Ben A. Bell
Ben A. Bell was born in Boston, MA, but now lives overseas and works as a freelance writer.
His works have been published in: Blood Bound Books-Rock is Dead, Niteblade, Pill Hill Press-Rotting Tales, Emerald Tales, Whortleberry Press-Peace on all the Earths, Pill Hill Press-365 Days of Flash Fiction, Literal Translations, Farspace 2, Sex and Murder Magazine and Moon Drenched Fables.
This member has not published any books.
Smashwords book reviews by Ben A. Bell
- The Last Real New Yorker in the World
on June 28, 2011
As a New Yorker, this story had me at the title. Reading on, I found clever lines, economical prose, and brilliant black humor wrapped up in a fast-paced, sharp SF story. In short, it was terrific.
- The Backworlds
on Nov. 27, 2013
The first book in M.Pax’s Backworlds series does a great job of introducing the hero, Craze, and setting up his story. At the outset, he’s facing the worst day of his life, and with a family and community like he’s got, who needs enemies? It’s no wonder the young man rockets off to seek his fortune in the dangerous Backworlds. His adventures are exciting and pull the story along at a fast pace.
The part I liked most about this book was its attention to detail and the world-building. Those are the criteria on which every SF story should be judged. Just because a set of characters are placed in “the future” or on “another planet” doesn’t mean they’re really unique or original. But in Pax’s world, the aliens are truly alien, with values unlike humanity’s, and complex social rules and histories that ring true while being completely new and different from anything I’ve read before. While I loved Craze, it was the aliens that really drew me into this book. The descriptions, characterizations, and dialog were amazing, and made me feel I was really at the back end of the galaxy where anything could happen. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
on June 12, 2014
In her new book, Cherie Reich has done an excellent job combining a “Chosen One” story with a “Coming of Age” story. Teen protagonist, Yssa, is a very special girl, a Phoenix Prophetess, who can sometimes see the future. The people in her medieval society view her power with awe and fear. She doesn’t fit in, and when she travels to the capital to become the Queen’s advisor, she fits in even less.
One of the things I liked best about the story was how mysterious and suspicious the people at the Queen’s court are. Yssa never knows who’s telling the truth and who’s up to nefarious schemes. This adds a lot of tension to the novel. The book has interesting twists and turns, but it’s open ended, and you’ll have to read others in the series to find out if Yssa can figure out who to trust and save her country from a war. Highly recommended for those who enjoy epic fantasy.