Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Book Review: "Van Raighan's Last Stand" by R.J. Davnall

This review is for episodes one through four of R.J. Davnall’s “The Second Realm” stories, which are contained in the volume titled “Van Raighan’s Last Stand.” It can be found here on Amazon U.S. and here on Amazon U.K.

It’s been many years since I’ve read a fantasy book, but I’ve been trying to expand the genres I read. I ran across Davnall’s blog, enjoyed his writing there, and decided to give his stories a read.

The story is set some seventy years after the “RealmCrash,” where, presumably, the First and Second Realms somehow collided, causing the death of most of Earth’s inhabitants (if indeed the book takes place on Earth). Pre-RealmCrash cities are in ruins but a form of government still exists. Story conflict takes place between inhabitants of each Realm, with those of the Second Realm being more powerful than those of the First.

Davnall plops the reader right down into the story, without a prelude, which I had mixed feelings about at first. It was difficult to follow the plot at times because I didn’t know what terms like “Gift Giver” and “Clearseeing” meant until I’d read most of the first story. Later I decided it was the right thing to do as it allows the plot to flow naturally. You’re fed the back story a little at a time instead of all at once, which shows restraint by the author and good story-telling ability.

The scenes where the Clearseeing is done are fantastic. You’re really taken into the mind of the Clearseer, Rel, and are led to feel what he’s feeling and see what he’s seeing. I really enjoyed the final, forth story; very exciting.

There’s a bit too much text spent inside Rel’s head for my liking, what he’s thinking and feeling, but I’m an action kind of reader: I want something to happen! And he’s a bit too temperamental for me, too, prone to emotional outbursts and pouting.

All-in-all, a superb fantasy story! The ending is a cliffhanger, making me look forward to the next installment. Highly recommended.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kind Review for THE MIGHTY T

I received a nice review for THE MIGHTY T last week.As I've written before, I appreciate honest reviews from readers I don't know. Actually, I appreciate honest reviews period.

I think both of my novels are good entertainment. I hold no delusions I'll ever win a Pulitzer for them, but I think I give my readers more than their money's worth.

Here's the review in it's entirety:

Okay, I admit it. I actually had a dream about this thriller. The Mighty T by Everett Powers is a well-plotted and written indie book. His characters--stars, average Joes, and dumb asses--are real and given their appropriate due. The dialogue is tight. And Powers keeps upping the ante on the level to which an eco-terrorist will go to get what he wants. While I found the ensemble cast a bit difficult to keep straight at the start, the story and characters straighten out quick enough once Detective Grant Starr starts dominating the page. The story is analogous to a real investigation. It starts with a measure of confusion that ultimately gets clarity. The villain is thought-provokingly delusional and bad to the bone. The secondary villain is a bit more difficult to fathom, but that's okay. She's a throw-back hottie with an edge.

One thing that bugs me about thrillers is the amount of mayhem authors often give away before it's necessary. This story gave some away, but not enough to ruin what happens next or at the end. The last 140 pages flew by - that's great, because I stayed up to two a.m. to finish reading it. I love when that happens. The dénouement, however, dragged a bit. The story was over; the adrenalin rush dissipated; close it out. Some may find the technical information too much to absorb, but I liked it. The environment/economic message was evenly played.

There is a lot to like here, and I'm tempted to read Powers' next book, Canals. Despite some minor flaws, this is a great read for a thriller lover and a really good read for the rest of us. But how did it end up on my Kindle? It's a borderline baby, but any book that makes me dream about it before I'm finished with it gets extra points. The minor flaws keep it from being a total knockout, but it still slides under the wire into the "5" camp of books that deliver and deserve to be read. Well done. Read it.
The reviewers criticisms are fair and not new to me. His/her (Rick? Carrie?) rating of 5 stars is more than generous.

I'd like to ask a favor. Would you please visit my THE MIGHTY T page on Amazon and "like" this review? "Like" any others you, er, like, as well. Thanks.

Here's the link.