These are reviews originally posted to Amazon as customer reviews. They're intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. (Apologies for any typos, bad grammar, or offensive language.) This isn't sponsored by Amazon or represent them in any way, although they do have a very nice site and I recommend checking it out for your next book purchase. Feel free to comment on the books if you've read them or tell me how much my reviews suck or whatever.
That is all.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


by Michael Offutt
(4/5 stars)

Slipstream starts off simply enough.  Jordan Pendragon lives in Salt Lake City.  He's a star hockey player on his high school team.  All the girls want him, but he's not all that interested in them.  Then he goes out with his sister and a couple of friends and there's an accident that lands Jordan in the hospital.  He sees a young man kill a fellow patient.  Later Jordan sees that young man again and after an altercation finds a strange bracelet.

While at a state fair with his sister and a couple of friends, Jordan comes under attack.  With the help of the young man who owned the bracelet, they escape only to find themselves in a parallel universe.  This parallel universe is similar to ours in some ways, but very different in others.  In this universe much of the world has been laid to waste.  A corrupt artificial intelligence known as the Shadow has taken over. What the Shadow fears more than anything is death, which necessitates it sucking the life out of people.

Jordan and his sister end up being rescued by some freedom fighters trying to defeat the Shadow by freeing another AI known as the Light.  To do that involves Jordan becoming a hockey star.  But even that is extremely dangerous in this world.

This plot has so many twists and turns that it would take far too long into going through all of them.  It would also reveal too much of the plot and we wouldn't want any "spoilers" right?  It is the most imaginative book of any genre I've read in quite a while.

The book would be even better if the publisher had hired a competent editor.  I've seen self-published books with fewer mistakes.  I don't know about you, but I find that distracting.  Maybe at some point they can put out a revised edition.

That is all.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Virgin Territory

Virgin Territory
By Patrick Dilloway (aka Grumpy Bulldog)
4/5 stars

Full disclosure: I wrote this book. But I hadn't read it in years. Then someone mentioned a scene from it and I realized I didn't really remember it too well, so I thought I'd go back and reread it. Not having read it in so long I think I'm almost as objective as a regular reader.

This is what I would consider a Nicholas Sparks-type scenario. Gary Sinclair is sad and lonely in the little town of Dagger Lake, Michigan. One cold October night he's patrolling the beach to pick up the litter left by the summer tourists and finds something far more important washed up on shore: a naked body! It turns out to be a young woman who is alive. There's just one problem: she has no memory of who she is or where she came from or how she ended up by the lake.

Gary takes her to his house and since he looks kind of like his old girlfriend Andrea, that's the name he gives her. At first Gary tries not to get too involved with Andrea, but finds he can't help himself. The more time he spends with her, the more he loves her. And with all the kindness and tenderness he's shown her, she loves him too.

Some stories would end there, but "Virgin Territory" goes a step further. Five years later we pick up with Andrea and Gary trying to make a life together. But Andrea's desire to have a family starts to drive a wedge between them. Can their love survive?

As a somewhat objective reader, I like the first part better, where Gary and Andrea are falling in love. There are a few things I think are a little rushed, that I could have drawn out a little more. The finished product is less than 60,000 words so it's not like the story was too long.

The second part gets a little darker than your standard Nicholas Sparks story. Then there's a surprise twist. Maybe you can see it coming or maybe you can't. I think it makes for a satisfying conclusion, but you might think differently.

Anyway, the story is less than a dollar--FREE if you have Amazon Prime--so I think I got my money's worth out of it and so should you if you're looking for a good love story.

That is all.