Book Reviews: Tanweer Dar

Book covers for Neon Nightmares and The Man With No Name

I’m adding book reviews to my blog, since I love reading fiction in addition to writing it. I want to share the books I’ve enjoyed reading and talk about them here. I plan on reviewing self-published authors and traditionally published ones.

Today, the reviews are all about cyberpunk. Two books by Tanweer Dar that bring the reader into a society that’s heavy with technology and neon. But not all is fun and sparkling in those lights.

Neon Nightmares

In the blurb for this book, there’s the phrase: “What could possibly go wrong?” Well, lots of things. And this book tells stories of what could go wrong with technology. It gives us fuel for the nightmare of rats that become resistant to a virus engineered to wipe them out. And the nightmare of a robotic pet dog that isn’t cuddly. And the nightmare in Neon Dreams, a nightclub where you’re supposed to dance the night away — not dance to your death. These are just a few of the 13 stories in this book. When someone says a smart apartment would be so convenient, that you could tell the system to dim the lights, change the music, change the temperature, etc. Yes, that would be convenient. But Tanweer Dar is here to tell us those conveniences have dark sides, too.

The Man with No Name

Tan expands the cyberpunk vibe into a longer story with this novella. It’s dark and gritty and full of action.

The man with no name is the loner type of hero, similar to Western movies. He’s got a gasoline-powered muscle car instead of a horse (people in the city travel in electric vehicles). Flashbacks allow the reader to understand why he has no name and add depth to his character.

The environment is vibrantly described, so I could easily imagine the city of skyscrapers, rife with advertisements, as the characters zipped from one area to another — all the characters with individual agendas.

And when those agendas intersect, there’s a lot of action. Some characters want to keep control, some want to regain control, some want escape. Tan keeps them rushing toward those goals. Hold on to your seat or reading device or paperback book: this story is a fast-paced ride.


Go ask Tuesday,
’cause Monday’s too drowsy.
Wednesday is distracted,
and Thursday is sick.
Friday is quivering with anticipation,
and Saturday and Sunday are
busy with celebrations and soccer practices.
So go ask Tuesday,
and she’ll give you a good answer.

Books On Kindle Unlimited

My books are now available on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. I thought doing this might give readers the chance to try an author who is unknown to them, without having to purchase an ebook or print book. So if you subscribe to KU, please check out my stories.

There are 3 novellas, 1 novelette, and a collection of short stories and drawings.

The novellas:

The Minotaur at the Door

Minotaur at the Door coverIs that an actual minotaur knocking at the front door, or is it somebody pranking Pablo, Miles, and Harry? The three men renting rooms in the house have their doubts about the reality of the creature, but only Pablo seeks to learn more. He wants to meet the minotaur. And find out why he is visiting their neighborhood. Pablo’s journey alternates chapters with the events of Daedalus and his son Icarus, centuries before Pablo. These chapters breathe life and detail into the myth of Asterion, the first minotaur, and Daedalus and Icarus’s imprisonment in the labyrinth. How father and son deal with being stuck in the maze and how they craft a plan to escape.


Other Lives of the Boothbys

Other Lives of the Boothbys coverBradley Boothby has no idea why he feels déjà vu when walking by the office building for Rayburn-Turley Publishing. Is he included in one of the publishing company’s books? If so, why? Did an author spy on Bradley to steal his life story, which isn’t all that dramatic? The thoughts are far-fetched, so he dismisses them. But the strange sensation persists, and Bradley finally acts, needing to find if the déjà vu has a foundation. His search touches off consequences for an editor and writer, as they have an impact on each other’s lives.


Don’t Lose Your Head

Don't Lose Your Head coverWhen you leave for a trip, who knows you’re gone from your house? Family and friends, sure. Neighbors, perhaps.

So does the chauffeur who drove you to the airport. Alan Burris takes advantage of working for a car service to know when clients will be away from their houses for several nights. Some houses are easier, since they don’t have a security system — and these houses are on his list for a night visit to steal valuables.

The Resnick house has been on Alan’s list for a while, and now it will be empty for a few nights, since Mr. and Mrs. Resnick are spending a long weekend in Chicago.

But is the house really empty? Alan’s about to find out what it’s like to not be alone in the house, his car, his apartment, and his head. And with another person hanging around, to what length will Alan go to get rid of them?


The collection of short stories and drawings:


cover of Jumble bookIn this quirky collection, you’ll find 18 short stories and 68 drawings, which are independent of the stories, although a few drawings echo something in the stories, a fine example being an elephant.

Examples of the stories include a man finding joy in a pancake house, a girl interrogated because she picked up the king’s rolling crown, elderly Claude Monet visiting his long-time friend Renoir, a science fiction writer donning a cap of electrodes hooked up to a computer so his dreams could be transcribed, and a group of private detectives hired to research the possibility of reincarnation.

The drawings lean toward the cartoonish and simply illustrated, which could be criticized if you’re of the mindset that drawings need to be highly detailed for them to even begin to be considered of decent quality. Actually, one “drawing” is a kind of flowchart and another is a kind of list, so their categorization as drawings is debatable. Yet the nonexistent marketing team for this book argued that saying it contains 66 drawings, 1 flowchart, and 1 list is too clunky to include in the book’s description.


The novellette:

The Red Tree

Red Tree coverWhile rain falls for weeks, the Engler family invites friends over for an evening of dealing with cabin fever together. And when the spring sun arrives, the Englers celebrate by walking in a wooded park, where they encounter a red tree away from the trail. Guesses abound as to why the tree is red when none of the other trees are.

Life returns to normal for most of the Englers. The father, Calvin, decides the red tree was a sign for him to make changes in his life and property. Changes the family and neighbors don’t quite understand. But some family members can be eccentric, and others learn to roll with it.

A story about family, experiencing the mysterious, and letting your imagination loose.