The Dark Tower Series

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The Whole Series    ****

Having read the entire series, I am going to review it in total. First, this is a great read even if you are not a Stephen King fan, just a fan of good storytelling. There is so much that takes place over the eight books that it feels like a long and fun roller coaster ride. King has a plethora of references that not all readers may get depending on their age, but enough up to date ones that all readers will enjoy.

Second, if there is weakness to this series it is the negative side of the references I just mentioned. I found myself saying, “are you kidding me?”, especially when he brings in the Wizard of Oz storyline. There is a reference to objects used in the Harry Potter series that made me wonder why King could not have been more creative rather than “borrowing” from another author.

Third, the fact that he does use other writers’ work becomes part of the fun as one reads. King wrote this series over a long span of time but seemed to let himself enjoy every minute of writing. The series shows what happens when a writer lets loose.

If all of this sounds a little contradictory then you understand how I felt in reading the eight books. There were times when I laughed, cried, thought I was wasting my time reading, or went “O, My God”.

Read the series, enjoy the ride, and may you have long days and pleasant nights.

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Alex Cross’s Trial

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Cliche City   *

 

First, as others have said, I felt duped by the fact that this book is advertised as an Alex Cross novel.

But beyond that this is a poorly written account of the south and the atrocities whites put on blacks. Using every cliche imaginable, from a mammie in a red handkerchief chasing chickens to the folksy discussion by Mark Twain, this is lazy writing at its best. The “almost hanging” of the main character pushes the envelope of believability.

There are no surprises here and the plot is completely predictable. James Patterson owes an apology to his fans.

Under The Dome: A Novel

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The Dome Doesn’t Stand Up   ***

Having read all of Stephen King’s novels I was anxious to read “Under The Dome” and be transported into the imagination of a master writer.

It is long, it does have a plethora of characters, and it is well written (I want to go back and mark all the cliche’s King throws in). It is however not his best. For that “The Stand” will reign supreme with ” Cujo” in second place.

The “Dome” is a good read but too predictable, and too close to an old episode of “The Twilght Zone”-The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street (1960).

The Aisha Prophecy

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The Aisha Disappointment    *

 

In the past anything written by John Maxim would not only capture my interest but would have a special place on my bookshelf. The Bannerman series is one of my favorites. I devoured each one and kept looking for more after the last was read. When I found “The Ashia Prophecy” I was excited to once again be transfixed by Maxim’s talent as a story teller.

Sadly, I am disappointed. It is hard to believe this is the same author who penned even the previous book about the Black Angel in “Haven”. This is not Maxim at his best nor at his worse. This is as if someone else penned this 600 page attempt at writing. It must have been John Minimum. Minimum plot, minimum character development, and minimum reason to turn a page.

My wife kept asking me, “Why are you reading that book if you are so disappointed?”. I kept hoping it would get better and something worth reading would happen. For this reader, it never did.

Frankenstein: Lost Souls

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Koontz Is Back    *****

 

I have read and own everything Dean Koontz has written. His last few books were a little disappointing and it is nice to see him back in “Koontz” form.

This book was hard to put down. He hasn’t kept me riveted since “Velocity“, until now. The end does come abruptly and I had to remind myself this IS a series.

Welcome back Dean!!

Boca Knights

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Refreshingly Different   *****

 

While attending the 2010 Bouchercon Conference in San Francisco, I wandered into a seminar led by Steve Forman. He was discussing writing as a second career and had the room in hysterics with his humor and captivating life story. Purchasing his book, I could only hope that his written story telling was as good as his live story telling. I was not disappointed. By page 26 I had to put the book down for a minute, I was laughing so hard I was crying.

Forman writes about a Boston cop who retires to Florida and falls into the role of vigilante. On the surface this may sound like a lot of current popular books, Child and Connelly come to mind, but Forman’s style and characters are refreshingly different. While laying the foundation for why his main character is who he is, Forman gives us a look not only into the world of a Boston neighborhood, an insight into retired life in Florida, but also a history lesson on Russia and Haiti.

Spiced with humor this is a great thriller unlike anything I have read recently. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series, Boca Mournings and Boca Daze.

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Boca Mournings

bocamournings

A Must Read  *****

 

How many books have you read that combine gay issues, the Holocaust, the dispute between Israel and Palestine, the susceptibility of seniors to exploitation, and a talking penis? Steve Forman has managed to do all of that with not only his trademark humor but with a sensitivity that reveals the heart of a caring soul.

This is a must read for anyone who loves to read and wants a story that is not only a page turner but is a story with some surprising twists. Forman keeps you reading and manages to deal with some serious issues while making you laugh at the same time.

Eddie Perlmutter is not just a character we wish existed but is someone we all could strive to be like. My only suggestion would be to read the first book, Boca Knights,to understand who Eddie really is.

That doesn’t mean that this book doesn’t stand alone, it just means that if you like good books don’t miss any of Forman’s work!!