A Random Tag



A big thanks to Mr & Mrs NavigatingWorlds for tagging me last month. I kind of changed the name of the tag and whatnot, but I DID use their questions, so it’s all good.


1 ) You need a team of 3 people to help you overthrow an emperor. Which fictional characters would you recruit and why?


Sorry guys, maybe next time


Superman. Pretty self-explanatory

Tisamon from Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadow of the Apt series. Awesome swordsman and willing to kill, where Superman isn’t.

Any character from a Terry Brooks’ Shannara book. They’d be the sacrifice so it didn’t seem as easy as it was.


2 ) What is the most surprising twist you have come across in a novel?


The Mt. Dew for Losers

I can’t remember, honestly. I know there have been several times that a point of view was revealed to be a 180 from what the reader was led to expect, but no specific title springs to mind.


3 )You are hunting for a house to buy with your family. The only places available are Northern Westeros (north of the wall), Mordor, and Arrakis. At which location will you purchase a home?


Another good read to own a condo instead

Arrakis. I’d be a rich water merchant and live in comfort in Arrakeen * wink *


4 ) If you had to attend a fictional school of magic, which one would you select?


♪Oh, oh, it’s Magic♪  (the Gathering, that is!)

I’d take the one on one lessons from Kulgan in Raymond Feist’s Magician series.


5 ) You are the likable, but slightly useless, best friend to the main character. What one skill keeps you out of trouble?



Not being afraid to piss in the woods. Nothing is scarier to Alpha Predators than the ferocious scent of a Bookstooge, especially a slightly useless one.


6 ) If you had to read every single book by one author, which author would you pick?


Dickens, it’s whats for Dinner!

No contest. Dickens. There is a reason the man’s writings are “Classic”.


7 ) Which is the best country in the world?


I didn’t choose the Yurt Life, the Yurt Life chose me

Kyrgyzstan Forever!!! Any country with a “K” and a “Y” AND a “Z” has got to be awesome.  And by the way, I see you, my secret Kyrgyztanian friend, lurking around.


8 ) You are on an epic quest to save the world. You can take either a phoenix, a dragon, or an old bearded man. Which do you choose?


The Quest for the Bearded Kyrgyztanian

Dragon. I can BE the old bearded man.


9 ) Wine or beer?


6 Mt. Dew cans worth of caffeine

Teetotaler here, so I’m going with “Energy Drink”, preferably VPX Bang.


10 ) You have struck it lucky and book blogging is your full-time pursuit but you need a co-author for your blog. Who do you choose and why?


When you are as awesome as me, you’ll understand


Nobody. I explain why here:

A SuperSoldier, errr, Reviewer of One



Now I’m supposed to come up with my own questions and threaten you all with bad luck or something unless you do the tag in 10 days. 257197828688888277_ubpyo0cl_c1




Dead and Alive (Frankenstein #3) ★★☆☆½

deadandalive (Custom).jpgThis review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Dead and Alive
Series: Frankenstein #3
Author: Dean Koontz
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 372
Format: Digital Edition



Victor Helios’ empire is crumbling. His new humans are all going insane, or changing in unexpected and uncontrolled ways. Murderous rampages, multiple genetic reorganizations, it is not good news for Victor. Then he gets a call from Wife #4, who he killed. Only she’s not dead, but alive and well in the dump and the creature that brought her back to life wants to confront Victor and destroy him.

The two cops, buddies slash romance partners, whose names I can’t even remember, are in touch with Deucalion and just drive around until it is time to meet up at the Dump. They have a “spiritual” moment, witness the end of the Victor and then get married, have a baby and start their own detective agency.

Deucalion steps through shadows, gets in touch with the freed new humans at the Dump and witnesses the end of Victor.

Victor denies that anything bad is happening, allows himself to be captured by the freed new humans and then dies. This sends a signal to some satellites in the sky which transmits a code and all the new humans, including the Dump Monster, die. Even though the coded deathkey didn’t work when Victor spoke it earlier.


My Thoughts:

This was a mess of a story. Everything was so rushed and completely unbelievable. That is coming from within a story about Frankenstein for goodness sake. And don’t give me crap about “Frankenstein’s Monster”. Koontz might sidestep it by calling him Deucalion, but since the series title is Frankenstein, yeah, I rest my case.

These books started out interesting, with Victor Helios being one bad ass badguy. The newhumans were real threats and things looked grim at the best. But Victor pretty much going insane and believing his own reality instead of what was actually going on really wrecked the whole villain vibe. I am hesitant to assign a motive to Koontz but I wonder if he was simply trying to show how pride can blind and ultimately destroy even the most brilliant being? I know that Koontz is Catholic and the parallels with Satan are unmistakable, but am I reading my own ideas into this? I simply don’t know.

Cop1 and Cop2 have guns, guns and guns and super ammo and only get to fight against two insane newhumans. Both of whom are naked. Cop2, the male, makes a big deal about the newhuman woman being naked. It didn’t quite get into slimeball territory but it definitely didn’t fit with “The End of Humanity as We Know It”. If you’re running for your life, are you really going to notice how tight some woman’s butt is? Especially when that woman is covered in blood, running faster than your car and trying to kill you with her barehands? If so, you really, really, really need to check your priorities.

There are 2 more books in this series and I do plan on reading them. I just hope they are standalones so that Koontz can pace himself a little better. As a trilogy I wouldn’t recommend this series but I’ll wait until the final book to see if this book was just the weak link or indicative of the overall direction.





Surviving a Bad Book – A Quest of Heroes



A Quest of Heroes by Morgan Rice

1 Star

Book One of The Sorcerers Ring





Yes, Surviving a Bad Book has returned. It makes me feel like Life has returned to normal too, even though it hasn’t. And like I always say:

“Feelings are more important than anything, even Logic, Truth and Life Itself.”


Yep, that’s me, Old Man Feelz


After the last SaBB post, I wanted one that wasn’t so vile. So I started perusing my 1/2 and 1 Star books and oddly enough, the majority of them were from the last 3 years.  So either my taste had improved dramatically OR I’m just being a LOT more picky and not willing to put up with barely adequate trash masquerading as novels.

This particular novel isn’t offensive beyond it’s complete and utter mediocrity. The storyline is lifted wholesale from the story of King David in the Bible and has a dash of Arthurian Legend thrown in.

What really makes this book bad is that I wasted my precious time on it and that the writer has a whole series of the wretched things. I HATE being a Gatekeeper. Back in Ye Olde Olden Days, there used to be these people called Agents and Editors who were paid to sift through all the dreck. Now, with the Self-Publishing Revolution that the Ebook has enabled, I am the Gatekeeper. What’s more, when I actually do some Gatekeeping and call a piece of trash a piece of trash, half the time I get this kind of response:




This is the kind of book that I would DNF at the 10% mark now. Live and Learn.








– UPDATED – Well, This is Kind of Scary…


Ok, first off, this post is a prime example of why I should never do anything even semi-serious after 9pm. I am not on top of my game and make mistakes.

So, it WAS me. Using one of the least used bookstooge email addresses that I have on hand. I have NO idea why I created the profile or how I forgot about it. I had to reset my password but then I could login and I have deleted the account, hence the “no longer available” that some of you reported. Thanks for checking!

I feel so stupid and embarrassed.  Also, if I’m ever insufferably arrogant to you at some point, please point to this article to remind me about humble pie.






I am not on Facebook, in real life or with the Bookstooge monniker. However, I just found that “Bookstooge Booker” is on Facebook, with the exact same avatar as me in all my various Bookstooge haunts. I did have a FB group when I was copying my reviews but I deleted all content and deleted the group when I left.


And I am not from California.  I am debating whether to join up with Facebook and check this freak out. The next step would be to report them. But how do you report an online identity that isn’t your real life identity?

As if life isn’t complicated enough, sigh.  And it’s Friday…


Thraxas and the Oracle (Thraxas #10) ★★★☆☆

thraxasandtheoracle (Custom).jpgThis review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Thraxas and the Oracle
Series: Thraxas #10
Author: Martin Scott
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 184
Format: Digital Edition



The armies have come together and they all, under the leadership of Lisutaris, begin the march to Turai to take the fight to the orcs. Thraxas has been made head of Security and his number one job is to find Deeziz the Unseen before she wreaks havoc on the barely holding together armies. Add to that that Lisutaris must consult with an Oracle who has been banned and whose followers have been wiped out by the true church.

Thraxas is going to have a very hard time. Worst of all, there are no taverns and Lisutaris has told him to stop drinking.

The oracle proves right in all her accounts that do come to pass, Thraxas does find Deeziz (who escapes yet again) and the allied armies surprise an orcish one and completely route it. Now they can begin to head to Turai.


My Thoughts:

This was probably the weakest Thraxas story to date. In the middle of an army is not the place to have Thraxas being a gluttonous drunk. It just didn’t work for me this time. Thraxas is just hit or miss for me and I can’t figure out the why’s and wherefore’s of the formula regulating that. I guess it’s just a mystery! In terms of enjoyment, this was a bunt. I still connected with the ball, but it didn’t knock it out of the park for me.

If I were to recommend these books to anyone, I’d say to stop at book 8. Yes, there isn’t any resolution at the end of that book, but 2 books later there still isn’t any resolution. Also, considering that it has been 3 years since this book was published and there hasn’t been another, I’d say Scott has dropped the creative ball and is done as an author. These are not long books. If you are on fire, it doesn’t take 3 years to write a sub-200page book. It is only when struggling that that is the case.

Scott needs to write one more book where the armies take back the city of Turai, Thraxas marries Makri, becomes the proconsul of the newly renovated Turai and the whole gang (Lisutaris, Gurd, Tamrose, etc) all hang out at a brand new bar and shirk their duties. The End. Seriously.





The Algorithm of Power ★☆☆☆☆

algorithmofpower (Custom).jpgThis review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Algorithm of Power
Author: Pedro Barrento
Translator: Craig Patterson
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 701
Format: Digital Edition



In 2061, the world decides to be run by a computer program instead of governments and to divide the world up into 100 regions where various ideologies, religions, philosophies and whatever can have their own little place without needing to elect anyone or be in contact with anyone who disagrees with them.

One storyline, in 2300, follows a young woman who leaves her region after her sister’s death and in the new region comes across a young man who has unfettered access to the network. She falls in love with another man and through machinations, ends up on a boat with both men heading for this Control Center.

The second storyline is about the rise of the Network and how the world we are introduced to in the beginning of the book came about.


My Thoughts:

Pig Ignorant Eurosnobbery.

North Korea, China, the US Army, they’re not all going to just sit back and let something like this happen. A lot of individuals wouldn’t just sit back and let this happen either.

And the passive energy field that separate the regions? Beyond handwavium, their application is completely ignored. That kind of tech would have gone into somebody’s military and then gone to the world’s militaries. World War III was much more likely of an outcome than what is shown.

Don’t even get me started on the lack of Religious intelligence here. This author obviously doesn’t understand ANY religion. I know that Christians wouldn’t accept being corraled into one little part of the planet. The whole point of Christianity isn’t to live with people you agree with, but to spread what you believe to others. You can’t do that, there is no point in being a Christian. Then the muslims and their jihads? You think they’re just going to lie down? Ahhh, the lack of understanding in this book was appalling.

I also didn’t like a single character.

The writing. I’ve got conflicting data here. Antao, in his review, states that this was originally in English. The kindle edition I got states:

Translation: Craig Patterson

So, was that translation of certain phrases in the book, translation from English to Portuguese or from Portuguese to English. Mr Barrento lives in Portugal, so I wouldn’t think he would need help translating his book to that language? I couldn’t find which language this was written in first, nor did I look that hard. Not worth it.

Either way, no matter, the writing was choppy, didn’t flow and kept me at arms length. I always felt narrated AT while reading this book and that was off putting.

I doubt I’ll ever come across another book by this author, but if I some how do, I certainly won’t be reading it.





Mara Strikes Back! (Oh My Goddess! #8) ★★★☆½

marastrikesback (Custom).jpgThis review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission 
Mara Strikes Back!
Series: Oh My Goddess! #8
Author: Kosuke Fujishima
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 176
Format: Paperback



Chapter Stories.

Mara returns. She releases an unhappiness demon on Kei but because of Belldandy the unhappiness is turned to happiness. At the same time Mara also possesses Megumi to try to separate Kei and Bell. With predictable results all around.

Kei and the Auto Club go for a vacation to an old inn and there Kei is visited by a ghost. A ghost his grandfather made a promise to long ago. Kei must fulfill the promise or be possessed.

Skuld makes a new robot, Banpei and there are the typical misadventures. Urd is recalled to Heaven but the goddesses put their heads together and cast a warding around the house, to ostensibly keep Mara out but a side affect is that the gate for Urd can’t open either. This crashes the system, again and so the girls are still dependent on moon rocks.

The final story is about Sora trying to make a box lunch for the guy she likes. Belldandy helps her out and Sora gives one to Kei and everyone, but Bell, thinks that Sora likes Kei. Turns out Kei was a test subject and Sora really likes Aoshima, that jerk cousin to Sayoko. No accounting for taste I guess.


My Thoughts:

The stories in this volume were a lot more enjoyable than in previous volumes. The whole Mara Strikes Back was probably the best with the others being slightly funny to meh.

There is so much potential here that Fujishima HAS to get a story right even if by accident. I like his drawings a lot, just kind of wish he’d had a separate manga-ka to do the storylines. But when you write for a monthly magazine, kind of tough to split the cut two ways and have enough to live on I guess.

This time around the picture I chose to showcase stood out to me the moment I saw it and I KNEW it was the one to include. Urd has just messed with Sora’s boxlunch with one of her infamous love potions and Belldandy is NOT happy. While Belldandy is usually the levelheaded, peaceable one, she’s also the most powerful. It is rather nice to see her looking so determined, with that “annoyed adult” look on her face.


Bell might be sweet but she’s also the most mature