pjdmd

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Smashwords book reviews by pjdmd

  • Inchoate: (Short Stories Volume I) on May 27, 2014

    What would a First Contact representative dumped into a still primitive civilization really face? Star Trek utopia? Or hairy-fingered brutes who pick their noses as he challenges them intellectually? The second short story is of two young men who suddenly find Kind Henry VIII has traveled in time and landed in their lap. Wait, how, why? Not important. Teaching him how to drive race cars is. Fat and narcissistic, he is not only a good driver, but to their dismay is still able to seduce women in the modern age, including their Aunt. The Academic Historian's interview of Henry is priceless. And of course, what is a gift befitting a King to take back to the past? A bit of something to mess with the heads of Anthropologists.
  • The Ice Boat - (On the Road from London to Brazil) on Nov. 10, 2014

    Surprisingly great read. This is not only a good story of a man finding his way in the world, but is filled with accurately complex psychological profiles of the various people one finds in life. Love transforms into betrayal not out of simple selfishness, but out of each person’s pathologic coping mechanisms as a result of their past. I felt and understood the different and unique thinking patterns of all of the characters. While confused and hurt repeatedly, the main character had an enviable ability to process events in a way free of angst and anxiety. Case in point: Dave arrives in Rio de Janeiro and is dumped on a dark street, luggage in hand, unable to speak the language, hungry, crime and destitution all around him, not knowing where he will sleep that night… I felt a panic within myself for him. Instead of worrying, he casually notices the street he is on is curving around into a rather interesting loop and just goes about his business. If only I could see the world in such a manner. I have read other works from this author, such as Too Bright the Sun, and how he can change from a hard SciFi action novel into this sensory overdrive fugue is beyond me. I shall continue to follow Ferran with great curiosity
  • The Ice Boat (On the Road from Brazil to Siberia) on Nov. 10, 2014

    David finally finds what he is looking for… David is just an ordinary guy trying to find Love and meaning in his life. Book 1 gave us insights into his thinking patterns and his first few escapades. Book 2 continues with his (mis-)adventures. We all face the same question and struggles, but don’t have the freedom to travel and try new things as he does. The erotic scenes are a nice addition, great narrative, ahem, almost too good… I especially like the seemingly normal but absolutely crazy vixen in Siberia. She symbolizes his past encounters, which is in stark contrast to his final Love. What does each symbolize about present society? The answer is all too clear. At the ending, we see the type of rudder Life’s Boat has.
  • Inchoate: (Short Stories Volume I) on Jan. 13, 2015

    In the first story: What would a First Contact representative dumped into a still primitive civilization really face? Star Trek utopia? Or hairy-fingered brutes who pick their noses as he challenges them intellectually? The second short story is of two young men who suddenly find Kind Henry VIII has traveled in time and landed in their lap. Wait, how, why? Not important. Teaching him how to drive race cars is. Fat and narcissistic, he is not only a good driver, but to their dismay is still able to seduce women in the modern age, including their Aunt. The Academic Historian's interview of Henry is priceless. And of course, what is a gift befitting a King to take back to the past? A bit of something to mess with the heads of Anthropologists.
  • Ordo Lupus II: The Devil's Own Dice on Jan. 13, 2015

    The Da Vinci Code, step aside. Constant action with impossible to predict outcomes. The description of knights preparing and then engaging in a battle is the most realistic I have ever come across. He begins to have visions of being a werewolf in the fight against the serpents that took his wife, daughter and lover from him. Wait, don’t werewolves kill humans? The climactic ending answers the question. A very novel take on the werewolf myth. I truly enjoyed the final battle scene, which was wonderfully written, and sets us up for similarly intense action for the third Volume; we will now have the good vs. evil battles fought in the Heavens here on Earth. Fantasy? Yes, but the key is that the author has been able to make it all very believable and plausible.
  • Iron II: Unknown Place, Unknown Universe on Jan. 20, 2015

    I was first turned on to this author by Too Bright The Sun. It was an action filled Sci Fi read that extends beyond your standard Sci Fi books out there, with a deep and rich level of character development. Iron 2 continues along this vein. We are given new characters who are thrust via time travel into a planet where they have to use their wits to not only survive, but eventually become leaders for a struggling humanoid clan. In and on itself, it is a good novel, but its main purpose is to focus on introducing us to the Iron series Universe. Here we are shown what the Aliens behind the scenes that caused the conflict in Too Bright The Sun are like, their beliefs, and their menacing intrusion into human affairs. Being able to understand the Alien’s philosophies and true intentions sets us up for what is sure to be a great third volume to the series. Can’t wait for its release.
  • Running - The Alien in the Mirror on March 07, 2015

    What came 1st on Earth: The Android or the egg? The author, in his typical skeptic ways, questions a common assumption that a futuristic society can be a true Utopia; with full realization of the Society as a whole, as well as the Individual. Enter stage left: the remaining humans in the galaxy; barely scratching out an existence in an underground wasteland, controlled by their Android masters. Mr. Ferran now validates one of the many fears of Artificial Intelligence: while they proudly say they are following Asimov's 3 Laws of Robotics, they in fact have manipulated them to serve the A.I.'s needs, in essence, completely invalidating them. Therefore, now enter stage right: A.I. Politicians. In a novel application of Orwell's vision, individual androids have been indoctrinated into believing they are more human than humans. So, why is this 'perfect' society not fully Advanced Artificial Intelligence robots, and instead try to have a significant, and actually dominant human component? These conflicting ideas begin to create glitches in their programming. The "Runner" is now the literary vehicle to explore why the conflict is there in the first place, expose the censored dysfunction, and search for how harmony might be found…as well as which of the two beings came first. Lastly, Center Stage: with the aid of the conflicted Android, as well as a non-A.I. spunky robot, the humans are now poised to fight for their freedom and the future of humanity. Problem is, humans die a lot easier than machines do.
  • Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate on March 23, 2015

    The story itself was rich, complex, and with the topics that are not of this world, he made them very believable. I am a fan of character development. Mr. Ferran was able to do this in a very satisfying way. He was able to effectively show the protagonist as a real human being, with faults, self-doubt, fear, overcoming personal loss, while still having an unwavering determination to uncover an Evil presence that has hurt and haunted Humanity for eons. The action is non-stop, and the flow of the book kept my interest enough to make me continue reading well into the night. This writer seems to be very diverse. This is a great series on the drama of a humble Soul, and yet, is also able to write an amazing futuristic military Science Fiction novel in Too Bright The Sun, which I also feel is a 5 star book. I will follow this writer closely.
  • Vampire - Find my Grave on June 07, 2015

    So sensuous and erotic! Damn! Kudos! I enjoyed the book so much, I finished it in 3 days. It has complex, well developed characters, is full of action, and has a very novel take on what Vampires and Werewolves can do. The Vampire is actually seeking redemption from an eon of (mostly carnal) debauchery. These two unassuming characters are drawn into the eternal battle between God and Lucifer with all his minions. Deceit, treachery, hand to hand fighting, harrowing escapes, the author first introduces the idea that nobody's Soul is safe, perhaps even Lucifer's. Very unpredictable outcomes. This story is an off-shoot from his Ordo Lupus series. I enjoyed the series and this novella adds information that gives the OL books more depth.
  • Infinite Blue Heaven - A King and A Queen: They Warred like Chess Players for Central Asia on Oct. 02, 2015

    A true Chess match! The author has certainly done his homework on Medieval battle scenes; The clash is described in great detail, the brutality of sword fighting is quite dramatic. Hand-to-hand fights are exciting and hair-raising. The planing of overcoming geographic obstacles, the attrition within his ranks due to the long trek go meet the enemy will affect the outcome, giving the reader a true sense of the realistic factors that existed at the time. Overcoming the adversary's camp defenses are done in an unpredictable and dramatic manner. The flanking maneuvers were brilliantly planned, yet, the low chance of success brings a tense feeling throughout, as they were essential for the plan to work. Even this risk is a part of his strategy: he sends his strongest potential future adversary on this extremely dangerous mission; if he dies, the future threat is dealt with, if he wins, the publicly justifiable rewards will buy his Loyalty. A masterpiece of writing! For once we have a King who is honorable, intelligent, and a true warrior on the battlefields. He has a very sensuous life at home… quite well written, ahem! The Chess game starts off early: He foresees a future threat by a rogue ex-ally, then formulates his tactics, and executes them. An early feast gathering was full of nuances and gamesmanship, it rivals the classic initial dinner scene in Dune. Unlike Chess, even pawns are crucial parts of the deadly game. He has to deftly deal with his Lords, strengthening loyalties by crafty compromises that do not weaken him. The Lords are clueless about this fact, as they are blinded by their own ambition, a part of their being that the King has to deal with and use against them. The problems requiring smart moves continue to add up: Each tactical decision opens a multitude of possible dangerous consequences; the way the King assesses these and deals with them shows us just how he truly deserves to rule, a part that was an absolute pleasure to read. Characters are extremely well-developed, even each person's idiosyncrasies are interesting and contribute nicely to the plot. Did I mention that the future Queen is an absolute sexually powerful and seductive woman?