Listen to my latest short story "The Forest Trail"

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Exiled by Chris Fox | Book Review

This book is the prequel to the great Military Science Fiction novel Destroyer—which I really enjoyed. Although it is short this story has a lot to love about it. Awesome Science Fiction action and adventure. I read the novel Destroyer that comes right after this book and it was really cool getting to find out first hand events that were only hinted at in that book. Also it was cool to see just how all of the crazy events got put into place for the next book Destroyer.

One of my favorite things in this book was when I went from hating a character who is a villain in Destroyer to feeling really bad for them in this story because I saw just why they were doing what they did. I don't want to spoil anything so I won't go into any details but it was a powerful experience going from hating a character to feeling sorry for them and getting a broader view of them as a character.

Besides that there was a really cool firefight in the story. It came off as very authentic and I felt like I was there with the characters making a stand against the enemy that would likely end with all the good guys dying. The author Chris Fox did a great job building the tension in this book, especially for such a short story. It was so cool seeing the two main characters put clues together to discover the bad guy's plans and try to track where they were headed next.

I really enjoyed this little Sci-Fi adventure. You'll definitely want to read it if you loved it's sequel Destroyer like I did.

Check my review of Destroyer, the book this one is a prequel to!

Get the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
Exiled: Void Wraith Prequel Story (The Void Wraith Trilogy Book 0)

Check out the author's website:
https://chrisfoxwrites.com/

I Ran a 12K Race Called Bloomsday!

And now I can barely walk! :) I should have trained way more. My training consisted of running two to three miles once or twice a week and sometimes with many weeks between any running. I would like to run this race again after training way more. I know I could get a better time than this. That said I'm really happy with my results and today every time I get get up after sitting for a while I hobble around until my extremely sore muscles get warmed up again. Even though it was a tough race to finish I had a lot of fun and I miss pushing myself physically like that. I was a distance runner in high school and we used to do hard work outs all the time. I think it's good for you to push yourself like that every once in a while. I'd do this race again.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Shadows of the Highridge by Jay Swanson | Book Review

I really enjoyed this book. It had huge man eating worms that can hear you when you walk on the ground. This made for some really tense scenes. The characters could only step on rocks or risk being heard and eaten by the giant worm monsters. This book had a ton of really intense scenes involving survival and it made for a fun read.

I also really liked getting to know the character Brin Salisir more. He's a mysterious character from Jay's phenomenal Into The Nanten books. Although I got to now Salisir more in Nanten book 2, Fall of the Arbor King, this was a cool slice of his life from before those books. I loved seeing him start as a mysterious character in this book and then have more and more revealed about him as he formed relationships with the other characters. If Jay writes more books like this, hint hint, I will jump at the chance to read more about Salisir. 

But my very favorite thing about this book was the dialogue. Yes I wanted to read it because it's a fantasy story with magic and crazy beasts the characters have to fight but I have to say that the dialogue was the highlight for me. It was what I left the book appreciating the most. As the characters went through many life and death trials they got to know each other. They taught things to each other. They learned things about themselves. They weren't just characters to me anymore. Now they were real people whose journey I was totally invested in. The great dialogue made this book come alive for me. Even though this is a dark book I laughed and smiled as the characters brought a little joy to each other with witty dialogue as they escaped one peril only to stumble upon another.

Get this book for the awesome fights between farmers, soldiers, warriors, and worms. Get this book to gain more insight into the world of the Nanten and its many mysteries. Get this book to experience more of the great Brin Salisir in a time before he graced the pages of Into the Nanten books one and two. But most of all get this book to hang out with richly rendered characters that have a lot to figure out about the world around them, strangers that have barged into their lives, massive deadly creatures, and most importantly themselves as they do all within their power just to survive. I loved this book. Especially the great dialogue.

Get the books on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
Shadows of the Highridge
Into the Nanten - The Record of My Exile  (Season 1)

Check out the Author's Website:
http://jayswanson.me/

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lifelong Writing Habit: The Secret to Writing Every Day
by Chris Fox | Book Review

This book was amazing. I loved how he incorporated brain science and the power of habits to a writing career. I'm so glad I picked this one up.

I also really appreciated the no nonsense and yet positive way he cheered you on as a writer. It was very inspiring and made this book full of techniques really encouraging. 

If you struggle with writing consistently—get this book. It will be worth the short time you'll have to invest reading it. It's pretty short but it's packed with a ton of great very helpful stuff that you can start using right away. I'd argue this book will help you achieve goals you have in all aspects of your life. You'll feel very encouraged to get your butt in the chair and hands on the keyboard regularly from reading this book. 

It also has a bunch of exercises for you to do to help you on your journey of forming a lifelong habit of writing.


Get the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
Lifelong Writing Habit: The Secret To Writing Every Day (Write Faster, Write Smarter) (Volume 2)

Check out the Author's Website:
https://chrisfoxwrites.com/

Thursday, April 21, 2016

School of Deaths by Christopher Mannino | Book Review

I wasn't sure what I was getting into with this book but it turned out to be a great read. It was a little bit like Harry Potter where a character finds out they are a supernatural person and go to a supernatural school, but that's where the similarities end. Actually the fact that the Death characters have a sport they play with scythes did remind me of Quidditch but other than that everything was very original. Their sport was nothing like Quidditch, it's just that a supernatural sport at a supernatural school reminded me of Harry Potter. But this book had a ton of its own cool ideas and it was nothing like Harry Potter. Don't get me wrong I absolutely love the Harry Potter books I'm just saying that this book is not a rip off of those great books and the author did a lot of cool original things in this novel.

The author did a great job coming up with lots of fun characters and a very cool story world for them to explore. Suzy, a teenage girl, finds herself transported into a world of Deaths where people are learning to become those cloaked scythe wielding figures who ferry you from the living world to the next once you have died.

I liked that the main character was a girl. It was even cooler that she was entering a world of boys and men in which she was the only girl. Though I could see how this is a great book for female young adult readers, I think guys will like this book a lot too. The author is a guy, and as a male reader I really enjoyed it. It's likely female readers will even get more enjoyment out of it with such a relatable awesome strong female protagonist. I happen to love coming-of-age stories and this was a really great one with a female main character. Other then the Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson I don't think I've ever read a coming-of-age book with a female lead. Hats off to the mail author for writing such a great female character. 

I loved the story world this book took place in. Especially all of the cool backstory that unfolded as we got to discover it with the main character. She is the first female Death in a thousand years and something really crazy happened the last time there was a female Death. Certain things in the world are not talked about, and it was really cool to see Suzy uncover mysteries in the world. I also really liked it when she discovered a few ancient places where it seemed no one had been in a very long time. The scenes where she uncovered these locations were really fun.

I read this book by listening to the audiobook. The narrator Joel Froomkin did a great job with this story. He is a master of doing tons of different accents and voices. It made for a really enjoyable listen. From old men to teenage girls this guy came up with great voices for all the characters. 

It was cool seeing her make friends and start to fight back instead of letting all the male Death characters bully her. It was fun watching her make friends and uncover mysteries. It was fun watching her grow up and find out who she really is. There was a nice character arc and some good character growth. If you like fantasy stories give this one a try. You won't be disappointed. It was a fun read.

I was given a review copy of the audiobook for an honest review by Audiobook Blast.

Get the book at Amazon (Affiliate Link):
School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder's Secret)

Check out the Author's Website:
http://www.christophermannino.com/