Skeletons

   SKELETONS ISBN: 978317(incomplete) Xlibris publishing, copyright and written by Bryce Wellington Rhymer.

Sub-titled “Poetry of Human Nature”, this little book consists of a large collection of poems exploring individual thoughts and emotions as one wanders through life. Characteristically, as with thoughts themselves, the subjects presented do not follow any particular pathway. They range through “A Retiree’s View, A Sad Reality, Alone, Poetic Insight, Wrong Doing” and a host of others. They explore subjects of love, why one may enjoy writing poetry, relationships, “who’s in charge of you”, how continued disregard of basic discipline will cause the downfall of any institution and numerous other thoughts every individual considers, even if not more than occasionally.

Discussion: The reader will discover that the interesting contents of this little book have been quite well provided in the description employed for its introduction to the prospective reader. Exactly as described, it is a simplistically written tale of human behavior and how such individuals realistically think. A recounting, in a rhythmic poetic pattern, the often immense depths and flow of emotions, feelings and thoughts we all harbor but do not express. Thus, they simply add a little more to the already heavy psychological luggage many individuals carry through life as “Skeletons in your closet.”

4* Quite fascinating assembly of thoughts/emotions shared by all.

Tap Sapiens

Tap Sapiens (Reign of Sapiens’ Evil [R.O.S.E.] Book 1) published, copyright and written by Robin T. T. Poon.

This post-apocalyptic, Sci-Fi opens with young Brandi Perry travelling on a bus through sections of the countryside varying from complete destruction and ruin, small towns with inhabitants living on a barely above starvation level, areas of obvious wealth and plenty, and finally arriving at the army’s station where she is to be inducted into the armed services. After the usual examinations, issue of clothing, etc. she is assigned to a barracks with other new inductees. After ‘lights out’ she finds herself to be overcome with restlessness and quietly moves to the door, exits and wanders throughout much of the area including the officer’s building. Here she has an almost disastrous encounter with two officers, one of which is the commanding general. She returns to her own building where she is greeted by her immediate bunk mate. Gradually, the reader discovers that Brandi’s reason for joining the army is to somehow destroy the stranglehold it has upon the populace through the inequality dictated by the Supremo and enforced by his army. Death and destruction not only are continuing but actually increasing quite rapidly. She discovers that her bunk mate has suffered greatly, as have others whom she gradually begins gathering to her in a small group. After boot training, assignments are made and she finds that she has been promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and moved to another building where she now has only one other roommate. This person, also having been poorly treated by the army, but continuing because of the needs of her family, becomes convinced of Brandi’s sincerity, and joins her group. From this point, the activity escalates as more about Sapiens becomes apparent and with Brandi developing a problem because of a growing attachment to the equally affected general who allowed her to retreat to her own barracks that first night when she wandered into the officers’ quarters.

Discussion; the author has set forth a complicated tale of revolt against tyranny complicated by introduction of romance. It moves along relatively well, is peopled with interesting characters and generally should appeal to those who like dystrophic tales with an emotional component. A number of characters are unaccounted for, bits of early history are injected in a somewhat ‘startling’ manner and other minor features no doubt will disappear as the author continues to mature.

4* dystrophic tale; surprising developments and a bit of romance.

What to do with POTASS

What to do with POTASS ISBN: 97809990589372 Mystery House Publishing copyright and written by Glenn Shepard.

Sub-titled “A comedic novella of political errors” the reader finds an oddly dressed but narcissistic President of the United States making idiotic decisions with respect to accompanying legislators on the golf course. From this unflattering introduction of today’s duly elected top executive of the United States, the parody continues as a lowly positioned building custodian who is relatively knowledgeable about aspects of public interest in the president, is elevated to a silly but important position on this executive’s staff. In this position he learns of several plots that are being generated to do away with the President. The tale continues as each plot is attempted to be carried out by each inept politician while POTASS, in his usual fashion, fails to listen to his informer’s inadequate attempts to aid him in avoiding the situation.

Discussion: This is another author’s contribution to this pasquinade of usually only slightly disguised varying degrees of derision toward duly elected President Trump. It is surprising and most regrettable for this reviewer to find it written by this particular recognized and intelligent author. The populace now has been subjected to three years of negative material that has been repeated ad nauseum about the man. And please, do NOT dismiss my remarks as those of a die-hard Republican. Through the years I have voted for each party’s presidential candidates depending upon my judgement of the candidate’s qualifications, not the party. Thus, it is sincerely hoped that my remarks will be accepted for the observations. No political or derogatory overtones are meant or implied. To begin, I heartedly concur with much that is here. The man is objectionable in many ways – appears to be ego-centric and narcissistic, seemingly inattentive and often ignores what others consider good advice (although with passing time evidence has vindicated a number of his criticized decisions).  Also he can be crude, quite abrasive and appears to enjoy spouting copious and often poorly considered opinions on twitter. But again parenthetically, many of these same traits are quite noticeable in other successful persons, even those without his range of successful achievements before assuming the presidency. A prime example, his predecessor whose narcissism and ego-egocentricity were just as noticeable, even though his achievements were unremarkable and definitely quite in minimal number demonstrating his qualifications to be elected President of the country. Then following election, his mistakes and/or miscalculations were numerous but only cautiously referred to even when blatantly apparent (with increasingly solid evidence of wrong doing only recently surfacing). Perhaps one most prominent example, his authorized delivery of a huge quantity of U. S. taxpayers’ dollars in cash to an enemy country. Our reward? Liberation of a soldier captured after deserting his duty post in the front lines of action. Sadly, the hesitancy of the time to address this and other mismanaged incidences may well be the reason the mass of derogatory material has occurred against the present POTUS. Such assumption easily may be made when considering the prominence accorded the extremely sensitive term ‘racism’ and the adverse thoughts conjured up by the term with that President. After suffering through eight years of this perceived restriction, or at least seeming need to minimize perceived ‘wrong-doings’, perhaps its removal has been enough to release the long pent-up desire by the media and even individuals to be able again to discuss freely perceived inadequacies in POTUS. For example, Trump’s apparent concurrence with Putin’s position and the entire Russian election interference situation in disagreement with the FBI/CIA repeatedly has been heavily criticized. But this also currently is under reconsideration as the result of a recent official report offering sharp criticism of the repeated inadequate and even seemingly bordering criminal performance by these ‘pillars of justice’ of the U. S. Government. But then again, there are his improper call to the newly elected President of Ukraine; his involvement in a poorly-thought-out series of associated events and more. BUT ENOUGH! As previously stated, the discussion of his inadequacies now has continued ad nauseum for more than three consecutive years. And the history of this country is replete with a long list of pros and cons of the activities of every president this country has had.

So to summarize: records quite clearly show that at his time the former occupant of the White House made a sizable number of often minimized mistakes that included appointing and retaining a Secretary of State who knowingly was involved in activities detrimental to our country while compiling, with her somewhat tainted former president husband, a huge personally overseen fortune. Additionally, his own final departure from office shows a sizable increase in net worth, his entire party in disarray and a totally confused country. Meanwhile, the overall activity of the sitting president, at least to the present moment, has appeared to be highly productive for the United States and its residents – accomplishments largely resulting from his activity alone. The opposing political party’s outright obstruction long has been as blatantly evident as has the lackadaisical aid from his own. So to reiterate, from this reviewer’s sincere attempt at impartial examination, this book is very well-written in the author’s usual manner, but from this reader’s perspective and most apologetically to the author, it is a tedious repetition of material the likes of which has inundated the media, the airways and especially the late night comedy shows for an inordinate period of time.

2* For reasons cited in the discussion and apologies to a fine author.

Consensusland

      Consensusland ISBN: 9781483491103 (Lulu Publishing rev. date: 11/16/2018) copyright and written by Mark Helfman.

Subtitled, A Cryptocurrency Utopia, “This book explores the social and cultural side of cryptocurrency. It examines the ways in which the world will change when cryptocurrency becomes a normal way to do business. It probes the pros and cons. It offers point and counterpoint. It looks at how cryptocurrency changes the way people think and act.” The author approaches his task in a fictional story as follows. Successful small American pharmaceutical manufacturer Quentin Taylor is desirous of expanding his business but has little success in obtaining the necessary funds because he ‘is too small’, ‘does not have enough successful patents’ (even though he was listed as one of the top CEO’s holding two highly credible patents). Further he did not have sufficient collateral to float the necessary loans and was completely frustrated. Suddenly he receives a one-time deal offering, complete start-up of new state-of-the-art labs, tech and a headquarters of at least six stories in a downtown location and all other necessities at no cost, if he will move his operations to a small Caribbean island, named Consensusland. The city/state recently had been touted as a growing principality that was rapidly growing and ‘different’. It was established and functioned in a milieu totally controlled by the country’s currency, a strange one collected by many individuals in America and other countries, but seemingly never used but retained as a type of hedge fund. In fact his medical/legal director included some of their currency in her portfolio. He makes the trip to the island with his wife and his medical/legal director. They are wined and dined, the glowing proposition is explained in detail and he is leaning toward acceptance although his director is more hesitant. They are scheduled to meet the island’s governor the following day, but upon returning to their hotel encounter their hotel owner. He suggested an evening trip to the beach where they meet the originator of the country’s presently used currency. This man now is discovered to be involved in still another project, development of a new currency. Accompanied by input from others, whom Quentin had just met during the day, also were in the beach gathering, He is appraised of the existence of wide dissatisfaction that exists with the manner in which the country is managing the cryptocurrency presently in use. They explain that this ‘similar but different’ currency their splinter group have developed and whose use they just are initiating, is as a reaction to, and remedy for, the unpopular functions for which the government now employs the one presently in use. The body of the tale is composed of Quentin’s action, his vacillation and ultimate decision as the pros and cons of the various components are revealed and discussed.

Discussion: The author has set forth a most interesting fictional tale about a factual subject of increasingly close study today. The intensive investigation is increasingly imperative because many, if not all, of present day society will be forced to face it at a rapidly approaching time. The security of Internet constantly is under attack. As repeatedly reported by the media, thousands are losing personal data at a rapid pace. I specifically recall reading about the 2017 ransomware attack that reportedly affected more than 100 different countries and crippled UK’s National Health Service for an extended period of time. Similarly the huge loss of data from Singapore’s government health service and others. As a result, something new is imperative. Blockchain is one most prominently growing in acceptance. Reportedly it is a technology where information is retained in ‘blocks’ that are chained together and retained in such a manner that attempting to hack would require far more time and energy to make the attempt worthwhile because each block would need to be attacked individually. As the author points out, politics and fraud probably still could exist, but it can’t be laundered or ‘go missing’. Apparently, once stored on blockchain however, cryptocurrency is required for their exchange and one of the problems here is that others may be designed to replace the one in use. One of these currencies, from the few hundred now available that seems to have gained a particular degree of prominence is Bitcoin, which is beyond this discussion. Suffice it to say, the author has set forth a fact-filled discussion in a most enjoyably fictional presentation.

5*Captivating fictional presentation of important factual material.

Nightmare City

NIGHTMARE CITY ISBN: 9781698565439 apparently published copyright and written by P. S. Newman.

This Book 1 of the Nightmare City Series, introduces Eden Maybrey, a shade hunter. Shades are the living manifestation of persons conjured up by individuals during a period of sleep. They range in size from small viscous to huge viscous truck sized and occasionally larger animals, as well as human-like individuals. It is believed all are destructive, some being able to electrocute an individual by touch, others coated in flame and/or able to discharge balls of flame from themselves like projectiles from a gun and produce death and destruction in numerous other ways.  Much of the city is in ruins and the inhabitants in constant fear for their lives. Thus, the remaining portions of the city are heavily fortified and an entire department of shade hunters has been established and functions 24/7. Occasionally, a helpful rather than destructive, variant appears. However, because so much destructive activity has been exhibited by so many, the law has decreed that all must be eliminated on sight. Serious consequences result from disobeying this law or in any way attempting to shield or not report such aberrations. Because of the increasing number of lives often heroically saved by these ‘good shades’ a clandestine operation has been initiated by a group banded together as the Society for Higher Acceptance and Integration of Dreams (SHAID). It has been initiated, and originally funded by a pair of wealthy owners of a pharmacological manufacturing company, David and Sean, the first of whom is about to marry Cecelia, the city’s most relied upon homicide detective. The reader further discovers that, unknown to other than Cecelia, her 17-year-old sister Bella, David and Sean and a very few Directors of SHAID, Eden also is a shade who was dreamed into existence by Bella. From this point the plot expands to include another prominent shade hunter who literally despises the aberrations and is assigned to partner with Eden; a ‘good’ shade produced from Eden’s dreams; a shade sword that can think and speak; and several additional characters who produce a quite involved series of activities.

Discussion: To divulge additional material from this book would be a distinct disservice to the prospective reader. It is pure dark paranormal fantasy moving at an accelerated pace through an entangled plot that is quite unique. It offers a ‘new wrinkle’ that should appeal to, and be most enjoyed by, devotees of the genre.

5* Fast paced, pure dark paranormal fantasy with a ‘new wrinkle’.

The World According to Jennie Morris

The World According to Jennie Morris, published, copyright and written by Jennie Morris.

Sub-titled “Adventures and mis-adventures of a single female traveler”, the author provides an astonishingly extensive list of places visited in the world, portions of which had been visited before many of today’s amenities were available, and were revisited more recently. Included are large portions of Africa, Near and Far East and South-east Asia including Cambodia, the Killing fields and the total area dominated by the Khimar Rouge, Borneo, Australia, New Zealand, Russia including the Trans-Siberian Express, Central and South America and more. Her experiences have included diving Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as well as other notable as well as lesser known areas, swimming with Shark and Semiaquatic reptiles, chasing Komodo Dragons and more. This fascinating book can provide an interesting escape for anyone needing one and for the travel junkie it presents a remarkably extensive list of areas to peruse in attempting to choose their next itinerary.

Discussion: The recounting of this woman’s truly remarkable travels is even more fascinating when considering all have been made largely on a somewhat restricted budget. They, along with snippets of the authors thoughts provided here also provide some insight to the actual answers to the constantly recurring questions she receives as to why she would travel to places that so often called for dangerous activity in miserable circumstances. Her answer always explains that it no doubt may be difficult to understand and is to a certain extent even for her. Regardless, she, has found each journey to be a compellingly enjoyable experience.

As just stated above, a most pausible answer to these questions may be found in the book’s prologue. When one considers the restriction on travel funds, one is aware that this fact advantageously functioned to bring her intimately into contact with the working and/or poorer classes of residents in all of these countries, thus providing a greater understanding of the true nature of each country, its people and its basic culture. The author states: “You learn a great deal about humanity by frequenting waiting places” – airports, train stations, boat docks, doctor’s offices and such, and even more especially when attempting to cross borders of countries less frequently traveled. “Cultures lay themselves bare in these times of watching.” More importantly perhaps, “You also cannot escape yourself, and so much downtime comes from excruciating amounts of reflection and overthinking.” And here perhaps, the real underlying reason appears. She states “I grew up in a family of alphas, a family of chaos, anger, jealousy, put-downs and violence. I was never thought much of by my siblings, and all of my attempts at being loved and accepted were met with derision and insults.” It is a well-known fact that thwarting of a young child’s attempts to earn familial love not infrequently leads to the world of books. This activity allows escape for the individual whenever desired, and into a totally different and magical world where dreams can be realized and unwanted thoughts ignored for a time. The author discovered the same escape at an early age and with growth and maturity was able to obtain the means to actually realize many of those dreams. Her prologue ends with the somewhat poignant “Though I have forgotten more than I remember regarding my travel adventures of the past 20 plus years, I wanted to put a few on paper to those who may enjoy a break from life for a little while.”

Conclusion: Thus, this once poorly understood child has produced a book that actually serves two purposes. The first she has verbalized. The second is that it provides the travel aficionado the basics for a wide range of excellent travel itineraries from which he/she can select their next series of adventures. A third, possibly only vaguely considered, is to follow either of two routes to give even more help to those who best can benefit. First, each of the areas discussed could be expanded by setting forth more details about the places, fellow travelers, and adaptations made by particular residents of these countries to their dreams within the mores of their society. (A plethora of stories lie within the brief synopses that have offered only a tantalizing hint of the many tales waiting to be set forth) Second, the huge number of opportunities for fictional treatment of the material presented certainly deserves consideration.

Summary: This book, although it is granted to suffer from numerous faults set forth by most writers in their first attempts, provides synopses of material that fulfill the author’s stated purpose “to put a few (journeys) on paper to those who may enjoy a break from life for a little while”. But most importantly from this reader’s perspective, it presents synopses of tales a reader hopes she will expand upon in her non-fictional prose to provide further substance for those ‘needing a break’. But also, consideration of a fictional line of endeavor could be considered for the huge number of individuals who look forward to stories that satisfy their needs in the many genres nuanced by the brief descriptions provided.

5* Recommended for targeted audience; others as well for reasons explained.