Thursday, September 19, 2013


Running some reviews today. De Noux and Johnston are friends who also happen to write damn fine books. I didn't know Kyle Knapp personally but knew of him through David Cranmer's blog. De Noux and Johnston are still writing and deserve wider recognition and readership. Unfortunately, Mr. Knapp is no longer with us.  His work is very fine, though.

A very fine collection. A combination of youthful verve with a mature voice. The author's youth is most on display in the often daring wordplay and the willingness to risk an entire poem on the turn of a single line. The maturity is seen in how well the author infuses multiple emotions and moods into the same piece. The typical poem, it seems to me, generates a single mood or feeling, while many of these poems evoke a range of emotions, from melancholia, to gaiety, to a risque humor. Well done.

This is a fantasy short story featuring a childhood version of a character (Lerebus Shieldbreaker) who plays a large role in some of Johnston's full-length fantasy series books, The Ursian Chronicles. This is something of an origin story for the character, or at least part of that origin story, and I believe there are more stories related to this one although this is the only one I've read so far. The nice thing about Johnston's writing is that not only does he tell a good story, but his prose is lyrical, which gives his work the extra jolt that I like from my fantasy reading

I'm not quite sure how to categorize this one. A young man in New Orleans begins to discover that he has superpowers and becomes a masked crime fighter. Then he meets a girl with similar powers. They fall in love. Or do they? There's a pretty big mystery behind it all, which is revealed in the end. Good stuff.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mistik sounds interesting. New Orleans is a great setting.

David Cranmer said...

Thank you, Charles. Poetry is a hard sell even when the writer is alive. I remember telling Kyle we probably wouldn't make much money off his first collection, Pluvial Gardens. He didn't care and never once asked me how many copies he sold. He just wanted his words to be read and be known as a writer. And he worked damn hard. Now I want to get his work out to a wider audience and I appreciate your help, sir. All proceeds will go to the college where he worked as English tutor and his family.
And If anyone else wants a review copy I will gladly send it to them.

Charles Gramlich said...

Alex, I know and I've not used it very often. of course, I don't write a lot of realistic fiction.

David, indeed, man.

Ty said...

Charles, thanks much for the kind words.

Ron Scheer said...

Nicely expressed response to Kyle's poems.

jodi said...

Charles-you could be a professional book reviewer in your 'spare time'. You are really good at seeing the perspectives!

Cloudia said...

Thanks, Bro; that last cover ROCKS!
Appreciate the suggestions.

Yes, it doesn't do to treat every thing in life as a joke; anymore than to be over serious ALL the time. Good comment.

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
=^..^= <3

Cloudia said...

Oh! An ossuary is a FAVE word!!!
We have some here for re-interred Hawaiian ancestral bones - very sacred spaces. Spooky too


Charles Gramlich said...

Ty, no prob.

Ron, they were pretty cool.

Jodi, thankee for the kind words.

Cloudia, I like ossuary too. Great word

Riot Kitty said...

I like super hero stuff, and stuff set in New Orleans. Merci for the recommendations!

Charles Gramlich said...

Riot kitty, I don't read a lot of superhero stuff but this was pretty good. I know the guy too. He lives in the area, knows New Orleans like the back of his hand.

Richard Prosch said...

Not so long ago there was no such thing as a superhero novel, unless it directly tied in with the comics. Certainly there were fantasy characters with fantastic powers, but they weren't superheroes in the comic book sense. Now there are--and I think it's often a mixed blessing. Might give MISTIK a try.

Greg said...

Road of the Sword sounds good. I like lyrical stories too, Ray Bradbury was a master of that.

Mistik sounds like a cool book too. I'll have to check that out. Thanks for posting the reviews!

- Greg

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Nice crisp reviews, Charles. More new writers to look out for.

Charles Gramlich said...

Richard, I've toyed with the idea of writing one myself but so far no great ideas have come my way.

Greg, no prob. I should have put up some of them earlier.

Prashant, glad you enjoyed!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, MISTIK caught my interest. I am lucky enough to have a copy of Kyle's poems.

BernardL said...

Very interesting and thorough reviews, my friend.

Charles Gramlich said...

Patti, good poems for sure.

Bernard, thanks, man.