Horror/Fantasy/Sci Fi

The Council: Acquiring the Great Orbs by Javier Berrellez

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Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

The strength of this story is the story itself. It is a mix of aliens, alien tech and human military agencies that are sometimes the good guys and sometimes not. The plot is simple: acquire the orbs. Yet the plot is complicated and takes many turns, sometimes so fast and so exhilarating, you need to re-read the last section to catch your breath and figure out what’s happening.

Characters are not well developed, but may not need to be because the storyline is well developed.

The conclusion is superb and lends itself to future installments of The Council. The story does suffer from technical difficulties that are easily fixed, such as voice, tense and word choice.

Review by Gail Summers (June 2019) 


Author's Synopsis

 The Council: Acquiring the Great Orbs is fast-paced and intricately plotted science-fiction thriller. Government secrets, alien invasions, and military action combine to make The Council an edge-of-your-seat page-turner. Adam, a government agent for the naval reconnaissance office, or NRO, has been tasked with the menial job of driving a cargo van filled with four large containers – contents unknown – to a burn facility. He has done this every week for the past two years. The job is far below his pay grade as an agent and Adam has grown frustrated. He has also grown increasingly curious as the secrecy and security surrounding his cargo load seem out of proportion to the job. After a secretive satellite recovery mission supported by Adam’s team, he finds himself the victim of an unprovoked attack that lands him in the hospital and being questioned by the police. Before he knows it, something has gone awry with the government mission of which he is a part and Adam is forced to try to put together the pieces. As he slips deeper into the mystery surrounding the operation, Adam begins to realize that the contents of the containers in the cargo van hold great importance. Together with his colleagues and two elite military men they cross paths with, they’re forced to search for answers by crawling through military tunnels and dodging attacks. Intense, intricately plotted, and deeply engaging, The Council: Acquiring the Great Orbs draws readers into the dark and mysterious world of complex government conspiracies, covert military operations, and otherworldly combatants. As Adam races to find answers, readers will find themselves holding their breath, unable to put the book down.

ISBN/ASIN: B07PCPS7BZ
Book Format(s): Kindle
Review Genre: Fiction—Horror/Fantasy/Sci Fi
Number of Pages: 280

Winterset by Dennis Maulsby

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Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

Winterset by Dennis Maulsby is a fantastical creation of mystical magical proportions, at once charming and deadly, fanciful and dark. Maulsby has conjured up a feast of short stories featuring Father Donahey, a retired Catholic priest. Donahey, born in Ireland and having served for most of his life in South America, has moved to Winterset, Iowa. He didn’t choose the locale to spend time protecting the world from denizens of destruction; he moved there to enjoy long walks in between reading good books in his retirement. But Winterset is the site of a worldwide inter-dimensional gateway for supernatural beings, most of them of the unfriendly variety. Pulled into the maelstrom of havoc created by otherworld entities, Donahey battles evil, aided by friends who exhibit supernatural powers themselves.

The writing is captivating and intense, placing the reader in the midst of the action—surrounded by the sights, scents, and sensations of cataclysmic struggles—almost as if the reader has been transported into the pages of the book.

Keep your nightlight on.

 Review by Betsy Beard (July 2019)


Author's Synopsis

The Irish born Father Donahey has retired from many years of service as a Catholic priest in South American countries to Winterset, Iowa. It’s not to be the life of books and long rural walks that he expects. The community and the surrounding area are awash with supernatural creatures. Some are friendly, some not, but all must be dealt with in order to protect his new parish and the wider world from chaos and destruction. The good Father must use all of his education and experience, including his time as a chaplain in the Argentine military during the Falklands war, to meet each challenge.

ISBN/ASIN: ISBN: 978-1-945663-23-9
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Review Genre: Fiction—Horror/Fantasy/Sci Fi
Number of Pages: 178



The Dragon Soldier's Good Fortune by Robert Goswitz

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Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

The Dragon Soldier’s Good Fortune by Robert Goswitz centers around a wonderful legend throughout Vietnamese history of dragon tattoos protecting against evil spirits. Upon arrival in Vietnam, American soldier, Private Ed Lansky, is asked if he’s a dragon or its prey by the first soldier he meets. Soon he becomes convinced his dragon spirit has magical powers to protect him. Lansky believes he has seen an actual dragon several times when he and his unit are in trouble. During his last week in Nam, an ambush threatens to destroy his entire platoon, but his dragon comes to the rescue. After they make it home, one of Lansky’s best buddies has questions for Ed about the dragon, leading Ed to finally conclude the dragon wasn’t his imagination; it was real!

As a Vietnam veteran, I was moved by the description of events and the reality of how things were for those who served. In summary, the story is realistic enough and an enjoyable read.

The overall story has great potential because the flow of the story is fast-moving and realistic. Unfortunately, much was lost by the writer’s use of verbiage that distracted from the flow and made the reader feel disconnected. However, those occasions when a dictionary was needed only distracted for a short time.

Reviewed by Tom Criser (April 2019)


Author's Synopsis

 An ancient king of Vietnam ordered his subjects to cover their arms and thighs with Dragon Tattoos. It was an accepted belief of the times that Dragon Power protected farmers against evil spirits in their rice paddies. A millennium later, Private Ed Lansky faces a different form of evil in those same paddies. As luck would have it, he meets Sergeant Chen, a GI with Dragon Tattoos on his arms. Chen insists Dragon Power is no myth.

ISBN/ASIN: 9781626949539
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Review Genre: Fiction—Horror/Fantasy/Sci Fi
Number of Pages: 320

Tested by Connie Cockrell

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Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

The author develops the mystery and challenges of main characters, and their adventure, where you are eager to read further. The story is exceptionally well written with language appropriate for the age group of young adults. The initial chapters leave you a bit confused; however, the author quickly advances the scene to provide a clear understanding of the lead character’s Gift. Both main characters show great strength and determination to accomplish their goal. Each having different strengths and weaknesses which complement each other, creating a durable and capable team. 

It appears the author intentionally left the conclusion open as to what caused the catastrophic event creating challenges to survive in a world seemingly totally destroyed. The main character, Alyssa, has a healing gift she attained at birth, yet is never fully clarified. Kyra, on the other hand, has a physical gift well described. In both cases, the author leaves the story open to future developments and mysteries to keep the reader wanting more. 

The interactions of the individuals in the story shares many good and bad characteristics of humanity, teaching the readers some imperative lessons about mankind and how taxing situations breakdown society. The author develops the importance of self-sacrifice for the betterment of humanity as one of the most important lesson for young readers. Additionally, the author’s female characters deliver well developed heroism for young women to follow in their own future development in society.  Well done!

MWSA Review by Tom Criser (June 2018)


Author's Synopsis

With winter over, Alyssa and Kyra move on to Harrisburg. They soon find the community they are seeking: A conclave of scientists using their knowledge to assist in their survival. They find much to learn and contribute, and perhaps even finding new love. However, shadows lurk even here. They quickly find that the community is not all that it seems.

Will Kyra and Alyssa be able to stand against the dark side of scientific inquiry? Or will they be tested to failure?


ISBN/ASIN: B079GFDSCD
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle, ePub/iBook
Genre(s): Fiction, Fantasy/Sci Fi, Young Adult
Review Genre: Fiction—Horror/Fantasy/Sci Fi
Number of Pages: 122