Gary Hoover

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Smashwords book reviews by Gary Hoover

  • Spirit Thorn (A Tale of Parallel Worlds) on March 23, 2011

    Many books describe odysseys, but few actually bring the reader along as skillfully as this with themes that are so pervasive and consistently defined. Art and science blend and twirl like graceful dance partners. They aren't detached and uninvolved but part of a larger whole. And as the harmonies between science and art are explored, so are the harmonies between space and time, man and earth, life and death, peace and violence, piercing and healing. . . The reader has an ever-present mental image of paired sub-atomic particles - spinning and oscillating, but always linked. Fascinating and beautifully done!
  • Message to my Children vol.II Hear the Message on April 03, 2011

    Will the battle at the End of Days be organized via blog postings and e-mails? At first, it seems an odd thought, but why not? Isn’t that how we communicate these days? This story is a richly imagined version of how things might play out. I’m not a biblical scholar, so I can’t begin to say whether this interpretation is supported by scripture, but it’s certainly interesting no matter what your background and knowledge. It’s a different vision than I have ever imagined and, full disclosure, it’s the first story I’ve read that makes an effort to imagine such events with an eye toward realism (Jesus and Satan fighting on South-Park doesn’t count, right?) so I can’t say how it compares to other interpretations. I found the inclusion of references to current events (such as the recent Gulf oil spill) interesting. I was also impressed with the effort put into imagining the details of how things would actually work - described not just in simple visual terms, but rich descriptions that engage all the reader’s senses. Very interesting and worth checking out!
  • Mementoes of Mai on July 04, 2011

    Mementoes of Mai is a relatively simple, personal and very genuine feeling work. The length puts it somewhere between a long short story and a short novel. The length works well for the story. The events feel very ‘real’ and the protagonist and narrator (Helmy) shares his name with that of the author. But the book is listed as ‘fiction’, so I suspect it is a fictionalized story but based heavily on real events in the author’s life. The story is set mostly in Vietnam, but also has some events in Indonesia. I have never been to either place and the glimpses of those cultures presented in the story were very interesting to me (My favorite TV show is “Bizarre Foods” – not because of the food, but because of the glimpses of culture that show presents. This book worked in a similar way). There are no murders, spies, monsters or other sensational elements, so if you’re looking for something like that, this may not be your thing. But if you’re looking for a simple, personal story with elements that touch on the real drama that we experience in our lives, and if you enjoy learning about and experiencing other cultures, I’d highly recommend it.