Listen to my latest short story "The Forest Trail"

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Friday, October 7, 2016

The Devil's Only Friend by Dan Wells | Book Review

This is the fifth book in the series, but the first of a new trilogy in the series. This was a well planned well thought out book. It's what I've come to expect from Dan Wells. He always took the story in a way I wasn't expecting and really got creative to make this book an immensely satisfying read. I don't usually like dark books. I'm all about adventure stories with happy endings, but this may be the best book I've read all year. I kind of just want to stop writing this review and go read it again. 

The protagonist John Cleaver has always interested me. He's a sociopath who makes rules for himself so he doesn't follow his desires and kill people. He wants to be a good guy. So he uses his skills to get close to demons so he can learn their weaknesses and figure out how to kill them. Then the special government task force he works with kills the demon. The idea of a sociopath who you as a reader like and are rooting for seems almost impossible to write. Dan Wells pulls it off brilliantly again.

This book kept surprising me. I couldn't guess where it was going to go next or how the problems that arose were going to be solved. They weren't always solved, this was a brutal book, but the answers to the questions were always clever and kept me reading. Without giving anything away I'll just say that the climax of the story was riveting and smart and creative.

This book, though very dark, kept me laughing all the way through. When I wasn't grimacing I was either on the edge of my seat, thinking hard about the situation the characters were in, or suddenly busting out with laughter.

The characters were fantastic in this book. A really cool assortment of people with very scary specialties to hunt and kill demons. They were all interesting and all had a great personality that made them stand out from the rest of the team. Dan Wells used the character's strengths and weaknesses well when they interacted with each other and with demons.

I am going to start the next book in the series right away. I can't wait to start reading it! Sometime after the last book in this second trilogy comes out I'll have to read them all in a row. Man this book was good. I'm so glad Dan Wells didn't stop writing in this world with the first trilogy.

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The Devil's Only Friend (John Cleaver)

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 49
The Green Mile by Stephen King

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In this 49th episode, I review Stephen King's book "The Green Mile." This book blew me away. It's easily one of my favorites. Reading back through my review of it made me want to read it again. Listen to hear why I thought it was so great. 

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The Green Mile

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Music Attribution:
Music by Kevin MacLeod at
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The Green Mile (Affiliate Link)
Written by Stephen King
Narrated by Frank Muller

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King | Book Review

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Wow. What a difference from the first book. I did not care for "The Gunslinger," the first book in this series at all. It took me four tries to finish it. I thought it was boring and abstruse. This book however really hooked me. I think it was the fact that we got to visit a time in the world we as readers can relate to. And we were given the character Eddie, someone from our modern world, to see the strange world through. It made it a whole lot easier to relate to the story. That made it easier for me to invest myself in it. 

It was really fun journeying with Roland through this mind trip of a story. It was so creative and imaginative. It was also like nothing else I have ever read. I now know why people love this series so much. I can't wait to see what else King can come up with in book 3 and the rest of the series.

I found this to be an amazing and extremely creative and original story. I loved the characters and the brilliant way Stephen King had them interacting with their world, each other, and the strange thing that was Roland taking over their minds and bodies when he went through a door into their world. This was like The Chronicles of Narnia on crack. It was weird and crazy, but it was also really awesome and well done. I am so glad I didn't stop reading The Dark Tower series after book 1. I am now very invested in Roland, Eddie, Susannah, and Jack and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

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The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three

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Friday, September 30, 2016

The Case of the Missing Snowman UPDATE!

My new book "The Case of the Missing Snowman" is out with beta readers! As I wait for their feedback to roll in I'm creating more illustrations for the final version of the book. It will have a very different cover than what you see in the photos below. I just made that real quick with a template to get those books printed so I could hand them out to beta readers and get some feedback on my story. Once they've all gotten back to me and I've finalized the story I'm going to give it to a few people for editing, and then get all of the illustrations finished and put in the book. This is a short book but it will end up being one I have put a lot of loving work into with all of the illustrations. I posted the two I have done below as well. I'm so excited about it! Thanks for stopping by!

Click on the image to see at a larger size!

Jeffrey running to get on the bus! Click for larger size!

A hot bowl of chili!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sword of Deaths by Christopher Mannino | Book Review

This book was awesome! If you liked the first one get this one and join the characters for some more adventures. The first book "School of Deaths" was really good. Okay with that out of the way I do have one beef with this book even though it was great. 

I loved this book, but not the ending. It ends with a huge cliffhanger. There is very little resolution, and it leaves you in the middle of the story. That's fine for the end of a chapter, but not the end of a book. There were loose story strings left dangling that should have been tied up. It feels like a cheap way to get you to read the next book where as the first book wrapped up in a good place and resolved a lot of things. I really enjoyed this book and would have given it 5 stars, but I gave it 4 because of the cliffhanger ending. Don't get me wrong, it was awesome and I can't wait to read the next one, but that's not how you end a book. Not cool man, not cool. :) Other than that it was just as good as the first book and was a really fun read that I still highly recommend.

You get to know the main character, Susan Sarnio, and her friends a lot more. They are tested even harder and face bigger challenges than in the first book. Mannino does a great job of raising the steaks a ton in this novel. A new school year starts up and with it come new characters and new adventures. Also there is a little romance in this book that wasn't there in the first one. I really liked the new characters and how they interacted with the ones I already knew from the last book. New powers are revealed, for more than one character, and that was really fun to see. Also we get to meet dragons up close and personal! I loved that. I also liked how we were introduced to new places in the land of deaths. 

The steaks are raised to the point in this book where the actions of the characters could change history. This made for a really exciting story—I just wish I could have gotten the whole story in this book instead of reading to the start of the climax just to have the book end on me.

The scenes where they play their sport with scythes called Boskery were really fun and well done. There were also many scenes in this book where they explore places other than the school in the world of deaths. Those scenes were awesome.

I'm excited to read the next book in the series, and even though I think it was a cheap trick to leave us hanging with the ending I really enjoyed this book.

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Sword of Deaths

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