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Smashwords book reviews by Karen
on Jan. 14, 2011
Some of the writing was a little choppy, some flowed nicely. Over all a good story worth reading, a little polishing would make it a great story.
- The Variant Effect: PAINKILLER
on Jan. 29, 2011
I have enjoyed the whole Variant Effect series and this one is a great addition. Well written, and well thought out characters.
- A View from a Height
on Dec. 30, 2011
Do you contemplate the meaning of life? Have you ever given any thought to what happens after death? Many people believe in 'the afterlife'. So what is it really? Some believe that we all have a responsibility to better ourselves through multiple lives which we do through reincarnation or rebirth. As our 'souls' venture forward from our bodies they are given the opportunity to be reborn into another life to improve on past mistakes and/or learn more about the true meaning of life as we know it. The book A View From A Height delves into those beliefs in great depth and gives the reader many things to ponder about the journey through life, or lives.
This book is long, huge to be more accurate, and takes quite a while to absorb all the information that the author has included. One problem I found is that most of the first part, book 1, reads almost like a text book on the metaphysical. The amount of information is daunting, and may turn some readers away from continuing. The information is given in the guise of a conversation but this 'conversation' is mostly one sided and continues for pages and pages. Some, like me, will skim these pages just to get through them and continue with the story. The information is interesting and thought provoking, but I quickly got bored, so I skimmed.
The story starts out with Dawn Bang growing up in Hawaii and experiencing racial discrimination. As many young people, she became rebellious and ends up in a car accident in which she is thrown into a water filled ditch and electrocuted. It is not 'her time' so she is sent back to improve on her life and continues in the mortal world while also 'living' in the spiritual world. Her improved life continues as she learns from different sources about the spiritual side of life. As her persona evolves she meets different characters that influence her life and choices.
The author has done a wonderful job of mixing science fiction, metaphysics and a thriller all into one thought provoking book. If you can get through the massive amount of information this is a very worth while read that I think most will enjoy.
- Gone World (Escape)
on Jan. 27, 2012
I really don't know what to say about this book. I honestly had a hard time finishing it. The author needs to go back to the drawing board and use the spell check and grammar check to it's fullest extent, then edit it some more.
- Born of Tyranny: Port of Errors
on Jan. 27, 2012
Port of Errors, by Steve Cypert, is a tale of pirates, tall ships, damsels in distress, tyranny, friendship, a whole conglomeration of actions and emotions and characters all rolled into one fast paced story set in the Atlantic in the 1700s. Travelling back and forth between England, Spain and France you’re taken on a journey with colourful characters who start out as friends then become enemies, then friends again. Their tale is chock full of wins and losses, and friends and foes as they grow from young boys in an orphanage to swashbuckling pirates and sailors in the English Navy.
There are times in this tale that the switching back and forth from friend to foe and back again gets a little confusing and you have to stop and think about who is friends with whom, at times it a little distracting. For the most part the characters are well developed and colourful, and the scenes are almost life like. You can’t help but compare it to Pirates of The Caribbean, but the story has a character of it’s own. There are a few misplaced punctuation marks and spelling errors that slow the flow of the writing but I’m sure just a wee bit of editing would fix those nasty little errors and make things move along nicely, on an even keel.
The story starts out a little slow but once things start moving it races from one scene to the next with hardly a chance to take a breath, let alone stop and grab a coffee. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering what those gnarly characters will get themselves into next. If you like action and adventure, with surprising twists and leathery pirates thrown in, you’ll love this tale about Black-Hearted, Captain Stirvin and all their friends and foes. Just make sure you’ve got the coffee pot close to hand so you can read and pour at the same time. As you sail off into the sunset you’ll be wishing you had the next novel on hand to continue the tale without pause.
- Pilate's Cross
on Jan. 27, 2012
John Pilate has had it rough, he’s on a one way ride to self destruction, until he moves to Cross as a replacement teacher. At Cross College, small Midwestern land-grant college, John hopes to redeem himself. He is intrigued when given information concerning a murder that took place in 1963 at the college, but he didn’t bank on what was to unfold.
The author, J. Alexander Greenwood, has done a great job of turning the underdog into a hero. The story is believable, the characters are life like, and the setting is like any almost forgotten town in backwoods America. The book is a good read, but it does need a little TLC in the editing department. There are quite a few typos, some formatting problems, and the writing in the beginning of the book is a little choppy. I almost put it down, but because it was actually a decent story I muddled through the beginning, and continued reading. Once I got to about the middle of the book things started to flow nicely and I was glad I convinced myself to stick with it.
Pilate’s Cross is a good read for those that like mysteries and intrigue. It would be a great read with a little tender loving care in the editing department. I’ll be keeping my eyes out for the sequel, Pilate’s Key, which takes John Pilate to the Florida Keys.
- Slow Curve on the Coquihalla
on Jan. 27, 2012
R.E. Donald, Canadian author of Slow Curve on the Coquihalla, has taken two Canadian traditions and meshed them into an intriguing mystery. The writing flows at a steady pace from beginning to end, keeping the reader just out of reach of the answer to the mystery of who, how and why.
This traditional ‘who done it’ will keep most readers scratching their head. Was it a shipper in the US, a disgruntled employee, or maybe a jealous friend? Will Hunter Rayne find the answers before it’s too late? With well developed characters, plot twists and veiled clues this story travels from Canada to the US and back again on a winding route to the final conclusion.
This is a great read for anyone who likes mystery, intrigue and those that are looking for good reads from up and coming Canadian authors. I have the second Hunter Rayne novel, Ice on the Grapevine, on my list to read. I’m hoping to get to it very soon.
- Promising Light
on Jan. 28, 2012
Emily Ward, author of Promising Light, sent me a copy of this novel and asked for an honest review, which is very easy to do when you really enjoy the book. Honestly, this young lady has done a fantastic job of telling the tale of a group of unique characters on a journey to save their way of life. There are no vampires or zombies, but you will find shape shifters, mind readers and a few other strange folk wandering the realms. With a little romance, a few battles, a few mishaps and a mysterious riddle the group of companions tries to complete a quest to rid a bloodline of a decade old curse and, ultimately, change the course of the future.
The world they live is not unlike our own, and the characters are well developed with a little humour (and sarcasm) thrown in here and there. Starting in a vineyard in an affluent neighbourhood the story flows to castles, villages, run down cottages and underground tunnels, taking the reader on a colourful journey with many twists and turns. As I read I was reminded, here and there, of the antics a similar set of companions in a well known series by R.A. Salvatore. No they are not the same, but maybe younger versions with different skills, dreams and adventures.
I found only a few minor typos here and there but they were very minor, really not enough to detract from the flow of the story. There is only one drawback that I found with this novel, well four actually. That would be the three prequels (Shifting Light, Fire and Light, and The End of Light) and the upcoming sequel (untitled), which means my to-be-read list just grew by another four books. Like my library isn’t big enough already.