Book Review: Pride’s Children: Netherworld by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt (five stars)

Book Review: Pride’s Children: Netherworld (Book #2) by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt (five stars)

Time to act like a grownup. Time to be an adult. Depressing thought.

Growing up is hard, especially when you’re an adult. And a success. Visibly so. Complex, believable inner dialogue. Who needs saving and how do they get it? Three point of view characters, folded timeline, occasional flashes back and forward. Insights into writing, movies, friends, family, and agents. Very cerebral, dare I say literary?

You can start rumors, but you can’t control them.

Talk about in media res. The book opens a third of the way into the story, literally. Being a single story cut in thirds by the publisher, this second installment tosses the reader into the flow with no character introduction or background. Read Pride’s Children: Purgatory first. The closing, by no means the end, is sufficiently satisfying to keep readers hooked until the conclusion is published. A really big train wreck assured.

This is what writers did: they had imaginary conversations in their heads where they played all the parts.

Notes: One character’s accent borders on caricature, while everyone else has none. Both female characters are surrounded by support while the male is alone against the world. Even his agent hates him. Too many epigrams opening each chapter.

It’s always hard to balance reality with what people think they know.”

Book Review: Faraday’s Cage by C. Sean McGee (Three Stars)


Book Review: Faraday’s Cage by C. Sean McGee

(Three Stars)

“He was, by all accounts, halfway through the race and by the looks of him, his laces were still untied.”

Don’t read this review or the blurb. This is a story best experienced without preconceptions.

“Happiness could be feigned … but disappointment … was as impossible to mistake as it was to hide.”

Ironically McGee’s protagonists struggle with just that humanity to which their science has nothing to contribute. The very things they seek—maturity and meaning along with value—are not subject to their scientific inquiry. The story is fleshed out with very real people, often in conflict, in ways that feel uncomfortably close to reality. Great inner voices.

“It’s just the board, and really enrolments [sic] in general, are leaning more towards … alternate science.” “Grievance studies?” “It’s a changing world, Graham.” “Is this a university or a thrift shop?” “Without students, we’ll be neither.”

Pornography and profanity represent the bankruptcy of moderns for dealing with the vital issues of life. Vocabulary and imagery have slumped to the lowest common denominator of smut. That said, it still cost him a star.

“It was as if the future was a horror movie that he was constantly playing in his mind.”

A visual work: Dozens of sentences begin “Were this a movie …” or “His [or Her] face looked like …” The reader is engaged to fill in the blanks. The enigmatic cover image is appropriate. Needed another proof reading, too.

“What good is diversity if everyone thinks the same?”