Archive for the ‘Elitist University’ Category

With all the popular YA novels out there sporting wishy-washy teenage ‘heroines’, it’s time to introduce you to a classic that does it right. For the kids of my generation there was Robin McKinley’s THE HERO AND THE CROWN, the winner of the 1985 Newbery Medal Award.

Aerin is the only child of the king. The problem? She’s a girl. Since her deceased mother was a foreigner (and it’s whispered she was a witch), and Aerin has inherited her pale skin and red hair, she’s snubbed and ignored. She discovers a book about the dragons that used to threaten Damar, and on her own learns how to make kenet, an ointment that protects the wearer from the effects of fire, and trains herself to fight dragons. When word comes that a local village is being terrorized by a small dragon, Aerin with the kenet and her father’s old war horse, goes to fight it. Unfortunately, it’s not only the smaller dragons who begin to return. (more…)

Beta reading is something I’m asked about at least once a week. Either I’m asked to do it, or I’m asked why I do it, or I’m asked how I managed to get the gig in the first place. I’m also frequently asked what I do when I actually sit down to read someone’s manuscript.

Why do I bring this up? Well, because you may have noticed we just published Alan Bahr’s review of Peter Orullian’s novel THE UNREMEMBERED: The Author’s Definitive Edition. The review was extremely positive. If you have been a long time reader of Elitist Book Reviews, you might recall that I personally reviewed the original version of the novel several years ago. Frankly, I didn’t like it at all. It wasn’t that it didn’t show promise, it was that it didn’t feel like the final version. It felt like the draft before cutting a bunch and cleaning up the rest. Again, that review was done in 2011.

So now, ladies and gentlemen, it’s story time.
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The first book of Mary Stewart’s Merlin trilogy, THE CRYSTAL CAVE, was written in 1970 and continues to be one of the most accessible novelizations of the mythos surrounding the Arthurian legends. Told in first-person PoV as though it were an autobiography, Stewart writes about Merlin’s childhood as he travels across Britain, the people he encounters, and the discovery of his magic–all in her lovely prose with detailed attention to the landscape and era. (more…)

Conrad Nomikos is not what he first appears. On the outside he seems to be in his thirties, walks with a limp, one side of his face is disfigured, and he has a government job working with Earth’s antiquities. Dig a little deeper and you learn that he’s been working that job at least twenty years, he knows the most powerful and influential people on a first-name basis, and he talks about historical events in a more intimate way than most. (more…)

I get asked on a weekly basis about my method for reviewing. Why? Heck if I know, but I like to think that all the questions mean I’m doing something right.

Recently, a friend of mine sent me an email detailing his thoughts on a book he had read based on an old review I’d written – SERVANT OF A DARK GOD by John Brown. Obviously, since he is an intelligent chap, he agreed with the review. One of his acquaintances, however, didn’t. This isn’t an unusual occurrence. Amazingly enough, people don’t agree on everything – a shocker, I know. I don’t have a problem with people not agreeing with me. Usually. Where my problem resides is when people think they are among the best of literary critics, and slam (or praise) a novel in defiance of any logical thought. (more…)

DOLPHINS IN SPACE!

Doesn’t that sound exciting? Don’t you want to read that book right now?
OK I jest, but in all honesty if you have a problem with Dolphins crewing a starship and getting stranded on an alien planet than this book isn’t for you.

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Aliens have invaded Earth. At first glance, the Overlords’ motives appear altruistic—they eradicate war, poverty, and sickness—but some men question their motives, and the aliens aren’t exactly forthcoming.

Written in 1953, CHILDHOOD’S END by Arthur C. Clarke shows us the results of an alien-imposed utopia on mankind. With this book Clarke asks a lot of questions—he answers some of them with possible solutions of his own, but leaves others open that are worth exploring. First contact with aliens is a common theme in Science Fiction, from Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS, to Star Trek, and other, more current fiction. Clarke’s version imagines mankind as a small, but still meaningful, part of the universe. (more…)