Antonio Simon, Jr
Antonio Simon, Jr. is a lawyer and author of several short stories and essays. He holds Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Miami (Florida) in the subjects of political science and history, as well as a Juris Doctorate from Saint Thomas University’s School of Law. It is from this unique combination of disciplines which he draws inspiration, always making sure to add healthy doses of tongue-in-cheek humor. As you read this, he’s probably in court, or working on his next novel, or driving really fast in moments in between. He lives in Miami, Florida.
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Smashwords book reviews by Antonio Simon, Jr
- The Red Man
on July 30, 2013
Artfully written, The Red Man is a suspenseful tale that builds steadily up through its terrifying conclusion.
- Assisted Suicide
on July 30, 2013
Solid supernatural suspense and packed with more twists than you'd expect in a short story.
- Dog Food
on July 30, 2013
A fun read, this short story is the flip-side to the old adage, "man's best friend."
- Empire (In Her Name: Redemption, Book 1)
on Aug. 12, 2013
Empire: In Her Name is the first in Michael Hick's Empire sci-fi series. The novel tells the story of Reza, a human boy orphaned during the invasion of Earth by a race of savage warriors. Young Reza endures all manner of trials as he grows up and seeks out his place in life. Interestingly, there is more to the invading species than appears at first glance. They are an honorable race of warriors who eschew bullets in favor of melee combat.
Just two things irked me. First, the French girl from planet France. The love interest at the beginning of the novel is from a planet of non-human, human-like people. Her father is a Frenchman from Earth. It's never explained how two distinct species from separate planets produced offspring, nor is it explained how the culture of an entire planet's inhabitants might all so closely resemble that of the country of France.
My second gripe is that it was like Avatar in reverse: instead of humans invading blue aliens, it's the other way around.
That aside, these gripes are insignificant and do not break the story in any way. On the whole, Empire: In Her Name is a fun sci-fi romp packed full of swordplay, which is a refreshing combination given the genre's reliance on laser beams and death rays.
- Sword from the Sky
on Aug. 25, 2013
By appearances, Luca is a normal young man with aspirations to become a swordmaster. By how badly he wants this, he would seem to have the makings of becoming the best swordmaster ever, especially since has a wooden leg. But what Luca doesn't know is that he is nowhere near normal. Little does he know that his very birth was a controversy, and before too long his shadowy past catches up to him.
If you're a fan of high fantasy, swordplay, and magic, then this book is for you. R. Janvier Del Valle weaves a tale of epic swordplay, royal intrigue, and heroic strength to persevere in the face of insurmountable setbacks.
- Earth Power
on Aug. 27, 2013
A unique paranormal twist on the time-honored detective story.
Harry Gill's death marks the latest traffic fatality on the "Road to Hell" bypass. While ordinarily the matter would be left to the police, Raphael Drake and Sam Watkins, private investigators of the Aquarius Agency, are called in to investigate the mysterious goings-on. On hearing reports of shadowy figures seen of the roadway at the time of each incident, they suspect there may be an otherworldly cause to the deaths. Their investigation hopscotches across several paranormal events -- poltergeists, ley lines, druids and witches -- resulting in their coming to the foreboding notion that a still greater threat looms.
Admittedly, what with the mysterious deaths, a haunted roadway, and other occurrences, there is a lot going on in this novel. It is all artfully handled, but you'll need to pay close attention or else you'll miss an important element of the story. It is, after all, a detective story, and as with any detective story there are clues to unearth and leads to follow. It may all seem piecemeal at first blush, but by the end everything jives together.
The writing is crisp and to the point, as you would expect from a hard-boiled detective novel, but without the cynical grit typical of that genre. Direct as the language is, it's also approachable, witty, and engaging.
The characters are a motley gang. You've got Sam, the hard line ex-cop, Raphael, who may be a burgeoning mystic due to his unique sensitivities, Gemini the tarot card fortune teller, and Denny the newspaper reporter. How a group this varied can work together is anybody's guess, saying nothing of how one can expect them to solve the mystery, but suffice it to say that it's a lot of fun to watch them try.
Definitely give this one a try -- it's a good read.
- A Victory that Counts
on Sep. 03, 2013
This novel, second in the series, follows Liana's exploits amid an inter-species war. Once enemies, the vampires and the pandurs (fierce human fighters) now have joined forces against a common threat: a new breed of vampire out for blood.
I've read enough vampire books to know what to expect when I come across one in a book. Even so, I would like to have seen a clearer depiction of these vampires, or perhaps a new twist on the vampire theme. Likewise for the pandurs.
I know this is the second book in the series, and I've not read the first, which may put me at a disadvantage in terms of knowing what the series is about. Yet, I feel that the book would have benefited from a few extra passages to bring the reader up to speed.
That aside, this novel is an interesting take on the "humans versus vampires" theme. The "new breed" of vampire is ferocious to the point of animal savagery, so much so that even the older race of vampires has realized the threat their "cousins" (in name only) pose. Furthermore, Liana makes for a charismatic and strong female lead, who commands the respect and admiration of her troops, whether they be human or vampire.
On the whole, this novel made for an entertaining read, particularly for fans of the vampire novel genre.