Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Give-Away on Goodreads

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Crimson Pact by Paul Genesse

The Crimson Pact

by Paul Genesse

Giveaway ends December 01, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Friday, October 14, 2011

Review of Net Impact by Donald J. Bingle


Net Impact by Donald J. Bingle is not your dad’s spy novel. This is a modern spy thriller about a realistic agent working for a shadow company, The Subsidiary, affiliated with several different sovereign nations. The details are crisp and main character is a fully drawn man with an exciting career in espionage, but a terrible life at home, as he rarely sees his wife and son, who are becoming more and more upset with his always gone lifestyle. His marriage is in serious trouble as he is sent on a mission to New Zealand to stop the transfer of unmanned drone plans and goes from there as our he uncovers the truth about a very diabolical plot apropos for our modern internet age.

The most fascinating thing about the novel is the inclusion of the fictional virtual world of Reality 2 Be, think Second Life, where a lot of secret and illegal activity happens—which is not fiction. I had no idea, but in the virtual worlds of the internet money is transferred, criminals conduct clandestine meetings, and rebels and terrorists get together right under the nose of the world governments who have no idea of how to monitor and police the virtual worlds. Sure, we’ve seen spies infiltrate the lairs of the bad guys, but I hadn’t seen one infiltrate a virtual world before, and it was cool to see how the plot brought the virtual and real world together in a very fascinating twist.

The strength of the book is the accurate main character, who is so good at what he does, but not in a sort of silly James Bond way. This is more of a Jason Bourne crossed with that cool uncle of yours who was a lineman in football, then army ranger, and a cop before he became a private consultant. He’s a realistic spy, who uses his keen intellect and pragmatic philosophy to get the job done—and he’s known for causing mass destruction, but he gets the mission accomplished no matter what. Sure, there are a few gunfights, fires, computer hacking moments, and big explosions, but OMG, the ending is pretty amazing and I didn’t see that one coming. I’m pretty certain no spy has ever used what this guy used to accomplish the mission at the end.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as well as Bingle’s other novels, Forced Conversion and Greensword. His short fiction has always entertained me as well, and I look forward to his next project.

Net Impact is a short, punchy, realistic spy thriller for the modern age, and once you read this, you’ll never look at the internet the same way again.

Paul Genesse, author and editor

Monday, October 3, 2011

Review of Shadow Valley


Shadow Valley by Michael R. Collings

This is a very creepy horror novel by an esteemed and accomplished writer. The prose is smooth and interesting and builds to become quite intense at the end. The main character is Lila Ellis, a young woman who is trying to find out if anyone lives in an old house in a rural valley that is about to be flooded by a new dam project that will create a reservoir.

The book is short and easy to read, but it takes a while to really get going. The pace picks up when Lila gets into the house and discovers a chilling journal that spells out some of the sordid and complex history of the Stevenson family. Lila uncovers the secret past of the place and finds out about the curse that has taken so many people, especially young women who end up living there alone.

Right when Lila enters you know she’s made a huge mistake, but the twists are still quite interesting. The first thing she discovers is seventy boxes of chocolate with only one missing from each box. This was where it really started to get creepy and who knew that the smell of chocolate could be so scary? Collings excels at description and knows how to build an atmosphere of dread.

Overall, this is an interesting story, but some readers will find it a little slow. If you’re a fan of Stephen King, haunted house books, and family curses, this is definitely a book you'll enjoy.

Paul Genesse
Editor of The Crimson Pact

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Top 10 Challenged Books of 2010

I found this list and wanted to share it.

Top 10 Challenged Books of 2010
By Pam Gaulin | Yahoo! Contributor Network – Wed, Sep 21, 2011

Danger! Books ahead! Each year during Banned Books Week, the American Library Associationshares its list of the top 10 most frequently challenged books of 2010. Banned Books Week 2011 occurs Sept. 24 to Oct. 1. Few classics make the list, but there are penguins, vampires, a part-time Indian and angst-ridden, sexually-curious teens.

No. 1 "And Tango Makes Three" by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Unlike the other books on the list, "And Tango Makes Three" is a picture book, inspired by the true story (based on an incident at Central Park Zoo in Manhattan) of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, successfully incubating an egg. According to the ALA, it has been challenged due to "homosexuality, religious viewpoint" and is considered "unsuited to age group" (preschool to grade 3) "And Tango Makes Three" has remained the number one challenged book since 2006, with the exception of 2009 when Lauren Myracle's "ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r" (series) was the most challenged book.

No. 2 "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie
Published in 2007, the book remained relatively under the censorship radar until 2010, debuting at the number two spot of most challenged books. The book is challenged for " offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, violence , and being unsuited to age group (grades seven through 10).

No. 3 "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley
This was the only classic to make the 2010 list. Reasons the book was challenged include: "insensitivity, offensive language, racism and being sexually explicit." Huxley was ranked 36th on the most challenged author list from 2000 to 2009, and No. 54 from 1990 to 1999, according to theALA.

No. 4 "Crank" by Ellen Hopkins
Hopkins' book has been compared to another frequently challenged book, "Go Ask Alice." Published in 2004, 2010 is the first year "Crank" makes the top 10 list, thanks to " drugs, offensive language, and being sexually explicit."

No. 5 The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
When the highly anticipated movie premieres in 2012, this dystopian novel may jump a few notches on the challenged list. The book is challenged for violence, sexual explicitness and is considered unsuited to its intended age group (grades seven and up).

No. 6 "Lush" by Natasha Friend
The main character lives in a dysfunctional family with and alcoholic father. Although it was published in 2006, 2010 is the first year the book makes it to the most challenged list. Reasons include:"drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group (grades 7 and up).

No. 7 "What My Mother Doesn't Know" by Sonya Sones
Sones' book has bounced off and on the most challenged list in the last decade, mainly for "sexism, being sexually explicit, unsuited to age group," according to ALA.

No. 8 Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Ehrenreich's book is the only non-fiction book on the list. Reasons for challenges include drugs, offensive language and religious viewpoint. It's also challenged due to its political viewpoint and for being "inaccurate," according to the ALA.

No. 9 "Revolutionary Voices" edited by Amy Sonnie
Rarely does a collection of stories make the top 10 list, but here it is. The book has been challenged for "homosexuality and being sexually explicit."

No. 10 "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer
Meyer's vampire phenomenon has dropped down in its ranking for 2010, last year there were even "more dangerous" books on the shelves. In 2009 "Twilight" the series ranked at number five. The series is challenged most frequently due to violence and its religious viewpoint.