Thursday, January 25, 2018

Fire and Sword by Simon Scarrow Review

Fire and Sword by Simon Scarrow 4 Stars

This is the third installment in the Napoleon-Wellington quartet. Napoleon is set on another war with countries in Europe. He continues to win and take over more of Europe. The countries allying against him can't seem to coordinate attacks together, helping Napoleon to defeat them one at a time. Meanwhile Wellesley continues his push for fame, making a name for himself as a general with strategic skills.

I was certainly more intrigued by this book. A better, more action-packed book in this series. Napoleon's arrogance is growing and you can see just why he ends up being exiled. I love that we see so much of the characteristics of these two generals. We see their fates twisting around each other, until they are bound to meet in the final installment. Scarrow brings in hints as to other world events that shape their lives, without making it a long and boring addition. Plot and characters continue to be strong driving points in Scarrow's novels, as well as his historical research that he brings into his novels. Overall I would recommend this novel for those who love history.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Generals By Simon Scarrow Book Review

The Generals: Wellington and Napoleon Quartet Book 2 3.25 Stars

In the second installment of this quartet, we see Napoleon rise in power and reputation in France, as well as Arthur Wellesley become a General himself and rise in his reputation in Britain. Napoleon works on bringing Egypt and Italy under French rule, before fighting to establish peace in France again. Wellesley does the same in India, rising to power, before he returns to Britain.

I still find it tough going back and forth between these 2 story lines. I know at some point they will meet, but just when you get into a story, it moves back to the other character. I am really loving the history and obvious research that went into creating this series. I also love how deep the characters are. They jump off every page and ping little bits of memory from things I already know. The plot is great, although he can't really deviate too far, as history has set out his plot for him already. Overall I will finish this series, but for me it is in the one time read category, not a keeper, but good enough to read once.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Graffiti Photo Book

I have been working hard at trying to get out a photo book featuring Freight Train graffiti that I have taken photos of in Swift Current, SK. It has been an enlightening experience. I first had to start out by editing the photos to showcase them in such a manner that it best shows the work put into making the graffiti. This took quite a long time as I have over 160 photos I hope to put in, and twice as many that did not make the cut, never mind all the time and effort involved in taking those photos. The next step was deciphering what each piece said, to pick out the taggers/crews involved in it's creation. Then came all the research of these taggers and crews to find out where they are from, though many of them I could find very little information on, some no information, which considering the legalities of graffiti art, should come as  no surprise. Even so the research was very intriguing, and I found that by the end I could decipher more of the tags, and even recognize some taggers work without seeing their signature. Now I am working on putting this all into the book form and doing the cover art.
Lots of work, but we will see when I am done if I am happy with the way it turns out. If I am I will make it available for purchase, if not then It was a fun learning experience.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Now Selling My Photos!

So I was happy to discover I have sold 3 photos through a site I use, as well as sold 1 photo framed locally. I have recently discovered and have started selling under the profile tpeters745.  Here is a link but also sell through my facebook group Tony Alexander Photography Happy with both. The Facebook group is a great way sell local canvas, metal, and photo prints. Redbubble is cool though as they have a wide variety of products to put your art onto, mugs, travel mugs, phone cases, clothes, canvas, tapestry, greeting cards, and much more. So cool.
Also selling on This company sells a lot of the same things as redbubble, but has better duvets, has towels, portable chargers, and much more.
Also selling print only versions of 10 pieces in odd sizes, on profile tpeters745.
As well as on with just prints available here.

Love that people seem to be enjoy the artistry of my creative photography, as that is the point of the hobby.
Thanks for taking the time to check out my work!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Young Bloods by Simon Scarrow: Book review

Young Bloods by Simon Scarrow Book 1 of Napoleon-Wellington Quartet 3.5 Stars

Napoleon and Arthur (Wellington) are the focus of the book. It starts out with their births and their childhoods growing up, including the great demands that they were put under by parents who are struggling to maintain status. They both wind up in the military through having little choice, but they end up thriving. When France goes through a revolution it throws both of these men into the fray and gives them the opportunity to rise to the top.
I always love all the historical details that Scarrow includes in all of his novels and this novel is no exception. You can tell all the research he puts in throughout every chapter. Another strength would be his character development. He always has a depth rarely found in novels. I did find it difficult to be going back and forth between these characters constantly, as just when you are getting into one character's story it switches to the other one, which feels like letting air out of your tires. Overall though this is great read, but I feel his Cato and Macro series is better. Still good for a one-time read. Just ordered the last book in this series.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Book Review: The Directive by Matthew Quirk

The Directive by Matthew Quirk 3.25 Stars

Michael Ford is getting married, but before the wedding he wants to reconnect with his brother Jack. By going to see his con-artist brother he sets into motion a downward spiral of deception. Dragged into stealing a well-kept secret that whomever possesses could make billions. The Federal Reserve Bank controls the fate of America's stock market, his theft stands to allow whoever is pulling the strings to control more than just Michael's fate. He must make the heist in order to save everything that he holds dear, but will he manage to save it all, or let it all slip through his fingers?

The Directive starts off kind of slow, but keeps just enough of your attention to keep you reading. It has several great twists and turns and does get more intense as the book goes on. We see Michael Ford trapped in a tough situation. These twists were not always unpredictable, but were still interesting. I did feel that the characters could have used a little more work. Michael Ford is the only one really developed fully. His fiance Annie is naive, and shallow; she comes across as being dense and stupid. I wish Quirk had her being a little more supportive and Michael being more honest with her instead of treating her like she is fragile, especially in regards to her father. She would have figured out his past years before this event.
I also feel that the comment on the front of the book about if you like Ludlum then you would like this book. I am not a Ludlum fan as I find him wordy, but his books have much more depth of character and way better twists to the plot. The comparison isn't really fair to Ludlum.
Overall I likely would not pick up another of Matthew Quirks books. It was good for a one-time read, but did not grab me enough to keep me going with more of his books.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth Review

Four: A Divergent Collection 3.25

This book just fills in little bits that were already covered in Divergent, only from Four's perspective. I really enjoyed how it fills in information that helps develop Four's character a little more. I feel like this whole book could have been combined straight into Divergent, by simply making the whole series third person. I have mentioned this in reviews of the previous books, and the book Four, just reaffirms this in my mind. I did enjoy the book, just feel that it is kind of redundant. Short stories are harder to get into, but overall I think this book was good. In the future I would actually recommend reading this once you are finished reading Divergent.