I love reading books. I love sharing my opinions about them with others. Therefore, a book review site seems a natural for me.

I’ve been posting my book reviews on another of my websites, but that site also has heavy political content. I thought it would be a good idea to collect all of my reviews here, on an independent site just for those of you who love to read.   Hence, The North Country Review of Books. Also, here, you can post your own reviews. In addition, should publishers wish to quote from a review of mine (assuming that it’s positive), they might feel more comfortable linking to it here, rather than from my political blog.

You may contact me via email:  jeff@northcountryreview.com

I should point out a few things:

1. I receive the majority of my books from publishers as advance review copies (ARCs). My promise to you is that I will not let that privilege bias my review. I have no financial stake in any of the books that I review. There is no advertising on The North Country Review of Books. There is no “tip-jar.” I am not an Amazon Associate. I receive no benefits from a good review. Some of the books are sent to me by authors or publishers. Some are purchased by me. Most are requests to the publishers for “Advance Review Copies.” I tend to request ARCs that I believe I will like, either from publishers or authors I’ve had good experiences with in the past. I’m even more selective regarding purchased books. Hence, I don’t often read “stinkers.”

2. Note that I run a side business of copy editing books for self-publishing authors on Amazon. I do not review those books.

3. My main interests (since this site is strictly a hobby by a compulsive reader) are science-fiction, mysteries, horror, and thrillers. I also enjoy science texts. That will be reflected in what categories of books I review the most.

4. Your comments are encouraged. A comment can be a response to my review, or it can be a reply to another comment. Comments are nested. Just leave the ratings table blank if there is one shown. If you’ve actually read the book in question, please leave a review of your own and rate the book with the “star table” below the comment form. Hover over each category for an explanation of it. The purpose of offering multiple ratings categories is to make both my — and your — reviews more meaningful to other readers.

5. The ratings table has five stars. You can (with your mouse) rate each category in 1/4-star increments. Really! My own definition of the stars is: 1-bad, 2-fair, 3-good, 4-very good, 5-great.

6. The beautiful and comfy-looking illustration at the top of all pages was done by a former co-worker and professional artist, Jay Trefethen. If you’d like to contact him to commission work for you, email me and I’ll put you in touch with him. And no, I don’t receive a commission on that, either. He’s also done some of the other b&w illustrations scattered elsewhere on the site.

7. Like cats? So do I. We should probably go to therapy together.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Jeff Soyer
Fairlee, Vermont


Recent reviews:




It’s Official: Sherlock Holmes is Public Domain

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

The Doyle estate has lost in court.  From the L.A. Times: It’s official: Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective (and Benedict Cumberbatch’s famous alter ego), is in the public domain. The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a case brought by Doyle’s estate, which claimed that authors who wanted to publish stories about Holmes needed to pay the estate a licensing fee. This leaves intact a June decision by 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner, which held that most of Doyle’s...

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Quozl, by Alan Dean Foster (Kindle edition)

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Science Fiction | 2 comments

Good news: Open Road Media is releasing a Kindle edition of Quozl, by Alan Dean Foster (Amazon link). Quozl is a lighthearted science fiction tale of a race of alien “rabbits” who land on Earth, go into hiding, and finally reveal themselves. Adults and young adults will enjoy this pleasant novel of first contact (both of the humans, and the Quozl) and how the Quozl are finally introduced to humanity at large. The planet of Quozlene is overpopulated. A multi-generational interstellar ship is programmed for Earth. Unbeknownst to the...

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Wormholes: A Novel, by Dennis Meredith

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Science Fiction | 0 comments

It’s a pleasure to discover a talented author I had not known of before. Wormholes: A Novel, by Dennis Meredith, Glyphus Press (Amazon link) is a first rate thriller in the best tradition of hard science fiction. What an enjoyable break from the endless, militarized or “fantasized” sci-fi that has overrun the field of late. A series of reports of strange and deadly phenomena catch the interest of theoretical physicist Gerald Meier, who enlists geologist Dacey Livingstone and others in his investigation to find out what they are and how...

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The Ninth Science Fiction Megapack

Posted by on Nov 1, 2014 in Science Fiction | 1 comment

As soon as a new book in this series comes out, I buy it. That should tell you something right there.  The Ninth Science Fiction Megapack  (Amazon link) is here and I recommend it, with reservations. I’ve given most of the books in this series five stars, but this one I’m dropping to 4. There isn’t quite as much of a mix in different types of stories, and there seems to be a lot more of the older (1950’s to 1970’s) ones than usual. Still, for only a buck, you can’t lose. Here’s a round-up of the best...

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Poe, by J. Lincoln Fenn

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Horror | 0 comments

Halloween is rapidly approaching and I’ve got a wonderful book for you to read: Poe, by J. Lincoln Fenn (Amazon Link) is great fun from start to finish. It’s a romantic-comedy-horror novel all wrapped up in one near perfect roller coaster of a read. It has a truly likable cast of characters (well, most of them) caught-up in a series of mysteries, gruesome murders, and marvelously laugh-out-loud-funny dialogue. The unlikely hero, 23-year-old Dimitri Petrov is the obituary writer for a small town newspaper assigned to write a feature article...

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Operation Chimera, by Tony Healey and Matthew S. Cox

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Science Fiction | 1 comment

Curiosity Quills Press has a hit on their hands, as far as I’m concerned, with Operation Chimera, by Tony Healey and Matthew S. Cox. (Amazon link.)  This entry into the science-fiction field offers likable characters, a good plot, and non-stop action including one of the best (and longest) space-battle scenes I’ve read in quite some time. Earth, along with some allies, is fighting an interstellar war against the Draxx Alliance, a reptilian race that believes the entire universe belongs to them. As a plot, there’s nothing...

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The Whispers, by Lisa Unger

Posted by on Oct 26, 2014 in Fantasy | 1 comment

The first of a trilogy of novellas, The Whispers, by Lisa Unger (Amazon link) confronts us with the question of, “Why do bad things happen to good people,” and is there a purpose behind such events? Eloise Montgomery suffers the unthinkable, losing her husband and oldest daughter in a terrible automobile accident. She herself suffers injuries and awakens from a 6-week coma. Her youngest daughter suffered no physical effects but has withdrawn into herself by not speaking or responding to outside stimulus. Thus begins this...

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UK Court Blocks Autobiography at Request of Ex-Wife

Posted by on Oct 19, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Well, it’s only a temporary injunction, but a strange one given the circumstances: A well-known artist in the UK is publishing a memoir, including sections that deal with the sexual abuse he suffered as a child. His ex-wife obtained the injunction on publishing that factual account of his life because she believes it will harm, by her lawyer’s own admission, a single child the two had together. That child is suffering a wide range of health problems, including Asperger’s Syndrome, and the ex-wife is suggesting that reading...

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A Call to Duty, by David Weber and Timothy Zahn

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in Science Fiction | 1 comment

Another hit in the Honorverse series.

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Liberators, by James Wesley, Rawles

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in Prepper | 0 comments

I’ve read and enjoyed two of James Wesley, Rawles’ other books in this series. Thus I looked forward to the latest, Liberators (Amazon link) It’s the story of two groups of protagonists trying to survive through the occupation of the United States and Canada following “the Crunch,” when most of the worlds’ economies have collapsed, with ensuing civil disorder, scarcity of food and fuel, and governments in disarray. There are several books in the series, all taking place during the same years, but with different characters in...

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