Tag Archives: Paranormal

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).

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Review of “Eye of the Ninja”

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Book Reviews -“Eye of the Ninja” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by D.M. Marlowe (http://www.dmmarlowe.com). Ms. Marlowe has published three novels in her “Eye of the Ninja Chronicles” series. This is the first novel in the 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the near future. Earthquakes and other disasters have claimed the ‘ring of fire’ around the Pacific leaving Japan devastated.

The primary character in the story is young Mei Barrett. She has been raised by her father and trained in the Ninja arts. When he is killed she spends four years in hiding. She suffers from a mutation of her eyes that draw attention to her where ever she goes. She must avoid any attention if she is to continue to avoid the wind demon that killed her father.

She finds that there are others that are fighting the demons. Others that knew her mother and father. Others that may become the friends, the allies, and the family that she has been missing.

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 277 page young adult fantasy. There is a lot of Japanese cultures embedded in this novel. I also felt that it was a little disjointed, particularly in the beginning. It also seemed to end more abruptly than it needed to. It is a mixture of martial arts and the supernatural. I do like the cover art. 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 “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).

Review of “The History Major”

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“The History Major” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Michael Phillip Cash (http://www.michaelphillipcash.com). Mr. Cash has published 10 novels.

I received a galley of this novella for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novella as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence and is very strange. The story is set on a small college campus. The primary character is college freshman Amanda Greene.

Amanda wakes up hung over. But that is not all. Her dorm room looks strange. Her room mate is strange. Even the campus grounds outside the dorm window looks strange. Things do not improve for Amanda as her day progresses and she tries to attend her first day of classes.

She finds her schedule has been changed and she is in history class. She hates history. She tries to get the class changed, but the women the registrar’s office just tell her to go to class. When she gets to class, it is the strangest thing yet.

So . . . I spent less than 2.5 hours reading this 132 page novella. I almost called a Rule of 50 on it, but kept reading until the end. I should have quit. I am not sure what to say about this story. It is strange. It also seems to ramble along without a clear point. There is a point in the end, but the route to that end really did not set well with me. I think that this is best classed as a Psychological Paranormal story.

The cover wasn’t very informative as to what you will find within the pages. The story was last paced, but almost frantic. Did I mention that this story is strange. I give this novella a 2 out of 5.

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

Review of “A Time of Torment”

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“A Time of Torment” eBook was published in 2016 (August) and was written by John Connolly (http://www.johnconnollybooks.com). Mr. Connolly has authored or co-authored more than 30 novels. This is the 14th novel in the “Charlie Parker Mystery” 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 West Virginia. The primary character is Private Investigator Charlie Parker.

Parker has a history of violence. He is currently working in an advisory capacity with the FBI. This story has nothing to do with the FBI connection though. Parker is approached by Jerome Burnel who was recently released from prison. Burnel claims he is innocent and that he was set up. He fears that he will soon be killed.

In any case, he wants Parker to investigate. Parker is unsure at first, but soon comes to believe Burnel. Not long after, Burnel disappears. Parker and his close associates Angel and Louis begin to dig deeper.

There is an area of West Virginia known locally as The Cut. Those that live there live isolated lives, resisting any intrusions into their property. Not only are they reclusive, but they are thought to pursue more than one criminal activity. Before long Parker has his first encounter with men from The Cut. He skirmishes with them, but ultimately knows he must go to the heart of the trouble, The Cut itself.

Concurrent with all of this, the local Sheriff has been having his own encounters with The Cut. People have gone mission for years, but there has never been sufficient evidence to take action. Recently though, bodies have been discovered in a shallow grave. He hates The Cut. This brings him into all but open conflict with the leaders of The Cut. Because of the fear that The Cut instills in the locals he has few who are willing to support him. Then he meets Parker.

I enjoyed the 12 hours I spent with this 480 page Paranormal Mystery. I had not ready any of the prior books, but this one read well stand-alone. It is a dark story with a lot of violence. I liked the character of Parker, but did not really get to know him well in this novel. While there is definitely a paranormal aspect to the story, it is only a minor thread. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to 5) out of 5.

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