Archive for September, 2012

REVIEW! End of Watch

Posted: September 24, 2012 in 5 star, Adult

End of Watch

5 out of 5 stars

I watched some of the publicity appearances that Jake Gyllenhaal made to hype up End of Watch and he spoke about how he went on ride-a-longs for a long time and bonded with his co-star, Michael Pena, in order to create a true friendship.  I have to say that they truly pulled it off, with perfection. Being a real police in Baltimore, I have longed for a movie that acurrately portrayed police officer, which was one of the reasons that I wrote Eliot, because book and movie portrayl of police is usually so far off base. Not this time.

They way they interact and talk to one another is spot on. Of course the drama of the situation that they find themselves in is a stretch, to create the drama, but the best parts of the movie were the interaction between the officers and the impact this has on their families. Very little discussion of police officers reflects what really goes on with police. We try to get through our day and end up with police as our only friends, not because we are arrongant police, rather because they become the only ones that understand the world that we live in. I truly hope that this movie will help people better understand that police officers are your neighbors and regular people that are placed in an impossible position, with their worst enemy being the department itself, which is addressed in the movie. Absolutely excellent!

http://davidsimon.com/mr-bealefelds-come-to-jesus-moment/

http://davidsimon.com/you-did-it-mr-bernstein-now-own-it/

FREE Stories

Posted: September 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

I am posting short stories every Sunday on my website. The idea is for me to be challanged and improve myself. Any input is greatly encourage, as well as writing challanges.

I am naturally a gritty, dark writer. I want to write in all genres to grown. My first challange was a gay romance. Updates will be every Sunday http://www.michaelawoodjr.com/free-reading/

The Pyramid Legacy
By: Clive Eaton
Paperback, 356 pages Published June 20th 2012 by CreateSpace
ISBN13: 9781477531037

Overall 3 out of 5 stars

I received the Kindle version of The Pyramid Legacy from Clive Easton for a review request. But, I am very good at avoiding any preference because of Mr. Eaton’s generosity.
The Pyramid Legacy as title sends an impression of an ancient Egypt story, which could not be further from the truth. The pyramids are the beginning of a science fiction adventure.
Creativity 3 out of 5 stars
I am fair and tough in my critics, while the idea was good behind The Pyramid Legacy, it was not revolutionary by any means, it was average, thus 3 stars. Mr. Eaton does very well in blending archeology, mystery, science fiction, and a bit of a love story. Each of the elements were stories we have heard before but sewn together into one story.
Characters 4 out of 5 stars
Mr. Eaton did an outstanding job of making his characters believable and dialogue was generally good. The protagonist, Ben Anderson, is the best character in the novel, he grows nicely and remains true to his fundamental personality. There is a group of secondary characters that are also well done, Harry, the General, Evans, and a few more fit nicely into the story. The minor characters are okay at best, not much effort was put into them, which is generally the case with any author because we just don’t care about them, there are objects used to progress the plot. My big problem with the characters in with the second main character, Sam. While writing my novel, Eliot, I spent time learning about writing fundamentals and it is highly annoying how Sam completely changes her fundamental personality. I have no problem with characters growing, but they cannot inexplicably completely change who they are. Sam is known for her professionalism but just as she is achieving her dream, she completely loses all professionalism out of nowhere.
Spelling and Grammar 3 out of 5 stars
I am unsure if Mr. Eaton did the editing in this himself. If he did, trust me, I understand how difficult it is, I did my own editing as and eventually just had to settle with what I had, perfection is tough. The Pyramid Legacy is nowhere near perfect and I am not buying that much effort was put into editing. There are quite a few grammatical errors and fundamental sentence structure that does not make sense. When there are only a handful in a novel, I try to write them all down to help the author, but I gave up in this book because I would have never gotten through it. I will say that if I wasn’t particularly looking for such things, I probably would not have noticed. The things I am talking about are such as:
The World Wide Web is referred to as “infamous” with no explanation as to why, what the heck makes the world-wide web infamous?
…bone-shaking drive couldn’t shake it loose. – I do not like the same word so close to one another, I would prefer, the bone-jarring drive couldn’t shake it lose, or the bone-shaking drive couldn’t knock it lose.
Taxi halted abruptly outside his hotel. – It sounds like outside came abruptly, should read, the taxi abruptly halted outside of his hotel.
Things like that, which are not killer, but a little annoying.
Execution 3 out of 5 stars
Starting with the good, it is important to note that I enjoyed The Pyramid Legacy, it was a good adventure. I enjoy science fiction but do not generally write science fiction. Recently, I read the Dean Kootz book, Writing Popular Fiction, and in that book there is a section on the basics of science fiction writing. When I reviewed A.I. Apocalypse by William Hertling,  I felt it was a complete disaster in its violations of the basics of writing science fiction. A.I. Apocalypse stands as an example of how not to implement future technology in a novel. Conversely, The Pyramid Legacy stands as an example of exactly how to properly implement future technology. The future technology is believable and expertly utilized. The mPC (micro PC) is perfect in name and function, it utilized the laser projected keyboard, which is available now but is not utilized popularly. The idea that it becomes accepted as common  is perfect. The use of anti-matter as a future fuel source, the next generation of exploratory robots, space hibernation technology, moon outposts are more are believable and genuine feeling.
Now, the bad. There were two plot line flaws that were highly irritating. The big one tempted me to knock this down to 2 stars for Execution and even Overall, until I factored in how much I did enjoy the story.
1. Why does the internet not exist anymore because of a simple virus. The internet as we know it is gone in The Pyramid Legacy because of a viral attack. I understand the net being down for a while because of this but it just does not make sense that a software attack would destroy the internet. There was no hardware damage explained, so it wouldn’t take long at all to get everything back up and running.
2.  The pursuing of the murder on the ship does not make any sense at all, I mean none whatsoever. The mission was top-secret and everything about the mission was held in secret, absolutely no one was to know about it. It was even discussed how it was a surprise that government let the mission participants return to the regular world because the secret was so closely guarded. Then they go and prosecute the onboard murder of someone who would have been sentenced to death anyway, threatened the life of the crew and jeopardized the mission. The prosecution resulted in lawyers knowing about the mission and even a jury! That’s just silly. Then what reason would the murderer have for keeping the mission secret? Dumb, dumb, really dumb plot flaw.
If any writer is considering near future technology, it would not hurt them to read The Pyramid Legacy and see how Mr. Eaton did it right. Other than that, it was an enjoyable story and I believe the Mr. Eaton will make a very good book with some fine tuning. This would make a cool movie too.
Michael A. Wood Jr.