Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: ‘Spartan and the Green Egg: the Poachers of Tiger Mountain’

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Shame on us if we can’t do better than this, in producing children’s literature.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/book-review-of-spartan-and-the-green-egg-the-poachers-of-tiger-mountain

How dumb, how gullible, do publishers think children are? And are you comfortable with the idea of a piece of extraterrestrial technology that’s virtually omnipotent and can, and will, give a bunch of kids anything and everything they ask for–instantly?

The more I think about these books, the less I like them. “Egg” the spaceship is presented to us as a machine, but it acts more like a god. And if you think absolute godlike power is a good thing for any children to have, you’re flat-out crazy.

Please! We just have to do better!

Speaking for myself, if God gave me everything I ever asked for, that would be proof He hated me.


Book Review: ‘Visions of Light and Shadow’ by Allison D. Reid

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(Copyright 2018 by Allison D. Reid)

This is the third book in The Wind Rider Chronicles by Allison D. Reid, best known to this blog as our friend “Weavingword.”

Two things make this series stand out from all the others. First, it has a fully Trinitarian theology: no one else I have read in fantasy has been bold enough to try this.

Second, although many–one might even say “most”–fantasy novels are set in an imaginary world similar to our world’s Middle Ages, this series boasts a unique feeling of authenticity. When it comes to the way life was lived by most people in the Middle Ages, Ms. Reid really knows her onions. Her wealth of authentic detail persuades the reader to believe in the story. Food and drink, technology, weapons, architecture, dress, the means of producing everyday goods and services–it’s all here.

And one other thing–tiresome fantasy cliches, like the Invincible Female Warrior, the Crusty But Benign Old Wizard, and Know-It-All Elves, are refreshingly absent from these books. I stand up and cheer for that!

These books are written as a continuous story, which means I had to go back and re-read the first two.

Elowyn and Morganne are two sisters who, having fled their increasingly disturbed home city and a mother who, for reasons we don’t yet know, hates them, have to find a place where they can live normal, peaceful lives. This is hard to do, because their world is under attack by supernatural forces. Morganne, the elder, is a weaver by trade and a scholar by avocation. Elowyn, the younger, has an affinity for the woodlands. These are engaging and believable protagonists.

At the root of their world’s problems is an evil wizard, Braeden, who controls their country’s weak and foolish king and is using necromancy to open, it seems, the gates of Hell and let out all sorts of evil and monstrous beings to prey upon the people. There is a Kinship of warriors who try to fight the evil, but are hard-pressed to keep it from devouring their towns and villages. They’re warriors, but they aren’t supermen. There’s a very real possibility that they won’t be able to hold the line.

There are still some important things that we, the readers, don’t know. Who, exactly, is Braeden, where did he come from, is he even fully human, and why is he doing this? Much of the answer, we expect, lies in the world’s ancient history, which must be painstakingly recovered if there is to be any hope of countering the evil. Why does the sisters’ mother hate her daughters, and who was their father? I strongly suspect the answer to that last question will come as a surprise, if not a shock.

Some readers will wish the story were carried forward at a faster pace–with more reminders, along the way, of what has gone before. But Ms. Reid is improving as a story-teller as she goes along, and I think we must be patient. Meanwhile, there is a well-crafted sense of growing menace that makes me eager for the next book in the series.

These are available both as e-books and paperbacks, and can be ordered through amazon.com.

“Weavingword” is weaving something good here, and I look forward to seeing how it all turns out.


Absolutely Your Last Chance to Buy My Books!

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Yes–this is indeed your last chance to buy my books in the year 2018! If you wait till tomorrow, it’ll be 2019.

So get onto amazon.com and order a couple of ’em, or click “Books” and then the little shopping cart icon and order direct from the publisher. It’s easy! Even I could do it, and I stink at computers.

The saga begins with Bell Mountain and now consists of ten books, with No. 11, The Temptation, just about ready to come off the press. Thrill to wars, miracles, treachery, conversions, really strange and menacing beasts, weird barbaric customs, love, friendship, faithfulness, barbarian invasions, an avalanche–everything that makes life worth living! It’s all in here.

Buy ’em for your kids, and by the time they reach No. 10, The Silver Trumpet, they’ll be old enough to read ’em all over again.

And I have heard, but cannot confirm, that every time anybody buys one of my books, somewhere in the world, a leftid cries “Ouch!”


Memory Lane: Droodles

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“Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch”

Remember “Droodles”? Probably not, unless you’re older than me. Humorist Roger Price–remember him?–launched this fad in 1953, which culminated in a “Droodles” game show on TV for a few months in 1954.

I have received a review copy of The Ultimate Droodles Compendium (the absurdly complete collection of all the classic zany creations of Roger Price), copyright 2019/2020 by Tallfellow Press, Los Angeles. So it’s not yet for sale, but it will be soon.

Hey, this stuff is really funny! I got some nice LOLs out of it. “Droodles” are simple little drawings that don’t make sense until you read the caption. For a little while in 1953-54, Droodles were hot. Then it faded.

As a humorist, Roger Price excelled in pure nonsense and unexpected turns of phrase. He certainly had an unusual mind. I mean, really–“Ship arriving too late to save a drowning witch”? How did he ever think of that?

Anyhow, the “Compendium” is a nice, thick book with glossy pages and quite a few laughs along the way. I recommend it. If you can tolerate Oy, Rodney, you can probably put up with Droodles.


‘Review This? You Gotta Be Kiddin” (2016)

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The books that publicists invite me to review! But they’ll have to go a long, long way to match this one for taking on the appearance of a satire. I mean, really–someone actually wrote this thing on purpose?

https://leeduigon.com/2016/01/05/review-this-you-gotta-be-kiddin/

A sardonic little devil sitting on my shoulder whispers into my ear, “Hey, Lee, you missed a great opportunity here! Is it too late to go back and get a copy of this classic?”

Good grief.


Still Sick (*sigh*)

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All right, here’s the plan: one more blog post after this one, and I’m going back to bed. I got a little sleep last night, which is better than none. My head still hurts.

I probably won’t bring my toy dinosaurs into bed with me, but I’ve got the next best thing: Michael Crichton’s The Lost World (his sequel to Jurassic Park)–in which the author seems to have discovered that Settled Science isn’t really all that settled. I love it when the bad guys try to avoid getting eaten by the Tyrannosaurus by standing as still as statues. “They’re just standing there! Are they crazy?” And Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum in the movies) answers, “No, not crazy. They are misinformed.” Turned out what they “knew” about dinosaurs wasn’t true, after all. But no going back to the drawing board for them.

Hopefully I will read myself to sleep with this and move another two or three hours closer to normalcy. That’s what I’m praying for, at any rate: and thank all of you for your prayers for me.


‘Has She Got the Wrong Number!’ (2016)

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Short answer: No.

The Perky Publicist is always after me to review books that I wouldn’t read even if I knew I was going to live forever and probably run out of books someday. Like for instance:

https://leeduigon.com/2016/07/19/has-she-got-the-wrong-number/

Question: How did the country which squanders more money on “education” than any civilization in all of history wind up with heaven knows how many people believing in past lives?

Yoo-hoo, churches! Did you not hear the alarm bell go off?


Gary Hart, Revisited

https://media.vanityfair.com/photos/57eedb1214bda1f86051b70e/master/w_768,c_limit/gary-hart-trump-politics.jpg

Still a lefty, after all these years…

You probably would have forgotten all about one-time presidential wannabe Gary Hart–if Hollywood hadn’t come along just now with a new movie about what a tragedy it was that this liberal Democrat schlemozzle never got to be president.

I don’t expect to be watching that movie, ever, but the publicity for it made me remember that back in 2005 I reviewed one of Senator Gary Hart’s books. It was only 80-some pages long, but it seemed much longer.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/a-review-of-god-and-caesar-in-america-an-essay-on-religion-and-politics

If you remember this guy at all, I’ll bet you remember him sitting with playgirl Donna Rice on his lap, aboard the good ship Monkey Business. Accused of adultery, he challenged reporters, “Catch me if you can!” So they did. Quite quickly. Adios, presidential aspirations.

Hart, sleazy liberal senator from Colorado, introduces himself, in his book, as “statesman, scholar, attorney, writer.” He brags about his humility. (“Ya know, I’ll bet I’m the humblest guy in this country…”) Well, he’s got a lot to be humble about.

From what I’ve read of the movie, the noozies are the bad guys for derailing the Gary Hart Express in 1988. Apparently they hadn’t yet figured out, back then, that they’re only supposed to go gunning for Republicans. That has since been rectified. Today, every “journalist” understands that.

Anyhow, you can read my review of Hart’s book instead of going to the movie.

It’s a lot cheaper, and won’t give you bad dreams about the money you had to spend on popcorn.


The Rotting Heart of Humanism

Image result for images of the world without us

The World Without Us, by some dork named Weisman, has one redeeming quality. Because it was actually published (and made the New York Times bestseller list, of course), you’ll never have to take our word for it that humanists hate and loathe the human race.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/a-review-of-the-world-without-us

I reviewed this monstrosity in 2007, and eleven years later, I have yet to encounter anything that comes even close to it for a morbid voyeurism for death and decay. Seriously, this guy needs help.

I got paid for reading this book. You won’t be paid, so there’s no incentive for you to read it. Even so, sometimes it’s good to be reminded what we’re up against.

Humanism is Satanism behind a paper screen.


Make Civilization Great Again!

The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization

What was so good about Western civilization, that it galloped past the rest of the world and achieved great things?

The Bible!

In 2011 Vishal Mangalwadi, a scholar from India who converted to Christianity, wrote a book that brilliantly proves that it was the Bible, God’s Word, and nothing else, that made the West great. With the Red Pope yapping about the obligation of countries with decent, relatively honest governments to stop eating food that ought to go to people living in countries with unspeakably corrupt governments, and the need for some even more corrupt world government to “redistribute” everything, Mangalwadi’s book deserves to be read–and re-read–by, well, everyone.

https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/the-book-that-made-your-world-by-vishal-mangalwadi-review

I reviewed his book in 2012, and it’s high time to revisit it. Sure, it’s a long review: but this book deserves one: The Book That Made Your World, by Vishal Mangalwadi.

 


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