Tag Archives: book review

Craft Book Round-Up: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

warofart_bookIs The War of Art really a craft book? Maybe not by any reasonable definition, but it does cover a topic of great interest to many budding authors: if I want to write, how come I rarely actually write anything? If this question sounds absurd to you, you’ve obviously never spent much time on writer’s forums, where variants of it come up over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. See, with a little practice, anyone can figure out how to cut an adverb or cliché, but when it comes to the thorny issue of motivation, there are no easy answers–at least until now.

I read this book at the request of a friend who had heard rave reviews from various media outlets proclaiming it to be the greatest thing since spellcheck (perhaps the fact that he was too lazy to read it himself speaks volumes as to whether or not he needs it).   Impressed by the blurbs, I put it on my Kindle and ended up consuming it over the course of a couple hours (it’s not that engaging, but it is very short). What I found was a pretty good self-help guide, mixed with a good smattering of nonsensical blather, especially in the final third. Read on for details.

Continue reading Craft Book Round-Up: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Advertisements

Craft Book Round-Up: 250 Things You Should Know About Writing by Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig’s 250 Things You Should Know About Writing will always hold a bit of nostalgia for me. I was around a third of the way through my first novel when I stumbled across it on Amazon, and at the time I had never read anything about how to write–actually, it had never occurred to me that such books could exist. What clinched the deal was the price, 99 cents, and the pitch, which reads (in part): “Contained within are things you should know about plot holes, self-publishing versus legacy publishing, “on-the-nose” dialogue, story versus plot, metaphors, copy-editing, killing darlings with a claw hammer, cursing like an undead pirate, and generally being a cranky and irreverent creative type.”

Continue reading Craft Book Round-Up: 250 Things You Should Know About Writing by Chuck Wendig

Book Review – Khe by Alexes Razevich

Title: Khe
Author: Alexes Razevich (Twitter)
Length: Approximately 70,000 words
Purchase Link: Amazon

Science fiction, for all its great successes over the decades, has at times earned a reputation for producing too many works that are cookie-cutter or derivative. That’s why it’s refreshing to see a book like Khe which, while taking the form in interesting new directions, still nails the basics—a sympathetic main character, exciting adventure, and world building that unfolds gradually and leaves room for surprises at the end.

Continue reading Book Review – Khe by Alexes Razevich

Book Review – The Haunted Horn by Edward Willett

Title: The Haunted Horn
Author: Edward Willett (Blog, Facebook)
Length: Approximately 40,000 words
Purchase Link: Amazon

The Haunted Horn is an entertaining, sharp ghost story with a setting and characters that many kids will easily relate to. Although the target audience is a bit young for my tastes, I would recommend it to any middle school reader who enjoys modern adventure with a bit of spookiness mixed in.

Continue reading Book Review – The Haunted Horn by Edward Willett

Book Review – Machines of Eden by Shad Callister

Title: Machines of Eden
Author: Shad Callister (Blog)
Length: Approximately 70,000 words
Purchase Link: Amazon

Machines of Eden is a fast paced, futuristic thriller with solid prose and an intriguing premise. Fans of military science fiction featuring a lone commando fighting against impossible odds will find plenty to like here.

Continue reading Book Review – Machines of Eden by Shad Callister

Book Review – The Troubleshooter by Bard Constantine

Title: The Troubleshooter: New Haven Blues
Author: Bard Constantine (Website, Twitter, Facebook, Blog)
Length: Approximately 57,000 words
Purchase Link: Amazon

Now listen good, you ugly mugs–this here is a review of a book going by the name of The Troubleshooter. Subtitle? Well that’d be New Haven Blues, no relation to Connecticut if that’s what your beancan is pondering. It just happens to be the story of a private dick with the name Mick Truble, and how he travels the mean streets of the far future, cracking off lead and putting the moves on beautiful dames in a tangled stumper of a caper.

Continue reading Book Review – The Troubleshooter by Bard Constantine

Book Review – Century of Sand by Christopher Ruz

Title: Century of Sand
Author: Christopher Ruz (Website, Twitter)
Length: Approximately 120,000 words
Purchase Links: Amazon, Smashwords

As Century of Sand opens, we are presented with a chilling scene: a man, clutching the limp body of a young girl, escapes a castle by cover of night. Nothing is said about who he is or where he is going, but through the language of well-chosen details we sense the seriousness of his crime and the precious nature of his cargo. A glance back over his shoulder makes us feel his anxiety; we are in his shoes now, facing the guards ahead with feigned assurance, knowing that any break in our resolve will spell certain disaster.

And that’s just the first two paragraphs.

Continue reading Book Review – Century of Sand by Christopher Ruz