Source: Netgalley

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Snowblind

Snowblind

Strange occurrences surround the return of a blizzard where years before many residents went missing.  On first examination Snowblind dredges up thoughts of ghost stories told around a campfire.  It however really isn’t that, at least not completely. For this kind of supernatural suspense book Snowblind is a lot more subdued and restrained then you find in most other mainstream books of the genre.  Sure there are scares and surprises but it tries to play with your mind more than hack and slash its way to horror.  It is more Stir of Echoes than it is Nightmare on Elm Street.  Because of this the pacing is a lot slower the some will be used to.  Not to say it is overly slow as this is the type of pacing you need to make a story like this work.  However this also causes the middle of the book to really drag. … Read more »

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Ex-Purgatory

Ex-Purgatory

Ex-Purgatory starts you in the middle of a story already in progress with characters you should already know but who don’t seem to know themselves.  If you have read the previous volumes in this series then this book has an interesting opening that should keep you riveted.  If, like me, this is your entrance into the series then you will spend the first 30% of the book trying to figure out what the heck is going on. To be fair this clearly was not intended to be a place for new readers to pick up the series and the book makes no qualms about it.  There are really two ways you can go with a series, the stand alone approach where each book resents for new readers and each installment works unto itself or the episodic approach where each title builds on what came before it.  Clines clearly went for… Read more »

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In Retrospect

In Retrospect

Review by Travis Starnes In Retrospect is time travel story mixed with a who-dun-it style mystery set against a dystopian sci-fi backdrop.  It sounds like a strange mixture but Larson completely pulls off this interesting collogue of genres. When it comes to sci-fi, and especially dystopian and post-apocalyptic future (or in this case post-post-apocalyptic) sci-fi, the setting is what makes or breaks the book for me.  Larson did what I think works the best by creating a detailed world and just hinting at all this past information.  Similar to Tolkien’s work you can feel the history of the world the book never focuses on that far history.  You know there was some kind of apocalyptic event, that prior to that a limited form of time travel was invented and that after the event new civilizations rose to take the place of the old powers.  I would actually be interested to… Read more »

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Glorious War: The Civil War Adventures of George Armstrong Custer

Glorious War: The Civil War Adventures of George Armstrong Custer

Glorious War is a biography covering the exploits of George Custer’s Civil War career as well as touching on some of the years just before and after the war.   It attempts to give a more in-depth look at one of the few soldiers whose life after the Civil War over shadowed his actions during it. I read a lot of biographies and to me they are really hit or miss.  While the subject is important in getting me interested in a biography it is really the tone the author uses that makes or breaks it for me.  In Glorious War Thom Hatch uses a flowing narrative style that does an excellent job of combining the need to relay information about the subject’s life while still making it an enjoyable read.  For me this is one of the most enjoyable biographies I have read and joins a small group of similar… Read more »

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Parasite

Parasite

Review by Travis Starnes Parasite really took me off guard.  It is the story of a future where humans have purposely made themselves hosts to a genetically modified species of Tapeworm.  Everything seems great until the parasites start getting restless, then things get interesting. I was really unsure what to make of this book.  Even after reading the back of the book I wasn’t sure if it was a mystery, sci-fi or horror story.  Turns out it is a little of all three.  Something I didn’t know going in, but I think most readers should be warned about before reading it, is this is part one of a larger story.  The book ends on a solid cliff hanger, which honestly killed me.  By the end of the book I was totally invested in what was going on and when I flipped the page and found the afterward and a “to… Read more »

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1914: The Year the World Ended

1914: The Year the World Ended

1914: The Year the World Ended is an accounting of the origins of World War I.  It takes on myths that surround the war and tries to show why the powers that be in Europe allowed the world to dissolve into one of the bloodiest conflicts in history.  The author, historian Paul Ham, asks why 8.5 million people had to die. There is no denying that Paul Ham is a skilled historian.  His research for this book is thorough and meticulous.  He has a very firm grasp of all the events that built up and eventually lead to the war and the players involved.  This book is very detailed and gives a very complete explanation of the causes of World War I. While as a history text it does succeed, in every other way this book fails.  It is billed as a narrative account and it is anything but that. … Read more »

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