Michael Paul


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Smashwords book reviews by Michael Paul

  • Strange Future: A 23rd Century Guide for the 21st Century Cynic on May 06, 2013

    A somewhat light and quick read (literarily speaking), Strange Future reads like an incessant, whining complaint about the world and everyone in it. This satire doesn't live up to it's name as most of what's presented is simply a replacement of current or emerging technology, not all of it better. Plot wise, It suffers from a total lack of external conflict or compelling internal conflict. On the plus side it's told with a coherent narrative, through believable characters. A couple jokes had me laughing out loud while others had me groaning quietly. Some of the proposed technologies are very interesting, but not always congruous with other techs, and a couple were just ludicrous. I read it all the way through, and kept hoping something would happen...but nothing ever did. Overall, I enjoyed this book, but sometimes I hated it (shooting stars) and believe that the author can probably do much better.
  • John Smith, World Jumper Book One: Portal to Adventure on May 06, 2013

    As soon as I finished I went to find the as yet unavailable sequel. In many ways this is a classic sci-fi fantasy adventure, and is an enjoyable, light, quick read. I wanted to find out more about the world, the characters and was eager to discover how the different plot lines resolved. The first person pas narrative didn't even bother me after I became accustomed to the author's easy style. Some criticism includes repeated use of divine intervention, many unresolved plot lines, several too convenient coincidences, a confusing constantly twisting plot, and several questionably relevant characters. One of the better free books I've read here yet. Looking forward to the sequel!
  • Transplant on May 07, 2013

    Very good for a free sci-fi adventure book. While light and quick, the story also explores some deeper issues. Great twist in the middle from a topic well explored by some of science fiction's best authors to one a little more open. Numerous common word usage mistakes are a little distracting, and some of the action gets a little ridiculous in the middle (reminding me of a common amusement park ride), but definitely worth reading. This book would benefit greatly from first class copy and story editing. I will definitely be reading more from this author.
  • Meddlers In Time on May 14, 2013

    I really wanted to like this book as I find such topics fascinating. Unfortunately I found the book unreadable. By far the biggest problem is the frequent and sudden switching to and from first person present, first person past and third person present tenses. Especially as I am not certain who the "I" who's only occasionally narrating the story is. The only real character introduction is done all at once in the form of a (at the time) meaningless list. This lack of showing and intimate introduction of characters combined with the constant change of tense and perspective leaves me always wondering who anybody is and why should I care. Finally, this book is mostly telling with very little showing. It doesn't transport me to 9th century England the way Eric Flint's "1632" transports me to 17th century Germany. The characters have no depth and very little interaction. Don't tell me there's a barbecue, sit me down there in a main character and have a meaningful conversation that explores their character and informs their decisions later in the story over food that is a sensory experience and relay's their personal tastes and peeves. If you can't show me what's going on through dramatic action and dialog that moves the story forward, at least tell me with dialog that develops the characters. I have not read all of this book but reading the other positive reviews I'm going to give it one more chance. If it unexpectedly improves I will adjust my review accordingly.