Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

The closing chapter of the Mistborn trilogy. After having read Sanderson’s debut novel Elantris, I was excited to see where this was all leading. He does a fantastic job of world building, getting into the details of life to a meticulous level (religion, economy, politics) without being dull. He has a flair for writing fight scenes and keeping the action taut and suspenseful.

He also has a penchant for using the phrase “raised an eyebrow”. I swear to God, if you made a drinking game out of spotting cocked eyebrows in this book, you’d be David Crosby before you got to the final page. I used Amazon’s “search inside” feature on the phrase “raised an eyebrow” or “eyebrow” and it returned close to fifty hits. That equates to someone doing an impression of the Rock about once every ten pages. It GLARES.

Eyebrows aside, the trilogy follows a fascinating arc. Rather than telling a tale about how a band of heroes saved the world from destruction, it’s more about how those attempts failed and what needs to be done to fix them. There are a wide array of characters and species to follow, some fascinating, others feeling a bit like plot devices or a bit two dimensional. I would recommend the Mistborn Trilogy for anyone who really likes epic fantasy (I’m only a passing fan, and it’s the twist Sanderson puts on things that kept me coming back), but I would still steer people towards Elantris above this collection.

Wanna read an excerpt from Angel Falls?

Amazon has started posting the 500 quarterfinalists excerpts in Kindle form, but fear not! There’s a (very tiny) link there for “Available on your PC” as well. Here’s the two posted reviews from the page: Review
I absolutely loved this excerpt from ANGEL FALLS. The concept is fresh, fun, and incredibly entertaining. The voice of “Lucifer (?)” is constant, wonderfully irreverent, easy to read, and very, very funny. This is a well written character, who never takes himself too seriously. I giggled and laughed out loud throughout this excerpt. It feels very reminiscent of Douglas Adams, which is the highest compliment that I can pay. I really want to read the rest of this; please, don’t change a thing. Review
I like to review with the question in mind, “If I read this chapter online, would I buy the rest of the book?” Not only is this excerpt a perfect example of a “yes!” to this question, it’s also a case where I would steadfastly feel that Prime shipping just isn’t fast enough! I love everything about this piece, but the strongest aspect to me is the wonderful narration – which combines a superb Theology Kitchen Sink approach with a wonderful dry wit and irreverent humor. Add to that a layer of detailed and careful world-building of an afterlife that breaks all the traditional rules, and you have a winner. The narrator is wonderfully three-dimensional, as he oscillates between a wry appreciation of the good (if sometimes boring) afterlife, a wistful nostalgia for his friends and coworkers in heaven, and a playfully cutthroat interest in turning every situation to his advantage…even an eye on the throne itself. The narrative details really sell this piece. The “Bunny Slopes” originally meant to torment the damned, now a vacation resort. The lake of tears, and Lucifer’s sweep past that particular topic – the effect wonderfully and completely ‘humanizes’ the fallen angel to the reader. The painfully earnest Phaleg, who embodies that rarest of comic relief – a character who is amusing without being annoying, and sympathetic without stealing the show from the main character. I honestly hope this excerpt wins the contest – my only regret is that even if it does, I myself will still have to wait quite some time before I can read the rest. Congratulations on a job well done.

So, if you’d like to give it a read in advance of the deluge of me asking for your reviews and such, click THIS LINK.

Also, today I’ve achieved my childhood dream of being ranked #44,831 in Amazon’s Kindle Store. Where to go from here?

Edit: I just realized Amazon requires you to download Kindle for Mac or PC in order to get/read this – I’m trying it out now. It’s a fairly small program, so…you know. I appreciate your help! I want to check the rules and see what I can do about posting an excerpt here.

ANGEL FALLS makes the next round in’s Breakthrough Novel Competition!

Yeeeeeehaaaaaaaawwwww! I am now a quarterfinalist (made the cut from 500 to 250 in the General Fiction category) in’s contest! NOW is the time (when I figure out what to do) that I will begin enlisting your help! You can leave reviews on the contest page soon, so any help you can give me will be deeply appreciated! Make ANGEL FALLS a reality! Yaaaaay!

Read the big list here!

Anticipation, it’s a killer…

Tomorrow I find out if I made the cut into the next round of’s Breakthrough Novel Award. If not, it’s on to the aggressive marketing phase of Angel Falls. And if I make it, it’s another month of waiting. Only this time, I’ll be soliciting people to review/look at my work. I don’t know when the public gets to start ranking things, maybe towards the end of the contest, but it’s been a good confidence booster that I hope doesn’t end tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe King

Joe Hill is the real deal. Even if he weren’t Stephen King’s son, I think he’d have quickly landed an agent and found himself a bestselling author. Heart-Shaped Box, his first full length novel, deals with aging rocker Judas Coyne. Jude is a relic of the past, an aging rocker who finds himself hitless, living in the woods off his earlier spoils. His bandmates have died from living the life, and he works his way through one sad groupie after another. He doesn’t even try to remember their names, rather referring to them by the state they’re from.

Jude also collects macabre items, haunted things, so when his assistant shows him an auction one day for a “haunted suit”, he can’t pass up the opportunity to check it out. The suit supposedly harbors the ghost of an old man, and the original owner just wants it out of her house so her child will feel safer. Strange dreams and visions begin to haunt Jude after the suit arrives. He sees an old man, dangling a razor from a chain, wearing that same suit. The man’s eves are obscured by dark scribbles. Things quickly turn darker for Jude, as the ghost begins to affect his live-in groupie and his assistant.

When Jude learns the true origins of the suit, he realizes how much trouble he’s in. Without spoiling too much, the suit is a paranormal Trojan Horse of sorts, allowing a vengeful spirit from Jude’s past access to his home. And since Jude bought and paid for the suit, it’s his until the bitter end. He must embark on a journey across the country and into his own past to confront the ghost and save himself.

Hill has the same gift for natural, laid-back prose as his father, and his stories are just as gripping and tightly-paced.

Music Monday – The College Boyz

The last cassette I ever purchased, RadioFusionRadio. Yeah, this song is about as vulgar as party rap gets, all about sex and…well, pretty much just sex. The tape was pretty awesome though, a wide range of styles from smooth laid back riffs (Victim of the Ghetto) to the slightly hardcore (Politics of a Gangsta) to the downright fun (Funky Quartet). The College Boyz gained mild popularity, but ultimately suffered from emerging at the tail end of the party rap/R&B Boyz II Men craze, and quickly faded into obscurity.

More importantly…you DO remember what cassettes are, right?

ANGEL FALLS makes the cut on’s Breakthrough Novel Award Competition!

I am tremendously excited today, because ANGEL FALLS has made the cut for Amazon’s Breakthrough NOvel Competition. The field has been narrowed down to 1,000 books (I know, I know…) but still! National contest! ME! The winner of this contest gets a publishing contract with Penguin Books, but even if I don’t win, this will be a very nice thing to include in cover letters to agents and publishing houses! Here’s my preliminary thank-you to anyone who’s read the book or helped critique sections anytime since it came into being three years ago! Onwards! Upwards!

…I have no clue what happens next in this contest. Rest assured, you WILL hear about it.


Maintenance forthcoming…

Now that I’m over on the “official” side of things on blogger (no longer publishing via FTP) it’s time to update the template with their new toys. Things are going to get wacky for the next couple of hours, if not days, and the blog is gonna look generic for a bit. Wish me luck!

EDIT: Nope. No go. This is waaaay too much work for a Saturday. I’m not happy with what Blogger has done, essentially making it more difficult to customize the precise look of my blog. Ah well. There would only have been a couple of nice extras anyway, including Followers and easier facebook/twitter integration. C’est la vie.