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Angela Yuriko Smith is a professional writer with extensive experience in newspapers and online publications. Her work has been featured internationally, including a live interview on NPR.
Under her former byline she worked for two years as a contract writer for MilitaryLifeStyle.com which included interviews with Joan Jett, John Nance, Amy Dacyczyn, and Randy’L He-Dow Teton, the only living model for an American coin. There she published over 60 articles and maintained two columns entitled SAHMM I Am, Military by Moonlight and covered the 9/11 crisis from the viewpoint of a military spouse. She was also interviewed at that time for the Satellite Sister’s Show on National Public Radio.
Previously published under the byline of Angela Yuriko Cato and occasionally under her pen name of Dandilyon Jinx, she currently lives in Australia. She also has a large collection of regular newspaper clips from her time at The Community News in Browns Mills, New Jersey and a few pieces for The Daily News in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Otherwise she prefers to work online.
on Oct. 23, 2012 :
I was given and e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
The book is about a journalist named Mae. She hopes to take her career to a higher level by writing a story about the disappearances that are thought to be linked to the Jersey Devil. Little did she know that her research might just land her in a position to be writing the story as a victim. Will this story be the one that makes her career soar, or will it be the end of Mae?
I have read a few fiction and non-fiction books/articles of the Jersey Devil, and have become fascinated. I have to say that the author has put her own spin and creativeness on the subject. There were a few things in the book that confused me. There was a few characters that seem to just pop in without an explanation on where they came from or why they would become involved. What made Mae so different from the rest? And then the ending events seemed a little rushed, I would have loved a little more detail. But, I still enjoyed the book. Maybe in books to come, there will be some more light shined on these areas, or maybe it was just me.
Following the story, you will find what actual news story inspired the author and a look into the next book to come, which I plan to read as well. A read worth the purchase and time to read.
Originally posted on The Mystical World of Book Reviews.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Aug. 24, 2012 :
I received this book from the author to give an honest review.
I am going to give this book 4 stars because, well I felt as though it didn't quite flow together and I had a lot of questions that the book did not seem to answer for me. Maybe to others it will so I do suggest you give this book a try and see if you enjoy it. This is a paranormal novella and good for the YA age.
End of Mae starts off to where the main character in the book Mae is a small-town reporter looking for a "big" story to get her career going. Instead she becomes I want to say part of the story. She is viciously attacked and wakes up in a strange place. She is given no answers to what exactly happened to her. The only thing she is told is she was found in the woods and was brought to Heylel's home. From there she is mostly asleep and when she does wake up she ends up getting beaten by Prym. Who I never quite understood her hatred for Mae. Then for the ending it is a twist that you may not see coming.
My questions that I had for the book.
I wonder how the character Dr. Smeltzer ended up being involved with Heyley and Prym. He did not seem to be what they are.
What is Prym exactly?
Why did Mae so willing accept what was happening to her? Why did she not try to escape? I would have liked more back story as to what exactly happened to Mae, more detail into the dark world that has now surrounded her.
I do hope that there is a sequel that will follow this? So maybe a lot of the questions will be answered!
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Sep. 08, 2011 :
Mae, a naïve and eager writer, hopes to boost her career from small town reporter, by researching the eerie disappearances (believed to be caused by the Jersey Devil Monster) that occurred in the woods of Whitesbog. While investigating the woods at night, she is captured by the mysterious monster, and her life becomes a nightmare. She is taken to a unfamiliar place with strange beings and happenings. (This is where I cringed and winced.) To say she was beaten is to put it lightly. She soon yearns to cover a mundane story for the paper. Moral – Be careful what you wish for. LOL
Wow. This story was definitely different. I feel like I walked in on a horrible nightmare. As much as I tried and tried to pinch myself awake, the visions kept me hostage until Mae’s final end. It was definitely unpredictable – and not at all what I expected. (LOL)
The imagery in this story is vivid. I cringed and winced at Mae’s agony and it was easy to see this playing out like a mind-movie.
I found the story interesting, but the repetition of Mae’s name was very distracting. The use of pronouns would improve it dramatically. The story was so fast-paced, which isn’t necessarily a con, but I wished for a pause, or change of pace here and there.
Upon finishing the book, I wasn’t quite sure if I’d give it a 3 or 4 star rating. Now, after a few days of lingering mental images, I’ve decided to give it 4 stars for the lasting-effect factor. It was a fast read, and had unexpected turns. ;)
If you want a quick, powerful (and sinister) story, this is a good pick. If you are easily creeped out (me), then I recommend you don’t read it at night. The opening scene played out on the back of my eyelids when I went to bed. That’s a good thing I suppose. LOL
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Aug. 29, 2011 :
End of Mae
By: Angela Yuriko Smith
Published May 29, 2011
Available Format: Paperback, ebook
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Mae is a small-town journalist on the cusp of an exciting story when something suddenly attacks her. She wakes in a dark room and is confronted with what she can only describe as an angel. On the brink of death, Mae is whisked away to a strange mansion full of bizarre people. The most thrilling story might be her very own, and she is dying to tell it.
I’m certainly glad I took a couple hours of my life to devour this fantastic little read! I love the mystery of Heylel—how we never really know exactly what he is until the end. I may be weird (okay, I am), but I always love it when the ‘evil’ characters are more humanized and given more realistic feelings and emotions.
Mae was hilarious! Every time she turned around something was happening to her, and usually, in some sick twisted way, it was funny. She is exactly the kind of girl I could imagine I’d be in her situation—falling down stairs, choking on wine, having a knockdown, drag out with the evil old maid.
This story is full of mystery, suspense, a little horror, and some warped characters. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and full of conflicting emotions about the characters and what was happening to dear Mae.
Sure we could have known more about the characters, but I didn’t really feel like that distracted me. I was so engrossed in what was going on with Mae, and I appreciated the bit of mystery surrounding her. I do wish there was more to the story, in a good way. I want to have a full length novel with lots of explanation and more about what happens after the ending of this novella!! (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, Angela! ;-))
I really love it when I read a book by an author I know. It’s almost like getting another look into their lives, and I am able to pick up little glimpses of their personalities in the story—kinda like when you recognize the parents in their children. Angela is a great lady and obviously a great author too!
Please grab yourself a copy of End of Mae and enjoy!
(reviewed long after purchase)
on July 07, 2011 :
A great read, I hope to see more books from this author in the future.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on June 28, 2011 :
Mae is searching for a story that will move her from small time journalist to big city reporter. She finds just that when she begins investigating the Jersey Devil disappearances and is, herself, made to disappear.
"End of Mae" was a quick, easy read with a lot more twists and turns than one would expect from a novel of its size. The author did an awesome job of setting the scene and was very generous in her use of imagery. I felt as though I were laying on the white marble slab with her, beyond frightened yet full of a courage and wit that would have fled many others in her situation. Beaten down, broken and out of her element, the main character was someone I felt I could connect with at at times, while at others she seemed an entirely different entity all together.
The book was eerie and full of supernatural quirks. The ending took me quite by surprise and I can only hope that author Angela Smith has more in store for her readers as I would love to find out more about Mae and her unlikely "hero," the villain Heylel. A little bit of extra editing would have definitely made this novella into a five star review!
End of Mae was originally reviewed on my blog: http://historicallyyoursbookreviews.blogspot.com/2011/06/book-review-end-of-mae-by-angela-smith.html
(reviewed the day of purchase)
A. F. Stewart
on June 25, 2011 :
End of Mae is an intriguingly delightful paranormal novel, with a surreal, creepy edge. It has a fast pace, a breezy tone, plus just the right touch of black humour and dark thrills.
The book tells the tale of Mae, a plucky, small-time reporter out to find her “big story”. What she finds instead is a vicious attacker and a strange world of trouble. One she might not be able to leave behind.
The author has a nice turn of phrase for setting a scene and a deft hand at weaving a character. Her villain, Heylel is sinister, complex and not the sort you want to meet in a dark alley, while the heroine, Mae, is feisty, flawed and maybe just a touch self-delusional. Her objectivity and judgement is definitely way off when it comes to handsome men. Both characters interact well and hold your interest.
The plot is solid, a nice straight line to a conclusion that was not quite what I had been expecting. The ending, which I loved, gives a creepy, edgy finish, sprinkled with black humour. It left me wondering if Heylel might have bitten off more than he counted on with Mae.
I did find the book probably could have benefited from more length; the lead up to the closing scenes seemed rushed and Mae’s sudden about face toward Heylel didn’t ring as true as it should have to me. And I would have liked some more background on the dark world Mae fell into; the author dishes out tantalising, mysterious glimpses that left me wanting to know additional details. Perhaps I can hope for a sequel.
Overall, though, End of Mae was very entertaining and I can easily recommend it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on June 20, 2011 :
The End Of Mae
This is a very interesting short story about a journalist who is after writing the story of the century regarding the Jersey devil. Little does she know that she is about to take a journey that will change everything for her and life as she knows it.
This story had so many twists and turns you just can't put it down . It sometimes reads like Edger Allen Poe's short stories yet with a modern flavour all its own.
The end of Mae is creepy , spooky and utterly unique,the author weaves a tale you will not soon to forget.
Since I really can't go into to much detail for fear of spoiling the story for you,Ill just say that the end of Mae is a really worth while read for anyone who is a fan of Poe, Koontz, or Bentley Little.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on June 12, 2011 :
RECEIVED FROM: The Author For Review
***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
Mae is a small town journalist investigating tales of the Jersey Devil in hopes of finding that big story that will take her to a larger publication. During her investigation she is attacked and almost killed by a frightening obsidian creature, then abducted to an unknown location. There she meets a man who looks like angel, but acts like the devil himself. When the man takes an interest in her survival Mae is drawn into a strange violent world and left to wonder if she'll even survive to write the story that led her to this fate.
Like many other books I've read recently this one was a debate between a three and four star rating. I decided on the lower rating because if I didn't include the nonfiction section included as an addition to the book I didn't think it was quite to a four star story yet.
The non-fiction journalistic type story added at the end of the book showed a confidence and proficiency in writing that just wasn't evident in the fictional story itself. If the writer could have transferred that confidence and talent shown there into her fictional piece she could have easily written a four, possibly five star story.
My first issue with this book is the way the writer avoids using pronouns. Mae's name is used too much in telling what's going on it becomes distracting and somewhat reminiscent of the See Spot Run story books of long ago. As the target audience has long since advanced past seeing Spot run, she could have greatly improved her story by more frequently using pronouns like she and her, or portraying some of the information through Mae's thoughts. The reader is already clear on her name after the first couple times it's used, it doesn't need to be liberally peppered through half the sentences in the book.
Another distracting thing in the writing was the use of repetitive words, while many people in real life find a favorite adjective like tiny and stick to it, readers expect a little more variety from a writer. Varying her descriptive words rather than sticking to the same comfortable ones I think would have also improved the flow of the work.
While the book does include a full story arc, a clear beginning, middle and ending, it doesn't really have the length to be qualified as a novel. Part of the reason I bumped it to the top of my TBR pile was it's length since it could be read in no time at all. Writing it at more short story than novel length makes it difficult to create characters readers can get to know and relate to. While the reader can develop an attachment for Mae, other characters are still a major curiosity and the length doesn't allow for character growth within those characters. What she's given us here could be easily taken and expanded upon into a full length novel allowing the reader to know each character in detail, to see them grow and see Mae begin and adjust to her new life after her death. While it is a full arc, it could just as easily be a beginning to a greater and more intriguing novel that I for one would be interested in reading. Finishing I'm left wondering, what happens to Mae now?
Another thing that stuck with me is the description blurb emphases a lot on the fact that Mae is a writer, like this is an important plot point, however this is little more than what presents the situation of the story and it's not like she does any actual writing. Another thing that stuck with me was a comment in the book that Mae enjoyed fictional writing in high school but switched to journalism when she realized there wasn't any money to be made in fiction. I don't know what small town paper this character is writing for, but all the ones I know about pay little more than minimum wage. Many journalists at small town papers take second jobs to pay their bills or have a secondary income from a spouse. Fiction or nonfiction, starting out you do it because you love to write, not because you're expecting to get rich. Unless you're a successful broadcast journalist, which is more television presence than actual writing, you're more likely to make money with success in fiction writing than in journalism. Last I read J. K. Rowling was the richest person in the UK and she made that money in fiction. The main difference between starting as a fictional writer or starting as a small town journalist is the regularity of pay. Neither entry level start can be considered rolling in the dough. This statement coming from the lead character really made me wonder about the intelligence of the character I'm supposed to be rooting for. I really think further research into the careers of the character might have improved the work.
While the story is fiction, there needs to be a certain presence of believability in the story and the character for the reader to really consider it great and worth reading. The great fiction writers put as much if not more time into researching their novels as the nonfiction writers out there. They just choose to present their information in a more entertaining format which is less about teaching the reader and more about realism in their story.
Overall it was an entertaining piece with an intriguing plot and interesting characters that made you want to learn more about them. The main issue with this piece is that it's such a great set up, but limited follow through. For a quick half hour or so read, I would however recommend it.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)