Category Archives: Science Fiction

I Give The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey a Grudging 4-Star

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m giving this one a grudging 4-star.

Technically, it’s got everything right and properly edited. But it feels “manufactured” and does not offer a whole lot of originality, other than the general premise of alien invasion waves.

You can also see that the publisher’s marketing objectives have reverse-engineered into the book’s content. They want to gouge into the fat and juicy market segment of young adults, and therefore the author is referring to sex as “do it,” just to cite an example.

My major disappointment is that the writing does not do justice to the premise — we are talking about the demise of several billion people on earth but there is just not enough raw feelings of despair and pains coming through the passages.

In addition, the author has chosen to narrate the major progressions of the story in present tense. That forces the narrative to be linear and sequential in those major development and does not accord the author the freedom of reflections and after-thought. When you tell a story in past tense, you can filter it through memory; and memory itself can be a product of experience, feelings and even medical conditions, thus making the regaling much more colorful.

In conclusion: would I spend $700K of my grandmother’s money to market this book like its publisher is doing?

Most likely not.



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“I, Cicada,” My New Short Fiction Appears on Fiction365 today.

“I, Cicada,” my new short fiction appears on Fiction365 today. Free for all: http://www.fiction365.com/2013/06/i-cicada/

Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer, Gives “Bitter Tea and Braided Hair” a 5-Star

“Little Tales that Sizzle in the Min.” — Grady Harp, Amazon 38th Ranking Top Reviewer, on Bitter Tea and Braided Hair

On June 9, 2013, Grady Harp, an Amazon top ranking reviewer who wears many badges of honor including TOP 50 REVIEWER, VINE™ VOICE, HALL OF FAME REVIEWER and REAL NAME™, posted a review on Amazon for my short fiction collection, “Bitter Tea and Braided Hair.” The review can be found here: http://amzn.to/ZEGnyc.

Here’s what Grady said about the book, quoted verbatim as follows:

BITTER TEAR AND BRAIDED HAIR is a collection of short stories that serves to introduce many of us to a writer a=of significant gifts. He is able in a very brief time to gain our empathy for his characters, such as the half Chinese half Tibetan young man of the title story who falls in love with a Tibetan girl and just as quickly loses everything. In MY MOTHER’S SHADOW our main character is a first grade child who notices he has no shadow, discovers that this is a curse from God, and walks with his mother who has a shadow to the prison where his also shadowless father is held: his mother and the boy bear the spite of the town when it seems to everyone that each time they visit the prison and bring home an `uncle’ (a doomed shadowless man) causing the rumor that his mother is a prostitute.

Or take the case of OSCAR’S EXTRAORDINARY LIFE, PLANNED we meet an in utero fetus that can hear and think about everything that is happening outside his mother womb – even the sexual liaisons she has which put a question as to the fetus’ origin! In DEAR TERESA a young lad in the year 1979 attends school but also listens to his shortwave radio for English 900 and learns of a radio personality Sister Teresa, becomes a fan, communicates with her Letter to Teresa project, and makes portraits of her – only to find that his gift for pictures creates dissension among his friends. THE MANCHURIAN EXPRESS is a comical story that has at its core the dissolution of the Mao-style communism of China, but the style of A EULOGY FOR EDWIN BOGARDUS tops even that as we learn about the life of a man who died from an overdoes effect of Viagra!

In all, this is a fine group of imaginative fiction that spreads across the world from China to the US. The only thing we discover about the author M. Eigh who attended China’s prestigious Tsinghua University, is a highly published Chinese poet, and is a man with considerable talent. His next move should be a novella and then a novel to see if his imagination can sustain through a book long story. It would also be interesting to read translations of his poetry. But a helpful hint to this writer: secure the guidance of a good editor to extract the spelling and grammar errors next time round, because you are just too fine to let skips get into your work! Grady Harp, June 13.

Book Brouhaha Gives “My Mother’s Shadow” a 4-Star Rating!

Alain Gomez, at Book Brouhaha, is not known for disbursing charitable book reviews. To her credit, she gives out 4-star ratings grudgingly. To obtain a 5-star rating, the story has to be “absolutely life changing.” In the crass and philistine world we live in where a huge conspiracy “professional book review” industry is thriving on the sweat and blood, measly book royalty indie writers are eking out, or hoping to eke out, Alain does not charge a penny to review a submitted book. But I have to warn you: the waiting list is long and in my particular case, my book sat in her pipeline for about 12 months.

IMHO, Book Brouhaha could charge some fee for an expedited review for authors who’re in a hurry to get a professional review on their books, without compromising its editorial integrity. A paid author can still get a 1-star rating on his/her book, if it really sucks. An unpaid author can still get a 5-star, if his or her book gives the reviewers at Book Brouhaha a “life changing” experience.

Book Brouhaha‘s free book review policies are listed here: http://bookbrouhaha.blogspot.com/p/review-policies.html.

Here’s what Alain said about my short fiction collection “Bitter Tea and Braided Hair:”

(My Mother’s Shadow is) a truly beautiful piece of short fiction. What it lacks in action it makes up for in literary depth. There are a lot of layers to this story, each interesting enough to mull over for some time.

I was impressed with how easily M. Eigh introduces his racist world. In just a few short paragraphs that contain no blatant description you understand the conflict and empathize with the characters. I appreciated the symbolic use of shadows. It was a clever literary reference to other literary references.

I only wish there was a little more emotion attached to the mother. This story is told from the point of view of a young child. But I felt these innocent emotions could have been more balanced. I was sympathetic with the mother’s cause more than the mother herself.

All in all, though, an excellent piece. This collect is well worth picking up if you’re in the mood for a bit of literary fiction to read with a glass of nice wine. — stars-4-0 Alain Gomez, Book Brouhaha

You can find Book Brouhaha’s review on “My Mother’s Shadow” by clicking on Alain’s picture:

book_brouhaha_reviews_a_book_by_m_eigh

An Amazon TOP 500 REVIEWER Reviews The Cicada Survival Guide

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I woke up to some blessing this morning. Robin Lee, who wears Amazon’s coveted “TOP 500 REVIEWER” badge, has read “The Cicada Survival Guide” and given it a professional review. You can see the book’s review page here: http://amzn.to/10Vk4lc.

Robin said the following about the book:

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“Biological Weapons”

This author wrote an excellent novella in a unique way..It is a mixed recipe, of an escaped man made virus, government conspiracy, cover-ups, and the emergence of Brood II….Which Scientists predict this year, the Cicadas will be in colossal numbers….It’s not just a survival guide, but a possible real depiction of an ecological disaster…This story is dark humor, intriguing, gross, thought provoking and real horrifying….The characters could have been fleshed out more but for this part of the story they are not the main point……Each new chapter is told from the characters view point…..

Through the yrs a biological infectious agent has seeped into the fungus of the trees…The Cicadas have been feeding off this for 17 dormant years….It has been named “Troma” and the bugs are brand new mutations, that Americans are unaware of…This new species smells the scent of blood and seeks it out…If you have a open cut, you better hide, because this is a blood born pathogen of death….The symptoms are: severe itchiness, complete disintegration of your body, eventually takes command of your brain and drives you insane….It takes 72 hrs for the full effect….
This is not a zombie novel because the infected don’t reanimate, they just become deadly killers in every way….

Warning: If you see a large Cicada with bright red blood colored metallic wings, instead of their green ones, you better run fast…..

This novel was just excellent.I hope this author thinks about continuing this as a series for the summer it has really great potential..I personally would like to see a Part 2 and 3……