The Surly Dragon

Bibliophage [bib-lee-uh-feyj] noun 1. an ardent reader; a bookworm.



Been an interesting and eventful few months since my last post.  I've been reading but not doing much in the way of reviewing.  Hope to get back into the swing of it.  Hope everyone has been doing well!

Review- Eden's Gate: The Reborn

 Eden's Gate: The Reborn: A LitRPG Adventure - Edward Brody

I seem to be on a LitRPG kick as of late...


The Hook (blurb taken from Amazon):


Eden’s Gate

When Gunnar Long is transported into the first fully-immersive virtual MMORPG, he finds himself in a new world filled with magic, mystery and adventure.

No more 9-to-5 job. No more studio apartment. No more reality TV.

Finally, he’s in a place where he can call home, a place with people he can call friends.

But as more people want to trade their real world lives to get inside Eden’s Gate, the government of the outside world wants the “game” shut down at all costs.

Gunnar must learn to survive, grow in power and find a way to find send a message back to his old home.

“We’re fine. We’re alive. Eden’s Gate is real.”


My opinion:


If you haven't heard of the genre or are curious about it, I recommend this book.  The author is a native English speaker, which is a definite plus when it comes to this genre.  I am not dissing translators, but since a lot of these novels are translated from another language and done so at the author's expense, there is a great disparity in quality. 


Mr. Brody provided interesting characters and a very original premise as to the circumstances of the players within the game and the driving force behind the plot.  That said, I found the ending very quick and weak.  He spent so much time in the first few chapters building up the apparent dastardly actions of the game developer but then abandoned all of it at the end and tried to present him as doing something for the greater good. 


A little disappointment in that, but since it appears this is going to be a series, perhaps another plot twist is coming.  I will be keeping an eye out for the next book in the world of Eden's Gate.

I'm still around...I think...

*pokes head in*  Hi.  I'm here.  Lots going on IRL...had to move AGAIN.  Asshole landlord's son nearly ran over my dog (I did not realize it was him as I could not identify the snowmobile's driver because of the time of day and clothes he was wearing until we got the eviction notice), I bitched, he denied it, we got evicted because I was 'vulgar' in my bitching.  They also claimed I posted vulgarity to their Facebook page, which I did not.  Unfortunately, my iPhone geo-located me when I posted my brief rant (it is still visible if you do a Facebook search for posts about Malenfant Fuel Co. We left, but things are still up in the legal air about the actual eviction, I am told I have a civil case of some sort against them, which I might pursue, if the assholes do not keep their promise about letting my mother return in the spring to take up her plants and get her statues that are still on the property we rented.


My grandmother died.  This wasn't unexpected- she was 95 and ailing.  I am happy for beliefs are that she is with our ancestors and that is a good place, but still...her presence has been a solid constant in my life for 40+ years, having that physical presence gone is going to take some getting used to.


Anyway...hi folks, hope things are going great for you, and I will be back soon-ish.  This is a picture of my grandmother (on your left), her father, and her younger sister.



Nixed The NIx

The Nix - Nathan Hill

I nixed The Nix at 33% of the way in.  Boring and pointless.  Grab a sample first.  I was enticed by the title and the blurb.  I pre-ordered.  I should have waited.

Review- The Unbroken Line of the Moon

The Unbroken Line of the Moon (The Valhalla Series) - Tara F. Chace, Johanne Hildebrandt

This was an amazing novel. Professionally published, so I am not going to comment on the formatting other than to say it was done well.  It was translated, but again, a professional job.


Looking forward to the next in the series. Was nervous to start this, but the author stayed true to the Gods.

Review- Cataclysm

Cataclysm - Tim Washburn

I picked this up from NetGalley.  I liked the book.  I enjoyed the characters and presentation of the plot more than I did Harry Turtledove's novel about the super volcano in Yellowstone. 


The ending was a bit sudden- you are right in the climax of the novel when BOOM... the story jumps a few months ahead.


I am, however, only giving two and a half stars.  The book was horrendously formatted and the price on Amazon says it will be$9.99.  No ebook is worth that price, but that is a topic for another post.  With that price, at the very least, it is not acceptable to have the errors in the formatting (spaces within words, capital letters that should not be capitalized, the title showing up mid-paragraph, etc.).


I get that some of these copies are advance copies, but people/publishers need to be more careful with the quality.  I get there will be some errors and some things might be changed, but the amount of errors in this was ridiculous. 


I cannot recommend unless a person is able to return the book, so look carefully if you do decide to purchase. 

Review- Pop Manga Coloring Book by Camilla d'Errico

Pop Manga Coloring Book: A Surreal Journey Through a Cute, Curious, Bizarre, and Beautiful World - Camilla d'Errico

This is a nice coloring book and if you like the manga style, it would make a good addition to your coloring book collection.  The art was varied and there is something for everyone.  That said, I was very disappointed in the format of the book.  The pages are bound and cannot be cleanly removed.  I have many coloring books that tell a tale but most of them have perforated pages which makes it easy for coloring and for sharing.  That is why it only gets three out of five stars.

Not sure what to make of this...

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis: The Vampire Chronicles - Anne Rice

The gods definitely work in mysterious ways.  I just received a free copy for review.  LOL.

Review: Rising Tide by Claudette Melanson

Rising Tide: Dark Innocence (The Maura DeLuca Trilogy, #1) - Claudette Melanson

A different take on the vampire in a young adult novel that was far more interesting and satisfying than Twitlight (yes, I did that on purpose) could ever be.  Was it perfect?  No.  Did Mink smack of being a spoiled Mary Sue?  Yes.  Did the story seem like a person's fantasy explanation of circumstances faced by someone raised without a father?  Hell yes- although I never went the vampire route, I had some pretty off the wall and fantastical explanation for the deadbeat scum that sired me.


That said, it was a good and entertaining read.  So good in fact, that I purchased the next book in the trilogy immediately after I finished the first last night (I also started the first last night) and didn't crash until I finished it- around two this morning.  I am looking forward to the third. 


I received a free copy of Rising Tide via Book Review 22 last night.  I have a few other reviews to write for them, but this book grabbed me and demanded to be done first.


Trying to play catch-up  and sync my read list for the past couple months with GoodReads and other sites.  Sorry in advance for the flood of ratings :P

LOL :)

Review: The Fireman by Joe Hill

The Fireman - Joe Hill

I received an e-arc of this book last week.  I finally started to read it last night and couldn't put it down.  Nowadays, that kind of book, one so good, is a very rare find for me.  Even good books, I can put aside when I should be sleeping but not this one.  

The novel is a fascinating twist on the 'end of the world as we know it' genre.  It isn't a prepper tale- a weak frame of a novel supporting prepping instructions (what foods to store, how to store them, what weapons to stockpile, etc.).  While the novel explores shades of religious fanaticism and 'end times' human psychology, it is done in a recognizable setting with a tint of fantasy and horror that cushions the lessons the author wants you to leave then novel with.  

The ending surprised me- not exactly the way I wanted the end to be for certain characters that I couldn't help but become invested in, but it was done very well.  I can't recall the release date for this novel, but I think it is soon.  Go pre-order a copy, you won't be disappointed.

Review: The History Major by Michael Phillip Cash

The History Major: A Novella - Michael Phillip Cash

I received a copy of this novel for an honest review.


This was a quick read and a good read with a twist that kept you wondering.  I felt as if I was reading an episode of the Twilight Zone. 


It wasn't without some faults, but it was a solid book that I would recommend to others.

Review: Forgetting Tabitha by Julia Dewey

Forgetting Tabitha the Story of an Orphan Train Rider - Julie Dewey

I received a copy of this book for an honest review.


I wanted to love this book  I enjoy the era the author attempted to set her tale in, but the books were riddled with anachronistic wording.  When writing a historical fiction an author must carefully research the era they are setting their piece in if they want their work to sound authentic.


I found the number of and quality of the sex scenes in this book very off-putting. It is understandable that there be some, do to the characters and situations in the novel, but I felt they over done and tasteless.


While this book doesn't have as many grammatical errors as some self-published works, it still had too many for my taste.


This author has promise, but needs to work more on her historical research research if she wants to produce quality historical fiction.



So slow...

Good gods... what happened to Booklikes?  It runs ridiculously slow (not having that problem with any other site at the moment). 


Anyway... my rant for the day:


Dear Author-
When your book blurb on Amazon is riddled with typos, do not expect me to purchase your book or even read it if it is offered through Kindle Unlimited. Your name then goes in my little black book of 'hell no, never bother with this author'. With the advent of self-publishing, authors are a dime a dozen now. I'll go after the ones who show care with their product.

Review: Charlie's Requiem by A. American and Walt Browning

Charlie's Requiem: A Going Home Novella  - A. American

When I noticed this book, I was happy.  I've enjoyed A. American's Survivalist Series and while I have not read the fifth book, Resurrecting Home, yet, figured that a novella would be a sure a thing.


I was wrong.


I am so very disappointed in A. American (known as Angery American).  While I enjoyed getting to know Charlie and the other characters in the world originally created by The Survivalist Series, I was furious to find American and Browning put out what amounts to a serial instead of a novella.  Even more furious when reading their explanation of perhaps there will be more of Charlie if readers respond well.


I am giving this novella 4 stars because the characters were well developed and in an era of independent authors putting out (and charging people for) works that are not edited.  Then I am taking away three stars for not putting out even a finished novella.  A. American is a decent author, he did not have to stoop to this despicable tactic.  Shame, A. American and Walt Browning, SHAME. 

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