AP Diggs is a writer and avid gardener in Michigan
Where to find Antonio Diggs online
This member has not published any books.
Smashwords book reviews by Antonio Diggs
- The Plane of Dreams
on Sep. 06, 2012
Plane of Dreams Review
Classical fantasy for the 21st century.
As a beta reader for Plane of Dreams I haven’t read the polished version and I may not get to it for some time. What I did read was an engaging adventure with memorable characters and a world intricately constructed by Will Hahn. If you are a fan of classical fantasy, Plane of Dreams is your cup of mead. As a reader of much of Mr. Hahn’s work I can safely say this this is his best work to date.
The Tributarians are your standard group of adventurers that you find in fantasy, dwarves, elves, humans, thieves, are a few of the inhabitants from the Lands of Hope. Like most fantasies, the story follows several heroes on divergent paths that culminate in a final battle with the demon Nightmare.
For me, a good story needs good characters more than evil villains or some impossible quest, and Hahn provides some great characters. His style reminds me of T. H. White’s The Once and Future King in both the pacing and humor.
There are passages that I didn’t like and passages that I absolutely loved, and I can say that for every good book I’ve read. What also makes for good fantasy is a three dimensional world that exists beyond the single story and the Lands of Hope has more than enough diversity, history, culture, and fables to satisfy the most ardent of fantasy fans.
While it is a good book to get lost in, it is not without its flaws. The dream sequences can get convoluted, but I’m not one fore dream sequences in any book or movie. Fortunately they are not drawn out or so bizarre that you don’t know what’s going on. Characters from other books pass through or are introduced for future work. This is great for those who read the entire series, but the impact those characters have can be lost on the novice reader. And lastly I found the ending rushed. It is told from several POV’s that I found both entertaining and charming but that made it appear to end too soon.
That aside, The Plane of Dreams also has some of the finest writing I have read in years. One particular storyline completely enraptured me and I hold it up as a shining light to other authors and say, ‘write more of this!’ I highly recommend this novel for fans of this genre.
- If an Octopus Could Type
on April 23, 2013
If an Octopus Could Type
An existential romp through the mind of L.A. Powell.
The collection of short stories and poems is short enough to enjoy on a half hour commute but rich enough to take in smaller bites and over a longer period. I read the collection online on http://ifanoctopuscouldtype.com/ rather than on the tiny screen of my phone, and I am glad I did.
Interspersed in the collection are a series of photos, mostly beautiful women, not the cheesecake variety that you find in Maxim but the kind of pictures that you would have found if Maxim was around in 1974. As well as other cultural, humorous, or iconic images of the past 30 years. The images, while vivid and stories in themselves, rarely match the darker poetry and prose of the collection. They are more of a pallet cleanser. After a walk through the shady corners of Mr. Powell’s psyche one can breathe again when you see Marilyn Monroe reading a book.
The poems are thankfully brief quips that play more with words than they do with imagery. The use of anagrams, reductions, and fragmentations in the style of EE Cummings ‘I(a’ are either clever wordplays or insightful proverbs. My favorite being:
Kids with guns,
In their own eyes.
The meat in this philosophical collection are the stories. Not your literary musings that are more concerned with how pretty the words fit together, but real stories that hold meaning in what appears to be a meaningless world. Powell avoids the nihilistic aspect of existentialism that would make a book like this morbid and depressing. Instead he asks questions about life, love and death in small vignettes and allegories that leave the reader musing rather than suicidal.
My favorite story is ‘Tobit’, a supernatural flash, followed by ‘The Toaster or the Plate?’ an allegorical twister. Best line in the collection:
“The kitchen is a dangerous environment, if you’re an especially attractive cut of meat.”
This is to say that the collection does have some flaws. The tone and structure of the collection is somewhat haphazard. It does not flow the way a professionally edited collection would be, but since it is free, this is a minor complaint. The philosophy in the collections is more advanced than the twenty-something age of the author. That said, some of it treads the same ground that philosophers have been spinning Socrates.
The story ‘Reality Blows’ uses the ‘grandfather’s axe’ paradox. Nothing wrong with that, but the way Powell used it is reminiscent of the movie “John Dies at the End.” Nothing wrong with borrowing a scene from the movie if you can do it better, sadly Powell didn’t do it justice.
I can picture this book sitting on the shelf of a used book store between “On the Road” and “Naked Lunch”. It is a book worth reading and Powell is an author worth watching.