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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 34
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


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In this 34th episode I review one of the great American novels The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I love the writing imagery and symbolism in this book. Have a listen to hear why this is easily one of my favorite classics.

Music Attribution:
Music by Kevin MacLeod at http://www.incompetech.com
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Visit my website: www.DanDanTheArtMan.com

Support the show AND get a free audiobook!
http://www.audibletrial.com/DansBookReviews

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: 

Narrated by Jake Gyllenhal

This episode of Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews has been brought to you by Audible.

Visit www.AudiblePodcast.com/DansBookReviews for a free trial membership.


Audible Free Trial Details


Get an audiobook of your choice, free, with a 30-day trial. After the trial, your paid membership will begin at $14.95 per month. With your membership, you will receive one credit every month, good for any audiobook on Audible.

Cancel anytime, effective the next monthly billing cycle. Cancel before your trial ends and you will not be charged. Check out the full terms and policies that apply to Audible membership.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Heart Thief by S. Lee Benedict | Book Review

Dang was this book good! There are so many reasons I loved this book! The writing was fantastic. It had a great flow and was very fun and easy to read but could also be fantastically descriptive at times sketching out what was going on in the story. The author was really good at changing his tone and diction when the third person point of view changed to a different viewpoint character. Even though it was in third person that had a very distinct flavor and great words that only went with certain characters. You really felt like you were getting the story from the distinct point of view every time and it really gave you a way to dive deeper into the creepy world of Rhapp's Barren.

The main character Ezra was awesome. He is discovering some huge things about himself in this book while he and his parents deal with some powerful grief. He's an artist too, and being an artist myself it was really fun to read about him carrying around a sketchbook and showing people drawings of architecture he had done. Later in the story his drawing leads to some very dark creepy truths but you'll have to read the book to find out about those. Also he meets a pretty special girl in the story and seeing their friendship develop and grow among all the crazy supernatural stuff that's going on was grounding and wonderful in this novel. I really liked her personality and her dialog added a lot of fun and humor to the story. There were so many themes touched on in this book too. Family, friendship, loss, even bullying. This is a very well written well rounded story with a lot to offer. I can't wait to read the second one.

Touching more on the characters, there were so many great ones! I loved the police officers and the break their scenes gave to the growing crazy supernatural stuff Ezra keeps discovering. The more police procedural scenes were fun to read and really well done. I loved the two cop partners and how different they were from each other. Even though they were more minor characters in the overall story they were fleshed out really well and I liked them and cared about them. Then there is the family of freaks Ezra meets who have many secrets that you'll have fun discovering if you read this book. I call them freaks but they are like friends to me know having read the book. They all have different... abilities I'll say because I don't want to spoil anything in the story - and their story was really cool to uncover as I read through the book. I can't finish mentioning the great characters without saying how cool the bad guys were. A very powerful evil magician and his two terrifying accomplices. A little tiny wooden dummy man who doesn't let his size stop him from being someone you wouldn't want to meet and a huge ghastly hulk of a man who can literally rip your heart out of your chest with his bare hands.

I loved the dark supernatural thriller and the police procedural elements in this book. It was cool to delve into the deep dark world of magic and monsters and then switch to the view of that same world through the skeptical and organized view of the policeman trying to pick up the pieces after these supernatural monsters had committed gruesome crimes.


This book had some pretty amazing action scenes. Guns, swords, magical energy, plants coming to life and snatching characters up - there were a lot of very intense action scenes in this book that were very exciting and very well done. All of them grew the characters, taught them things about themselves, and ramped up the tension in the book.

I read this book by listening to the audiobook and the narrator R.C. Quartermaine was spot on for this one. First his narration. He has a great deep voice that really tells the story well. His voice makes the story very interesting to listen to. I could listen to him read fiction for hours - well that's what I did for this book. Then when he does the character voices he adds another layer of awesome to the listening experience. Some of these characters were monsters, some of them were people of different nationalities like Irish and German, some were policemen, teachers, parents, and teenagers. He nailed the different tones for the different age groups and kinds of characters. He did really great monster voices that were very different sounding from the rest of the characters but not corny or over the top. They were actually pretty scary sounding which was awesome. And the different accents he used for the many German and one Irish character were great. Very well done. I particularly like his voice for a nerdy guy who worked at the history museum. The audiobook is a real treat to listen to and was very well done. R.C. Quartermaine is a talent I plan on listening to again.

The ending was very satisfying. It wrapped everything up well but still left a huge danger that the characters are going to have to deal with at some point in the future, but the ones who survive to the end of the book are left in a great place. I love it when a book can make me laugh even at its darkest most intense parts and this book did that for me at the end. Some of the things Ezra said and the ways he reacted to what was going on were priceless and had me rooting for him and laughing really hard. It was awesome and put a smile on my face.

Wow. Fantastic book. I'm looking forward to more from this author. He is talented and tells a great dark fun creepy funny awesome story. 5 stars all the way. Loved this book.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 33
The Martian by Andy Weir


Download the .mp3

In this 33rd episode I review The Martian by Andy Weir. It was amazing! I don't read much in the hard science fiction genre but this book won me over right away and now I'd consider it an instant Science Fiction classic. Listen to hear why I loved it so much. The audiobook and movie are great too!

Buy the book on Amazon here:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Martian-Novel-Andy-Weir-ebook/dp/B00EMXBDMA

Check out the authors Andy Weir's website:
http://www.andyweirauthor.com/

For more from me visit http://www.DanDanTheArtMan.com

Music Attribution:
Music by Kevin MacLeod at http://www.incompetech.com
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


Visit my website: www.DanDanTheArtMan.com

Support the show AND get a free audiobook!
http://www.audibletrial.com/DansBookReviews

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: 

Written by Andy Weir
Narrated by R. C. Bray

This episode of Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews has been brought to you by Audible.

Visit www.AudiblePodcast.com/DansBookReviews for a free trial membership.


Audible Free Trial Details


Get an audiobook of your choice, free, with a 30-day trial. After the trial, your paid membership will begin at $14.95 per month. With your membership, you will receive one credit every month, good for any audiobook on Audible.

Cancel anytime, effective the next monthly billing cycle. Cancel before your trial ends and you will not be charged. Check out the full terms and policies that apply to Audible membership.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Solarversia by Toby Downton | Book Review

If you like reading near future science fiction books, you'll love this one. It's full of cool ideas about artificial intelligence, the future of video game technology, and a whole lot more. If you enjoyed one of my favorite books, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, there's a great chance you'll have a blast reading this book too.

The main character and her friends join Solarversia, a yearlong game that promises fame and riches to the person who wins at the end. I loved the places described in this virtual gaming world and how the characters interacted with it. A lot of time their real world problems got in the way of their in game quests - things like homework and studying. I loved the vehicles the characters got to use in the game world and the exotic locations they got to visit. Some of the locations had cool things like places where the gravity was altered so you could walk upside down. Stuff like that made this a fun read to experience the stuff happening with the characters.

I'm not going to spoil anything in this review but I have to mention another part of the stort that was very interesting. One of the characters dies but lives on as a virtual avatar who can be virtually visited be the living. So they live on in a way with ones and zeroes and act as they would in real life. The introduction of this into the grieving process of the real life lost was very interesting. It made me think about how weird and un-natural it would be. This is just one example that made you think about how weird it would be to live in this future world with technology we can only imagine right now. Another example is that one of the characters buys a breakfast cereal put out by the game company and if they're wearing their special glasses they can see little creatures come off the cereal box and interact with real objects on her table as she eats. Man my kids are distracted enough as it is while they eat, but it was fun to imagine what this experience would be like. Lots of things like this made this book fun for a nerd like me to read.

Besides all the crazy quests and adventures the characters have in the game world, there are some pretty sinister bad guys in the real world called The Holy Order who are trying to bring about the destruction of the game and create... okay sorry I don't want to put spoilers in here so you'll have to read the book to find out what they're up to. But part of that is forcing cybernetic limbs on people who already had perfectly good working ones. Yep... slice. The one thing in this book I didn't care for was the sometimes gruesome description of people dying or getting... altered. I don't have the stomach for much of that stuff and the book seems like a Young Adult novel because of the ages of the characters and then this gory stuff... it grossed me out but even though I love Stephen King novels I’m kind of a weenie  Other than that this was a really fun story and I'm glad I read it.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!