The Most Dangerous Game (Short Story) ★★★★☆


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Title: The Most Dangerous Game
Series: ———-
Author: Richard Connell
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 21
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

Rainsford is a big game hunter on yacht heading to his next destination. He falls off the boat one night but manages to swim to a nearby island. He is introduced to General Zaroff, a former General to the Russian Czar now living in exile because of the Red Revolution. Zaroff claims to be a hunter from birth and founded his life’s purpose on the thrill of the hunt. Sadly, the hunt against animals paled and Zaroff didn’t know what to do. Until he began hunting men. Now he rescues shipwrecked sailors or kidnaps them and then lets them loose on his island to hunt at his leisure.

When Rainsford refuses to join, Zaroff decides to hunt him. Armed only with a knife,Rainsford must not only overcome Zaroff, but also his killer servant Ivan and the General’s trained pack of hunting dogs.

Rainsford turns the tables and kills Zaroff.

My Thoughts:

A couple of months ago, The Film Authority reviewed the 1932 movie The Most Dangerous Game. It sounded extremely familiar and it turned out it was based on a short story that I had read “some time, some where, some how”. The original title was The Hounds of Zaroff written in 1924.

This was a fascinating little story and sure does pack a wallop for a mere 21 pages. I read a gutenberg “illustrated” edition, which just threw in random pictures of objects being talked about in the text, so I suspect the real page count is closer to the teens.

There isn’t much to actually talk about. The twist is well known, very well used. Using humans as hunting prey has been around since, well, there has been enough leisure time for hunting culture to develop. Humanity gets bored easily enough and it’s creative enough and broken enough to do something like this. There was an Outer Limits episode where some humans use humanoid androids as hunting targets and the twist there was that the androids turned the tables. Just like Rainsford does to Zaroff here.

Even knowing the story, I recommend reading this if you want a little Action/Adventure to tide you over some afternoon.

★★★★☆

John Ovington Returns ★★★☆☆

johnovingtonreturns (Custom)

This 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: John Ovington Returns
Series: ———-
Author: Max Brand
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Western
Pages: 20
Words: 6.5K

Synopsis:

John Ovington returns to his ancestral home in Connecticut, to find a series of letters between his Great Grandfather and his fiance. Great Grandfather goes to war, the girl marries someone else and Great Grandfather vows he’ll get the girl in the end.

John Ovington finds out he has a new neighbor, who looks exactly like Great Grandfather’s fiance and that she is running off with a beau. She writes a series of letters exactly the same as the Great Grandfather’s fiance and history begins to repeat itself.

John Ovington gets the girl and breaks the cycle that Fate had ordained for him.

My Thoughts:

For some reason, almost all the editions show this as being a full novel at over 500 pages. It is just a short story at 16-20 pages and I sure do feel bad for anyone who bought it (even for 99cents) thinking it was a full book.

The synopsis pretty much says it all. This is some sort of love, ghost, thingy, story. I tagged it western, but considering it takes place in Connecticut, probably “frontier” might have been more appropriate. I’m guessing this was for a magazine back when it was first published. It has 3 chapters and that fits with a serial short story in a magazine spread over 3 issues.

It was actually nice to read something so short and then be done. I spent 30 minutes or less reading it and then bam, finished. Truth be told, I’ve probably spent more time searching out the correct page number and writing this little piece than I did reading. While it feels like cheating (I’ll including this as a “book” in my monthly roundup numbers), I think that including my Page Count numbers more than makes up for it.

Giddy’up!

★★★☆☆

Galactic North (Revelation Space #6) ★★★★½

galacticnorth (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: Galactic North
Series: Revelation Space #6
Author: Alastair Reynolds
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 356
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A collection of 8 short stories and novellas set in Reynolds Revelation Space universe. Many of them focus on the Conjoiners and we get several stories that provide history about several of the Conjoiner characters we’ve read about in previous books.

There is also a story about the Green Light that is mentioned in an earlier book and while we don’t see how humanity overcomes that, we do see how it gets started.

One of the stories gives a tip ‘o the hat to the novella Diamond Dogs. That story was much closer to a horror story and it meshed with the tone of Diamond Dogs perfectly.

 

My Thoughts:

Man, another winner of a book. I thoroughly enjoyed this. I’d already read one or two of these stories in Reynold’s Best Of… Collection but they were just as good upon a re-read.

I did enjoy the variation in length of story from novella down to a short story. It helped with the flow of the book and never made me feel like I was slogging. I also liked finding out the history and future of several characters we have already met in previous books. Reading this was a nice “rounding out” experience.

By this time, if one has read this far into Reynold’s Revelation Space universe, nothing here is going to deter one from continuing. Not even referencing one’s self in the third person. That being said, I think there is only one more book for me to read and then I’ll have to go track down his other works and figure out what order to read them.

★★★★½

 

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Honour Under Moonlight (The God Fragments 1.5) ★★★★☆

honourundermoonlight (Custom)This 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: Honour Under Moonlight
Series: The God Fragments 1.5
Author: Tom Lloyd
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 79
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Lynx and the Cards are taking the winter off, thanks to the money they earned in Stranger of Tempest. However, Lynx gets shanghai’ed into attending a Costume Ball with Toil. When he goes to pick her up at her place, he finds 2 dead assassins, one live assassin and no Toil. Thus begins Lynx’s night.

He tracks down Toil using clues she has left behind. Unfortunately for Lynx, Toil is using him to draw out the leader of the assassin group Lynx found in her home. After some good old fashioned torture, there is a showdown in a graveyard and Lynx, Toil and a mysterious stranger in a gold mask take down the assassins.

Lynx is left wondering just what the Cards have signed up for in working for Toil.

 

My Thoughts:

I’m usually not a fan of short stories taking place between books but I wanted to stretch this series out, as book 2 was only released in March. I’ll have to wait at least a year before book 3, so lets make the fun last, you know?

Also, my last 2 High Priority reads were real downers. Algorithm of Power and Gods of the Mountain both left me holding an empty dried out husk when I really wanted a juicy watermelon. Thankfully, Honour Under Moonlight gave me a splatterific watermelon of a time!

Encompassing 8hrs or less, Lloyd packs a lot of goings-ons into one story. This relies upon the reader knowing what happened in Stranger of Tempest, so this would not be a good starting place. But as an appetizer between main courses, it is delightful. Lynx is as brave, snarky, pragmatic and relatable as ever. It really helps that he’s getting older and fatter. Both of those things I can totally relate too, sadly.

I gave the first book the “profanity” tag, as most of the mercs swore like sailors. This time around, only Sitain, who was drunk for most of the story, was the mouthy one. It wasn’t enough to warrant that tag. I have a feeling the next book will return to form though.

The action is intense and since this is less than 80 pages, the non-action scenes don’t last very long before we’re up and running again. Or fighting or being tortured. I’d call it High Octane. I have the next book, Princess of Blood, already in the next High Priority slot and I’m hoping to get to it by the end of this month or the beginning of next.

★★★★☆

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Lucky Thirteen (Frontlines #1.1) (Short Story)

 azure_a22817976464dc4d4347030e9a5c60c2This review is written with a GPL 3.0 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 Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.  wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

Title: Lucky Thirteen
Series: Frontlines
Author: Marko Kloos
Rating: 3 of 5 Battle Axes
Genre: SFF
Pages: 14
Format: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

A short story of rookie pilot Lt. Halley’s first drop ship command.

 

My Thoughts:

14 pages that describes Halley’s trial by fire. Thankfully, Kloos simply dealt with the adventure of Lucky Thirteen and Halley from beginning to end and didn’t throw in padding about her and Grayson’s budding romance. In fact, this is strictly about Halley.

Kloos manages to masterfully give us the full story inside of a short story. I didn’t feel rushed, or underdone. It was just right. A great break between Terms of Enlistment and Lines of Departure.

Murder on the Orient Elite (Grimnoir Chronicles #3.5)

coverThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 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 Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Murder on the Orient Elite

Series: Grimnoir Chronicles

Author: Larry Correia

Rating: 4 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Minutes: 74

Format: Audio

 

 

Synopsis:

A short story after the end of the truly awesome Grimnoir Chronicles trilogy.

Jake Sullivan must save a luxury air yacht from unknown forces. Sadly for him, that includes the Imperium, the newly strengthened Russians, a German psycho and even possibly his own employer.

 

 

My Thoughts:

I loved the Grimnoir books dearly. I think they are the best that Correia has written and so I was happy to jump into this, especially after Buyer of Gadgets glowing Review.

Thankfully, Jake Sullivan was still the same heavy with the same humor as in the trilogy.  He’s strong and capable and wicked smart. I really enjoy intelligent characters and ones that have a dry, wry sense of humor are even better. Everything that intrigued me about the original trilogy is here in this short story as well.

The narrator does a good job of switching voices so it was very easy to tell who was talking and conversations weren’t awkward because of trying to figure out which character was speaking.

I got this for free back when it was released, but it took me a long time to get around to it. There is another Grimnoir Chronicles that takes place much later in time and I’ll eventually track that down as well. I just can’t quite stomach paying $4 for 60 minutes of audio.

Mitosis (The Reckoners #1.5)

67d755b5fffe47ceee157fe4db1847bcThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 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 Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Mitosis

Series: The Reckoners

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 3 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: Short Story

Pages: 35

Format: Kindle

 

 

 

Synopsis:

An Epic comes to Newcago. And the Prof is away so it is all up to David to be the hero.

 

My Thoughts:

Not a bad short story acting as an appetizer between Steelheart & Firefight. It is just as YA as Steelheart but being a short story, it kind of comes to the fore a bit more.

All I can say is that “The Power of Music” is cliched and it is cliched in this story as well.

 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Classic) (Short Story)

azure_327abf66d73a0b1cd0266c0068934ee3 This review is written with a GPL 3.0 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 Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.tumblr.com by express permission of this reviewer

Title: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Series: —–

Author: Washington Irving

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Classic

Pages: 36

 

Synopsis:

Ichabod Crane, local school teacher and collector of local supernatural lore, is in love with a rich farmer’s daughter.So is a brawny tough.

One night Ichabod meets the local Haunt of Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horseman and is never seen in the area again.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a lot shorter than I was expecting. I thought it would be novella size instead of a short story.

It also wasn’t scary, but funny. It simply had a lot of paranormal going on in it. And in the end, you find out that it wasn’t even that.

However, I still really enjoyed this. Ichabod was SO your geeky booksmart guy who simply couldn’t compete. And the lass involved was your typical backwoods small towner who Ichabod would have been smarter to ignore. But as we all know, sometimes the head doesn’t lead down the same path as the heart.

I just chuckled away several times. Definitely going to be a story I read each year for from now one. It was just delightful!

The Jester (Riyria Chronicles #2.5) (Short Story)

dfe495fce310abe869e0481d629bfbe2This review is written with a GPL 3.0 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 Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.tumblr.com by express permission of this reviewer

Title: The Jester

Series: Riyria Chronicles #2.5

Author: Michael Sullivan

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 33

 

Synopsis:

A short story about Royce and Hadrian having an adventure with a Widow, a Pig Farmer and a whole mountain filled with traps to protect a mysterious treasure.

 

My Thoughts:

This drops you in right at the end of the story and with a few deft conversations fills you in on what is going on, but not to the point that I would have liked, ie, I wanted a full novel out of this story!

I like Riyria so this little tidbit helped feed the hunger until the next book comes out [whenever that may be]. It is a standalone story as any references to other adventures are explained but it makes for a fuller, more enjoyable read if you have already read the previous Revelations & then Chronicles series. That being said, if you want to check out the Riyria series with no commitment, this story allows just that very admirably.

I took 1 star off because I would have loved to see this expanded into a full length novel. The material is certainly there for that. So maybe that is actually a plus?

Only A Shadow (Fated Blades #0.5)

4a5e9a37e09efc5289cb24655b9cf105 This review is written with a GPL 3.0 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 Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com by express permission of this reviewer.

Title: Only A Shadow

Series: Fated Blades #0.5

Author: Steve Bein

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 61

 

Synopsis:

A ninja clan must disgrace a local leader whose goal is to wipe them out. They must steal his Fated Blade, which will then allow them to destroy him.

The old crafty ninja-master is training a young man and part of the training is out-smarting the young man so he’ll realize that wisdom takes time to accumulate.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a fun little short story about one of the Fated Blades.

It was an adventure story with the stealing of the Blade. It was a teaching tale with the old ninja out-smarting the double-crossing young man. And finally, it was a Fated Blade Story, enough said.

The page count is a little mis-leading, as the story ends around page 45 and the rest was an excerpt from the first Fated Blade book, Daughter of the Sword. I really dislike when those type of things happen, even while I understand why the publishers keep doing it.

There was NO fantasy element to this story, nor any cross-over to present time with Mariko. I was a little disappointed, as I like the Mariko storylines more than the historical ones. However, this was still a great story and to be honest, I’d recommend someone trying this short story out if they weren’t sure of starting the series.

Bein is a good writer, and sadly, that is more of a compliment than it should be. However, it is refreshing to read a well written short story that isn’t boring or full of cardboard characters.