The Third Day by Mark Graham
Advance Review Copy (ARC) , Book Review / November 27, 2012

The Third Day by Mark Graham My rating: 2 of 5 stars Unfortunately, this is another book I finished for two reasons only: a) I always finish a book. b) I felt a moral obligation to do so. The problem with “The Third Day” is that it tries to do/show a lot of things in parallel and doesn’t succeed in any. Take two people dissatisfied with their lives; a depressed agnostic widow and a faithful scholar. Their lives basically change over night due to a spectacular discovery; building the story up from this, describing the protagonists before their, let’s say, departure, is where the author succeeds – it’s believable and interesting. *** WARNING *** Spoilers ahead *** WARNING From that point on, though, things spiral down: The widow and the scholar basically exchange their roles and beliefs; while the former turns into a fervent believer, the latter becomes a fanatic closet-opponent. Even if we simply accept this process (which at least in the scholar’s case is not really believable at all), the means this is achieved by are ridiculously annoying – enter a time traveller. A well-known antagonist, disguised as a time-travelling scientist, tempts both our “heroes” and succeeds in…

And They Called Her Spider by Michael Coorlim
Advance Review Copy (ARC) , Book Review / November 20, 2012

And They Called Her Spider by Michael Coorlim My rating: 3 of 5 stars This is a nice, quick read and serves well as a (very short) introduction to the two protagonists, an engineer and a slightly flippant, well, whatever Bartleby is. Of course, this is a short story at best and I would have wished it to be a bit longer but it’s certainly entertaining even though it felt a bit like fast food – good but it leaves a tad bit to be desired and a slightly guilty pleasure. I might buy a complete anthology of James and Bartleby but certainly not individual stories – there’s just not enough substance to justify that if all stories are as short as this one. View all my reviews

Murder at the Ocean Forest by ROBERT ”DIGGER” CARTWRIGHT
Advance Review Copy (ARC) , Book Review / November 20, 2012

Murder at the Ocean Forest by ROBERT ”DIGGER” CARTWRIGHT My rating: 1 of 5 stars I really hoped to like this book because the author gave me the ebook for free. This was nice, Robert, and thanks for that again. Unfortunately, I really didn’t like this book for quite a few reasons. First of all, it starts extremely slowly – the entire first third mainly consists of annoying quarrelling between stereotyped characters: – The snobby English lord and lady,– the pious preacher,– the American adventurer and his suffering wife. One would expect to get to know them pretty well on more than 100 pages but, alas, they never rise above the cliché and don’t develop at all (which they won’t for the entire remainder of the book). At their destination, they’re joined by an elderly clairvoyant (more esoteric nonsense to follow), the obligatory ghostly figure and the hotel detective. Not only are those characters stereotyped but they immediately jump to all kinds of conclusions: The lord and his lady are quick to judge and as quick in coming to yet another wild idea about life, people and everything. The pious preacher hates them all (and, in a sideline of story…

Der Kindle Killer by Liv Olson
Book Review / November 1, 2012

Der Kindle Killer by Liv Olson My rating: 1 of 5 stars Schwacher Inhalt, schlechter Stil, vorhersehbar Vorab: Obschon ich zumeist eher Romane oder auch eine gute Novelle schätze, mag ich auch gute Kurzgeschichten. Jedoch ist es wichtig, daß letzteres Format sich wirklich auf das Essentielle beschränkt. Das ist im vorliegenden Fall leider nicht gut umgesetzt. Inhaltlich ist der “Kindle Killer” eher schwach – die Geschichte beginnt nett erzählt, muß jedoch überstürzt beendet werden, da der Autorin offenbar die Umsetzung der Grundidee schwer fiel. Sprache und Schreibstil helfen leider auch nicht, den “Kindle Killer” im Gedächtnis zu behalten (ich erinnere mich im krassen Gegensatz zu dieser Kurzgeschichte noch sehr deutlich an eine Kurzgeschichte von Ambrose Bierce, die ich vor über 20 Jahren einmal las); beides ist deutlich unterdurchschnittlich. Eine gute Kurzgeschichte sollte zudem nicht vorhersehbar sein, sonst verliert sie leicht ihren Reiz. In diesem Falle gab es leider nur einen denkbaren Ausgang und der trat natürlich auch prompt ein. Leider waren aber in der Tat nicht nur das Ende, sondern auch viele Einzel-Elemente der Geschichte altbekannt und somit in keiner Weise überraschend, neu oder gar aufregend. Erschwerend kommt hinzu, daß es wohl keinerlei Lektorat oder Korrekturen gab – das Buch…