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My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and imagination. A simple raindrop, the smell of a trash heap, or the touch of a bee's stinger is enough to immerse me into a new story idea. My passion is writing and my inspiration is everywhere. So far, my focus has been in short stories, however I have many novels floating around in my brain. Recently I have also been handed the opportunity to review the works of others and share them with everyone that reads my blog. Feel free to find me on facebook (facebook.com/esselprattwriting) the web (EsselPratt.com)or follow me on twitter (@EsselPratt).

Friday, February 28, 2014

Review: Cherub, by David C. Hayes

I became a fan of David C. Hayes when he and Mark Scioneaux teamed up on Cannibal Fat Camp.  When I saw that he was releasing a new solo book, I jumped at the opportunity to give it a read.  What I found was that his masterpiece, CHERUB, far exceeded my expectations.

From what I saw on the cover, I expected to read about a large, baby-like maniac, that murdered his victims with his bare hands.  I was definitely intrigued.  Upon reading the prologue, I was sure that I guessed correctly.  However, David's writing style drew me in, so I continued. 

As I read further into the first chapter, I was disgusted by the beast that was presented to me within the pages.  I knew that he would be the worst of the worst, with no morals, no feelings, and no clue as to the pain he would wreak upon the world.  Then I found out that I was wrong.  I found out that the "beast" that I wanted to hate so much was really one of the most loveable characters that I have ever read about.  Sure, he does some bad things in the book, but they aren't quite his fault.  Although Cherub is essentially the bad guy in portions of the book, I look at him more as the protagonist in the end. 

I won't give away the plot, nor any secrets within.  However, at the end the unexpected happened.  Maybe I was overly tired. Maybe my wife was chopping onions in the next room.  Whatever it was, I found that tears collected in my eyes, and a single refugee escaped down my cheek, splashing down upon the screen of my Moto Xoom.  As the last word was absorbed into my eye, I uttered two words under my breath. 

"Dammit, Hayes"

If you are a fan of the somewhat bizarre, the unexpected, and don't mind a few feels as you read, I overwhelmingly suggest CHERUB, by David C. Hayes.

"David C. Hayes is back with Cherub. If you are familiar with his previous work, you know what you're in for. If not, then get ready for a ride through the absolute worst in human nature. Hayes has the unique ability to convey the most sickening acts in a way that will have you laughing between retches. Once the book closes, you'll need to shower and after that you'll wonder what it says about you that Hayes managed to touch so deep and dark. You will be affected." - Kevin Moyers at CinemaHeadCheese.com He wasn't like the other boys. Too rough. Even on the day he came out of Momma's belly. When Momma died, though, they sent him away to a terrible place. A doctor place... but the people there didn't act like doctors. They called him Cherub and they made him do awful things. Wet things. Hurty things. Until he met his angel, that is. She made it better and the pain went away. For awhile. Nothing lasts forever except a mother's love."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Full Circle: Freedom's Firewall, by Alfred R. Taylor

Full Circle: Freedom's Firewall, by Alfred R. Taylor is a futuristic love story disguised as crime and mystery novel.  The twists and turns that guide you through the pages keep you on the edge of you seat, anticipating the turn of the page, and yearning for what comes next.

The characters within may be Androids, as well as some humans, but their personalities and characteristics ensure their likeability.  You really start to root for them, and sympathize as you learn more about their past.  Not since C-3PO and R2-D2 have I been so intrigued with an android character.

Don't get me wrong, although this is a love story at heart, the crime aspect has a noir-ish hint to it, reminiscent of a classic black and white film that has found its home within a future dystopian society.  The writing reflects the environment, and the world through the view of an Android, mostly John-27's.  There are some "geeky" elements within the book that might go over the head of some.  However, they are usually setting the stage for a later scene within the book, or described within the context of the current scene.

"Chaos Reigns on Amalthea. The Omega Class android is humanity's ultimate servant. These machines have the bodies of super models, and thanks to Romanji Corporation’s total synaptic transfer process, the minds of human geniuses, and they are eager to satisfy every human desire. Until Marshal John-27, an Omega Class android, leaves on a routine patrol of the Amalthea Sector. His discovery of a derelict spacecraft opens an investigation that exposes corruption within the government of Amalthea, ignites an android rebellion, and ultimately a struggle to retain the newly won freedom."

I strongly recommend Full Circle: Freedom's Firewall, as well as Alfred R. Taylor's other books.  You can find them on Amazon by clicking here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Review: Anything Is Possible, by Thomas Bähler

"Anything Is Possible", by Thomas Bähler, provides the reader with a glimpse into the life of a historical figure that we seldom think about unless we are telling bedtime stories to our children.  Æsop's tales have intrigued children across the world for many centuries, and teach us life lessons that we can carry with is through the journey to adulthood.  However, Æsop was not always the Philosopher that we all believe him to be.  In fact, his past was filled with much pain and turmoil, no doubt contributing to his fantastic tales.

In the book "Anything is Possible", Thomas Bähler provides us with a captivating view into the life of Æsop, beginning with his life of slavery, and carrying him forward.  Details of his life are presented to us in exquisite detail as some of his fables are presented to us through his eyes, from inception to presentation, such as "The Fox and the Grapes" is told in chapter 3.

As a writer myself, Æsop's tales are among my many inspirations from my childhood.  The tale of Æsop that Thomas Bähler has provided us gives those stories more meaning, and allows a foundation upon which to look deeper into the tales, and see how the meanings could be so much more than talking animals and children's tales.

Within the pages, we are also presented with an amazing array of artworks that were illustrated by Yulee Kim. Although minimalistic in form, the line art is fantastically integrated within the pages to present us with an imaginative view of the characters within the pages.  I must say that the illustration of Danae on page 18 is my favorite, but I might be partial since my youngest daughter's middle name is Danae. 

I recommend reading "Anything is Possible" to anyone that loves a good tale of the evolution of the little guy into something much more, or a history buff that would love to find out more about a figure that has little written about him - other than his own fables, or anyone that enjoys a good read with an intriguing lead character.

"A thought-provoking modern treasure, the life of the great philosopher and teacher Æsop is explored for the first time ever in a brilliantly crafted historical fiction.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Review: Dead Cold, by Ed Gorman

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1494894726?tag=httpesselprbl-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=1494894726&adid=1E216P7ZP1WPHVD3Z77JWhere do I start with Ed Gorman's "Dead Cold: Book One in the Robert Payne Mystery Series?  Well, for starters, I can start by asking why you haven't read it yet.  If you have, why haven't you shared it with everyone you know?  Better yet, I can ask you if you are as excited as I am that this is a mystery series and not just one book?

"FBI Criminal Profiler Robert Payne just wants to find a quiet town to retire in, and New Hope, Iowa fits the bill. But when a mysterious, seductive woman offers him $25,000 to find the psychopath who brutally murdered her young daughter, he uncovers secrets the small, close-knit community has tried so desperately to keep hidden. But when his client is found on an abandoned farm with her throat cut, Payne realizes that he is facing an evil criminal mastermind who is determined to keep Payne and New Hope's beautiful police chief, Jane Avery, from standing in the way of his murderous plans."

I cannot say when I last read a book that was a part of a series, let alone the first in the series, that made me want to read more within the series.  Sure, there are those that I have enjoyed, but not enough to continue past the book that I just read.  "Dead Cold" is one of those rare books that has me wanting to tune in for more.  It is sort of like that television series that we anticipate each and every week.

From the moment we first meet Robert Payne, we are hooked on his character.  He seems to be an enigma of sorts, yet is still an everyday guy that is easy to like and root for.  He has much depth, that I hope we can explore as the series unfolds before us.

Not only do I recommend "Dead Cold" as a fantastic read, but it is also a very easy read.  I just so happened to read it during a time that I was overwhelmingly busy, but the short chapters (some as short as one page) make it the perfect "on the go" book.  Don't let the 64 chapters scare you aware, you will be disappointed in yourself for passing it by!

As the bars say, don't forget to tip your waitress, do the same for your authors by leaving them a review!  Visit the Goodreads and Amazon to purchase your copy, or leave a review today!