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Issue: October 2014

Reading Matters

- A Collection of Short Reviews

Welcome to a collection of short reviews of material we read in October 2014

For a list of all the books reviewed in Spring, 2014 (Sept - Nov), go to the Bookroom. More detailed reviews are listed there. For more reviews, search for 'book reviews' in our gold site search box at the top of this page (the bottom field, please).

Short reviews in Reading Matters this month:
Edge, Episode 3, Season 1 (Jamie Magee)
Heart of the Dead (Gabriel Beyers)
Inspector Hobbes and the Curse (Wilkie Martin)
Modern Sci-Fi Films FAQ
Trinity - The Prophecy (Kylie Price)
Upgraded (Neil Clarke ed.)

Edge, Episode 3, Season 1

book cover, Edge by Jamie Magee; 93x140

Jamie Magee

How can you not love Jamie Magee and her books? This episode is just as spectacular as 1 and 2. It's really hard to tell you about the episode without ruining it for you because its only 52 pages. But I will give you this, the bad ass bikers are HOT and the magic is everywhere. Revecca is one awesome chic (with her powers to bring souls back from the Veil)...even with the mess her sister (a witch) has gotten her into with King. You should definitely read this book...after reading the first 2 of course or you will be confused. Edge 3 has left me hanging on by a thread in anticipation for #4. I cannot wait much longer. Go get your copy right now. You won't regret it.

Toni Michelle

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Trinity - The Prophecy

book cover, Trinity, by Kylie Price; 93x140

Kylie Price

Trinity is part of a prophecy in which she knows nothing about. She lived in foster care and was moved from house to house until she found her unfortunate forever home. But she did have her 2 best friends since 5th grade so that was a plus. Problem was Trinity just turned 18 and with the scratch from an unknown beast and a bite from a monster, she is supposed to choose which side she would be on...before the next full moon. Which side will she choose? And was it really the right choice?

Freaking awesome. From the first page all the way to the last I was hooked. Totally in love with this book. My mind is still reeling from this amazing book. You do not want to miss Trinity's story. It is definitely one to be smitten with. Kylie did an amazing job and now I cannot wait to read more of her books.

Toni Michelle

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Heart of the Dead

book cover, Heart of the Dead, by Gabriel Beyers; 88x140

Gabriel Beyers

Jerusa, a heart transplant recipient, can see ghosts and it seems Alicia is her own personal ghost. So when she finds Silvanus, who is not sure what he is but knows he isn't human, in the woods, in her small town, she isn't too surprised to find he isn't exactly human. But what exactly is he? It is up to Jerusa, Alicia and the group of vampires she has just met to destroy Kole, that is, if they can find him.

Holy cow. Those books that draw you in immediately and keep you hanging onto the edge of your seat are the ones we all love right? Well this is definitely one where you will find yourself so close to the edge you almost fall off. Talk about nail biting, heart racing and down-right worrisome. This is one heck of a thrill ride. I would have to recommend this book to every single paranormal and fantasy lover out there.

Toni Michelle


book cover, Upgraded, Neil Clarke (ed.); 93x140

Neil Clarke (ed.)
Wyrm Publishing, pb, ISBN 9781890464301, 16.95 (USD)

Neil Clarke collects original science fiction stories about cyborgs, people who are machine-augmented. Authors include Madline Ashby, Elizabeth Bear and Greg Egan. The stories are workerlike, although at least one left me with a distinct 'Huh?' reaction.

This is one for the fans of contemporary SF: the dour, dystopian view of the future. It is joyless and wonderless and bodes ill for the coming ages of humankind.

Ali Kayn

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Inspector Hobbes and the Curse

book cover, Inspector Hobbes and the Curse, Wilkie Martin; 92x140

Wilkie Martin
Ebook, ISBN 9780957635135, USD 7.99

Inspector Hobbes has been likened to a Terry Pratchett novel, but don't be fooled. It is pratfall-funny, it's humour is not clever, or witty, but laugh-at-the-mug.

Imagine if you will Sherlock Holmes written as a comedy of errors, or perhaps a comedy of disasters. The story is narrated by a Watson-like character, a failed and unemployed journalist living with a Cotswold police inspector and his dog.

Slow to start and cruel to its characters, this book failed completely to capture my attention and I laughed not at all. If you find slapstick uproarious give it a try, otherwise it's not worth the time.

Ali Kayn

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Modern Sci-Fi Films FAQ

book cover Modern Sci Fi FAQ; 93x140

Tom DeMichael
Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, ISBN 9781480350618, pb, USD24.99

Years ago when the audio breakthrough Hi-Fi (High Fidelity) was introduced, Forrest J. Ackerman had a fannish moment. Falling prey to the fan's predilection for puns he announced that science fiction was 'sci-fi'. He has since apologised on many occasions for this. Sci-fi is a pun, not a genre, and using the term is always differentiates those in the know from the outsiders. Which is why every time DeMichael used the term in his book I ground my teeth and cringed.

Not that this was the only thing that makes one cringe about this book. FAQs are Frequently Asked Questions, but this is not a questions and answers book. Rather it is a collection of long descriptions of mainly American science fiction films with brief introductions from time to time.

A long-time watcher and reader of science fiction, I hit termianl boredom by 30% into the book. Frankly, the reader would be better off watching the movies than reading the dry synopses.

There are better science fiction commentators out there, try something by Peter Nichols, for example.

Ali Kayn

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