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Join the book club and read our book of the month:  This months book is Neuromancer.  Live stream discussion will be Sunday, April 18th at 1pm MST please RSVP if you will be attending 

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    • By Lasraik in Steve's Book Reviews 1
      Nocturne was written by H.B. Diaz it's a collection of short stories and was published in December of 2020
      A synopsis from Amazon:
       
      Because this is a collection of short stories, this review won't be in my usual format (What I liked, didn't like, rating ect.).
      I picked this book up on a whim when I saw a Twitter thread a few weeks ago where authors were promoting their independent books.  I grabbed a handful of books and intended to get to them when I could squeeze them in.  Thankfully, yesterday I finished a book and before I started Neuromancer (for our group read) I picked this one off the shelf.  Being 107 pages I figured it would be a quick read and something to cleanse the palate.  Kicked my feet up and started reading.  A few minutes later my wife walked into the room and asked what I was reading.  I turned the book to her and she asked if it was scary, and if so why do I have a big smile on my face.  So here I am reading a horror book, the hairs on the back of my neck sticking up, that uncomfortable feeling you get when you read good horror and I'm smiling because I love the writing.
      Lately I've had bad luck with horror books.  This book broke my bad luck streak in a big way.  Some people may think writing a short story is easy... because it's shorter.  Writing a short story effectively is an art form, it takes skill and craft.  To squeeze in a plot, characters with enough to leave the reader satisfied and wanting more at the same time is difficult. 
      Years and years ago I fell in love with short stories.  I spent a fair amount of time studying them and reading as many as I could get my hands on.  I even made a few feeble attempts at writing my own.  As the years passed other things came up and I stopped reading them.  This book revived my love of short stories.  The stories are all great, some of them read almost as poetry.  The metaphors that are used and the writing is wonderful.  I was scared, uncomfortable and smiling all at the same time.
      If you love horror and or short stories, give this book a try.  It's free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription
      I enjoyed all of the stories, there were no low points but my standouts were:
      The Malady of Mrs. Monroe The Pocket Watch The Ruins It's a short book, but one that I'll read again.  Something tells me there are little details I missed in most of the stories that will reshape the way I read them the first and second time. 
      My rating: 5 Yellow Pills in a Tiny Paper Cup out of 5
    • By Lasraik in Steve's Book Reviews 0
      Red Harvest Moon was published in 2021 is the first book in the Wandering Knife series.  The book is available on Kindle Unlimited.
      I received a digital copy of this book from the author for an honest review.  I also purchased a paper copy on my own to support the author.
      Synopsis via Goodreads:
       
      What I Liked:
      The characters were likable and fun.  Their banter back and fourth was hilarious and genuine. The environments are described very well.  You always know where you are in a village or in a forest, you always feel as though you're in the world with the characters.  The way the environments are described reminded me of walking through a village in an MMO or an RPG like Skyrim. The villain's are great and the backstory was intriguing.  I want to know more about them. The action scenes are well done. There are some flashbacks that are well timed and well done. The is enough lore given to you for you to enjoy the story, but not so much that it's a ton of bricks and you are overwhelmed.  That said, I'm looking forward to the rest of this series to learn more about this world. Anticipation and that feeling of imminent doom is well done.  What I Didn't Like:
      Being a reader that enjoys characters, I would have liked a little more character moments and back story. A few times the characters say one thing but shortly thereafter do another. Final Thoughts and Rating:
      This is a great first entry for a fantasy series, and a debut for the author.  It's long enough that you get a good story but not too long that it takes a lot of time to read.  I feel invested in the characters, lore and world enough that I want to come back to this world and know what happens next.  There are some hilarious moments between the characters.  It does a good job of going from a heartfelt moment, to action and gore without feeling abrupt.  Although I would have liked more character moments, with a book this long and the story I received it's not a huge problem.  If you're into fantasy it's definitely a book to check into and keep an eye on this series. 
      Rating: 4 flicking eye flesh out of a spoon like a grape out of 5
       
       
    • By Lasraik in Steve's Book Reviews 0
      Crackle and Fire is the first book in the Angela Harwicke Mysterys series.
      I was provided a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
      Synopsis:
       
      What I liked:
      In what feels like a lifetime ago, I was a Private Investigator for a period of time.  This story took me back to those days.  I wonder if the author either has been a PI at some point or knows someone who has. The environments are vibrant The book is fast paced with lots of twists and turns The universe is interesting and the mixture of science fiction and a mystery was fun There's some genuinely funny moments  
      What I didn't like:
      While the universe is interesting, I had the feeling that I was reading the second novel in a series not having an idea how everything works.  From what I understand it's much clearer if you've read the previous books by this author. I'm assuming it speaks to the main characters attitude, but she has sexual tension with almost everyone she meets and makes a sexual reference about herself or other characters constantly.  It felt out of place and unnecessary, it didn't serve the story. The chapters end on a cliff hanger, but sometimes are annoying more than cliff hanging.  
      Rating: 2.5 dRops out of 5
       
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