Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review - Die Laughing by J.H. Sked

The gods are back in town. Well, one of them is - and he doesn't play nice.

Jane Rossa is trying to find out who - or what - killed her brother. Enter Billy, a nice guy with a few unusual talents, and very unusual friends.

Can a vampire, a ghost, and a shape-shifting house-cat stop a deranged god who thinks killing people and wearing their bodies is laugh-out-loud fun?

Maybe - with a little help from their friends. And a hell of a lot of luck.

5 stars

Die Laughing by J.H. Sked gives a more in depth look into the Blue Moon Detective Agency (introduced in Basement Blues).  When Mike calls Billy and is extremely freaked out, Billy takes notice.  Mike is a local psychic who actually has some real abilities.  He is also very experienced and doesn't tend to overreact to things.  While Billy is having a meeting with Mike and his client Jane, Mike passes out during the meeting and ends up pretty much in a coma at the hospital.  It turns out that Jane just wanted to contact her brother Corey, who had recently died.  The police said natural causes, but she didn't believe it at all.  He was young and healthy so there was no reason for him to just keel over dead.  While Billy checks out Corey's apartment to feel out any supernatural threats he is attacked by something and that brings Astrid (vampire) and Ruth (ghost) into the case with alacrity.

The rest of the story has an interesting twist with some old Norse gods that I haven't seen a lot of in my reading.  Janet writes the characters well and even though they are serious about stopping the threat and avenging the attacks on Mike and Billy, there is still a lot of humor to the writing.  I would highly recommend this series for fans of The Black Knight Chronicles by John Hartness as there is a bit of similarity in the feel of them.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy by Sandy Nathan review

Tomorrow morning at 7:35 AM, a nuclear holocaust will destroy the planet. Two people carry the keys to survival: Jeremy Edgarton, a 16-year-old, tech genius and revolutionary; and Eliana, the angelic, off-world traveler sent to Earth on a mission to prevent her planet's death.

Welcome to a future world only heartbeats from our own.

By the late 22nd century, the Great Recession of the early 2000s has lead to a worldwide police state. A ruined United States barely functions. Government control masks chaos, dissenters are sent to camps, and technology is outlawed. War rages while the authorities proclaim the Great Peace.

It's New York City on the eve of nuclear Armageddon.

Join Eliana & Jeremy as they begin a quest to save two doomed planets . . . and find each other.

Review by: Scott

4 stars

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy by Sandy Nathan is a unique story for certain. It starts out reading like a young adult novel featuring a stranger to the planet. The stranger is a young girl who is an amazing dancer, but doesn't really understand the way Earth works. When she is mistaken for a Russian ballerina and taken to a prestigious dance academy she meets several people that guide her through her visit.

The way the Earth works is very reminiscent of George Orwell's 1984 with television screens having cameras in them for the government to watch over you. The internet is pretty much illegal and only certain people are allowed to have access in order to tightly control information. At the academy the girl meets up with some people who are planning a way to get America back to what it used to be.

The book takes a look into what the future could be and adds a bit of sci-fi to it with a visitor from beyond. Sandy did an excellent job with this story although at times I felt it slowed down a little too much. That didn't happen often enough to really have a negative effect on the overall appeal of the book. This is another author whose work is worth looking into.