Books of the Week (Plus A Chance To Win A Copy Of Time Heist)

The best things in life are free. Right?

Well, that’s what they say atleast. We need some empirical proof before we can say definitively one way or the other. Otherwise we’re like anti-vaxxers going around all willie-nillie spitting in the noble eye of science.

There’s only one eye I spit in… death. And fear. And evil clowns (Which is an oxymoron ’cause all clowns are evil). Okay, I guess I’m a spitter. But never mind that.

So before we get to the book reviews down below, we’re gonna test the theory “The Best Things In Life Are Free”: I’m gonna give you the chance to win a FREE copy of Time Heist.

Time Heist

Dianne from Tome Tender has been very gracious in hosting and promoting said giveaway. Seriously, Dianne’s energy from promotion is staggering (thank you so much for all your hard-work, D). How can you win a copy of Time Heist, you ask? Easy, click HERE and sign-up. There is practically no spilled blood involved. Great, huh?

TIME HEIST BANNER 4

Click here to win a copy of Time Heist!

Alright, enough of the shameless self-promoting, let’s get to the Books of the Week!

1) Dhalgren – Samuel R. Delaney (For those who like flowery writing, vague plot, and explicit sex scenes)

dhalgren

Dhalgren is on a bunch of top-100 lists and as such I felt compelled to give it a read. As a writer I think it’s necessary to be well versed in the classics, which often gets me into books that I would otherwise avoid like the plague. Dhalgren is one of these books.

Let’s start by pointing out the things that make Dhalgren an interesting read. The writing is beautiful. It’s atmospheric and convoluted in a way that gets your mind working. At times it goes too far and becomes what I would lovingly refer to as “purply prose”. Some people dig that, but as a whole, I’m not one of those people.

Pretty writing is pretty, but there’s got to be substance otherwise you’re just eating literary cotton candy getting cavities without getting full.

Dhalgren is set in a mysterious post-apocalyptic world/city that is mysterious because Delaney intentionally makes it so. Too little information is revealed, and when it is it’s done so in such a way as to be vague and possibly wrong. What I mean by this is that often something is revealed only to be overturned a few short pages later.

It’s creating mystery and intrigue by saying “Ooh, look, the sky is red… or is it?” Dun Dun Dun.

this is the end

or is it

That’s not mysterious or intriguing, it’s just annoying. Add into that the fact that the main character has severe memory problems and you get a really ho-hum adventure.

So how do you spice up a ho-hum adventure? That’s right, you sprinkle in a healthy dose of sex, the spice of life (or is that paprika? Hm… I’m not culinarily (<– yes, that’s a word) inclined).

In the first 100 pages of the book we get three very explicit sex scenes that gallop through the broad spectrum of sexual orientations. Now, these aren’t short scenes either. So, if that’s your thing, good on you, you’re probably gonna dig this book. But gratuitous sex scenes hold no substance. Initially there is a shock value as the author explores sexual orientations that, at the time of its writing, would have been considered fringe, but this is 2015 and it’s not cutting edge, or intriguing, or honestly, very interesting.

Unfortunately, Dhalgren didn’t live up to the hype for me. It’s a lot of sex and trite mystery wrapped in pretty writing. But my opinion isn’t so unique as it turns out. Dhalgren, as I later discovered, is one of those books that people either LOVE like chocolate covered bunnies, or HATE like chocolate covered things that people hate. <— not sure where I was going with that.

Oh, also, Dhalgren is over 800 pages long, so get comfy.

2) Fool Moon (Book 2 of the Dresden Files)- Jim Butcher (For those who like snarky detective wizard mysteries)

Fool Moon

Fool Moon picks up about six months after book one, Storm Front, and deals with a cadre of werewolves/werewolf wannabees. Jim Butcher has done an interesting thing with this series by setting up a “monster of the week” type narrative. In the first book of the series we were dealing with rogue wizards exploding people’s hearts. This time we get the full range of werewolves. That’s not to say there isn’t an overarching narrative (there is), but at this point in the series it’s so early that nothing firm has really been set into the motion. At this point in the story we’re still dealing with world-building, which is cool ’cause Jim Butcher has definitely created a unique take on magic in his little world.

I don’t have much to say about this book, overall it was good and entertaining. There is a ton of action in this episode, which, at times, borders on too much. But hey, I like action so I won’t knock it too hard for that.

One of the things that really bothered me about this book had nothing to do with the book itself, but rather in how I consumed it, which is to say I listened to it as an audio-book. The narrator, James Marsten? (That may or may not be the guys name), has a reading style that really bothered me. He breaths and gulps and swallows so goddamn much, and he does it right into the mic. It’s all for theatrical effect but fuckity-chicken nuggets it is annoying!

breathing into the mic

Stop Breathing Into the MIC!

The other problem I had with his narration was the fact that he didn’t really have the material mastered. He stumbled through, putting in awkward pauses as though sentences had ended prematurely. Then he would add in the rest of the sentence almost as an after-thought. It was so distracting and annoying that I listened to the book at 2x speed which made it sound like a coked up Smurf was reading the book to me, but hey, that was preferred to his otherwise grating performance.

/End Rant. *Drops Mic and Moonwalks Off Stage*

mic drop

*Moonwalks Back Onto Stage.* Oh, yeah. We’re not done here.

3) Moxy Land – Lauren Beukes (For those who like cutting edge, crisp cyber-punk, with an awesome narrative voice)

moxy land

I’d been wanting to read this for awhile because the cover art looked nifty, but the reviews on Amazon weren’t terribly stellar so I was hesitant. One of Beukes newer books, Broken Monsters, however, has been garnering a ton of really great press recently, so I figured what probably happened is that Beukes has writing chops out the wazoo, but there was a fundamental flaw in the plot of this particular story.

I love dissecting stories and seeing what worked and what didn’t, so I hopped into Moxy Land after rustling it up for next to zero money’s on Amazon. Cheap is good. I like cheap.

As I suspected the writing for Moxy Land was fantastic. Beukes took an incredibly difficult narrative style (alternating first person points of view every other chapter) and made it work pretty darn well. It’s rare to see alternating first person points of view because what tends to happen is that the characters all become a blur. They all start sounding alike and acting alike. Bad news where compelling narrative is involved.

bad logic

With logic like that no wonder the Dinosaurs ushered in their own extinction via nuclear Armageddon. Poor stupid Dinosaur politicians dooming everything doomable.

But Lauren somehow makes it work. Each of her 4 point of view characters is distinct enough to remain engaging. That alone is impressive and speaks to her impressive writing chops.

Moxy Land doesn’t rest on the strength of the writing, however. The world building is superb. It’s gritty and multi-layered with a depth that shows Beukes really knows what she’s talking about.

What I’m about to say next might upset some people ‘ cause I’m sure I won’t word it correctly and it’ll bring a shit-storm of hate in its wake. I’m prepared for that, but I’ll tread carefully.

The best Science Fiction/Fantasy women authors recently have been garnering a lot of attention for their unique and progressive takes on gender roles and sexual orientations and the cultural effects of those two dynamics on future societies: think Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire, or Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice.

mirror empireancillary

Don’t get me wrong, these are very important ideas with much fertile soil to be tilled. I think the genre as a whole is only strengthened by these types of works. But, my problem with these plot devices is that they become the entire plot. Sure, there is a story taking place underneath it all, but it’s being blurred over.

When people talk about Mirror Empire they talk about the unique matriarchal societies. When people talk about Ancillary Justice, they talk about the fact that Leckie only uses the feminine pronoun. What gets lost in all the hullaballoo is the story itself.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I tend to be a story guy. (Which, let me point out for those wondering, both of those books have great stories, but nobody ever talks about them. Only the gender issues.)

Now, back to Moxy Land and Lauren Beukes, who is one of new favorite sci-fi women authors precisely because she doesn’t let her story get bogged down by those facets of modern Sci-Fi which are quickly becoming tropes. There are compelling sexual orientations throughout the story, but they are flavoring which add a touch of realism, and not the point of the story itself.

The problem with Moxy Land, however, is that the story moves really slowly. Things are happening, but with so many point of view characters, it’s hard getting a feeling of urgency or forward progress. So the story kind of limps along until finishing with an anti-climatic fizzle. Oh, well. I chalk that up to Beukes being a newer author at the time of Moxy Land’s writing. I suspect she’s improved drastically in this area in her newer books which I’m eagerly looking forward too.

Pick up something by Lauren Beukes, I don’t think you’ll regret it.

4) A Wrinkle In Time – Madeleine L’Engle (For those who like old school, classic pre-teen sci-fi)

a wrinkle in time

Sad that it took 30 years for me to get around to reading this, but it did. I think I would’ve really liked this, had I read it when I was 14. This is one of those ultra-classics of Sci-Fi that I felt partly naked for not having read.

I’ll try not to judge it too harshly because it is a product of it’s time and I am not really it’s intended audience anymore. It’s a good book and I can see why it’s important to the genre as a whole. The writing is bland for the most part. The dialogue hokey. The plot can be distilled to “Love conquers all”, or “Individualism over conformity.” Take your pick.

This wasn’t my cup-of-tea, but hey, I’m more a coffee guy anyhow.

Oh, yeah. Here’s your cat photo of the week!

sleeping cat

Parallel

Parallel gets its first review! Thanks, Ana! And for those interested in getting a copy of Parallel, follow the link in Ana’s review to my Newsletter and sign up, then within a couple hours a Griffon will deliver Parallel or Sins of Father (Your Choice!) to your little email boxy thing.

Writing Workshop: First Drafts Stop For No Woman!

Writing Workshop: First Drafts Stop For No Woman!

You all gave me some fantastic blogging ideas in the last post and I’m excited like a Kindergartner on the third day of school (once he’s gotten over his crippling fear of being away from Mommy, that is) to get to those topics. To give you all a glimpse of what is on the horizon in the weeks to come we’ll be chatting about body types in the media (specifically in comic books), how to organize/pre-plan your book, how to communicate with aliens, and how to write cyber-punk.

Today, however, we’re gonna get elbows deep into something that every writer, since the first Neanderthal picked up some charcoal and started scribbling Emu’s on his man-cave wall, has struggled with: Stopping.

writers block

Specifically the question posed to me was this: Do you ever feel like starting over from the beginning and diving into revisions with your manuscripts even when the story is not yet completed?

There are a Tonka truck’s worth of bad reasons to stop writing whilst in the midst of a first draft. Hell, you could probably fill up said child’s toy-truck with as many good reasons for stopping, too. But you shouldn’t.

You should never, ever, not even when you stub your toe and fall over, stop in the middle of a first draft. The temptation is there with a physicality that makes it almost impossible to ignore. But ignore it you shall, for if you stop a legion of bees shall descend from the heavens and fill your shoes with honey. Which sounds nice at first, but trust me, it gets old real quick.

Your brain is divided into two hemispheres, and it oversimplifies a *very* complicated subject to say that one side is responsible for *creativity* and the other for *logic*, but this is a simple blog, so that’s exactly what we’re gonna do. No, I’m just kidding, we’d never take a short-cut like that.

Or would we? See chart below.

brain hemispheres

Yes, okay, well…. I guess we do take shortcuts here, but that’s good for you ’cause it’s gonna save you all sorts of time.

Though it’s not so cut and dry as the picture would indicate, there is a lot of research to support the idea that the right hemisphere deals with language more fluidly/creatively than the left hemisphere which handles language in a more utilitarian fashion.

Anthony, what the hell does this have to do with writing that First Draft? I’m glad you asked, because honestly I’d forgotten what we we’re talking about.

Back on topic!

When you dive into a first draft it should be with that right hemisphere churning through the creative effluvia that oozes from your gray matter. You should pay very little attention to sentence structure, proper grammar, spelling, plot, internal consistency. None of this stuff matters. YET!

Your goal in that first draft is to just get the words out. Spray them onto the page and wherever they hit/stick is where they shall lay until you come around in the second draft with a scalpel and start getting surgical on that shit. But, until you hit the end of that first draft, you better not stop!

The reason goes back to our brain and the way it works. It’s completely normal, and a well documented phenomena, that, at around 30,000 words into a full length novel, the author, without fail, will have an epiphany in the form of a brilliant white light that may, or may not, be the result of an Angel’s divine intervention, to pass along the very important memo that your story sucks.

han solo

Unfortunately, it’s true. Your story probably does suck at this point. As the author you can step back and see more plot-holes than a Minnesota highway after the winter thaw. It’s inevitable that you’ll have the temptation to stop, go back, and fix it.

But that’s wrong, wrong, wrong for a number of very important reasons. First, from a conservation of energy standpoint, it’s a complete waste of time. Sure, you can go back and get that first half of the draft nice and spiffy, but then you still have the second half of the novel staring back at you like the dark eye of Sauron, and who the hell knows what’s going to happen when you dive into that guy’s pupil.

What I mean by that is this: even with a great outline, your story is going to take some organic twists and turns as your characters figure out how to go from point A to point B (or, if you have some really unruly characters like mine, they up and say “Forget this noise, I’m not going to A or B, I’m going to Disneyland!! Then you got a whole new problem, namely, humans running around in mice costumes. I ask you: How is Disneyland not the scariest place on Earth?)

So don’t waste your energies going back and fixing the first half of your story when you aren’t even sure it’s gonna jive with the second half. That’s the first really good reason to not go back and it pretty much boils down to me being lazy and not doing more work than needed.

zoidberg1

The second is this: when we hop out of first draft mode, we take our creativity cap off and put on our editor hat. We are switching sides of our brains as the task before us is of a completely different nature. Now we’re analyzing, cutting and pasting, making the language and words work the way they’re supposed to. Before, when we’re being creative, none of that shit matters. We’re throwing words at the wall and hoping they stick. During the second draft we go back to figure out which words are now worth keeping.

But here’s the trouble: the brain doesn’t switch from one side to the other at the drop of a dime. Most important, when the analytic portion of your brain takes over, it sours everything the creative side can put out. You become guarded and self-conscious about the words your putting down.

That, my friend, is a slippery slope. You can’t create your best works when you’re being guarded, self-conscious, or analytical. You need that free flowing nature child sort of creativity. The sort that doesn’t care if your words are actually making sense.

We’ll take our example from children here. They are wonderfully creative because they are unabashed. Their analytic skills are non-existent and as such their imaginations are extraordinary. As adults we don’t tap into that mind place so easily and alot of it has to do with the way creativity is ground out of us in middle school/high school/college. Conformity is the best way to survive the adolescent jungle of high-school. It’s not a good time to be weird, unfortunately.

But to create something beautiful and unique, you have to be weird. You have to be original. And you simply cannot do that when you’re being critical. So turn off that left hemisphere when you’re writing your first draft. Ignore it entirely and just leap into your first draft with reckless abandon. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time to fix it later, but your first and most important task is to get the words out.

Until you’ve vomited all the words up and you’re left a dried up husk of a human, don’t stop.

Books of the Week 3/2-3/8

I apologize, the last few posts have been shamelessly plugging my own book, but I promise, that’s behind us….for now. Let’s get back to the basics and review a couple books I read last week.

But wait, hold up, before we do, I’ve got a little proposition for you. So, uh… why don’t you shuffle on over here. A little closer.

Right this way. Yes, that’s correct, into the dark alleyway.

alley way

Perfect.

You’re a brave, foolish, slightly unhinged soul for following strange men into darkened cyber-alleyways, but I would have it no other way. Now, the reason I beckoned you in here with my ululating siren’s call is ’cause I’d like your help in brainstorming some upcoming blog topics.

I’ve done a couple posts now on writing related topics such as pacing, and creating likable characters, and as a whole these posts have been very popular amongst the Lazy Robot crowd. Now, my question to you, dear reader, is what would you like to hear about next? I can ramble indefinitely on any old topic you throw my way, but hey, if we can make it educational, then all the better, right?

So, what sorts of things do you struggle with in your own writing process? This is your chance to voice yourself and I’ll do my darndest to help you. Though, fair warning, I personally would not take my own advice, so there’s that…

advice

Anyways, get down to the comments and let me know your ideas. I’d love to hear them!

Now, to the reviews!

Ubik – Philip K. Dick (For those who like mind-bendy, pseudo-time-travel stories)

ubik

You absolutely cannot discuss anything from PKD without using the word mind-bendy. It’s an inalienable right of the universe, or something. Seriously, try it.

See, told you so. *Obnoxiously sticks out tongue and waggles it suggestively* No, I’m sorry. Things got weird, and that’s not PKD’s fault. I apologize.

Anyways, Ubik is one of PKD’s most critically acclaimed novels and voted by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 novels ever written in the English language. Damn, if that isn’t high praise, then I don’t know what is.

I’ve read a fair amount of PKD, though I fully admit to having a long ways to go before completing his entire catalog (the dude wrote a ton of words, and I mean that as in a literal metric ton. You lay out all his words and I bet they weigh the same as an old school Volkswagon Beetle. But don’t hold me to that, ’cause I’m an American and haven’t a clue what a metric ton actually is).

metric

Now, in the grand pantheon of weighty PKD words, Ubik is surprisingly accessible to all sorts of science fiction readers whether they be greenhorns or seasoned comic-con pro’s. That’s not to say that it’s a simple read, however. True to PKD form the concepts in Ubik are out there and strength the elasticity of your mind. But that’s a good thing.

Your brain needs to step out of its comfort zone every now and then. If you don’t do an ample amount of stretching before hand, then a typical PKD novel can lead to a couple mental strains along the way. Ubik is sort of an exception.

The characters are interesting. The concept is simultaneously simple, and intriguing, from the get-go. And the world-building is robust.

I think the reason Ubik is a fairly easy PKD read is because it waits until about halfway through the novel to really snowball into full-fledged what-the-fuckery.

fuckery

BUT, by the time it does, you’re sort of ready for it.

Is this one of the best novels ever written in the English language? Pshaww… How can such a list even exist? Seems a silly subjective game, but if you ask me, when compared to other PKD novels such as A Scanner Darkly, The Man in the High Castle, Minority Report, or Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, this doesn’t even rank.

Which shouldn’t reflect poorly on Ubik (a great, fun little read) but rather should point out what a brilliant writer PKD was (when he managed to keep his prose lucid enough for mass consumption.

Should you read Ubik? Yes, absolutely. Should it be your first PKD novel? Nah. Do yourself a favor and get Do Androids Dream… or the Man In the High Castle. But somewhere along the way you should definitely do yourself a favor and pick up Ubik if for no other reason than to tick it off your 100 Top English Novel’s Ever Written List. Don’t even pretend like you aren’t keeping track of them all.

The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett (For those who want to read a dated hardboiled detective mystery)

The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon was sort of the beginning of hardboiled detective mysteries. I’m not sure why I’d never read it before (I’m almost certain it was required reading in High School, but that just goes to show I don’t want to read anything ’cause I have to (what can I say, I’m a rebel)).

Anyways, I finally got around to it because a bunch of reviews for Time Heist kept mentioning my writing style having that dark, gritty noir’ish feel reminiscent of Dashiell Hammett. I couldn’t be sure if that was a compliment or not until I’d read the book, so I went ahead and picked it up a decade and a half after it was assigned to me in my Sophomore year English Class.

Consequently I wonder if this review could count towards the poor grade I most likely received in that class. Hm…might just get my GED after-all! Huzzah!

I like detective mysteries as much as the next guy and that’s what you get through and through with The Maltese Falcon. The writing is overall good, but it’s a product of its time (1929). Hammett obviously can’t be faulted for that because like it or not, we’re all products of our time, and I’m sure a century from now we’re all gonna look quaint and outdated, too.

back in my day

But that’s the problem with The Maltese Falcon–it’s really out of date. The stakes, which pretty much boil down to a golden bird, aren’t really all that high by today’s standards. Unfortunately this makes it difficult to care much about what’s happening in the story. It’s just not gripping.

Though, let me hop on the other side of the argument real quick and say that’s a lousy reason to judge a book. So, with that in mind, I’m gonna go ahead and say that this was actually a pretty good book. A  bit boring at times, which is purely a reflection of the times and not on the story itself.

If you’ve never read it, and you’re a fan of detective mysteries, then you should probably go ahead and pick it up for no other reason than it’s a classic. That’s not always a good reason for doing something. *Lord knows when The Maltese Falcon was handed to me in High School it certainly wasn’t a good enough reason*. But it’s the only one I can offer.

Altered Carbon – Richard K. Morgan (For those who like bad-ass science fiction with compelling world building, gritty writing, and a compelling storyline)

altered carbon

Altered Carbon was Richard K. Morgan’s debut novel back in 2002 and holy-butter-slathered-batman, IT IS AMAZING! I loved this book in a way I haven’t loved many books recently (no, not like that, you perv. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

What you get in Altered Carbon is a fascinating glimpse of the future where humans have settled the outer reaches of space and, along the way, implanted themselves with chips that save and load their consciousness so that when they *die* they can be reloaded into a new body, or what they affectionately refer to as sleeves.

There are some pretty neat cultural ramifications on this account because with enough money you can live forever, hopping from sleeve to sleeve. If you’re poor, well, you go on the stack until somebody with money buys you out, or they rent your body.

this space for rent

Our protagonist, Takeshi Kovacs, was an Envoy (a super-soldier with some gnarly psychological damage that makes him a severely loose cannon). He’s no longer an Envoy (ya know, cause you can only play the loose cannon so long before you blow up something, or somebody, very important). So now, Takeshi is in prison, which means his mind is put into a virtual environment until he either works off his prison sentence, or until somebody buys his freedom in exchange for his services.

Back on Earth, that’s precisely what happens. Somebody, a rich old dude, needs Takeshi to investigate his murder which the police have dubbed a suicide. Now, this an interesting launching point because this rich dude’s mind has already been uploaded into a new body, but he doesn’t remember the events surrounding his death. Did he kill himself? Or was he murdered?

That’s the central question of the story and it gets Takeshi into all sorts of hijinks which he solves with no shortage of action in the way of high tech weaponry.

What can I say, I’m a sucker for gritty cyberpunk action adventure. But there is so much more to Altered Carbon, because the world building goes deep and deals with all the ramifications of these technologies on the resulting society. When done right, that’s science fiction at it’s best. How will the technologies of tomorrow shape the society of tomorrow?

If your science fiction story doesn’t bother with that question, then you’re doing it wrong.

you're doing it wrong

But Altered Carbon is doing it so right it hurts. Lucky for me, Altered Carbon is only book one in a series of three following Takeshi Kovacs. I’ll report back on the rest of the series, but let me just say, if this is a genre you tend to you enjoy, you will *love* Altered Carbon.

If you don’t, then there is something very wrong with you. No, I’m just kidding. You’re perfect and you smell very nice.

Okay, that’s a wrap. Remember our conversation at the beginning of this blog post where I solicited you for topic ideas? Good, now get down to the comments and give me all your creativity.

Tome Tender: Time Heist Review

Tome Tender: Time Heist Review

The reviews for Time Heist have been pouring in over the last few days and my cheeks are just blushing with all the positive feedback. As a writer you try not to pay too much attention to reviews (despite how important they are) for fear that negative feedback will suck out your soul like a fruit bat going to town on a mango. Getting too wrapped up in the reviews can pull you away from your main focus (writing badass awesome stories), but when the good reviews come in, you should take a second to smell the roses, let its heady scent wash over whilst providing the sort of high that is illegal in the majority of states, and then get back to work.

Dianne, from Tome Tender, gave just such a review. Click the banner below to stop over and take a look.

tome tender

If, by chance, that gets you excited to read Time Heist (and you have the patience to wait), Dianne will be doing a giveaway through her site for a couple free copies of Tom Mandel’s story in the coming weeks. I’ll keep you posted.

Tome Tender Review

time heist

My rating: 4.5 stars

Series: Firstborn Saga – Book 1
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Publisher: One Lazy Robot
ISBN: 0692336990
Genre: Scifi Detective Thriller
Print Length: 409 pages
Available from: Amazon

Time Heist (Firstborn Saga #1)My Review
Time Heist by Anthony Vicino

Part science fiction, part dark mystery/thriller, Time Heist by Anthony Vicino is a gritty trip through a world where one’s life on Earth has been calibrated by the technology of the government. One broken man, whose time can now be measured in hours may unknowingly hold secrets that could cause numerous deaths, but lead to uncovering the reality of the world and its “people.”

Our narrator, Tom Handel is a seasoned cop, who now lives in the hell of his past memories, and hating every day he wakes up alive. Malcolm is The Joker to Tom’s Batman, a nemesis who often gets the last laugh. But Malcolm is back, a higher form of intelligence, thanks to technology, Nanobots and his hatred for Tom. Able to manipulate one’s life line, Malcolm begins a game of hide, seek and destroy with Tom as he is unlucky target. With the aid of his law enforcement past, Tom leaves the seedy life he has been living and enters into a virtual and mental game of death in the race against his own clock. He is determined to take Malcolm with him when the clock strikes zero, or at least have all of the missing answers to questions he has beaten himself with for years. Will there be a clash of the Nano titans or is Tom so out of his element that when sucker punched with the truth, even death can’t come soon enough?

Picture a dark and stormy night; add the man in the shadows, the click of feet on pavement, a trench coat and this is the feeling of Time Heist. Now stir in high tech science fiction, fast-forward to a bleak future where no one remains unaltered and entering “the stream” of public consciousness can empower one with endless knowledge and strength, are you with me? Kick in dark grit, dark humor and a snarky hero who is far from perfect, out of the loop, but obsessed with one last mission and you are totally ensconced in Anthony Vicino’s world and you have a heaping helping of what type of read Time Heist is.

Mr. Vicino has pulled me out of reality and set me down in a world where I need to hit the ground running, leap buildings and watch the agony of the past come back in spades. There is no knight in shining armor, just as there is no back knight, but there is action, fantasy, great dialogue and fantastic trip through the mind of a man in his last hours, attempting to save his soul. But is her ready for the truth? Will it make a difference or will he learn that everyone is a pawn in a much larger chess game?

I need to add, when you get to those final words, do NOT stop, I was equally entertained by the author’s notes at the end, not one to spare words, Anthony Vicino rides his talent beyond the finish line with attitude and humor.

I received this copy from Anthony Vicino in exchange for my honest review.

Thanks again to Dianne for the blush worthy review. If you’ve never been there, you should check out the Tome Tender for insight into all sorts of great books. The reviews are well-written and top notch! CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT TOME TENDER!

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