This collection transported me into a world of gossamer moonlight, where rich wordplay and powerful imagery created by the author won't let you turn the page without being mesmerized.
A certain mythical atmosphere is present throughout the collection, as one of the poems states beautifully— “come in the darkest reaches of breath, sundered from your lungs.”
Anni Rannisto – September 27, 2023
I have read many books by this author, whether it's been poetry or fiction and he never leaves you cold after reading. This book was no exception. Skillful storytelling that holds a grip of you till the end, interesting characters that surprise and force you feel, and especially credits for choosing a heavy subject and raising awareness through it.
Anni Rannisto – March 12, 2023
This story is vividly detailed, a ferocious journey, that will hold you in its grip til the end. It is visceral, at times even brutal, yet you can't help but still feel how the message, a lesson interwoven within, pulls your heartstrings. Brilliant book, with pages made of action and teeth.
Anni Rannisto – April 15, 2022
EDITORIAL REVIEW BY INDEPENDENT BOOK REVIEW
Writers like Jacob Russell Dring have experienced the wonders of sci-fi storytelling in its golden age, and they are taking the tradition to new heights that manage to feel both familiar and refreshing. Of course there have been stories about alien invasions and mechs before, but none have stricken me with the same satisfying mix of nostalgia and uniqueness like Devour has.
While the premise is not necessarily brand new, that is not to say it is not enjoyable. On the contrary. The plot is always entertaining, filled with big exciting moments and beautiful themes that add a deeper layer to the story. The events unfold at a great pace —simultaneously fluid and quick-moving. This future Earth feels tangible with the care and investment given to its worldbuilding detail. Beneath a sci-fi story is another tale of camaraderie and friendship, as the Ember Wolves, the mech fighters of our novel, embrace heroism and the sense of duty that the situation calls upon them.
If you’re a fan of classic sci-fi, Devour is going to give you something to get excited about and then some. It’s got all the elements of the genre you’re looking for, with a few surprises to keep you on your toes.
Akram Herrak - June 19, 2023
Mr. Dring does it again: another perfect book. He’s an amazing writer, able to make you feel the words deep in your bones. Perfect title, and my only complaint is I wish it was twice as long, but only because I love his work so much. The imagery is rich, the emotions dark but not in a negative way, and I’m left with an ache that drives thickly into my heart.
Tara Caribou – July 27, 2022
Albeit small in size, this chapbook is still colossal in its imagery that the author has painted with words. Each poem is viscerally ethereal. "We cut ourselves down, like redwoods aching to melt into the ground." -he begins one poem. In another poem, there's ice stuck to the feathers of flesh. His imagery is unique and thought provoking. If you are a friend of great poetry, you will certainly get pleasantly lost in this.
Anni Rannisto – March 29, 2022
Jacob Russell Dring has fast become one of my favorite author/artist. This guy is a creative whirlwind. Not only does he write book after book after book, he’s also a photographer, a musician, and a spoken word artist. I’m not going to do him the disservice of trying to classify his work. He is his own style.
One of my favorite things he does is love poetry. It’s untouchable. It’s intense. It’s varying and so deliciously swoon-worthy. One wishes every line was written for them. This right here is what I mean when I say I wish a writer would fall in love with me. My goodness. “This Might Be Love” is Mr. Dring’s latest addition to his vast library of works.
What I Loved: the length of this book was perfect for me. I clutched it to my chest when I finished and just sort of stared off, digesting the moving poetry found within. It’s about 40 pages, one poem per page. He’s formatted it artistically so that taken as a whole it is its own work of art. Most of the poems are 5-12 lines long. Generally speaking, I prefer long-form poetry, but these felt just right. I believe it is the length of each poem which tempers the intensity with which he writes with.
What I Didn’t: I honestly cannot complain about this book. It’s a treasured addition to my library.
Highly recommended to those who like short-form love poetry with an undercurrent of the natural vs supernatural world.
Tara Caribou – October 4, 2021
Jacob has an amazing ability to draw the reader in with his storytelling, he easily creates characters you become attached to. With each turn of the page you’ll see the scenes play out as though you are actually there. It’s hard to put the book down. Definitely a must read.
Anonymous – February 4, 2022
This fast-paced, high-action book kept me turning pages long past my bedtime. Mr Dring’s writing is superb, engaging, and believable. I’m honestly surprised he doesn’t have a contract with one of the big five publishers, he’s that good.
The creativity was excellent. The sheer number of different creatures he describes and in great detail. Not so much so as to bog down the reader, but enough to easily picture each one. The tech isn’t overwhelming, and though I love me some hard science fiction with lots of great tech and politics, this book didn’t disappoint me.
If I had one complaint, and it’s a small one, it’s the scarcity of breathers. This book starts off right out of the gate with heart-pounding demon-things attacking and killing everything in their path and there’s not a calm space for another, oh fifteen chapters or so. The first 70% of the book is go-go-go. Intense is the word. Characters you get to love getting killed without warning, fights and action, and always on the move. I found at times I had to set it down just to rest my mind! But the last half of the book, in my opinion is absolutely dynamite. Times of introspection (not overly so, but enough to slow the heart rate and cleanse the palette), great battles, a little humor, and more than enough alien/demon killin’!
I won’t spoil it but I loved how he described the source of the invasion and the conclusion of the story. I am hooked. Mr Dring is an amazing storyteller and I’m looking forward to my next read from him. Highly recommended to those who enjoy dark-themed military science fiction with high action and light tech.
Tara Caribou – November 2, 2021
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Right from the beginning, the author draws the reader in. Clearly an intelligent writer, he uses beautiful language without being over the top about it. It was a refreshing and heartfelt read for me. An orphaned teenage boy is taken into the home of a mysterious woman who cares for him and teaches him living off the land with respect. Immediately there is a connection between them, something not easily defined. The sort of love that typically would be felt from knowing a person long-term, an easy love. Somewhere above family-love but not physical. It’s a transcendent love. And that’s what the author really brought for me. I don’t want to give away the ending, because he does throw a little loop in I wasn’t expecting, but it ties the whole thing together for me. This is a love story... but it’s not a romance. It’s a very special story and I would love to read a little collection of shorts in the same universe. Highly recommended to those who appreciate well-thought-out short stories in the light science fiction/fantasy crossover genre. Love without lust.
Tara Caribou – June 1, 2021
Jacob is a Renaissance man of sorts: a gifted writer of lyrics, poetry and fiction, as well as a talented musician and vocalist. I know the word visceral is thrown around a lot, but in the case of Jacob Russell Dring’s writing, it applies all too appropriately. Because, Jacob, you see (or at least that is how it seems to me), has a sensuous affinity for all things body - the sensuality, the morbidity, the sophistication of design.
And it is also my observation that he is a courter of words: he has a genuine fascination for words - their different flavors, textures, colors, rhythms. He seeks words with an intrepid heart; he’s not afraid to lasso them and use them in his poems or even write poems around them. Which is a rare thing to encounter in our contemporary era of popular poetry which is driven not by the rhythmic force of words but by the pragmatism of ideologies or banal consolations for people to resonate with.
Coming to ‘Swells’, the title couldn’t be more fitting because this is the style that I’ve seen Jacob gravitate most to in poetry - short lyrical metaphoric bursts (often reminds me of the Metaphysical Conceit type of style) which I guess we can now call “swells”. Each short poem is bite-sized and a delectable play with words (in their meaning and their music). The last poem is slightly longer than the rest which to me had the effect of all the swells culminating in a final big tidal wave crashing down.
Shabnam Wann – March 7, 2021
Amazing read. This has become one of my favorite books of poetry EVER. Pure magic. Very well written and enticing. From the underworld filled with stars. These pages glow under moonlight.
Ava Graves – January 23, 2020
I loved the book. The characters were interesting. I liked that there wasn't just one enemy, and they weren't cliché. Overall it's well written, the flow is great, and it keeps your interest.
Anonymous – January 31, 2017
This is a great hard-hitting action novel that starts and ends with speed. Amidst the bullets, broads, and bastardly bad guys there are some more intellectual themes that permeate the novel.
This is just plain good amateur fiction. I love the story, the language feels natural, and the style is catchy.
John Smith – December 1, 2013