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Monday, June 27, 2016

I'm On Vacation! Follow My Travels on Instagram!

My family and I are going for a little road trip this week. We're planning on doing a lot of hiking, hanging out at the beach, and touring a mansion. You can follow our trip via photos I post to my Instagram page. Click on that link or the picture below to go there. See you in a week!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Conjesero: The Supernatural Serial Killer by Carl Alves
Book Review


This was a great supernatural crime thriller. It had heart, great characters, and was really exciting. I really liked the San Francisco homicide detective Kevin Russel. It was fun spending time with him as he tried to track down the monster Conjesero. It was awesome seeing him investigate the case. I really got a feel for what his life was like as a homicide detective. There were a lot of characters in this book and they all felt real and added a lot to the story. The college student was a great character too. I would have given this book 5 stars if it had been edited a little better. There were just lots of little things here and there like missing words and stuff an editor would have caught. They didn't detract from the story though, it was great. I just kept wanting to turn the pages as the story unfolded and the killings kept piling up. 

There was one part with a lot of fun detective work that I feel could have been made way better if it was swapped to a different time in the story. We get to learn how a serial killer was hunted down and captured but it's all after the fact. We already know he was captured. That took some of the fire out of it and it read as more of a recap of what happened than a fun few scenes where you get to see them making some awesome smart moves to get the guy. Those great scenes should have taken place in real time alongside the character rather than after the fact. It would have been way more exciting to read. They were still great scenes though. Awesome action ending with a sweet chase scene. Also the rest of the book was packed with great action scenes. Trust me there's no lack of intense action in this book. The monster makes sure of that.

The villain in this book is intense. I don't want to spoil anything but let's just say you wouldn't want to come across this character—ever. The things that he did to the characters were very gruesome. The scenes where he killed people were described in detail. If stuff like that bothers you you might want to skim those sections. I have to say however that even though the scenes were gory they didn't seem to be that way just for the sake of shocking the reader. This monster has incredible abilities to maim and kill and he uses all of them to great effect and you as the reader see pretty much all of it happen in real time. It's really intense.

I don't like gore in stories but in this one it just made the monster scarier to me which I thought was an awesome experience as a reader. I think another great thing the writer did was portray characters' reactions to the dead bodies that the villain left behind. This made the antagonist seem even scarier then if you had just watched the horrible actions unfold in the scene only. So the author did a tremendous job of building up the villain in this book. He was an awesome bad guy and had a really cool and interesting back story—so it's not just some creature. It's a monster with a dark past and a history of becoming the killer it is in present time in the story.

Lastly, the author pulled off the ending really well. It was a great conclusion to the story and felt very satisfying to me. The climax was edge of your seat action and the little bits after that left me in a great place as a reader. This was a really fun book.

Get the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
Conjesero

Check out the author's website:
http://www.carlalves.com/

An Illustration for The Case of the Missing Snowman


I just finished inking the first illustration for the chapter book I'm writing. I'm excited to see it coming together. My oldest started to like reading books this year which inspired me to write a book for kids his age. Click on the image to see a larger version. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 45
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King



Download the .mp3

In this 45th episode I review Stephen King's "Doctor Sleep." It's the sequel to the classic horror novel The Shining. Written several years later it picks up the story of the boy from The Shinning as a man of some years. This book had amazingly different and creepy villains, great characters as always, and a page turning story. Listen to hear why I loved it. 

Buy the Book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
Doctor Sleep

Visit the Author's Website:
http://stephenking.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: 

Doctor Sleep: A Novel (Affiliate Link)
Written by Stephen King
Narrated by Will Patton


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.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Crucible and Flame by John Mierau | Book Review

This was a really interesting book. It had elements of Science Fiction and Fantasy. It was told from the perspective of a ferryman. He has the ability to walk through fire from one place to another. Sounds like a fantasy story right? But this story takes place in a world with space travel. The main character is a ferryman who walks through fire onto a generation spaceship getting close to reaching its destination. There he learns from another character there is more to life than what he's known so far. 

This is a very thoughtful story and I really enjoyed many small moments in it. Watching the character grow from a selfish jerk into something more was rewarding. Give this one a try.

Get the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
Check out the author's website:

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Twelve by Justin Cronin | Book Review

I have roughly the same feelings about this book as I did with The Passage. I would say I liked it a little more, but it was the same kind of thing. Loved it then didn't care for a while about it until near the end of the story. I was all about it and really loving it and then it jumps forward in time and I feel cheated and upset about having to leave the great storyline I had been reading and enjoying for so long. 

The virals were terrifying and awesome in the first act of the story. Then for the rest of the book they seemed like afterthoughts that were barely mentioned. Yes they were around but in the background for the most part other than a couple really cool scenes.

Much like The Passage I have to say that the action scenes in The Twelve were outstanding. They felt so real and intense and scary. Justin Cronin writes action scenes and fight scenes really well. The last act of The Twelve was also really great just like it was in The Passage. So Justin nailed the ending and it was really cool. An awesome ending.

So I guess all I have to say is I'm disappointed again like I was with The Passage—but this book did have some really amazing stuff in it. If the good parts weren't so good I wouldn't care but they really are awesome! I wish an editor could tell Justin to cut the amount of characters and the length of the middle parts of his stories way down and these would be some of my favorite books. Just like The Passage to me The Twelve suffered from a bloated middle. It also suffered from making me fall in love with characters like the awesome bus driver named Danny to then move forward in time and never let me see them again.

If you liked The Passage I think you'll like this book even more so give it a shot. If you want to read some amazing action scenes and find out what happened to the many characters from The Passage give this book a read. If you're not so sure after reading the monstrously long book that is The Passage that you want to read another door stopper where the middle might bore you and present you with characters you don't care about then you might want to take a pass on this one.

With all that said—I've come this far and I do think Justin is an extremely talented writer—I am going to read the last installment to this ginormous trilogy The City of Mirrors. I'm pretty sure I will also give whatever book he writes next a try because like I said, even though his books suffer from bloat that should be cut out, he's an amazing writer.

Get the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
The Twelve (Book Two of The Passage Trilogy): A Novel

Get the first book in this trilogy "The Passage" (Affiliate Link):
The Passage: A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy)

Check out the author's website:
http://enterthepassage.com/

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Thrum by S.K. Slate | Book Review

This book was really easy to read. The story just flew as the characters found themselves uncovering some pretty terrifying secrets. There was a lot of scientific stuff in this book and it was written very well. It came of as authentic and realistic and never got into so much detail that it became boring. These details gave the story a realistic credibility that was needed when such a crazy thing was happening to the characters. It was cool to see the science behind it. 

Some characters find a strange spiral inside of some animals. Some other characters find themselves randomly doing crazy things they themselves would never do. Criminal violent things that they felt they had to do while they were doing them as if they weren't in control of their own body. How are these two things linked? You'll have to read the story to find out.

The story was exciting and always moving which kept me really engaged and wanting to know what would happen next. This book is definitely a page turner. The other thing I loved about this book was how the author sprinkled in tons of little details that really enriched the story. Just little things I never would have thought of that gave the characters a bit more back story or added to the feeling that I was right there with the characters.

There were also details that made some of the scarier scenes where characters were in dangerous situations pretty visceral. I remember feeling uncomfortable when a couple characters were being held against their will and gagged. Those scenes were hard to read but really made the danger feel real and evoked authentic feelings of dread in me as a reader. It's pretty awesome when a book can do that to a reader.

The ending was a bit of a let down for me. It didn't ruin the book or anything, but there was so much tension and build up and it all just seemed to be resolved in a conversation rather than a final big dramatic scene. There was a bit of a twist to it but it just felt a little flat. There are a few great scenes showing you were the characters are at the end of the book and those were done well. Overall I thought it was a great book with a weak ending, but this book left me wanting to read more by S.K. Slate because she's a very talented author and I really enjoyed the story. It was written really well and had a great quick flow. This was an enjoyable read.

Get the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
Thrum

Check out the author's website:
http://www.skslate.com/

Friday, June 3, 2016

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 44
Dune by Frank Herbert


Download the .mp3


In this 44th episode I review the classic Science Fiction epic "Dune" by Frank Herbert. Listen to hear why I'm glad I read this book even though gave up on reading it 3 separate times before I found interest in the story and ended up really enjoying it. 

Buy the Book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
Dune

Visit the late Author's Website:
http://www.dunenovels.com/author/frank-herbert

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: 

Dune (Affiliate Link)
Written by Frank Herbert


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.

FOLLOW ME:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Book Sword and Urn is on Hometown Reads Spokane


There's a cool website called Hometown Reads. They list books from local authors on their website. If you go to the Spokane section of their website you'll see a bunch of cool books by local authors. The page for my book has my book description, cover art, and even the a link to buy it! Pretty cool stuff. Thanks for stopping by!

Titanborn by Rhett C. Bruno | Book Review

This book grew on me as I read it. At first I didn't care for the main character Malcolm Graves but I still liked the cool sci-fi world the author was building so I read on. By the end of the book I was a huge fan of him and his new partner. He's a collector who flies around the galaxy dealing with dangerous people and deadly situations. He's seen a lot of bad stuff in his time. At first he kind of comes off as a jaded jerk who is only out for himself. As the story unfolds though a lot more is revealed about him both through backstory and the actions you see him taking.

He's also a man who likes to work alone but he's forced to have a partner. This partner has cybernetic enhancements and amazing abilities. He also has about as much personality as a robot - but this isn't a case of the author doing a bad job rendering the character. It's perfect. I loved his personality and how it grated on the main character. You'll have to read it to see what I'm talking about but one of my favorite things about this book was seeing the relationship develop between the main character and his new partner.

There was a lot of great action in this book and some really fun detective and crime solving stuff. As the two main characters get in gun fights and visit hostile locales to track down the bad guys the reader is along for a really fun ride. All the while their relationship changes and grows. You also meet many characters that the protagonist has a lot of history with. This world felt real and lived in even though it is in the far flung future where spaceships can take people from one planet to another.

The ending of this book left me reeling. That's all I'll say. I'm not going to spoil anything. The way the author ended this book took a lot of courage. If I knew this book was a stand alone novel I would have been really upset with the ending even though I would have still been kind of impressed with it. However knowing it's not all as it seems and that there are more stories to come makes me have faith in the ending the author chose and make me want to pick up the next book as soon as possible.

I think this book will grow on you too. If you like sci-fi action with great characters and world building give this book a try. I think you'll really like it.

Get the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
Titanborn

Check out the author's website:
http://rhettbruno.com/