Book Reviews

Here are the latest book reviews for my novella, ‘Grand Theft Life’

so far only 5/5 stars!

katya

katya

5 STARS

Fast forward flash photosynthesized heroics
By Peaceseeker on April 30, 2015

This is a riveting read: gripping in the power of the telling, disturbing in the mindset of the teller. It is short enough to be read at one sitting, and fascinating enough to make it difficult to do otherwise. I suspect that the author – as she says about one of her characters – has “read a lot of culturally-sanctioned literature; from Charles Dickens to Jane Austen to Hemingway.” The style is assured and ambitious: crisp, focused and strong.

“The voices. They were incessant. They reminded me I was not like the others.” “There was a meanness about humans, to which I could not relate.” She says of Freddy – the man who snatched her when she was of age – that he was like family she never knew she had. “Maybe I was ready to start making my own Hallmark cards for a year. Ya. Then open my veins in a Sylvia Plath bath.”

Daughter of Darkness is a powerful poetic monologue from someone who felt so different from those she grew up with/around that she concluded she belonged to a different species altogether: one that looks human, and that lives among humans, but is in fact not ‘human’ in the accepted or acceptable sense. One that has no fear of consequences, and that feeds off human fear. You find them in numbers in the dangerous, poverty-stricken, blighted belts of every concrete jungle. They come out at night, and prey on humans whose fear of consequences makes them easy meat. They can also prey on each other when those inner voices scream…

I urge you to read this book. It thoroughly deserves to be widely read.

5 STARS
I enjoyed reading this book
By Kristina on April 23, 2015

I enjoyed reading this book. When I started to read, I couldn’t drop it from my hands. I could literary feel that I live in the head of the main character. It was always something happening, in her surroundings, or in her head. I look forward to the next part.

5 STARS

How can I headline a review for a masterpiece of literature?
By Jen Morrison on April 2, 2015

This was one of the most difficult books for me to review. I honestly took much longer than I expected to contemplate how to review this book. I had to talk about this book for days before I could coherently organize my thoughts for this post. I could say this book was stunning, amazing, wonderful–all the adjectives I might use for a 5-star review, but I wouldn’t be doing this one justice.

Writers of all ages often wonder about writing the next Great Amercian Novel. Katya Mills has done it. A hundred years ago, if the genre had existed, I believe William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying would have been something like paranormal fiction.

Wait. Did I just compare Katya to Faulkner? Yes. Yes, I did.

This is a masterpiece of urban fantasy that should be dissected in classrooms and universities. while I may not agree with the socio-political opinions, I recognize the importance of her vivisection of urban gangland. This book kept me engrossed and I even had to reread it before reviewing. I can say that very few books warrant a reread from me, but I got to the end and immediately reread the entire thing.

My first reaction to the first few chapters was, “What the hell?” and I honestly thought I was going to have to pass on reviewing this one, but as I read further on, my opinion sky-rocketed. She left me both confounded, confused, and amazed–and in dire need of a second read. Give this book a place on your shelf and in fifty years when your grandchildren are complaining about their reading in school, remember this moment. They will be complaining about Katya Mills.

5 STARS

Daughter of Darkness
By P. Kater on March 25, 2015

Daughter of Darkness is a different kind of fantasy book. It’s tense. Paced. Fast. And it introduces you to a world of people who are different from us. Different in a way you can’t see. Ame, the main character, is one of those different people. She grows up being ‘strange’ and it takes a drastic move and lots of strange encounters and experiences before she realises who she is and what she can do.
I was very entertained by the opposite of the title of the book and how these people, who are so different call themselves. If you want to know what that is I suggest you buy the book and read it.

5 STARS

on hold for second volume
By frank ramon on March 17, 2015

I have read this book three times and continue to glean more out of the story each time. Told by a protagonist (Ame) who is both good and bad, this tale intertwines adroit commentary on modern culture and the underlying affects of fear on human beings in general. This is all woven together in a well told story of a modern anti hero set on the soulful and gritty streets of Oakland California. From an area well known for earth quakes, the writer will certainly rattle your walls with this story. I eagerly await the next volume in this series, it is a real bargain, for a rich story.

To get a copy of the work reviewed, click on this link …  http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Darkness-Grand-Theft-Life-ebook/dp/B00TKHAU22/

loss six

another loss – vi

faith is porous on the streets. you only have what you see, and anyone wants you to believe there’s somethin more for you, if only you trust them for a moment. you gotta keep your faith deep in your heart, and not extend it to those who would use you… i tried explainin’ to you about your bike, and how i needed to switch it out for mine, and could get it back to you tomorrow if that was okay. but you lost some confidence in me and could i blame you? we did not run in the same circles anymore. we argued for a while. i implored you the bmx was safe inside my new digs on Magnolia. i offered you collateral if you wanted, i would leave my rings with you. if you wanted we could go and get it later. you thought about it and either you extended some faith in me or else you didn’t wanna argue anymore, and let it lie. i helped you pack your stuff and clean your place so you could get your deposit back, and you let me shower there before checking out, because where i was going, well, they might have had the law behind them and plenty of cash, but these corrupt attorneys letting me a room, well, they coulda been arrested for uncleanliness…

loss five

another loss – v

the sun was edging into view and we were beginning to wake up to the reality of the world and our meagre places in it, the year twenty ten and family nowhere to be found, nobody’s fault but yours, nobody’s fault but mine. i was on the move again and it was your last night staying there, too. i began helping you pick up your place, between runs i made to Magnolia with my own belongings. check out time was noon and the landlords were no nonsense; there was a security detail they would call to kick people out. you see, something you understood about me and i related back to you was, on any given day, having no place to call home. all we had was our friends and our music and our journals, back then, and maybe a storage unit with our name to it. and out into a new day in the city, intense and unpredictable, helping one another a little bit when there’s no one else you can trust, hoping to survive…

loss 4

another loss -iv

i borrowed your bike because mine was already locked up in my future home, this cool and windless morning, and after passing through De Fremery Park,  i found my key under a stone and let myself into the ranch on Magnolia surrounded by high and gapless fence. after catching my breath, i switched out yours for mine, as my Motobecane was twice ten speed and yours BMX. i determined it too dangerous to travel slow through West Oakland at dawn. the lady of the house, an attorney corrupted by law, was dead asleep ina sheet ona couch in the living room. i held my new key close to my heart, and walked down the hall to see the project i had recently completed. two new coats of eggshell paint covered four walls, ready to receive the light and warm a heart or two. all the cat dander raised up in the disturbance, in my lungs now,  soon to wake me with fits of asthma overnight. once i would be lucky, with my dear Kali at my side in the cot, fourth of july, to help with pressure points and rifle through my many backpacks for my inhaler , to rescue me without breath.

loss three

another loss -iii

I was in
between pages
a book without
binding

You let me stay
with you
one night
a moment’s notice

we were friends
our lives derelict
unusual

the music
the midnight
oil

bands like us
cannot make it
no more

traded street level
stories

left out
again. in the sunlight
soon to be
exposed

before dawn

you were kicking
back. i was several back
packs deep to and from
Magnolia street

several unsavory characters
wanted a piece
of me they
could not catch
me

thank god
for this
bicycle…

loss two

another loss -ii

We stayed up all the night long tradin’ EDM cuts and smoking, and kept mostly quiet about all the damage our exes done us, knowing in our hearts the damage we done them, too. This here was as close to the street as I ever got, out of luck on the room I had paid for every week for several months, (someone had spotted my cat and complained, again, pets were not allowed) with the half-promise of a room in West Oakland, from the mouth of a corrupt attorney with one foot in the dope game and high all the time. I had no other recourse, none at all! This was twenty eleven. I had only to be willing to scrub and paint a small room full of furniture and covered in multiple cat stank, and I could stay there for the summer. This was the house of a second attorney, an alcoholic moonlighting as a cat doctor at home, who got in over her head on Magnolia by DeFremery Park. The day I met her she asked if I wanted to make a quick buck, and walked me downtown while instructing me how to serve papers. I remember hesitating as I approached the window, a government agent behind glass, and looked back to get a nudge on from under the wild gray-hair, permanent slouch, and a wandering eye. She offered me a drag off her pint of Southern Comfort on the way home. I was fifty bucks richer, cash, and desperate. My unemployment had finally run dry  in this boarding house on 28th @ Telegraph, telling time by Kojak episodes, and my friend whom I shared a room with finally got sick of me or spun out, and bailed. By that time I was already sharing a bed with a punk I met, upstairs, and not around much anymore. On my bicycle most of the days, a Motobecane i had mail-ordered online several months ago, and always brewing pots of some of the finest grounds from Indonesia I procured from Sweet Maria’s down the way, a local coffee distributor a stone’s throw from the Port of Oakland. Didn’t have a job and wasn’t really looking most of the time. PTSD was my common denominator, and divided up my senses, hanging them far and wide by the neck, until dead…

loss one

another loss -i

You let me stay one night in your room, many years ago,  i was in between places and spaces and a kick in the gut had landed me in Oakland with nowhere to go. Brown-outs were my life back then, and nobody can tell you what your psychosis is gonna look like or how it will feel, because they aren’t buried behind your eyes. Electronic Dance Music was one thing we had in common that night, and we had what was left of my battered laptop to trade tracks that touched us…