Posted in Book Reviews

REVIEW: The Mistress of Illusions (The Dreamscape Trilogy #2) by Mike Resnick

*No Major Spoilers*

Her name is Lisa, and ever since Eddie Raven hooked up with her, strange things keep happening.

How strange? Lisa can take on any role at a moment’s notice. She’s Maid Marian. She’s Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. In an instant, she can become the sexy, gum-chewing secretary to his hard-boiled detective. She can even become Doc Holliday’s frontier lady, Big Nose Kate.

But who is she really? That’s something Eddie’s got to find out before this series of strange adventures, which began in The Master of Dreams, overtakes him. And if Lisa’s not enough of a problem, there’s also the powerful creature who claims to be the chief demon in hell, who seems convinced that he, Eddie, and Lisa are on the same side.

Is Eddie being told the truth? He’d better decide quickly, because the one thing that’s clear is that he’s running out of time.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

I have read Mr. Resnick’s works before. I own the whole Weird Wild West series, as well as owning some others of his works. I learned while writing this review that he passed away in January 2020 after a long battle with cancer. So on to brighter topics, let’s dive in to The Mistress of Illusions!

I haven’t read the first novel in the trilogy. Normally, I’d be concerned with starting in the middle of the series, but I thought I’d give it a chance. Well, I don’t think much goes on in the first book besides the introduction of the main characters and the event that brings them all together. So if that’s a concern for you, then don’t worry on skipping Masters of Dreams.

I listened to this on audio and I made a bookmark before I fell asleep, and I think I forgot to go back to the bookmark to see what I missed. Sad to say is that I didn’t miss much. I think the first two books could be trimmed down and compacted into one book. Near the end Lisa gives Raven a recap on the adventures he’s gone on and what lessons he was supposed to gather from them.

For example, in one of the adventures he’s Robin Hood after being arrested and locked in the sheriff’s jails. Well, what he was supposed to learn from this was how to escape a jail/prison without using any weapons.

Throughout this story, the communication between Raven, Lisa, and the demon is very poor. Raven keeps wanting to know what all of this “training” is for and Lisa’s and the demon’s answers are continually vague until the end. Even when the big explanation comes we still don’t learn all that much. Raven throughout doesn’t understand why he’s been chosen for this mission. All of this frustration eventually started making me frustrated as well.

So overall, I thought it was fun getting to see Raven go through all of these micro adventures through literary and historical events. However, the banter about his self-doubt and Lisa’s tight lips made this an irritating read. I’m not going to read the finale to be honest. Not really that interested with how poor these characters were not likable.

Posted in Book Reviews

REVIEW: The Joy Machine (Star Trek: The Original Series #80) by James E. Gunn

*No Major Spoilers*

Timshel was once the vacation spot of the galaxy, full of culture, natural beauty, and friendly, hospitable inhabitants. But now Timshel has cut itself off from the universe. No one is allowed to enter or leave. Concerned, the Federation has sent agents to investigate, but none have returned.
Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship EnterpriseTM are shocked to discover the truth: the people of Timshel have succumbed to an insidious new technology that guarantees every citizen total pleasure, a soul-destroying ecstasy that has enslaved their entire civilization. Kirk and Spock have faced many threats before, but now they face the most seductive menace of all: perfect happiness.

And the rest of the Federation may soon fall under the irresistible control of the Joy Machine.


Posted in Book Reviews

REVIEW: Mammoth Island (Grant Coleman Adventures #5) by Russell James

*No Major Spoilers*

As paleontologist Grant Coleman waits to board a plane for a much-needed Hawaiian vacation, thugs knock him out and kidnap him. He awakens on a cargo aircraft in flight to find he’s an unwilling member of an expedition to a secret Arctic location called Mammoth Island.

Unscrupulous fossil dealer Angelo Destro has assembled the expedition to steal the fruits of a Russian oligarch’s labors The oligarch’s scientists have resurrected extinct wooly mammoths at the island’s laboratory. But from the moment the plane lands, the plan goes to pieces. The lab’s scientists are missing, the compound is a shamble, and it looks like something enormous has crushed the perimeter fence.

Even worse, Destro isn’t the only one after this prehistoric prize. Before Grant and the others solve the destroyed lab’s mysteries, Russian soldiers arrive. Destro’s group is forced to flee into the surrounding forests, where killer mammoths lurk, ready to hunt more human prey.

Trapped between the twin tips of Russian bayonets and mammoth tusks, who among them will survive and escape Mammoth Island?


Posted in Personal Blogs

Binge Reading 2021 Challenge

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So every year I try and set a yearly reading goal for myself. Most people are strict and particular about their challenges. However, I tend to be more lax with mine. I try and read 50 books a year. Audiobooks, Graphic Novels, and Children’s chapter books are included in my challenge.

Well here it is November and I’ve only met the halfway point of my goal. Considering how poor my mental health has been this year, and the fact that I’ve been working a part time job on top of more personal matters I’m more than surprised that I even made it halfway.

So this is where the challenge comes in. My fiancé has challenged me to read 24 books by the New Year. If I achieve this I will get $100. No audiobooks, and all books must be more that 100 pages. Since I’m temporarily leaving my job in a few days, I can’t wait to fully dive into this challenge.

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Justice in an Age of Metal and Men (Metal and Men #1) by Anthony W. Eichenlaub

*No Major Spoilers*

Things aren’t always easy for the Sheriff of Dead Oak, Texas. Cybernetically modified biker gangs roam the skies, dangerous outlaws prowl the streets, and gunslingers threaten the delicate balance of a Texas gone sour. J.D. doesn’t mind. He’ll hold hard the line of justice, no matter what it takes. 

Sometimes things aren’t so simple. 

When a rancher is murdered, it’s going to take all of J.D.’s skills as a Texas Ranger to track the killer. Every turn he makes he find more threads of a massive conspiracy that could tear his town apart. Every discovery leads him down the darker path of his own past. 

And he’s not the only one doing some tracking. A man in black is on his trail. 

There’s only one thing J.D. knows for sure: One way or another, there’s going to be Justice in an Age of Metal and Men.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

For those who know me personally, I deeply enjoy the subgenre called “Weird Wild West” or “Western Steampunk”. A story that’s futuristic in technology, but still has The Wild West theme and setting. Justice in an Age of Metal and Men is just what I’ve been craving to read. Now let’s dive into this Sci-fi western adventure!

Nothing annoys a man of justice quite like forgiveness.

Justice in the Age of Metal and Men

Most dystopian novels I tend to come across these days tend to be young adult/romance. Or dystopian/zombies. However, this story is it’s own unique spin on the dystopian subgenre. This is a story that takes place after the second civil war, and Texas becomes its own country and envelops the western half of the former states. Dairy and farming have main control of the big cities, even though most farmers don’t seem to realize how much power they do wield.

Watching J.D. traverse a world of ever-changing cybernetics, which he somewhat despises as he’s trying to solve this complex case is interesting as a character study. Even when his new deputy convinces him to use more advanced tech, he still hates feeling the need to have to depend on it.

During the case J.D. travels all over Texas to the dairy factories, the more backwater side of the city, and back again to Dead Oak in the search for answers someone clearly doesn’t want to be answered. “Was this more than just a tragic accident?” “What does Big Dairy have to do with this farm?” and the classic: “Is the wife hiding something?”

Overall, I enjoyed this novel and solving the mystery along with J.D. I can’t wait to dive back into this universe and see what happens next with J.D. and friends. This novel is perfect for those looking for a new series to dive into as well as those looking for a good cyberpunk read.