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Review: “For the Love of Temperance” by Ichabod Temperance

“For the Love of Temperance” by Ichabod Temperance

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 4 December 2013

Description: The sovereignty of Planet Earth is under assault by interplanetary invaders. Ichabod Temperance and Persephone Plumtartt return in this thrilling Steampunk adventure. The duo fight bloodthirsty monsters bent on Earth’s conquest. Featuring a cast of unforgettable characters, including the world’s greatest actor and a telepathic dog, For the Love of Temperance will scare you and amuse you by turns.

Review: This is my third Temperance book, and it was again a very enjoyable ride.

What I thought of was War of the Worlds comes to Alabama, which is funny to me but made for an intriguing angle. The opening flowed well and I really like that Bolt was still with us and played a big part.

I ended up liking this one better than the second, because where the second felt really kind of out of control and kind of convoluted, this one felt like a much more coherent and organized plot and story. That made it more enjoyable for me to read. It was also more serious, I found, but I liked that too. It never lost its humor, though.

Although the dude with the CT accent? Really?! Come on! We don’t sound like that! Haha. I couldn’t let that go unmentioned.

Anyways!

Another interesting thing about this story is the way our author had to take modern things we all know, put them in his universe and let his characters figure out how to use and what to call them. The names were amusing.

It was also a fascinating concept for the creativity of the writer, the reader, and the character: what does a steampunk world do when one of its most common materials becomes a liability? (I don’t want to say more, lest I give too much away.)

There were less new characters joining their band of adventurers and the ones there were, were more cohesive and I really enjoyed them. I particularly loved the imagery of Clarabelle versus the cannon.

Ichabod and Persephone continue to be adorable. And I really appreciate our author’s affection for animals in his writing, as it reflects my own.

And the final solution? Brilliant.

So, this one regains the first book’s rating of 5 Fireballs. And I hope there’s a fourth incoming!

5 Fireballs

Review: “You Can’t Kill the Multiverse*” by Ira Nayman

“You Can’t Kill the Multiverse* (*But You Can Mess with its Head)” by Ira Nayman

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 9 January 2014

Description: It’s just another day in the Transdimensional Authority, with teams of investigators doing what they do best (well, after breakdancing) – investigating. Bob Blunt is en route through a Dimensional Portal™ to Earth prime 4-7-5-0-0-7 dash iota to investigate cars exhibiting most uncarlike behaviours – ribbit! (Breaking all of the Transdimensional Authority rules…number 127, he is without his partner, ‘Breakfront’ Balboa, who is on leave after an unfortunate incident with the Vulvar Ambassador to Earth Prime and a staple gun). Beau Beaumont and Biff Buckley have already arrived on Earth Prime 5-9-2-7-7-1 dash theta to find themselves surrounded by machines whose only intention is to serve human masters – even if it kills them! Recently recruited TA investigator Noomi Rapier, with her partner ‘Crash’ Chumley, is on Earth Prime 6-4-7-5-0-6 dash theta where all matter at all levels of organisation (from sub-atomic particles to the universe itself) has become conscious. Meanwhile Barack Bowens and Blabber Begbie, taking the Dimensional DeLorean™ to Earth prime 4-6-3-0-2-9 dash omicron, face multiple apocalypses (already in progress), and Bertrand Blailock and Bao Bai-Leung are having trouble travelling to their intended destination: the home of the digital gods. At first, they all appear to be looking for unauthorised and probably counterfeit Home Universe Generator™s, but could what’s really happening be more sinister?
(Yes. Yes, it could. We wouldn’t want to leave you in suspense…)

Review: After I finished the book, I put aside my ereader and thought: I have no idea what I just read.

Seriously! Ira Nayman writes some of the strangest and most convoluted books around, and yet you somehow seem to follow and to “get it,” and it’s amusing the whole way. He has a way of being very “breaking the fourth wall” -esque with his exposition, but it’s always humorous and on point.

The prose is littered with semi-covert pop culture references that are funny when you don’t get them and really funny when you do. And for me, he hits on pop culture references that really speak to me, like Star Trek of World of Warcraft (I want a gummy bear mage, dammit!) and that makes me like it even more.

He’s one of the few authors I’ve read who can write something like this and do it well, so that you end up sitting back and saying, “I have no idea what I just read, but man, I had a really good time doing it!”

It’s another solid 4 Fireball hit for me.

4 Fireballs

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Review: “A World of InTemperance” by Ichabod Temperance

A World of InTemperance Cover Art

“A World of InTemperance” by Ichabod Temperance

Available on: Amazon
Released on: 8 January 2014

Description: It is New Year’s Eve, 1875. In this humorously told Steampunk tale, adventure-prone Ichabod Temperance and his lovely sweetheart, Miss Persephone Plumtartt, once again find themselves swept up into a whirlwind of misadventure and international catastrophe. The entire world totters on the brink of war, as various nations develop arsenals of dreadful power. It seems as though every nation on Earth lusts for Empire. A sinister plot boils to change the course of human history. Along with a remarkable cast of characters, including sapient animals and clockwork men, our heroes find themselves plunged into unimaginable peril!

Reviews:

And here’s my next sequel review!

I found that I didn’t enjoy this one QUITE as much as I did the first book in this series, but I did still enjoy it. I found that there was a charming quirkiness to the first one that I found lessened in this one, at least through most of the beginning, though I saw more of it as the book progressed and I enjoyed it more as I saw those things return.

This book did kind of make me think of what Patterson’s “Zoo” would have been like if it had been steampunk, and funnier, and, y’know, written better.

There were several new elements I really enjoyed: Bolt was awesome. I really liked Cogito as well. In both cases, I love when we see humanity via the inhuman. It’s a theme I really like, as anyone who has read my Adelheid series will know. Our Author continues to have a way with wonderfully color characters, which we see a lot more of in this book. Gauzot was a lot of fun, and I liked her fight scenes in particular. Piston was also very amusing.

I did find that the ending felt a little rushed, but still funky and fun. So, still a great read and one I’d definitely recommend. I even had to read a couple parts aloud to my husband that I found particularly funny. I’ll be reading the third book! A solid 4 Fireballs.

4 Fireballs

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Review: “Hym and Hur” by Phillip Frey

Hym and Hur by Phillip Frey. I received this free in exchange for an honest review. You can find your own copy at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Description: In this fantasy-comedy Hym and Hur are a young couple who never age and have been in love for more than a century. They also possess an array of magical abilities, two of which are either to play pranks on humankind or to perform good deeds. Enacting both at the same time is now what gets them into trouble, especially since it’s the character of Death they must deal with to bring their plans to fruition.

The prank Hym and Hur have come up with must first be agreed upon by Death, who happens to be a rambunctious, difficult character. Once agreed upon, the prank is set in motion. But then Hym and Hur soon discover that Death had tricked them into a contract with dire consequences for all of us.

During their attempt to break the contract, Hym and Hur try to save the relationship of an earthbound couple, knowing they are truly meant for each other. A good deed that will bring Hym and Hur even more trouble.

Review: This was a fantastical little diversion, is the best way I can describe it. Amusing, albeit a little…pointless, although I don’t really say that as a bad thing. Entertainment for entertainment’s sake is never a bad thing, but there didn’t feel to be any serious drive to the story. So it was simply a quickly paced, whimsical little story about magical beings (although we learn very little about them) who like to interfere, for better or worse, with humanity. A common trope, but still fun.

Though as I’m the twisted sort, I found Death to be the more amusing. Personifications of Death are usually funny and morbid, and I like that.

The ending was a bit abrupt, but in a short story, it was not ill suited. Though I might have liked just a touch more. And there were some dialog attribute habits I see from many authors that are a bit of a pet peeve of mine and were, I’ll admit, a tad distracting for my inner editor. But at this length, with its quick pace and the breezy style to its prose, it was enjoyable. Missed that spark to make me rave, but I’ll call it 4 Fireballs.

4 Fireballs

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Review: “Quarter the Moon” by J. H. Sked

Quarter the Moon by J. H. Sked. I purchased this on my own from Amazon.

Description: The first Blue Moon Detectives collection. Two brand new tales from the Blue Moon Detectives characters, plus Basement Blues and Die Laughing.

House Mates – When Astrid moves into her new apartment, she has to deal with an unwanted house mate, and the dark secret she’s hiding.
Yes, Astrid, There is a Santa – What happens when a centuries old vampire discovers that Santa is real?
Blue Moon Detectives – Saving the (undead) girl shouldn’t be this hard…
Die Laughing – The gods are back in town – and they don’t play nice. Billy and the gang find themselves fighting a Norse god with a bad habit of killing comedians.

Review: First off, I got this book for the two new stories, as I’ve already read Basement Blues and Die Laughing separately, and I enjoyed them a lot. I hope it doesn’t sound egotistical, but the series reminds me a little of my own Adelheid series and since I enjoy the hell out of writing Adelheid, I enjoy the hell out of reading about the Blue Moon Detectives, especially going in such quirky directions.

The first story is Room Mates or House Mates–there is some disparity from the book to the description–and it’s when Astrid and Ruth first connect. It’s lovely in seeing the old ass vampire and the scared ghost hooking up, and gives us one of those creepy views in the human angle that paranormal stuff can do better than most. As always, there’s plenty of dry wit and mystery in this First Person Sarcastic tale, told from Astrid’s Point of View.

The second story is very short and is Yes, Astrid, There is a Santa. It’s sweetly pointless, just a little view into character. Hey, I’m not against that at all and it was a very sweet story, and Astrid’s first reaction to Santa was priceless. A touch trite, but still very nice. This time we got to see through Ruth.

Now, if I remember the second two books correctly, they were told from Billy’s view. (We only see him briefly in the second story as a little kid, since the first story takes place before he was born.) So it did bother me a little that we didn’t have an introduction in either story. I figured it out from clues and then from having read the other books, but I’m a fan of First Person stories taking a moment to say, “My name is… And I…” Just to keep it all nice and neat.

Sked tends to be a little vague in areas some times, but it works. First Person affords a better forum for that, since perspective is always variable. There’s also some editing issues and some odd formatting that were a little distracting for me. These two things plus the introduction thing keeps me from giving it a 5, but these stories are a lot of fun, very funny and entertaining, and people should definitely check them out. It’s 4 Fireballs for this one.

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Review: “The Attic Piranhas” by Marlin Williams

The Attic Piranhas by Marlin Williams. I purchased this on my own from Amazon.

Description: Max Fagan’s life is in a rut until his encounter with Mr. Wong, a wise old sage with mystical powers of prophecy. But that’s only the beginning. Max’s life is suddenly turned upside down after stumbling across a mysterious machine that promises a quick fix to his problems. Join Max as he discovers one of the well guarded secrets of The Universe that lands him in hot water and sends him and his friend Ramir on some hilarious misadventures.

Review: I don’t really have a whole lot to say on this one. It was written well enough to keep me reading, and had some funny images and sequences, and some interesting allegorical aspects. The ending was nice, a bit trite and didn’t feel as a natural succession for Max to me though. And the funny there was didn’t seem to make up for the intrinsic unlikeability of the main character.

I give it 3 Fireballs.

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