The Eclectic Book Review of The Sword and the Dragon (Revised) (The Wardstone Trilogy Book One) by M. R. Mathias


I have read many fantasy novels in the past and few have been able to compare to the masters of the genre like The Sword and the Dragon by M.R. Mathias.  I read the new revised version of this book and even though it was exceptionally long and took me longer than expected to read, it was well worth the time.  Mr. Mathias has created a wonderful new fantasy world that rivals the size and complexity of some of the genre’s greatest authors, with well developed characters and an intriguing plot.  This is book one in a trilogy that I certainly intend to finish reading.

Description, Characterization & World-Building Rating: 5/5

The author does an exceptional job of creating a very descriptive world full of rich characters that sucks you in and makes you want to keep reading page after page.   They have created a wonderful new fantasy world that rivals the size and complexity of many of the greatest authors in this genre.

Plot & Narration Rating: 4/5

This book is full of plot twists and turns that will keep you on your toes and begging for more.  The narration is well done and generally easy to read but with a few areas that feel somewhat awkward or contain some minor spelling or grammar issues.

Value Rating: 5/5

With a current Amazon list price of $0.99 for the original Kindle version, $3.88 for the longer revised version, or $19.88 for the paperback copy of the revised edition, this is an excellent value and offers something for every price point.

Overall Rating: 4.7/5

Let me know what you think of this review or this book in the comments.

BUY IT FROM AMAZON.COM:

Purchase the original Kindle version of The Sword and the Dragon (The Wardstone Trilogy Book One)

Purchase the Kindle version of The Sword and the Dragon (Revised) (The Wardstone Trilogy Book One)

Purchase a paperback copy of The Sword and the Dragon (Revised): The Wardstone Trilogy (Volume 1)

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy, Fiction

The Eclectic Book Review of How to Use Google+ Business Pages: A Concise Guide and Action Plan for Using Google+ in Your Business by Mike Savage


Every day more businesses learn the value of social media in their customer interactions.  With the evolving landscape of social media and increasing choices available, How to Use Google+ Business Pages: A Concise Guide and Action Plan for Using Google+ in Your Business by Mike Savage is an invaluable resource for any business looking to leverage social media.  The author does a wonderful job of covering practically everything businesses need to know about getting started with Google+.  Although there are some significant formatting errors, this is still an exceptionally valuable book that I would recommend to anyone wanting to expand their business presence into the 21st century!

Subject Matter Rating: 5/5

Social media has exploded since its introduction and is now such an integral part of so many lives that it will never disappear.  More and more businesses are learning the value of social media in their customer interactions so this is a very good subject to write about.

Author’s Knowledge Rating: 5/5

The author covers practically every aspect of Google+ that businesses would need to know from why they need to have a Google+ page to how to set it up and everything in between.  This is certainly a complete guide for businesses just getting started with this social media platform.

Formatting Rating: 3/5

In general this book is well formatted and presented.  I did not notice any obvious spelling or grammar errors.  However, there are numerous formatting errors ranging from the use of line justification that leaves too much space between words to missing, cut-off, or overlapped text.

Value Rating: 5/5

With a current Amazon list price of just $0.99, this is an invaluable resource for any business.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Let me know what you think of this review or this book in the comments.

BUY IT FROM AMAZON.COM:

Purchase the Kindle version of How to Use Google+ Business Pages: A Concise Guide and Action Plan for Using Google+ in Your Business

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Non-Fiction, Social Media, Technology

The Eclectic Book Review of The Best 101 Pure Protein Attack Phase Diet Recipes by Rosemary Baker


Recipe books are always a great addition to any kitchen library.  Who doesn’t get tired of eating the same things every day?  With 101 recipes to choose from in this book, your family meals will never get boring!

Every recipe contained in this book is a high protein recipe designed to be used with high protein diets such as the Dukan Diet.  While I’m not very knowledgeable about that specific diet plan personally, I do have some concerns as to whether these recipes are appropriate for it or not.  [SEE UPDATE BELOW] Therefore I highly recommend that anyone planning on using these recipes for any diet plan be sure to do your homework.

For those who are just looking to diversify their recipe collection and include some tasty new dishes, you can’t go wrong with this book!

Subject Matter Rating: 5/5

Everyone needs to eat, and people love learning new cooking recipes.  With over 100 recipes to choose from, this is a great addition to any recipe collection.

Author’s Knowledge Rating: 3/5

I was unfamiliar with the Dukan Diet prior to receiving this book so I did a little research to learn more about it.  The Dukan Diet is similar to the Atkins diet in the fact that it is a high protein diet that has defined phases designed to kick start your metabolism and increase your weight loss.  The first phase of the Dukan diet is named the Attack phase, therefore these recipes appear to be specifically targeted to that phase of the diet plan.

With that in mind, I have to say there were some concerns I have with the recipes in this book if you intend to use them specifically for the Dukan Diet.  Many of the recipes included in this book contain cheese.  Although the author specifies non-fat versions, from what I have found in my research the Attack phase of the Dukan diet allows non-fat dairy, but specifically forbids cheese.  In addition to that, the author suggests using a light coating of oil to coat your cooking surface and prevent sticking, but oil appears to be another thing you should omit from this diet.  Therefore my advice to anyone looking to use these recipes specifically for the Dukan Diet or any other high protein diet is to be fully aware of what the diet allows and adjust your recipes accordingly.

Aside from those concerns about the effectiveness of these recipes specifically for the Dukan Diet, these are certainly some high protein recipes that are great-tasting and easy to prepare!

[UPDATE] – After discussion with the author and a bit more research I was pointed to this blog post which indicates that the cheeses included in these recipes are appropriate for the attack phase of the Dukan Diet.  However I will still reiterate my original advice that anyone wishing to use these recipes for that purpose do their own homework because there still appears to be some inconsistencies.  I have found many online statements that say there are 72 allowed foods during the attack phase, yet the official Dukan Diet website indicates that there are only 68. Unfortunately I cannot find anything on their website that lists what those 68 foods are.

Formatting Rating: 3/5

This book is fairly well formatted and presented.  One thing I found it to be lacking was pictures.  In my opinion, every great cookbook should include pictures of the completed dishes to complete the presentation.  There are a few spelling and formatting errors but overall the recipes are easy to read and follow.

Be aware however that this book was written using UK English and Metric measurements.  So American readers should be prepared to convert the measurements and overlook the minor spelling differences.

Value Rating: 5/5

With a current Amazon list price of $2.99, this is an exceptional value at just under 3 cents per recipe!

Overall Rating: 4/5

Let me know what you think of this review or this book in the comments.  If you are familiar with the Dukan Diet, I would especially like to hear your opinions on the effectiveness of these recipes!

BUY IT FROM AMAZON.COM:

Purchase the Kindle version of The Best 101 Pure Protein Attack Phase Diet Recipes (Perfect addition to Dukan and Pure Protein Diets)

1 Comment

Filed under Food & Recipes, Non-Fiction