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review 2012-04-10 00:00
Soldier Hill - Phil Rossi Soldier Hill - Phil Rossi I really, really, hate giving negative reviews, but to be honest with myself and to honor my word that I would give a honest review I have to say I really didn't like this book.Let me start off with the things I did like about it. The premise of the story was good. I loved the idea that two kids could honor someone who had died in a horrific war some years before. I loved how I could definitely tell the character was a male and see through his eyes. I also loved the final chapter where the final resting place of 'Billy' became a place where all soldiers who died and who were from the town could be honored.But, all that was spoiled by the terminology of the book. I didn't understand half of what the author had written. I understand that slang and some terminology is needed to give legitimacy of the era it is placed in, but unless we can time travel and release the book back in 1983, where people can understand everything, then there's going to be people, like me, that are just plain confused.There needed to be a balance between the yesteryear and remembering that the young adults of today don't talk like that and will probably give up half way through the book because they don't understand a word of what is being written. With that being said though, others may think it's great. I didn't.Some of the words are repetitive too. Like the fight scene when the word 'Kidney' was used over and over again when 'ground' would have been easier to understand. It felt, to me, like every piece of slang or terminology that could be introduced into the book was.There was also too much telling in the story. I was told what was going on through Eddie. I know that's what happens when the story is in first voice, but some description would have been nice. I had barely any idea of what the settings were like in each particular scene. Also, there was no emotion to this story. I like books that are character and emotionally driven - and this wasn't. I didn't feel anything that Eddie was feeling. He seemed emotionless. I wish I could have said I really enjoyed it, but I'd be lying. With that being said though, these are only my thoughts on Soldier Hill - if you read it, yours may be different.Anyway, here's my rating :-One out of five stars.This review can be found here http://magicalmanuscriptsandwritingthings.blogspot.co.nz/
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review 2011-09-26 00:00
The Shadows of Calcutta - Phil Rossi We come to India with a storm following on our tails and the beautiful Agent Sokshi (spelling could be wrong) meets our Agent Robert Smith and takes him to the Magistrate who is not very happy. Sokshi also tours Smith where he needs to go. The Magistrate is upset as Agent Alex Tanner was all talk and no action in his eyes because he disappeared before solving the mysterious four murders, several missing people, and disappearing new artifacts. The Magistrate wants Smith to solve the case, but Smith makes clear he was sent here to find Tanner NOT solve the case.

This story has a touch of ancient magic feel to it. We meet a beggar who is a fortune teller, from whom we learn some interesting information from. Then we have strange fever induced dreams from deadly wounds. These dreams lead to a conclusion from... sorry can't tell you who makes the conclusion. But Agent Smith does end up in a tight spot in need of help. But Agent Smith will have to choose who to believe and hope he has picked the right ally. We also find there are steam engines disappearing as well. All this with an increasingly dangerous storm growing quickly.

I'm one to enjoy a tale with Gods involved. And this one has a touch of that as well. Gods are wanted and being called upon.

I have to say the descriptions used are wonderful. I think my favorite one in this short story is,
"the bus shit Robert on the road."
Ha ha! I loved this, as this bus and place, I could see it feeling this way. There are several great phrases like this through out the pod story.

As always another wonderful listening time from Tales of the Archives. Hope you go check out these fun quick stories.
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review 2010-12-11 00:00
Crescent - Phil Rossi this child of Event Horizon and Outland was a severe disappointment. silly, nonsensical, zero characterization, and the worst sentient computer voice i've ever seen depicted in dialogue. i can read only so many descriptions of an old woman's sour body odor before realizing how all-inclusive the novel is when it comes to cliches. and i had such high hopes! a haunted space station is an ideal setting and it is irritating to see that setting squandered in trite set pieces and an excessive desire to be the snarkiest book in the room.
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