Review: Roar by Cora Carmack

5 stars

Roar works as not only good YA but a good fantasy in general. A Princess is born into an elite line of magic practitioners but has to work to earn her magic instead of being a chosen one who has things happen too easily for her. At first she assumes this is a personal task but, later realizes the future of her land hinges on the success of her personal quest. I look forward to the further books in the series which is the highest compliment you can give to the first book in an epic fantasy.

Review Medea and Other Plays by Euripides

This is interesting to historians but reads as stilted to the modern reader. It’s a good look inside the mind of Ancient Greek peoples. Their myths were used to give commentary on what were modern issues at the time without pandering to the current fads of pop culture as happens this day. The scripts are short but contain deep philosophy. He turned Medea, who most would’ve seen as an archetypical villain, into a sympathetic character by comments on women’s lack of rights when their husbands wanted a divorce in Greek society. Perhaps Euripides would’ve won more contests if he’d made his plays simpler but he wouldn’t have been remembered.

Review: Encyclopedia Of The Haudenosaunee

Encyclopedia Of The Haudenosaunee
Encyclopedia Of The Haudenosaunee by Bruce Elliott Johansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I should say I am a Mohawk, which is one of the Haudensaunee member nations. This is a good primer on Haudenosaunee history, and made me aware of things that I didn’t know of before. It’s a good starting point, but shouldn’t be the end of research on the topics it raises. The author wanted to give a general overview so it served its purpose.

View all my reviews

Review: The Complet Kama Sutra

The Complet Kama Sutra
The Complet Kama Sutra by Alain Daniélou
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alain Danielou’s translation of the Kama Sutra serves as a great historical text about the sexual mores and sexual politics of Ancient India. My own inhibitions maybe be showing, but I wouldn’t blindly follow its advice as sex manual in modern days since some of its techniques shouldn’t be used without your partner’s consent, ie. hitting, biting and scratching. It’s also non-PC at points since the list of partners available to various classes of men in historical times sounds like people they were free to sexually harass instead of recommendations on who it’d be best for them to approach. However, it will certainly help flesh out details for a writer who wants to write historical fiction in that era.

View all my reviews

Review: In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography, 1954-1978

In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography, 1954-1978
In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography, 1954-1978 by Isaac Asimov
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Isaac sounds like he’s bragging but there’s no denying the fact he was a Master of Scifi and it’d be ridiculous to deny his success or his prolific output. It’s hard for a writer not to read this without feeling envious. Yet his life still had ups and downs and sometimes individual works would be more successful than he thought they merited so it gives the rest of us hope. A fan of Isaac Asimov who only reads scifi will find this an interesting insight into the mind of a genius and his working methods.

View all my reviews

Review: The Waste Lands

The Waste Lands
The Waste Lands by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The last member of Roland’s companions is gathered and now they move on to the quest. The collection of the companions seemed like a sideline but he makes more progress with them then he did by himself. Roland grows by learning the value of teamwork, and the action picks up at the conclusion. Only King could get away with spending so long gathering the members of the quest. Very few people could pull it off.

View all my reviews

Review: Short Fiction Secrets: How To Write And Sell Short Stories

Short Fiction Secrets: How To Write And Sell Short Stories
Short Fiction Secrets: How To Write And Sell Short Stories by Angela Booth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book very inspirational and can’t wait to try out its suggestions. My favorite was the thought of using short stories to try out new genres before committing yourself to writing a novel length work. See if you like the genre, how long it takes to write it and whether you get the kind of response you want from readers. It’s a good idea.

View all my reviews

Review: Bleak House

Bleak House
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This work is best approached as a historical document rather than a light pleasure read. It’s a legal novel regarding a protracted court case involving an inheritance. A modern legal novel would have a clearcut villain not petty embezzlers and legal sharks extracting as much money as they can out of the estate or at the very least the greed of these people would’ve escalated to the point of murder. It’s an indictment on the inefficiencies of the English legal system of the time. We get exhaustive slices of life regarding the people affected by the case and the resolution, when a will is finally found, feels like one subplot among many when a modern legal novel would’ve made it the driving focus of the story. I

View all my reviews

Review: In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography, 1920-1954

In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography, 1920-1954
In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography, 1920-1954 by Isaac Asimov
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Isaac Asimov is one of the few people who can make their autobiography interesting. He may sound like he’s bragging but there’s no escaping a fact he’s a Master of Science Fiction and denying it would be ridiculous. It’s interesting for writers to see his mind at work and will answer any questions fans of what happened behind the scenes while he was writing his stories.

View all my reviews

Review: Dr. Oronhyatekha: Mohawk Ideals, Victorian Values

Dr. Oronhyatekha: Mohawk Ideals, Victorian Values
Dr. Oronhyatekha: Mohawk Ideals, Victorian Values by Keith Jamieson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An interesting autobiography of a mostly forgotten Victorian celebrity. A good reference for Native history and Victorian history. It has some details that may help writers of steam punk if you like obscure details. I’m Mohawk myself and felt obligated to read this book for the sake of being informed of my people’s history, and found it enjoyable.

View all my reviews