Category Archives: Book reviews

Book Review: Blind to Blood 2: The End Game

I’ve been on a roll lately with my reading, and my latest conquest is the sequel to George Kramer‘s medical horror/thriller, Blind to Blood.  The first book in this series was my introduction to Kramer.  Book-wise, that is. We had met more than a handful of times before I got a chance to dig into one of his books.  I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and unique story behind the characters.  It had its flaws though, and I was hoping to see those fixed with the sequel, Blind to Blood 2: The End Game.

Ben Berstgel is truly a unique character.  From his mustard-colored birthmark covering half of his body, to an interesting and well-thought-out backstory involving his mother, Kramer makes it easy to understand where things went wrong for Ben growing up.  Throw in the idea that this serial killer doesn’t enjoy physically abusing his victims, and you have one interesting psychopath.  This story also introduces some intrigue surrounding Ben’s twin brother.  Did he have one?  Did he not?  I’m very curious to see where this brother story line goes and would’ve really liked to see it explored further in this book.

With as much as I enjoyed the story for both novels, unfortunately, the sequel still wasn’t able to break free of some of the mistakes that I noticed in the first one.

I was really hoping to see a little more attention to detail in the editing and proofreading process.  There were several spelling and grammatical mistakes that could be caught with a more attentive editor and more time spent prior to going to press.  These things are generally small errors and easy to overlook, but as a reader, they take me out of the story while my brain processes and deciphers the information, and it tends to break up the pacing of the plot.  I also struggled with a contradiction from the main character himself, Ben.  He mentions several times throughout the book how he likes to punch his victims in the belly in order to get them to bend to his will.  As mentioned above though, there’s the idea about how he doesn’t like to abuse his victims, beyond the slaughtering, that is.  Those two thoughts tend to work against each other and distracted me from being able to fall completely into the story.

The first person point-of-view is not a common story-telling method, and I have learned myself about what makes it so difficult.  It’s not a bad method when properly executed, and Kramer pulls it off pretty well.  The biggest draw back would be when the main character, Ben, breaks the 4th wall to talk to the readers, again, taking the reader out of the action of the story.

All of that being said, overall, Blind to Blood 2: The End Game is extremely original and entertaining.  At the same time, the gruesome nature is quite cringe-worthy – in a complimentary way.  It’s a short, fast read that’s easy to get sucked into, hard to put down, and before you know it, you’re at the end.  I’ll give it 3 scalpels out of 5.

I know I already said this once, but this time I mean it.  Next up: Patrick J. O’Brian‘s latest release, Uncertain Terms.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book reviews

Book Review: The Doomsday Clock

This one has been a long time coming, and I’m excited to finally get to share my thoughts with you.  As I’ve made abundantly clear, Patrick J. O’Brian is one of my favorite authors and biggest inspirations.  He’s also the most prolific writer I know, having almost twenty book credits to his name.  I’ve read most of them, but hold his West Baden Murders Series in high regard.  This is the series that introduced me to O’Brian, leading me to his other works.

So with that, it only seems fitting that I write a recap of my experience with the most recent entry into the series.  Right off the bat, you’ll notice that The Doomsday Clock (West Baden Murders Series Book 6) is a lengthy read and covers a lot of story line.  There are a wealth of characters, spanning across several of O’Brian’s other books and series.  The West Baden Springs Hotel takes a backseat in this entry, as the story bounces  from French Lick, Indiana, to the Bering Sea, the Kentucky Derby, and eastern New England. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Book reviews

Book Review: Princess Olive

It’s been awhile since I wrote a book review, and there’s a reason for that; it’s been awhile since I’ve actually read a book!  When I came across Princess Olive by Jonathan Degler, I had no choice.  I had to read it.  (Partly because he asked me for editing help, but there was never a question that I was going to read it regardless.)  So I did.  And boy am I glad!

**Oh yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I had a part in the editing of this book so feel free to be advised of that.  It doesn’t impact my overall thoughts on the story, but people tend to feel the need to know things like this.**

As a big, bad biker who works in the criminal justice system, books about teenage princesses typically don’t hit my radar.  Throw in the fact this title falls under the fantasy genre, introduces magical beings, is set in medieval times, and this story checks all the boxes for books that I generally ignore when I’m looking for my next read.  But when the author is a close friend, of course I had to check it out!  (For clarification, I’m not bashing any of those things that I just mentioned, they just aren’t usually in my realm of interests.  If magic and castles are your thing, then there’s nothing wrong with that at all – I just don’t happen to be a big fantasy aficionado.)  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book reviews

Book review: If Only The Names Were Changed

Welcome to my newest venture into the writing culture. I’ve never written a formal book review, aside from my plagiarized reports about The Baby-Sitters Club and The Boxcar Children many, many years ago. Recently I was indirectly approached about the idea of writing a review for the first full-length book from author Andrew Miller, If Only The Names Were Changed. Never shy to try something new (totally kidding, I need to get back into my bubble immediately), I decided to give it a shot. So without further adieu, let me tell you all about it!

I went into this book with a completely open mind, not knowing what to expect. With the opening story taking place at the funeral of the author’s father, he grabbed my undivided attention from the onset. This book, or collection of personal essays, serves as a memoir of sorts for Andrew, and offers an honest and raw introspection into his being. It is truly an uncensored exploration deep into the mind and soul of the writer. Andrew gives the reader an uninhibited view into himself that pulls no punches – good, bad, or otherwise. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Book reviews, Non-fiction