The Adventures of JoJo Smith by Tony Leslie Duxbury

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Paperback: US$9.88 (free shipping)

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This a tongue-in-cheek fantasy tale about a young man who, through no fault of his own, is transported to a medieval world. Scared witless, all he wants is to be sent home. Considered harmless, he is ignored. Deciding to take things into his own hands, he hits on the idea of making a revolution to gain his ends. Recruiting some unlikely helpers, he forms a plan and puts it into action. Of course, things go wrong from the start, but they win through in the end.

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We follow a story of a guy named JoJo, who ends up in the medieval times due to an ancient spell. The wizard, who conjured the spell, has no idea what happened and neither does our protagonist. To make things even worse, he does not want to send JoJo back to his own world, because he has yet to translate the remainder of the spell and he has much more important business to attend to. Cannot really blame him; look after your own ass first. Because JoJo gets bored with feeling sorry for himself, and does not want to sit around anymore, he decides to start a revolution. Because, you know, why not?

As you have all picked up by now, it is a fantasy book with quite a humorous story. The story is written in first person narrative, so we are actually looking through the eyes of JoJo and following his thoughts and interactions with other characters along the way. This is fairly well done, but some of it is, sadly, a bit of a drag. And I felt the drag right from the beginning. There is just some heavy descriptions going on in some parts and it is absolutely unnecessary. If you skip those descriptions, or lets say, fly through them with your eyes, you will not miss anything. And that is quite bad, because you can easily take away quite a substantial amount of pages out of the book.

The characters are well constructed, they all have their roles in the book and they fulfill them well. They are not that flat, which means that they do not go on and on about one particular thing and show no progress. They do, and they change their temper and thoughts and you can see it in the sentence structures. For example, at the beginning of the book, when JoJo is scared shitless of Shadlow (the wizard), right after mouthing off at him, the sentences get shorter and the pace picks up. So you can feel how he is regretting the decision and is like “Oh shit, should not have said that!”.

Speaking of which, I believe that there should be quite more dialogs. The parts where the descriptions drag could quite well be erased and give space to lengthier dialogs. JoJo only exchanges a few sentences per day of his new adventure and that is quite unrealistic. I mean, I know it is dumb to say that when we are talking about a completely made up story, but nobody in their right mind would only say a few sentences each day. Even if you are crazy, you probably talk out loud and form a dialog with the wall. So that really cannot be an excuse.

While I was thinking of dialogs, I was reminded of one small little thing. The book needs an editor, to check out the spelling, and the use of punctuation. It is not too bad, but I have stumbled upon some quote marks, where there should not be any. I guess that this is something that was left over after rewriting certain things, but it just unnecessarily breaks the flow of reading. It makes me, as a reader, stop and check out what the hell are those supposed to be quoting.

All in all, it is a fun read, especially if you enjoy something with a lighter theme.

Book recommendation: 7,5/10

Judging a Book by Its Cover

 

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Here is a short list for all those authors out there, who are just about to order the cover for their book and need advice on what not to do. Or for all the readers who want to steer away from spending money on shitty books.

If you are easily offended and cannot take a joke, please leave immediately. 

  1. I agree with others on this one, so I felt urged to include it as number one. Boycott the books with a “motion picture” photo on the cover. It is awful, why would you want to do that to a book? If a movie has been made from the novel, fine. No need to paste the advertisement for it on the book. The book made the movie, not the other way around. Unless it is Twilight, then do whatever you want, preferably burn it.
  2. If the cover includes a half-naked dude or a girl, or both, on it (or him, whichever you prefer), throw it straight into the trash. Yes, even if you are at the bookstore. You will save others from having a ruined day, plus there will be more space on the shelves for good books.
  3. Abstract covers. Need I say more? A smudge of blue paint represents the book? What the hell are you smoking? “But Vikring, u no understen ze energies flowing thru…” Kill yourself.
    To the Lighthouse
  4. Author’s name written over half the cover. This usually means either of these two things:
    – He or she had one good book and now wants to convince you to buy this shitty one just because he or she wrote it.
    – He or she has a huge ego issue.
    Either way, I recommend a visit to the doctor’s office. We do not need that type of negativity in our lives.
  5. Turn the book around and check the back of the cover. Are there any one sentence reviews on it? If there are, check who wrote them. If there is no Viking Reviews mark on there, throw it in the trash.

Gibberish #20

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Hey everyone!

I am taking a summer break so there will be no Gibberish on Mondays for a couple of weeks. Do not worry tho, everything else has been pre-scheduled and is ready to go.

Enjoy and see you soon!

Patreon

Hey everyone!

Thanks to the recommendation from Jason Garden I now have a Patreon page! This is just another way that you can use to send me donations or, as I said in the description, buy me a beer or two. The reward system is not final, I will probably change it soon, but I did not have much idea about what I should put in there. If any of you have any ideas or recommendations, please leave them in the comments. Only YOU know what exactly you want for the money you give, I cannot quite decide that in your name.

As always, nobody is forcing anybody to make donations. This is purely up to the good will of you, my readers. Hopefully this system will allow me to get this blog to the next level.

Thank you!

Bob and the Cyber-Llama by Joseph Caldara

Bob and the Cyber Llama - Createspace Front Cover

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Paperback: $8.00
Kindle: $8.53

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Bob Halibut used to live your average life: he had a steady job at Porkburger. He had a decent apartment. And it was boring as all get-out. But then he inherited a grand fortune from his grandmother. After meeting a posh, cybernetic llama butler, he learns of his grandmother’s secret former life and embarks on a journey to the pyramids to uncover the secrets of a lost civilization. What he discovers will test his courage, as well as his swordsmanship skills. “Bob and the Cyber-Llama” is an exciting, laugh-out-loud, all-beef 12-pack of adventure fiction hot dogs. It’s a fantastic read for kids, adults, teens, super-intelligent chihuahuas, flying robots, and otherworldly alien deities alike.

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This is one of the funniest books I have read in the last few years. I would dare to say I have not read something as funny since my elementary school days, when we were all reading Captain Underpants like a bunch of maniacs. For those familiar with it, this book is right there alongside those series. So, as soon as I picked up on that, I read the book through the eyes of a youngster, and enjoyed every single part of it.

Let us get to the first and the most obvious thing – humor. Yes, it is there. It is not one of those books that announce it, but fail to deliver it. This one goes hard right from the beginning. It is not just jokes or word plays, it is the story as a whole that is humorous. Just the Llama that you can see on the cover, is a goldmine of humor, let alone everything else. The story unfolds in a quick pace and you just keep jumping from one impossible thing to the other, but you just immerse yourself into the story so much that you just do not care. It is simply one of those stories that you pick up and do not put down until the last page.

The author managed to achieve what nowadays less and less books can. He managed to combine the humor with elements of adventure, suspense and mystery, without cutting one or the other out. And to achieve something like that in just 60 pages is extraordinary. Also, do not fear, the combination of these different elements does not ruin the flow of the story. What do I mean by this? Even at its peak, when the suspense and mystery are at the highest point, there is still humor present. And it does not ruin it for you. It brings a smile to your face, but your mind is still immersed and you cannot wait to see what happens next.

I cannot say much else without spoiling the story, as it is quite a short read. I can just repeat what I said at the beginning. This book would be a hit with the youngsters at elementary schools, and the author should look into that.

As far as the rating is concerned, the youngster in me enjoyed it, so I have no problem with giving it a…

Book recommendation: 10/10

Most Anticipated Books (July 2017)

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I have been feeling sick lately and ran out of time for a better article, but still wanted to give you guys something. Here are three bestselling pre-order paperbacks and three bestselling pre-order hardcovers. I hope you find something you would like to read.

Paperback

Tower of Dawn

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Price: US$10.18
Publication date: 05 Sep 2017

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two : The Official Playscript of the Original West End Production

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Price: US$10.18
Publication date: 25 Jul 2017

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Between Two Worlds : Lessons from the Other Side

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Price: US$16.31
Publication date: 08 Aug 2017

From Tyler Henry, a twenty-year-old clairvoyant and star of E!’s hit reality series Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry, comes Between Two Worlds, a memoir about his journey as a medium thus far.

“Dying doesn’t mean having to say goodbye.”

Tyler Henry discovered his gift for communicating with the departed when he was just ten years old. After experiencing a sudden, accurate premonition of his grandmother’s death—what Tyler would later describe as his first experience of “knowingness”—life would never be the same. Now in his twenties, Tyler is a renowned, practicing medium, star of the smash hit E! reality show, Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry, and go-to clairvoyant of celebrities, VIP’s, and those simply looking for closure and healing. He has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names including Khloe Kardashian, Amber Rose, Margaret Cho, Jaime Pressly, and Monica Potter.

Despite struggling to accept his rare talent, Tyler grew to embrace it, and finally found the courage to share it with—and ultimately change—the world. For the first time, Tyler pulls back the curtain on living life as a medium in his first memoir, in which he fearlessly opens up about discovering his gift as an adolescent, what it’s truly like to communicate with those who have passed, the power of symbolism in his readings, and the lessons we can learn from our departed loved ones. With unparalleled honesty, Tyler discusses how his complex and fascinating gift has changed his perception of the afterlife, and more importantly, how readings can impact our relationships with our closest friends and family once they’re gone.

Hardback

Turtles All the Way Down (Signed Edition)

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Price: US$18.86
Publication date: 10 Oct 2017

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward.

Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity.

Medical Medium Thyroid Healing : The Truth behind Hashimoto’s, Graves’, Insomnia, Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Nodules & Epstein-Barr

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Price: US$25.33
Publication date: 07 Nov 2017

The thyroid is the new hot topic in health. Across age groups, from Baby Boomers (and their parents) to millennials, more and more people—women especially—are hearing that their thyroids are to blame for their fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, memory issues, aches and pains, insomnia, hair loss, hot flashes, sensitivity to cold, and more. Everyone wants to know how to free themselves from the thyroid trap.

As the thyroid has gotten more and more attention, though, these symptoms haven’t gone away—people aren’t healing. Labeling someone with “Hashimoto’s,” “hypothyroidism,” or the like doesn’t explain the myriad health issues that person may experience. That’s because there’s a pivotal truth that goes unnoticed: A thyroid problem is not the ultimate reason for a person’s illness. A problematic thyroid is yet one more symptomof something much larger than this one small gland in the neck. It’s something much more pervasive in the body, something invasive, that’s responsible for the laundry list of symptoms attributed to thyroid disease.

In Medical Medium Thyroid HealingAnthony William, the Medical Medium, reveals an entirely new take on the epidemic of thyroid illness. Empowering readers to become their own thyroid experts, he explains in detail what the source problem really is, including what’s going on with inflammation and autoimmune disease, then offers a life-changing toolkit to rescue the thyroid and bring readers back to health and vitality. It’s an approach unlike any other, and as his millions of fans and followers will tell you, it’s the approach that gets results. Includes photos and recipes.

The Furthest Station : A PC Grant Mystery

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Price: US$16.81
Publication date: 28 Sep 2017

There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.

Enter PC Peter Grant junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying the crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.

Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line.

And time is running out to save them.

With this new novella, bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch has crafted yet another wickedly funny and surprisingly affecting chapter in his beloved Rivers of London series.