Overall Score: 91/100 (9.1 out of 10)
Book One: 94/100 (9.4 out of 10)
Book Two: 87/100 (8.7 out of 10)
Book Three: 91/100 (9.1 out of 10)
Book One "Era of Undying"
Score: 94/100 (9.4 out of 10)
“Era of Undying” by Emilie Knight is a very strong fantasy novel with compelling main characters that introduces us to an intriguing--albeit frightening--universe in which the luxury of death has been robbed from its inhabitants and miscreants lurk around every corner of the countryside. It is beautifully written and well-paced.
What really makes this book work, beside the solid writing by Knight, are the two leads: Pen and Tellus. No, this isn't a couple on a vacation that went south. This isn't a love story. It's more complex and unique than that. The two have such great chemistry. Their relationship evolves throughout the book. At first, there's a lot of tension as Tellus, captain of the king's guard, is charged with keeping Pen under lock and guard. However, they grow together with every new chapter and every turn of the page. They develop almost like a father-daughter or big-brother/little-sister relationship. Pen is constantly amused by Tellus's vulnerabilities and quirks. Tellus, despite his reputation and large stature, is a soft-hearted, compassionate, and loving person with an eye for the queen but an unwavering loyalty to the king. We even get some moments in which Pen rolls her eyes at him flirting with some women around a campfire.
Perhaps the best moment in the entire book is just a moment when Pen wakes up from a torturous nightmare to find herself being comforted and coddled by Tellus who says he didn't know what else to do as he didn't want to see her suffering like that.
Pen is also a very good character. It's not just that she has a pretty cool power in being able to weaponize her blood and take advantage of the undying like everyone else. What really makes her character work is the amount of peril she is placed in and the relentlessness of the peril. If you've ever seen the movie “Gravity” starring Sandra Bullock, the character is constantly dealing with one crisis-in-space after another. Pen's tumultuous journey in this book has a similar feeling. What's interesting is that she is a vulnerable character despite being unable to die or be permanently maimed. We still worry about her or a loved one being seriously hurt.
This book features one of the most touching character deaths we've read in a fiction novel in a long time, and it's largely due to the way that Knight is able to make us care about her characters.
One of the things that makes Pen a strong character is her conscience. She is always concerned about others and the consequences of her actions. She wonders about the suffering that the “undying” experience after being decapitated, burned, or even eaten. The fact that these things actually concern her are very telling about her humanity and good heart.
Unfortunately, a lot of the positive, touching spirit of this book gets buried in the next book, which focuses more on the dark fantasy, torture porn, and body horror aspects of the series that are only briefly touched on here. Near the end of this book, we are also introduced to Dagger and Scythe, the title characters of book two, although they're more of a cameo than major characters here. We're also introduced to Nyx, another major character.
Among the many trials Pen and Tellus face is a dramatic encounter with a cannibalistic tribe. Perhaps the author recently played “The Last of Us” around the time she wrote this book? You get those “creepy cannibal vibes” from these tribes people like you got from David in that game.
Tellus is also put in danger at various points in the book along with Pen. The two have many close calls. It's this tension, peril, danger, conscientiousness, and intrigue that make “Era of Undying” a very strong fantasy novel!
Book Two “Dagger & Scythe”
Score: 87/100 (8.7 out of 10)
This series literally went from FernGully to Hostel in 60 seconds, and the teaser at the end of book one was not adequate preparation for that jarring change in tone. If you didn't get your fill of grotesque horror and dismemberment in book one or were wondering why this dark fantasy series didn't seem so dark after all, then Knight decided to answer your concerns by supercompensating for that in book two.
This series becomes VERY DARK and, in effect, much more niche. This book is not for everyone, especially the faint of heart. We're not prudish either. We've written and consumed some very gnarly stuff too involving flaying, burning, dismembering, live vivisection, impaling, sawing-in-half, and more. However, usually when the flaying, burning, dismembering, live vivisection, impaling, sawing-in-half, etc. are being performed, they are being performed by someone (an antagonist or a villain) who we're supposed to root against or hate.
Imagine if “The Patriot” was “The Story of Colonel Tavington” in which you were supposed to root for the British a-hole as he burned down a church filled with village folk including women, children, and the elderly. No, we want to see a comeuppance. We want to see the wicked one take a bayonet to the throat or fall off Notre Dame Cathedral into a pit of fiery, molten... lava? Anyway, that's not what we get. Instead, we're saddled with two characters—Dagger and Scythe—who, unlike Pen in the previous book, have a moral compass held by about 3-5% of the population: sociopaths. Yes, they're interesting, but in the way that Ted Bundy and Elizabeth Bathory are interesting. We wouldn't invite them into our home or want to hang out with them for any significant amount of time.
The two have somewhat of a chemistry, but in the way that Charles Manson and the Manson Girls had somewhat of a chemistry. First of all, they're forced together through an arranged marriage of utter convenience. We only learn about their prior somewhat-closeness through offhand mentions and passing comments. The two fight well together and make a great team in that regard.
The way that gore is described in this book is both terrific and horrifying—isn't it supposed to be? The screams of victims are compared to music, and the blood and guts are said to shine, glisten, and glow. It's highly glamorized to an almost sickening degree. But at the same time, it's obvious that the author is not entirely relishing in it because the victims are sometimes humanized and given a bit of a personality, enough to make us feel even more horrible.
Putting aside the sadism for a moment, Dagger is actually not a great guy in almost any way other than his ability to fight. He expresses all the red flags of an abusive, controlling, manipulative partner as in how he consistently guilts Scythe whenever she gains the attention of anyone who isn't him. He is easily annoyed even about minor things she says and seems quick to anger. There is a somewhat funny line after Scythe tries to flirt with a barkeeper for a favor only to get turned down, returning to Dagger and telling him he would've had better luck with him.
Do they worry about each other when the other is suffering or in danger? Yeah. But we're sure Elizabeth Bathory worried about her kids between the times she was burning young servant girls with hot tongs and stabbing them with needles. Does that make us care about her and her kids? No. It makes us hope they fall into a time machine to 1450 to get impaled by Vlad as opposition. And now we're the monsters. “Master Skywalker, there are too many of them. What are we going to do?”
Beside the characters seeming problematic, especially compared to Pen and Tellus in book one, the plot is also somewhat hollow by comparison. The thing about a plot as Knight effectively demonstrated in book one is that it needs to move along in a meaningful way from scene to scene and place to place. Instead, it just kinda drags and happens in book two. We're sure we're supposed to be witnessing the growth in the relationship between Dagger and Scythe like with Pen and Tellus, but they are almost impossible to like and cheer for by virtue of being such despicable people, bloodlust or no bloodlust. But back to the topic of the plot, it's actually so hollow and uneventful that 3/4ths of the way in, Nyx has to show up in true Deus Ex fashion and essentially tell them, “I know you've been dragging your feet and grinding your gears in essentially the same unchanged situation for 150 pages, but I now have a new plo—I mean, new task for you.” There is seriously a moment in this book when Dagger & Scythe have nothing better to do, so they consider overthrowing the king only to conclude that he's "not really a tyrant" and that they just don't like being told what to do. Insert Linkin Park music here.
It's very difficult to hate Nyx in either book. She's polite, she's understanding, she puts up with truckloads of BS including from Dagger and Scythe, and most importantly: none of this is really her fault, she's just doing what she does because she needs to do it. She's like Galactus. We don't blame her at all.
So, why is this still an 8.7/10 despite the much less likable characters and weaker plot compared to book one? Because of the signature great writing of Emilie Knight, especially her vivid descriptions and masterful use of the English language to shock and horrify.
Also because of all the kudos to the living skeleton people and intrigue about how they're able to eat and dance despite being... skeleton people.
Book Three “Grief of the Undying”
Score: 91/100 (9.1 out of 10)
“Grief of the Undying” gets the story back on track as we rejoin the most compelling character in this series, Pen, in the aftermath of the Era of Undying. The spirit of adventure and peril return as well. So, a lot of the things that made book one work make their way back in along with some of the macabre yet intriguing elements of book two. The problem is, the second most compelling character from book one (Tellus) is absent along with many of the conflicts in the previous books. The Era of Undying is over. Scythe & Dagger had mostly resolved their issues in the previous book, and the only things really left to explore that the reader has any emotional investment in are Pen's unresolved personal problems. Pen has experienced tremendous loss and is still coping with grief. In fact, this is quite a good book about trudging on in spite of loss and grief. Among her unresolved personal issues is her late father, which prompts some of the most interesting parts of the book as Pen seeks to uncover the grave (pun intended) secret her father may have been buried with. There's a ere of mystery to Pen pursuing the truth.
Now, book three does something that book two did that seemed quite jarring. We get introduced to the fresh new plot about 1/3rd of the way through. This book goes from an emotion-filled yet exciting town-hopping, grave-robbing adventure to an almost Sherlock Holms/Jack the Ripper plot involving a mysterious string of deaths that needs to be solved. This plot involving the Fang of Stymphalia consumes much of the remainder of the book. We thought this series was winding down, but side-quests can be fun, right? Maybe there was more to all of it, but we were kinda distracted with battling PTSD flashbacks from all the losses in book one and the entirety of book two.
Thankfully, this Fang of Stymphalia arc prompts the return of some of the better characters in the series—the members of the Ragged Wolves from book one. It also involves Dagger & Scythe from book two, but they do seem a bit neutered as they take up a supporting role again. They still seem to have their signature oddities including eliciting their cold and snarky personalities. You can easily pick that up by the way they talk and act. Raisa and the other supporting characters never rise to being nearly as likable or compelling as Tellus was. It would be the equivalent of Wreck-it Ralph excluding Ralph and focusing on Vanellope and Fix-it Felix Jr. The latter two are great and fun characters, but something just feels missing without Ralph. Something feels missing without Tellus. It's not like the author forgot about him either (at least), but there's still a hole left in his absence.
It's kinda like when a new companion is introduced in Doctor Who--we all naturally hate her/him because we still have a soft spot for the former one. At the same time, Steve Moffit will still try to jam them down our throats promising, "You'll love Clara just as much as Amy! Just give it some time!"
Another thing notable is that the author or narrator's voice intrudes into the prose. This happened in previous books but is most noticeable in book three. For example, there are instances when the author or narrator apparently comes in with expletive-filled reactions to the events that are occurring. For example, to paraphrase, there are times when something will happen to a character or there'll be a big surprise, and the author/narrator's voice will intrude like “Oh, *%&$, did that really happen to that character I'm talking about!? What even the #$*#!?” There are even moments when the author/narrator is outright cheering for the protagonist and for them to do something—almost like “I sure hope Pen bashes in that one guy's face!” It is similar to how color commentators will fill their commentary with OMGs and did-you-just-see-thats to try to add spice for the audience watching at home. However, the reader should be having these reactions organically.
Pen's conscience and humanity is in the driver's seat of the series again as she is consumed by guilt and her aforementioned grief for allowing so many terrible things happen to her loved ones. It's Pen who we really care about, and it's because of this and the author's continued great writing that this book shines. She's always a breath of fresh air in this series.
Get the books at the links below!
Era of Undying
Dagger and Scythe
Grief of the Undying
Score: 89/100 (8.9 out of 10)
We mean the following statement in the most flattering way possible: “Water Witch” by Kelly Brewer is a BEAUTIFUL DISASTER! It is adorably abominable. It is phenomenal and flawed. When you figure out the secret to “reading” it (which we'll reveal later), you realize that this book isn't just surprisingly good, it's borderline an instant-classic! There is so much going for this book when you look past the challenging stylistic choices that seem to make it harder to access what is essentially a very fun story with some awesome characters.
There are so many parts of this that reminded us of Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein. It's not just another story about space marines battling an evil alien menace. Ok, it kinda is. But it's these characters, the action, and the visceral descriptions of sex, gore, and violence that makes this book stand out from other indie books on the subject. This book is messy, often deliberately, creating a feeling of being caught up in the chaos of the action and drama. There are literal space storms occurring in this book, and you feel like you're constantly caught in the middle of one.
This book is filled to the brim with space action, space drama, space storms, space sex, space warfare, space exploration, space fighting, space travel, and more space sex. And did we mention more space sex? And it seems to be very good space sex. The author is very, very, very good at describing the things that matter. Jokes aside, Uranus is actually one of the locations discussed in the story, which apparently centers on our solar system. That created a little bit of a problem in our minds as we started to question why a civilization with such great technology and potential would waste the energy and time necessary to inhabit the gas giants. Aren't they mostly gas with tremendous gravity and “climates” that make them completely uninhabitable? Maybe these planets weren't terraformed. Maybe there were just Dyson spheres or colonies built on or around them or their moons. Maybe we missed that explanation in this maze of a novel—but it did kinda make us wonder and break our suspension of disbelief.
There's also one description in this book that was so hilarious and entertaining that we just need to share. It's when a character named Chamar eats and then achieves a “fully expanded gaseous form.” Not only is this a hilarious description but it's also a very good description since we can imagine how big and bloated Chamar must look and feel.
Now to some real talk. When we flipped through this book the first time, we were initially horrified. It is a dyslexic person's nightmare. It looks like an LSD trip put to paper, or like one of those paintings that looks like someone just randomly threw paint at the canvas but that actually holds some deeper meaning to the artist. This is that painting in book form.
Well, apparently, this book does seem to have something deeper hiding beneath the surface like a $100 bill behind a watermark. It became so difficult to sift through the constantly changing fonts and changes from prose to what seemed like pseudo-poetry that one of us had the idea of running it through a speech-to-text software that sounded like Stephen Hawking. And guess what? This book sounded like a 94 out of 100 like “D'Aprile's Fools” by Michael DeAngelo. It is actually amazing to “read” or hear it this way! The action is good and practically non-stop—the way a good sci-fi novel should be. We're always going from place to place, conflict to conflict, hitting beat after beat. There's a sense of mystery and foreboding. What's more? The core character, Kyle, is actually a pretty interesting character. First of all, he's an overpowered character who happens to be named Kyle. He's not Cypher Rage. He's not Han Solo. He's not Klaatu. He's not Max Rockatansky. He's not Malcolm Reynolds. He's JUST KYLE.
Remember in Monte Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail when we meet the powerful, menacing wizard who just so happens to be named Tim? That's the feeling that we got from Kyle.
There's literally a part of this book when a character says something along the lines of, “We don't have any weapons, but we have Kyle.” How bad#$@ do you need to be to prompt someone to say that? So what saves Kyle from falling into Gary Stu or Mary Sue territory? It's because he does seem to have vulnerabilities. He's a “chimera”--a kind of alien-human hybrid. He's fighting for control of his own body and for the preservation of his conscience the way that Cloud Strife does in Final Fantasy VII. And the author actually does a good job at showing him nearing a more bestial or less-human side. One of the things that seems to be affected is his increased hunger and his aforementioned libido. He also seems to be becoming increasingly more prone to violence and bloodlust. Or maybe we were just reading too much into an otherwise simple story element.
When the gore is described, it's horrifying. There's a scene in here in which dead or nearly-dead aliens are basically vacuum-sealed into body bags for research.
When the space stuff is described, it's convincingly... spacy. We hear about how space travel makes the space marines feel sick or dizzy and that it takes some time to acclimate to. Some of them compare the smaller storms they're facing to the larger ones on bigger planets.
When the sex is described, it's... sexy. Not to get too explicit, but you can read this example:
“Together they were piston[s] in [a] cylinder, fire igniting every stroke, breathing out sweet, hormone-laden exhaust. Kyle’s long hair hung sweaty in her flushed face, plastered across his cheek and neck.”
When the action is described, it's tense and thrilling. It's like Starship Troopers when you just know people are getting messed up in the coming violence and lots of people are probably going to die with no chance of insta-healing or resurrection.
There are also true moments of literary gold like this part when a character considers the contrasting futures of dying and going to heaven or living on with his wife:
“I love both. I will love the life up there, but I embrace my love life down here. Good is good, with a woman and with God. I must live with both of them like best friends, and death will not prevent that. But the wheel of time lays an iron whip on my days. Time is all about business. Linear time is my diligent taskmaster, demanding this body put one foot in front of the other, all the way to the grave. I must keep apace of the fate I was born to until it is my turn to fall under the Great Wheels of Father Time.”
So, this book is so agonizingly close to being one of the most incredible things we've seen in the contest, held back only by its challenging stylistic choices and being short on one or two rounds of edits.
And—wait a minute... what? This is some kind of “space rock opera?” That's a thing that exists? As in it's intended to be performed on a stage by a band with theater actors? That's why there's a giant space guitar on the top of every chapter? That's why parts just randomly become “pseudo-poetry” like song lyrics? Ohhh... So that's why it sounds so good!
Check out this beautiful disaster of a novel and make sure you listen to it via speech-to-text. You won't regret it. It's incredible that way! Check it out on Amazon!
Score: 95/100 (9.5 out of 10)
“The Noble Edge” by Dr. Christopher Gilbert is a deep well of wisdom on the subject of ethics!
Just to get this out of the way, this book is incredibly well-written and well-structured. Everything in this book seems to hit the way it should—the relevant quotes at the beginning of each chapter, the numbered ethics principals isolated into blocks, the superb examples that punch the point home, the diagrams that illustrate what the author is talking about, the “instant replay” sections that review what was was discussed, and the thought experiments that prompt critical thinking.
The aforementioned thought experiments, usually involving the fictitious character Grace in hypothetical or imagined scenarios, are part of what make this book so special and fun to read. It almost becomes like an RPG or a sim game that you get to play along with and ask yourself the all-important questions like “What would I do?” or “What SHOULD I do?” in the scenario that Grace is in. We thought about what we would've done if we accidentally hit someone's car or if $20,000+ was accidentally deposited into our account. Does stopping to think about these things make us unethical when the ethical answer seems so obvious?
This book is actually very entertaining and fun to read for an educational book! While it does feel a little like you're being preached to, the book still invites you to participate and be a part of the learning experience rather than being “taught” or talked down to the whole time. Dr. Gilbert clearly comes across as a voice of authority as well as highly intelligent and insightful. We have access to a well of wisdom here.
The discussions of ethics topics like relativism, subjectivism, and consequentialism are superb.
We have to admit that this book really challenged us. No, it wasn't challenging in terms of being a difficult read (it was actually a very easy read), it was challenging in terms of testing us personally. We kept asking ourselves if we'd actually make the right or ethical choice in a given situation, or if we'd take the easy way out, likely justifying out actions. Consider the following key statement from the book and how it makes you feel: “Ethics are black and white.” To hit this home, there's a statement early in this book essentially says that right is always right and wrong is always wrong no matter how you justify it. You can't be a little pregnant, you're either pregnant or you're not. In the same way, your actions are either ethical or unethical. At least that's what the author proposes. Is he wrong? You be the judge. But he certainly puts his points across in logical, rational, and compelling ways.
Now we know what you're thinking because we thought the same thing: is the author trying to say that the only way to be ethical is to be perfect all the time? Ethical, yes. Perfect? No. In fact, as an example to the contrary, we 100% expected him to propose that we be 100% truthful and transparent 100% of the time. After all, he'd earlier made references to the idea of a “lie of omission” being unethical; however, he later admits that we can't be transparent in 100% of situations and with 100% of people. For example, there are greater considerations sometimes than just sharing everything there is to say. The best example is the dressing room example. What happens when your significant other is trying on clothes there and asks what you think of them? Would you be blunt and tell them the item is overpriced “garbage” and would make them look hideous? Probably not. That in itself might be considered rude, untactful, and thus unethical. Instead, you—being a courteous partner—might say something like, “I don't think that fits the occasion” or that you think a certain clothing color or type matches them better.
This extends to other things like work, the media, and politics. In the medical field, it might be a more ethical decision not to immediately tell a patient with a life-threatening diagnosis that they're going to die. Why? Because it's statistically possible that diagnosis could be wrong or inaccurate, and it's also statistically true that a patient's outlook on their condition affects their outcomes. In other words, if a patient thinks they're going to die and that they should just give up, they're more likely to just give up and die even if they still had a chance at a healthy life.
There were times when we disagreed with what the author seemed to be proposing, but then realized that disagreeing with him was actually just reaffirming his argument. We quickly realized that we too had the human inclinations to seek the path of least resistance, avoid pain and pursue pleasure, and to justify our actions.
We wanted to briefly add to the end of this that Dr. Gilbert does a great job at demonstrating how a more ethical society--one that is built up of ethical people doing ethical decisions--is tremendously advantageous in the long-term. In short, though, what kind of world do you want to live in? What kind of example do you want to set for future generations to follow?
This is really an incredible book on ethics. We highly recommend it!
Get "The Noble Edge" on Amazon!
Score: 94/100 (9.4 out of 10)
The writing in “D'Aprile's Fools” is superb!
This novel by Michael DeAngelo, the creator of the Tellest literary universe, really benefits from having a very gifted and experienced writer behind it. That's no understatement. DeAngelo is able to craft words and weave them in such a way that they “grip” and “bite.”
There are three things that really stand out about this novel:
Frederic is far from a simplistic character. He accepts that there are consequences to his actions yet commits to those actions nonetheless. He comes across as very conscientious and thoughtful, possibly even an overthinker. He exhibits bouts of anxiety, guilt, and self-doubt. At times, he realizes that what he's asking others to do could be considered dishonest, dishonorable, or dangerous. He pursues the greater good knowing that pursuing it might mean stepping over some toes or even making some sacrifices, but all the while he never asks anyone to do anything he wouldn't do himself. In fact, much of the time, he is the one making the greatest sacrifices and taking the biggest risks. That's one of the things that gets us cheering for him.
And that leads into one of the other big pluses of this novel: the stakes. It feels like there's an actual sense of dread or danger. Something bad might actually happen. There might not be such a happy ending.
It's impossible not to feel for Frederic when he reveals who or what he's fighting for. He sounds hopeful yet unsure of his wife's fate. As a reader, you can really sense and feel that it's eating him inside every second that she goes unfound and unrescued. It reminded us of actual people who've gone missing like Gabby Petito, Elizabeth Smart, or Susan Powell. We thought about how their loved ones might've felt—the anxiety, the uncertainty, the fear, the guilt, the hopelessness. These are things that Frederic experiences, and we're right there with him.
You know what else makes this novel work? Need. The word “need” occurs over 200 times in this text. Why is this important? Because it adds to the feeling of adventure and the element of survival. These characters can clearly die. They clearly get hurt. They clearly require food, drink, and sleep. Their loved ones can be taken from them. There are real stakes involved in what's happening on-paper.
The Ebon Hammer are very formidable like the Adjudicars in “Gilraen and the Prophecy.” They're a mercenary guild whom everyone fears. They terrorize towns and act more like a cartel than a reputable guild.
Somehow, someway, the author is able to make characters seem cool and attractive without telling us how cool or attractive they are. That's an art. Seriously! The female character come across as incredibly “hot” just by virtue of how they're described as dressing, acting, and moving. There's a pub-owner's daughter in here who comes across as the hottest person on two legs just by virtue of being there. We have no idea how DeAngelo managed to do that. There's a time when character are just eating, and it's visceral. We can taste the food along with them.
Another thing that we liked about this novel is the chemistry between the characters. There's so much back and forth banter in here! Characters don't always do what they say or say what they mean. They're sarcastic and playful at times. Originally, we were gonna compare them to the Band of the Hawk from “Berserk” but they're not nearly as dysfunctional or—to be blunt—messed up in their heads. They're actually more like the A Team. They all have their own gifts and personalities which they bring to the table. Perhaps the second character who stands out beside Frederic is Bixby. Caira and the others are interesting at times too, but Bixby takes the cake as one of the coolest fools. There's just something about him. He's like that big, capable, friendly person you want to have around all the time. He's the national treasure you don't want anything bad to happen to.
All in all, "D'Aprile's Fools" is a gritty fantasy novel with memorable characters and stakes that the reader becomes emotionally invested in.
We highly recommend “D'Aprile's Fools” by Michael DeAngelo for those who love fantasy and adventure novels!
Score: 91/100 (9.1 out of 10)
This small book packs a HUGE punch [of grace and mercy] for all those interested in preaching and public speaking!
You heard that last bit right, “Simple Preaching Prep” is not just applicable to preachers and ministers, but can actually be very useful for anyone who regularly gives presentations or pitches. Last year, we read a book called “Presentation Zen” which was a $40 book that was 3-4 times longer than this. The information in that book wasn't that much more insightful than this little booklet by Mark Messmore, the lead pastor of Mt. Olivet Christian Church in Williamstown, Kentucky. This book is dense and surprisingly entertaining! You forget you're reading a book about doing something as terrifying and yet mundane as preaching. Messmore is all too aware that preaching can be terrifying, immediately opening up with a very humorous line about the thought-process a nervous preacher can go through.
Messmore comes across as a very genuine, intelligent, and humorous person whose heart is in the right place. He frequently reminds the reader to remember that the purpose of preaching isn't to be an entertainer but to get God's word across clearly and effectively. Still, Messmore recognizes the importance of not being dull and boring. He knows that you want your listeners to keep coming back for more to hear more about God. This isn't the kind of book that would be read in a drawl or monotone way like some law or religious books would be read. Instead, Messmore seems to have a lot of pep in the way he presents and discusses information. It is really difficult to accurately explain how he makes it happen, but he makes it happen.
For example, there's a time when we're invited to look at constructing a sermon around a particular verse about Zacchaeus the tax collector from Luke 19:5. We're prompted to look at this verse again and again (which you'd think would be boring), but to look at it from different points of view and to build questions around it. Messmore calls these “clarifying questions.” They're not too dissimilar from the types of things you would ask about a topic or text using the Socratic method.
He also encourages the speaker to always consider the audience. Different audiences have different biases, beliefs, and values. Paul of Tarsus knew this as well as anyone. That's what made him such a masterful communicator.
Now, I know what you're thinking: isn't a lot of this Communication 101? Well, yes, but it's also Communication 150 and 201. You're getting a lot of chew from each bite of this text. However, it's not overly complicated or drawn out. You're not going to be overwhelmed or choke on it.
Messmore proves to be a very good teacher and communicator. The aforementioned Paul the Apostle would be proud. You're even provided with ways you can put what you learned into practice after each section as well as sources and references throughout the book if you'd like to learn more.
The book is also very well-structured and organized. The writing very good. The T-charts are very helpful and well-crafted. Even the diagrams work nicely. It's difficult to find flaws with this texts other than to just be nitpicky. We could say that we naturally have a bias against short books that more easily nab a larger readership and higher ratings despite generally being easier to write. However, this usually only bothers us when a short book is a obviously a low-effort affair, which this certainly is not. We could say that this book isn't exhaustive in the way that many of the other non-fiction books in the competition are (like “The 21st Century Man” by Dr. Judson Brandeis and “Wild Colts Make the Best Horses” by Mary Rae Mauch). However, is that really fair? Do you really want to give a novice preacher an encyclopedia of preaching? Of course not. Messmore is quick to inform us that just because he omits telling us about something doesn't mean that it's not important, it's just outside the focused scope of this book. And the book is—effectively—more focused because of this.
We highly recommend “Simple Preaching Prep” to those interested in preaching. It's an easy and insightful read. It might surprise you too!
Get it below!
Overall Trilogy Score: 90/100 (9.0 out of 10)
Book 1: 88/100 (8.8 out of 10)
Book 2: 89/100 (8.9 out of 10)
Book 3: 93/100 (9.3 out of 10)
These books are an illustration of imagination gone wild!
The first three books in this ever-growing series would make a fun 50+ hour RPG video game or even a 23-episode TV show.
The story reads beat-by-beat like a classic RPG with a chosen hero or heroine (Gilraen) on a long, arduous quest to defeat an evil lord (Beckworth) and his chief minions/corruptors (Adjudicars) while recruiting multiple different types of beings to her cause. It's a formula as old as the fantasy genre itself that works, and Dr. Joanne Reid executes. It does have a sorta Ultima-esque feel to it, fitting for a Gamelit series. There is a sense of adventure throughout these books, especially as Gilraen travels from place to place meeting new people. The world-building definitely stands out and will get its own section at the end of this review. The thought and effort put into this series is almost without compare.
With that said, the trilogy is not without its fair share of problems. That begins with some grammatical errors in book one, some very slow or even redundant moments in book two, and how almost this entire series got salvaged (from a B grade to an A) in the last 100 pages of book three. What's quite interesting is that the writing quality does improve substantially in books two and three. Grammar becomes almost a non-issue later on for some reason. Dr. Reid's writing clearly improved as the series progressed.
What remains an issue are some minor annoyances like how Gilraen feels the need to introduce herself continuously as “Gilraen of the Elves of the Green Mountain-Maidstone Forest” as if we didn't already know that from the first four-dozen times she or another character told us. There's even a part when her title is read out three consecutive times by three different people in the span of about half a page. If this were a video review, we'd insert Samuel L. Jackson from Pulp Fiction daring us to “say [Gilraen of the Elves of the Green Mountain-Maidstone Forest] again!”
We assuaged having to read Gilraen's title again and again by substituting it with the names of beverages, food items, and other brands. So, Gilraen of the Elves of the Green Mountain-Maidstone Forest occasionally became “Gilraen of the Rocky Mountain Soda Company” and “Gilraen of the Cold Stone Creamery” or “Gilraen of the Irish Spring Hair, Face and Body Wash” or “Gilraen of the University of Illinois Fighting Illini.”
We're so sorry, Dr. Reid, at least we had more fun reading it this way!
Another small nagging issue was the play-by-play. For some reason, we had to know exactly where everyone was sitting or standing in relation to everyone else at all times as well as their height, level of attractiveness, eye-color, race, alma mater (slightly exaggerating here), and most of all their title (because of course). And we had to hear their title repeated almost every single time they're reintroduced into a conversation (because of course). Ultimately, these issues become strangely humorous and entertaining over time in a Monte Python Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch sorta way. No kidding! It ended up being the most fun we've had reading a fiction book in a long time.
What realistically should've happened every time Gilraen showed up and started telling royals and military leaders what to do is equivalent to this scene from Forrest Gump when Forrest gets put in his place by a bus driver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwCXsax2CI. Note: we don't condone the language used in this Forrest Gump scene, but it's a classic. You get the point.
There's something very special when a character is overlooked, downtrodden, or mistreated. Think about Forrest Gump. He's always underestimated and often insulted as "stupid or something." Think about Rocky. Would we have cheered for him if he was the biggest, strongest, greatest fighter ever? If he hit harder than Clubber Lang & Ivan Drago and moved better than Apollo Creed? No. He always had a chip on his shoulder. He had to earn respect and the championship, he wasn't given it. Think about Gatsby from The Great Gatsby. Was he born rich like the Buchanans or did he become rich through shear force of will?
We felt for these characters because of how much they struggled and how much they suffered along the way. It's not that entitled or powerful characters like Superman or Bruce Wayne can't be interesting, but their struggles are different. One is an immigrant with vulnerable loved ones, the other has a huge hole in his heart left by his parents despite being a multi-billionaire, not to mention that he's a human who can have his back broken and die. Gilraen doesn't seem to have any of these vulnerabilities. She seems to know that she's a bad#$$ who can do bad#$$ things. She already knows her place at the top of the universe.
With that said, it's important to note that this may be fitting for a Gamelit series. Think about every strategy or tactical RPG ever made and how much command and control the player suddenly has over the party or army right off the bat. In some of these games, you are the supreme commander. The Kessen and Dynasty Warrior series come to mind. You give the orders. You deploy the units. You divide the spoils. That's just how these games are. You earned the rank of master by paying $60 for the game, you didn't graduate from West Point. So, it's actually quite fitting that the player's avatar in this series shows up large and in charge.
Speaking of West Point, did we mention that there's more military strategy discussed in these three novels than Gettysburg, Gods & Generals, Alexander, Saving Private Ryan, Tora Tora Tora, and Waterloo combined?! It can be very interesting, yes, but what made scenes in those movies so interesting is that action/combat scenes were cut and interspersed between people discussing strategy. Military strategy can be incredibly interesting if not downright fascinating, however you still need to move the story along, not get it stuck in a rut. In the movie Gettysburg, there was a very good reason that generals Lee and Longstreet were portrayed as having disagreements about Pickett's Charge—one, because it actually happened; two, because it was foreshadowing. By contrast, when the generals in this series say they're going to pursue a strategy, they usually just end up pursuing that strategy, or Gilraen points out how intellectually superior she is to all of them and how her strategy would work so much better.
And that leads us to one of the other things that was simultaneously troublesome yet ended up being strangely entertaining as it necessitated another counter gag: how often we're reminded that Gilraen is special and the Chosen One, promised to unite the people of the world (per the prophecy).
In our heads, every time someone would tell us how awesome, powerful, smart, attractive, and good Gilraen was, we'd cut to Obi-Wan standing over Anakin on Mustafar saying how he was the Chosen One destined to bring balance to the Force not leave it in darkness.
We still liked Gilraen, but she would've been a much more interesting character had she been challenged more in the beginning. Instead, she overpowers and/or out-thinks everyone. She's already queen, she's already a better fighter than her trainers, and she already has powers comparable to or greater than the Adjudicars (i.e. the Sith). She's born as an ancient high elf, she doesn't earn it. She gets training but she doesn't need it. She has OP magic, OP weapons (including Soul Blades), and OP skills. By the second book, she's already teaching everyone invisibility spells like she's Professor McGonagall. If this were real life, someone would be shouting from the back, “Sit down, you freshman!”
Furthermore, everyone seems to love and adore her. And if they don't love and adore her, another character will butt in to remind that character how great Gilraen is and how they should be grateful for her. Her love interest is automatically drawn to her because of her resemblance to Dominica, his dead wife. She and William do have some chemistry. They do have some great moments together, and some of the best writing actually comes when talking about the time they spend together. It can be eloquent and touching. For example, there's one scene in which they joke about having kids. It sounds like a real conversation a couple would have.
However, William himself doesn't seem like a very fleshed out character for 2/3rds of this trilogy. He is even called “Prince Charming” because that's who he is most of the time: a really nice and handsome guy who happens to be there and happens to draw the interest of the heroine. He is so good, and so handsome, and so nice. At least Rochester from Jane Eyre and Maxim from Rebecca had some mystery and melancholy surrounding them.
To be fair, the author somewhat assuages this by providing some examples of times when William isn't the undisputed hottest guy in the room. He's in the top 3. He's the Alabama of hot guys in the series.
Until the middle of the second book when he works out with Gilraen, William seems to be just the 'princess in the palace' waiting for his stronger, more capable, and more intelligent girlfriend to save the day and bring home the bacon. But his girlfriend is actually the avatar of a guy who probably looks and acts like Wings of Redemption or Jason Blaha in real life.
Beckworth really doesn't seem to grow past being the Benedict Arnold-ish dark lord. We always hear that he's “that traitor Beckworth” or “evil Beckworth.” But Gilraen is so overpowered and has so much support from so many races of people, it almost feels like the decks are stacked against poor Beckworth. We shouldn't feel that way about the villain. At times, we're only rooting for Gilraen over Beckworth because Gilraen is the heroine and we're told Beckworth is a traitor. We don't really see how messed up Beckworth and the Adjudicars are until very late. In fact, in book three, during the FINAL BATTLE, Gilraen straight-up says she finally has a reason to hate Beckworth.
Something interesting about this series is that it seems to be―to coin the term―a “WORLD DRIVEN” story. Yes, there are characters. Yes, there's a plot. However, the crux of this series seems to be to show off the scope and scale of the world or the universe in which these characters live and in which the plot occurs. These are NPCs on map. In our review of book one, posted to Goodreads, we'd mentioned that we gathered the names and titles of 40+ characters. The author was so kind and helpful to send us a map and a character guide afterward. It helped. There are so many characters. That's not an understatement. And the ones who seem to matter are Gilraen, William, and Beckworth, the rest seem to be sprinkles on a banana split.
The real standout character, again, is the world. The world-building in this is actually impressive. We get an idea of how far away each city or town is from the others. We get an idea of the customs and pet-peeves the different groups of people have. We get to see the pets and farm animals they keep. We get to learn about the food they eat and the special tea/coffee drinks they drink. When it comes to world-building, creativity, and imagination, this is a solid book series deserving of some serious credit!
Another thing we have to mention is that when the writing is good, it's GOOD. There are some beautiful and even visceral descriptions in this, many involving similes like the way William makes Gilraen feel when he's around or when he holds her.
To end this review, we have to talk briefly about the difference the last 100 pages of book three made on our impression of the series. Those last 100 pages salvaged the whole entire series and almost completely changed our tune, but by then we'd already written 3/4ths of this review. Those last 100 pages provided us with a reason to read the sequels while it felt like the series was winding down and ending. They provided us with actual stakes as we saw how evil and cruel the Adjudicars were. It also cuts back to Anthony (the player), whom we'd been dying to hear more about since book one. The character of Anthony has so much potential as he navigates a second life as a powerful elf queen in a video game. There are so many discussions to be had and issues to be explored in terms of gender bending, sexuality, virtual reality, and cyber life. Might Anthony grow as a person and develop due to his experiences as Gilraen?
We spent well over 16 hours on this series. We wrote several drafts of this review. We're only hard on aspects of this series because we really do see the enormous potential that it has! This series is incredibly imaginative. The world-building is top-notch. The author is a truly brilliant person (a doctor) in real life. It's incredible how she's able to capture almost a childlike wonder within these pages!
The books just got better and better as you can see by their scores. What's more? There are four more books in this series that actually look even better than the first three! We're excited for you to check out this series!
Check out Books 1-3 at: https://amzn.to/33k37xD
Score: 93 out of 100 (9.3/10)
“No Perfect Love” is just about the perfect self-help relationship book!
Of the short non-fiction books we've come by in 2022, this is certainly one of the best! There's just something about how Dr. Alyson Nerenberg is able to take things as mundane as case studies and make them so interesting and compelling. This book is short yet dense. There are lessons to be learned at every flip of the page. There's hardly any wasted space in this whole book. Everything is either insightful, interesting, and/or useful to the reader. And that's probably the books greatest strength: it's shear usefulness and practicality. We really believe this book can change lives. It can save relationships. It can save marriages. It can keep families together. Those are huge stakes and implications. There is tremendous value on every page.
In some of the cooler sections of this book, Dr. Nerenberg shares her work with celebrities (while maintaining confidentiality and anonymity of course). These celebrities seemingly have the world and yet still struggle with many of the same personal issues that normal people face. Some of these problems are rooted in the client not being able to forgive themselves or others, letting the past consume their present, being caught in a pattern that perpetuates poor outcomes, or falling into alcoholism or substance abuse as a coping mechanism or crutch. We all know someone (or are someone) who suffers from one or more of these things.
To go on a slight tangent, how many self-help books these days feature the idea of letting go, reframing the idea of “give up,” or just “not giving a $&#@?” We've noticed a lot of those lately. And, yes, they sell. And, yes, they have their value. However, Dr. Nerenberg and her book are different: they have a much more positive way of looking at and facing problems. At the same time, Dr. Nerenberg is far from idealistic and far from overly-optimistic. In fact, one of the strengths of “No Perfect Love” is that it accepts the objective truth that no person or relationship is perfect or without flaws. The fairy-tale endings and outcomes we see in Disney movies are not the least bit realistic. You don't marry the perfect person and live a perfect life indefinitely. There are bumps in the road as well as twists and turns. And, as divorce and separation become the norm rather than the exception, these bumps, twists, and turns lead to people giving up on their relationships prematurely when remedies and alternatives may have been available to them.
This book even provides little exercises for you to practice or reflect on what you've learned from each section.
This book's only real drawback so far is that the formatting is still rough. It doesn't appear ready for publication just yet. Unfortunately, we're forced to compare it to other non-fiction entries that are already extremely well-formatted and refined. Otherwise, the grammar is excellent. The writing is eloquent yet understandable. Just about everything about the book seems to hit the way it should.
There are so many passages in this that are so beautiful that they should be in a fantasy novel. For example, Dr. Nerenberg says that the road of each relationship is beautiful and crooked. She also says that 90% of life is just showing up! There's truth to each of these statements. The obsession for perfection can be crippling. We perpetually overthink and idealize situations, people, and our relationships. We forget that life sucks sometimes, but that's life, and by our efforts and our way of thinking, we can still make it the best life possible. If we continue to play the victim and blame our significant others or our circumstances for everything that goes wrong, then we're limiting ourselves and setting ourselves up for disappointment and failure.
“No Perfect Love” is the perfect book for you to own if you want a reputable source to talk you through navigating the bumpy, twisty, winding road that relationships can be.
Check out Dr. Alyson Nerenberg's work below!
Impossible Dream is beautiful! It has so many positive implications for the future of humanity, particularly for the millions struggling with physical and mental disabilities. This has broader implications than just dealing with autism.
Now, with that said, there was a time about a quarter into the novel when we went, “Oh no... not another one of these.” It looked like it was going to be another meandering stream-of-consciousness narrative from the perspective of the protagonist like we'd seen in books in the past. That's not to say that stream-of-consciousness narratives can't be effective or even beautiful. For example, Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud Incredibly Close is a phenomenal novel that not only features stream-of-consciousness but also a character with autism--similar to Impossible Dream. However, stream-of-consciousness narratives can come across as very gimmicky, clumsy, and tedious because the narrator often won't filter or distinguish between what's important to share (for the sake of character development and the plot) or what's superfluous.
Thankfully, this book avoids that problem while teetering on the edge of it in the first few chapters. Anna opens up by seeming to observe and discuss everything and everyone in her class. She describes these things methodically and in chronological order.
In a sense, we get to be in the mind of Anna—a girl with autism—and to see the world as she sees it. We gather that she's very observant and opinionated. What stands out in the first couple chapters is just how matter-of-fact her narration is. It's simple, sharp, and dry while avoiding being dull or boring.
Once the plot begins and we face the major moment of crisis in the story, the book really picks up and becomes a very worthwhile read. This is going to sound a like a strange comparison, but it almost has a similar tone and feel to Hayao Miyazaki's Totoro--there's some slowness and strangeness in the beginning, things are happening that seem mundane or even uninteresting, there's a crisis, and then we have very strong, human moments as a result of that crisis. Anna serves as autistic yet strong-minded female protagonist who steps up to give others struggling with autism and other disabilities a chance to communicate, function, and even thrive in society.
It seems very apparent that Anna is a surrogate for Meagan Buckley, the author's daughter who has lived with autism, while sharing much of the knowledge and many of the ideals of both the author and her daughter. There are times when Anna goes from sounding like a 14-year-old girl to sounding like a 40-year-old woman, having an almost encyclopedic understanding and knowledge of psychiatry and neurological function. Sometimes, even the doctors and Anna's highly-educated brother are blown away by her knowledge on these subjects. While this can seem hard to swallow, it isn't entirely unprecedented. Some with autism are known to have extraordinary recollections of specific topics that they become fixated with. The main character in Extremely Loud Incredibly Close was extraordinarily intelligent and knowledgeable about astrophysics, all while living within the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum.
Anna goes from being a passive yet observant narrator to becoming a very active agent in pursuing a solution to the problems she sees. From this, we gather that she is both thoughtful, brave, and caring—the traits we look for in a hero. However, she's also vulnerable. We know she's fighting uphill most of the time. We feel for her.
In one of the most powerful lines, she calls her tablet her “lifeline to the world” because it gives her the ability to communicate via typing her thoughts into a kind of text-to-speech mechanism. Many consider this her “gift” since she is an incredible communicator in spite of her circumstances.
The technology that she is helping to create in the book via what can probably be described as neural learning holds a tremendous amount of potential for humanity. Could you imagine that such a technology would give people with disabilities a second chance at life--a second chance at doing the things they love to do such as playing sports or drawing? Could you imagine what this could mean to those who have lost limbs in accidents or in war? The applications are numerous!
Perhaps the greatest takeaway from this book is a feeling of appreciation. We have a greater appreciation for those will autism, not just because most of us don't have to endure living with autism, but because those with autism are actually gifted and capable in many unique ways. Anna and her classmates are all different from each other despite all being under the same umbrella. Daniel is a far better artist than almost everyone else because of how great he is with his hands and how tremendous his eyesight and memory are. He can seemingly draw anything just by seeing it. Anna is a problem-solver and incredibly intelligent. Again, even the doctors are impressed by her intellect. The book reminds us that being autistic doesn't mean having no intelligence. In fact, autistic people can be very intelligent like Anna is but struggle with things such as performing physical tasks or communicating. Anna seeks to make these things that were previously impossible possible.
We very much loved and appreciated Impossible Dream and recommend you check it out on Amazon:
WARNING: the following book and review involve sensitive topics
Imelda's Secret is a haunting and powerful story concerning the lives of two Filipino girls during one of the darkest times in human history: World War II. As Imperial Japan occupies the Philippines, along with much of the Pacific and East Asia, Filipino cousins Imelda and Gloria are faced with a grim future under Japan's violent rule. During that time, tens of thousands of girls and women were raped, sexually abused, trafficked, and/or murdered as “comfort women.” The two face this future with courage, faith, and quite a bit of cleverness, encouraged to “stay together... look after each other.”
With all that said, this is not the story you're expecting it to be, at least it wasn't the book we were expecting to read. Imelda is not a Katniss Everdeen-archetype living under a totalitarian regime in a dystopian society who is abused on a daily basis. In fact, at least one-third of this book seems to be simply Imelda and Gloria living their lives, dealing with members of their family, and even falling in love. It's not that much unlike Diary of Anne Frank in that sense. We often hear Imelda's thoughts and her reflections on what she thinks about people and the past.
More than 50% of this story is surprisingly passive. Things just seem to happen, and Imelda and Gloria are very often at the mercy of fate like pieces of driftwood caught in the tide. Indeed, that seems to be the point. Things happened to these girls and their loved ones that were simply out of their control. They fought as much as they physically could. However, what they do control is what they choose to do with the trauma now that the events have transpired. Do they remain silent about it and hope that it washes over with time or do they open up to the world?
The character who surprised us the most was Kenji. No, he's no Oscar Schindler. No, he's no saint. In fact, there are times when Kenji even seems like the villain of Imelda's tale. The best comparison we can give for him is Rochester from Jane Eyre or Maxim from Rebecca. These aren't “good guys” in shining armor, they're entitled pieces of crap with a higher social status who happened to have a soft side for the characters.
Something that pleasantly surprised us was that this book was not a hit-piece or a tirade of hate about the Japanese. It could easily have been. The Japanese were as much the big-evil in the Pacific and Asia as the Germans were in the Atlantic and Europe. Even when the Japanese are about to do terrible things in the book, we still see that they're human beings. They're still hungry and miss home. They're scared of encountering or being defeated by the Americans. They're scared of upsetting their superior officers and leaders.
The writing is quite beautiful, however not without some flaws. There are a few errors in this book including several wrong-word problems (like “check” instead of “cheek”) and a misplaced punctuation here or there. There are parts that were simply overlooked in editing like "she was came close." However, that doesn't take away from the core of the reading experience.
The crimes-against-humanity committed by Imperial Japan in the 30s and 40s are collectively among the most horrific and significant events of the humanity's most violent century. Even in the midst of World War II and the Holocaust, these events still stand out and remain like a big, brown stain on Japan. It continues to tarnish the island nation's relations with its neighbors in Asia and the Pacific. This situation is aggravated by the western world's undeniable fascination or even infatuation with Japan and its culture, motivating Japan and the west to bury the truth as deeply under the rug as possible.
We know what happened, at least we think we do. Intellectuals and history buffs can see terms like “the Holocaust” and “the Rape of Nanjing” and think, “That was bad. A lot of people died.” However, books like Imelda's Secret and the personal accounts they're based on remind us that there's a human element to what happened. These were real people with real relations who suffered greatly. Some continue to suffer late in life from the physical and psychological damage that remain. Some continue in silence. Many are not so silent anymore.
The big issue in this story concerns one idea: an apology. This book demands an apology from the Japanese and the Japanese government for their taking of comfort women and their human rights abuses. Coincidentally, our judges come from either a Japanese, Filipino, or mixed-Asian descent, and one of us is from Hawaii (where some of the property rights in the book are centered), so these issues hit home. If ever there was an explanation for the tensions between Japan, China, and the Koreas, this is it.
This is also a story about HEALING, especially with regards to acknowledging these traumatic events and the problems they've caused. It's incredibly powerful in that sense.
So, do you want to uncover the mystery of Imelda's Secret?
We highly recommend this book! Get it on Amazon at: https://amzn.to/3zqJj7e
There's no denying that Scott Lorenz is a brilliant and inventive person. All of his creations including Westwind Communications and BookTitleGenerator.com have been successful. Lorenz knows book marketing like few others. Heck, Lorenz is one of only three people I know who writes the terms “best-selling” and “best-seller” correctly, it's in his blood. Many in the publishing industry turn to him as their publicist.
Even if you've read dozens of book on publishing and book marketing, this book—with its more focused scope—can still be enlightening and useful.
It is tempting to make the oversimplified claim that “Book Title Generator” is what it is and does what it says it does: it helps you to generate effective book titles for the sake of marketing. However, despite the short, sweet, and simple nature of this book, it still packs a punch. Some of these brief sections are dense and loaded with incredible examples. Two of the sections that stood out involve mashup titles and profanity. Lorenz highlights how there are so many considerations and variables in choosing a book title that often go unspoken, unrecognized, and seldom discussed. For example, did you know that Amazon allows your title to contain up to 200 characters? Should you use all of them (i.e. keyword stuffing) or should you focus on being brief and concise? You may have also noticed a surge of profane book titles in the last decade that have gained a lot of attention. Why is that?
As mentioned before, some of the best parts of this book involve the examples that Lorenz uses to hit his points home. We get to read about how many famous authors like Harper Lee started with one title, then came up with a new one. These titles became iconic over time and we can't imagine a world in which they were any different. They were memorable and recognizable, and Lorenz strives to teach the reader how to make their titles memorable and recognizable.
We recommend “Book Title Generator” to all authors and aspiring authors as it can help you learn how to craft a strong title in a surprisingly short amount of time.
Check out “Book Title Generator” by Scott Lorenz at: https://amzn.to/3eLAFH3