Artistic bibliophile on a fitness adventure... I love all things creative and active. I am blessed with an amazing husband and two incredible kids.
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Smashwords book reviews by Danielle Smiley
- Enchantment (The Channie Series Book One)
on Nov. 01, 2011
This books was full of surprises. It's shockingly well-edited. I've read plenty of professionally published books with more typos and wording issues than "Enchantment." I also was not expecting the story to be so well-told. Abel's verbiage was flawless. I wasn't 100% sold on the story line when I read the description, but I'm so glad I gave it a try. The characters felt authentic throughout the book. The story developed well, though I thought it was a little slow in sections and had a predictable moment or two (I find these to be hallmarks of romances). Overall, a really great read. I am very eager for the next book in this series.
on Dec. 17, 2011
This story is told completely from Frey's point of view. It's very effective as much of the book deals with the mystery surrounding Frey. It's extremely frustrating for a curious bird as myself, but not bad frustrating, it's more like being tickled: aggravating and fun at the same time.
As the story begins, the lack of information is just annoying. Frey is just going along with her normal daily activities giving the reader no sense of setting. I found myself re-reading the description hoping for a clue, but nope, none. Later you realize that the author purposely leaves so much ambiguity. I'm not sure how I feel about this. It made me concerned about how the rest of the book would progress.
Luckily for all involved, the rest of the book proved to be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I read this in two days because it was so hard to put down after those first few chapters. The reader is taken on this run-for-your-life quest with Frey, all the while only getting glimpses on the whys and what-fors. Poor Frey, no one will give her a freaking straight answer, and she is so determined. I loved her character. The characters who become part of her journey are also well written and likable. The whole book is so well written and this is one of those 99cent downloads!!!
So, concerning the ending... how do you feel about cliff hangers? As the book concludes, I got some of the answers for which I had been squirming, but not all. Again, I'm not sure how I feel about this. Overall it's a good thing, but it's kind of like getting a small piece of the perfect chocolate cake. Sure, you should be satisfied, but really you want more.
Again, luckily for all involved (I'd hate to have to stalk the author and bug her until she finished it), the sequel is out and is only another 99cents: The Frey Saga Book II: Pieces of Eight. As a matter of fact, I stopped mid-blog to go buy this. Really, do yourself a favor and just buy both books at the same time. It will keep you from yelling bad words at your Kindle (hee hee).
This is a new cover for this book. The other's nice, but the new one is so pretty I want to squeal (perhaps I do get a little too excited about books and book art). I wish the model had been photographed in a dress matching the description in the book, but I think that would've messed up the overall coloring of the book and the title wouldn't have popped as it so nicely does here. Alas, we can't have it all, can we?
- The Hollow of Mont Noir
on May 07, 2012
The Hollow of Mont Noir has a creative and intriguing premise. I loved the addition of an animal empath to the story's other supernatural element (of which I'm purposefully vague to avoid spoiling). Though a bit predictable in moments, I enjoyed how the story unfolded with mystery of Riordan's secrets and Allison's brother's disappearance. The story had a slow and steady pace and I was kept interested throughout.
The story is told in first person from Allison's point of view. I liked experiencing the story through Allison. She is mature and strong, gracefully dealing with both big problems like her missing brother and the normal high school drama of mean girls and lost friendships. While I liked Allison, I missed the dynamic element of character growth in the plot. I also felt that the book did not have a YA voice. It's very much an adult telling the story and I was disappointed in that.
Riordan, our hero, was a great character I enjoyed getting to know. I loved the creativity that went into building his world, though I had trouble buying why he was sent to Mont Noir and the lack of communication with his parents.
The other characters in the book are equally likable. I appreciated the focus on Allison's parents, their relationship and how their son's disappearance affected them. Their relationship was really well done. Even smaller characters, like the gym teacher, were given background stories. I didn't like the addition of Allison's ex-boyfriend and former best friend's "situation" at the end. It seemed to say "bad things happen to bad people" and felt spiteful. Hopefully that "situation" (sorry, trying not to spoil!!!) comes into play in book #2 and wasn't as nonsensical as it seemed.
The Hollow of Mont Noir was an enjoyable read. I did feel the author tended to tell rather than show the reader what was happening. This slowed down the pace and gave us a more passive heroine. Regardless, I had fun reading this book and will continue with the series when the next book comes out.
This cover has great beginnings, but could benefit from some tweaking. I love the individual elements, but would suggest each be enlarged. Also, a higher resolution jpg is a must.
Read more of my reviews at:http://knowntoread.blogspot.com/
- Dark Matter
on Aug. 06, 2012
So what did I love? The plot is complex, mysterious and intriguing. I love Ms. Rich's striking verbiage. She paints the most beautiful scenes, ones of which you can practically feel the texture without being bogged down with useless details. Her stories ooze with creativity and magic!
Then, the characters: Rayla is the perfect protagonist. Likable from the start, but with room for character growth, I immediately connected with Rayla. That character growth (which I love) is steady, believable and well written. The characters surrounding her are well-rounded with their own back stories and issues. The antagonists (and those we aren't sure are which they are) are dimensional, not merely evil with their own inner struggles.
Then there's the sizzling chemistry between Rayla and these mysterious fellas hanging around! You'd think that having so many men involved would not gel right with the reader, but Ms. Rich has an incredible way writing each of these characters in a way that you completely empathize with Rayla in not being able to choose. In book 1, I was 100% Zach, but then came Luke ... and in book 2, there's even more!!! It's hard to express how well Ms. Rich writes chemistry. And the crazy thing is, there's never anything more than kissing. Rayla has standards (good for you, girl!).
Book 2 picks up right where book 1 left off. Thrown right into the action, I read this book cover to cover in 2 days. Sleep's overrated anyhow. I was shocked that there was still even more sexy men introduced and found myself rooting for Heath in no time flat. Poor Rayla just doesn't know who to trust, and who to let in to her heart. The whole compulsion thing makes everything all the more confusing. This makes for some crazy good reading! Then, just when we've gotten deep into fae issues, BOOM we are hit with the human bad guy side and again nothing is as it seems. Hmmm... crazy intriguing! I must read book 3 ... which came out just last month ... right away!
See more of my reviews on my blog, Known to Read.
- What Kills Me
on Aug. 11, 2012
This was such a great read!!! **happy squeals** This was crazy hard to put down, the action just hits you from get get-go. We barely meet Axelia, whose friends call her Zee, before she meets a mysterious and quite yummy looking stranger, but all is not what it seems. Then like tsunami waves, the action just keeps coming. Insane crap keeps happening to this girl, she just CANNOT catch a break! And you are left in shock going, "NO FREAKIN' WAY!!!"
Axelia is believable and super easy to connect with. You like her right away, even when she does something stupid. Then your heart breaks for her as she copes with becoming a vampire and the severing of human ties. You're outraged at the unfairness of it all. Her reactions are in perfect tune with how you'd think someone would react; she's brave but not suddenly a kick-butt heroine out of nowhere.
Then there's Lucas. Perfect! Sure he's a jerk at first and stays pretty abrasive, but you understand who he is and where he's coming from and what type of man he is underneath the burliness. There's a good amount of back story letting you ...and Axelia... warm to him. There's some great chemistry between the two!
I love all the crazy and creative happening in this book. I love that I kept thinking that it just couldn't get any worse and then it would. I love how surprised I was throughout the book. I love the great twist that comes at the end and how it's open to more, but enough closure that you can sigh that happy sigh of a book well concluded.
The only complaint I could make is that everything happened so quickly, that I wish I could've gotten to know all the characters, especially the peripheral ones, better. I'm torn on this point. On one hand, if Axelia spent a few days at each location, we would all know each other much better and the feeling between our MCs could grow at a more natural pace. On the other hand, the crazy pace is what makes this book special. Hmmm. Guess I can't have my cake and eat it too, can I?
See more of my reviews on my blog, Known to Read.
- Genesis (Elemental Enmity Book III)
on Aug. 20, 2012
As Junie B. Jones would say, "Wowie-wow-wow!" If you've read this far in the series you know what to expect from Christie Rich: amazingly descriptive scenes, crazily creative characters and sizzling, smoking chemistry! And Genesis does not disappoint! Yummy, yummy, yummy!
I love, love, love the absolute depth of each character and we get to really know each of the lords in Genesis ... and each and every one of them are a surprise!!! It's amazing how much emotion you feel along with Rayla: fear, uncertainity, compassion and lots of frustration. It seems crazy that she could be feeling so much and for so many guys, but it just so works in this book. Truly my only complaint is that the book has ended (and ooh-ooh-ooh what an ending!) and now I must wait for book 4. Please write faster, Ms. Rich! I must know what happens!!!
- The Frey Saga Book II: Pieces of Eight
on Oct. 21, 2012
Take all the crazy awesomeness of book 1, toss in lots of answers to all the mystery of book 1, throw in a million more questions, mysteries and unclear motives and you'd begin to understand what you have in Pieces of Eight.
Holy cow, people! I didn't think Melissa Wright could possibly add anymore wonderful intrigue and complexity to Frey's life, and I was so freakin' wrong. Yay for being wrong!!!
To be succinct (yes, a rarity I know), Pieces of Eight is just more: more action, more mystery, more suspicion, and definitely more heated chemistry!
I did not receive any compensation for this review. It is my honest opinion. See more of my reviews on my blog, Known to Read.
- The Frey Saga: Molly
on Oct. 21, 2012
Short stories/novellas are rarely "important" to the telling of a series' story. Molly is very much an exception. This book explains SO MUCH! And it's a great story all on it's own (but you definitely want to wait to read it until you've read Pieces of Eight). Molly is a complex character; one you don't necessarily even like, but you understand where she's coming from and you want to know what happens with her. The events of Molly unfold simultaneously with Pieces of Eight and shed some great light on what Frey couldn't see. The end teases you with what may occur in book 3, Rise of the Seven, and I am just dying to see how that all unfolds. Another fantastic read in the Frey Saga!
See more of my reviews on my blog, Known to Read.
- The Frey Saga Book III: Rise of the Seven
on Oct. 31, 2012
Genre: YA (really it's for all ages) Fantasy
Publisher Type: Indy
My Rating: * * * * *
**Happy Sigh** The only draw back of a story well-told is that it ends. Think of the best meal you've ever had, times that by seven and you'll understand just how wonderfully satisfying I found the finale of the Frey Saga to be.
Everything in book 3, Rise of the Seven is ratcheted up! The chemistry between Chevelle and Frey...Yum!!! The mystery and intrigue, the never-knowing-who-to-trust ... yup, totally "more" than books 1 & 2 (how is that EVEN possible?!?). The plot twists are more twisty; the action more intense! Just wowie-wow-wow!
Hello?!? Look at it!!! So incredibly gorgeous and that intense color scheme just totally speaks to the intensity of the book. Then the little tickle of a hint with the hawk: perfection! Ahhh! Good stuff.
- Talented (Talented Saga #1)
on March 23, 2013
I absolutely love the creativity of the Talented world and the plot has such great twists and turns!!!! There's tons of suspense, great characters with much yummy chemistry! I will warn you that this book takes some time to really take off. Honestly, the first 20% had me worried. Dystopian novels do have a great deal of world building needed, but combine that with too much "telling, not showing," and you're off to a slow start. but once this book picks up, man, it's tough to put down! By the end of the book, your jaw is dropped and you're stuck with one word ... "wow!" Now that ending is indeed a huge (but not completely inconclusive) cliff hanger, so you may just wanna go ahead and grab the next two books in the series while you're at it, cuz the end just left me begging for more.
- A Vision for the Future
on July 11, 2013
This is a fantastic short story that grabs you and keeps you guessing on how it will all unravel. It's very short and you get the fabulous bonus of a sneak peek of Melissa Wright's awesome sauce urban fantasy, Bound by Prophecy, which I also LOVED!
- Winter Fae
on July 31, 2013
This is a very short (and free) story about what happened to Gareth's mother. It's a story that has so much potential; I wish the authors would've fleshed out this story more --more showing and less telling. It also makes me wonder how certain characters (won't spoil it for you by saying who) in Armored Hearts weren't sick as well.
- Armored Hearts
on July 31, 2013
This is such a unique and intriguing read! The first half of the book is slower paced, but flows really well. I enjoyed all the characters, even with Gareth's grumpiness. The mystery unfolds and the action ramps up about 65% into the book. From there on in I was completely glued to my Kindle. I love the twists and turns in the plot and am excited to read the next in the series!
- Flame: A Fireborn Novel
on Aug. 07, 2013
I finished this a week or so ago but haven't gotten to do the review until now, but what really strikes me is how I still cannot get this story out of my head. It's an incredible read. Crazy creativity and an amazing story explodes on the pages of Flame. The world building, the unique characters, the plot twists --bunches of "I so did not see that coming"-- and loads of mystery pretty much will glue you to your Kindle until completion. I'd go into more detail, but I don't want to give anything away. So put out some snacks for the kiddos and lock yourself in your room when you get this baby!
- Fire Country
on Sep. 20, 2013
You know those books, the ones that you keep thinking about long after you finish reading them; the ones that the characters feel so real, you find yourself wondering what they're doing right now? FIRE COUNTRY is so that book! Yes, I've heard all the ravings about David Estes' writing; I had high expectations and then he just totally blew those expectations out of the water! This book is woo-loo good!!!
The world building is perfection in FIRE COUNTRY with it's troubling society set in a seriously harsh environment. It takes crazy skill to provide your audience with a balance of all the needed details without boring them with an information dump. And I LOVE the creativity of this world: our same world, but different, especially their verbiage. My favorite phrase is now "woo loo" and I find myself thinking "what the scorch?!?" when vexed.
The very best thing about FIRE COUNTRY is the characters. I love Siena and her quirkiness; her convo with Perry the prickler is priceless! Her character growth is breathtakingly beautiful. It made me cry with joy in seeing her blossom. Much of FIRE COUNTRY is slower paced than my usual read --more almost slice-of-life in it's presentation at times-- but this pace is really needed for what the story is; I wouldn't, couldn't delete a single scene. It's complex and rich, like a good Malbec, especially in regards to her relationships.
Then there's the mystery, conspiracy and shocking plot twists. This book truly has it all; I can't see anyone not loving this book. I can't wait to read more of David Estes' work!!!