Category Archives: paranormal

Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess”

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Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). Ms. McClain has published six novels or novellas. This is the first of her “Victoria Marmot” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains lots of Mature Language and some Mature Situations. The story is set in the contemporary US, but one that has magic. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Victoria Marmot.

Marmot has just begun her Senior Year at a new school in Flagstaff, AZ. She is living there alone in the house that her parents left her in their will. She is struggling to get through the first day in a new school when things start to go strange in a big way. While camping alone Gwen, a beautiful redheaded girl, pops up naked at Marmot’s campsite saying that she is Virginia’s “Narrator”. Then there is Edik, the young man in her class that turns out to be a vampire.

From that point, the story of Marmot’s life really begins to get crazy and she begins a quest. She finds she has magical abilities. She discovers that she has a sibling. She is attracted to both a boy and a girl that are helping her.

I thought that the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 269-page young adult fantasy were interesting. The character of Victoria Marmot is colorful. She does make a good main character, though she is far from what I would call normal. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

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Book Review: “Limetown”

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Book Reviews – “Limetown” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Cote Smith (https://www.cotesmith.com). Mr. Smith has published two novels. This novel is the prequel to the popular podcast of the same name.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set about ten years ago, mostly in Kentucky. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Lia Haddock.

Haddock’s mother has been acting strangely. Over 300 people have disappeared from a research center in Limetown, Kentucky. Among them are Haddock’s uncle, Emile Haddock, who she barely remembers. Young Haddock is an aspiring journalist and finds herself compelled to seek answers to the disappearance.

She finds that her parents have been keeping secrets from one another and from her. She finds a mystery surrounding her uncle. She finds that she is not the only one seeking Emile Haddock.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 304-page science fiction mystery. I had not listened to the podcast when I read this novel, but have now. The story is a little odd and borders on the paranormal. I would recommend reading it before listening to season 1, but even afterward it will be of value to the fan of the Limetown podcast. It does explain a lot of the backstory for what happens in season 1 of the podcast. I am not a fan of the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “The Iron Codex”

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Book Reviews – “The Iron Codex” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by David Mack (http://davidmack.pro). Mr. Mack has published nearly 40 novels. This is the second novel in his “Dark Arts” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set the contemporary time frame, but in a slightly alternate world, one with magic. The primary character is Russian Anja Kernova who has been hunting former Nazis in South America.

There are three other principal characters: The American Cade Martin who works for British MI6, but who is now under suspicion because he has been disappearing;  The German Briet Segfrunsdóttir who now serves as the master magician of the Pentagon’s top-secret magickal warfare program; and the Spanish Father Luis Roderigo Pérez of the Monte Paterno Monastery who has been studying White Magic for the Catholic Church.

World War II has been over nearly a decade. Kernova is using her abilities to hunt Nazis. She comes into possession of the Iron Codex that contains many magical secrets. That causes her to be the target of pursuit by agents of the Vatican, Russia, and others. Complicating the situation is the effort by a cabal led by Dragan Dalca to open the way for demons.

Kernova calls on Martin for help. Both Segfrunsdottir and Pérez are drawn into the fray on the side of Kernova. There are many competing groups all wanting to control the Iron Codex for different agendas.

I enjoyed the 12 hours I spent reading this 375-page alternate history fantasy. I found this novel a little hard to read without having read the first novel in the series, but it wasn’t too bad. I thought that the plot was interesting, mixing magic and spies. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Short Story Review: “Sufficient Unto the Day”

Short StoriesReviews – As I sat down to have lunch today I decided to read one of the many on-line short stories I have been accumulating. This one, “Sufficient Unto the Day“, was written by Tim Powers (http://www.theworksoftimpowers.com/) and posted on the Baen Books website.

As it turns out this short story is a tale of Thanksgiving dinner with a very dysfunctional and magical family. If you have had ‘issues’ with your family this past Thanksgiving, read this short story and you will begin to look back at your Thanksgiving dinner more fondly.

The Coldharp/Hoffman family was preparing for their annual Thanksgiving celebration. A few folks were coming from out of town, while others were making an appearance from the ‘other side’. It started out well, but things began to fall apart. You know how it is – plates flying apart, silverware flying and bending, and kids being sucked into a cartoon program on TV.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 32 minutes I spent reading this seasonally appropriate fantasy short story. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Pretty Waiter Girls”

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Book Reviews – “Pretty Waiter Girls” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Greg Alldredge (https://www.greg-alldredge.com). Mr. Alldredge has published three novels, with this being the first in his “Helena Brandywine Adventure” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in 1899 San Francisco. The primary character is young Helena Brandywine.

Brandywine is a wealthy young woman who is educated and who has grown up protected somewhat from the seedier and more brutal side of life. Her step-father, the general, has been away for many years and she has been without her mother for most of her life. She has Sigmund and Lane to assist, guide, and protect her.

Brandywine fancies herself as a detective after the popular stories she has read. When a friend approaches her about the disappearance of another young woman, Brandywine dives into the investigation. That investigation takes her to Chinatown and opens her eyes to what is really going on in the strata of society beneath her station. She also finds herself drawn to a San Francisco Police detective and encountering one dangerous situation after another. She also begins to learn much more about her parents. They are not exactly who she thought they were.

I enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 317 page steampunk mystery. I liked the characters in this novel, and the willingness of the author to see primary characters be killed off. I was not expecting the supernatural thread, but I still enjoyed the novel. I will look forward to more novels in this series. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Fallen”

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Book Reviews – “The Fallen” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Eric Van Lustbader (https://www.ericvanlustbader.com). Mr. Lustbader has published more than 45 novels. This is the second in his “The Testament” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in Europe with the primary character being Braverman “Bravo” Shaw, head of the Gnostic Observatine sect.

A series of events take place that seem to herald the End of Days. A man finds the long hidden Testament of Lucifer in a remote Lebanese cave. Shaw, along with his blind sister, Emma, and Fra Leoni begin the chase to retrieve the Testament and stop the End of Days.

I enjoyed the nearly 11 hours I spent reading this 352 page Paranormal Thriller. I have been a long time fan of Van Lustbader, but this novel seemed to fall short for me. It felt a little “raw’, in the need of “polishing”. While the second in a series, this novel stood well on its own. The cover art is OK, but doesn’t really give a feel for the story. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Trailer for “The X-Files, Season 11”

Trailers – I was a fan of The X-Files when it originally aired (1993-2002), and it was generally well received with 8.7/10 on IMDB. The synopsis:

The secret lies in the X-FILES folder. Find out the truth when the X-FILES returns all-new in 2018 on FOX.

This looks interesting and the answers, or at least the questions, are always found in the X-FILES Folder. I’ll be looking for this 10-episode installment in the series sometime in 2018.

Review of “The Delphi Effect”

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Book Review – “The Delphi Effect” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Rysa Walker (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rysa_Walker). Ms. Walker has published seven novels and some short stories. This is the first of her planned “Delphi Trilogy” series.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set mostly in the contemporary Washington D.C. area. The primary character is 17 year old Anna Morgan.

Morgan has been in one foster home after another and is now in a group home. Morgan has never had much of a chance of being adopted. She has a history of absorbing the ‘ghost’ of someone, usually by touching something they touched before they died. As a result she has spent time under observation for mental issues.

She recently acquired “Molly” the ghost of a young girl. Morgan is trying to contact Molly’s grandfather so that Molly can finally rest and leave her. Soon Morgan and her 15 year old best friend Deo, also living in the group home, are dragged into a life and death situation.

Morgan discovers that Molly was murdered. Now the killers are after her and Deo. She also finds that there are others with mental skills. They are all being sought by those associated with the killer. Morgan must let herself be captured in order to free one of her friends that have been taken. She finds that her new friends each have some mental ability, and she is attracted to Aaron. Aaron and his grandfather are private detectives who have been working to discover who killed Molly.

I thought that this was an interesting 9.5 hour read of this 380 page Thriller. The story is mostly about Young Adults, but it is dark. The ending is more of an intermission between parts of the same story. There is a wrap up, but only in a minor way. There is certainly both a minor Romance as well as a significant paranormal aspect to the story. The cover art is OK, but really does not relate much to the story. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Lammas Night”

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“Lammas Night” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1983) and was written by Katherin Kurtz (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Kurtz). Ms. Kurtz published nearly 40 novels.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the early days (1940) of World War II. The British Expeditionary Force has barely escaped the continent through Dunkirk ahead of the German army. All of England fears that an invasion is soon to follow.

The primary character of this story is Colonel John “Gray” Graham of the British MI6. Not only is he working within the espionage community to defeat Germany, but he is also a practitioner of the occult arts. England is not only facing Germany’s military strength, but their occult assault as well. Graham and his close occult comrades want to organize as many of the occultists in England to rise up on Lammas Night to resist the pending invasion. But this must all be done very carefully as the hint to the public of involvement in magic would be devastating to any of the involved families.

Complicating this is a close friendship with Prince William of the British Royal family. The Prince soon convinces Graham to involve him more in the effort to organize the occult resistance to Hitler. The Prince and Graham soon realize that one of them may need to make a personal sacrifice to save England.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 448 page novel. This was not a fast paced novel, but the intriguing story kept me very interested. I have read other novels by Kurtz and I have liked them all. I am a fan of World War II stories and really enjoyed this one, even thought it was more of a fantasy than most. I guess I would classify this as an Alternate History novel as the world in which it is set parallels ours, but allows for magic. I also think that the new cover is better than the one used on the original paper publication. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).