Books Archive

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Kaimira - A Disappointing Way to End a Book

Kaimira Book CoverA few weeks ago, I was up in Maryland visiting my parents. There's a great bookstore up that way called Wonder Book. It's a used bookstore with tons of books at reasonable prices. With my mom's and my passion for books, we almost always manage a trip there every time I visit. This time, a certain book caught my eye, mainly for the cover art, so I grabbed it. The title was Kaimira: The Sky Village: Book One by Monk Ashland (actually Chris Rettstatt) and Nigel Ashland. It was touted as the first in a series of five books. Here's the book description from Amazon:

High over China, the Sky Village, an intricate web of interconnected hot-air balloons, floats above the troubled landscape, where animals battle machines for control. Mei's mother has been kidnapped, and she has been left in this strange place by her father.

Half a world away, thirteen-year-old Rom struggles to survive in the ruins of Las Vegas. When his young sister is taken by a pair of demonic creatures, Rom has no choice but to follow her into a shadowy world below ground. There, he becomes engaged in gladiator-style fighting in an arena where mehanical-beast demons do battle for the entertainment of a chaotic community of gamblers.

Mei and Ron have never met, but they share a common journal, a book that mysteriously allows them to communicate. It also reveals that each of them carries the strange and frightening kaimira gene and that aspects of beast and mek qualities are entwined in their very DNA.

In this thrilling, intricately plotted novel, the first in a five-book series, Mei and Rom must overcome the forces that seek to destroy them and find the courage to balance the powers that lurk within.

It was pretty good. Maybe not the best book I'd ever read, but certainly enjoyable, and far better than some other books that I've read (like a certain series with sparkly vampires). So I was looking forward to reading the rest of the series. Unfortunately, when I got onto Amazon, I couldn't find it. I thought that maybe it just wasn't out yet, so I did a little more searching, and it doesn't look promising.

Chris Rettstatt, who wrote under the pen name of Monk Ashland, has a website, He has a blog that was last updated just over a year ago, but that last entry had nothing to do with the Kaimira series. He does have a section devoted to Kaimira, but his last entry for that was from 2010, and most of the entries are from 2008. And in the comments of his last Kaimira entry, a few people asked him specifically about book 2 of Kaimira, and he hasn't responded. It's frustrating because the old stuff looks so promising. He has information about awards it was nominated for (like the Cybils 2008), a possibility of expansion into TV and gaming, a paperback edition being released, an update on the second book, and a mention that he'd turned in the first draft of the second book. The most recent update I could find of Rettstatt was his participation in the 6th annual Digital Kids Conference back in April.

I guess the moral is, before starting on a series, make sure that the series will be completed. If I hear anything about any other Kaimira books being released, I'll update this post.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Support Doctors Without Borders, Get an Autographed Book from Jerry Coyne

I should have announced this before, but better late than never.

There's currently a fundraising drive going on for Doctors Without Borders. It's a very worthwhile organization, and certainly deserving of your money. Jerry Coyne, writer of the website, Why Evolution is True, has come up with a promotion to give you extra incentive to donate. As detailed in this entry, What you missed (but it's not too late!), Dr. Coyne is offering an autographed copy of his book, also titled Why Evolution Is True, to anyone who donates over $100 as part of this drive. But the offer is only valid through this Wednesday, September 26th. Details are in Coyne's post.

I wrote a brief review of the book in Book Review - Why Evolution Is True. It's my favorite introduction to evolution - just the right balance of evidence and theory, with just a touch of refutations against creationism.

As an example of what to expect, here's the way he signed the book for us.

WEIT Signed by Dr. Coyne

What are you waiting for? Go donate before it's too late (well, it's never actually too late to donate to an organization as worthwhile as Doctors without Borders, so even if you missed Dr. Coyne's promotion, go donate, anyway).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Update

Book Cover to Leaving Christianity: A Collection of Essays by Jeff LewisWell apparently, the link that I first got to sell my book on Lulu has changed, and I never realized it. So, anyone who clicked on the link in the sidebar of the blog homepage got an error message from Lulu saying that the product couldn't be found. I'm sure that explains why my book hasn't become a runaway best seller.

So, I fixed the link on the blog homepage, as well as in the Religion section of the site (where you can read the essays for free), and in all the blog entries that mentioned the book. I guess that now I can expect the profits to start rolling in.

Anyway, here are links to the various formats where you can buy the book.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Books, A Year in Review - 2011, Part II

Old Book Bindings, from Wikimedia Commons Here is the second part of my review of the books I read in the last year. Part I was an analysis of my reading habits, while this entry will give a brief review for each book.

I usually try to point out my favorite books from the year in this part. In years past, I've had some difficulty because there were just so many books that I liked. This year, though, there were a few standouts. My favorites were Dragon's Keep, All My Friends Are Dead, Why Evolution Is True, Two Years Before the Mast, and Castle. That's not to say that some of the other books weren't really good, but those five, at least to me, were exceptional.

Continue reading "Books, A Year in Review - 2011, Part II" »

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Book on iBookstore

Book Cover to Leaving Christianity: A Collection of Essays by Jeff LewisI was hoping to have Part II of my yearly book review done this week, but that's taking a little longer than I'd hoped (I'm not as slammed at work as I had been, but I'm still working through many of my lunches). But, on a book related them, I'll mention that my book is now available through the iBookstore. So if you have an iGadget of some sort, you can go get it at the following link:

God? Leaving Christianity: A Collection of Essays


Selling Out