Review – The Ancients by Mike Wolff

Click on image to take you to the Mike Wolff – The Ancients Amazon page

FOUR STARS

A coming of age story, but not your typical one. Instead of a moody teenager caught in the angst of life, here we have a young aardvark — yes, and aardvark, and a wonderful one at that. He suffers loss at the hands of a nasty enemy, another animal, the Golden Wombat, the epitome of evil. He goes on a quest, then, to seek out those who can give him the knowledge he needs to get revenge. This quest brings him to many colorful fellow animal characters, all of whom gift him with knowledge, talents, and otherwise equip him mentally and physically – teaching him how to grow up and teaching him how to live. The Aardvark is a fun, likable hero, and believe it or not, him being an animal and all, he’s a character that teenagers and young adults can relate to, look up to, learn from. I liked that about this novel. As others have said, it reminds me and hearkens back to the fables of old, even with a moral of the story woven throughout. I really enjoyed this story. I passed it on to my teenage son, and he’s started reading it on a road trip this weekend. I fully expect him to have devoured it.

Advertisements

Book Review – Controlled Descent by KM Herkes

Click for Amazon Controlled Descent page

Rating: FIVE STARS

Controlled Descent reminded me of… well, nothing. Why? Because it’s like nothing I’ve ever read before. It’s unique, different, and creates a world that’s based in reality but is unreal. It takes place in a future that is entirely possible… probable even. Humans behave the way we expect them to behave, yet they excel beyond. They survive and thrive even in their darkest moments. You find yourself riveted to the pages, watching as these rich, thick and colorful characters break and bend and bounce back. Each of the characters is intensely drawn, lovingly crafted and they, truly drive the story. It’s not the plot or what is going to happen generally that concerns the reader… the worry, the care lies in what is going to happen to the characters – to Justin, to Parker, Carl, and Allie and Tyler. These characters live in a world that is an uncertain, volatile place; a crumbling political society underlying a technologically and scientifically leaps and bounds advancing one, and it is the conflict between these two spirals that creates much of what the Restoration is all about. It’s a world that a reader can get their boots in and their mind around and live in for a good while.

On a macro/technical level with this book, there were times when I needed to go back a few paragraphs and re-read to understand what was going on, to catch things I missed when the story seemed to take a sharp turn or the dialogue changed lighting quick. The pace moves that quickly, and at times, the reader needs to slow down in order to catch every bit. The writing style is very fluid and very nuanced – the author doesn’t give you every detail, every tidbit of information. While that allows a reader’s own mind to complete the gestalt in a really adventurous, pleasurable way, the reader has to be willing to give it that effort, to become part of that world and observe with their own eyes and deduce with their own mind. If that makes any sense whatsoever. Tl;dr – you cannot be a lazy reader with this book. It forces you to interact, and really… that is a very good thing. This book is a thick, action-packed meaty thriller, not a romance (although there is some romance in it that had me cheering and crying). It’s a steak, not cereal, and it should be savored.

I recommend this highly. Now I’m ready to delve into the rest of the Restoration stories.