Michael Phillip Cash’s The History Major

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cash for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Amanda Green isn’t having the best morning. Really, it started with the fight she had with her boyfriend last night. Now, she seems to have a new room-mate, a new schedule, and a weird teacher of a course she wouldn’t be caught dead in. Why is she taking history? Why hasn’t Patrick called her? And who is that odd black-clad individual who keeps showing up? Maybe, she shouldn’t drink anymore?

Story Telling: I do believe this novella straddles the line between science-fiction and fantasy.

Likes: Amanda had a good relationship with her grandmother.

Patrick tried to bring the better woman out in Amanda’s personality. Too bad she didn’t seem to see that.

Dislikes: Danielle was a real brat. Oh boo-hoo, somebody didn’t acknowledge ‘her highness.’ She might be for a surprise. Life doesn’t work that way.

Structurally, I think this book should have had a few more chapters to tie up some loose ends. Or, Mr. Cash could have used a newspaper-like epilogue.

Favorite Character: It’s a toss-up between Nana and Patrick.

Favorite Quote: Patrick tried to warn Amanda. “I don’t like who you are when you’re with them.”

Favorite Scene: The ‘hide-and-seek’ game between Amanda and Nana was cute.

Conclusion: This book was very interesting, but it is a ‘niche’ book, so to speak. It will not be for everyone, especially the crowd that’s obsessed with ‘writing’ rules. I had fun with it.

Michael Phillip Cash’s Risen-The Battle For Darracia 3

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cash for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Lothen is in for a surprise. His conquest of Darracia isn’t going as smoothly as he would like. Nobody seems to want to join his cult of Geva. The capitol is sinking to the earth. And now there are rumors of an uprising. Can Lothen keep Darracia? Or will he learn how weak his goddess really is?

Story Telling: And now we get to the conclusion of “The Battle of Darracia.” The final book of a trilogy, and the chance to see if Mr. Cash wrote one of the best. After all, these books lean toward a lot of action, and the best ones have a lot of hope.

Likes: V’sair showed his strength in leadership. Especially, since the last book ended with his apparent demise.

Zayden didn’t let his weakness of body destroy his spirit. And that’s says a lot about him.

Bobbien and Tulani kept their heads in a real bad situation.

Reminda had a lot of help. And if you think about it, most if not all of the inhabitants of Darracia kept their hope.

Dislikes: Naje just fell even further in my opinion. Sex doesn’t lead to power, nor does it lead to happiness either. You have to find that seed in yourself, and nurture it.

Seren played a dangerous game. Betrayal isn’t the best way to get ahead in life. That’s a sword that more often cuts the wielder.

Favorite Character: I really can’t just pick one this time. Pretty much any inhabitant of Darracia, who was willing to fight for his or her freedom, is my favorite character.

Favorite Quote: There isn’t a lot that I can say about this quote. “They bounced…smothering the blackness with light.”

Favorite Scene: The best part was when Staf Nuen realized and repented of his mistakes.

Conclusion: This was a great ending of a great trilogy. Even fantasy fans can enjoy the books. Especially, after you get past the first one.

Michael Phillip Cash’s Collision-The Battle For Darracia 2

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cash for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: V’sair is due for his coronation, yet he doesn’t believe the time is right. His choices for Queen and Grand Mestor are preoccupied to say the least. Unfortunately for him and his people, another uncle–this time from his mother’s side–wants Darracia for his new home. Can V’sair and the Elements stand against Lothen and his goddess Geva?

Story Telling: We have the middle of a science-fiction trilogy. This part of a trilogy is always hard to get right. They are the darkest of the three books. Yet if you get them too dark, then no one wants to continue the story.

Likes: The spirit of this book is pretty good. You can easily feel for the young king.

Bobbien is back with her care of all creatures. Especially, when Zayden needs her help the most.

Reminda is much different from her brother.

Dislikes: Where to start? Lothen doesn’t seem to understand that true power does not come from destruction.

Naje ruined herself, and she doesn’t even see it. She sold her soul for the appearance of power.

And Seren is a weird guy. Who really wants to marry someone who has already given his or her heart away?

Favorite Character: It’s a tie between Reminda, Bobbien, and Denita.

Favorite Quote: Reminda gives us it again. “You have to give everything time.”

Favorite Scene: The best part for me was when Reminda got to talk to Drakko again.

Conclusion: I found that this book kept a good balance of hope and the darker parts of a trilogy. Well done Mr. Cash. I hope the last is just as strong.

Michael Phillip Cash’s Schism-The Battle For Darracia 1

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cash for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: On the planet Darracia there is a storm brewing. The Darracians are the ruling class, with the Quyroos seeming to be the serving class. The current king has long ago committed a trespass against the Darracian way. He married a Plantan woman. Their son, V’sair, is partially the cause for the stirrings of a civil war. Will V’sair fall due to his own insecurities? Or will he gain the aide of the Elements to save his family?

Story Telling: Well, we have come from Urban Fantasy, through horror, and to a science-fiction tale from Mr. Cash.

Likes: V’sair is the premier Doubting Thomas. He understands the Doctriness, yet he doesn’t feel them down in his gut like the rest of the Darracians do. But he doesn’t deny the ideas when he witnesses them.

Reminda and Drakko truly had big plans. I hope that their plans come to fruition.

Zayden didn’t seem to hold any animosity against his half-breed little brother. He showed how much he is willing to give for him.

Dislikes: Staf’s attitude left much to be desired.

Favorite Character: It would be Reminda.

Favorite Quote: Reminda to Drakko: “Sometimes we must let nature do what it must.…It is not easy , but we must let him find himself.”

Favorite Scene: I enjoyed the part when V’sair learns that maybe the sacred texts might have been misinterpreted.

Conclusion: This is a good start to the trilogy. I hope Mr. Cash manages to keep up the threads through the next two books.

Michael Phillip Cash’s The Flip

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cash for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Brad and Julie are house-flippers. As a sideline, it isn’t too bad. But this new house isn’t like the others. The Hemmings House has a bad reputation. Nobody seems to want it. Surprisingly enough, Julie loves the place. She even has big plans for it. Yet it seems to be having an odd effect on the couple.

Story Telling: Well, from horror we return to urban fantasy with ghosts. Sounds like fun.

Likes: Brad wanted to make Julie’s dreams of making house-flipping a full-time business. Willie helped out, especially since his dreams involved getting a little nest egg together.

Heather had a good head on her shoulders. And Gerald was certainly devoted.

Dislikes: Okay, Julie was supposed to be married to Brad. This is a partnership, that means you discuss major decisions–say, keeping the house–then make the decision together. Control issues don’t belong in a marriage.

And Tessa couldn’t let go of her proclivities. Sex isn’t the whole of a relationship, nor are people your playthings.

Favorite Character: This time, it would be Heather.

Favorite Quote: Heather tried to warn Julie that she was ignoring the partnership of marriage. “Marriage is all about compromise. Julie you can’t push a guy like Brad around. He’s not your lackey.”

Favorite Scene: It was pretty good to see the meeting between Heather, Julie, and Brad.

Conclusion: This was an okay book. Honestly, the main women–both living and dead–nearly ruined the story for me.

Michael Phillip Cash’s Brood X-A Firsthand Account of the Great Cicada Invasion

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cash for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Seth is having a hard time getting a job. And now his wife, Lara, has dropped a surprise onto his lap. They are expecting a baby. Seth’s excitement would be complete, if people weren’t so worried about a bunch of cicadas emerging. What’s the trouble? They’re just bugs, right? What’s the worse that could happen?

Story Telling: This is an out-right horror novel. And it’s loaded with creepy-crawlies.

Likes: Seth and Lara were committed to each other. Seth may not have taken some things very seriously, yet he didn’t pick on anyone who was, at least not in front of them.

Lara worried a lot more, thought she was also bringing a child into the world. She also wanted to keep the extended family together.

Jimmy and his mother may have been written to appear paranoid at the beginning, but they showed great concern for their neighbors.

Dislikes: Seth and Lara are here too, for a good reason. Seth didn’t really do any research into the cicada fears before he discounted the threat. And Lara was a bit of a control freak.

Marnie and Dominic may have been decent people, but they are very inconsiderate guests.

Favorite Character: It’s Mrs. Cain. She was so kind. She even supplied key information to Lara and Seth.

Favorite Quote: Jimmy supplies us the quote, after he supplied Seth with some water. “Here take some duct tape too”…“That stuff’s good for everything.”

Favorite Scene: It was when Jimmy came by with the baby book. You never know when you just might need that information.

Conclusion: This was a fun book. Though, if you are squeamish, like me, there is that one scene that you’ll want to skip.

Michael Phillip Cash’s Stillwell

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cash for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Paul Russo is just now returning to the workforce after his wife’s failed fight with cancer. Allison Russo was his whole world, how can he go on without her? Now he is having dreams about Allison being in danger. On top of that, he has been tapped to oversee the sell of the Andrewses ancestral home, Stillwell Manor. Stillwell is said to be haunted, but Paul doesn’t believe in ghosts. So no problem, right?

Story Telling: Once again, Mr. Cash provides us an urban fantasy haunting.

Likes: Both Paul’s family and Allison’s were there fro the Russo family. Paul needed them, as much as they needed him, and it’s great to see that they were able to pull together during such a dark time.

Molly was kind of fun. She’s the kind of girl that you ought to be listening to in ghost stories. She seems to have so much belief in, and knowledge of, the paranormal world.

Hannah’s story was kind of sad, but ended in the right way.

Dislikes: I have little respect for those who cheat on their spouses. That means that both Craig and Melissa Andrews aren’t going to be my favorite characters. Also, Craig didn’t seem to really feel anything stronger than lust. Nor did he have any familial pride.

Squire Andrews was totally wrong. I can’t really say too much about him without ruining Hannah’s story.

And why do the schools always lean towards professional psychiatric help? Could it be, maybe, because of the professional drugs?

The first half of the novel was a bit depressing. But Paul was still trying to get on with life. Though Allison’s ‘monkey wrench’ felt more like a downer.

Favorite Character: I guess it would be Molly, Nonnie, and June. They were always cooking.

Favorite Quote: This fit’s the whole story. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost. What happened at Stillwell?” –Molly.

Favorite Scene: It was kind of cool that Paul found the secret documents, both the letter from Craig’s father, and Hannah’s journal.

Conclusion: This was a pretty good story, at least after the first half of the book.

Michael Phillip Cash’s The Hanging Tree

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cash for the honor of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Arielle has a problem. Her parents have divorced, and nobody asked for her opinion. She doesn’t like her father’s newest lady, so why should she care if he likes her newest boyfriend? And what does he have in common with the town’s ‘hanging tree’?

Story Telling: Can urban fantasy work as a novella? Let’s find out.

Likes: Peter did his best by his daughters. Their mother did some pretty awful things, yet he never ran her down in front of them.

The girls’ Grandmother really stepped up as well.

And who would feel for Goody Bennett? She just wanted to do right by her town, and was misunderstood.

Dislikes: Goody’s nemesis, George Harmond–would be Reverend–, really needed to try reading the Bible, before he tried preaching it. He would have found laws against coveting, lying, murder, and even a special message from Jesus about doing good on the Sabbath.

And Arielle was a little too self-centered for my tastes. Sorry darlin’, but your parents’ love-lives do not revolve around your world. Nor can you insist that things stay the same. Life has an annoying habit of throwing change at us, and it’s not even the kind that can easily be spent.

Favorite Character: Peter Harmond.

Favorite Quote: “It was your own free will. The curse found you.” Goody Bennett.

Favorite Scene: The best part of the book was when Arielle had her conversation with Goody. That was perfect.

Conclusion: This was a good story. One that points out the results of your actions. Plus, I liked Goody’s definition of Hell.

Michael Phillip Cash’s Monsterland

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cash for the pleasure of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Wyatt is looking at a static year of going to a community college, and working at Instaburger. He and his two friends are fortunate when they are gifted with four Presidential Passes to the new theme park, Monsterland. In a park filled with werewolves, vampires, and zombies, what could possibly go wrong. Let’s put it this way, I wouldn’t go.

Story Telling: Well, we have a brand new urban fantasy from Mr. Cash. This time we get to see the mainstays of the horror genre.

Likes: Carter White had a couple of thankless jobs. One, he is a cop in the small town of Copper Valley, and he is the step-father to two teenage boys. Wyatt and Josh might not be his children by blood, but Carter was their father in every other way that counted.

There was one fascinating zombie here. He managed to hold on to his humanity.

For a novel about werewolves, vampires, and zombies, this book wasn’t over-the-top with gore and violence. This made the book enjoyable.

Dislikes: Nolan was possessive, mean, and violent. This is not a good combination in a monster book.

Oh, and Josh’s quote of “you’re not my father,” is completely wrong. Carter fed them, sheltered them, and worried more about their welfare than some biological parents do.

Vincent was evil, that was something that can be seen before we reached the park.

By the way those little warning bells going off in your head, means that something wrong is happening.

Oh, vampires, if you seduce someone, and take away his or her free will, then he or she didn’t chose to be a vampire.

Favorite Character: It’s Carter White, and General Anthony this time around.

Favorite Quote: We’ve got two, and Mr. Cash landed a good hit on the PC crowd with them. ““I prefer to call them zombies.”

“We don’t like to refer to them that way. The politically correct term is vitality challenged.””

And the second: “Hunchback. But we actually prefer to be called vertically impaired.”

Favorite Scene: One of the best parts of the novel was when Wyatt understood what happened to Jack Baldwin.

Conclusion: This is a fun read, and fairly safe for Halloween.

Michael Phillip Cash’s Pokergeist

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cash’s publicist, Ms Bass, for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Clutch Henderson wants to win the International Series of Poker. He came close last year. Second place, losing to an upstart playing in his first tournament. Now, the Series is coming around again. There’s just one problem for Clutch. He died last year. But hope is not lost. You see, a young IT guy, Telly Martin, can see and hear Clutch. Clutch isn’t passing this chance up. Telly wouldn’t mind getting a ring for his girlfriend, so this should be a perfect partnership, right?

Story Telling: We have an Urban Fantasy, albeit, a bit of a grittier version than “Witches Protection Agency” and “The After House”

Likes: Telly did seem to want to do the right thing by his girlfriend. And we had a few cameos from “The After House.”

Dislikes: Okay, there’s just something that will usually irk me when I run across it. I have yet to find a situation that it won’t. It comes down to Harriet and Frank Martin. More Harriet than Frank. Harriet put a lot on the fact that Telly received the best education in the family. Yes, she was worried about him, but not in a good way. See, Harriet was worried that Telly would squander his life and not be able to take care of his bi-polar actor of a brother. Telly’s sister hadn’t married well enough for Harriet, so Telly was tapped to financially support both his brother and his parents when the time came.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Children, and other family members, should be able to pull up the slack–so to speak– when the parents need help. But you shouldn’t imply that: I’m going to need you someday, so forget about your dreams, and get a steady job so you’ll be there. That will do nothing but kill a child’s spirit, and make it so that you don’t have that child’s help when you do need it. Frank fits here, because he didn’t temper his wife’s fears.

And Buster Henderson never realized his mistake. You cannot teach a child all there is to know about poker, ignoring the other more important things to life, and be surprised when that child grows up to be a person whose relationships die at the poker table.

Oh, while we’re on the subject, someone ought to tell Chrissy that money isn’t everything. Riches won’t buy you happiness. You might end up miserable in flamboyant surroundings.

Favorite Character: It would be Telly.

Favorite Quote: When Adam finally lost his ‘partner’ he gave a good quote, one that truly summarized what Buster claimed poker was about. “Nicely played. Congratulations.”

Favorite Scene: I loved it when Gretchen was talking to Telly’s cab fare at the poker tournament.

Conclusion: This book was a bit depressing for my taste. Maybe Mr. Cash’s next novel will be a return to the same spirit of “The After House” or “Witches Protection Agency.” I’ll be looking forward to his next one.