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Smashwords book reviews by Darla Ortiz
- A Luminous Future
on June 20, 2012
The whole time I was reading this book, I felt like I was part of something really special. Now that I have finished, I feel so privileged to have met these characters, if only by reading about them. They truly came alive on the pages and through the words of Mr. Flonta. I especially loved that this book is based on someone’s real life who isn’t famous and talking about their fame or latest drug addictions. This book is real…it’s about what is really real, and what really matters. It gives a grand view of life that is so different from what we may be used to, yet we can totally relate to at the same time. I loved all the characters, but in particular, I thought Teodor’s mother and father were simply amazing, and I found myself rooting for them and supporting the father from the very beginning. The stories moved me in a way that I didn’t expect at all, and I’m thankful for having read this book. You should too!
- When Earthlings Weep
on June 24, 2012
This book had a little bit of everything…action, drama, romance, shapeshifting, time-travel, alien-human-hybirds, you name it. The main character Mickey is having these recurring nightmares, and his girlfriend Patience is worried about him. She wants him to go to a doctor as these night terrors are really starting to affect his life. What he finds out is not only are the dreams really happening, but he isn’t at all who he thought he was, and the whole world could be at risk unless he saves it. I was glued to my kindle from start to finish and was totally wrapped up in this intricate universe and layers of plots that Michael Barnett weaved. I felt like this could almost be made into a series, or at least continued on more. I wonder if there are any plans for that? Anyways, I really liked this book and think almost anyone would find something to appreciate
- Blood Skies (Book 1)
on Sep. 05, 2012
I struggled with trying to decide whether or not to give this novel 4 or 5 stars. Only rarely do I give out 5, but this book won out eventually simply for the fact that I couldn’t put it down and read it in one night (pretty rare), and also because I haven’t stopped thinking about it since! It is memorable and haunting, with some of the best characters I’ve come across in a long time. But it was the scenery and the way that Steven Montano created the world-building as the setting that has really stuck in my head. The imagery was so descriptive and real-feeling…I got the goosebumps more than once and had to keep reminding myself it was just a book! It felt like I was watching a movie at times, and the writing was better than most I’ve seen in this genre. It was almost literary, but still easy to read. Cannot recommend this book highly enough and can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.
- Angels Gate
on Sep. 17, 2012
I don’t give out five stars very often and I wavered a bit on this one because I felt there were definitely some parts that dragged and didn’t feel necessary. However, at the end of the day I have to give it the highest praise (5 stars), because this is one of the best stories I’ve read all year (and I read a LOT!) The level of intimate details, the wide –ranging plotline, the building suspense and tension, and the overall authentic, gritty feel of the portrayal of the drug life was downright impressive. Mr. Rafkin and Mr. Pagano did a great jobt of making the reader feel like we are inside the novel at all times, not at arm’s length with the details being “told” to us. And the whole time I was reading it I was wondering if it was “really” true, but I want to believe that it is. But the fact of the matter is this was an engrossing read that was excellently written and kept me entertained for hours, and I will definitely be telling my friends about it. So it doesn’t get much better than that in my opinion.
- Sugar and Spice: A Karma Café Novella
on Jan. 26, 2013
Sugar and Spice was a bit too predictable for my tastes. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with being predictable on some level, in fact many readers take a great deal of comfort in it, and to some extent they expect it. But to me I felt like I was reading something I’d read before, and the most interesting parts that could have made the story more unique were kept to a minimum. Personally, I like my stories to take some unexpected risks somewhere to catch me off guard or surprise me even a little bit on some level, and unfortunately this story don’t have any of that which for me is necessary to make it stand out from a crowded crowd. It’s not bad, but not mind-blowing. A safe, predictable romance that will appeal to those types of readers.
- Return of the Crown
on Jan. 26, 2013
Although this book moved along at a slower pace than what I am used to, I felt the message of the book was good. The writing was good enough to keep me involved and turning the pages, but I could put it down. The other reviews give some synopsis detail so I won't repeat. Let me just say that I liked the way the author depicted characters dealing with choices and situations. The writing style switched from different characters point of view which added to the depth of the book. I think if it had been written from just one point of view, I wouldn’t have been as good. Overall, I like the book and liked the enchanted landscape the author created.
- Oil and Corruption
on March 04, 2013
This novel by Gareth Flood reminded me of a weird mix between (are you ready…) “24”, “The DaVinci Code”, “Bourne Identity” and a tiny splash of “The Naked Gun”. Yeah, I know how crazy that sounds, but that’s what it seemed like to me! Some of the characters, and there are many in this book, were just so outrageous…awesome, but also almost caricatures. But they really made the story work in my opinion and gave it a really cool, unique flavor. I think Mr. Flood is a creative writer with a knack for writing these types of books. It’s a little more lighthearted than some thrillers, but it still has all the drama. Check it out!
- Silicon Succession
on Aug. 05, 2013
For some reason as I was reading “Silicon Succession” by Jason Hoult, I felt like I was in the middle of a video game or maybe even an interactive movie (if there were such a thing). Perhaps it was just due to the way it was written. Interesting and definitely unique. It is hard to describe without giving away too much of the story, and it took a while for me to get into it but once I did I was totally hooked. Recommended reading for fans of SCIFI thrillers with lots of action and an existential twist.