Friday, July 29, 2011

Meat Puppet

Meat Puppet is a horror book from Jackson Michigan author Thom Futrell. My normal taste does NOT go to this genre however I am going to review this on the facts.

First impression is not impressive. The cover is frankly uninspiring. Whomever this author gets to do his covers, he needs to fire the man or woman. The cover IS a look into the soul of the book, and I have seen a couple of his books, and with his cover designers work, they have cost this author I am betting hundreds, if not thousands of sales. How do I know this. Well read on.

I am going to say something that I rarely do when it comes to an authors writing. He is an outstanding author of horror. He has a way to creep you out that while reading one of his stories, the undead one was unsettling to me, which this author will probably enjoy.

One other problem is his editing. Although it is good it is not as it should be. There are many classic mistakes, however they were minor and few and did not take me too far from the read. I was impressed with his skill in weaving situations and circumstances where I became unsettled, and started listening to the dishwasher downstairs running, wondering if something dead was crawling up the stairs.

I give this advice to the author.. Thom... Thom baby... PLEASE get a new cover designer, I PROMISE YOU that you will sell tons more. I give this book due to the covers...

4 Stars

All The Wiser

This book by author Kristin Sauerhoff is about her battle with breast cancer. I am a firm supporter of anything that will educate, inform, and frankly aid any woman or man who gets this disease.

That is where the problem comes in reviewing a book like this. If a great review is given then am I just doing so out of compassion? However if I give an unfavorable review, am I being a heartless wench with no feeling.

I am a book and product reviewer and I am going to give my honest impressions. Initial impression is the starkness of the book, the cover has no real bells and whistles, and frankly that is a huge draw for me on a book like this. Simply the cover fits. I like that the designer did not over do pink.

The book is broken into two sections mainly. There is the first part that is based off of her online blog that she kept while going through this ordeal, and she then follows with reflections that she brings her post or later insights to bear. Now this was a great part, and one I enjoyed. The editing is spot on, the book is laid out and presented very nicely. Her blog entries range from funny to heart breaking.

The author did a wonderful job on this. Now if this book was this alone I would give it 5 stars and brag till my voice is harsh. However, where the author then countered this is on the second section or part.

The second part is medical information that is designed to inform the reader, family or other person. This woman is not a doctor, however she gives very medical "advice." Now she doesnt specifically say "take 2 tablets and call me in the morning." However the medical information in the second half of the book that I think she "meant" to inform, frankly befuddles and confuses her work in the first part. The information is very technical, and loses me as a reader, I had two friends read her book, with no input from me, except and I quote. "Great book, read this and tell me what you think."

There response from both was great on the first part, lost on the second. My one friend even went so far as to ask if this book was also designed for doctors to read.

She really should have kept the technical medical information out of the work. I was being pulled into her story, I felt (and still do feel) great respect for her courage in the battle she faced, I felt empathy for her two children, and her husband. THEN... Part two came. She should have delineated the medical information at best, put it into more layman's terms.

Now in all fairness I think I know where she "wanted" to go with the medical part. However the very technical information included really dampened the read for me. I went from one extreme to another when going into part two.

Part one deserved 5 stars, but with part two and it's confusing, technical jargon that really brought the overall scope of the book down. I have to give it...

3.5 stars

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Honest, I plead NOT GUILTY !

Questions have been raised at our so called "harshness" when reviewing books. We do not feel we are harsh at all. We review books and judge our reviews on not the popularity of a book, but instead we judge the books we read on several things.

  1. Content.
  2. Editing.
  3. Cover design.
  4. Age Appropriateness.
  5. The authors honesty when writing about themselves.
So yes we look at more than the sales of a book. We look deeper than "WHO" the author is. We are honest and feel that as time goes by our reviews will become something that more and more people appreciate.

Authors are not all created equally, and we do not get paid, bribed or get Harley Davidsons from those we review. I and my friends who do this, do it on our own time. In other words we do this for FREE. The only perk we get is publisher send us books for free so we can review them, or maybe the author does.

I am not an author as I lack the essential skill of doing so, I am not embarrassed about it. However, I also am an avid reader and know a good book, well written, well laid out, great covers when I see it.

If you do not like my review of your book, I am sorry. I give feedback as to reasons, and instead of getting angry with the CAG, why not learn from the review, and grow as an author. If you think you are a perfect writer, then please cease writing, as no one is perfect. Steven King still does not know the difference between Their and There....

So since my trial is over, and I feel I am not guilty of being a bad reviewer, lets move on to more books. Boy do we have a lot of them to review.

Gracie's Day With Daisy

This new book released in Late 2010 by Author Kristina Garcia is part of a larger series called the "Country Secrets Series".

The book is designed to be a chapter reader, however it is oriented to a kindergartner crowd. My initial impression was that this was not a very good thing, as children tend to read and progress at specific levels.

Saying that, I was pleased upon reading it. The books premise as is the whole series according to the publisher 2 Moon Press, is that each book (there will be 12) contains a stand alone story. Each one revolves around a child going off to the country and they learn a secret.

The "secrets" involve animals, bugs and fish, and these fun and friendly animals, bugs and fish all talk and interact with the kids in a positive and fun way. The author writes in a fun and interesting way, and she makes the reading experience something that young readers will enjoy.

The editing is crafted well, with attractive covers that are whimsical and make sense for the story. Spelling, syntax and flow is done properly and in a sensical manner.

What interests me the most about this book is the possibility of the next four books in the series. The publisher sent us an advanced reader copy of her fifth book that we cannot go too far into I can just say these books will make the average mom or dad make sure they collect them all. We are so impressed with the innovative nature of these books that we have selected the book for an Outlook Award for Childrens writing.

We thus give this book and so far the first 4 in her series...