The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt – Review

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

Published in 1979, revised and updated in 2001

Pages: 780

Genre: Nonfiction, biography

“On the late afternoon of 27 October 1858, a flurry of activity disturbed the genteel quietness of East Twentieth Street, New York City.”

Theodore Roosevelt is among the most famous of American presidents for good reason. Social reform, foreign policy expertise, and his famous mustache all come to mind when thinking about the 26th president of the United States. What The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt brings to the table is the tale of his not-so-humble beginnings and how he rose above sickness, the juggernaut of machine politics, and the concerns of naysayers to be one of the most influential men of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt covers the future president’s life beginning with his birth in 1858 and ending with his ascent to the Vice Presidency in 1901. In 780 pages, we see the asthmatic boy who would be president grow not only physically but as a person.

Theodore-Roosevelt Portrait.jpg
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

Continue reading “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt – Review”


On the Subject of Adaptations: Part 1 – Separating the Book and the Movie

“The book is better than the movie.”

According to many in the reading community, truer words have never been said. I admit that this phrase has found its way past my lips on more than one occasion, though with building apprehension as I have grown older. The situation of adapting a story from the written word to the silver screen is a precarious one at best and a horrid affair at worst. I have seen comments on Facebook and YouTube expressing the sentiment in the image above and feel obligated to make a case for adaptations.

Are there bad adaptations? Of course; but there are also film adaptations that are successful in their storytelling despite how they wander from the source material. In fact, I would argue that if a film adaptation were as described in the above image, it would not be enjoyable. A successful adaptation takes what is good about the original story and puts its own spin on the material; there should be a reason to watch the movie besides wanting to see rather than read.

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Continue reading “On the Subject of Adaptations: Part 1 – Separating the Book and the Movie”

On the Subject of Genre

I am often asked, “Erik, how is it that you choose which genre to classify the books you review?”. Well, not often…or at all. However, for argument’s sake, let’s pretend people do ask me that and that it has happened so often that it warrants a blog post.

There; now that we are all operating under the same collective delusion, how do I go about assigning genre? Continue reading “On the Subject of Genre”

Void Stalker – Review

Void Stalker by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Originally published in 2012, Limited Edition (pictured above) published in 2016

Pages: 462

Genre: Science fiction, military fiction

 “It knew itself only as the Eldest.”

The Exalted is dead and now Talos leads the beleaguered remains of the 10th and 11th companies of the Eighth Legion aboard the reclaimed warship Echo of Damnation. This is where we find First Claw and the cast of characters from the previous books in Void Stalker. After experiencing a frightening prophecy which makes up the prologue, Talos awakens and finds himself facing a world he thought he would never see again. With no memory of directing his subordinates to head to the planet (Tsagualsa), Talos must figure out why he has returned to the place where the Legion separated into its disparate war bands centuries ago. Continue reading “Void Stalker – Review”

Blood Reaver – Review

Blood Reaver by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Originally published in 2011, Limited Edition (pictured above) published in 2016

Pages:  407

Genre: Science fiction, military fiction

“The Covenant of Blood tore through the warp, splitting the secret tides like a spear of strained cobalt and flawed gold.”

Blood Reaver takes place a few months after the end of Soul Hunter. Octavia is now the navigator of the Night Lord’s strike cruiser, Covenant of Blood, Talos and First Claw continue to fight and live in the darkness that surrounds them physically and mentally, and Septimus is still a slave; albeit a slave with some sexy facial bionics. Like Soul Hunter, the title refers to an actual character in the book and in this case it is the Tyrant of Badab, Huron Blackheart of the Red Corsairs traitor Space Marines. Years of battle damage have taken their toll on the Covenant of Blood and it is because of this that Talos and company seek Huron’s help for repairs. The aid of the Tyrant of Badab comes at a price, however, and the 10th Company finds itself thrust into a suicide mission: attacking the fortress world of a Space Marine Chapter. Continue reading “Blood Reaver – Review”