Monday, December 4, 2017

Bell Mountain Books Continue To Amaze -- Review of The Two Latest: #8 & #9 (The Temple & The Throne)

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Reviewer: Forrest Schultz schultz_forrest@yahoo.com 770-583-3258

December 4, 2017

Bell  Mountain  Books  Continue  To  Amaze

A Review of

Lee Duigon The Temple – Bell Mountain #8 (Storehouse Press, 2015)
                    284 pp   $4.99   ISBN: 978-1-891375-69-9

Lee Duigon The Throne – Bell Mountain #9 (Storehouse Press, 2017)
                    270 pp   $4.99   ISBN: 978-1-891375-71-2

Reviewer:  Forrest W. Schultz

     The Bell Mountain stories take place in a fantasy world, but the spiritual principles there are the same as they are in the real world.  The particular spiritual principle highlighted in the latest two stories in the series is the desire found among many believers to return to the paganism from which they were converted.  In this case many of the people in the City of Obann wish to rebuild the pagan temple which used to be there.

    And, as in the previous books, this one also is filled with strange beasts, miracles, and a whole lot of trekkin’ and trickin’ – some quite serious and some downright silly, the most outrageous being a weird character who found the golden mask which had been worn by the super wicked super-powerful Thunder King, who goes around wearing this mask, impersonating the Thunder King!  This is but one example of the mixing of the serious with the hilarious!  These two books, like the others, are full of surprises and great tales.  I highly recommend them as I have the previous ones.





Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Purpose of Nanotech Brain Implant Revealed In Second Jane Hawk Thriller -- Review of Dean Koontz's "The Whispering Room"

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Reviewer: Forrest Schultz schultz_forrest@yahoo.com 770-583-3258
 
November 29, 2017

Purpose Of Nanotech Brain Implant Revealed In Second Jane Hawk Thriller

A Review of

Dean Koontz The Whispering Room (Bantam Books, 2017)
                       492 pp   $14.00   ISBN: 9780345546807

Reviewer:  Forrest W. Schultz

     As with the first episode in this series, Koontz devotes almost all of the story to the adventures of Jane Hawk in her battle against the criminals.  In the dramatic climax she captures the top villain, D. J. Michael, who attempts to justify the nanotech brain implants his company has developed , claiming that they give the recipients a conscience and a purpose in life, which they do, but at the expense of suffering considerable dehumanization, which is apparent to Hawk in the recipients she has encountered.  This science fiction element is good BUT very little is said about it, which is my main criticism of this book.  Koontz should emphasize the sf and should de-emphasize Hawk's forays against the criminals, which is very old hat.  And, although I like Jane Hawk, there have by now been so many tough women heroes that that too is now also becoming old hat!!  The third episode in the series, The Crooked Staircase, is scheduled for publication soon.  

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Varieties Of Spookiness -- Review of Andrew M. Seddon's "What Darkness Remains"

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Reviewer: Forrest Schultz schultz_forrest@yahoo.com 770-583-3258
 
November 13, 2017

               Varieties of Spookiness

A Review of

Andrew M. Seddon What Darkness Remains (Create Space, 2017)
                 187 pp   $12.99   ISBN: 9781978164154

Reviewer:  Forrest W. Schultz

     The sub-title of this book is "Thirteen Tales of The Supernatural And Unknown".  I guess that the author decided to have that many stories because of the spookiness often associated with the number "thirteen".  At any rate, if you like such tales, you should check these out.  Hallowe'en was last week, so it is too late to recommend buying this book for Trunk Treating purposes this year, but I do recommend stocking up for next year!

     Because of the variety among these tales it is almost impossible to do justice to them in a short review, so I shall just select one of them -- my favorite -- and tell you about it.  This is one of the most unusual weird stories I have ever read -- it concerns what could be called a demon-possessed piano, whose title is "Sonata For Piano, Four Hands", found on pages 29-38.  One of the pianists describes it as being "malevolent, evil...frighteningly so...something that never should have been written..and must never be played again". (pp. 35, 38)

     A good description of the world view of the author (expressed in these stories) is provided on the back cover by the reviewer Colleen Drippe' in these words:  "the conviction that we live in a well-ordered universe where good triumphs over evil", which is the context in which these stories should be understood. 

     You can visit the author's website at www.andrewmseddon.com.
 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Adventures Of A Veterinarian In Outer Space -- Review of Andrew Sedden's "The Death Cats Of Asa'ican"

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Reviewer: Forrest Schultz schultz_forrest@yahoo.com 770-583-3258
November 9, 2017

       Adventures Of A Veterinarian In Outer Space

A Review of

Andrew M. Sedden The Death Cats of Asa'ican (Splashdown                                               Books, 2015)
                 240 pp   $1298   ISBN: 978192715

Reviewer:  Forrest W. Schultz

     Doctor Hughes is a space traveling exobiologist and veterinarian who has all kinds of exciting and interesting adventures as he travels around the galaxy where he meets and treats all kinds of super-weird biotic entities too numerous to even list here and too complex to even attempt to describe in a brief review.  If you enjoy reading about far out entities and phenomena, I recommend this book. And Dr. Hughes even has a traveling companion who is a German Shepherd dog to which all kinds of tinkering have resulted in an animal who is almost part human in various ways, and, I think, far more interesting than Chewbacca! Because of his concern, Dr. Hughes has founded a group he calls Wellness for Other Life Forms, which is a good organization, although, frankly, I do NOT like the acronym formed by these capital letters -- WOLF, which, to me (and I think most people), has a pejorative connotation:  if you are one such, please be assured these are the good guys!

     For information on the author (who, by the way) is a medical doctor) you can visit his website www.andrewseddon.com.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Historian Time-Travels To Roman Empire in Andrew Seddon's SF Tale -- Review f Andrew Seddon's "Ring Of Time"

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Reviewer: Forrest Schultz schultz_forrest@yahoo.com 770-583-3258
November 6, 2017

     Historian Time-Travels To Roman Empire in

            Andrew Seddon's SF Tale

A Review of

Andrew Seddon Ring Of Time (Splashdown Books, 2014)
              259 pp   $13.99   ISBN: 978-1-927154-38-0

Reviewer:  Forrest W. Schultz

     As its sub-title indicates, this book consists of "Tales of a Time-Traveling Historian in the Roman Empire". Very little is said about the time-travel machine and the time-travel paradoxes beyond the assertion that any time-travel to the past will not change the past because it already is part of the past. The focus of the story is on what happens to the time-traveler, Professor Robert Cragg, after he is transported to various times and places in the Roman Empire to obtain information needed for a more complete historical account. Cragg is the narrator of these excursions, which are similar to those of a spy being sent "under cover" (i.e. with a false name and identity) to gather "intelligence" (i.e. information). All kinds of interesting and exciting and dangerous things happen to him during these forays, culminating in a surprise ending. And the author of this tale makes it all come alive.  I do not know if time travel is possible or not, but if it is, I recommend that the agency in charge hire a writer as good as Andrew Seddon to write the reports on it!


     Information on the author is available at his website  andrewseddon.com


   

Friday, October 20, 2017

Old-Fashioned Fireside Tales of Wonder and Providence: "Review of Andrew M. Seddon's "Tales From The Brackenwood Ghost Club"

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Reviewer: Forrest Schultz schultz_forrest@yahoo.com 770-583-3258
 
October 20, 2017
A Breath Of Fresh Air From Days Of Yore:  Old-Fashioned Fireside Tales of Wonder and Providence

A Review of

Andrew M Seddon  Tales From The Brackenwood Ghost Club (Create Space, 2017)
                                196 pp   $9.99   ISBN: 978-1975720575

Reviewed By:  Forrest W. Schultz

     Unlike the typical anthology, this is a collection of tales which were delivered -- by the persons to whom they happened -- in a informal setting:  the living room of the host of the meetings of a local ghost club in Britain.  This fireside chat atmosphere and the tales themselves remind me of my campfire experiences many years ago at Camp Delmont and Camp Sankanac in eastern Pennsylvania.  And, as noted in an appended essay at the back of the book and on the book's back cover, these tales are classic ghost stories manifesting the uncanny and Providential qualities of the Christian world-view, in which  God sometimes does strange things which are beyond our ken.  There is a great variety among the eleven tales in this book, which is to be expected because God likes variety!  These tales, however, are alike in that each one is short, well-told, memorable and edifying.  For these reasons I highly recommend this book, and I wish to thank the author for sharing these tales with us.

For information on the author, you can visit his website at http://www.andrewmseddon.com/ . 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Extremely Unusual and Fascinating Medical Fiction: The Characters Create Realistic Fiction -- Review of Robin Cook's "Charlatans"

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Reviewer: Forrest Schultz schultz_forrest@yahoo.com 770-583-3258

September 12, 2017

Extremely Unusual and Fascinating Medical Fiction:

The Characters Create Realistic Fiction

A Review of

Robin Cook Charlatans (Putnam, 2017)
                      $27.00   437 pp   ISBN: 9780735212480

Reviewer:  Forrest W. Schultz


     Although I have been a Robin Cook fan since he began writing novels, I have never before written a review of them here because they are not science fiction or fantasy.  And, strictly speaking, his latest one is also NOT in either of those genres, BUT I have decided to review it anyway because two of the main characters have concocted very elaborate and realistic fantasies about their own lives, and because these concoctions involve the usage of the so-called “social media”, about which there is currently a lot of discussion and debate concerning their harmfulness.  So this story is very relevant.  And it is also one of the most interesting and unusual novels I have ever read!  Here is a challenge to you, the reader:  after you have read Cook’s story, try to decide whether or not there is any justification for regarding these two aforementioned characters as “charlatans”.