Anabella Johnson

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Anabella Johnson

  • Crucible of Dust (The Clockwork Ascendancy - A Steampunk Saga) on May 31, 2012

    I have a hard time pigeonholing this novella into any particular category. The steampunk element was there, but not the driving force behind the story. It more added flavor. But there was also a sci-fi vibe and a lawless, dystopian feel. SO many worlds converging into one unique story that I, for one, hope is just the start to something more and something potentially great. I thought the way characters were introduced and the plot unfolded was nicely done, with not too much information given away right off the bat, but we are left to wonder many things that are explained in time. There is a smooth, almost poetic way the story is written that makes it easy to just keep reading and if there was a sequel (or prequel)to “Crucible” I would read it right now! Highly recommend for fans of unique and engaging fantasy.
  • A Luminous Future on May 31, 2012

    What an exceptionally amazing and beautiful book! I would have never thought judging by the cover (yeah, I know we aren’t supposed to do that!) what a rich, moving, and incredibly informative story awaited me. Teodor’s story is absolutely fascinating and told in a way that had me deeply invested from the very start. I knew next to nothing about communism (other than the fact that it’s bad), but this book showed me what it was really like to live with it, and how all it does is try to crush the human spirit. Despite this, Teodor’s family (especially his father but also his mother) remain strong and true to themselves, in spite of the constant harassment. Teodor’s father is a hero and it is obvious there is much love there. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Everyone should read it. Five big stars!
  • A Song Apart on June 11, 2012

    From reading the description, I expected this book to be told from Shannon’s point of view (the pop singer), when instead it’s told from the ordinary boy Kevin’s perspective. While it would have been interesting to see the story through Shannon’s eyes, we still experience many of her trials and tribulations, and the high price of fame. Kevin’s life is much less interesting, in my opinion. He’s a regular kid unsure about his future, unhappy at home and work. He meets the singer Shannon and his whole world gets turned upside down. I like this story and thought the writing was very good. I only wish it focused more on Shannon’s and Kevin’s relationship (which was very interesting), and less on the day to day happenings of Kevin’s world, which was less interesting, in my opinion. Still a good read that I liked.
  • When Earthlings Weep on June 24, 2012

    Well, then. No one will ever accuse Michael Barnett of not having an extremely vivid and wild imagination! This was one of the most “surreal” books I’ve read in recent memory, and half the time I felt like I was on some sort of literary acid trip (in a good way!) The way the worlds bled together and we couldn’t really tell what was real, what was imagined, why it was happening, it kept me captivated, even though there were times where I worried the story had gone off track. It always managed to get reeled back in, and by the last quarter or so of the novel my fingers were turning the pages like crazy! I had to see what would happen next and even though I was hoping for a bit more of a “battle” the climax and resolution were appropriate. I’d recommend this book for fans of Sci-Fi and fantasy, but it would also appeal to readers who like anything different that makes them think outside the box for a bit.
  • The Caline Conspiracy on Aug. 30, 2012

    Every once in a while I’ll read a book that’s outside my normal preferred genres and take a chance on an unknown author. Sometimes I regret it, other times I am pleasantly surprised, and every blue moon I am totally floored and feel excited to have discovered a talented author. Well, this was definitely one of those “blue moon” moments! From the very first page I was drawn into the world that M.H. Mead constructed, complete with the nifty gadgets and inventions of a futuristic society, and of course, with the addition of the “perfect” pet…the calines. But one might be a killer, even though her owner swears that is not the case. PI Adria Scott is a fabulous character and she is on the case, whether she wants it or not. What unfolds in a complex and riveting tale of mystery and suspense, one that kept me flipping the pages as fast as I possibly could. I was happy with the conclusion, and although I won’t claim that this novel is perfect by any means (is any?), I thought it a terrific read and I’m definitely looking forward to checking out other works from M.H. Mead.
  • Kingdom of the Snark: The Quest for the Sword on Jan. 04, 2013

    I loved this book! It was so funny, but actually had an interesting plot also! The tone was light and, as you can guess, very snarky. But not in an overly obnoxious way. More like a clever satire that made me chuckle throughout. Right off the bat I felt like I was in a Mel Brooks movie, and I could totally see this book being a movie as well! Kind of a medieval version of Spaceballs or Robin Hood Men in Tights. Clever and well-written. An enjoyable read.
  • Return of the Crown on Jan. 20, 2013

    This is a great book for teens as well as adults. Not many books I read can crossover like that, but it has elements that will appeal to almost everybody. Millie Burns writes like a seasoned pro and master of her craft as she weaved an adventurous and exciting tale that kept me up until the wee hours of the night and turning the pages on my Kindle as fast as I could. There was never a boring moment and I was eager to see what would unfold next, and if the young magical princess would be victorious against her evil, wicked and powerful aunt. Does she succeed? You just have to read to find out!
  • Sugar and Spice: A Karma Café Novella on Jan. 20, 2013

    I flew through this charming story while I was waiting for my son’s soccer practice, and I loved every delicious word! It had just the right amount of heat, tension, conflict, and sexy moments. Even though the idea of a mousy secretary lusting after her hot boss is a bit on the cliché side (as the heroine herself even admits), the delivery of the story still felt fresh and exciting, even for a romance junkie such as myself. Delightful, and I’ll love to read more in this series for sure!
  • The Seekers' Garden on Feb. 05, 2013

    OkI LOVED this book! This has got to be some of the best, most beautiful writing I’ve seen in a long time. Admittedly it could have benefitted from a proofreader, as there was some grammar and punctuation stuff. However even that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of this novel any. It is very descriptive and pulls you into the story, and I could picture the scene perfectly in my head. Usually I am pretty good about guessing what will happen in a book, but this one was pretty unpredictable. Definitely didn’t see a lot of stuff coming. All in all it was an easy, enjoyable read that I would highly recommend to others.
  • Oil and Corruption on Feb. 22, 2013

    An excellent read! I really enjoyed the complex plotlines and the high-octane adventure and edge-of-death thrills. It was great and original from start to finish. GREAT characters that were a hoot to read. Looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.
  • Corkscrew Ridge on Feb. 25, 2013

    I read this book in one night! I loved the way that Mr. Winter writes and he has a great “voice”. I was pulled into the story right from the beginning and didn’t want to stop reading until it was over. While the premise may not be entirely unique, of new beginnings and connecting with other broken souls, I enjoyed the relationships between all the characters, although I wish that Paul would’ve spent more time with Liz and less with Fran. Also, I would’ve liked to see more interaction with his daughter, but overall this was a nice book and I really enjoyed reading it. Recommend to fans of Nora Roberts, Pat Conroy, and Nicholas Sparks.
  • The Seedbearing Prince: Part I on July 22, 2013

    I admit at first when reading this book I felt like I’d been thrown in the middle of a strange place and had to take some time to get my bearings. Like a roller coaster just taking off. But what an amazing ride it was! Once I was fully immersed in the story, I found it hard to put the book down. Although there are some familiar fantasy elements here, the author puts such a unique spin on everything that it feels refreshingly original. If I had one gripe, and unfortunately for me it’s kind of a big one, I wasn’t a fan of how it ended. I understand the reasoning and will absolutely be getting the next book, but I would have preferred to have more resolution. Otherwise a fantastic read that I recommend to anyone who likes a well-written fantasy adventure tale.
  • Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism on Nov. 12, 2013

    This is really the first introduction I have had to learning about Hinduism and I must say it was very eye opening and enlightening! I almost feel stupid for how many things I was familiar with that I didn’t realize were connected with India and Hinduism. This was a very informative book and in my opinion one that should be required reading in classrooms. It is interesting to read and easy to understand, and Swami Achuthananda did a marvelous job of explaining complex ideas simply and coherently. I feel like I’ve learned a lot and hold a new level of respect for Hindus.
  • Spartanica on March 09, 2014

    I’m not one for recapping plots in my reviews (that’s what the book description is for), and honestly if I tried it would take a whole page! Ha! I loved that this wasn’t just a simple, dumbing down MG story that is cliché and overdone (really, how many more ‘chosen one hero’ can we take in this genre?) but instead, these are ordinary boys in extraordinary circumstances that grow and change and become extraordinary themselves (if that makes sense). I appreciate that the author thought outside of the box and it felt like he took us into uncharted territory which is always a good thing. The writing was impressive and I can’t wait to read more of these in the future. I must confess the cover really didn’t do anything for me at all, and I know we’re not supposed to judge, but…
  • The Angela Suite on March 25, 2014

    I am of mixed feelings of this novel, “The Angela Suite” by Anthony Green. On one hand, I found that I really, really enjoyed the story and was completely invested in the characters and their outcomes (especially Angela, whom I found very interesting). I didn’t want to put it down, and thought the variety and salaciousness of the illicit sex scenes were hot. But on the other hand, this book is in dire need of an editor or proofreader as I noticed several things that prevented me from completely enjoying the book to its maximum potential. Overall the story was different and I thought that Mr. Green has a great “voice” and potential as an author. The book’s sad twist at the end shows he’s not afraid to make it realistic and avoids the ‘cookie-cutter’ trappings of many books today. With the help of a good editor, this book will make for a great read.
  • Kate's Journal, The First Entry on April 10, 2014

    "Kate’s Journal” isn’t really a journal, although the chapters are headed as dates. There is a reference in there, but mostly it’s about her having hot sex with people she never would’ve expected to, and it turns her whole world upside down. At the beginning of the story she’s a twenty year old “vestal Virgin” (VV) and has a sexual awakening unlike any other. There are a lot of ups and down and twists and turns as the story unravels and secrets come to light. An enjoyable read with lots of great sex!
  • Defender of the Flame on June 17, 2014

    What a wonderful book! “Defenders of the Flame” by Sylvia Engdahl was such an unexpected treat! I read quite a bit of fantasy and Science-Fiction so I’m familiar with many common themes and elements. Occasionally I run across an author who has the confidence and intelligence to write something a little more outside the box and feel original in a cluttered field of copies. Ms. Engdahl writes in a way that is a fabulous combination of complex, yet easy to follow; highly creative, yet totally believable; familiar, yet fresh. It’s a potent mix and rare to find. Although I do believe that this book works well as a standalone, it made me curious about the other books and events preceding it, so now I want to read those as well. But having this be the first book I’ve read in this series from her, I can say that I never felt lost or confused, and I thought the author created a very rich and fully-realized world. Some of the secondary characters fell a bit flat, but they served their purpose. One thing I really appreciated was the author’s skillful world-building that occurred naturally and organically instead of a big “telling info-dump” that is all too common amongst lesser writers. (Like how horseback riding was an ancient times activity, haha). I really loved some of the ideas and concepts presented in this book, and even the most finicky of SciFi enthusiasts are sure to find something they love here. Highly recommend.
  • The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky on June 17, 2014

    I was so excited to see another book from David Litwack I downloaded it right away and literally gobbled the whole thing up in one evening. I read a lot of authors, traditional published, small press, indies… and often times I can tell a difference. But with Mr. Litwack I believe his books could (and should!) sit alongside any of the biggest names in a big-box store. The editing is flawless, and his prose is descriptive and elegant. But it’s the way he weaves the story and incorporates the characters in a fresh and compelling way that keeps you glued to the pages, er, my kindle. There is a nice twist at the end that gave me the chills.
  • The Sense of Touch on July 26, 2014

    Definitely one of the better written books I’ve read in a long, long time. Ron Parsons has a gift for composing artistic sentences that just float off the page and into your hearts, creating a vivid masterpiece in your heart and mind. We get transported to another place, to other lives, where we see the world through the eyes of others is a candid way that is soulful, authentic, and wholly original. There are zero clichés or character stereotypes here! One of the most “real-feeling” books (collection of short stories) I’ve ever read, even though each story seemed to have these really strange or unbelievable elements. It’s hard to explain. Just read it and you’ll see what I mean. You won’t regret it!!