Author of The Master of Perceptions

Review of Dylap, by A.C. Salter — Fun and exciting!

Dylap by A.C. Salter My rating: 5 of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book. The premise involves a land of fairies with a complex social hierarchy living in a magically protected city. Our protagonist, a fairy who cannot fly, is rescued from the river Twine by a one-winged night watch captain. He then seeks his own future among these tree dwellers, while simultaneously trying to discover his forgotten past. Being different then the rest, he is nearly universally despised (or feared). He meets and befriends other outcasts, but despite proving himself on multiple occasions, he is still resented. When … Read More

The Duff, by Kodi Keplinger — Review

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger My rating: 4 of 5 stars This story touches on many aspects of complex young adult life, including teenage romance, alcoholism in the family, and most importantly, self perception. Bianca tells the story from the first person perspective, but she never describes her own appearance very well. For all we know, she is absolutely gorgeous, but she doesn’t see herself that way. She takes the viewpoint of the boy she despises, and feels that she is the DUFF. She spends the majority of the book coming to grips with other people’s … Read More

Review of Private, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Private by James Patterson My rating: 5 of 5 stars James Patterson does not disappoint with Private, the first in a new series featuring Jack Morgan. Jack owns the investigative firm Private, a multinational agency that specializes in discovering secrets for a price. Jack himself, an ex-Navy pilot, is haunted by secrets of his own past, and the novel starts from his first person point of view. Patterson develops several other key characters, including Morgan’s twin brother, the memory of his father, a love interest or two, and a series of employees, bad guys and clients that captivate the reader. … Read More

Turtles All The Way Down, by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green My rating: 2 of 5 stars This book, no matter how extremely well written, is not for me. I read fiction to escape from reality. Green pens a fine novel that expertly mirrors reality. His descriptions of the protagonist’s debilitating anxiety disorder captures much of what she must be feeling and transforms it into a written word. That’s no small feat. However, the main story line itself lacks substance, and I am disappointed by the way Green minimizes the plot in favor of character development. This book feels like a homework assignment. … Read More

The Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas My rating: 5 of 5 stars A connoisseur of young adult literature, you stumble onto your reading queue and realize that nothing in your “read” pile contains the author Sarah J. Maas. This needs to be rectified. Picking up the Throne of Glass and seeing the attractive teenage protagonist on the cover, your mind gives you the imagery of what to expect. It should start with a kick-ass female, who not only is physically skilled and attractive, but also highly intelligent. The setting appears to be bronze age, plus or minus magic, and … Read More

Dan Brown at Portsmouth, NH

Dan and Darin Brown in Portsmouth NH, after Dan’s talk about Origins, his new Robert Langdon novel based in Spain. I am now the proud owner of a first edition signed copy, plus he signed my DaVinci Code too. His father, Dick Brown, gave me all the rules of Pickleball, his new favorite sport. Dick finally conceded that I might be able to beat him at tennis, although he always made me run like a madman when we used to play doubles! Fun night!

Richard Phillips — Rho Agenda Series

The Meridian Ascent by Richard Phillips My rating: 5 of 5 stars I love Richard Phillips! The Meridian Ascent is the culmination of three trilogies, and it is imperative that you read the prior eight books before this one. The first series, the Rho Agenda Inception, consists of Once Dead, Dead Wrong, and Dead Shift. Philips uses these books to develop the character of Jack Gregory, including documenting his relationship to Anchanchu, and his initial exploits with later partner Janet Price. Some foreshadowing with regards to Anchanchu’s nature appears during the second book, where the true use of the Incan … Read More

Review of “First Year,” by Rachel E. Carter

First Year by Rachel E. Carter My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a very good series introduction. From the critical side, my first impression was that Rachel Carter broke one of the cardinal rules of naming lead characters–using one that could be hard to pronounce. “Ryiah” doesn’t flow from the tongue. Perhaps it is just me, but I still don’t know how to say it. The phrase “you guessed it” also made me cringe when it appeared outside a quotation, as I think she tried a bit too hard write like a 15 year old girl. I also … Read More

Three Minutes to Midnight, by AJ Tata

Three Minutes to Midnight by A.J. Tata Following up on a great first book, Tony Tata pens another strong action thriller where Jake Mahegan saves the day. The plot unfolded nicely, intertwining Mahegan’s revenge on the man who killed his mother with the domestic terrorist attack. The military jargon throughout reminds you that Tata is a general himself, and since the protagonist is a soldier, it works. My favorite character is Grace, a local whom Mahegan recruits into his cause. The only major drawback of the book was the question of motivation behind Maeve Cassidy’s need to continue drilling once … Read More

My favorite authors — Richard Phillips

If you like high tech science fiction with a young adult premise, check out The Second Ship, by Richard Phillips. I loved the entire Rho Agenda trilogy. I posted a review for the first book in the series on Goodreads: