Monthly Archives: May 2015

Book Review: The Talisman


Title:  The Talisman

Authors: Stephen King and Peter Straub

Publisher: Pocket Books

Genre: Fantasy/Horror

Rating: 3 1/2 stars out of 5

Anyone who’s read my blog knows that Stephen King is probably my favorite author. I love most of his stuff. I didn’t love this one, probably because it was a collaborative work with Peter Straub, who I’d never read before. The book just didn’t have the full feeling of a King novel. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but I just didn’t enjoy this one as much as I have so many of his others.

The overall plot was good–an adolescent boy on a quest to save his mother’s life, able to switch back and forth between a magical world and this one. There are the typical horror elements, which I liked. Descriptions were on the heavy side sometimes, which I didn’t like as much. The first half of the book lagged in pace, though it did pick up after that. The ending was by far the best part. But for some reason I never fully invested in the fates of the characters.

There was also an interesting twist on werewolves, a dichotomy between “good” Wolves and “bad” Wolves. I really liked Jack’s friend, the good Wolf.

Completely a random thought–I’ve always loved King’s characters, how he brings together a group of different people with different backgrounds and has them interact. There wasn’t as much of that in The Talisman. I wonder if that’s one of the things that felt like it was lacking to me. The addition of Wolf and Jack’s friend Richard definitely helped with the second half.

I have to concede that by now I’ve read the best of Stephen King’s works, (The Stand, The Dark Tower series, IT,) and now maybe I’m just coming down to some of how not-quite-as-great stuff. I guess I’ll see after I finish the next one on my list, Duma Key.


Review: The Passage


Title: The Passage

Author: Justin Cronin

Publisher: Ballantine

Genre: Thriller/Dystopian

Rating: Meh.  3 out of 5 stars.

This book was a chore, much like reading the Grapes of Wrath in high school was a chore. I saw enough promise in the beginning to start the book–Amy is a very interesting character with a very interesting life. The virus looked promising. I also liked the allusions to aliens and God and religion.

Then it became a zombie/vampire apocalypse novel with too large a cast of characters and too great a time span for me to care about anyone. And it had WAY too much information. I think if this book had been half the size, it would have been a decent book. But this was like a door weight, and it didn’t need to be.

The plot really meanders. I think if it could have focused more on Amy and then Peter, it would have been better. There’s a decent story here, but it’s buried in words, and I found myself skimming a lot to get through it. I couldn’t keep track of half of the survivors at the camp, much less care what became of them. It didn’t help that relationships between men and women in the book are stiff and formal, almost side notes to everything else going on.

So if you like lots and lots of words . . . eh, go for it. I won’t be reading this author again.

Free Today through Friday! Ogres At Alcatraz Isle

Get a free copy of the humorous urban fantasy short fiction, “Ogres At Alcatraz Isle” on Amazon today through Friday, May 8th!  This tale follows the adventures of Oakland Fae Enforcement Officer Cathy Pembroke, and her zany encounters with creatures invading the Bay Area. You can also get “Fairies At Fisherman’s Wharf” for just 99 cents!

New Ogres2014 small




The Fae are at it again! All over the world, deforestation has caused the barriers between world to breakdown. Now monsters are invading the city. Cathy Pembroke, a member of the Bay Area’s new Fae Enforcement Division, must deal with everything from trolls to fairies to goblins knocking up the local Circle K. Only this time, it’s much worse.  Ogres have taken over the popular tourist attraction at Alcatraz Isle, and worse, they’ve taken hostages. Cathy and her team must find a way to rescue the humans and the landmark. It’s their greatest challenge yet.

Back! Sort of.

Ugh, what a month it’s been!  I didn’t really make much of an announcement, but I’ve been away since late March due to surgery. I had a painful arch condition which I had to get fixed, and then I was basically homebound (and even chair-bound in the beginning) and on paid meds. So no, didn’t get any writing done last month.

But I’m recovering now. And slowly trying to get back into the groove of things.  I wrote the first words on the second Spirit Mage book that I have in a month. The book is currently 57,000 words long, so I’m about halfway through it. Last month I published Ogres At Alcatraz Isle, and this month there will be a sale on this title as well. I also plan on releasing a science fiction short story two-pack in a couple of months.

So yes, I’m still here!  Just writing, or trying to.