Monday, December 31, 2012

Legacy #1- Forgotten son A review

Legacy: Forgotten Son (Book 1)Legacy: Forgotten Son by Warren Murphy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Legacy- A Review- Book One- Forgotten Son
Legacy is a great new series by Warren Murphy and Gerard Welch featuring Remo Williams (The Destroyer) son and daughter. I vaguely remember his daughter Freya from many years ago, but his son, ‘Stone’ I have no recollection of. Be that as it may, ‘Forgotten Son’ is a novel about both offspring of the greatest master of Sinanju and their quest given to them by a man named Ben Maugaine, who is a former Mossad agent. Whether he knows it or not, Ben has been ‘hired’ by Smith, Remo’s superior in CURE to run a new offshoot of that organization. He is basically Stone and Freya’s handler.
Stone is an Ex-Seal team member who has finally started his Sinanju training, though I question how serious he is about it, since he has not given up smoking. Freya on the other hand is dead serious about it and only fifteen years of age. He grandfather, Remo’s father, Bill ‘Sunny Joe’ Roam, has trained her since Remo left her with him some time ago. She is much further along with her training then Stone is and shows it throughout the novel. Also, much of the story takes place on the Sinanju Indian reservation.
This book has all of the biting political commentary that I love about the Destroyer books, as well as the fantastic action. Remo and Chiun DO appear, but only as background characters and never actually have speaking parts within this story. It’s all about Stone and Freya.
Even more interesting is the debut of a new enemy, a group claiming to be centuries old and actually to be behind the workings of everything in the world, all aiming the world towards their own goals. A sort of ‘super Illuminati’, who claim that they actually controlled that group as well. They make for an exceptional opponent that I hope will be around for a while.
Everything worked here, especially considering what this book is, which is an origin story for an all new hero and heroine. I’m actually looking forward to seeing Stone’s training over time in this series.
Bill Roam was a forgotten character for me and it was nice to see him again with such a starring role in this series.
All in all this series is off to an excellent start and it gives me something else to read. The Destroyer series will always be my number one choice, but this new series is an absolutely welcome addition. If only I could remember who Stone’s mother was, or when he was introduced before this, that’s the only issue I had with this story.

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The Destroyer # 150, The End of the World

The Destroyer The End of the worldThe Destroyer The End of the world by Warren Murphy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of The Destroyer #150- The End of the World
The End of the World is the first new full length Destroyer novel in about four years. I’ve been reading and enjoying the novella’s that have come out recently, but a full length book was needed by me and I assume the rest of the Destroyer fanatics out there. I’ve read just about every one of the series and know the characters well.
‘The End of the world’ is an old time Destroyer novel about the just passed Mayan apocalypse that was supposed to happen about two weeks past, so this book was timely. But for some reason I had the feeling this book happened further back in The Destroyers history then currently. It seemed almost ‘Old School’ in its telling.
The story centers on some events that are pointing the entire world towards oblivion. First a US military base’s missiles take off on their own and turn back to where they came from and annihilate the base itself. Then similar disasters happen in China and the Mid-East as well. Remo and Chiun are put on the case and end up in New Mexico where the Air force base whose missiles went off is located.
Soon Remo is following a trail that leads to an old age home and its occupants who are up to more than they seem at first glance. Then he runs into the long lost love of his life along the way which throws his head into a spin.
Remo and Chiun end up facing an enemy that truly does harken back to the old days of the Destroyer novels, back when they used to face mythological Gods, enemies and forces beyond men’s ken. That is truly what they face here, and this time it’s for the fate of the entire world.
I’m a fan of this series, there’s no doubt about it. It’s a great series of novels, that for the most part, are incredibly well written. To say I enjoyed this one would be an understatement. While I always like to see the final confrontation come down to Remo and whoever they are facing this time around it was Chiun’s turn to shine once again. Like I said earlier, this one has an old time feel to it. That to me was the only part of the novel that was a minus for me.
All in all though this was a great read, and in the correct size for Destroyer novels, basically pulp size. It’s a fast read, or maybe I just enjoyed it so much that it seemed that way. All in all it was another winning Destroyer novel, and I highly recommend it. If you are a fan of the series, this is a ‘Must Read’.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Samaritan- A Review

SamaritanSamaritan by Bobby Nash
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Samaritan- A review
Samaritan by Bobby Nash is a novella set in the future where man is exploring space aboard prospector ships. The Aquarius is one such ship. The Aquarius has been out in deep space for eight long years and is just now returning to Earth. In all that time they have not encountered another being of any species. That is about to change.
When the ship comes upon a seeming graveyard of spaceships and spaceship parts the crew is understandably curious and excited. For the first time they have evidence of life on other worlds. Sadly, as they are about to find out, it’s better off not answering certain questions, at least not at this time.
This is a VERY well written space adventure, and within its forty plus pages an entire story is told, and nothing is left wanting. I really liked this one a lot, even more than I expected too. It held my interest and the pace which started out slow built to a frenetic crescendo at the tales end. This is as much a horror story as it is Sci-fi, in the vein of ‘Alien’.

But therein lies the problem with this tale, to me at least. The end, while excellently and professionally written, felt a little too expected for me. The big surprise was pretty much what I expected to happen.
But do NOT let that deter you from reading this story. It honestly is one of the best things I’ve read in a long time. There’s very little sci-fi out there that I like. Most of it reads like bad Star Trek or Star Wars. Or it strives far too hard to be neither. This just read like a good sci-fi story. I’ve been lucky recently and read three good sci-fi stories in a row, including this one. You can’t go wrong here. Bobby’s characters are real and you don’t like all of them, which to me is the sign of a good writer, and a good story.
Give Samaritan a whirl. It’s a short but very engrossing story. Far better than most novella’s I’ve read recently.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Blackthorn Thunder on Mars- A Review

Blackthorn: Thunder on Mars Blackthorn: Thunder on Mars by Van Allen Plexico
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blackthorn- A Review

“Blackthorn- Thunder on Mars”, by Van Plexico and friends is a rather unique anthology title. Mr. Plexico created the character and invited several friends (Bobby Nash, Mark Bousquet,James Palmer, Sean Taylor, Joe Crowe, I.A. Watson, Danny Wall, and Mark Beaulieu) to come along and play by writing a chapter each in the first novel starring the somewhat familiar hero.
Why is Blackthorn familiar? He is somewhat of an homage to an early 80’s cartoon character named ‘Thundarr the barbarian’ as well as Edgar Rice Burroughs ‘John Carter of Mars’. You will see the resemblance to both properties when you begin to read Blackthorn’s adventures and in fact Van admits to having a soft spot for both characters in his introduction.
But that being the case and all things being equal this is definitely its own book, character and adventure, and burgeoning mythos, as you will find out.
All the stories in this volume tell different tales that add to the adventure as a whole, but each one IS a self-contained story. All were excellently written and were spread out not only for some distance across the terraformed Martian landscape, but also across more than a few months.
The three main characters are John Blackthorn, Princess Aria and Oglok the Mock-man. They are on a mission to overthrow control of the red planet from four powerful beings who call themselves ‘sorcerers’ (Though I have a sneaking suspicion it’s all done with science and mirrors.) John Blackthorn himself is a time displaced US Soldier, a General actually, who finds himself suddenly far in the future and in a new body he does not know or remember. In other words the face in the mirror is not his. Another problem he has is that all his memories of his former life on Earth are fading, and quickly enough that he knows they will still all soon be gone and that he cannot do anything about it.
All of these problems and more weigh in on Blackthorn and crew while they are moving from town to town battling almost inconceivable evils in their journey across the red planet.
All in all this is a fun read. It takes place on a world that is totally unrecognizable in a dystopian future. It is an intriguing read to be sure.
Of course, if I wanted to nitpick I could say the main characters bear too much of a resemblance to the ‘Thundarr the Barbarian’ characters and that the cover artwork was below a level I normally expect from those associated with this novel, but looking at it, I do have to concede that it is “Kirby-esque” in a rather fitting way, especially since the King himself was so heavily involved in Thundarr.
All in all it was a rather enjoyable read, and I have nothing but the highest praise for it. It’s one of those novels you can sit back and forget about the world outside your door by becoming immersed in the book in your hands.
Highly recommended- Five Stars.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three against the stars- A review

Three against the starsThree against the stars by Joe Bonadonna
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Three Against the Stars- A Review
Three against the stars is the newest work from Joe Bonandonna. This time Joe tackles the far flung future and not the past. Three takes place in a universe where man has ascended to a state of interstellar faster than light travel and has alliances with many other races.
Our story centers on four space marines, sort of the three musketeers, with the fourth member being a cat man from the world our team finds themselves stationed on. O’hara a big brogue speaking Irishman is the team’s defacto leader, Akira is a cigar chomping female, Cortez is the dashing, somewhat empty headed ladies’ man and Maki is the cat man, and corps medic.
Our story takes place in several places at once including deep space far from our heroes. There is much mystery afoot in this universe. There are several different factions amping up their agenda’s in this story, and only some of them play out by books end, so I can only assume there will be another volume coming sometime in the future.
Our team faces everything from bar fights to infiltrating enemy strong holds, as well as running about in ancient dilapidated starships. The marines may be the peacekeepers of the universe but they are far from the best supplied.
The main enemy in this book is the Drakonians. A race of lizard-men who share a fragile peace agreement with Earth and its allies. This is a book about not only the three space-marines but also about that peace agreement, and how fragile it really is.
There is civil war brewing amongst the cat people and has been for a very long time it seems, and it does not take much for that to boil over, leaving the three marines right in the midst of things.
All in all I liked this story. It was interesting and fun. It took place in space in the far future and that’s one of my favorite genres. But that’s not to say it didn’t have a few problems, minor at worst, but enough to be annoying tome at least.
There seemed to me at least to be too many characters introduced just to be killed, and there were far too many characters in general to keep track of. At one point I was asking myself ‘Who’s this now?”
Also, and I know this is a nitpick on my part, but with a name like “Three against the Stars.” I really expected it to be the three of them (Or four counting their cat man buddy) for an extended period of time (Like most of the book) battling an enemy on some planet hopping quest or perhaps being hunted as fugitives by a corrupt gov’t or something similar. It was very little of them being together and in the center of the action. Maybe the last fifth of the book.
Don’t get me wrong I really liked the story, and very much enjoyed reading this adventure, but at times I felt it was a bit convoluted. The stories resolution left me a little empty as well, beyond that I’m not going to say much because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else reading it, and it is WELL worth reading.
In conclusion, if you enjoy space adventures with grand schemes and larger than life characters then pick up a copy, sit back and enjoy. It’s a very good story with a few minor, easily overlooked flaws that most will not notice. Four out of five stars.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Queen of Crime TV- A Review

The Queen of Crime TVThe Queen of Crime TV by Elizabeth Lardaro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Queen of Crime TV-A Review
Have you ever heard the term used “Going outside my comfort zone”? Well I just finished doing that. My normal reading material is always action/adventure/sci-fi/pulp/horror etc. Guy stuff. Stuff I enjoy beyond a shadow of a doubt and is very much in my “Comfort Zone”.
I read a book in the last few days entitled “The Queen of Crime TV” by Elizabeth Lardaro. It’s her first full novel and one she admits in the forward of the book has been sitting around waiting for her to get published for the last few years.
Now to be perfectly blunt about this, this is NOT my type of book. To be even more non-PC (I am NOT a PC person at all, I say what I mean and mean what I say.) it’s a girls book. It is filled with romance and office politics as well as a twenty five year old girl’s neurotic thought process that, being a man, is one of the things that drive men utterly insane.
But all that being said, this was a really good book. I was actually very surprised how much I enjoyed it. Elizabeth’s main character, ‘Dara’ held my attention completely and her story was very interesting.
Obviously Elizabeth was writing about something she was passionate about, as well as had great knowledge of. Dara is a law student who takes a semester off to try a job at a TV crime network that reports on celebrities who go on trial. She’s a smart girl who does not waste time questioning things when presented with opportunities. Her instincts are good and she thinks fast on her feet. Most importantly she knows the difference between right and wrong. She may actually forget this for a while, but remembers it with shocking abruptness before the end of this novel.
All this praise aside, this is not to say the book does not have its small issues. But they are all editorially related. None of it takes away from the story itself. Elizabeth (Breaking the fourth wall here) you should consider an editor next time for little things that escape notice from an author’s perspective. (Words missing, sentences abruptly chopped off without warning, some punctuation faults, etc.)
But those very minor issues aside, Liz, you wrote a VERY good book. I really enjoyed it, and for a guy like me who is used to reading about warriors savagely cutting their enemies heads off, or disintegrating them with a lazer beam, this was actually extremely enjoyable.
GREAT job Elizabeth! You should be very proud of this one!

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fortune's Pawn- A review

Fortune's PawnFortune's Pawn by Nancy A. Hansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fortune’s Pawn- A Review

First let me start off by saying I used to be a huge fantasy fan, I read all the ‘Lord of the Rings’ books as well as the Margaret Weiss-Tracy Hickman “Dragonlance” books and many others too numerous to mention or remember at this point. I even recently wrote a modern day fantasy novel Called “Redemption of the Sorcerer” which I pulled from its publisher and will be re-releasing shortly with a much less inept publisher.
But all of that is an aside at best. We’re here to talk about Nancy Hansen’s fantasy Novel, ‘Fortune’s Pawn’.
Like most fantasy novels this one takes place in a world all its own, a world of Elves and Humans and Faeries and Dwarves. It’s a world built where Humans and Elves are fighting over the same lands and distrusting as well as outright hating the other race with no reason, or understanding why. In the midst of it all is a human wizard named ‘Kendahl’ (I couldn’t help but think Nancy was naming him ‘Ken Doll’ in a tongue in cheek nod to a childhood toy.) is trying to bring about something momentous, a birth between two species. The Human and the Elven which will grant this world a savior against the encroaching dark enemy. The other protagonists are ‘Callie’ a young human/dwarf girl who is the key to all of this and ‘Levanti’, the elf who will be destined to be her suitor. There are many other minor characters throughout but these are the important ones.
Throughout this tome there are machinations put into place by both the light and the dark forces to achieve that side’s victory, though one problem I have with all of this is that we are not told exactly what is at stake for either side. It is all very shadowy. We know the dark is the evil in all of this so they should not win, but what is the significance of the pre-destined child? Will she gather all the races together? That is what I have to assume at least as, unless I missed it, we are not told as of yet.
All of that aside though ‘Fortune’s Pawn’ is an intriguing, well written, well thought out fantasy novel that has something very special going for it. Remember when I said earlier that I used to read all manner of fantasy novels back in the day? The reason I stopped was that they kept becoming longer and longer, with more and more multiple volumes coming out. Hey I’m all for telling a story, but I don’t need a dozen six hundred page books to do so. That being said, ‘Fortune’s Pawn’ was pleasantly short enough to make it interesting and to the point. The characterizations were flawless and intriguing, which served to set up the longer tale for future volumes (Yes, this is a multi-book arc, but I’m not concerned as I would be with ‘Wheel of time’ or ‘Harry Potter’ and its ilk.)
Nancy crafted a very nice story and world here which should prove interesting as the subsequent volumes come out. The page count was exactly where it should be, which was low enough to get through the story in a few days and high enough to make one never lose interest in the novel and to keep us intrigued enough to want more. Which I know I do.
I’m going to give ‘Fortunes Pawn’ a 5 star review in that I could really find nothing wrong with it to complain about. The one small complaint I had, which was chronicled above is minor and will be dealt with in the next volume which incidentally just came out.
If you enjoy lush fantasy, then this one is for you.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Pro-Se Presents #15

Pro Se Presents #15 Pro Se Presents is an anthology title put out monthly by Pro Se productions. Issue # 15 has 5 stories within its pages, the first being ‘Doc Panic’ By David White. Doc Panic is your typical noir-ish crime fighter set in the late 1930’s. What is not typical about Doc Panic is that he comes from a family of villains and cultists. I found this to be an entertaining story with a good, if flawed lead character and several interesting supporting cast mates. The villain was your usual larger than life, over the top bad guy, but he was interesting. There was a segment of Doc Panic that I found to be a little too much, that had to do with killing a sacrifice and some graphic cannibalism. That was my only problem with the story though. All in all it was a good read and the longest one of the issue. I’d say 4 out of 5 stars Next up was a story called ‘Back in Black’ by Brad Mengel. This was a modern day story about a couple of costumed crime fighters with a twist. The story circled around a young man who had become crippled while fighting crime and subsequently lost his memory of his girlfriend as well as what really happened to him that caused the memory loss. This was a nice story all in all and left you with a cliffhanger of an ending. Though truthfully the manner in which the story was told left me a little dry. We were told of the interactions between the people in the story rather then reading their own wordplay between them. There was very little dialogue, which I found a bit irritating. All in all not a bad story, but to me at least, it could have been better. 3 out of 5 stars. Next up is ‘Lieutenant Picard and the Holy Grail’ by Aaron Smith. This to me was one of the very pleasant surprises in this issue. For one it takes place very close to where I live, on Long Island, so I knew of all the places Aaron mentions while speaking of the Nassau Coliseum and other NY area landmarks. This was a very interesting story about the theft of the Stanley Cup Trophy from the Coliseum in a very well thought out caper, that also ended up involving a helicopter chase of a small cruise ship out in the atlantic ocean. This was a very pleasant surprise. I liked this one a lot 5 out of 5 stars. Next is ‘Requiem for the cold dark cookie of the corporate sales department’ by Adam Lance Garcia. This gem, set in the late 1980’s was one of my favorites in this issue, as office politics come to a head while several competitors vie for one office promotion, and someone in the running is trying to move the odds in his favor, any way he or she can, including murder! A very entertaining read for me, written in a fun way. 5 out of 5 stars. The last tale in this tome is called ‘The stolen necklace’ by A.M Poulson. This one was different then all the rest. I don’t want to give anything away but the protagonist in this tale was my favorite of the issue. This was the hidden gem of the issue. It was probably the shortest story in the volume, but it definitely brought to mind the old axiom ‘Good things come in small packages’ It of course, involves a necklace that is stolen at a party during a minor blackout, or power loss. The likely perpetrators are discovered and beaten by the stories rather hungry hero. All in all this was the issues winner to me. 5 out of 5 stars. So there you have it, this month’s review of Pro Se Presents #15. Definitely a fun read with something for everyone, from classic noir, to modern day mystery and crime fighting, as well as a few off kilter stories that bring a smile to the face. All in all I’d have to say a good 4 ½ out of 5 stars for the whole shebang!
Hawk, Hand of the machineHawk, Hand of the machine by Van Allen Plexico
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hawk, hand of the machine
Hawk is a sci-fi novel set in the far distant future, and by far distant I mean many thousands of years in the future, and involves beings known as ‘Hands’ that are actually cloned and created warriors who are programmed with different abilities before they are popped fully grown from their birth pods. When Hawk is born, or re-born which is more the case, he is created without his full set of memories which were supposed to be implanted in him at ‘birth’, but were damaged because his birthing process was rushed.
Hawk was born into a war zone of sorts aboard a space station that was under attack by strange, insectoid beings, who are the primary enemy of the ‘Adversary’, as Hawk would later find out. Thus begins an epic space adventure featuring different heroes known as ‘Hands’.
The novel takes off quickly and maintains an even pace as Hawk, at first at least, is on an out of control roller coaster ride of sorts. He truly has no conception what is happening to him as his implanted memories are damaged and his sentient space ship is holding back information from him. Only when he meets another hand, ‘Falcon’, does he begin to understand what is going on in the universe around him. Eventually he and his fellow ‘Hands’, some real, some imposters, confront their deadly enemy in a final battle that still leaves many questions unanswered.
It’s been several years since I read any good sci-fi. This filled that niche. It was very good, very enjoyable. It held my attention, and I read through it in a few days. Van Plexico did a very nice job on this one, creating a galaxy that has fallen into a state of disrepair, as the enemies that drove it to the brink of destruction are now swarming at its gates once again.
All in all I have to give this story five stars. It was an excellent space adventure/mystery with a decent amount of action thrown in. Plus the cover is cool. Highly recommended, especially if you are a sci-fi fan.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012


AlmuricAlmuric by Robert E. Howard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book surprised me. Being a huge 'Conan' fan I wanted to try something else written by Robert E. Howard, and was recommended by a friend to read "Almuric" The story takes place on a world many light years from earth. The protaganist is transported there and immediately does battle with an alien who, for the first time in Esau Cairn's life is more then a match for him in strength. He still defeats the man (Who seems more like a hairy ape then a true human) Thus begins Esau's life upon Almuric. The book has much in common with Edgar Rice Burroughs 'John Carter' series of which I am also a fan. This book held my interest completely. I did not put it down for very long. It was an excellent story about a man who conquers a world and makes it his own. Of course there is a climactic battle that ties up all the loose ends and everyone lives happily ever after, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's a great story and its highly recommended. I REALLY liked this one. Go buy it and read it! If you like sci-fi action and adventure you will love this book!

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Woodland King

King of the WoodKing of the Wood by John Maddox Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

King of the Wood is a story about a warrior who is banned from his tribe of Norseman living in America for killing his half brother. He begins an arduous journey across the land, first meeting and becoming linked to a witch/priestess then eventually escaping from her and heading south. Along the way he has many high adventures including getting lost at sea, becoming part of the Aztec empire, journeying north from there where he becomes embroiled in Monguls and ends up conquering the aztecs, and stopping their horrendous ritual slaughters. The book is very interesting, though I was not a fan of the ending it was still a great read. I highly recommend it, though there are points of this book that become a bit too graphic in the storytelling. As much as I enjoyed this book, I enjoyed John Maddoc Roberts 'Conan' books a good deal more. But this should be read if you are a fan of this type of story, it is a very good book, enjoy,.

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Book Review! Dillon and the voice of Odin

Dillon and the Voice of OdinDillon and the Voice of Odin by Derrick L. Ferguson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dillon and the Voice of Odin
I recently read Derrick Ferguson’s first ‘Dillon’ novel. For those who have not sampled them as of yet, ‘Dillon’ is a modern day pulp series featuring an adventurer who is simply known as ‘Dillon’. Whether it is his first or last name, no one is certain.
Dillon is a globe-trotting rogue who, in one of his ‘jobs’, searches for objects that are lost. Basically he’s an adventurer for hire, and finder of lost objects. The opening scene of the book becomes quiet explosive after a short while, and lends to some foreshadowing for later on. The story is set at an enjoyable pace and I have to admit, the mystery of it all as well as the larger then life villains piqued my interest.
The best way to describe this is as an homage to ‘60’s James Bond with some Indiana Jones thrown into the mix. I started reading it with a little bit of trepidation, as I was not sure what to expect. But what I received was actually quiet enjoyable. There was action, intrigue, a sprinkling of romance, high powered and over the top villains on several levels.
I honestly can’t say there was anything I didn’t like about this one. Even what little we know about Dillon’s backstory was intriguing.
This volume is actually the first in a series and there are several more volumes out there as of now. I’ll be picking them up as time goes on.
So what’s my verdict? I have to say 5 stars, I really enjoyed this book. Like I said, James Bond-ish in a 60’s way (Goldfinger and Thunderball are called to mind) An ‘On the run’ type of story with the protagonists globetrotting in search of the big bad. It’s a good ride. Give it a spin and see what you think.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monster AcesMonster Aces by Jim Beard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Things that go bump in the night.
Monster Aces, a new book by four of the best and most well-known authors in New Pulp is a just released book of tales concerning an oft forgotten or downplayed area of pulp fiction, Monsters. Creatures that frighten us with their unknown powers and lack of humanity. Things that are out of the norm and seemingly only of nightmares that play out behind closed eyelids. Horrifying beings that no sane man would ever want to encounter let alone seek out or hunt.
And yet that is exactly what the Monster Aces do. They hunt out and seek to destroy those things that go bump in the night. The Monster Aces are a team of four people with a fifth unofficial member (Sixth if you count the pilot of their boat, who never sees action.) The mysterious grey haired man known only as The Cap’n is their leader. Digger is their strong man and hand to hand fighter as well as stealth expert, or commando. Gats is a weapons master and marksman, always armed with more then a few guns, a steady hand and perfect eye. Joker rounds out the main team. He’s the smooth talker. The one who soothes the crowds nerves as well as gets the ladies notice wherever he goes. He is the group’s mouthpiece or public affairs officer. He deals with the aspects of their missions others can’t. The last member of the team is an unofficial one. Her name is Trill. She’s a small, pretty girl with certain psychic abilities that are not clearly determined, but her usefulness is always welcome, even begrudgingly so as it is most of the time, by The Cap’n.
The Monster Aces travel the globe in search of Monsters that seek to destroy mankind for whatever reasons, be they hunger for human flesh, or the simple reason to do evil for its own sake.
Within this tome you will find five stories featuring the Monster Aces facing off against different creatures. All horrifying in one way or another. Jim Beard, (Also known as the author of ‘Sgt. Janus’, and ‘Captain Action’) the series creator has two stories within this volume, the first one and the last. There is also one story each by Barry Reese (‘The Rook’, ‘Lazarus Grey’) , Van Allen Plexico (‘Hawk’, ‘The Sentinels’) and Ron Fortier (‘Captain Hazard’, ‘The Pulptress’, ‘Brother Bones’ etc.) each lend their unique voices to the Monster Aces collection with tales of things that go bump in the night.
Each tale is well crafted and draws you into the almost mythical world of the late 1930’s where each story takes place. Each story has its own flavor, its own unique account of what goes on in the monster hunters lives. It’s hard to pick a favorite as all are engrossing and, as you would expect with a word like “Monster” in its name, fun. But for me the last two stories stood out as ‘true’ monster tales and were to me at least the most memorable. The last simply because it featured two very familiar monsters in a never before seen situation that brought a smile to my face while reading it.
That being said though, there are no clunkers in this volume. Each tale has more then enough fun factor within its pages to lock the reader in for the full ride. It is an excellent book focused on a different genre then most of New Pulp usually is. The concept alone makes giving this a read more then worthwhile.
Special mention to Ron Fortier’s “The Ghoul” story for the use of a Brough Superior Motorcycle as Trill’s mode of transportation. Being a motorcycle enthusiast and instructor myself I got a big kick out of that scene.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Doc Savage and the Fortress of Solitude!

Fortress of Solitude (Doc Savage, #23)Fortress of Solitude by Kenneth Robeson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Doc Savage and the Fortress of Solitude

Wherein Doc and crew face off against the most evil man in the world, John Sunlight. Taking place mostly in the arctic circle, the novel introduces the man who would be Doc’s only nemesis who was practically his equal, though in this novel that is never put to the test as the two men never meet in battle. It’s a battle of wits with two nations futures in the balance as the evil John Sunlight unleashes the horrific devices Doc has sequestered away in his hidden (Insert Drumroll here) FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE!
This was one of the classic Doc Savage stories from the 30’s which so easily translates to today with Doc’s amazing technologies envisioned so many years before their time. As always Doc has his right hand men with him, including Monk and Ham as well as Long Tom.
The cast of villains is just as colorful as the heroes in this tome as we meet the two amazonion sisters Giantia and Titania as well as their pixieish and beautiful sister, Fifi.
All in all it was a thrilling adventure that actually pushed Doc in directions he never had to go to before, including looking for threats emanating from within his own house as it were.
While not one of the best Doc novels it was still very, very good and highly recommended.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book review! Doc Savage : The Forgotten Realm

Doc Savage and the Forgotten Realm
I’ve been reading the new Doc Savage Novels by Will Murray for the past few months. This one, ‘The Forgotten Realm’ is actually one that was released in the early ‘90’s and now has been re-released. This is a rousing, fairly fast paced adventure that really held my attention. Doc, Monk, Ham and Johnny globe trot to England and then the heart of Africa itself, where the team has to fight three lions and a gorilla in a coliseum type battle. This to me was the high point of the novel with Doc snapping a lions neck bare handed- Take THAT Tarzan!
This book has it all, an excellent mystery, as well as a good amount of action and intriguing villains. Will is obviously a fan of Monk as he is in the forefront in all the new Doc Savage novels I have read, this one particularly. One of the high points was Monk battling a maddened bull ape in the aforementioned arena. It was a very satisfying Doc Savage story; in fact I have to say it was the absolute best of the Will Murray written novels I have read. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough. It was a pleasure to read and I was sad to see it end.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review! Doc Savage- Death's Dark Domain!

Review of Doc Savage: Deaths Dark Domain


            I have always been a HUGE Doc Savage fan. When I recently discovered that Will Murray was writing new editions to the literally legendary series of books I began buying them. The new entry is called ‘Death’s Dark Domain’.

            DDD takes place in Eastern Europe in a disputed borderland between two countries. The story is filled with enough menace and supposed monsters to fill an old Universal movie. There’s lots of mystery here, as well as a few surprising moments. I don’t like giving too much away in reviews, but I will say we get to see Doc’s prodigious strength on display a few times as well as his amazing agility and his incredible intelligence. Will has Doc and his friend’s personalities down pat, and from the get go you feel like you’re reading a real Doc Savage story, and not fan fic or something akin to it.

            That is not to say the story does not have its problems. To me, Doc Savage should never be surprised by anything, no matter what it is, yet he was surprised by at least three occurrences in this book. That detracted a little from the story for me. Plus there was an anti-gun message within that just struck me as very wrong. I don’t see Doc Savage as ever believing that someone would get his own gun away from him and use it against him. Sorry that’s too much of a stretch.

            Beyond those issues though, this was a HIGHLY entertaining book. I read though it very quickly, basically finishing it in about a day. I sat for long hours reading it and enjoying just about every part of it. It was a good, classic style Doc story, as long as you are okay overlooking a few faults.

            There was one other issue I had with it and that was the lack of action. At the end we got to see some action scenes, but much of the book was the Doc Crew flying here, or flying there, watching a giant bat fly here or there. To me, a character like Doc has to have a physical antagonist. He has to have someone who can push him to the physical limit. Whether it is a man or a polar bear. Having Doc apply Chiropractic nerve pinches is interesting once, but not three to four times throughout the book. Doc Savage needs to hit someone, every book. He needs to fight someone bigger then him who is supposedly stronger then him, but turns out not to be to his own surprise, or it has to be an inhuman foe who is more powerful, but Doc defeats anyway through the fruits of his rigorous (Mental and physical) training.

            All in all it is a very good read. I give it four out of five stars. Even with the minor faults I saw Will Murray does an excellent job with Doc Savage and I can’t wait to read his next one.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Skyfall- A Review.

Skyfall- The new Bond film- Beware Spoilers remain within- I went to see Skyfall last night and came away with a very mixed reaction. While I liked the story and can actually remember it unlike the ridiculously terrible 'Quantum of solace' I still feel this guy (Daniel Craig) is a terrible Bond. Here are the reasons why: Bond is always supposed to be suave and debonair, Craig is neither. He is gruff and surly, walking around this film with a stubble for half the movie. Sorry that's not Bond. While he makes a good tough guy, Bond is never portrayed as a tough guy. He's quietly deadly. Craig is more of a barroom brawler type after he's drunk. Also and this is a big one, where's the subtle humor Pierce and Connery did so well? Not the over the top stuff like Moore did, but the subtle wit the great Bonds used so effectively. Craig is just so boring compared to them. He plays one emotion throughout. It's like he has no acting skill. He can only play reclusive and angry, and nothing more.
That aside, the writers here seemed to want to distance themselves from what has come before ,which is foolishness. They outright say (In the voice of Boy-Q) that they 'don't do exploding pens anymore.' I'm sorry, Bond films are known for the amazing gadgets and that's what the fans want. These are part of the allure, these are things we want to see. They don't want a 'Radio' (*You'll have to see it to understand what I meant there.)
The destruction of the Aston Martin. Really? That HAD to be done? To me that was yet more distancing themselves from the real Bond we all know and love.
The villain? Javier Barden was the mirror image of Bond, but the real Bond. He was suave and debonair, but now twisted and evil. Again he dies at the end , which he should have, leaving Bond the "Last Rat standing" They also did something I've been wanting for years and that was ridding us of that horrible 'M', Judy Dench. I was happy to see her go at stories end. Ralph Fienes will be a good replacement.
All in all an okay Bond flick with many faults. I like where the story went, how it was more personal then other Bond flicks, but that being said the best Bond flicks are the ones where he saves the world. This was more of a transitional flick. It was okay.
I still wish they would have chosen Clive Owen for the role and not Craig.
I'd have to say 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Free Help!

Hi everyone. Just dropping a quick note to let you all know my book "Help! They're all out to get me, the motorcyclists guide to surviving the everyday world." will be available for free in the kindle store on Monday, October 8th in honor of Columbus day!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Goodbye to an old friend

I'm kind of bummed right now. Since 2004 I've played a MMO called "City of Heroes" I just got a notice today that the game is going to be shut down permanently before the end of the year. I haven't played it much in the last 2 years or so as my interest waned, but once in a while I'd still fire it up look for some old friends I used to team with and and play for an hour or two. Back in the day I lived on this thing. There was many a night I played till 2 or 4 in the morning. It kind of bothers me because I had fun with this for many years. Like I said I haven't really kept up with it much , but I did keep my account current for those days I wanted to go on and play for a while RIP COH, you will be missed.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Taking the Bull by the horns...

So I decided to be a little proactive with my books that are out there. I personally felt the publisher was asking too much and it was hurting me sales-wise. So I decided to open an amazon store and sell them myself. I also set up "Help!" as a kindle book for the first time, for the low, low price of $2.99, which is astonishingly low for so much information. 'Redemption of the Sorcerer' is available for $19.99 now on Amazons site fulfilled by me. When you go to the page for Redemption you'll see below the heading available for $19.99 in new condition. Click on that and then you'll see my name listed. I'll even autograph all books bought this way. It's a win win situation!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Infernal BuddhaThe Infernal Buddha by Kenneth Robeson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's been many years since I read a Doc Savage book. I had read all the original series by the legendary Lester Dent back in my teens. Now there are new additions to the series by Will Murray. I just finished reading WIll's newest Doc Savage tale, "The Infernal Buddha" I found it to be great. It fell right in line with my recollections of Doc. The book was written as if it was Kenneth Robeson(Dent's pen name) himself writing it from the 1930's. The Infernal Buddha itself was an imaginative adversarial device. The setting of the book (Somewhere between China/Japan) led to the tension of the story, but I much prefer Doc's Adventures in America or Europe myself. The one point about the book that bothered me was Doc losing his temper at the end and kicking the Buddha. I don't remember Doc ever losing his temper, no matter how frustrated he was. That aside, I liked this book a lot. It was a great read that brought me back to my youthful enjoyment of the greatest pulp hero there has ever been, The Legendary Doc Savage!

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Monday, August 27, 2012

So what's new? Or what do you do for a follow up to Redemption of the Sorcerer?

Well I've been working steadily on a new novel the past few months and am nearing the end. As in I should be done with it this week. Then of course will be the editing phase. And soon you will have something new from me called 'Torahg the Warrior: Sword of Vengeance.' It's a pure sword and sorcery novel. Lots of action and adventure. Monsters demons, sorcerers, etc.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


My new book, Redemption of the Sorcerer is now available as a Kindle E book for only $9.95 !!! For those of you who have waited for the e reader edition, here;s your chance to get one! Go to to purchae 'Redemption' as an ebook! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Conan and the Amazon (Conan)Conan and the Amazon by John Maddox Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

John Maddox Roberts Conan books were always some of my favorites from the Tor era. 'Conan and the Amazon' is no exception! A good, fun read! I'm actually re-reading this now. This was actually a great read. I enjoyed it immensley.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Book giveaway this month for my new Novel, 'Redemption of the Sorcerer' Also available at and

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Redemption of the Sorcerer (The Crystalon Saga, #1) Called on... by Ralph L. Angelo Jr.
Enter to win

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Novel Idea!

I recently sold my first novel to the same company that printed my previous book. I must be insane, because I've already started another. My goal here is to write 50 pages a month and to actually be finished in 5 months as opposed to the years the last one took. "Redemption of the Sorcerer, The Crystalon Saga, Book One" is the recently finished book and is about a man who is hated by his people. He is powerful beyond imagining in his universe. A Universe based on magic, not science. Over the years he has lost sight of his goals and his rule, and has become a despot, though he has always meant well. His people over throw him and he is sent to a parallel universe. A universe that looks very much like our own. One where magic does not exist. At least it's not thought to exist. Once there he discovers a plot by an unknown foe to rule that world and its people by magical and demonic means. You have to read it to see how and if 'Crystalon' saves the world or gives in to his baser desires and failings once again. The just started work is entitled "Torahg the Warrior" and is a Sword and Sorcery piece set sometime in the dim and distant past. It follows a Prince whose fathers kingdowm is over thrown by the Kings older son, Torahgs brother. When we first meet the Prince he is young and bright, full of life and hope and wonder. There will be a lapse after the first few chapters of 12-15 years and we will see a VERY different Torahg at that point. This book will not be about redmption but instead about revenge. Now a question to my writer friends out there: Have you ever noticed that sometimes setting up a scene to get to the scene you want to write is far more difficult then actually writing what you intended in the first place? As always you can reply to me via email @ Thanks all, Ralph

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The week in review 2/12/12

The past seven days have been tumultuous here in NY. The world champion Superbowl Giants, The unknown sensation Jeremy Lin who has absolutely turned basketball (Not just in NY, but literaly world wide) on its ear leading the haphazard, injury plauged NY Knicks to a five game winning streak, and making basketball actually fun in NY again. And by the way Jeremy, don't listen to that moron 'Ron Artest', oops I'm sorry, 'Meta World Peace' who proclained in the back of the NY Daily News that you should start showing up at practices with your pants hanging low, wearing dark sunglasses, and smoking a cigar, and of course be very late. That idiot should realize that those are traits the regular guy who follows basketball HATES about certain players. You keep playing and being true to yoruself. You're the fresh face of basketball now that EVERYONE wants to see. You smile running up the court, you're having fun, you thank God, and you keep checking that film at halftime like you did friday night. Without realizing it, you have become an inspiration to everyone with your nose to the grindstone, never give up attitude. Also your thanking God after every game is a major plus as it continues to show how humble and more importantly genuine you really are. For the first time since Patrick Ewing left, basketball has become fun again, and for the first time since Mark Jackson was traded for Charles Smith, the Knicks have a real point guard. Whitney Houston. What a sad, sad day this is. Another performer who was blessed with a voice that was extraordinary, who let her personal demons catch up with her and end her life long before it should have been over. It's a sad day for her family and friends, as well as her fans. Her music was never my cup of tea, but she was incredibly talented, and will be missed, probably by no one more then her children. God Speed Whitney Houston. You should have been stronger and used more good sense.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New day, new experiences

There've been a lot of new things happening here in New York the past few days. Of course the biggest news is the Giants win and bringing back a SuperBowl crown to New York. We're a blessed city with , of course, The Yankees, the greatest sports franchise in history anywhere in the world, and also the now four time Superbowl world champion Giants. It's been only 2 1/2 years since the Yanks had their most recent parade down the boulevard of heroes, yet seeing another today is just as exciting as the last one was. New York has another champion this year. For the next twelve months we've given New England more reason to hate us. Good. But The Giants news is NOT all that's going on in this city sports-wise. Has anyone besides myself been watching the Knicks since saturday? There's a little known point guard , a totally unassuming kid named Jeremy Lin who's sat on the bench warming the end of it the past month +. He's had a few moments of play in that time , but it's usually in garbage time when the Knicks are being blown out. He was sent down to the D-League (Developmental league) a few weeks back for a few games, then returned to the Garden and resumed his place on the benches end. That was until saturday night. The Knicks coach put in Lin, almost as a "What else can I do?" kind of expression. The Knicks had last 12 of their last 14 at the time, and the season was quickly becoming one that had all the fans groaning with every games end. But then Lin stepped onto the floor saturday night, and did the one thing this team desperately needed. He drove to the basket. He controlled the floor. He passed the ball for 7 assists saturday and added 25 points of his own. He repeatedly split the defense. And along teh way thsi skinny kid grabbed 5 rebounds. He had a career night. Those are superstar numbers for a point guard. Now as his coach said saturday night "It's one game." Okay, so what does he do for an encore then? Well the beleagured (And rightfully so)coach places the kid in the starting lineup last night, and the kid gets 28 points , and 8 Assists, leading the Knicks to a victory over a quality team, and more importantly without thier two superstars (Amare Stoudamire lost his 35 year old brother in a car accident monday morning, our prayers are with you and your family, Amare, and Carmello Anthony was injured five minutes into the game.) So again , it's two games, not a season. That's okay, lets see what happens from here. But what gets me is how the Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni (Who I am NOT a fan of.) can outright say "I didn't know he could play like that." You didn't know he could play like that? It's your job to know. There's no excuse for having this guy sit on the bench since Christmas day when he could have been at least coming off the bench and providing a spark by breaking down the defense. Instead we've been stuck with poor Toney Douglas who is really a two guard, not a point guard, and then after him rookie Iman Shumpert, who is likewise a natural two and has been playing out of position all season long. It's crazy the way this team has been playing. Before this weekend they've been standing outsiude and lobbing three's conmstantly, and missing so badly, it's been horrible. The one bright spot before this was really Landry Fields who can drive, when plays are run for him, but very few were. Mostly it's been pound the ball into Carmello. They've ignored Amare' all season long as well, with very few plays being headed his way. But in the past two games you have had an even offense as Lin has done the two things the Knicks have missed desperately, he drives to the basket and he passes the ball to the right guy, like he did last night, to another guy who has warmed the bench all season, Steve Novak, who the great coach, Jeff Van Gundy called "The best pure shooter in the league." Another little used player who scores 19 points in limited time, and add that to Jarod Jefferies working man effort with 13 points and 8 rebounds along with taking 5 offensive fouls (using his body as a roadblock and taking a hit for it.) Add to that an assist and 2 steals, and you have a group effort. And guess what? They played defense last night. Something they haven't done till saturday as well. This all may be the start of something good, or it could be an abberation. I'm going to think positively and say that the Knicks have found a point guard.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What an in-between season...

Usually, I look forward to winter , with the changing of the seasons and all that, but also because I'm a really avid skier, it's one of my three non-romantic loves in life. The other two being guitar playing and of course motorcycling. But this year I've been suffering with a bad back since July, an ailment called Stenosis of the spine as well as a few bulging discs. I haven't worked since early August and doubt I ever will be able to go back to the very physical work I did all those years. Even crouching down, or doing a squat is extremely painful at this point. And this is six months into physical therapy.
But enough about that. What I want to discuss is the not quite winter we are having. I don't mind the lack of snowfall here, and the day where it topped 60 degrees this week was awesome. But it's just not winter. One day it's 60 and sunny, two days later it's high 30's. Too far of a stretch for me. I'm not happy with this season of in-between. On the one hand it's good for me so I don't lament not being able to ski with my constantly pain wracked back, but on the other I feel like we're stuck in a shadowland of almost one thing or another.
Tonight is the annual running of the Crotona midnight run. It's an all night motorcycle run in the dead of winter night that occurs once a year. Not my kinda thing, but good luck and God Speed to all who intend to run it tonight, but the point of bringing this little gem up is the fact that it's going to be relatively warm tonight. Most years this is run when temps are in the teens. Tonight here on the island we're supposed to have a low of 29 . Practically balmy for this event. Some former participants are already complaining about the lack of cold. Hey more power to 'em. I'll be home with the heat turned up wondering when we're going to get some snow up north.
Have fun and be safe Crotoans.