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My Thoughts on The Swarm by Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnston

My Thoughts on The Swarm by Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnston


Yes, I am still reading the Ender-Verse books as they come out and I am able to get my hands on a copy.

The Swarm was an interesting addition to the Ender-verse.  And to be honest, I was only engaged with it as a reader because of how much I knew about, and cared for the characters.  As a stand alone, The Swarm was not that great.  But as a continuation in the story of the First Formic Wars, and how the Second Formic War happened, well in that light it was an interesting bit of “history,” if you will.

I was surprised with one thing I can share here.  I was very surprised with how excited I was to see my old friends, Victor and Imala, Lem Jukes (who I hated at first, but am now starting to like a bit more every time I get to see his character ARC), Mazer Rackam (let’s face it, I was a fan of Mazer’s since Ender’s Game), and Bingwen.


Book Reviews

My Thoughts on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

My Thoughts on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson


It is reading books like this, published over a hundred years ago (in fact, it was published 96 years before I was born) that reinforces Classic Literature as my favorite genre, well, second favorite genre, if you are one of those who also consider to works of Charles Dickens to be a genre all to themselves.

I loved the style of story telling Stevenson uses in telling this classic tale of a man with two personalities.  Previous to reading the book, I was familiar with a handful of cartoon parodies and retellings of Jekyll & Hyde.  The most memorable I can think of is Looney Tunes “Dr. Jerkyl’s Hide” where Sylvester the Cat is chased into Dr. Jerkyl’s lab by a couple dogs.  Most recently, I was introduced to the Broadway production “Jekyll & Hyde” a few months back when my good friend, and fellow fantasy author, KR Martin, recommended it to me.   So I knew the basics, there was a doctor obsessed with human nature, he wanted to scientifically prove the fundamental difference between good and evil, and show that he could separate the good of a man from his evil tenancies by way of potion.

Therefore when I read the book, and learned that the original story was indeed told from the point of view of Dr. Jekyll’s lawyer, I was a little surprised but mostly impressed.

Dr. Jekyll’s obsession with understanding the fundamental difference between the good and evil inherent in every man who ever lived. Mr. Hyde’s desire to grow stronger and become his own man.

Dr. Jekyll’s friends concern for him, while despising influence they believe the unruly Mr. Hyde has over their good doctor friend.

I do not want to go into any spoilers beyond what is commonly known in pop culture about Jekyll and Hyde’s story, so let it suffice to say that I greatly enjoyed this unique look into the human psyche.  The thought provoking unasked question, of what would Mr. Hyde look like if I took the potion.  And the even greater question, what would my response be to such a potion.  Would I dare drink it?  Would I loose control of my abilities and need Mr. Hyde after first making his acquaintance?


Book Reviews

My Thoughts on “Innocents Abroad: The New Pilgrims’ Progress” by Mark Twain

My Thoughts on “Innocents Abroad: The New Pilgrims’ Progress” by Mark Twain


My first observation on “Innocents Abroad” was how much things stay the same.  This spring everyone was on quarantine for COVID-19, and in “Innocents Abroad” there were multiple ports along the Mediterranean that were closed off to Sam Clemens and his fellow Americans because of a bad Cholera, and some ports they entered, the ship, crew, and passengers were forced to be quarantined on their boat for 14 days before being allowed into the city.

My second observation was about all the relics Clemens and his fellow passengers got to see.  How many times during the trip they got to see the same relics in different museums and cathedrals.  How many different trinkets Clemens’s fellow tourists collected, and the like.

I also really enjoyed his unfiltered opinions about the various locations they visited, especially the Holy Land.

But I think what I enjoyed the most about “Innocents Abroad” was listening to Mark Twain’s unique way of retelling ancient local lore that was shared with him by the various tour guides.


Book Reviews

My Thoughts on “The Prince and the Pauper” by Mark Twain

My Thoughts on “The Prince and the Pauper” by Mark Twain


Mark Twain is without a doubt my second favorite author of all time.  The Prince and Pauper was a lot of fun for me to read, but to be honest the entire I read it I was like, “Prince, you’re a POOR PEASANT NOW!  When are you going to start acting like it?”

At least the Pauper in place of the Prince learned his role and acted like he should have in his new role.

But, I really enjoyed this story, and I really loved seeing how these two completely different people reacted to the other’s station.

This is one story I look forward to sharing with my children.


Book Reviews

My Thoughts on Legacy of Dragonwand Book 2 by Dan Peyton

My Thoughts on Legacy of Dragonwand Book 2 by Dan Peyton


To be honest, I enjoyed Book 1 more than Book 2.  Legacy of Dragonwand Book 2 was more detailed in the worldbuilding, the explanations of the magical system in the series, and a whole more backstory, but it was still a fun fantasy adventure, and I look forward to reading the epic conclusion to the series.


Book Reviews

My Thoughts on Legacy of Dragonwand Book 1 by Dan Petyon

My Thoughts on Legacy of Dragonwand Book 1 by Dan Petyon




“Dragonwand Book 1” was a lot of fun for me.  I thought it was a great beginning to a much larger story, and I look forward to seeing how the series plays out.


Dan Peyton


Book Reviews

My Thoughts on “The Fellowship of the Ring” by JRR Tolkien

My Thoughts on “The Fellowship of the Ring” by JRR Tolkien


I am reading The Lord of the Rings with my twins.  We recently finished reading “The Fellowship of the Ring.”

It has been a lot of fun reading this favorite book of mine with my girls.  They get so excited and worried and curious about what is happening next.

As for me, I have noticed how much Tolkien writes in passive narrative, yet to me he is a master world-builder, amazing at character development, and writes a fantastic story.

Though, I may admit that part of my love of his story is how much of it I grew up with.  I mean I knew who Bilbo & Frodo Baggins were before I knew of Garth Brooks (my favorite singer) or Charles Dickens.

Book Reviews Uncategorized

My Thoughts on Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift

My Thoughts on Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift


Like so many classic titles, I came into this story knowing a thing or two about the story.  I recall watching a made-for-TV Mini-Series of “Gulliver’s Travels” when I was a teenager.  And I recall watching a cartoon or two about the story.  So when “Gulliver’s Travels” finally got to the top of my read list, I was excited, and Jonathon Swift did not disappoint.

I loved all the political and social commentary, especially all the times he called out his society for its various injustices and customs that are contrary to common sense when talking to people from various parts of the world.

However, I do have this question.  After the first adventure, and how badly that went for him, what in the world did he expect to happen on his following adventures?  I mean, when he left on his forth journey, what was he expecting?  To leave England, have an uneventful merchant trip, and come home?  Seriously, I bet he was excited to be exiled on the fourth journey, and excited to land and begin his fourth adventure.


I loved this read.  There were a few times I laughed out loud.  More than once I wondered if Jonathon Swift was insane to attack his countrymen so openly, and the entire time I kept thinking how much political landscapes have not changed in the past 300 years.

I also feel bad for Gulliver’s wife and children.  Each time he came home, they were so excited to learn he was alive, but he was a completely different man.  His family never got the chance to get to know him because he changed so dramatically after each adventure, and he missed out on his children’s childhood while adventuring in whole new worlds.

Book Reviews

My Thoughts on “The Autobiography of Mark Twain Part 1” from The Mark Twain Project

My Thoughts on “The Autobiography of Mark Twain Part 1” from The Mark Twain Project


I loved this so much!

I had a lot of fun listening to old stories of from one of my favorite authors.

I loved his way of telling an autobiography, rambling here and there in no order what so ever, just talking about whatever interested him at the time he was speaking with his stenographer.

I can honestly say that in the past hundred plus years, if Mark Twain’s point of view on politics is any indication, that his and my political points of view are identical.  And that the American Political Landscape has not changed at all in the last hundred years.  The only things that have changed are the names of the players, and the quantities of money that are being put into the political machines of either party.

I loved listening to his boyhood adventures, and listening to him compare what happened as a boy to what he described in Tom Sawyer.

The various little stories and newspaper articles he wrote for various journals that he was able to add to his collection of autobiographical sketches were very interesting.

And I can attest to the idea that little scraps of news that happened in his day are of interest to readers, or at least me, when I read a hundred years later.

One thing about Mark Twain’s autobiography that I do not know is how much of his life was truly colorful, or did it just seem colorful because of his unique way of describing it.


Book Reviews

My Thoughts on The Green Ember by S.D. Smith

My Thoughts on The Green Ember by S.D. Smith


My wife recently bought The Green Ember Series by S.D. Smith on Audible for our kids to listen to, and they loved it so much, and have listened to it so often, that I decided I would listen to it.


It was a fun story about some rabbits who were at war with wolves.

Now, I do not mean to go on a rant here, but as a life long lover of wolves, I do not understand why they are always the bad guys in kids stories.  I mean I love wolves.  They are so beautiful and are so intelligent, and, well I am ranting again, so I’ll stop.


The story of these rabbits was engaging, and I look forward to continuing the series.