Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells

Book: Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells

Author: multiple authors, edited by Herika R. Raymer


Publisher: Kerlak Enterprises Inc.


Man and machine, machine and magic, which will win in the end? Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells explores this question as it pits the two against each other in 15 short stories set in the Victorian steampunk era.

First and foremost, I would like to say that I read this as a request from a friend closely connected to this novel. While I love a good fantasy novel, I have only just begun dabbling in the steampunk genre, so my opinions may be different from those dyed-in-the-wool steampunk fans. I did enjoy the book itself. It was good, very much worth reading. The characters were interesting, the stories were mostly captivating, and the fact that each story is only about 20 pages long is perfect for a review with the attention span of a caffeinated squirrel. I do, however, have a couple of complaints. While I enjoyed the short length, I found some of the stories to end rather abruptly. I often found myself asking what happens after the story ends? Where is the closure? As one friend put it “the writing of the short story is a dying art…” and I found that to be very apparent at times. I also found that some of the stories were not well written in terms of grammar and dialogue, something akin to nails on a chalkboard for a grammar hound like me, though it was not bad enough for me to stop reading.

Overall, I give this book 3 pages. While it is not a book I would have necessarily picked up had I not been asked to read it (again keep in mind I am not big into steampunk), I did enjoy it for the most part. If you like fantasy and/or steampunk, then this is probably a book for you.

Book Review – Heat Wave by Richard Castle

Title:  Heat Wave

Author: Richard Castle

Format: Hardback

Written: 2009

Published: 2009

Heat Wave is an interesting book to consider, when it is a book that was written by a fictional character of a hit TV series.  Though the book was obviously written by a real person, Richard Castle is not, himself, a real person, and sadly there is no information on the actual author who wrote the book.  ABC, the company that produces the show Castle wishes for readers to believe that the character Richard Castle wrote the book.

In the TV series Castle is acclaimed to be a New York Times Best Seller Novelist, and to be honest the quality of the writing in my opinion was lacking in that respect.  Don’t get me wrong, the book was amusing to read and I did enjoy it, but I wouldn’t place it as a best seller, or of the quality of a bestselling author.  There were a few idiosyncrasies with phraseology, and things were rather rushed at points. Also I wasn’t fond of the combined nickname for detectives Raely and Oacha.  Throughout the book they are referred to as Roach in the singular sense many times and I had to pause and remind myself that Roach represented two people, not one.  Also the use of a lot of names with the same starting letter caused things to get a bit difficult at times.

Yet, despite my issues with the book, and it not being of the caliber of a bestselling author, it was still a decent read.  I was amused and found myself laughing aloud on occasion, as there were several witty moments in the book.  It was also interesting to see where certain episodes of the TV series were loosely incorporated into the book.  The book though rushed did not truly capture my interest until near the end when Detective Nikki Heat was hot on the trail of her murder suspect, and by that point I was mainly eager to know if my prediction of who committed the murder was accurate.  I will say that I was correct, but I won’t say who the murder was, for those who would wish to read this book.  Over all, I give the book a three out of five pages.

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