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review 2018-03-03 16:49
An Alien/Archaeological Thriller!
The God Scrolls: A Tale of Aliens, Egypt... The God Scrolls: A Tale of Aliens, Egyptian Priests, and the New World Order - Michael J. Rhodes

Uncovering alien plots was the last thing that college philosophy teacher Michael Whyse had in mind, but a journey to Cairo with the intention of going off the beaten tourist path leads him straight into trouble when old scraps of papyrus pose an incomplete puzzle and a visionary encounter. 


When offered these ancient artifacts, Michael is initially cautious - after all, many a tourist has been jailed for trafficking ancient antiquities out of the country, and he refuses to be one of them. When he learns he is the 'rightful owner' of these scrolls, what seems like circumstance and chance becomes something larger as his small-time position in the scheme of things suddenly becomes much bigger than he'd ever imagined. 


The God Scrolls is billed as sci-fi, but it's also a thriller in disguise. There's an ancient secret to unravel, encounters with Egyptian priestesses who have led past lives, and a secret government behind the government (The Order) which is in collusion with the aliens, working behind the scenes. 


As alien encounters become more frequent and priests fall under their spell, it's up to Michael to thwart alien and human ambitions alike to save the day. 


It should be cautioned that The God Scrolls is no light read. Over seven hundred pages delve into magic, politics, ancient truths, and present-day alien conspiracies in a complex series of encounters designed to keep readers guessing. 


Readers who enjoy the intersection of visionary fiction and science fiction and who appreciate multifaceted stories that move quickly, with thriller elements added into the mix, will find The God Scrolls satisfyingly unexpected and fast-paced. It's highly recommended for readers who enjoy stories of alien intervention that offer higher-level thinking than most. 

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review 2016-10-19 06:11
A broken hero, dark urban fantasy and a magical world can be found in here...
In the Twist - L. A. Stockman
3.5 Hearts--Debut novella urban fantasy with a religious/mythology tinge, In the Twist, is the first in the Wild Hunt series. It's definitely a story that is not for everyone. Read the blurb. Still think you're ready? The story begins with a gory start...a disemboweled junkie child kind of start. Still with me? There are triggers up the wazoo, potential readers are heavily warned. While the subjects are dark, the story isn't as dark as it seems. (Think light-ish DMC read)

If you don't mind viscera here and there.

Anyone, still here with me?

You are?

Great. :)

Irish ex-priest, now American detective David Shaughnessy is a damaged soul with so baggage he could probably run his own department store. He's fairly young but has lived a lifetime of pain, shares a home with a sister and houses unwanted orphans. He was an unwanted once. And was used and abused by those who he should have trusted.

Present day David can care for those in need but doesn't care about himself, he's scarred and tattooed. While on a case, he meets older and worldly Interpol agent Dallan Jaeger. Dallan and David see the world...differently. Together, they uncover the mundane and magic world, open a new way of life for David and meet the 'The Wild Hunt', a group of the world's best warriors of legend.

The first 30% was a struggle for me. In fact, it took me days to get through. It wasn't the subject matter (because this barely scratches my dark meter) but the POV is muddled. At one point eye colors changed from ice blue to green-grey. And I thought it disemboweling was going to be as good as it got. But something pushed me to keep reading.

And I'm glad I did.

After 30% or so, the story got less muddled and more interesting, especially the urban fantasy world, religious and historical undertones brushed through. There was action, magic, romance, horror and mystery. It might've also been the swords added in too. I'm a sucker for swords. There's more to Dallan, David and his family. I like the mythological/fantasy world created. And I enjoy anything with a hint of heaven/hell thrown in made interesting. I enjoyed the author's take on it (the hints the reader gets).

Bare bones, this story hits an appropriate checklist of romance: man meets man, they share interests and mutual attraction, fight said attraction while uncovering a mystery and falling for one another for a solid HFN.

Not bad, right? What's the difference from all the other urban fantasy romances? The Wild Hunt, for one. Picture international badass immortal warriors from the ages. The faeries in this book are evil. And there are dukedoms in Hell.

I thought all of that was cool.

But I have quibbles.

My main quibble with this novella is it could have been longer.

For someone with David's depth of damage, the rapid way he gets over his hangups for love? I want to buy it. I really do. But it takes time. His mental abuse is so ingrained, the hurt and pain were written so well (a bit too well in aspects) that I ached for him. We get novel length feelings and major declarations in a novella. And some really lovely words, that I normally flutter like glitter fairy to I really enjoy. But the time span the men spend together is days. It's not like we're talking normal human relationships here. I can turn a blind eye for fated mates (not the case here).

I liked the attraction between Dallan and David. The romance was nice when I overlook the muddle. Because the conversations that Dallan and David had, really had when trying to overcome the hardships of their past (namely the abused), oh...those were sweet. Like laying jewels on your damaged feet kind of sweet. I basked in some the words when the muddling lessened.

I especially liked the duke. I kind of wished there was elaboration on the backstory about that. The story slowly unfolds David's background and his kids. It's more about him than Dallan, though both men are equally interesting.

Worth a gander (those who can handle the subject matter)? I think so.

Underneath the weaker start, rapid insta-love, beginning POV confusion, there's a solid plot. And it's too soon to call, but there were hints of something in the prose. It reminded me of a few urban fantasy stories I used to read in the past underneath my quibbles. And I think that if the author finds a groove, explains plot points and keep the POV separate...this could be an urban fantasy series to watch.

I'll be back for book #2, Titan's Watch, see what else the author has up her sleeve especially for these characters.

A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2016-05-29 18:34
A History of Loneliness: A Novel - John Boyne
  A powerful book. It made me think about how I would have handled what happened. Would I have looked away or would I have spoken up? I liked how the story was woven between years. I figured out what happened early on to Ordan as well as Aidan. I was surprised that Ordan did not make the connection. Ordan has much that he had to live with as he aged. I wonder what happened to him. Well done.
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review 2016-01-20 15:31
Priests of Mars - Graham McNeill

To me, this was an EXCELLENT Warhammer 40K novel. McNeill manages to throw about 7 or 8 very different and distinct types of WH40K characters into a cosmic quest to a region of the galaxy known as the Halo Scar. McNeill manages to mix in elements of real-world machinery, supernatural events of Chaos, and a rather clever humanizing faction of a massive starship with its commanding yet sympathizing tech-priest crew. I loved the attention to technical detail presented here, and yet McNeill manages to project a lot of emotion through all this data. Any details would just spoil the plot, but suffice it to say when the expedition reaches the Halo Scar and an orbital station nearby, all Chaos breaks loose. It helps to know that sequels will follow, thus making the abrupt ending more palatable. If you are even thinking about trying science fiction someday, this would be a great place to start.

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review 2015-10-23 13:57
The longest 364 pages of my life
To Darkness and to Death - Julia Spencer-Fleming

That was a book. Written by Julia Spencer-Fleming. About Clare Fergusson and Russ van Alstyne. In a series of mystery books.


And that explains why I read it. Why I stuck with it until the end. Because the format of minute-to-minute or hour-to-hour detailed storytelling might have been an interesting craft choice, it made for a pointless novel. A futile episode in the middle of a series.


So I'm done and that's that.


*picks up the next book*

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