Friday, September 27, 2019

September's Book Reviews

For your possible reading pleasure:
  • A coming-of-age tale set in the music scene of San Francisco in the 1980s (Choosing the Dark);
  • A thought-provoking, dystopian techno-thriller (The Atopia Chronicles); and
  • A paranormal suspense novel (Kaleidoscope).
Hope you find something for your library,

Choosing the Dark by Brian Marshall

A Tale of Living Life on One’s Own Terms … and Often Growing from It

Choosing the Dark is a coming of age tale that finds our protagonist, Rob Walstein, at the juncture between high school and, you guessed it, the rest of his life. Concerned that he’d spent his first seventeen years trying to be what others expected, Rob wants to find himself. So, he leaves his comfortable, middle-class home on the outskirts of San Francisco and moves into the city, lives in a dive, and makes rent (barely) by washing dishes. He also gets a girl—or at least, has a one-night stand—and joins a band led by a self-destructive poet, their music described by what it’s not. It’s not punk, not metal, not rock … maybe not even music, but it stirs his soul. All of these events are quite well-crafted by author Brian Marshall, with interesting and vivid analogies and a sprinkling of humor. Overall, the prose is excellent, although some simple typos detract slightly. Find the complete review on Amazon:

The Atopia Chronicles by Matthew Mather

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will need a lot of work

If author Matthew Mather paints an even halfway accurate picture of our future in The Atopia Chronicles, one thing is certain—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) is going to need a lot of work. First, we’ll need to add the Sim Kid Syndrome, marked by an irrational desire to bring into the world bio-similar digital versions of oneself until your family resembles a small town. Loss of Neural Cohesion results from letting your proxxi drive your body too often. Phuture-Driven Hyperactivity is marked by frenetic action to avoid one’s demise as predicted by the Phuture News (note: more research is needed because these actions may be justified—perhaps the predictions are right). Find the complete review on Amazon:

Kaleidoscope by Chariss K. Walker

A Suspenseful Cliff-Hanger that Sets a High Bar for the Series

Kaleidoscope is Book 1 of The Vision Chronicles, an eight-book, paranormal suspense series with a ninth novella offered as a prequel. The set, which according to the author should be read in order, follows the life of Mike Lewis as he develops his gift—the ability to see the future—in order to protect himself, his family, and his friends from powerful enemies. Written in first person, book 1 gives us insight into the mind of Mike Lewis. Paralyzed by a fear of being confined in a laboratory that studies paranormal abilities, he has held everyone at arm’s length—friends, family, potential love interests. But as we join him, things are about to change. He can’t continue this way and decides to contact his old, college friend, Nelson, who is now a psychiatrist. About the same time, he meets a beautiful, wealthy New York socialite, Cassandra (Casey) D’Angelo. And from that point forward, everything goes sideways, as it becomes clear someone is after him. Find the complete review on Amazon:

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