Review: Blade of Dishonor by Thomas Pluck

Genre: Action/Adventure

Rating: Yay!

Okay, guys. Wow. This book has a lot going in it, so I’m going to try and make this review as succinct as possible.

E-cover_Blade-Of-Dishonor_omnibusBNThe jacket copy is a bit of a misnomer—I was under the impression this followed Reeves, but the story is really more of his grandfathers—and I’m not certain whose POV receives more time out of the two. This story revolves around ‘Rage Cage’ Reeves, his grandfather, and an ancient Japanese blade the grandfather smuggled out of Japan to keep it out of the wrong hands. So we alternate in present time, with Reeves trying to save the sword and keep it out of the wrong hands, and during his grandfather’s time in the armed forces as a special unit fighter. His story mostly revolves around World War II and the circumstances leading to today’s current predicament.

The action is great. Lots of detailed, in your face scenes that hook you in and keep the pages turning. I was pretty disappointed when I had to go to sleep and wait to read the rest. It fulfills its boast of Tarantino and Kurosawa mash-up, both of whom I greatly admire. It’s clear from the stories that Reeves did a great job with his research, too—accuracy bonuses to the weapons, history, and his Japanese receives a special bonus mention.

Mikio, a Japanese fighter, is a large part of the story—and he has a very dirty mouth, all of which Pluck leaves in its original Japanese. I was shocked and horribly amused, because I speak Japanese, and it had me cracking up far more than it should have. The caveat to this is that translations aren’t given until the end of the book (and in the ebook, I would have liked to have seen a link-up to the translations for people, because flipping around in an ebook is difficult), so if that frustrates you, maybe you should bookmark the translation spot.

Another big thank you goes out to not making the women into hand-wringing sissies. It drives me nuts when women are made into fainting flowers, and they most certainly aren’t in here.

Pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed.

Blade of Dishonor can be purchased from the following retailers:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

This Week’s Review: Blade of Dishonor by Thomas Pluck

E-cover_Blade-Of-Dishonor_omnibusBNA centuries-old battle between ninja and samurai over a stolen sword… enter ‘Rage Cage’ Reeves!

Taught to fight by his war hero grandfather, Reeves comes home to find Grandpa Butch embroiled in a centuries-old battle over a treasured Japanese sword. Together they team up with Tara the hot-rodding ambulance driver and a secretive member of a samurai warrior brotherhood to take on a powerful clan of ninja and yakuza bent on sparking a third world war.

From the heroics of the Devil’s Brigade in World War II and the brutal underground fight scene of Tokyo to the American heartland, BLADE OF DISHONOR pits battle-hardened cage fighters against cunning shadow warriors in a thrilling adventure story that’s part Kurosawa and part Tarantino … with a ton of Pluck!

Blade of Dishonor can be purchased from the following retailers:

Amazon US

Amazon UK



Thomas Pluck writes unflinching fiction with heart. He’s a computer geek now, but has worked on the docks, at construction sites, and has flipped burgers, washed dishes, and even cleaned the bathrooms of the Guggenheim museum. He also powerlifts and trains in mixed-martial arts. His work has appeared in The Utne Reader, [PANK] Magazine, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, and numerous anthologies. He is also the editor of Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT, which includes “Runaway” by Dave White, which was chosen as a distinguished story in Best American Mystery Stories 2012.

Carmine Tarrenborough and the Ravenwood Fetch – Cate’s Take

Genre: YA fantasy

Rating: Yay

Carmine Tarrenborough is a courier from the township of Tarrenborough. An orphan, she lives with other orphans who are either teaching, learning, or actually making deliveries. On one delivery to the remote town of Ravenwood, she wrecks her aether-bike, which presents a multitude of problems, including possibly raising ambient aether levels to toxic amounts. Bad, right? Throw in a loveable but daft man named Tomas and a sneaky fae called Alkallen, and…well…

There’s a lot to love about this book. I particularly enjoyed the minor steampunk elements in the aether-bike and how it seemed to have its own personality. Carmine herself is an enjoyable heroine. Spunky,  unforgivingly sarcastic and smarter than she thinks, she definitely drives this first person narrative. At first, when Tomas and then Alkallen were introduced, I feared there would be some kind of love story or triangle or who knows what else, but this is where the book is a breath of fresh air–there’s neither! *Tosses confetti* It’s so refreshing when that happens. Excuse me while I dance a small jig.

The book isn’t without problems, though. At some points, Carmine’s personality can be a touch overbearing. Being in her head can almost feel like yelling at yourself, but at the same time, I don’t feel the story would be as effective in a third person perspective. There are also some flaws in grammar and homonym usage. However, if you can overlook these issues, which in the end are only minor, you will likely enjoy this book.

Get your copy of Carmine at:


Author bio
Katherine Fosso grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and went to college at Washington University in Saint Louis. There she earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, and soon learned that clinical work was not for her. She moved back to Indiana to write, draw, and work, where she lives with her boyfriend and two cats.

This Week’s Read: Carmine Tarrenborough and the Ravenwood Fetch by Katherine Fosso

front coverIt’s not easy living in post-war Lorane. Humanity is just getting back on its feet after hundreds of years in a post-nuclear apocalypse, and the world is finally green again. Still, it isn’t safe. Aside from the ever-present nuclear and aetheric radiation, there’s the supernatural to worry about: strange miasmas, mad aether-wielding Harrows, and the achingly beautiful and deadly Fae.

And trouble never met a girl it liked better than Carmine Tarrenborough. She’s sixteen years old, a weirdness magnet, and a courier. It’s her job to deliver, rain or shine, sleet or hail. But, when a number of people turn up missing and a strange dark figure haunts the roadways at night, she may just have to add solving mysteries to her job description.

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Review: Essenced – Landra’s Take

Rating: Yay

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy


Essenced opened with a less then climatic or action packed sequence, and definitely picks up on a slow build. This is a multiple character book and at the start keeping all the names straight was a bit of challenge, yet in most fantasy books a reader should be prepared for a plethora of characters.

The story is in a third person POV, which at times read a bit omniscient, but the blend between the two worked for me. If you’re a stickler for POV’s staying consistent through a story this may not be a book you want to pick up. The narratives and action keep things from wandering too far into internal, and I didn’t find an issue with this either. The main character the story focuses on, AJ, a sixteen year-old suddenly imbued with the power of a supernatural creature. She is the only one, besides her trainer Julius, who we get to dive into internal thought with. There are additional secondary character’s who get a little bit of time, but mainly it’s AJ.

The variety of supernatural creatures, personalities and funny moments made this book a delight to read. My favorite moment was when AJ and her fellow soldiers are gathered around the dinner table after a long day of training. Hijinks, confessions, sharing weaknesses, and a bunch of hilarious conversation ensues. I laughed out loud and even took a moment to pause and enjoy. It’s not often I read a book that makes me laugh or express a ton of a emotion. This book did.

For readers who love action, weapons, and the supernatural this book opens the doors to all three. Smith did a good job of showing plenty of action without losing my attention and seemed to be well versed on the types of training exercises and fighting equipment the characters experienced.

Of course nothing is tidy in the world of YA, and the story leaves off at a cliff hanger. I also ended the story with lots of questions, and I can only hope all of them get answered in the next story. The real action is coming in book 2, but when the lovely Connie L. Smith plans to release the next story is anyone’s guess.

Grab a copy of Essenced today at:


Author Bio:

Connie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and will be forever sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. When she isn’t reading or writing, there’s a good chance she’s goofing off with her amazing, wonderful, incredible, fabulous nieces and nephew, or listening to
music that is severely outdated. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either) and likes to snap photos. Oh, and she likes apples a whole big bunch.

Find Connie on:

This Week’s Read: Essenced by Connie L. Smith

Custom book cover Connie ebookYears ago, demons were forced out of the earth’s realm by a band of supernatural fighters, banished from the place and its people in the aftermath of a horrific war. It should’ve ended there – would’ve – if not for the final demon’s claw snagging on the open portal. What felt like victory became only a reprieve, the winning warriors understanding that the tear would spread, and the demons eventually would escape exile. It was only a matter of time, and a need for future defense – a question of genetics and essences, magic and power.

Now, centuries later, a new army must bind together – one of teenagers with inhuman potentials and abilities…

AJ went to bed Sunday night an average teenage girl, clumsy and athletically lacking. So when she wakes up Monday morning with super-strength, she does what any rational person would do: She goes into denial. When a smoking hot guy in a suit shows up, rambling about the end of the war and demons spilling through some kind of rift, she refuses to listen, telling herself he’s insane. Except weird things just won’t quit happening, and the guy keeps popping up in her life, trying to explain the changes suddenly happening within her. Is she crazy, or is this guy… not so crazy after all?

Pick up a copy of Essenced at: