Monthly Archives November 2015

The Dragon’s Gold Review

By Ross B. Lampert

Small 4-star rating on dark blue background

Debrah Strait applies some unique twists to classic Young Adult story tropes in The Dragon’s Gold. While fire-breathing dragons, damsels in distress, and bumbling knights are nothing new, the same dragon with a bad cough and a damsel who doesn’t want to be rescued are new, at least in my limited YA reading.

The Tisbees, Sitwells, and Neales are three small but noble clans who occupy the eastern two-thirds of the Isle of Zuber. Before Queen Wiltrude passed away without an heir, the three clans were prosperous, trading with each other and the Sadirrans on the west side of the mountains, and with the peoples across the ocean. But since the queen died, the clans have been reduced to sloth, lethargy, and kidnapping members of the other families for ransom...

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Revision and Self-Editing for Publication Review

Small 3-star rating on dark blue background

Let’s get this on the table right now: Jim Bell does not write a bad craft-of-writing book. Does NOT.

In one case, however, the title of his book does not match the contents. That case is Revision and Self-Editing for Publication. As K. M. Weiland noted in her 3-star review of this book on Goodreads, there’s little here about revision or self-editing. That’s too bad because what little there is clearly shows that if Bell had focused on those tasks, rather than writing yet another book about writing a decent first draft, he could have done well.

Bell divides the book into two sections: “self-editing” and “revision...

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Wool Review

By Ross B. Lampert

4.5-star rating dark blue background

Wool is the title of both the first novella and the first five stories in the Silo series, and the book which rocketed Hugh Howey to science fiction stardom. Deservedly so.

WARNING: There are spoilers in this review. I’ll put them in a different font so you can spot and skip them if you wish.

Wool is the story of a large, thoroughly developed community of people (hundreds if not a few thousand) who have lived for a long time in a 144 story deep underground silo. One of many, as it turns out, but the residents of Silo 18 don’t know that there are other silos until late in the story. Until then, only a select few even know that they’re “Silo 18.”

The silo culture is divided into dozens of functional groups: the Mechanicals live in the “down deep,” the lowe...

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