You can find out more about her on her blog where she writes about her experiences... more »
- Oshkosh, WI, USA
- member since August 17, 2012
“Cornelius sets the reader right into the tough trough of a city’s squalid underbelly. We can imagine ourselves looking into the concrete underpasses of whatever modern urban environment we may know, as a similar story could be written there a thousand times. The ending may be less kind, less...”
“Cornelius sets the reader right into the tough trough of a city’s squalid underbelly. We can imagine ourselves looking into the concrete underpasses of whatever modern urban environment we may know, as a similar story could be written there a thousand times. The ending may be less kind, less relieved by love, but the story will be much the same. True life, sadly, often reads like this.
We are made to see how easy it is to fall so low that an unexpectedly dry corner in the most derelict of landscapes can come to feel like a treasure, a blessing even. Life can be so much worse than living in the shelter of a sturdy cardboard box with just enough mouldy bread or a nearby soup kitchen.
This is a story of continuing hope despite the worst of what life can throw at us, of dealing with whatever damage we are responsible for drawing onto ourselves, of dealing with the consequences of physical and mental abuse; a love story despite the engulfing scum. We are made to see how long and how tough the march from true poverty truly is.
Beautifully written, completely believable, a story that is often paralleled in some way by the real lives of societies all too real outcasts. The end was a great relief. We must finally remember that very few such badly blighted lives end with so much fulfilled hope. This third novel by Cornelius is as different as was each of the first two. Each one is of the same high quality. I will be reading Marsha Cornelius’s next work, whatever ‘genre’ she picks.”
“Reading this very competently put together, adult, adventure thriller very much reminded me of the Wilber Smith books I once devoured. The continents that provided location may be different, but the landscapes are not so dissimilar. Snyder has a similarly smooth ability to write believable gritty...”
“Reading this very competently put together, adult, adventure thriller very much reminded me of the Wilber Smith books I once devoured. The continents that provided location may be different, but the landscapes are not so dissimilar. Snyder has a similarly smooth ability to write believable gritty plot. This story is full of rich vistas, both large and small, which are filled with dramas from characters clinging onto both sides of the good and evil divide.
For those that appreciate reading raw brutality, there is no shortage. There is enough perverted cruelty, lust, greed, pain, and death to fill any action packed thriller. There is also just about enough hope, even when all those that have any good in them are being bashed senseless by the one main character that it is impossible to have any sympathy for.
This isn’t a comfy read. If it was a film it would be adult rated with warnings. However, it is great entertainment that actually manages to avoid getting over voyeuristic even in the most violent action. Accepting, of course, that the writer only guides the thoughts conjured in our own heads. The book is well written, using obscenity and crudity for effect and not as punctuation. The main characters are full and interesting, working in a plotline that reflects realities that are for most of us just extremes of life that we will never have to face ourselves. Description is detailed without being laboured and the very few grammatical strains didn’t cause enough of a trip to require my rereading of any sentence. We are asked to follow at least two, and sometimes more, characters points of view, but only once was I confused by a change of POV.
Some of the secondary characters are a bit clichéd. That though is perhaps inevitable given the breadth of the plotline contained within the word count of the book.
James Snyder is a great story teller. Look out for his works.”
“This book is a stunning indictment of a corrupt and vindictive legal system, which is not set in a failed State, or in a corrupt totalitarian regime, or in some particularly troublesome period of history, it is set in the `legal' system of the State of California and its judicially...”
“This book is a stunning indictment of a corrupt and vindictive legal system, which is not set in a failed State, or in a corrupt totalitarian regime, or in some particularly troublesome period of history, it is set in the `legal' system of the State of California and its judicially semi-autonomous counties. I am not Californian, or even American, so feel free to read my supporting criticism with that in mind. Graham Cook isn't a `native' of that area either, which undoubtedly coloured some of the judgements against him.
The facts in this book are just that, facts. Critics may assume that some things are left out in order to so weigh the book's balance in the author's favour. This thought naturally crossed my mind, but the book covers such blatant miscarriages of justice that any sane person would struggle to do anything but side fully with Graham Cook.
This autobiographical account is stunning. That he persisted in fighting through the courts for so long, despite a deep well of corruption hidden in the system, even whilst struggling against many of those, then or previously, close to him, is nothing short of flabbergasting. This was all to achieve what exactly? To find out you will have to read the book.
Graham Cook clearly states that neither he nor his supporters did everything right every time, but gads, if he wasn't royally screwed by the system then who has ever been. Courts are rightly inclined towards prejudice in favour of the mother in cases of disputed custody. As a general rule, I think this is no bad thing. As a husband and a father I feel I'm more than within my rights to say so. However, courts need to be fair and open to ruling in a father's favour whenever there is any doubt as to the mother's capability or behaviour. We all hear thousands of stories reflecting this sort of issue. However, this book is far more than just one more example in that unfortunate flood. This isn't about simple biases that exist in any legal system; this is about corruption within, and the illegal manipulation of, the judiciary. This is about corruption, prejudice and outright theft by individuals that society needed, or still needs, to trust.
This is a very well written account of a family `train-crash' caused by systemic failures and a lack of impartial oversight. Every adult that cares a fig about family issues, about natural justice or about the dangers inherent in poorly regulated legal entities, should read this. But above all, this book needs to be read by those that hold public office in the, in so many ways great, State of California.
The author is known to me.”
Nicole Smith added a book.
“I am not sure what one more review can add to a book that has been so positively endorsed. However, I feel compelled to try. Apologies if I add nothing worthwhile.
This is highly competent story telling that explores some of the worst abuses of the psychological and physical power often...”
“I am not sure what one more review can add to a book that has been so positively endorsed. However, I feel compelled to try. Apologies if I add nothing worthwhile.
This is highly competent story telling that explores some of the worst abuses of the psychological and physical power often wielded by sick individuals. This book is worthy of wide readership. If it isn't available or willingly sourced by your local library, then libraries deserve to be the increasingly rare places that they are becoming.
So often in real life the most selfish of individuals are able to become the most powerful. When those individuals are other than `normal', which is all too often the case, then the honest and innocent suffer. This book is an exploration of that phenomenon. All power is only as good or evil as those that wield it, with our institutionalised procedures all too often only further empowering the abuser. It makes little difference to the victim whether the corruption is instigated in the close family, or from the highest of offices.
I find some comfort in thinking that great writing like Farris's can moderate the minds of at least a few sick individuals whilst reminding us all of the need to guard against all too prevalent terrors. More than that, I desperately need to be optimistically inclined towards this the book's undoubted primary goals. If only it wasn't the already well balanced that will find this story's agitating entertainment has a most satisfactory ending.”
“We reach the top of the climb, having started up the `spiritual' mountain of Newland's metaphysical creation in the first book in the Diamond Peak series. Life's path is never easy for anyone if they are to fulfil their potential, the greater our gifts the more that others' normally expect us to...”
“We reach the top of the climb, having started up the `spiritual' mountain of Newland's metaphysical creation in the first book in the Diamond Peak series. Life's path is never easy for anyone if they are to fulfil their potential, the greater our gifts the more that others' normally expect us to give. So it is with the heroine, Ariel. In the end, this was not so much of the story of Ariel's struggle to conquer the blackness threatening her and the lives of those she cared about, but rather about her determination to help the `all' of humanity. The serpentine Ariel has to destroy is just as binding in landscape we all know as it is on her mythical mountain; a massive peak which seemingly buds from some part of urban Australia. There is a true moral theme, the idea of a saviour, the dream of resetting the clock back on all corrupting evil. This work draws on the powerful allegory of writers like C.S. Lewis, whilst remaining free of his well chiselled, establishment, religious tow.
This is a superb read, in which for me the true peak of creativity was in the all too brief return of Ariel to the `real' world. In this section we are rewarded by glimpsing the very dark childhood shadows from which Nick, Ariel's ever closer friend, had to emerge. Of course, the fulfilling of the prophecy was most certainly the summit of excitement. Perhaps the `homecoming' chapter had a particular resonance for me as it brought to the fore the inventive speculative fiction angle of the book to a degree not seen since the opening chapters of book one.
In my opinion, a perfect rounding of Newland's `Diamond Peak' project would be an omnibus addition, an amalgam of all four books in one fat volume. This would allow a huge amount of stripping of retold background and re-established character traits. Going over old ground in each book of the series is so necessary to readers' understanding in any true serial with a defined `quest'. All four of these books work very well as standalone reads. However, written as one script of perhaps 300,000 words, even if still split into `books', this could become a modern classic of YA fantasy.”
“I am finding it hard not to be over complementary. Smith has a sure-footed competence as a writer that has helped her put together a very original and highly entertaining book. This near future science fiction cleverly links the progress of science, the general `progressiveness' of social norms,...”
“I am finding it hard not to be over complementary. Smith has a sure-footed competence as a writer that has helped her put together a very original and highly entertaining book. This near future science fiction cleverly links the progress of science, the general `progressiveness' of social norms, at least in Britain and a quite plausible future `gated' City of London, into a page turning read.
The version I read had a few silly editing errors, but a word of concern to the author has led to the knowledge that these are being dealt with.
The timeline on the story, set in 2080, seems feasible. This is important because at first the hedonistic world she portrays seems to be a vast distance from where norms of social behaviour are today. There are always extreme deviants, individual cases, but those deviant behaviours rarely and only slowly become mainstream. But sometimes they do, and especially when as in this book they are centred on a particularly powerful subset of people. We see then, generally unacceptable social practices sometimes escaping cloistered sectors of society, such as religious establishments and `cultural' minority groups, into a wider world. For proof that such rapid changes in normal behaviour are possible we don't have to look back as far as 70 years in London's society.
Smith has brought together some interesting possible future science, none of which is too outlandish. Micro-biology and virology may well have made possible the future she has fictionally speculated for 2080, long before that real date. I find the idea of sexually transmitted diseases becoming socially sought after badges to be rather sickening, especially in the light of the terrors of AIDS and historical devastations to society caused by sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, hepatitis and gonorrhoea. However, we all know just how far people will go in challenging their bodies for the sake of the next fashionable kick. I cannot deny the apparent plausibility of the science.
Smith has pulled together a very interesting bag of characters with familiar enough behaviours. I had no trouble in measuring them all up against people I know. Her views on big business, financially crippled public funded science, social inequalities, sexual politics, cultural divisions and human rivalries are all easily spotted today. So then, I am sure that most mature readers will find a convincing enough anchor with Smith's thinking to be drawn into her 2080.
What a shocking and shockingly good book. There is a very high level of sexual content without the script ever holding the spotlight for so long that it becomes purely pornographic. The reader with a wish for spice will have to paint in their own deviant pictures, which with the help of Smith's well-chosen prose requires little effort. Many lesser writers seem to miss this balance.”
“This fast paced action sci-fi thriller has some originality of content and style. It is one for lovers of a good Sci-fi romp, with plenty of action and a few glimpses of exciting sex. Science orientated SF fans will enjoy it if they keep their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks. One has to...”
“This fast paced action sci-fi thriller has some originality of content and style. It is one for lovers of a good Sci-fi romp, with plenty of action and a few glimpses of exciting sex. Science orientated SF fans will enjoy it if they keep their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks. One has to give one's imagination a free rein, not that there is anything wrong with that, to really enjoy this book. Strait has made very good use of the current fascination with the expiry date of a certain Mayan calendar, which certainly gives his book some current form, at least as far as the 21st December 2012.
Actually, I don't really think the passing of that date will do anything to reduce the impact of the story, as there is always another convenient date looming for the end of the Earth, or at least of Earth as we currently know it.
Projectile vomiting aside, I think this book could be the basis of a good film, though the date issue does rather reduce the time frame for this. Actually I can see an easy way around the timing issue. There is a lot of scope in Time Loop Theory. Thinking beyond my own prejudices I guess that even the excessive nature of the sickness could have a place in a film. If convincingly portrayed it could certainly add some impact.
This is a good holiday read, adequately engineered, and written in a compelling fast action style. It is also a very empowering book for the ego of men rather past their peak condition sell by date. I suspect that many women will be less convinced by both the sexual and combat prowess of the hero, again tongue-in-cheek necessary. Mind you plenty of good books rather flatter the physical attributes of the older male hero, usually it seems when we older male authors have some of ourselves in the invented characters.
I will read Strait again, and even again.”
“This is an absolutely first class read, both in terms of style and content. Like so much great fiction this book builds on a great deal of personal experience and a wide local knowledge. Based on truth may not be an accurate enough descriptive, but based on true-life certainly is. The first...”
“This is an absolutely first class read, both in terms of style and content. Like so much great fiction this book builds on a great deal of personal experience and a wide local knowledge. Based on truth may not be an accurate enough descriptive, but based on true-life certainly is. The first person view only increased my sense of connection with the characters. I am not like the main Paul Forté at all, but for the time it took me to read this book I thought I really could be. He is an easily recognisable character, the jovial success that is so often both popular and the subject of seething jealousies.
This is not so much a book about a small fish that is getting fried, as about a dirty struggle for dominance in a world of variably moral and immoral egos. We smell the fishy stink of politics and its connections with the law. The main character and defendant is an intelligent and quick witted character, the sort of success in life that most can only aspire to equal. We see that even the successful and socially popular have their enemies. These malignant characters seeking revenge for some unknown family slight, or some perceived wrong. The fish could have been from any city in North America, but the fact that these characters are painted into an apparently accurate backdrop of the great city of Boston greatly adds to the interest.
I really felt drawn onto the streets, into the restaurants, law courts, into the backrooms of Massachusetts. I am certain there is a paralleled real life legal history behind much of Morin's invention, helping to make the plot so convincing. However, I have not the least idea as to what bits of the tapestry are or were real, which bits of legalise are case-law and which bits exotic invention, but Morin made every location, every character and every event as believable as my dinner. Then there is the golf! The sport, the life-style, bores my socks off, but whilst reading this book I loved the game and the intricacies of its exacting codes of behaviour; the writing is that good.
That Morin's first book wasn't picked up by one of the majors is just one more humongous nail in the coffin of traditional publishing. I am of course writing against this day's background of exploding independent publishing, and the majors continuing and self-inflicted implosion. (May 2012).”
“This is an epic vision of a post apocalyptic Earth. We are plunged into a struggle for survival between the warring tribal groups that struggle for dominance across the broad landscape of Australia. This vision, that might, in the best dystopian tradition be future history, is a brilliantly...”
“This is an epic vision of a post apocalyptic Earth. We are plunged into a struggle for survival between the warring tribal groups that struggle for dominance across the broad landscape of Australia. This vision, that might, in the best dystopian tradition be future history, is a brilliantly constructed read that pulsates with angst and harsh emotion. If you fear the terrors of mankind's past footsteps, you will fear this savage world.”(read full review)
Rebecca Hamilton rated a book.
T R Heinan reviewed a book.
T R Heinan created a widget.