My Review of – The Autobiography of Henry VIII, by Margaret George

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Wait, what?

That’s what you’re thinking. You’re confused. The Mad King wrote his own story? He has a autobiography? But it says it’s a novel by Margaret George. What the hell is going on? Calm down. It’s all very simple and interesting.

Margaret George brings King Henry VIII to life using recorded facts and wonderful storytelling. She put in years of research and it shows in this book. You are in his mind, feel every second of his life, see every second of it through his eyes.

The book is a roller coaster of emotions. You feel every possible feeling one could go through without imploding into a pile of dust or simply melting. At the end of it you feel as though you understand King Henry the VIII better. You can’t help but feel a little bad for him. He’s a product of his time. Religion and superstition warped him as much as anything else did. Mad yes, ignorant and gullible yes, but definitely a product of his time.  He did behave belligerently, and violently, but knowing what I knew before, and now after this story, I can’t help but think that he’d have been a different king if he wasn’t first raised to join the priesthood. Also the syphilis warped his brain. Both contributed rather forcefully to his behavior. The superstition about witches too played a part – well with Anne Boleyn at least. People really believed that crap back then, some still do unfortunately.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel far more sympathy for his wives then King Henry VIII himself. They had to suffer through him. I’m merely stating that I understand him better, and telling you that I think you will as well if you read/listen to this story. Of course you’d have to have a love for history and a special interest in the Tudors, other wise this book might very well bore you to absolute tears, or perhaps death.

5 out of 5

This is a remarkable book that I highly recommend.

 

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My Review of: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

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First the cover: Fascinating and intriguing. I like it.

Now for the story:

This is a wonderful premise, and a story so unique (to me at least) that I couldn’t wait to get into it.  This story starts strong, the reader being brought into the world at a smooth, steady pace. But for me that pace wasn’t kept. The engine blew and it sputtered to the point that I lost interest. So much happens in the story and it’s all so wonderful and new, but then (for me) it became a case of same ole same ole. It’s as though the story reached the mountain top far before it was supposed to.

I enjoyed the first person. I got a  thrill from the world created by Cline, I really did so I urge you to read the story for yourself. Maybe you’ll reach the  top of that mountain later than I do. I did buy the book, and even though I couldn’t finish it, I will one day. I got to get my moneys worth after all. Now, I know you’re thinking that I shouldn’t review the book if I don’t know how it ends. But you’re wrong and the reason being is that I don’t care how it ends. I reached the summit of my interest and I’m good. I’m comfortable.

2 out 5

Hell Divers: The Hell Divers Trilogy, Book 1

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First the cover:  I like it. It’s powerful, striking, everything you’d want from a cover.

Now for the story itself.

I stuck it out to end. I know, probably not the best way to start – but I nonetheless begin so. The story is a clever one. The setting is post-apocalyptic. Surviving on land or sea is impossible. Too much pollution, too much radiation. Neither of which is what you want to come across – obviously. Humans had taken to the air in these great balloons, but all isn’t great. They need certain items to stay afloat – literally. So it’s up to these special divers (see the title for their, well, title) to go and retrieve these needed items. Only danger lurks on the surface, and not only on the surface but in the air ships themselves. This creates dual sources of tension, intrigue and action.

So what’s the problem?

You know, I can’t really put my finger on it. The story is solid. The characters are quite well done. There aren’t any lagging moments. For some reason or another I, the deeper the story went, grew less interested. The ending promised fresh adventures and some interesting ones at that, so I’m going to give the second a shot. Hopefully it builds off the first in bigger and better ways. Will it? Who the hell knows. This is a weird book, in the sense that it was good but didn’t hold me as surefootedly as other stories have, yet I want to continue on.

Conflicted much?

I’d say so.

3 out 5

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Steelheart: The Reckoners, Book 1

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First the cover: There are two different versions for this book, neither of which I really care for at all. The second image, not shown above, is different only in that there is a man in the image as well as the punctured steel. Both are, quite honestly lazy.

Now for the story itself: A few years ago there was an event, one that for one reason or another (the origin and reason I’m sure will be explained as the series goes on) gives people ( not  everyone) superhuman abilities. They come to be known as epics. Long story short, one kills David’s dad (don’t worry, not a spoiler) and from that day on he’s dead set on revenge.

This is every bit the revenge story, but it’s so much more. It’s a story about overcoming loss, overcoming obstacles big and small, about finding ones self and ones purpose. It’s a story of determination. You can probably tell I really liked this story a lot. But in saying that I am going to knock it. This is YA, and because of that the darker avenues the author could have went down weren’t explored. Each character was nicely drawn-up but with less watering down their pain and struggles could have been more thoroughly explored. A lot of realness was missing because of this. If their pin and psychology could have been further explored it would have set the story in such a firm, frightening, complex foundation that it would have been nearly perfect. I say nearly because no story is ever perfect regardless of how much psychoanalysis one puts in it.

In saying that however,  the story still manages to be exciting. So you’re thinking, well then it didn’t need all you said it did. You’d be wrong. There’s a sense of something missing while you read this book. It doesn’t nag at you, but it doesn’t leave you be either. That sense of something missing is what I laid out above. Your brain is going to tell you that there is more to this, that it can all be deeper and more profound then it is – and you’d be right. The fact that the story is still really good despite that only serves to prove me right.

3 out 5

Sentinel Five – The redaction Chronicles by James Quinn

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Let’s begin with the cover, something of which I like to do. It’s really a very apt cover, as it keeps with the feel of the genre.

The story itself was one that I didn’t like as much. Now don’t get me wrong it wasn’t badly written, just not my preferred thriller. I’m more of a Splinter Cell kinda guy. Now if you’re into something grounded a bit more in what could really happen while also being a hint of action-movie-level exaggerations then grab this book. you’ll enjoy it. Because like I said it wasn’t badly written, quite the opposite actually.

Everything flows well. The characters are nicely crafted, not perfectly crafted but they certainly aren’t one dimensional.

Also, though this is the second book in the series it is a standalone novel. There will be the occasional reference you won’t get, but nothing monumental or earth-shattering. But if you’d like to read the first, well, first – then go for it.

3 out 5

Indie author Advert – Locke and Key, by Christie Stratos

 

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Bio:

Christie Stratos is an award-winning writer who holds a degree in English Literature. She is the author of Anatomy of a Darkened Heart and Locke and Keye, the first two books in the Dark Victoriana Collection. Christie has had short stories and poetry published in Ginosko Literary Journal, Andromedae Review, 99Fiction, and various anthologies. An avid reader of all genres and world literature, Christie reads everything from bestsellers to classics to indies.

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Locke and Keye Amazon link:

Amazon: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B073YPBHST

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Locke and Keye excerpt:

Matthew looked down at his interwoven fingers. “I wonder what Jude knows that we don’t,” he said.

John put the journal down and looked at Matthew. “I don’t want to know,” he said. “Being asked to follow someone? It seems a little…” John shook his head once and looked down at the journal again.

“Well it must be for a reason,” Matthew said. “Mr. Locke wouldn’t be part of anything underhanded, I’m sure.”

The corners of John’s mouth tightened. “I’m sure.”

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