Book Reviews

Review: Devoted by Dean Koontz

A nice, solid cover that represents the book’s content well.


Woody Bookman hasn’t spoken a word in his eleven years of life. Not when his father died in a freak accident. Not when his mother, Megan, tells him she loves him. For Megan, keeping her boy safe and happy is what matters. But Woody believes a monstrous evil was behind his father’s death and now threatens him and his mother. And he’s not alone in his thoughts. An ally unknown to him is listening.

A uniquely gifted dog with a heart as golden as his breed, Kipp is devoted beyond reason to people. When he hears the boy who communicates like he does, without speaking, Kipp knows he needs to find him before it’s too late.

Woody’s fearful suspicions are taking shape. A man driven by a malicious evil has set a depraved plan into motion. And he’s coming after Woody and his mother. The reasons are primal. His powers are growing. And he’s not alone. Only a force greater than evil can stop what’s coming next.

Ah, it’s been a while since I have indulged in a Dean Koontz book and this title Devoted does deliver as expected with light and refreshing writing that is an ease to read and follow along with. With not-too-much goings on during the pages we are left with a solid story about Woody, a highly-functioning autistic 11 year old boy that is ( mostly ) mute, but very smart for his age and ends up getting wrapped up in the story line by means of hacking computers in order to find answers about his father’s death. He knows there is more than meets the eye and the answers are out there.

Kipp, the dog is special and communicates telepathically through the wire. Him and a group of dogs are apart of the Mysterium. Because of Woody’s condition, he also communicates through the medium. The looming dark presence in the book centers around a corporation and a an ex-CEO is preying on Woody and his mother and the book also explores some of Woody’s coping mechanisms for his condition which was like icing on the cake here.

Woody’s mother Megan will do anything to protect him including calling the local police in to help and it shows in these some odd 300 pages which were well worth the read. I give Devoted by Koontz a solid ★★★★☆ four stars out of five.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Book Reviews

DNF Review @ 41%: And the Hippos Were Boiled in their Tanks by Burroughs and Kerouac

I’d say this cover matches the inside of this book. Blah.


In the summer of 1944, a shocking murder rocked the fledgling Beats. William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, both still unknown, we inspired by the crime to collaborate on a novel, a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and art, obsession and brutality, with scenes and characters drawn from their own lives. Finally published after more than sixty years, this is a captivating read, and incomparable literary artifact, and a window into the lives and art of two of the twentieth century’s most influential writers.

The occasional internal laugh is what kept me reading this through the beginning and in hopes that the noise would materialize into a great story . . . but, it kept going on and on with what seemed to be the continuation of well, just more noise. I realize that this book stands for these influential author’s collaboration before they were even famous, but the problem is that I haven’t read anything by Kerouac before and only one book by Burroughs, in which I only remember one thing from the whole book and do not remember the title. My tolerance is 100 pages of noise before something drops to get me hooked and this book, and I either missed the boat altogether or it’s just plain noise and it gets ★★☆☆☆ two out of five stars for what I happened to read.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.


What I’m Reading: Borderless by Eliot Peper

It looks like gold dust . . .
© 2018 / Eliot Peper / 47North

Ah, the joys of the internet when you go book shopping on a whim, click ‘Add to Wishlist’ on book #2 in a series and that’s what the family is working off of for Christmas gifts. A cascadial error of sorts. No mind, because this looks like a espionage book / series I can get into with style!

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Book Reviews

DNF @ 37% Review: Quantum by Patricia Cornwell

Very well done cover . . . with space balls of some sort.


International bestselling author Patricia Cornwell delivers pulse-pounding thrills in the first book in a series featuring a brilliant and unusual new heroine, cutting-edge cybertechnology, and stakes that are astronomically high.

On the eve of a top secret space mission, Captain Calli Chase detects a tripped alarm in the tunnels deep below a NASA research center. A NASA pilot, quantum physicist, and cybercrime investigator, Calli knows that a looming blizzard and government shutdown could provide the perfect cover for sabotage, with deadly consequences.

As it turns out, the danger is worse than she thought. A spatter of dried blood, a missing security badge, a suspicious suicide—a series of disturbing clues point to Calli’s twin sister, Carme, who’s been MIA for days.

Desperate to halt the countdown to disaster and to clear her sister’s name, Captain Chase digs deep into her vast cyber security knowledge and her painful past, probing for answers to her twin’s erratic conduct. As time is running out, she realizes that failure means catastrophe—not just for the space program but for the safety of the whole nation.

Brilliantly crafted, gripping, and smart, Patricia Cornwell’s cliffhanger ending will keep readers wondering what’s next for Captain Calli Chase.

Let me start out by saying I have read some Patricia Cornwell books and loved them mucho construto. I started reading this yesterday and made it over a hundred pages in, which I can say this is an easy read, so that’s not the reason I DNF’d this book.

The Kindle edition has media embedded in it, which was neato-torpedo, displaying some animated images at the start of some chapters. This is apart from the fact that I couldn’t change the background color for this book on my Kindle Fire, assumably caused from the embedded media which was all-together absent from Kindle cloud reader.

This book started out well for me. It was quick, punchy and intelligent. However, Captain Chase turned into a squirrel on assumable hallucinogens and coke, ( not the kind in the bottle ) feeding me every detail that ran through her mind whether it was relevant or not . . . and, it’s filled with ADHD-ish ( coupled with my own ADHD tendencies, it proves to be a bad mix ), panicky inner-dialog that I’m assuming is suppose to be thrilling, but just gives me more anxiety than I already have and a need to know what to pay attention to and what not to, which does become decipherable as you read. I comprehended and processed, but not in a way that I prefer.

A word I learned in this book was:

This is a rambling book, which I didn’t mind in itself, but even rambles need to be organized to become coherent to the reader. There’s not much abstract thoughts of the protagonist’s mind other than “what the hell is happening to me and NASA” and “OMG, something is happening to me that someone else just referring to in passing” ( quotes are sarcastic, summarized version of Captain Chase’s thoughts, not actual quotes from the book ), at least of what I read. Sentence structure could use more variation, at least for me – it felt like I was being pelted with little thought-darts. However, the book does give some background to NASA, which I didn’t fact check and won’t.

I don’t have anymore to say about it other than the people at NASA should have given Captain Chase a sedative or two, in order to counter-act those over-stimulated thoughts way, way earlier in the book.

★★☆☆☆ Two stars out of five and a big-fat DNF for Captain Chase’s first book titled Quantum by Patricia Cornwell.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Book Reviews

Review: The Costumer by Chad Schimke

The Costumer by Chad Schimke

The Costumer by Chad Schimke was a random pick, out of a free book newsletter. You may get a free copy as well, at the time of this writing, via the author’s website ( if you like this story, I would recommend giving the 99c to this author via Amazon ). It’s a short, horror story ( that’s the way it’s categorized on Amazon, but after reading I’m saying thriller for genre ), less than 50 pages long and has a bit of non-favorable quirkiness ( especially on the first page with the one sentence paragraphs and other random places in the first half of the story ) that faded for me, thankfully into okay quirkiness after some time and even to better things. Start-of-sentence word repetitions and repeat sentence structure weren’t so-good, but overall this book is enjoyable with some mostly non-invasive LBGTQ elements mixed in with a decent story arc about a selfish-costumed-killer, determined to get revenge on a mission to seek attention, to sum at all up.

“Hurt filled the chasm split down the middle of his broken heart where love had been replaced with hate.” —Chad Schimke, The Costumer

On Art Resources

December for Book Reviews is No Bueno

I know that several of my followers are here, because books. 😃 And, while December was suppose to be a wind down mechanism for the holidays and more reading, which meant more reviews, it has proved to be the opposite. I am still reading, it’s just rather slow. Focusing on Salt Blood by T.C. Parker and Secret Santa by Andrew Shaffer, and these will most likely get a review next. While you wait, I’ll share a quote from Salt Blood by T.C. Parker:

Salt Blood by T.C. Parker

Suspended high over the land, maybe 80 feet above the them, was another wire mesh, this one more dome than cage, sprouting upwards (or so it seemed from her limited perspective) from the sea itself – the jetty poking out from the side of it like a broken tongue. Looking at it made her claustrophobic; more so, somehow, than the cage over the boat.

Page 13, Salt Blood by T.C. Parker

As I read this, at least so far, it’s more like suspense or thriller than horror, but I’m really enthused that I followed this recommendation from Well Read Beard. We shall see. Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.