Review of “Given to Fly” by JD Estrada

I smiled the entire time I read this book. It’s sweet, fun, colorful, imaginative, and includes wonderful lessons for any child or adult. The wordplay often made me chuckle, and the writing proves Mr. Estrada is a poet even in prose. The story reminded me at times of “Alice in Wonderland ” and at times of “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” while always being unique as well. Great characters, fantastical adventures, beautiful language – I was hooked.

This is a book I will definitely buy in paperback for my kid to treasure.

See it on Amazon!

Heroes & Villains: A Superhero Collection

Superhero Box Set CoverIn this ten novel boxed set, indie publishing’s greatest superhero authors will introduce you to the heroes that save the world and the villains scheming to destroy it. Whether you like dystopian heroes, modern capes and cowls, champions of a bygone era, or guardians past their prime, you’ll love the high-octane adventure in this boxed set.

1. “Serpent’s Sacrifice” by Trish Heinrich
2. “Morning Sun” by Jeremy Flagg
3. “Action Figures” by Michael Bailey
4. “Supervillain High” by Gerhard Gehrke
5. “Origin” by David Neth
6. “Sidekick” by Christopher Valin
7. “The Kota” by Sunshine Somerville
8. “Super” by Karen Diem
9. “Wearing the Cape” by Marion G. Harmon
10. “Hero Status” by Kristen Brand

Buy Heroes and Villains today and suit up for the ride of a lifetime!

Amazon
Kobo
B&N
iBooks

Superhero Box Set

Review of “Them Rabbit Foot Blues” by Jason Spurlock

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What did I just read?!  And I mean that in a good way.  My mind is always blown when a brand new author debuts with a book so well-written that it feels like the work of a pro.  Don’t get me wrong – this book is all over the place and will be hard for some readers to follow.  But falling down the rabbit hole is also kind of the point.

It’s hard to say what this book is about or exactly what genre it falls into.  The blurb does a better job explaining this than I can. “A cleverly diverting narrative that remixes folklore, pop culture, multiculturalism, gender roles, history, sci-fi, noir aesthetics, and urban decay.”  All of those elements are mixed into a story centered around a combat veteran struggling to figure himself out as he navigates the world(s) around him.

I love flawed characters who are aware of their screwed-up-ness.  What’s even better is when we see the flaws of society through that character’s eyes.  A good writer is supposed to see the world around them and be able to point out what everybody knows in new and interesting ways, and that keen insight of the author/main character might be my favorite thing about the book.  There is plenty of commentary about society, about different kinds of people, etc.

All of this is beautifully weaved into a story where the main character (and you as the reader) are trying to figure out what the heck is going on. At times, the book does get a bit bogged down in its own cleverness, distracting from the plot, but even these sort of side note bits were engaging and interesting insights into something about the world.  The writing itself at times sounded in my head a bit like Dave Eggers and a bit like S.A. Hunt, another veteran author I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

If you’re into literature that pushes your brain, grab this book.

4.5 Stars

See it on Amazon!

Paperback Giveaways – ALTERNI

We’re within the final week to enter the paperback giveaways for my soon-to-be-released Urban Fantasy book, Alterni!  If you’ve missed out on entering these contests so far, I’ve compiled ALL of them below.  Just click the below posts, comment with your answer (they don’t even have to be the right answers!), and you’re entered to win 1 of 10 paperbacks that I’ll give away on 12/12/2017. 

Twitter Contests: 

Instagram Contests:

 

Enter as many contests as you want to increase your chances to win!  

Review of “Rise of The Super Strike” by Maxwell Blake

36366736.jpgI suspect this book would work great for a young audience. For me, I got distracted several times by things not lining up with reality or plot points getting a little convoluted.  The author has a lot of potential, I think, and I definitely see how he understands the superhero genre.  I really liked that Benji’s emotions were believable as he responds to the tragedy of what’s happened to him and also the high school tensions he’s currently experiencing.  Again, I think the book would work great for young teens for that reason – the main character is relatable and a good, smart, brave role model.

The side characters are great too, namely Andy, but even the bully brother, Buzz, served his purpose.  I really liked the grandmother, and it was nice to see a Spiderman-esque relationship with an older, loving family figure.  The subtle way Andy is gay was great because he wasn’t portrayed as a stereotype, and he’s exactly the friend Benji needs – both in superhero struggles and teenage ones.

All that said, there was a lot that didn’t work for me.  According to the book blurb, the Darkness supposedly is his nemesis, but she’s barely in the book at all.  Most of the “nemesis” tension is definitely with Buzz.  I can see how the supervillain aspect needed to get in here to set up for future books, but there wasn’t much here.  When it does come, the book suddenly shifts into this long backflash that seems weirdly placed in the story.  Also, Benji falling head-over-heels for Hen was a bit infuriating when she’s being so awful.  And, some parts of the book struggled with reality.  The whole scene in the ER was ridiculous, given he used a fake ID.  Who is older between Andy and Buzz is super-confusing because the ages/birth order don’t match even on the same page.  Some of the descriptions of traveling around New York are weird (I was actually there when I read this, and it didn’t make sense).  Benji thinks of Andy as clingy when really they haven’t even hung out after their initial meeting. Hen is this horrible girl who suddenly likes Benji and becomes perfect…

I could go on, but if you’re just reading this book for fun, it is fun.  Benji is likeable as a hero.  Andy becomes a great sidekick. The powers Benji gets are cool.  Overall, I’d say younger teens would enjoy this if they like Spiderman.

3 StarsSee it on Amazon!

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