Anubis

3 time graduate of UWO Anubis enjoys History, genealogy, DNA & the origin of things. Fascinated by cities now extinct. Ask 'loaded questions.' Intrigued by ancient rituals & all things hidden.

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Questioning History

Dropping the Peppermint is an interesting take on the tail end of WWII. Full of spies and lies. But the deception is so thick, it risks leaving the reader at the side of the road, confused. As the ending nears, the tale becomes a little too fantastical. Nevertheless, it does not fail to entertain and make the reader think. Many incidents of history remain either concealed or lost in the mists of time. As the value of information rises, so, too, does the level of deception. The idea of factions, especially in times of war, is realistic. As power overtakes the imaginations of men, each must chose sides, or whether to cling to, or abandon ethics. The story has more than its share of twists and turns, leaving the reader in the unenviable position of trying to see through the fog of war and deception; the two horsemen that always go hand in hand.

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No time for family

I found the story very entertaining, but disappointed with the lack of an ending. Yes, there will be a second book that continues the story. It will be a challenge for the author to achieve the potential for the story. He left the reader hanging so he will need to be mindful of continuity issues, as well as develop the story to the fullest. A lot of thought will need to go into Part Two, giving it the depth to pull off another dimension, while at the same time ensuring it all lines up .

Something is weird about Gavin's parents the last time he visited them. They just didn't seem all too enthused about seeing him. They previously made excuses about why they gave him up, but their story seems lame. Something is missing that they are not saying. I think his parents are phonies. It seems there is a lot of deception in this tale. I wonder if the good guys are missing from this story entirely. It is really a tale about how power corrupts people. No one can handle it.

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Head Case

I don't usually read ghost stories but I have seen many movies of this genre. Not original, but well done, nonetheless. The author is good at presenting atmosphere. It is a short story or novella at best. Mental health is a theme in this story. As the story is short, there is room for development without making it that much longer. The reader was never told if the room at the end of the hall had any older issues, like a painting concealed under a painting. Perhaps you could come up with a Master twist at the end involving an incident long past & forgotten. Something so abhorrent and evil, the house itself is cursed along with any unfortunate souls to grace its unnatural presence. Why the fifties tune? Did the Grandfather really say the room was evil, If so, why? Is there a history known only to the dead? The room at the end of the hall whispers the answer in discordant voices.

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A thoughtful story

Here we have a story in which a lot of thought has been embedded into the tale. And it makes the reader think, too. And historical research has been done well. The Russian that chose to decide it was a false alarm was, indeed, real and became an unknown hero. We may never know if he entertained an unknown visitor. It is the type of story where the 'butterfly effect' takes flight. I enjoyed the story very much. Both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Four and-a-half stars. ⚛️

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Cool sci-fi

Here we have the story of Andy & his little sister, Jen, among other youth. The setting is Colorado but most of the story plays out in a virtual world. It may have appeal with the YA crowd but I don't think it would be limited to them. The story is very gamer-orientated but you do not need to be a gamer to understand or enjoy the tale. Perhaps the story should be set a few more years into the future to make it a little more credible. Other than that my only criticism would be a little better explanation of the link between Radical 9 and the fall of the American government. Is the federal catastrophe even linked at all? I would have liked to know more about the cause of the fall. Were the troubles in Denver Radical 9 related? Did something get into the water supply or was it a case of simple fear & panic on the part of the 'mob'? Besides the downfall of America as we know it the story wraps up adequately but leaves questions suggesting another sequel may be in the works.

I think the best parts of the story are how the events of the real world relate to the virtual reality game. The origin of all the chaos & how the game was perverted from the get-go by a power-hungry madman. The futuristic tale is injected with some mad science which I appreciated reminding me of my story, Secret Monitor Men. Moreover, it illustrates how power can affect people & how wrong science without ethics can go; again reminiscent of my mystery thriller.

The social problem of the reliance of youth on video games to escape not only their worlds but themselves is a major theme of the story. Athena's brother is a star in the virtual world yet cannot face his problems or himself in the cold light of reality. Thus, Eldon adopts Elysium as his own 'safe space' forsaking all he left behind in his shattered but real world. The dichotomy of fantasy versus reality runs like an artery through the story. Some of the beta players can no longer tell the difference. I think the thin line separating the constant shifting between the real world & the game give the story some depth. An enjoyable read that makes you think.

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Heavy Science & Tech

My main problem with this story is it is loaded too heavy with science & technical terms. And some chapters are simply too long. The story starts off all about Camp Mars. Yes we are 30-50 years in the future and not only have a base on the moon but a pretty nice complex in some crater on Mars. NASA had said once we could get to Mars in 6 months but more recently they admitted a capability of only three months each way. In this novel they can do it in a little over a month and there are 10 billion people on earth as opposed to seven now. But a weird happening jolts NASA and some interesting things are learned.

There is a troubling void in the story. We never learn WHY Paol Joonter was framed for murder. Why not someone else? From the court evidence it is clear that someone went to a lot of trouble to set up Paol. Or he is guilty! There is a second book in this series called 'The Twisted Galaxy.' Paol & his wise-cracking cellmate turned astronaut Blade will have new challenges & adventures. While some of the science input in this story is speculative & theoretical most remains real & well-researched. Even a focused novice can learn a few things but our author & computer engineer needs to go a little easier on the average reader. Maybe thin out the asteroid belt for newbie space travelers.

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Philosophical sci-fi

An entertaining story with a lot of discussion to make the reader think. The first chapter had some atmosphere but Zorando did not make much of an entrance at all as the time traveler did in Time Winders. The rational Zorando lacked passion as a character. Too much in control.

More philosophical than thriller having its pros & cons. The action & conflict came late in the story in the form of Hardcastle and his minions but they failed to scare the reader much. Zorando was never challenged. Shanovia wasn't much concerned until the motorcycle chase yet maintained control. It would have been better had more chaos entered into the story. Some unforeseen event that Zorando could not see to threaten the pair thus raising the danger level & stakes and with it the suspense level. There was a clever historical weave into the story the reader may not see right away near the end. When a good part of the novel is philosophical discussion, albeit interesting, the story sits on the bench. There needed to be more live action with less discussion despite the latter having its role in the story.

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Occult Thriller

The novel starts out as if it were in the crime genre but don't be fooled. It develops into something entirely different. The premise of the story is strong and like all good thrillers acts like a crescendo with more & more intensity the closer it comes to the end. I would also recommend the story for those who like adventure. The author does a good job of infusing history into the story which is key. Research has been done properly. My only complaint here would be in Chapter 8 to clarify with a couple key sentences how the origin of the Mithras cult started in Persia. If unknown you can always state its origins are shrouded in mystery. Also some clarification is needed for how the cult jumped from Ancient Greece to Roman soldiers. Not everyone has a Classical History Degree. The idea that a pagan cult has survived over the centuries clinging to its rituals & secret membership is not unrealistic. Do not laugh. It is credible in a creepy sense. Again, perhaps in Chapter 8 it might be mentioned that Imperial Rome had many Eastern cults but as Anne Rice's Pandora stated 'even a 5 year-old could see their beliefs were not real.' A good sense of conflict was presented between the Christian light of good & the pagan evil of darkness & secrets. Even their rituals were held underground. While Mithraic rites were alluded to it would have been nice to see the characters not only assemble together in secret but participate in one of these ancient rituals. An interesting occult thriller with some original ideas & good imagination.

There are missing punctuation issues and minor editing to be done to smooth out the writing in the story.

With some refining & development work this story can be a 5 star hit. Moreover, I believe it can be turned into a major motion film.

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Sci-fi Romance

The first chapter is a very strong start. All sci-fi and intrigue. As the story progresses though it morphs into a romance story. A temporal enforcer jumps around time with an old man pulled into the adventure by happenstance. They hunt criminals who have violated agency rules by escaping their own time; illegal in itself. Since James is without a home due to the time cop's uninvited intrusion the Agency deems it necessary he wait for a replacement home under her supervision. Naturally, no one wonders if this situation it itself could cause problems in the space-time continuum. There are no major problems with this story although I found the last chapter to be unnaturally long. Normally, final chapters tend to be short. All in all a solid premise on which to base a story.

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A WWI Occult Adventure

Obviously the Chance Masters stories should be a series. Can each adventure be turned into a novella? Or keeping with tradition you could combine several into one book. For the future though aim for novels. The story was boosted by the research and bolstered by the writing. Maybe infuse a little more history and atmosphere. All in all a decent occult adventure. Readers will want more. You could also use a short story like this to kick off a St. Petersburg tale ensuring it would become at least a novella. One aspect we will never know is whether the Eye of Odin would have had any negative affects on the German. Magic has its price.

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Snark in cartoon medium?

Could you see Snark and his library co-workers in a cartoon medium? The adventures of Snark. I think so. It took awhile to understand what I was reading. Also since the book had already influenced Earth would shredding it later wipe out the planet? The damage of breaking the Prime Directive as it were in Star Trek lingo was done. There's something familiar about Snark and his pals yet the story possesses its own sense of originality. For some reason it made me think of the great sci-fi novel, The Carpet Makers, by the German legend himself, Andreas Eschbach. I guess if you're story is a synonym in tone for what we all aspire to then you're on the right track.

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Solid Conspiracy Thriller

There is a healthy conflict in this story between Delaney, the Monk, and Gynt (the Priest) as thrillers require. The Immortality Plot is my first novel by author David Callinan and I found it to be a solid conspiracy thriller. It's a fairly traditional structure for a thriller. The thing with the bears was good as was the idea of the Confess-Confess website. I see a successful series developing in the future. The writing was strong & the only thing that could have improved the story were harder hitting plot twists, a more complex conspiracy, & a higher originality factor. Next time don't be afraid to go off the reservation. It's safe to stick to traditional thriller structures & risky to try something new but sometimes the latter can be highly rewarding. Be unpredictable. Be bold & brazen in your thinking. In the final analysis, I predict this author will be signed by Christmas or whenever the data bar feels the time is right. The only assist the author needs is massive promotion. As Brad Thor says: "You can have the greatest book out there but if no one knows about it ..."

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