Friday, December 26, 2014

Reader's review - Mark Alpert (Final Theory)

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This will probably be my last post in 2014. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my faithful readers for their support and loyalty. I would also like to thank all of you who just dropped by. I hope that you all found something of value, you could use in your search for a good reading experience.

2014 has been a really good year when it comes to books. Up to now, I have read fifteen books, the majority of which were both well written and entertaining. If I should have to highlight three interesting books, I want to mention:

George R. R. Martin (A Game of Thrones): I never get too old for fantasy when the plot is well composed and well written. 'Game of Thrones' is a work that deserves to go down in  history.
Dean Koontz (The Taking): I'll never forget my first love. Dean Koontz has a formidable ability to keep his readers on their toes from the first pages. There are not many authors, who are able to match this amazing writer.
Ezra T. Gray (The Grove & Other Stories): This book is the only collection of short stories I've read this years. It was great to experience, that the horror stories are not dead and gone and that it is still possible to add fine new facets to a well worn genre.

Here, just a few days before new-year, I am now adding book number sixteen to the list of reviewed books this year. I am happy to say, that this last book also was a worthy representative of the 'great books'.

To me, Mark Alpert was an unknown author, but the title of his book, 'Final Theory', caught my attention. I have great respect for mr. Albert Einstein, so when an author involve him in his history, I simply have to read the book.

Many authors writes about the law of physics in their books, but unfortunately, too often it turns out, that they are either very shallow, or they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Thankfully, Mark Alpert does not apply to this pitiful category of writers.

Not only does 'Final Theory' appear to be written by someone who actually knows what he's talking about. It was also found that Mark Alpert was an excellent writer. Although the book deals with difficult issues such as particle physics and astrophysics, it is described in an interesting and entertaining way.

'Final Theory' takes the reader on a breathless chase. The book's protagonist, David Swift, is hunted down because he accidentally are handed the code to Albert Einstein's 'Einheitliche Feldttheorie'. This theory provides unlimited possibilities for particle physics - especially for military purposes. David begins his own quest for Einstiens 'Einheitliche Feldttheorie' and while he tries to escape the police, the FBI, the U.S. Army and a sadistic assassin, he tries to find the meaning in the numerical code his old professor confided to him shortly before he died. Now it is a matter of life and death - his own and the whole world.

'Final Theory' is not only entertaining reading. I actually learned something while I was reading it and that is not so bad, right?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Reader's review - Ezra T. Gray (The Grove & Other Stories)

<a href="">The Grove and Other Stories</a><img src="" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Night is closing in and a storm, the first one this winter, is building up from the west. Right now the rain is pouring down, while the wind is pounding the walls of my house, making it moan in a wired way, while I'm listening to Joe Satriani singing 'Big Bad Moon'.

The scene is set and this night will be perfect for me to write a review of 'The Grove & Other Stories' by Ezra T. Gray. This book contains ten horror stories. I'm not going to review each and every one, but I'm going to pick a few of my favorites in a moment.

Allow me to bring my personal opinion regarding horror stories. Some authors connects horror to blood and gore, thinking this might make the audience shiver and shake of fear. They are so wrong! Blood and gore can be used as shock effects, but giving your audience a shock is definitely not the same as expose them to the feeling of true horror. A brilliant horror writer makes his readers think. He don't need to tell the whole story down to every details. You see, it takes an intelligent author to write a good horror story. It's a balance between giving the necessary information to feed the imagination of the reader, but leave enough of the story untold forcing the reader to think. A skilled horror writer puts faith in his audience.

Why do I say that in a review? Because that's exactly what Ezra T. Gray does in 'The Grove & Other Stories'. In this book Ezra presents ten very different stories, which is quite an achievement. Writing ten different stories, without telling the same story over and over again in different ways, can be very difficult. You have to clear your mind before writing the next story, and thats exactly what I believe Ezra T. Gray did. Because the stories are so different, there will be something for every horror fan. I found three real gems in this collection.

First: 'An Old Tradition'. I think this story will be my favorite of them all. The world as we know it has come to an end, when someone breaks down a barrier between an unknown dimension. Now mankind are no longer in the top of the food chain. Men have hunted and killed to eat, but now we're the hunted ones. It's a classic horror story with all it's dark elements, well written right to the end.
Second: 'Just Believe'. A knife factory are being build upon an ancient Indian burial ground. Nothing good comes from disrespect the dead and desecrate their graves, and that's what Sam Priest is about to realize late in the evening, while he's all alone in the big building. It's a great story with a fine twist in the end.
Third: 'The Grove'. What I like most of the story is the description of the grove. It reminds me of Stephen King's description of Ackerman's Field in my all time favorite 'N', although the stories are very different in their style and storyline. While both places are just ordinary places, they hold a sinister secret beyond any imagination. In 'The Grove' a young man are lured by the evil dwelling in the grove. It's a very well written story that makes you think. I love it.

'The Grove & Other Stories' holds all the classic elements of horror, but Ezra T. Gray tells them in his own unique way and that's what makes them interesting to the reader. Read the book. You won't be disappointed. You'll experience the good old feeling of horror, while you read the short stories told in a different and unique way. Just don't expect a grim and terrible ending to every story. Unlike most horror writers, Ezra T. Gray seems to believe that the good will overcome evil in the end and that is kind of unusual for a writer of horror and suspense. That's not necessarily a disadvantage as long as the stories are written the way Ezra T. Gray does it. I'm certainly ready for more...