Book Review: Song of Sorcery by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (Two Stars)


Book Review: Song of Sorcery by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

(Two Stars)

“For such a ravishing girl she clearly didn’t understand the first thing about being ravished. She was shockingly unaware of the protocol of such matters.”

Has a first-draft feel. Scarborough has demonstrated she can write better than this. Not sure what “another light-hearted contemporary fantasy adventure” is, but if this is an indication, I’ll steer clear in the future. A Terry Prachett wantabee?

“What are you going to dooo?” [sic] “You’ll see.” “And I though I was the enigmatic one in this outfit.”

Needed a good editing. Lots of telling, sloppy sentences, and non sequiturs.

“Even a loose-tongued person who know that he might wake up as a crow can find his own fate a good deal more absorbing than his neighbors.”


Book Review: Sword of the Bright Lady by M. C. Planck (Four Stars)

Book Review: Sword of the Bright Lady (World of Prime #1) by M. C. Planck

Four Stars

“Sometimes peoples would rather cling to a pretty lie than face an ugly truth, especially if the lie is one they’ve told themselves about themselves.”

Kept from being a typical Connecticut Yankee in medieval European culture by the strong internal voice of our displaced protagonist and his strong sense of right and wrong. Better than average story of a stranger in a strange land.

“… with hope came fear. The mixture was indistinguishable from anger.”

Both magic and faith work, the latter healing and rejuvenating. The former produces fireballs.

“I must respect the will of the gods, assuming I can figure out what that is.”

Humor is integral to the story. Christopher recognizes the emperor’s clothes, but also sees worth and potential in his rustic new surroundings.

“This is how we defeat Evil. It cannot comprehend Good. Well, that and fireballs.”

Minor typos, such as “abject lessons.”

“My cynicism remains untroubled by hope.”

Cover art quibble: a revolving receiver rifle pictured while the text describes a rolling block design. Very different looking.

“You underestimate yourself. Stop it. It’s stupid and weak.”

Book Review: The Dog Said Bow-Wow by Michael Swanwick (Three Stars)

Book Review: The Dog Said Bow-Wow by Michael Swanwick

Three Stars out of Five

A collection of mostly enjoyable and sometimes funny short stories representing a dog’s breakfast of fantasy and science fiction topics. Several Hugo winners, but that means next to nothing these days. Swanwick’s story telling is often better than his stories. The collection dragged in the later samples. Several stories feature Swanwick’s con artist duo: Darger and Surplus.

Readers beware, many of these stories would be rated R for pornographic scenes. Some are inherent in the subject many but most seem more graphic than necessary for the telling of the story. Some readers will like the porn; others won’t. You’ve been warned.