Archives for posts with tag: Goodreads Book Review

Space aliens invade Earth, taking over human bodies, and destroying the humans’ minds. Human resisters must live as survivalists in desert caves and steal food, medicine and supplies from their former society now controlled by the aliens.

It’s a premise straight out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a truly scary story effectively grounded in 1950s paranoia, which Meyer spins off into her own unique take.

The first-person narrative is told by the alien who was surgically installed in Melanie, a woman who refuses to die inside. Her refusal is grounded in her great love for her surviving younger brother (which is moving) and the man who is her love interest (less convincing).

Sounds good! Then the problems begin.

Meyer’s prose is raw and unfettered, sometimes wonderful, sometime amateurish. The first 100 pages are a hodgepodge of the alien’s backstory and Melanie’s backstory, also told in the first person but set in a different type font so you the reader won’t get confused. The formulaic single-adverb chapter titles are often strained (we veer from “Dreamed” to “Dehydrated”). A passel of characters have names beginning with J (Jeremy, Jamie, Jeb, and so on). This is a common tic in first drafts I call writer’s echolalia, easily fixed by the wonders of global replace, and annoying to read in a published book.

The biggest problem I have is that, while the premise is clear, the concept of the aliens is not. Are these brutal merciless invaders bent on total annihilation of humanity or not?

Telling the story from the alien’s POV is risky. The alien is tormented to tears by Melanie’s angry voice in her head. The alien has doubts and fears, seeks out Melanie’s brother and the love interest in their survivalist camp. The hive-mind of the aliens is happy. They don’t use money, they share. They help each other. They give great parties. They make the planets they conquer run on time. They refer to each other as “souls” and have soulful aboriginal names (The Wanderer, The Comforter). So why don’t the pesky humans give it up, already?

Meyer sets up a classic romance angle: a tussle on a dark desert floor, a kiss. But even when Melanie is still herself—and especially after she’s invaded—nothing happens between her and the love interest. They bathe with their clothes on, lie together in caves or rustic cabins and sleep. Why? Because they don’t want to bring children into such an oppressive world. Well, okay. But this is an adult book. It strains credulity to think people scrabbling for existence in caves wouldn’t get around to succumbing to human nature. It might have been interesting to see what the characters would have done if Meyer had allowed them to bathe in their birthday suits.

So there you have it, my friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love woman-powered science fiction (I’ve written some, myself). If you’re looking to curl up with 600+ pages, this will do. But if you want polished prose, original ideas, and tight plotting, read any science fiction book by the award-winning Nancy Kress.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

This is a lovely, lyrical YA book that ultimately is a snore.

The repellent dystopia Cassia is born into matches you with everything—the clothes you wear, what you study, what kind of boring work you’ll do, how much you exercise, when you die. When you’re a teen, who you’ll be mated to for life. The Society dispenses food rations, tasteless but carefully controlled for calories (Mayor Bloomberg, are you listening? This is a repellent dystopia.)

The book opens with the big night when Cassia will learn via the Officials’ technology who she is matched to. She sees her childhood best friend and neighbor, a boy like a brother to her. She doesn’t feel the spark of love for him, but he’s tall, blond, smart, and handsome. Things could be worse, right? (Sometimes I wish these kinds of books would force the heroine into a relationship with someone who’s fat, ugly, and creepy. Kind of like the classic “Beauty and the Beast” fairytale.)

Then the Official technology flashes the image of another boy on the screen. Another boy she’s mistakenly matched to. He’s a forbidden boy. It doesn’t hurt that he’s tall, dark, and handsome, too.

The problem I have with all this is that Cassia (why would she be allowed to have such a fancy name in this Society?) and all the other characters are irritatingly passive in the face of the Society’s control. They’re aware of the control, but do nothing but comply.

The notion that people no longer read and poetry of bygone years is forbidden is a nice touch. A bit of excitement happens when the Officials search house-to-house for forbidden personal mementos, including poetry. If the people were also hiding books on how to make an explosive incendiary device, I may have been more engaged.

In the end, after 300 pages, not a whole lot has happened and the book feels a lot like set-up for the next two books in the trilogy. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good set-up. But pages that feel like set-up are—as every writing pundit will tell you–the definition of the pages you the author have to throw away.

If you’ve got limited time to read YA books—or any kind of book—you’re better off spending that precious time reading the vigorous, brutal The Hunger Games. But this is a perfectly acceptable book to give to a teen.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

I know this is escapist YA fantasy, but I had trouble with the premise right from the start.

Why would vampires–all of whom are at least a hundred years old and several of whom were older than teenagers when they became undead—why would they be hanging out at the high school of a small town? Why would the school administrators, the parents, the kids themselves allow this?

What would you think if a group of twenty-somethings—never mind vampires—started frequenting your child’s high school cafeteria?

Oh, but they’re nice vampires, they feed on wild animals. But they still could kill the kids.

So I found the premise kinky and weird from the start, like allowing old pedophiles to hang out at your high school.

Then there’s the heroine, who is passive, self-absorbed, and purposeless. Most teens I know are very clear about what they want to do in life or are urgently searching. I know I did as a teen. Bella has no clue.

She’s also a little mean in a creepy way. She won’t have anything to do with a boy who likes her because he has “a skin problem.” (She makes a big deal about her own clear skin.) She ridicules an older woman with long, gray hair smiling hopefully at her from the woman’s metaphysical bookstore. Then she claims to love books.

She defines most of her great love for Edward in terms of his “good looks.” Much has been made of the author’s repetition of the hero’s good looks and, I have to agree, the repetition is annoying.

Much has also been made of the author’s bad writing. I found the author’s writing pleasant, smooth, and engaging, sometimes quite wonderful. And she captures the course of a teenage love—the insecurity, the breathless waiting for the beloved to appear, the dazzling first kiss, the heroic gestures that feel like the most important thing in the world—very well.

Still, I would much rather give a teen the tough, resourceful Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games as a heroine than this vain, self-pitying, clueless girl.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

I don’t like writing negative reviews. If a book doesn’t work for me, I leave it alone. I never post negative reviews or even lukewarm ones on the online book distributors. Every author should have a fighting chance in the marketplace. Far be it from me to stand in any author’s way.

I may make an exception to this personal rule when (1) I really hate a book because of what it conveys and (2) the author has already benefited from the huge support of Big Media.

Rave reviews and a big publicity push lured me to buy and read this book. I reveal no plot spoilers when I say the author lays out her premise in the second sentence (“I was fourteen when I was murdered. . .”).

Told in a minimalist voice partly from the point of view of the dead girl “in Heaven,” this is the story of a young teen stalked, raped, and murdered by the despicable serial killer next door who disposes of her body so that it’s never found. The neighbors suspect the ghoul, their family pets are disappearing or found slaughtered, he’s implicated in a series of other murders, but no one does anything about it. The killer never gets caught, never gets punished by justice. That may happen in real life, but as Tom Clancy famously says, “Fiction has to make sense.”

Much is made of the aftermath of the teen’s murder for her family, grief and healing and the like, but it didn’t work for me. It felt like manipulation. You may be titillated or horrified. I was the latter.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

This is a grim, strange little book to admire, but not to love.

I admire the economy of the author’s prose, which is minimalist but still manages to create a vivid word picture of people and scenes. She captures Katniss’s sullen teenage resentment, her cold-bloodedness yet also her love and protectiveness toward her younger sister, her resentment of her grieving mother, her sense of duty toward her family, her grief for her father. The scene where she sings to the dying Rue is heart-wrenching.

I’m working on a YA project myself, so—full disclosure—I read this book as research. I must tell you I don’t care much for YA in which all the adults are stupid, weak, cruel, and controlling, and that’s pretty much the case here. When I was a teen, I had many adults I respected and looked up to.

The juxtaposition between hunger and satiety is not quite convincing. The author tells us of Katniss’s skin-and-bones hunger, why she illegally hunts at great risk, then tells in the first pages of Katniss and Peeta’s pre-Games feast of fresh goat cheese and fresh-baked bread. I almost ordered out for a goat-cheese pizza. She describes the luxurious meals in rich detail, but the reader will have to look to Dosteyevski’s descriptions of Russian peasants for how starvation really looks and feels.

Also, I found a glaring logical hole in the basic premise–if (as is later revealed) the Capital can effortlessly create things out of thin air with their technology, why wouldn’t they just make food for everyone and be done with it? Then people could work in the coal mines and make stuff on a full belly. It doesn’t make sense.

Make no mistake, this is a brutal, violent book. If the book teaches the reader to fight back in an oppressive, competitive world, that’s an excellent lesson. But it’s a lesson that won’t leave you with a song in your heart and a spring in your step.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

New Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

New Urban Fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

Authors’ voices are as varied as Authors, but they tend to bifurcate into two camps: what I’ll call the “lush,” adjective- and adverb-laden, detailed descriptions, explication of characters’ emotions and sensations, five-dollar words; and the “minimalist,” plain-spoken, vernacular, just-the-facts-ma’am, economical action and plot. The reader must deduce characters’ thoughts and feelings.

I confess as a reader I love both styles and, as an author, have gone both ways. In my fin de siècle titles (The Gilded Age, Every Mystery Unexplained, Daughter of the Tao, and Celestial Girl), I found my lush voice. In contemporary, futuristic, science fictional titles (Summer of Love, Shaken, Hummers, and the forthcoming Quester Trilogy), I tend toward a minimalist voice.

Lush is easy to appreciate and understand. Minimalist may be a mystery wrapped in an enigma. You the reader say, “How did the Author create a whole cinematic scene in my head with those few words?”

“They threw me off the hay truck about noon.” So begins Cain’s classic, minimalist, brutal story of a lusty amoral drifter and a scheming sexy wife who conspire to murder her nice husband and make it appear like an accident so she can inherit the husband’s humble little roadside café and she and the drifter can live happily ever after. Written and published in 1934, at the height of the Great Depression, the subtext of every word and scene is desperation: rancor between the haves and have-nots; tension between Mexican immigrant laborers and Southern California Americans; illicit lust between man and woman.

This is a classic Greek tragedy. No good comes to anyone.

My plastic-wrapped, 1947 Pocket Edition tops off at 121 pages so you can see why filmmakers in Hollywood and Europe scrambled to adapt the book to the movies. It’s the length of a screenplay. None of the Hollywood films I’ve seen, though, can capture the violent lust between the drifter and the wife like Cain’s minimalist voice. Spoiler Alert! Here’s their first hot sex scene at page 9:

“I got some cooking to do. I’ll wash up this plate.” I took her in my arms and mashed my mouth up against hers. “Bite me! Bite me!” I bit her. I sunk my teeth into her lips so deep I could feel the blood spurt into my mouth. It was running down her neck when I carried her upstairs.”

CUT! (And he’s not a vampire.)

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

Harris has a smooth commercial style with touches of wit and romance and the requisite supernatural creatures of urban fantasy. Each book may be read alone; she doesn’t so totally tie in plot points that you’re lost if you don’t start at the first book. Sookie’s voice is charming and her supernatural power as a telepath is interesting, the classic bartender/barista/waitress who seems to know exactly what you’re thinking. Though she holds her own with the supernatural beings and situations she confronts, ultimately a waitress in a small-town pub in the South isn’t all that interesting. Not nearly as explicit or dark as the TV series.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

The author is justifiably lauded for creating a novel unique in probably all of literature: the first-person account of an anatomical androgyne who, at adolescence, discovers she is a he, uses copious amounts of Nair on his face, and is attracted to girls. The portrait is so convincing (he’s “a card-carrying member of the Save the Manatee Society”), I often wondered, “Is this the author, really? Or not?” The first section about the war-torn Greece of his ancestors is the most vividly told, while the teenager’s awakening sexuality is by turns witty, hilarious, and achingly desperate. At times, though, the book feels like a pastiche; in fact several sections were New Yorker stories first, then dropped in. The biggest disappointment for me was the sequence in which our hero/ine goes to San Francisco and works in a strip club. I know exactly where he’s talking about. My husband, Tom Robinson, and I had a working art studio above a belly-dancing club within that same two block radius on the cusp of North Beach where rock stars and movie actors showed up at Enrico’s at three A.M. for drinks and dirty burgers, famed Finocchio’s featured an all-transvestite cabaret, Mafioso with their heaters bulging in their pockets and gold crucifixes at their throats drank at the Matador, and green-Mohawked punks crowded Club Mabuhay. I was looking forward to the author’s take on my old neighborhood, but this section is curiously cardboard and flat. Still, this is a benchmark book in American literature.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

There are some gruesome scenes in this unique high-concept novel but I loved Pi’s desperate musings about life and God while he’s cast adrift in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger on a small lifeboat. The author captures the boy’s Hindi voice pitch-perfect, and the meditations about zoos and wild animals are fascinating. Small details like the vegetarian Pi’s reluctance even to break a banana stem because it’s like breaking an animal’s neck, and now he must capture fish and snap their necks and eat them raw to survive, make the story feel real. In the end, though, after twists and turns, it’s like a hallucination. But perhaps that’s the point.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

I was almost done with the first draft of THE GARDEN OF ABRACADABRA, my magic college book, when The Magicians hit the bestseller list. Naturally I read the book at once!

Grossman, who reviews books for Time Magazine, is quite a literary stylist. His renditions of hideously difficult entrance exams, magical theory, and the tests and ordeals magic college students must endure are fascinating.

His characters, however, come across as privileged, spoiled Ivy Leaguers, contemptuous of their wealthy parents, with ultimately no purpose for their magic education. Even Fillory, the magical realm they travel to, doesn’t amount to anything. After they graduate, they hold elaborate dinner parties and fall in and out of bed. That’s about it.

By contrast, Abby Teller’s purpose for entering magic college is focused from the start: she must defend herself against ancient enemies of her father. She’s drawn into a murder investigation leading to clues of an ancient war between Humanity and Demonic Realms. And she must solve mysteries of her own troubled past. She’s no trust-funder, she works as the superintendent of The Garden of Abracadabra, a magical apartment building on campus. But if you love all things magic, you’ll find The Magicians a good read and a cut above formulaic urban fantasy.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!