Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hatched (Invisible Spiders: Book 1) [Book Review]

'Hatched' (Invisible Spiders: Book 1) is still currently free, on Kindle, through the end of the month. Is it worth the download? Read on to find out. . .

Genre - Horror
Year Published - 2013
Length - 328 (digital) pages
Written by Jason R. Davis​

Tagline: There is not a tagline for this book, but if there were, I would give it this one:
"If you see them, it's already too late."

Rating: 3 Skulls

Plot Summary:
It is the morning hours in the small town of Hammond, and as the town wakes up it finds that there is something spreading. Something that is not seen until it is too late because by then you are already infected. At that point, they are already... Hatched.

Review:
First of all, I just have to say that the concept of this book is brilliant! A completely new, refreshing take on the zombie genre.

So why only 3 Skulls, you ask?

This book started out as a strong 5 Skulls, however as different characters/storylines began to intertwine themselves, I repeatedly found myself wanting to get back to the "spiders" storyline. I understand that this is Book One of a proposed trilogy/series(?), which requires certain set-up, I just felt that some of the important information was left out/forgotten(?) I am hoping that the 2nd book gets back to ground zero, so to speak. Also, there are more than enough typos to warrant a mention here, which also distracts from the reality of the story.

Enough of the negative aspects (nothing that better editing and slightly fewer side-stories won't fix).

On to the positive.
Davis was super-smart to make the spiders in the story of the tiny, small variety (the size that can quickly scurry across your skin, before they burrow underneath...) Let's just say that if you are not already scared of spiders, reading this will make you paranoid/terrified of them!
[true story: while reading this book, I took several opportunities to enjoy the beautiful spring weather, and read the majority of it outside. At one point, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and, I promise, there was a little black spider scurrying across the porch. Needless to say, I held my breath for a moment!]

So, to answer the above question, yes, this book is worth the download (typos aside). Davis does not hold back on the horror aspects, and there is more than enough to keep you awake at night. I am looking forward to reading the next book.

Jason

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Double-Feature Short Stories: 'The Rest Area' & 'Spiders in from the Garden'

Today we have a double-feature from author Jason R. Davis​ who I just recently came across on Google+.

Davis has put two of his short stories up for Free, on Amazon, and they are both worth your time.

I first read 'The Rest Area' which is about a trucker, named Randy, who pulls into a seemingly innocent yet small Rest Stop. Due to the fact that he really "has to go", he ignores the signs (eerily quiet, strange graffiti on the building, etc) that something just may be amiss. . .
Aside from the very end (epilogue), which I felt took me out of the reality of the story, I enjoyed this one.

Next - 'Spiders in from the Garden' - now, this one states "an Invisible Spiders Short Story".
'The Rest Area' was my first introduction to Davis, so I have not read any of his other books. This did not stop me however, as I figured this would be a stand-alone story (which it is).
I do not want to tell you anything about this story, so as not to give anything away. I will say that
I really dug this one, and I will be purchasing 'Hatched' the first book in Davis' 'Invisible Spider' series.

Both of the above stories are quick reads (under 15 minutes) and are, for me, a nice introduction into Davis' work.

Jason

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Nightingale

One of the advantages of having a wife who reads different genres than I do is that I will get to read something that I otherwise may not have even given a second look to. Such is the case with this one.

This book is a riveting page-turner, and exceptionally well written! You will be hooked from the very first chapter!

I highly recommend this one, no matter which genre you generally prefer. 

Jason

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Leviathan (Book One of the Antediluvian Legacy) [Book Review]

Genre - Fantasy/Biblical Fiction
Year Published - 2015
Length - 343 (epic!) pages
Written by R. M. Huffman

Rating: 5+ Skulls

Plot Summary:
More than a thousand years have passed since man's exile from Eden's garden.
The earth is cursed, humans scrape meager livings from the soil, and legendary beasts roam the wilderness.

When a fearsome leviathan threatens his homelands, Noah must find a way to defeat the monster. Desperate to discover its weakness, he journeys to seek the aid of the half-angel giants called the Nephilim.

Meanwhile, the angelic Watchers known as the Grigori have seized the great city of Enoch, and their powerful leader has become obsessed with Noah's bride-to-be.

Friendships and faith are tested, and Noah is thrust into the middle of an impossible revolution against the fallen Grigori. His Nephilim comrades must choose whether to fight on the side of humanity or the angels, and their decision may mean the difference between the earth's salvation. . . or its annihilation.

Review:
And just like that, I have a new favorite author!

When this book arrived in the mail, my 9-year-old son (who has yet to learn not to judge a book by its cover) immediately proclaimed, "that looks like an awesome book!" I am happy to say that my son was absolutely correct. Not only is it awesome, it is phenomenal!

This book is an epic in every sense of the word. It is full of intrigue, espionage, action, violence, treachery, as well as several twists and turns. It has everything one could ask for!

Huffman has written an ambitious, captivating, and richly-detailed tale that thoroughly brings to life the Biblical World.

The book begins 930 years after Creation, when Adam is on his deathbed. It then jumps ahead 206 years later with Lamech swearing to teach his son (Noah) to hold strong to his faith, even if the world turns against him. (and we all know how that turned out)

From there, the story hurtles at a break-neck speed, eventually building into an intensely gripping, emotional story that explores the depth and power of love and forgiveness.

In choosing to tell this "real-world" story, (albeit heavily fictionalized) Huffman stands above other similar genres as he has fleshed out a world and characters that at one time did exist! (and even if you know your Bible, that does not mean there are not going to be any surprises in store)

I am now eagerly awaiting, with bated breath, the release of Book Two. I have no idea when that is going to be, but it won't be soon enough!

I would be amiss if I didn't mention the publisher, Lampion Press, who did an outstanding job putting this book together - with its art, maps, glossary, pictures, etc.
You helped make the book even more enjoyable. Superbly done!

Jason

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Joe Coffin (Season Two) [Book Review]

Genre - Crime Thriller/Horror/Suspense/Vampire
Year Published - 2015
Length - 385 (digital) pages
Written by Ken Preston

Rating: 4 Skulls

Plot Summary:
Joe Coffin is back, and he is madder than ever!

The vampires are increasing in numbers, but Slaughterhouse Mob boss, Mortimer Craggs, wants them all dead.
And Joe Coffin is just the man for the job.

Unfortunately for Coffin, vampires might be the least of his problems. There is a professional killer out there, and he's closing in on Coffin with murder on his mind.

Review:
Season Two is Episodes 5 - 8, picking up immediately after Season One (you need to read these books in order).

Episode 5 is mostly set-up (with some light re-capping), giving some backstory to familiar characters and introducing some great new characters.

This book is more crime than it is horror, and that isn't a bad thing!
Preston knows what he is doing, and I imagine that Season Three is going to be quite the wild ride!

Episode 7 is where Preston decides to ramp up the action, in this book, (the loft scene in "Angel's" is my favorite scene in this book) and it all leads up to an awesome ending!

Just when I thought that one of the characters was seemingly killed off  too easily. . .
this may not necessarily be the case!

Season Three should, hopefully, be released this summer, and I can't wait!

Jason

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016

More than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting

I am a father of four, and if you too are a parent, then you are well aware of the challenges of parenting in today's culture.

My wife and I have been taking a parenting class (called "Counter Culture") at our church, over the last several weeks, (where I won this book in a drawing) and it has been eye-opening!

I want nothing more than for my children to grow up, strong and healthy in their faith, and to be full of integrity and compassion towards others. So, I am more than willing to take classes and read books, etc to help me become a better (more patient!) parent.

Having never even seen or heard of this book before, it hit home in a lot of ways. The Amish definitely have a lot of things right, and this book helps point those principles out!

If you are curious and open-minded enough, then I highly recommend this book as a parenting tool!

Jason