Book Giveaway Winners

We have a winner !!!…  two of them.

We ended with 32 people entered and the 2 winners were chosen randomly by a computer program. They will recieve a free autographed copy of Paternus the multi-award wining first book by Dyrk Ashton. Screen shots of the winning names will be at the bottom. The winners are Once again, My fellow blogger, Danielle from Books, Vertigo and Tea and Ghibli. Congratulations to the winners! I want to thank you all for playing and helping me spread the word about my blog I started this blog On October 8th 2016 and with your help I have received just over  900 visitors and had almost  1,700 page views in less than 2 months. That is truly amazing to me, and I sincerely thank you all.

I will send each of the winners a email telling them that they have won and asking for a mailing address. If they do not respond by Monday 12/05/16 I will pick a new winner.

Here is a list of all the people that entered.

  1. Tom
  2. The Royal Polar Bear
  3. The Imbalance
  4. Susan Price
  5. smans001
  6. Rebekah Teller
  7. Readinginthemorning
  8. R B Watkinson
  9. Pia Roos
  10. ObservantRaven
  11. Noelle
  12. Minna Mononen
  13. Mia C.
  14. Meghana
  15. Lynn
  16. Liam
  17. Leini
  18. ladyvampire
  19. Kelsy
  20. Kameo Yarrow
  21. Jennifer Scott
  22. Jay
  23. Jason Parrish
  24. Ghibli
  25. fabiano
  26. Devon
  27. darkmondaysblog
  28. Christopher Cardenas
  29. Bryan
  30. Books, Vertigo and Tea
  31. bloodygrim
  32. Ashley Melanson
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Hob’s review of Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi

Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi
by John Scalzi

Expected publication: December 31st 2016 by Subterranean Press

Well the title describes this book pretty darn well. It was written by John Scalzi and its pretty short fiction.  I mean like Miniature sized stories, some are only 3 or 4 pages long. The whole book is shorter than most short stories weighing in at under 150 pages. I read it on Thursday and while writing this review the following Monday I ended up reading the whole thing a second time.  On the technical side I didn’t notice any formatting problems or typos on my Kindle. But I think this is a type of book it would be way better to have a physical copy of.  Have it sitting out on the coffee table when friends come over and you got an hour of entertainment right there

But Miniatures: is another perfect example of why I love Scalzi. From his serious books like the Old Mans War series and Lock in to his hilarious parodies like Redshirts and this one. It doesn’t matter what he writes it always seems to make you think about things and still turn out great. Because this book was so short this review will be even shorter than most, but I do want to share parts of my 3 favorite stories from the book.   First is a story about looking at alternate time lines where Hitler was killed in different ways.     hitler1

Next we basically have interviews with home appliances that have A.I. that really shouldn’t.

ai

The final one is my favorite I think. If you have read Scalzi’s book Redshirts you will really love this but if not it is a lawyer giving a press interview about  a class action suit.red1red2

Even though it is so short the LPP (Laughs Per Page) Ratio is quite high. It would definitely be a great conversation starter and its something you could open up for a chuckle or two whenever you have a few extra minutes. So I am going to give Miniatures 5 out of 5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hob’s review of The Illuminati: by Robert Howells

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This title is a mouthful but here goes, The Illuminati: The Counter Culture Revolution-From Secret Societies to Wilkileaks and Anonymous. Let’s go over the technical stuff first. I read this on my Kindle and was pleasantly surprised by the lack of errors in both formatting and editing. The title obviously doesn’t roll of the tongue very easily but the cover looks great

 

I have read just about all major religious texts and most minor ones.  I have also read about the origins of most religions.  But this book explains it so well about how Religions became what they are today and how Secret societies came to be born as a result of persecution of anyone  who didn’t follow exactly as they were told. It was fascinating just for that, but that was only the beginning. It is amazing to think where humanity could have been if the Illuminati had been successful at removing religion and corruption from governments hundreds of years ago. It is also sad and extremely terrifying to think that both of those things are at an all time high in most governments in the world today.

I have always been interested in this subject and have family in the masons so have read of and discussed this subject quite a bit. But this book was extremely in depth describing the ceremonies involved in the different ranks of both the Free Masons and with the Illuminati.  It also listed all the ranks and what each ones responsibilities were. At times it did feel a bit like a text book, but it did manage to keep things interesting for the most part despite the huge amount of information being dropped on the reader.

I felt the cover and the title was a bit deceiving. I was expecting more of a book filled with wild and crazy conspiracy theories so was pleasantly surprised that it was not. It was full of Information about the history of these mysterious Secret societies and then at the end comparing them to the modern day groups. I thoroughly enjoyed the The Illuminati: The Counter Culture Revolution-From Secret Societies to Wilkileaks and Anonymous and would recommend it to any interested in the history of the Illuminati or of any history really.

Final Thoughts

It was a good read with lots of information. While not much I haven’t read before, It was definitely  presented better then I have seen before. The cover art is great but misleading as to the subject matter. While I feel this would appeal more to lovers of history than lovers of Conspiracy, both would enjoy it. I am going to give it 3.5 stars out of 5

 

WE have a winner!!

Three of them actually so that’s even better.

We ended with 42 people entered and the 3 winners were chosen randomly by a computer program. Screen shots of the winning names will be at the bottom. The winners are My fellow blogger Books, Vertigo and Tea,  Susan Price, and Ian Goldstein. Congratulations to the winners!

If you didn’t win don’t feel bad just make sure you are entered in the other giveaway I have going on for a autographed copy of Paternus by Dyrk Ashton. It is his First book and has already won a few awards and is a finalist in the SPFBO contest hosted by Mark Lawrence.

  I want to thank you all for playing and helping me spread the word about my blog. I started this blog On October 8th 2016 and with your help I have received over 800 visitors and had more than 1,500 page views in less than 2 months. That is truly amazing to me, and I sincerely thank you all.

I will send each of the winners a email telling them that they have won and asking for a mailing address. If they do not respond by Friday12/02/16 I will pick a new winner.

Who Played

  1. Jamie beer
  2. Kameo Yarrow
  3. The Royal Polar Bear
  4. T
  5. Lori Walker
  6. Books, Vertigo and Tea
  7. Thomas Mercer
  8. darkchiibsb
  9. Susan Price
  10. Minna Mononen
  11. tranylle
  12. gregory reahr
  13. K Moldawsky
  14. Carlana Van Houten
  15. Jay
  16. Devon
  17. Tamara
  18. Darren Noble
  19. Christopher Cardenas
  20. Jessica Bewers
  21. ObservantRaven
  22. Brianne Flett
  23. Ian Goldstein
  24. Alex G. Denby
  25. T. Phipps
  26. Danna
  27. Chris Hamatake
  28. Petros Triantafylloy
  29. Barbara
  30. 8giraffe8
  31. Raukaris
  32. Toby McMillin
  33. sara
  34. Roger Clemons
  35. Eduardo Villela
  36. Nathan
  37. Colin William Jack
  38. Zachery Neumann
  39. Davide
  40. Gabriel C.
  41. Paul
  42. Lynn

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Hob’s review of Arcanum Unbounded: By Brandon Sanderson

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection

UNABRIDGED

 

Arcanum is a collection of short stories that each take place on a different planet or with a different group of people on a planet in the Cosmere. If you are a Sanderson fan like me there is not much new here. Of the eight stories only two were new to me. Only one story was completely new to this anthology. But that one story is worth the price of admission alone, it is AWESOME. If you know about Lyft you will get that.

I was reminded how good at world building Sanderson is over and over again with these short stories. Especially in regards to the magic systems. Every planet sometimes each side of the planet has its own unique magic system. But they are also all compatible and even intertwined in such neat ways that I really am amazed.

I listened to the Audiobook narrated by the best married couple in the business Michael Kramer , Kate Reading. I will buy just about anything read by either one of them. While I am really happy with the Audiobook I am upset that they don’t add on the E-book for a special price if you already have the Audiobook. With all of the art and maps you really should get a actual book or you are just getting ripped off.  I had it preordered for months and as it got closer and more information about the art was reveled I started to regret my decision. Now that I know I would need to pay an additional $15.00 for the art I am kind of pissed.

Putting that aside, It was a great way to spend 22 1/2 hours. I actually listened to it straight through. I finished around 6:00 am Thanksgiving morning, and am really thankful I don’t have anything to do today except eat and sleep.  And speaking of eating it is about that time so I am going to give Arcanum Unbounded 4 out of 5 pies…er I mean stars…….Mmmmm PIE….um What was I saying?  Oh yeah it would have been 5 stars if Audiobook users could download the art or buy the Ebook for around $5.00  but to spend $15.00 more after the $35.00 of the audiobook is ridiculous just to have the complete book.

 

Hob’s review of Free the Darkness (King’s Dark Tidings, #1) by Kel Kade

Free the Darkness: King’s Dark Tidings, Book 1 UNABRIDGED

I was kind of bullied in to getting this book by Audible. for the last 2 months it has been the only series to be recommended that I haven’t already listened/read. When I noticed that it was Narrated by Nick Podehl I caved and got it. and Nick did a great job on it. I probably liked the book way more then I should have because of the fantastic job he did reading it. audible

Why shouldn’t I have liked it  that much?  Well let me tell you a bit about the plot first. It starts out in a training montage. A 5 or 6 year old boy broke his leg with bone showing and he is expected to tell what he did wrong, and then set the bone by himself. Really? I dropped a table on my foot at 12 breaking 5 bones, and finished moving the table before I went hopping to show my mom a foot 3X normal size. I was laughing as I said “Hey ma I think I hurt myself”. At 15 I grabbed my kneecap from the back of my leg and pulled it back in to position. I did both of those things without screaming. But there was a whole lot of cussing and  laughing. With the knee. It was hilarious because my Mom and my Girlfriend had to pull my jeans off so we could see what was wrong.  But it is physically impossible to set a broken shin with ripped skin by yourself. You just can’t reach it.

Now lets skip to when our hero, Rezkin, is 19. He has mastered every weapon ever made is a master healer and spy and everything else. (I have a theory about why Rez is so good at things but I am not going to say.)  Additionally he lives his life by all the rules he has been taught. After a bit of confusion and everyone he has ever known laying dead around him he rushes up to his master as he is about to die.  He tells Rez rules 2 to kill with compassion and rule 1 to honor and protect….He sees all of his friends that have died before him and says “my friends” …..he dies. Now Rezkin was never told how one gets friends or what they are really so he is just a Tad confused about his life’s purpose.

When he gets to the closest town that he of course has memorized he goes to a inn that is pretty much full. A girl about his age asks to sit with him as there is no other chairs. As they talk we learn that Rez is the most beautiful man ever Like OMG SEXY.  So of course she says I am so glad we are friends now…..

To me it felt like a kind of well written teen fantasy, But as I am writing this I pulled it up on Goodreads and disappointingly  it says flat out “This book is intended for adult readers. It contains graphic violence, creative language, and sexual innuendo.” While that stuff is true it’s no more than a PG-13 at best  You will see more violence in a video game,  and more sexual innuendo in a Animaniacs cartoon…..HELLOOO Nurse.

Final Thoughts

So yeah, ridiculous plot and I don’t know why I liked it but I did. The girl fights over Rez and him being so oblivious to it are pretty funny  add that in to A lot of persistently running jokes and you get a quite amusing book. The action scenes, while being completely one sided, are written well.  As i said before it was excellently narrated by Nick Podehl, and to me that is the biggest point in its favor. So I am not sure how it earned 3.75 stars out of 5  but it did. So Check it out I guess.

 

Hob’s Review of A Plague of Swords By Miles Cameron

The Traitor Son Cycle, Book 4 UNABRIDGED By Miles Cameron Narrated by Neil Dickson

I am not sure how I feel about The Plague of Swords. One of my favorite things about Cameron is his detail so I shouldn’t complain, but I did get a bit tired of who was sitting next to who at the war meetings. I think the main problem I had with the whole book was everything about it felt slow. Even with my AB player on 1.2 speed I thought it was spoken slow. Neil Dickson narrated this book, The Plague of Swords,  as well as book 3 The Dread Wyrm. While I think Matthew Wolf Did a better job on books 1 and 2, I had no problems with  The Dread Wyrm. so I may have been just wanting to get to the action.

Now about that action. Cameron uses his knowledge of armor and weapons combined with his actual experience in wielding them to completely surpass most other authors with battle descriptions. So it should come as no surprise that the fight scenes were done brilliantly. What was surprising to me, was how little of it there was. Of the little over 21 hours the Audiobook consisted of It felt like less than one was in Battle. I know the siege is over, but still I wanted more death and destruction on a grand scale. Is that too much to ask for?

 I think the author may have felt the same way because we all of the sudden get a new army fighting the Red Night. The entire plot line of the “legion of parasitic worms that can take over anything, man or animal, alive or dead and use them as solders” just felt unnecessary and out of place. Plus it was not a big deal. The resolution happens in like 2 minutes.

My other big problem though is the “Not Death” of one of the main characters. I say not death because they didn’t die. No they just did some unexplained thing for an unexplained reason and then basically disappear. I still can’t wrap my head around it.

Still the prose is great even if the plot was not up to my expectations. It just seemed to be build up and then no finale.  All I can say is with 21 hours of setup book 5 should be one hell of a ride.

Final Thoughts

There always has to be one book that is the least favorite in a series. And The Plague of Swords is my least favorite of the four books. However  (The Traitor Son Cycle) so far is one of my top 20 series ever. It very well could be in my top 10 depending on how it ends. So I definitely recommend you pick it up if you haven’t already. I give Plague of Swords 3.75 out of 5 stars.

P.S. Sorry this one is not Humorous in any way but Just not feeling it now. Or you are welcome for not filling this review with terrible jokes like normal. I might rewrite in a few days. But I had to call 911 today for my mom and that is never good. She is fine but has Emphysema/COPD and now has Pneumonia. So I am just using my outline for the review with out adding the attempts at funny.

 

my Pictures of the super moon

The title may be a bit deceiving ….well OK it is a flat out lie. I didn’t take the really cool one that got you to look at this post. Although I am pretty sure I know the spot it was taken, I recognize the Saguaros. None of my moon shots turned out. I hiked a mile or two to a cool spot I know on a ridge. It has a great view of where the moon was going to rise tonight. And trust me  it did look really cool.The photos however did not. I did  get some great shots before the sun set though, and that’s what I will post here. At the bottom there is one of the moon from tonight, one from yesterday and one from the last Bloodmoon.

I stole the Main photo from https://www.howitworksdaily.com/what-is-a-supermoon/