review the Christmas Classic titled "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. Listen as I share my thoughts on why this classic is so great and the tradition I've started of reading every year around the holidays.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The First Floor: The Black Tower Serial, Episode One
by David R. Beshears | Book Review

This short book was really cool. I would love to see the movie for this one. Think action meets Science Fiction suspense. You've got a bunch of scientists and some military people going into a massive skyscraper. Inside they find not a bunch of offices, but a dense jungle filled with alien vegetation. As they make their way through the first floor they come up against some pretty menacing and creepy stuff.

There were some great moments in this book that were exciting and chilling. It was a fun read and I pictured myself right alongside the characters as they headed out on this strange and terrifying adventure. You only get the beginning of the larger adventure in this book, but there's plenty in there to keep you listening or turning the pages.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story. The narrator has a very pleasant, smooth, and deep voice. It was nice to listen to especially during the narration parts. His reading came off a bit flat for me though. Every character was voiced the same which made it a bit hard at times to distinguish between the characters. It would help to have a more dramatic reading style with more pauses and variation in the speed of the reading to bring this great story across with all of its wonderful flourishes and well constructed prose. You'll like the narrators great voice though and probably won't be as critical as someone like me who narrates audiobooks and listens to them nonstop.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes their sci-fi with a bit of intrigue, adventure, suspense, and a splash of creepy horror that will keep you wanting to read on so you can find out more about the aliens the characters must learn more about.

Thanks for stopping by!