Book Review – Pen, Please  by George Mayes

Book Review – Pen, Please by George Mayes

Book Review – Pen, Please

by George Mayes

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

1 Blogger Review

Dale E. Lehman 
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Reviewed by Dale E. Lehman

An Intense Coming-of-age Novel With a Solid and Engaging Story

“Pen, Please” is an intense coming-of-age novel set in Oklahoma. We meet protagonist Andre Young at age sixteen when he returns home from a summer leadership program in Texas only to find his father hospitalized with a blood clot in his lung. The first of many trials Andre faces in the novel, it’s far from the first in his life. Through flashbacks and present-day narrative, this young black man’s journey is exposed as a chronicle of heartbreak, tragedy, and headlong rushes down blind alleys, some imposed upon him and some of his own making.

Andre is fundamentally a decent guy struggling to make sense out of a life in which every joy is followed by a dozen sorrows. But he’s also headstrong and easily tempted to take the easy way out. His troubled relationship with his father and his distance from his absent mother haunt him throughout life. He can’t sort out his relationship with women, nor can he hang onto a job in spite of being an excellent worker. He even briefly descends into selling drugs. But through it all, he valiantly struggles towards something for which he has no good role models: how to be a man.

This is a first novel by an indie writer, and as often happens in such cases, I have to give two verdicts. One the one hand, I think the story itself is solid and engaging, while the key characters are drawn well and generally intriguing. On the other, the writing isn’t what you would get in a novel released through a mainstream publisher. Author George Mayes has potential. He can sometimes turn a good phrase, and one or two particular witticisms made me laugh. But the narrative passages read like he’s trying too hard, and the dialogue could use considerable work. Also, somewhere about mid-story the novel seemed to become a rush of scenes separated by time gaps of indeterminate length. This may be me–I admit to being easily confused–but by the end of the novel I really had no idea how old Andre was anymore, and I got lost in the sea of friends and coworkers surrounding him. There are scenes I wish Mayes had shown us instead of just alluding to as past events. I would guess this novel could easily have been twice as long. It’s that rich in content.

However, I can’t fault Mayes for these shortcomings, precisely because this is a first novel by an indie writer. Nearly all writers start out this way, and in today’s world a great many publish their first efforts. Rather, I hope he takes this as encouragement to develop his craft, because I think there is a really good storyteller in there struggling to get out. I think the story itself is at least a 4 if not a 5, but overall I’m going to have to go with a 3.


The Reviewer is the Author of “The Fibonacci Murders” and “True Death” 

 

 

 
Free eBook : The Rosegiver by Sandy Hiss

Free eBook : The Rosegiver by Sandy Hiss

Free eBook : The Rosegiver

by Sandy Hiss

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Genre:

Fantasy

Blurb:

It is the late 1800s, in rural England, seventeen-year-old Rachel Harper has been summoned by her aunt to assist with housekeeping duties at the family inn. She is also required to perform duties as a rosegiver, a messenger for the weak, the broken-hearted, and the dying. On her journey to Rosethorne Inn, she befriends a writer named John, who informs her about a rash of missing girls in Thistle Grove and nearby towns. He also discusses the topic of vampyres which intrigues Rachel.

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Hello Dear Readers, I’d love to get your feedback on my debut novel, a gothic fantasy/fairytale.

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Free book : The Master by Dora Ilieva

Free book : The Master by Dora Ilieva

Free Book : The Master

by Dora Ilieva

 

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Genre:

Thriller / Mystery

Blurb:

Three years after her father’s tragic death, Kossara receives a mysterious phone call and a lucrative job offer. Eager to relaunch her academic career, she silences the voice of caution and accepts the proposal which requires that she return to her native Bulgaria. There she discovers that what seemed like an innocent research opportunity is a race against death. Aided by her friends, she struggles to locate a valuable document only to realize that it must remain hidden forever.

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The Master is a fast-paced international thriller. If you like mystery and history, this is the book for you!

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Free Book : The Janus Enigma  by William R. Dudley

Free Book : The Janus Enigma by William R. Dudley

Free Book : The Janus Enigma

by William R. Dudley

 

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Science Fiction

Blurb:

Janus — the man-made gateway to the stars, an immense, multilayered sphere orbiting the sun far out in the solar system — the last hope for humankind as they seek to escape a dying Earth, but only if they can afford to pay the price demanded by the Ultra-conglomerates, who own most things and control everything.

Calder — college dropout, ex-military, freelance bounty hunter, part-time minder in Mamma Lou’s licensed bar & whorehouse and full-time cynic. Calder knows all about trouble. He was born to it. For most of his life in the crowded, often lawless and always dangerous Outer Levels of Janus, he’s had to rely on his wits and his talent for violence simply to survive.
When he’s offered an insane amount of money to find the missing son of one of the richest and most powerful women alive, he can’t resist.

Aided by Sunny O’Malley, a mildly psychotic colleague from his time in the military, and the Krasskovs, one of Janus’ many criminal organisations, Calder’s search leads him through the shadowy underworld of the Outer Levels, down into the wealthy and privileged Inner Levels and far into the depths of space. There, a horrific discovery drives him on to untangle a web of conspiracy, murder and deceit.

With his life constantly at risk, Calder goes on to discover a deeply hidden secret — one which has shaped the very destiny of humanity.

Message from the Author:

Having long been addicted to the Science Fiction and Noir genres, this book is my attempt to combine the two. I had a huge blast creating Janus and the characters within the story and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please note, “The Janus Enigma” contains scenes of violence and some strong language, so is only suitable for an 18+ readership. Thanks for considering spending some of your time reading and reviewing “The Janus Enigma”.

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Free Book : Kids, Camels, & Cairo by Jill Dobbe

Free Book : Kids, Camels, & Cairo by Jill Dobbe

  • Free Book : Kids, Camels, & Cairo

by Jill Dobbe

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– Ends << Extended: 3rd Mar 2018

Genre:

Memoir, Travel

Blurb:

My eyes popped open the second I heard the call to prayer resound through the air. At 7:00 A.M., I walked out onto a rare quiet Cairo street and waited for the school van to pick me up. Climbing onto the van, I found a seat alongside the foreign and Muslim teachers, where I was only one of a few women not wearing hijab. It was Sunday morning, the start of another Islamic week of trying to discipline rich and apathetic students.

Traveling across the globe to work in an international school in Cairo, Egypt, was not exactly the glamorous lifestyle I thought it would be. I cherished my travels to the Red Sea, delighted in visiting the Pyramids, and appreciated the natural wonders of the Nile River. However, I also spent days without electricity or internet, was leered at by rude Egyptian men, breathed in Cairo’s cancerous black smog, and coaxed school work from students.

Message from the Author:

KIDS, CAMELS, & CAIRO is a lighthearted read about my personal experiences as an educator abroad. Whether you’re an educator, a traveler, or just a curious reader, you will be astounded at this honest and riveting account of learning to live in an Islamic society, while confronting the frustrating challenges of being an educator in a Muslim school.

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