Book Review of Denton Salle’s “Sworn to the Light”

light

Cover art for “Sworn to the Light”

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Yes, I’ve been remiss in reviewing my (online) friend Denton Salle’s novelette Sworn to the Light: The Avatar Wizard – Book 1 (of four).

However, I did download it onto my Kindle Fire last month and last night I finished it.

Excellent work. A very compelling YA Fantasy work that I think my grandson would enjoy (although he prefers audio books).

A lot of Denton’s works are based on Slavonic wonder tales he learned from his grandfather, so you need to know that going in. The local is rather “Russian” in its architecture at least.

Eleven-year-old Jeremy visits his father’s homeland with his parents, in part because Jeremy has a problem. He spontaneously turns into a panda bear cub. He can’t control the change and he can’t control the bear once he’s transformed.

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Book Review of “Jack of Shadows”

jackIf you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

After my last two books and especially Nnedi Okorafor’s missive and it’s aftermath, I decided to “play it safe” and revisit some old ground.

I remember reading Roger Zelazny’s Jack of Shadows soon after it was originally published in the early 1970s and recalled enjoying it.

After so many years, that’s all I recalled, but apparently this Hugo and Locus Award nominee had gone out of print for some years. Nor could I find a copy in my local library system. Finally, it was republished as part of the “Recovered Classics Book Series number 23”. I downloaded it from Amazon to my Kindle Fire and there it waited for me.

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Book Review of “Binti: The Complete Trilogy”

binti

Cover art for Binti: The Complete Trilogy

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I previously mentioned that as part of Women in SciFi Month and in response to the twitter hashtag #FiveSFFWritersWhoArentBlokes, I collected the names of some female authors I’ve never read to essentially broaden my horizons.

Today, I just finished Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti: The Complete Trilogy. As it’s a collected trilogy (plus one additional short story), it’s publication history is from 2015 through 2019.

To understand my review and the work in general, I’ll present a few bits of info. First, the author’s bio as presented on Amazon:

Nnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a PhD in English and was a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. She has been the winner of many awards for her short stories and young adult books, and won a World Fantasy Award. Nnedi’s books are inspired by her Nigerian heritage and her many trips to Africa.

That’s the short version. Now the professional reviews of this trilogy posted on Amazon:

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Third 5-Star Review of “Ice” on Amazon

iceIf you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

Hooray! Frankly, I’ll take just about any sort of review on “Ice” just so it’s noticed, but I love how all three (so far) are five-stars on Amazon.

Click on the link to find the review and read it. If you’ve read “Ice” and haven’t reviewed it on Amazon and Goodreads, please, please, please do so. Even if the review is less than complementary, I’ll learn more about how to improve my writing.

Here’s my “blurb:”

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My Novella “Ice” is Reviewed

iceI just saw that the blog shared by Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie has reviewed my SciFi/Fantasy novella Ice.

I actually saw it in my twitter notifications. I was checking social media one last time before settling down into bed with a good book and a cup of tea.

Yes, I am an old guy. Sue me.

It’s a very nice review, too. I don’t want to spoil it by quoting it here, but they do use words like “exciting,” “dramatic,” and “gripping” so I’m feeling pretty good about it (please write the same thing on Amazon and Goodreads).

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Publications in 2021 and the Impending New Year

2021

© James Pyles

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I’ve noticed other indie authors doing this sort of thing, creating a graphic representation of the books and stories that were published in the past year. Sounded like an interesting idea, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’ve already posted the graphic on social media, but thought I’d add some details for my blog readers.

Here’s a list of my publications from the beginning of 2021 to the end:

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Book Review of “Hounded” by Kevin Hearne

hounded

Cover art for the mass market paperback edition of “Hounded”

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I admit that I only read Kevin Hearne’s novel Hounded because my twelve-year-old grandson enjoyed it along with the rest of the Iron Druid Chronicles.

Actually, for a long time, my grandson and I have played a two-person “role playing” game of one sort or another just for the run of it. In our current game, he based his character very heavily on Hearne’s protagonist Atticus O’Sullivan, a two-thousand year old man and last of the Druids posing as a twenty-year-old bookstore owner in Tempe, Arizona.

I can’t swear to the lore in Hearne’s book, but he did add more than a little whimsy to his tale. Speaking of “tail,” Atticus also has a rather intelligent wolfhound named Oberon who likes sausages and French poodles and the two manage some interesting conversations.

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“Ice” is Available to Download for Free through Christmas

iceStarting midnight Pacific Time on December 21 through Christmas, my SciFi/Fantasy novella Ice will be free to download onto your kindle device. That’s right, just in time for the holidays, give yourself the gift of this unique tale of adventure on the high seas, of magic, science, and dinosaurs, or make it a present for a friend.

I first announced the release of this book at the beginning of the month and published an excerpt just a few days ago.

All that, plus I was interviewed on a podcast about “Ice”, Time’s Abyss, my two short stories published in the Meteor Fall anthology and other projects soon to come.

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Excerpt from My Novella “Ice”

iceIf you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

As I’m sure my regular readers know by now, my self-published novella “Ice” has been available for nearly two weeks now. Since I’m the publisher as well as the author, I’m doing all of the marketing for the book myself. While I’ve written summaries and discussed the book on one podcast so far, I still plan to promote the daylights out of it.

To that end, I’m putting up an excerpt of the story. It’s adventure and mutiny on the high seas, but these seas and the ships that sail upon them exist at the farthest reaches of human history where magic and science co-exist. The state of things on the merchant vessel “The Star of Jindo” have gone from bad to worse following a devastating storm that has crippled the ship and killed most of the crew. Captain Ki-Moon Yong has lost control of his command of his vessel for the first time in his career. Here’s what follows:

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My Short Story “The Unreal Man” Now Appearing in Discordia


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My short story The Unreal Man, really one of my oldest concepts, is finally being featured in Discordia: Stories of A World In Chaos, published by Dastaan World, whose website isn’t particularly current, but whose Facebook page is a tad more kept up.

What is Dastaan World?

In Central Asia, a ‘dastaan’ – Persian for ‘story’ – is oral history told in the form of an ornate story. Dastaan World is a platform through which you can achieve visibility, credibility, and success. Each month, we feature short stories, poetry, art, photography, and more – helping creators showcase their talent to the world. It is our sincerest hope that we can help create opportunities for success for everyone who submits their work to us. So reach out, tell us what you do or can do, and let us together explore new avenues.

Admittedly, I haven’t heard from the publisher for months. I did find out that one of the things holding up “Discordia” was the cover art. I’m pleased that “The Unreal Man” is in print at last, but I just wish the journey was a bit more “typical” of my experiences with the publishing industry.

Who is the Unreal Man?

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