Feb 2, 2018
Review: Unhappily Ever After – A Villain’s Tale
I love fairy tales, and this is a great take on the traditional stories. It gives you a different perspective of the heroes and villains. There are always more than one side to a story and this book gives us the so called bad guys side. Things are not always what they seem, and people can hide their true selves. What would you do when you found out that you have been lied to all this time? Our hero must decide what us right when he finally learns the truth about everything.
This story grabbed me right from the start. It is a fun and charming read. The author does a good job of bringing the characters and their world to life. I loved seeing the Prince figure out what he truly wanted and fight for it. I was quickly immersed in this story and would love to see more from this world and those that live in it.
Jan 26, 2018
If you enjoyed Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s Brave New World, or even Pixar’s Wall-e there is something for you in Nate Ragolia’s The Retroactivist. Throw in a bit of nuanced Stepford Wives and a splash of Bellamy’s Looking Backward and you have a sense of the novel: a speculative fiction piece focused on what truly qualifies a society as utopian and a person as happy.
(More below cover art)
Set in the year 2087, the government has solved hunger, illness, social strife and all major components of societal duress. Citizens travel the world via tube cars and enjoy cocktails made in convenient replicators. Sexual gratification is omnipresent and all activities are scheduled and paid for by the flick of a wifi wristband. The primary goal of citizens – enjoy life.
Society is ‘perfected’, yet perfection leaves main character Reid Rosales unfulfilled.
Akin to Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole, Reid finds an underground sect of fellow Citizens with a shared longing for the past. Reid decides to eschew the safety of perfection for the excitement of uncertainty. He leaves his sultry girlfriend, a cush apartment and a life of leisure in the United Sociocracy of the Americas. He immerses himself in the philosophy, economy, and society of the 20th century. His newly acquired cohorts band together and take it upon themselves to be ‘retroactivists’.
Ragolia has a knack for presenting the fantastic as believable, unfolding a unique perspective on what it means to be genuinely fulfilled, not just comfortable. I have a sense if Margaret Atwood and Ayn Rand sat down for an afternoon of Chardonnay, they would have lots to say about this novel. Ragolia also gives the reader a treat by nestling into the novel subtle references to the 20th Century that if you are on your toes you will read with a smirk. The Retroactivist reads quickly, has a steady pace and is a tribute to what Indie Authors have to offer. Kudos to Nate Ragolia. Buy it!
Jan 19, 2018
Coming soon: The Lost Song of Miriam Landry
Rob Cooke wrote early scenes of Moonshiner’s Legacy while undergoing treatment for cancer. He took his kids to the library, checked every book about the era in his novels and built the story one page at a time. The whole family was involved. From those research adventures with his kids, his series began. Moonshiner’s Legacy starts with Bo Barnum and his pursuits of handling the family moonshine business. Sara, his daughter, and granddaughter to a Creole Indian, is the focus of Sarah’s Swamp Blues.
Rob’s stories unfold with dynamic roots growing into the deep Southern culture of 1920’s Arkansas and Louisiana. Receiving 5-star reviews, Sara’s Swamp Blues continues the legacy into the violence and tumult of the 1950’s. Rob himself is from Nebraska and has a passion for Depression Era themes, especially the music of that time period. He is also a budding guitar, banjo and harmonica player.
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Jan 12, 2018
Black Swan Planet
So I only share reviews on books that I rate personally with 5 stars, we don’t have time to waste with anything else, right?
I had the privilege of reviewing Black Swan Planet by James Peters.
This book is the typical boy meets girl meets chimpanzee meets a time jumping space Queen meets Galactic armies meets Barbarians meets the Tonton Macoute. I’m not sure which impressed me more: the crassness of the wit, the depth of the science, the expanse of the galactic landscape or the plot which never failed to keep me glued to the page. After finishing the book, I’m left recalling, simultaneously, the hilarity of the crazy antics and the poignancy of the message. It’s a sci-fi book for sure, but it is so much more. This book is not for the faint of heart. It is however for anyone wanting to blush from adult humor while really pondering the circumstance of humanity. It’s like no book I’ve ever read, which is why I think I’m left with this wonderful feeling after reading it.
I wish it went on longer.
GO. Buy it!