Dogs of War

Dogs of War, A novella. Amazon Kindle Edition, Copyright 2011 and written by Bradley Convissar.

Gary Lettner and Caroline, his wife of six months discover and purchase a home in a nice suburban area and in true dog-lover fashion he decides to visit a small animal shelter to get a dog. Not exactly in a manner favored by Caroline, he obtains Molly, a close to mentally beaten-down eight-year-old Dachshund. For little explained reasons other than a purported incompatibility, they divorce and he and Molly settle into an enjoyable routine until one night Molly awakens him in the middle of the night with incessant barking and a desire to be let out into the garden. From this point, the story become a tale of ghostly dogs and their insistence upon gaining Molly’s aid, with Gary in attendance, to attempt to right vicious wrongs they, and others, had suffered at the hands of cruel developers of dogs to be used in illicit dog fighting.

Discussion: The author has presented a tale describing in some detail the inhuman atrocities a certain breed of individuals will inflict upon animals to satisfy their sick minds. It is a short book that may be classified in the ghost/horror genre with a revenge theme that dog lovers no doubt will love. The pace is good, the rather detailed plot moves well so the reader feels compelled to continue to its termination. As an aside, as once owner of dachshunds, the breed is subject to the infirmities listed, but Gary’s treatment of Molly seems a little overdone especially in light of some of her described activities. But then, when one reads a ghost story, it is necessary to pretty much ignore any pragmatic thoughts.

4* Short, easy read ghost story with unusual protagonists.

Plagued

Plagued, Book One, a post-apocalyptical e-book copyright and written by Garrison Scott and introducing the series’ protagonist.

Skyler Campbell is a normal, attractive teenager living in Great Neck, Long Island. In school she is fully engaged in her school’s activities, including being a cheer leader. The football team has just won an important game and she is about to celebrate with her friends when her grandfather tells her it is important that he speak with her. She says she will see them later but after their talk she begins a home schooling program dictated by the fact that a monstrous asteroid is headed for earth and scheduled to strike within five years if the atomic war heads dispatched cannot stop it. Her grandfather, a former member of the Army’s specially trained Delta Force, wants her to learn to survive under any possibly evolving conditions. Thus begins her home schooling specifically designed to reach this objective. The asteroid strikes earth with cataclysmic effects. She and her grandfather manage to survive because not only had he trained her completely, but had a home with one of the deep survival shelters that had been constructed by a number of people when atomic warfare possibilities first became a viable possibility. The story presents a constant flow of credible occurrences that one might expect following a strike of this nature. There follows equally believable after reactions of earthquakes, flooding and entre into the post- catastrophic world. One, unexpected but also credible occurrence is a brief influx of alien organisms released from within the structure of the asteroid when it strikes that leave a horrible and lasting effect on survivors. Strangely it affects only part of the population but unfortunately Skyler is one of those affected. As they finally are able to emerge from their shelter, they encounter other individuals, some also affected while others who are not and these latter attempt to annihilate all of those who are. The story line follows Skyler as she attempts to survive this devastating situation as she heads west from this most seriously, seemingly center, of the devastating blow.

Discussion: The author has provided a non-stop thrilling tale of the attempts of a now unusually physically compromised young woman who otherwise still is fully equipped to survive as she tries to save others as well as herself in her constantly death-threatened journey. It is a story set forth at such break-neck speed that other than the more pragmatic reader will find difficult to put down. The only caveat offered is for these latter.

5* for other than pragmatists.