Showing posts from April, 2019

A Repairman and a Modern-Day Viking Battle a Genetically Engineered Dragon: My Review of James Byron Huggins' Leviathan

About 25 or so years ago, while browsing through the fiction section of Reston Regional Library in Fairfax County, Virginia, I discovered James Byron Huggins. The book I picked up that day was Leviathan . I've been a Huggins fanboy ever since. Leviathan was Huggins' third published work. His first, Wolf Story , was an allegorical novel featuring wolves in a titanic battle between good and evil. His second, The Reckoning , is an action-packed thriller that will resonate with fans of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code . The difference is that Huggins is friendly to Christianity. Indeed, Huggins spent years in Cold War Europe, operating often behind the Iron Curtain, to help people facing religious and political persecution. Indeed, it was Huggins' commitment to religious freedom that moved him to write Rora , one of the best works of historical fiction ever written. Leviathan  is Huggins' first "man versus monster" book, and it's one of his recurring t

A Young Man Battles Monsters and Saves Women in a World Ripped From the Series Lost: My Review of Island Jumper

Island Jumper is M.H. Ryan's first installment of a survival-themed adventure series that's part Lost , part Robinson Crusoe , part MacGyver , part Gilligan's Island , part Survivor , and a whole lot of male fantasy. It's an action-packed thrill ride that harks back to the pulp fiction era. Ryan's novel features a young male protagonist rescuing and fighting alongside an ever-growing number of bikini-clad sorority coeds. It's exactly the kind of adventure any young man (and even some older men) would fantasize about starring in. This is male fantasy through-and-through. Here's what the book description on Amazon promises... Islands to find  Sharks to fight Women to rescue Jack Sawyer takes a sorority on a party boat tour when a mysterious storm slams into them. Now, they are stranded on a chain of strange islands with bizarre creatures that have an unsettlingly desire to kill them.  He must learn how to survive the elements by building rafts,

Journey into a Living Breathing Dungeon - If You Dare! My Review of Dakota Krout's Dungeon Born

For eons, conquering dungeons has been the most efficient way to become a strong adventurer ... Several questions have always plagued the mind of those that enter these mythical places of power: Why are there so many monsters? Where does the amazing weaponry and heavy gold coins come from? Why does the very air fill with life-giving energies? Cal has all of the answers to these age old questions, for a very simple reason. He is a Dungeon Heart, a soul forced against his will into a magical stone. After several lonely years, Cal was able to regain sentience, allowing him to form new memories while slowly growing a dungeon around himself. With help from a friend, Cal learned how to create monsters and traps, increasing his power and size quickly.  So goes the Amazon book description for Dungeon Born by Dakota Krout, the first installment of his incredibly popular Divine Dungeon LitRPG / GameLit series. A developer and programmer turned full-time author and indie publisher, Krout

Magic, Monsters, and Mayhem: A Review of Arcane Kingdom Online Dark Magic by Jakob Tanner

As the ZERO virus decimates the planet, Clay Hopewell and his friends have found a new chance at life in a virtual reality world full of monsters, magic, mystery, and mayhem. In Arcane Kingdom Online: Dark Magic , the second book of Jakob Tanner's LitRPG series, Clay and his companions are pressured into a quest by an arrogant teenage king -- all while this new digital world they call home is on the verge of total war and is ravaged by a strange and dangerous computer glitch. As with the first installment, the writing quality is solid. There were no distracting typos or other such issues. That's a refreshing contrast with many of the titles out there in this genre. The  Arcane Kingdom Online  series provides a compelling, thought not entirely original, premise. And the world created by Tanner is colorful and diverse. It's kind of a late medieval world liberally sprinkled with elements of magitech and steampunk. You have sword fights as well as battles between air ship

I'm Writing a Fantasy Book: Not an April Fool's Joke

In 2019, I will self-publish my first novel -- specifically, a fantasy novel. The tentative title is  Dragon Hunter  and the cover (designed by an artist I worked with at is pictured. No, this is not an April Fool's joke. I'm posting this news today because it's a Monday - and I have the time to do it. Monday is my day off. So, this isn't fake news. It's real. I'm writing a fantasy book and plan to self-publish it on Amazon Kindle this year. And I'd like your help. My Lifelong Desire to Write The first story I remember writing was about my cat Pepper. I was in the 5th grade. It was for a homework assignment and we had to read the story in front of the class. I remember very little about the story itself, except that the kids in my class were howling with laughter (in a good way). I was hooked. My love for stories had been kindled by movies, TV shows, comic books -- and my Dad who wrote fiction (as well as non-fiction) and my paternal gr