Posts Tagged ‘book reviews’

Book Review: Incarnate by Lawrence Weill

Published by Kirsten on September 15th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

 Incarnate by Lawrence Weill

BlackWyrm Publishing, March 2013

ISBN: 978-1-61318-142-3

Available: Paperback

Lara Joyner is a wife and mother of three children. She is very religious. She sees signs all around her that lead her to believe that her son, Dale, is the second coming of Christ. He just doesn’t know it yet. In the midst of a storm, she leaves her her home, taking her two sons with her, in the hope that she can reveal Dale’s hidden potential to become the saviour of mankind by pressing him to perform miracles. As she discovers unlocking Dale’s ability to create miracles is not easy, Lara spirals out of control. Her beliefs and faith are put to the test repeatedly. Her money runs out and desperation sets in. She turns to writing bad checks, theft, and, ultimately, selling herself, to keep the dream alive. Meanwhile, her husband, Frank, frantic to reunite their family, pursues the trio cross country: a reunion that will take a miracle.

Incarnate was an okay read. It is a psychological journey into delusion vs. reason. These are also the main themes throughout and were revealed nicely. The characters had distinctive voices and were consistent. Weill’s depiction of Lara, the religious, sign-seeing mother, is powerful. The descriptions were good without being overly graphic. The religious aspects of this book were a bit heavy-handed for me. That being said, it made sense for the story and characters. I also found the pacing to be a bit slow at times. As a result, it took me longer to read this relatively short book (it is only 224 pages). The story wasn’t compelling for me, and as a result, finishing it was not a strong priority. The concept was really interesting, but the delivery just didn’t work well. I have not read any of this author’s work in the past.

Contains: Sexual Situations, Rape, Adult Language

Reviewed by Aaron Fletcher

Book Review: Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron

Published by Kirsten on September 9th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron

Viking Penguin, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0670786206

Available: Hardcover, Kindle edition, audiobook


I don’t read a lot of YA fiction, as I tend to enjoy a harder, darker horror in general, but I have enjoyed it from time to time, and the concept of Man Made Boy intrigued me.

It is indeed an interesting book filled with fun ideas. Man Made Boy is the story of Boy, the son of the Frankenstein monster and his Bride. Boy and his parents live in a New York City refuge for monsters; hidden in plain sight from the public as a part of a freak show, the monsters live in a labyrinth behind and underneath a theater in the city. I LOVED this concept. The set-up is beautifully done and creates a wonderful environment that is both gothic and surreal.

Boy is a teenager and this for sure is a road trip coming-of-age novel. Boy decides he wants to leave the show and live in the outside world, which is not the easiest thing to do when you are made up of re-animated body parts, but he gets out there and gets a job. As he travels, he meets other monsters, falls in love and has adventures. Where the story gets muddied is in a secondary plot about Boy’s love for hacking; he creates a villain named Vi, a sentient computer virus, in effect making Boy like Doctor Frankenstein.

The theme is not subtle, it is about responsibility. I thought the novel was fun overall and would be perfect for young teens. There is some strong language and suggestion of sexuality, entirely off camera. The book is targeted to ages 12 and up, and I think that is fair n terms of age-appropriateness. YA collections should have this book– kids looking for a light-hearted fantasy will enjoy it. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by David Agranoff

Book Review: Absalom’s Wake, Part Four by Nancy A. Collins

Published by Kirsten on August 29th, 2014 - in Uncategorized


Note: Absalom’s Wake is a six-part ebook serial. Check out these reviews of earlier parts of the story!

Absalom’s Wake, Part One: A Serial Adventure of Terror on the High Seas

Absalom’s Wake, Part Two: Terror on the Beach

Absalom’s Wake, Part Three: The Whale Rider


Absalom’s Wake Part Four:  Terror Comes Aboard  by Nancy A. Collins

Biting Dog Publications, 2013


Available:  ebook edition (Kindle, Nook)

Part Four of Absalom’s Wake continues the adventure with our hero, Jonah Padgett, being rescued by the island native, Koro, from the sea’s embrace.  At dinner, the captain learns that  King Jim, the most treacherous of all whales, was sighted three hundred miles southwest of Rapa Nui.  The captain sets course, and two days later the ship is in the area, and the hunt is on!  Two of the crew go missing with no explanation.  The mystery is short-lived, as the ship is attacked by Shark-men!  The savage Shark-men, of the Mako Kanaka tribe, take the crew to task.  Many of the crew members are killed, including Captain Solomon.  The crew retaliates by gunning down the vicious savages.  The final blow is dealt by Koro, who harpoons their fleeing leader, One Eye.  With Captain Solomon dead, what will happen to the hunt?

Ms. Collins’ tale continues to be just as strong as in the previous parts.  The tone is consistent, with the characters’ lives falling into a familiar routine.  Their voices are strong and remain distinctive.  The descriptions were vivid and the action sequences were gripping!  The mystery continues, and I was left wanting more, more, more! Recommended for adult audiences.

Reviewed by:  Aaron Fletcher