An American Branch
on Oct. 17, 2011
Wow. This is one heavily loaded dramatic read. The main character Charles is an American teacher in Japan, and this book follows his downward spiral into hell.
He seems just like every other guy, caught up in his work and the logistical problems of the college he's teaching at, and having that awkward distance appearing between himself and his wife.
Up to this point, you don't really have a relationship with him. Then he makes the first of a series of potentially volatile and damaging decisions. It includes raunchy sex with a grateful mother (of one of his students), it has him backstabbing his boss, and entering into his lost youth when he starts smoking pot and taking LSD.
All things considered, he's lucky he got off as lightly as he did.
This book is a delightful sojourn into Japan, the food, the lifestyle, and the gorgeous beauty of the place - Highlighted starkly against the US midwest.
But the twists continue, and as a reader you feel it. Wholeheartedly ensconced in Charles' life, you want to shake him, and your insides contract when you discover the horror at the end.
What a way to end a book.
It was a wild ride, one I could not anticipate from the book's blurb. Nothing prepares you for how candid and gut wrenching this read is.
This book turns you into a voyeur, witnessing the best and worst moments of this man's life.
It was well written and compelling.
Eyes of the Dead
on Dec. 25, 2011
Eyes of the Dead is a short story of righteous vengeance.
Billings was chosen as a seven year old, to witness crime and to be the fetch for the dead. In return Billings has a strange transfer of energy, the same euphoria a druggie gets, the same separation from reality (and possible hallucination) attributed to near death experiences.
Death is his intoxication. This is a quick read, a little dose of torture, death, blood, urine, feces, the chamber of horrors is cold, but a part of you is sort of on his side. He's definitely killing the right people.
Let him without sin cast the first stone - powerful words when sin sends you to this angel of death's door. None of us are guilt free - which means you - could - be - next.
Sinister story telling loaded with gore and righteous calm delivers you into a place where you want the bad guys dead, and Billings is the perfect psychopath for the job. Greed festers, and a sadistic part of you will enjoy reading Billings cauterizing these boils off the face of our earth.
Excellent story telling
Game Fishing Diaries - Volume 2
on Jan. 02, 2012
I'm female, and honestly never thought I'd end up reading and enjoying a book on Game Fishing. Many moons ago I got a bee in my bonnet, to learn to fly fish. My reasons were that it was out in nature, tranquil, and more than that it required immense skill. A skill i wanted to learn.
But I never got that far (life has a way of taking your legs from you when you most need them). They key to this book is in the title *Diaries*. This is such a personal read and it completely changed my views on all fishermen. I honestly (hand on heart) thought fishing was boring. I also have a deep respect for the ocean and if I ever ended up fishing it, it would be from the rocks (which I did as a kid).
Instead this book is an adrenaline rush with a lot of funny. I had no clue fishing was this exciting! Piranha, crocs, almost struck by lightning, lordy it's so exciting, it was exhilarating to read this. The author manages to bring every place he fished vibrantly to life, taking you around the world and somehow making you feel as if you are right there fishing with him. You are in the moment, engrossed in the drama, and just as pleased when he catches his quarry.
It's full of anecdotes about the people, the location, and giving you tips on how to survive (well) in each environment. He shares truly embarrassing moments, like when he went fishing in Russia and thought his Russian was good enough to order from the menu, and ended up asking the waitress if he could taste her! It's fall around funny in places.
The descriptions really are vivid, like this! They smelled like old feet that had been washed in sheep manure. (Chic McSherry sure knows how to paint a picture with words.)
After this he introduces us to his bird, Tia. If a man tells you he's in love with his bird, Tia, you'd expect a romance and all sorts of gory details not suitable for a book such as this, but instead it's an insight into his other passionate love. Again this was eye opening reading, thrilling, dramatic, exciting, and hold your breath worthy. It really got tense at times, and even when you're sitting here reading, stressing, he plays the humour card and makes you crack a smile.
Reading this book is like sitting in his presence while he retells a story, the turn of phrase and narration is so natural and utterly delightful to read.
When Tia gave him the look of *it's all your fault* and he compares it to his ex wife, you will laugh! Oh she's a bird alright, one to be respected and adored, and he definitely loves this beautiful babe.
Trust me, once you've read this you will feel as if you've been around the world (all while sitting in your armchair). It will revive your love of adventure, make you crave to see these places in person, and teach you so many insightful tricks on fishing the world.
Suprisingly I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, because it was riveting reading for a non fisherman.
This reads like an adventure. It's fishing from an adrenaline junkie perspective. I had no clue fishing was an adrenaline sport until I read this. This is a must have on any angler's shelf.
The Nemisin Star
on Nov. 07, 2014
I started reading about these characters years ago. The first series which introduces us to Rayne (Torrullin), is published by Wild Wolf Publishing, and I loved every single book in the Lore of Arcana series. Now the story continues in the Lore of Reaume series (different publisher), and this is the second book of that. Convoluted I know, but seriously this is the kind of series you want to read from the very beginning all the way through. Honestly I have no clue how the author keeps all of these characters and alternative worlds and environments straight in her head, but I can tell you I love reading about them!
In this novel Margus (the Darak Or), and Torrulln (the Enchanter, previously known as Rayne) continue their endless battle, but because I know every one of these characters from previous books, it now feels like I'm reading and catching up with old friends - and because I know them so well - and love them (and love to hate them) - this book I found gut wrenching! Usually Davidson takes us through torture, worlds of darkness, battles which leave you gripped to the pages, but not this one. This one was a subtle and personal battle of the heart, and in every way it was heart-breaking. I cried, a lot. I'm ashamed to admit just how much I cried for these characters. They aren't characters on a page any more, they are real, I see them as vividly as if I'd watched this as a series instead of read it.
But, the emotional intensity was right, this was the time for this book, and when it ended I wasn't ready for it to end, I needed more. Waiting until January for the next book is going to feel like purgatory.
In a nutshell, this book is as beautiful and sweeping as the rest in the series (both of them), but to reveal more would ruin this journey for you, because it's all about something I don't want to expose because I'd nullify your reason for reading it if you are following the series. And if you start the series by reading this one, I need you to know they aren't all this sad, in fact none of them are this sad, this one is unique in that - and I really strongly suggest you start the series at the beginning if you did pick this up and fell for Torrullin. Back in book 1, when he was Rayne (in the Lore series), I thought he was ruggedly magnificent - well now he's a bit of a man with no morals when it comes to women. I guess when you live eternally you stop seeing lines of black and white and enjoy every opportunity as it arises, but in this book it now makes him seem a cold cad who has no heart, no matter what he professes. He's a pathological liar when it comes to women, and yeah, I'm not so enamoured with him any longer. His sons are wonderful and I was looking forward to that - and that's where I can't say any more. Anyway, read it, it will move you, and I absolutely loved it!