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Everybody's a critic.


Welcome to Tzer Island.  At some point the focus of this website will change, but just when that will happen, and what its new purpose might be, remain a closely guarded secret.  At present, Tzer Island is divided into two blogs:  a book blog that catalogs book reviews written by Tzer Island's founder, TChris, and an author blog that provides additional information about some of the authors whose works have been reviewed on the book blog.  Both blogs are intended as a forum for discussion of the books and authors featured on this site.  The blogs will remain even after the website refocuses.


A close and much-missed friend of mine used to call me Tzer.  This blog is named in his memory.  Although I spent most of my life in the United States, I am currently living on a tropical island; hence Tzer Island.  Apart from unreliable electricity, undrinkable tap water, and a plethora of potholes, island life has many advantages, tranquility and beauty chief among them.  Tzer Island is a blog, a place to live, and a state of mind.


Although fiction is often difficult to categorize, the blog adopts these conventions to assist organization:  General fiction encompasses all fiction that isn't included in one of the genres listed in the "Categories" column.  General fiction includes literary fiction, contemporary and mainstream fiction, international fiction, humor, and occasional works of genre fiction (e.g., westerns and historical fiction) that don't fall into one of the following categories.  Science fiction includes fantasy although there is unlikely to be much pure fantasy reviewed here.  Thriller/crime fiction includes mysteries, detective stories, and spy novels.  When the blog deems it appropriate or is just confused, a work of fiction might be included in more than one category (when, for example, a writer incorporates elements of magical realism into what is otherwise a mainstream story, the blog might categorize the novel as both general fiction and science fiction). 


Each review concludes with a simple rating:  Highly Recommended, Recommended, Recommended With Reservations, or Not Recommended.


I am fortunate to have the time and opportunity to indulge my passion for reading.  I am not employed by or affiliated with a publisher or book vendor.  I am not a friend of the writers whose books I review.  Sadly enough, I am not compensated for these reviews.  Although I cross-post many of my reviews to Amazon's American website, I have no affiliation with Amazon.  Sometimes I receive  advance review copies of books, usually in digital format and often with reading rights that expire within a couple of months, leaving me with nothing to add to my library.  That is most likely to be true when the review appears before, on, or very shortly after the book's publication date.  The source of the book, and whether I bought it new or used or received an advance copy, has no impact on my opinion of it.  These are honest reviews; this blog is not trying to sell books.


I do not review books that I have not finished reading, and I generally does not finish reading books that do not spark my interest.  Life is too short to spend time reading lousy books.  For that reason, the majority of reviews that appear here are favorable, although some are more favorable than others.


I review books from publishers large and small, by authors who are well-known and virtually unknown.  I rarely review self-published books.  I know it is difficult for self-published authors (and for many conventionally published authors) to become noticed, and I wish every talented author the best of luck.  Still, I cannot read everything.  To maximize the odds of reading something I will enjoy, I generally choose books that have undergone an editorial review.  Every day I receive many emails from authors asking me to review their self-published books.  Unfortunately, time constraints prevent me from responding to most of those emails.


Reader participation is both invited and encouraged.  Feel free to use the comments section to agree or disagree with a blog posting, to suggest other works by an author under discussion, or to recommend other authors you deem worthy of a reader's time.  My only request is that you keep the discussion civil and on point.  Tzer Island reserves the right to delete comments that it deems offensive, abusive, irrelevant, or unproductive.  I screen comments before they are posted, only to thwart the spammers who disguise advertisements for defective watches and marital aids as comments to blog posts.


All content created by Tzer Island is copyrighted in the year of its posting and remains its property.  Permission is given to republish the contents of this blog provided that credit is given to Tzer Island, including reproduction of the URL or a link to the web page containing the material being republished.


Suggestions and comments concerning this blog are welcome.  You can contact Tzer Island at