Welcome to our website. This site is here to provide a community for all you book lovers. I've set up a discussion area for you to discuss your favorite books. We'll have reviews of old and new books in the Reviews section. Upcoming titles and information from major publishers will be listed in the news/home page section, as well as updates on when new reviews have been posted, community information, etc.

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Review: The Force Awakens – Alan Dean Foster

Posted on: January 26th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
The Force Awakens
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: LucasBooks (January 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1101965495
ISBN-13: 978-1101965498
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amazon

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Synopsis:

Characters:

Rey – Desert Scavenger who is emarking on an adventure that will change her life.
Finn – First Order Stormtrooper who is taking charge of his own fate and living according to his conscience.

Review

Sometime in the late 80s, I stumble across a book in our county library. This book amazed me, it turns out that it was a novel featuring the characters from Star Wars. Until that time, all I’d seen were the novelizations. The book was Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, and I was amazed. Finally there were more stories to be told. The author of that book was Alan Dean Foster, and now almost 30 years later, I’m looking at another book from Mr. Foster again featuring some of those same characters, but this time new characters. This book is the novelization for The Force Awakens, and I absolutely loved it.

From the first chapter, this book begins expanding on the story a lot more than the movie did. You see more of characters motivations, thoughts, feelings. Certain scenes began to make more sense to me, even though I’d seen the movie twice already. There were also some scenes that were either cut or written for the novel and never filmed, that I thought were very interesting, and should have been in the movie.

Some of the battle scenes came out a little flat, and not as exciting as in some of the older “Legends” novels, but part of that may be that the characters are still growing on us, and finding their own way in the Star Wars Universe.

Overall thought, I thought it was a great book, a great companion piece to the movie, and just a lot of fun. So check it out, and as always be sure to drop back in and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Alan Dean FosterAlan Dean Foster’s work to date includes excursions into hard science-fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He has also written numerous non-fiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving, as well as having produced the novel versions of many films, including such well-known productions as “Star Wars”, the first three “Alien” films, “Alien Nation”, and “The Chronicles of Riddick”. Other works include scripts for talking records, radio, computer games, and the story for the first “Star Trek” movie. His novel “Shadowkeep” was the first ever book adapation of an original computer game. In addition to publication in English his work has been translated into more than fifty languages and has won awards in Spain and Russia. His novel “Cyber Way” won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first work of science-fiction ever to do so.

Foster’s sometimes humorous, occasionally poignant, but always entertaining short fiction has appeared in all the major SF magazines as well as in original anthologies and several “Best of the Year” compendiums. His published oeuvre includes more than 100 books.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Before the Awakening – Greg Rucka

Posted on: January 21st, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
Before the Awakening
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press (December 18, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 148472822X
ISBN-13: 978-1484728222
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amazon

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Synopsis:

Young adult novel that follows three of the new characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and shows events leading up to their storylines in the movie.

Characters:

Rey – A Young desert scavenger.
Finn – An Imperial Stormtrooper in Training.
Poe Dameron – A Pilot for the New Republic.

Review

While this novel was geared towards younger readers, I found it enjoyable. I learned a lot more about the characters and their backgrounds, then I had learned from The Force Awakens. As each story is told as a standalone short story, I’ll look at each one.

Rey – In her story, readers learn a lot more about how she developed her flying skills. We also get to see much more of her like on Jakku, her thoughts, and her goals. Then we get to see how determined she is, when she finds a crashed ship in the desert and proceeds to begin rebuilding it.

Finn – Finn is loyal to the First Order. So much so that he’s considered one of the best stormtroopers they have. But then Finn begins little by little to doubt things he’s been told. He begins to develop a conscience which goes against his very training. This one was interesting because you get to see a bit more detail behind his actions in The Force Awakens, and it makes him a much better character.

Poe Dameron – In this story, Poe Dameron is one of the best pilots the New Republic has. He’s leading his own squadron, but he’s beginning to believe that the First Order is becoming a threat to everything the Republic has worked for. However, no one in command will believe Poe. That is when he takes it upon himself to find evidence. This lands him in hot water with his superiors, but also changes his entire future.

If you’re a Star Wars Fan, or a fan of The Force Awakens, then you’ll want to read this. Even though it’s aimed at the 7th grade level, I still found it to be an enjoyable set of stories, and it added to my love of all things Star Wars. So check it out, drop back in and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Greg RuckaThe author of four novels about professional bodyguard Atticus Kodiak — Keeper (nominated for a Shamus Award by the Private Eye Writers of America), Finder, Smoker, and Shooting at Midnight, Greg Rucka has been writing since he was eight years old, and hopefully is improving with age. A longtime comics fan, his first graphic novel series was the suspense thriller Whiteout, published by Oni Press and nominated for three Eisner Awards in 1999. Since that time he has been a contributing writer for DC Comics and an active participant in the Batman series of titles.

Born and raised in California, he earned his undergraduate degree at Vassar College and his MFA at the University of Southern California. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Rucka has two tattoos, and rides a motorcycle.

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Review: The Silent Girls – Eric Rickstad

Posted on: January 19th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
The Silent Girls
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Witness Impulse (January 27, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062351540
ISBN-13: 978-0062351548
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Synopsis:

Harland Rath is pulled into the investigation when a young girl disappears. He begins to suspect a serial killer, but no one else can be convinced.

Characters:

Frank Rath – Former Police Detective, now Private Investigator.
Harland Grout – Newly promoted Detective on the Canaan Vermont Police Force.

Review

This was a very involving novel. There’s the one main plot involving Rath, there’s a subplot involving his missing daughter, and a lead-in plot obviously for the next novel involving a man he put in prison for serial killing. The action was pretty well paced out, and the plot was interesting, and a little more planned out then in a lot of novels lately.

You could to witness the characters grow and change. Rath learning to trust his daughter more. Grout learning to be a better detective. This is definitely not a novel though for the easily offended. The main plot line involves a very controversial subject that some readers might find offensive. That would be on the subject of abortion, abortion protestors, and all that is connected.

If the subject matter, and the strong language and content doesn’t offend you though, you’ll find it’s a well written, well planned out novel. I recommend it to all thriller fans out there. Be sure to drop in and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Eric RickstadEric Rickstad is the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Globe & Mail Bestselling author of THE SILENT GIRLS, a #1 bestselling Nook and Kindle novel heralded as intelligent and profound, dark, disturbing, and heartbreaking. His latest novel is LIE IN WAIT. His first novel REAP, a literary suspense novel, was a New York Times Noteworthy Novel. He lives in his home state of Vermont with his lovely wife, daughter, and son.

He is represented by Philip Spitzer of the Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Lauren at Harper Collins for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Giveaway – Ghostly Southern Mystery Series

Posted on: January 15th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes

Since it’s been a long time we’ve given away anything, I thought I’d kick off the New Year with a big Giveaway.  One lucky winner will receive not one, not two, but all four of Tonya Kappes Ghostly Southern Mysteries.  This is to date the whole series.  So how do you win?  Simply follow the below rules.

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 01/31/2016.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US only. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

If you’re the lucky winner you’ll receive:

A Ghostly Undertaking
A Ghostly Grave
A Ghostly Demise
A Ghostly Murder

Good Luck.

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Review: A Ghostly Murder – Tonya Kappes

Posted on: January 14th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
A Ghostly Murder
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Witness (September 29, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062374931
ISBN-13: 978-0062374936
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amazon

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Synopsis:

Once again Emma Lee finds herself trying to help a recently departed spirit solve their murder in order to cross over.

Characters:

Emma Lee Raines – Undertaker and communicator with the dead.
Mamie Sue Preston –

Review

This is the fourth and unless things change, final entry in Ms. Kappes Ghostly Southern Mysteries, and like all the rest was a blast to read. As a reader of the whole series, I’ve been able to watch the characters grow. The Emma in this book has much higher self esteem and is more comfortable in her role.

Each of these books, while connected, can also be read as standalones. However, each book will kind of spoil the one prior by mentioning some of the events that occurred, so if you get the chance to read them in order, I’d do so.

I’d rate this for all ages, as there doesn’t seem to be much objectionable outside of the murder, and the violence from those attempting to stop Emma’s investigations. However, none of the violence is graphic, and is more along the lines of what you’d find in a Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew story.

If you like cozy mysteries with a sense of humor, grab this series. Be sure to drop back in and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Tonya KappesFor years, USA today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Lucy at Harper Collins for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Review: A Ghostly Demise – Tonya Kappes

Posted on: January 12th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
A Ghostly Demise
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Witness (August 25, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062374915
ISBN-13: 978-0062374912
Order book here:

amazon

Order E-book here:
amazon

Synopsis:

Once again Emma Lee finds herself trying to help a recently departed spirit solve their murder in order to cross over.

Characters:

Cephus Hardy – Recently departed.
Emma Lee Raines – Undertaker and communicator with the dead.

Review

This is the third entry in Ms. Kappes Ghostly Southern Mysteries, and like all the rest was a ton of fun. Emma Raines, and the cast of characters are just enjoyable, and the humor just adds to the storyline. As a reader, I really get the feel of this small town, and really like all the oddball characters.

Like all the rest, there are various subplots involving Emma’s grandmother, her run for mayor, and someone trying to sabotage her campaign. The grandmother out of all the characters, is one of the most fun. None of the characters are really cookie cutter, but each has their own distinct appearance and likeability factor.

If you are into cozy mysteries with a sense of humor, you’d love this series. I can’t think of anything objectionable in it. So check it out and be sure to let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Tonya KappesFor years, USA today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Lucy at Harper Collins for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Review: Spy Trade – Matthew Dunn

Posted on: December 31st, 2015 By Rick Rhodes
Spy Trade
Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Witness Impulse (September 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062441426
ISBN-13: 978-0062441423
Order book here:

amazon

Order E-book here:
amazon

Synopsis:

A CIA Veteran is captured by terrorists. They threaten to kill him if a specific prisoner is not released within a given time frame.

Characters:

Will Cochrane – Special Agent
Patrick Bolte – Director of a join CIA-MI6 task force.

Review

When two people are captured and threatened with death by Terrorists, Patrick Cochrane is forced to seek help to find them. He pulls Will Cochrane into his plans. Cochrane’s journey then takes him across the continent of Europe and into Russia.

I’m not 100% sure what I think of this book. While it seemed a very accurate spy novel, I just didn’t get it. Perhaps my mind was on other things at the time. The author is apparently very well qualified to write about the subject of spies, as he was involved in that type of job.

I have another in this line to read, and perhaps I will be able to better follow it. I didn’t hate this novel. I like the characters. The story seemed a bit cliché’d but then in the end had an unexpected twist. Perhaps the length of this story made things move a little too fast. It was technically a novella, and was only about 178 pages in length. It wasn’t until about the last 20 or 30 pages where I began to understand what the whole point of the story was.

While I didn’t fall in love with this, I do intend to give Mr. Dunn’s novels a second try with The Spy House. I think for fans of real life spy type novels, they’d probably love this. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. I was just kind of left neutral.

But check it out if it’s your type of genre, and let us know what you thought about it.

About the Author

Matthew DunnAs an MI6 field officer, Matthew Dunn recruited and ran agents, coordinated and participated in special operations, and acted in deep-cover roles throughout the world. He operated in highly hostile environments, where, if compromised and captured, he would have been executed. Dunn was trained in all aspects of intelligence collection, deep-cover deployments, small-arms, explosives, military unarmed combat, surveillance, and infiltration.

Medals are never awarded to modern MI6 officers, but Dunn was the recipient of a very rare personal commendation from the secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs for work he did on one mission, which was deemed so significant that it directly influenced the successful conclusion of a major international incident.

During his time in MI6, Dunn conducted approximately seventy missions. All of them were successful. He lives in England.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Pamela at Harper Collins for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Nation of Enemies – H. A. Raynes

Posted on: December 29th, 2015 By Rick Rhodes
Nation of Enemies
Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Witness Impulse (October 6, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062417703
ISBN-13: 978-0062417701
Order book here:

amazon

Order E-book here:
amazon

Synopsis:

In a future society, people are chipped according to their health status. Those who don’t meet a certain standard are lesser citizens. But Reverand Charles Mitchell has a plan to overthrow all that. He will use any means necessary.

Characters:

Dr. Cole Fitzgerald – Chief of Emergency Medicine, Masschusetts General Hospital
Steven Hudson – Owner of Hudson Funeral Homes.
Sebastian Diaz – FBI Special Agent.
Chris Renner – Diaz’s partner.
Charles Mitchell – A Fundamentalist Minister with a dark past.

Review

I found this to be a very well developed and plotted novel. It shows one direction a country can go if it bends to religious fanaticism. Charles Mitchell is under suspicion by the FBI for suspected involve in previous acts of terrorism. Agent Dr. Cole is assigned to go under cover in Mitchell’s Patriot church.

At the same time, Dr. Cole Fitzgerald is trying to find a way to stop the government from implanting the chips in people. His wife was forbidden entry into another country as she didn’t match the proper limits for good health based on her chip and ratings number.

Fitzgerald and Diaz are brother in laws, and will soon find themselves having to work together to stop Mitchell’s dark plans. But how many people will die before they succeed, to find out read Enemies of the Nation.

This book may offend some religiously inclined as it doesn’t look favorably upon the fictional church within it. There is also some strong language, and violence that would not be appropriate for young children, so like most books I review, this one is for older teens and adult audiences.

Overall, I’d recommend this novel. It definitely had one of the most interesting plots of anything I read recently.

About the Author

H. A. RaynesH.A. Raynes was inspired to write NATION OF ENEMIES by a family member who was a Titanic survivor and another who escaped Poland in World War II. Combining lessons from the past with a healthy fear of the modern landscape, this novel was born. A longtime member of Boston’s writing community, H.A. Raynes has a history of trying anything once (acting, diving out of a plane, white water rafting, and parenting). Writing and raising children seem to have stuck.

Nation of Enemies

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anwesha at Harper Collins for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Keep a Knockin’ – Charles Connor

Posted on: December 24th, 2015 By Rick Rhodes
Keep a Knockin'
Hardcover: 264 pages
Publisher: Waldorf Publishing; 1st edition (August 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634432649
ISBN-13: 978-1634432641
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Charles Connor played with some of the legendary names in Rock & Roll and Soul. One of his jobs was as drummer for Little Richard. In Keep on Knockin’, Mr. Connor details his life on the road with Little Richard and his band the Upsetters. Like you’d expect with modern bands, with the bands of the 50s and 60s, it was still a lot of rough living and days of sex, drugs, and alcohol.

The book spans Mr. Connor’s life from when he first started playing drums, against all those saying he’d never make it, through time with such people as Professor Longhair. He covers his relationhips, life on the road, and in general just gives a great picture of the life of a band during the early days of rock & roll.

For those with a love and passion for music, an interest in the music history of the 1950s, or just in the mood for a very interesting biography, you should big up Keep A Knockin’. It’s well written, and Mr. Connor Kept me involved in the story. I’d never heard of him prior to reading this story, but through this book I found him a very likeable and engaging person. I’d definitely recommend this book.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Barbara at Waldorf Publishing for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Aftermath – Chuck Wendig

Posted on: December 17th, 2015 By Rick Rhodes
Aftermath
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: LucasBooks; Original edition (September 4, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 034551162X
ISBN-13: 978-0345511621
Order book here:

amazon

Order E-book here:
amazon

Synopsis:

The second death star has been destroyed. The people of the galaxy are free, or are they? Wedge Antilles is on a mission when he is captured. A ragtag bunch is tasked with rescuing him and discovering what the secret meeting of the Empire is all about.

Characters:

Norrra Wexley – Survivor and veteran of the Battle over Endor.
Wedge Antilles – Pilot and General of the Rebel Alliance
Rae Sloan – Imperial Captain of the Ultimatum

Review

If you look at Amazon you’ll see many negative reviews of this book. Many people are upset that the Expanded Universe all Star Wars fans knew was trashed in favor of a new Canon. This novel which essentially negates a fan favored series, therefore was not well received. However, I think those reviews are unfounded. I found this book to be a lot of fun. While there were none of the major characters we’ve grown to love, with the exception of Wedge Antilles, there were a lot of new characters.

These new characters are placed into the Star Wars universe, and fit well. One of the most memorable is a repurposed battle droid. All of the characters were fun, and there were some interesting and exciting action scenes.

One of the interestng aspects was seeing how the defeat of the Empire is seen throughout the galaxy. There is a lot of denial left in all those who served the Empire. They refuse to believe the stories of the Emperor’s death. For those who’d lived life under the thumb of the Empire, it’s as if they are living in a dream too good to be true, and they also have their doubts. This is covered well in the thoughts and feeling of the characters.

Overall, for a kickoff and bridging novel between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, I thought this novel did a great job. As the first book in what is supposedly a trilogy, I liked it and look forward to the next two. There are some things that may be objectionable to some audiences, such as the introduction of a gay character. However it is done subtly.

If you’re a fan of Star Wars and want to find out what occurred after Episode VI, then check out Aftermath. Be sure to drop back by and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Chuck WendigChuck Wendig is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath, as well as the Miriam Black thrillers, the Atlanta Burns books, and the Heartland YA series, alongside other works across comics, games, film, and more. A finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the cowriter of the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus, he is also known for his popular blog, terribleminds.com, and his books about writing. He lives in Pennsylvania with his family.

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