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Smashwords book reviews by Jonel Boyko
- The Moon Dwellers
on Dec. 16, 2012
Ok, so I finished this book about 10 minutes ago and have already purchased 2 sequels. I must say, I was captivated from page one to the final word. This is the first time in a very long time that I have read every word on every page of a book, not skimming a single sentence. Estes makes the weird seem real and very possible while intermingling moments of sheer comedic delight with suspense and heart warming personal moments.
Estes’ action packed story keeps you riveted page after page while he takes the pyramidal caste system found in every society throughout history and makes the differences and trials of each class poignantly clear. He helps demonstrate the differences between the classes by switching the speaker in each paragraph between the 2 main characters. As I am normally not a fan of this style of writing I was a bit leery at the beginning but the author keeps the different perspectives very clear and it greatly helps the progression of the story.
Within Estes’ work you feel like you are reading about real people and living every moment with them. The lack of “cardboard cut-out” characters coupled with the progression of real relationships between individuals draws you further and further into this post-apocalyptic world. You also see the beginnings of a forbidden love story makes your heart twist, hoping for the best but expecting the worst in the suspenseful, war torn era in which the characters find themselves. By the end of the novel I found myself dying to get my hands on the next volume in the series, needing to know what happened next and if everyone would be alright.
on Dec. 22, 2012
Roberts’ novel Reflection is one of the most unique stories that I have read in a long while. It is full of imaginative descriptions while remaining clear in all situations. All situations and medical terminology is explained throughout the novel, without detracting from the storyline or speaking down to the audience. Roberts’ writing has a way of making you smile, even during the sad moments.
Throughout the better part of the story you know that something is not right, but you do not know exactly what it is. This is coupled with a sense that one character’s reality may not necessarily be the same as the reality of the person standing next to them. As a reader you find yourself in a world full of illusions pulling you towards a discovery.
The main character is living with the heartache of a true love gone wrong while dealing with the reality of rebuilding her memories. While reading her story you feel that you are living her reality rather than listening to her tell a doctor about her memories. She knows that there is something wrong but keeps fighting, trying to piece everything together. By the end of this first edition in the series we leave the main character determined to rebuild her life and relationships when everyone else has moved in different directions with their lives.
- Riley's Curse, A Moon's Glow Prequel
on Dec. 30, 2012
Ok, so I must say that if I weren’t already a werewolf addict this novella would push me over the top. I can only describe it as “The complete guide to becoming a Werewolf: the exciting edition.” Smith combines vivid descriptions with lots of action and real life drama to set up her series in a brilliant, well written way.
The character development in this story goes far beyond what you find in most novellas. You really get to know the characters that will carry on throughout the series. The main character in this story also feels real emotions: loneliness, joy, guilt, remorse, sadness are all present and real within these pages. My heart goes out to him time and time again while he fights through the trials that his life puts before him. I also commend Smith on her use of period correct dialogue throughout the novella.
I have a feeling that this novella gives the reader everything that they need to know for the rest of the series while keeping the reader’s interest through every word. Oh, and can you say “Holy Cliff-hanger. “
- The Alpha's Mate
on Jan. 04, 2013
Holy descriptionville!!! By the end of the first chapter I was so immersed in this story, based on the vivid and filling descriptions that Rhoades uses that I was standing in the middle of the woods with the characters. Even when I had to put the book down to go to work, I never left this world behind. You live this story, you do not read it. The situations are so real that you cannot help but laugh at the ridiculousness or hold your breath in nervousness, hoping that everyone will be alright.
This book is jam packed with action, romance, and true friendships. Not a moment is left dull and no event is ever skimmed over. Everything is clearly portrayed. The novel is also very well written. Rhoades has a way with words that makes you forget that you are reading, and not living, the events in question.
I fell in love with many of the characters the first time that they appeared. They were so vividly portrayed that you cannot help but know them as if they were a real life friend (and believe me, by the end, they may as well be). There were others that I hated with an intensity that should not be possible.
This novel is, by definition, a paranormal romance novel. What I especially appreciated about it was that it was different. Yes, boy falls for girl and they get together. That’s a given. However, the relationship between the pack Alpha and his mate is completely different from anything that I’ve ever read. The Alpha, Mate, pack relationship is also different. Every difference and similarity to the genre helps to pull the story forward and to pull you into the story.
This book is amazing as a standalone novel. Everything begins and ends within its pages. You can see the world outside of the novel, but don’t need to read it to thoroughly enjoy yourself while reading it. That said, am I ever glad that this is the first book in the series. I will definitely be following it as it is written.
- All That We See Or Seem
on Jan. 08, 2013
Avery is one of those storytellers who can bring an entire world alive with her words. She keeps you captivated throughout the story. I could barely put the book down at all.
The stellar cast of characters in this novel are real teenagers. They talk and act their age while learning that they must fight for more than just themselves. You live with them while they struggle to come to grips with who they are now, who they used to be, and what they must do. You feel excited, nervous, and curious alongside the characters, wanting to know more about what’s happening. The characters became so real to me, that at times they brought tears to my eyes. Of course, other characters were just plain creepy. Very vivid, but creepy.
Avery works in depth descriptions into her story without them getting long or drawn out. She manages to bring her world to life with her words. And what a world she brings to live. The author combines multiple different mythologies into one whole new exciting world.
Despite the Avery’s magnificent world is broken up by a scattering of grammatical errors throughout the novel. Without these, I would have given the book a higher star rating. There are just enough that it can distract you from the story itself.
I will definitely still be following the Dreamer Trilogy through until the end as the story kept me captivated throughout. Avery has a definite way with words and has a knack for storytelling that I am eager to see develop throughout the series.
- Fire in the Blood (Last Moon Rising #1)
on Jan. 11, 2013
Holy Cow!!! I can’t believe how caught up I was in this book. I admit that at the beginning I had a chapter or two wondering where this novel was headed, but then I could not put the book down. Ibitz has a writing style that immerses you into the action of the story. I wanted to run out and help the characters with their various trials. His descriptions make all of the different areas of the realm seem so real. Everything flows together to create a dynamic reading experience for his audience.
There is an entirely new mythology developed with this story. It comes complete with gods and demi-gods vying for power. Each god has their own realm within the world that is not only symbolic. The lands ruled by these gods each has distinctive features marking them. Ibitz’s very interesting explanation of global warming definitely gives you something to think about.
I absolutely loved the characters. They are all well developed and seem like real people. Oh, some of them are mysterious, not giving away too many details, but they are not flat characters. Ibitz also manages to develop characters that give off a definite creepy vibe. His characters face real world dilemmas while on their very interesting journeys. The main character is constantly fighting against a feeling of not belonging anywhere, which is something faced by so many teens. She also learns that being yourself and staying true to your beliefs is more important than being accepted by the so-called “popular” crowd. I definitely felt for her when she was rejected by one of the “hall gods”, but was still left wondering if maybe, just maybe, they might get together in a future novel. The dialogue was also very appropriate for the various characters. I absolutely loved the fact that each of the Eyidoran races have their own distinctive speech patterns.
I cannot believe how well put together this novel was. Ibitz is an amazing storyteller and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every page. I cannot wait to read the next installment. Strong Blood, here I come.
- Strong Blood (Last Moon Rising #2)
on Jan. 12, 2013
In her brilliant follow up to Fire in the Blood, Ibitz continues with his mastery of the English language and with her well developed mythology to create a work that is difficult to beat. Her descriptions make this world vividly real.
The mythology that we learn about in the first novel of the series is further developed here. We find out a great deal more about the lands and their relationship with the gods. We also find out about the connections between the demi-gods and their place in the hierarchy of the world. As with many other mythologies, the goal is to reach a balance.
The characters continue on their quest to save not only their world, but the universe while battling with issues that are all too commonly faced in our teenage years. The reality of these situations brings to light the similarity of all peoples. This is made abundantly clear through the main character. She is such a realistic teenager, right down to the way that she talks and thinks. She battles through feelings of inadequacy and through trust issues on a daily basis. Even during the times that you feel she is being difficult or somewhat naive you cannot help but feel for her and see where she is coming from.
Throughout this installment I did find myself right alongside the main character, questioning the intentions of the characters. I began to wonder who was really on which side of the battle. There is a veil of mystery throughout this novel that pulls you further and further into the action and deception. I found myself rooting for certain characters and wondering what on Eyidora others were up to.
This novel leaves you perfectly situated to dive into the next installment in the series. Ibitz manages to finish the novel in such a way that you cannot help but need to read the next installment, but giving this one a conclusion of sorts. She does not leave us mid action sequence, nor do the characters reach the end of their quest. By the end of the novel, all I was left muttering 2 things to my dogs: (1) wow; and (2) where’s the next installment?
- The Gods of Asphalt - Book One
on Jan. 12, 2013
Right from the first page Ellis drops his audience into an emotional rollercoaster that does not let up until the final word of the novel. Twists and turns abound in this extremely realistic, very vivid journey through the life of a teenage boy who cannot come to grips with the forces driving his life.
The characters and setting of this novel were both very well developed. These were people that you wanted to, or felt like you already did, know in your real life. You wanted to root for them, or against them, depending on which characters were involved. They were not flat characters either. Each of them was well rounded and lifelike.
There were some very intense moments within this story. Ellis grabs a hold of the English language and twists it in such a way that the audience is kept riveted and feels exactly what the character is feeling. That said, there were also a great deal of moments when I found myself laughing out loud, rather uncontrollably at times. The author manages to use words to evoke very strong emotions in the reader.
On this surface this novel is about secrecy driving a family apart, but it is also about truth bringing them back together. Although it is a gripping tale it also contains a great deal of realism regarding difficulties within families. The characters need to learn to accept others and themselves the way that they are. There is a great deal of fighting, both verbally and physically, between the characters in this novel. There are also a large number of “bro-mance” moments that counteract them.
I quite enjoyed the fact that each chapter had a song assigned to them. These songs complemented the chapters that they were associated with. Picturing or listening to the song enriched the chapter, giving it a deeper meaning.
Above all, what I found the most interesting about this novel is reading about high school and high school relationships from the perspective of a guy. It was interesting to see how a situation that I would have reacted to in one manner was dealt with very differently.
This book as a whole was very well written. It kept me captivated while grounded in reality. The author did not need to use any supernatural forces to keep me tied to these pages. I will definitely be checking out future works by this author in the near future.
on Jan. 12, 2013
Ok, so I definitely did not leave my chair once while reading this novel. It was brilliant. I fully admit that I spent the 1st chapter wondering “what the hell happened in the past” but the rest of the book kept me captivated within its pages. Goodson has a way with words and manages to work mystery and intrigue into her work without it becoming apparent.
The descriptions and settings in this novel are great. They are real places that you feel like you could visit, or have visited. She uses her descriptions in a way that you can picture the setting for the novel very clearly. At the same time, she never gets longwinded or boring.
I think what really got me with this novel was the fact that the historical, anthropological, and archaeological facts present in the book are based in reality. Goodson took the time to research this before writing. It is not simply made up information that she tries to pass off as fact. She weaves an amazing tale around these facts, but what they are is still fact (with a twist or two, of course).
The characters are also heartwarming. You have a main character that is afraid to love because she lost her father coupled with her high school sweetheart who will still do anything for her. You can’t beat that, especially when Goodson takes the time to develop her characters into real people. I was, of course, left with the question “what is Richard’s deal?” Is he up to something or is he simply a skeazebag?
- Noble Lies
on Jan. 20, 2013
In this novel Andrassy takes on organized religion with a vengeance. She illustrates the turmoil that can come from fighting against a single, overarching church. She also illustrates the possibility of corruption in the higher ranks of a system that basically rules over society. She also brilliantly shows that together a society can fight against corrupt individuals in this system. For a while, I was starting to believe that the author was going to allow individuals in the novel to be abused without anyone ever fighting back, however, she did come back from this at the end of the novel with the upper class petitioning against the Church’s disregard for propriety and safety and demanding retribution.
In this novel Andrassy puts coming of age in a very different light with a very unique layout for arranged marriages. Individuals of the nobility are conditioned from birth to accept their mates based on the stars. I also found it astounding that for once it is the upper class of society that appears to be suffering from the injustice brought about by societal divisions.
The imagery in the scenery within this novel is absolutely breathtaking. There is not a single setting that the characters visit that you do not feel like you walked into yourself. That said, there is never a moment that is dull with drawn out descriptions. Andrassy sneaks these brilliant descriptions upon you without the reader noticing.
The characters in this novel were all very well developed. There was not a single major character that did not have a complete background. They all also had individual personalities and characteristics. However, Andrassy did not end her character development there. These characters were also physical beings that you could picture walking out of the pages of the book. They also had real relationships with each other. I don’t know how she managed it, but the author managed to work a love triangle into the novel without it being noticed by the reader until close to the end.
This was not what would stereotypically be considered a suspenseful book. That said, there were so many moments where I found myself thinking “ I did not see that coming” or “how in the world is this going to end” that There was a great deal of suspense to be found in the novel. I must say that I never thought that I would ever consider something like that a happy ending, but considering the story, that was as close to a happy ending that I could imagine.
This book was a definitely whirlwind. At the end of the novel I just found myself thinking “hunh, that’s it then.” I must say that I have never had that happen before. I found that I had to walk away from the novel to determine how I felt about it. I was extremely caught up in the story while I was reading it. It was an amazingly well written story; I definitely had no complaints on that front. The story itself was just such a heavy story that it is a lot to absorb. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it is not a light read by any means.
- Fated Dreams (Book One In The Affinity Series)
on Jan. 21, 2013
One thing that I absolutely love about Smith’s writing is how personal it is. Everything that is written is so realistic that you cannot help but be drawn into it. Nothing has to be set up to make you believe in the story, you believe in the story because of everything that is put into it.
Smith has a way with words that allow you to picture exactly what she is seeing while writing. Some of the scenery is breathtaking, and you can just imagine line dancing with the characters in a small town diner. There is such realism in everything. Even though this story is paranormal in essence, the characters and scenes are very real. Some of the scene breaks are a little jumpy, but then you feel like you’re in a high school cafeteria where 12 things are going on all at once and you’re trying to be in on all of them.
It was very nice to see a teenage character that was able to balance school and a part time job. It helped make you realise that these characters were real. They weren’t from the top strata of society, yet still managed their lives and were able to find happiness within the insanity of life. I also loved that he parents in the novel cared. They ensured the safety of their children and held them accountable for their own actions. It was a novelty that I so rarely find in current novels.
The introduction of sex into relationships was masterfully done as well. The two main characters walk a fine line while waiting for both parties to be ready to take the leap. Their relationship is built on trust. Intimacy comes second. Even though they are both very committed to one another, no one assumes that sex is a requirement of the early relationship.
One thing that I would have enjoyed was a bit more character development. Each of the main characters fits their role quite well; however, I feel that I do not know very much about them. Some of the minor characters have a much stronger back-story than the two main characters do. The main character, for example, always sticks to her guns, sometimes to the point of pigheadedness, which you can relate to. However, we never find out why she is this way. It is in no way detrimental to the storyline, but it is always easier to connect to a character that you know.
As a whole, this novel was able to grab me and didn’t let go throughout the entire story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It even evoked a few girlie giggles from me while I was reading, to the enjoyment of my coworkers in the lunchroom.
- Delusions (Book Two In The Affinity Series)
on Jan. 22, 2013
Wow, I have tears in my eyes and am giggling like a school girl who just spoke to her first crush all at the same time. This novel was great. It was about real people, with real lives, dealing with real issues, and then some. Smith takes the well known concept of soul mates and tweaks it to bring it forward in a new light that doesn’t seem quite as farfetched as many concepts that I have seen. It fits perfectly with the lives of real people, and doesn’t require much of a supernatural element whatsoever.
I must say, Smith’s character development in this installment of the series far exceeds that of the original. Every major character in this novel has a back-story. You know who they are and why they are that way. You also learn a great deal more about some of the characters from the original story as well. The characters also display emotions appropriate to their circumstances. They stick to their decisions when appropriate and compromise (eventually) when it’s called for. The characters in this novel are also quite likeable. They all have their quirks but you never want to throw a pillow at any of them to shut them up. It’s brilliant.
Smith’s writing remains as real as ever in this installment. It is the realism in her writing that draws you so far into the work. She describes things as they are in the real world. There are no illusions or metaphors. Her pages are not full of symbolism. It is completely real, and yet you can still picture it as if you were there.
This book held me captive throughout. I thoroughly enjoy Smith’s work. Even within this series you can already see the evolution of her writing style. She is definitely an author to follow
- The Warrior
on Feb. 02, 2013
The premise behind this novel is very intriguing. Although following the basic model of an action story the overarching case that the characters are dealing with is unique [for a fictional story]. It leads to a very intense story.
I found a couple of spots in the novel to be a bit choppy, but as a whole it was quite well written with a flow to the narrative. However, it does alternate between very slow and quite fast paced. I did appreciate the fact that Patterson wrote an action novel without something blowing up every few pages. There is definite substance to the storyline.
I tend to appreciate a fair amount of character development within the novels that I read. I found that by the end of this story you don’t really know any of the characters at all. You find out bits and pieces about certain characters and their histories. Other than that, the only thing that you really learn about a character is their chosen profession.
One thing that I’m slightly perplexed with at this point is how this is the first book in the Zeb Carter and Booker series when one of those characters does not make it out of the novel. However, I assume that this will be explained in further novels in the series.
As a whole, this was a decent way to spend an afternoon. It was an easy to read novel that I enjoyed. I would love to know more about the characters and their very unique missions.
on Feb. 03, 2013
Holy Cow!!! Was that ever intense? And the best part? It was intense in a whole new way. The intensity was in the different situations faced by the main character. These weren’t all life and death situations, but still rated off the charts on the intensity scale.
Rae has a way with words. Her descriptions were phenomenal and were worked right into the story in such a seamless manner that you cannot help but be impressed. She was also extremely articulate in the way that she wrote. The entire novel was very clear and detailed without becoming extremely verbose. She manages to evoke a wide array of emotions in her readers. By combining reality with the paranormal the situations all seem so real that you cannot help but react to them. Rae also worked some really cool concepts, such as her version of evolving, that aren’t seen elsewhere.
The characters in this book were very well developed. There wasn’t a single character that I felt like I needed to know more about in order to understand them or their role in the novel. Details about characters were interspersed in the novel where necessary. Rae never stops the forward flow of the novel in order to develop a character all at once, giving a narrative overload. Obviously, those characters that played minor roles in the novel weren’t quite as detailed as the main characters, but that also prevents unnecessary downtime in the plot in order to develop characters needlessly.
This novel was an amazing start to the Sunshine series. It leaves you wanting, no needing, more but also with a feeling of completion. Cudos.
- Preston's Mill (A Contemporary Romance)
on Feb. 07, 2013
Wow! Another brilliant read from Jacqueline Rhoades. I honestly couldn’t put it down. I’m a little bit speechless at this point in time.
There were times when you could see how it would end, but couldn’t fathom how they would get there. Rhoades’ brilliant storytelling takes you on an amazing journey throughout, with just the right amount of spice. She also manages to balance the serenity of the mountain with her storyline. The story maintains a fast enough pace that when action scenes appear near the end, they do not seem out of place.
Interspersed throughout the novel are some brilliant and vivid descriptions that allowed you to walk into the story, to see exactly what the characters were seeing, and to feel exactly what they were feeling. Through her writing, Rhoades also manages to evoke emotions in her reader on a scale rarely seen.
The characters that Rhoades brings to life are phenomenal. They are so well and subtly developed that you feel like you have known them your entire life. No one ever seems out of place. Each person has their own niche that they fill beautifully and fully. Each character remains consistent throughout the novel. I greatly appreciated that no one had a massive personality change before the end of the novel in order for the story to reach a happy ending. I also love that the characters stay true to the local dialect throughout the novel. Rhoades doesn’t slip up once.
This novel was absolutely breathtaking. By the end, you are in the novel so deep that you find yourself wishing that you were living on the mountain with the characters. I didn’t want this story to end as I found myself wanting to know what came next for everyone and to continue the journey with them.
- Forbidden Temptation of a Vampire: Sídhí Summer Camp #1
on Feb. 07, 2013
The premise behind this story is really neat, especially with respect to who rules the Supes. It takes the idea of the supernatural races not getting along and gives it a big shake. I’m absolutely loving the development of vampires in this novel. You see where they human myths come from but you also see the realism in the differences. The dragons in this novel are also quite unique. She also integrates the notion of cultural intermingling to great effect, drawing reality into fantasy.
Cooper has an amazing way with words and storytelling. The world that she creates is so flawlessly realistic that you cannot help but want to visit it or to live there. She also changes perspective from character to character showing the differences between individuals and species or subspecies. It never once disrupts the progression of the story nor does it ever confuse the story. I don’t remember ever having seen an author use this technique to such amazing ends.
The main characters in this novel were very engaging. You want to know them, even if they are a little hard-headed at times. While journeying with these characters you find yourself questioning people’s motives and actions, wondering which side they’re really on or who they really are. It adds to the mystery of the story, acting to draw you further and further into this world. One thing about the characters though... I definitely wouldn’t want to experience their version of puberty. Oh man.
As a cohesive unit, this novel has it all. There’s lots of intrigue interspersed with a budding romance. Characters that you want to journey with. Absolutely amazing scenery. However, I must say that I definitely needed a chocolate fix by the end.
- Vampire's Forbidden Territory: Sídhí Summer Camp #2
on Feb. 07, 2013
What a phenomenal follow-up to the first novel in the series. Picking up where the last novel left off, everyone was back with a vengeance and this installment was even faster paced than the original.
Cooper’s writing and descriptions didn’t miss a beat in this novel. Everything remained seamless. Her storytelling draws you in further and further with each page. Descriptions and settings remain phenomenal in this sequel. I spent a great deal of time wishing that I could walk into the world that was so clearly laid out in my mind’s eye.
Character development continues in this segment of the series. You learn a great deal more about characters from the previous novel, getting to know them even better. You also meet some new characters that your heart cannot help but go out to. These characters are so real yet simultaneously surreal. However, I must say that I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many life altering misunderstandings in a single relationship. It had me torn between wanting and loathing life-mates.
At the end of the story I just had one big question. What’s next? I need to go on some more adventures with these guys.
- Soul Defenders: The Black Orchids (Book One)
on Feb. 08, 2013
Sometimes you come to expect a certain level of writing from an author. I always find it amazing when the author not only meets, but also exceeds your expectations. Van Atta does that with this novel. It was an epic journey that you can’t help but fall in love with.
This novel takes Christian fiction to a whole new level in an amazing way. Van Atta manages to tactfully bring the voice of God to the forefront of her story without it becoming “preachy”. You never feel that she is trying to convert her readers, but rather, to tell the story of a battle waging in a small town. Individual choice and freewill always plays into people’s actions. You can see the influence of angels and demons in the world, but they do not force individuals or their actions. They simply guide them on their journeys. She puts peer pressure in a much grander scheme of things with this.
Van Atta uses descriptions that bring absolutely everything to life in a very big way. Everything was so clear and approachable (well.... if it wasn’t evil, that is). The writing style in this novel suits the storyline perfectly. You can’t help but be drawn in through her way with words. Also, Van Atta regularly flips perspective and scene from character to character within chapters. Through this technique, she manages to increase the depth of the novel while maintaining a very clear flow to the story. Everyone remains separate while working together to form a complete story.
Even though a great deal of the characters aren’t human, they are all so well developed, both in physique and personality, that you can’t help but relate to them, or at the very least picture them in your mind’s eye. Every character evokes a reaction in you as a reader. Some you want to help, some you want to hold, and others you want to beat over the head with a pillow until they realise how ridiculous they are being. It is the perfect cast for this novel.
As a cohesive unit, this story was at times disturbing, but always brilliant. You cannot help but be drawn in, wanting to continue on with the characters as they battle the forces of the underworld. One thing that came out of this novel for me??? I definitely do not want to travel to this town. I don’t think that I’d have the willpower that the characters do, or the ability to resist.
on Feb. 13, 2013
This story is based on a very unique concept. I can definitely say that I’ve never read anything even remotely like it before. It was a very refreshing and exciting read.
This story was exceptionally well written, especially considering that it is the first novel for this author. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that she has a well thought out and intriguing plot. This novel is going somewhere specific. It never wanders or loses its reader. I also appreciated the way that James didn’t leave anything at loose ends at the end of the novel, but yet left so much to be explained and discovered in future installments. Nothing is left in limbo, but there is more than enough to bring you back for more.
The main characters were quite interesting and very well developed. They were the type of people that you could see yourself being friends with. I truly wanted to see them succeed. You find your heart going out to them on multiple different occasions. They are so real that you can’t help it. I also love the mix of interesting powers that the characters possess. They aren’t your stereotypical supernatural powers, but this makes them all the more interesting. The powers are also integrated into who the characters are and into their beliefs. They aren’t superfluous to the characters but rather an integral part of who they are.
This is definitely a one of a kind story with many one of a kind characters. I was so drawn into this world of many realms and into the lives of the characters that I can’t wait to continue on this journey with them in the sequel.
- Feyland: The Dark Realm
on Feb. 17, 2013
Holy Cow! I seriously lack hand eye coordination and any desire to become a gamer, but at the moment, I’m seriously considering it. This story was so excruciatingly real that you need to play the game with the characters. Just wow!
Sharp employs vividly exotic descriptions and locales that catch you right from the get go. This story becomes so real that it is scary. You can actually picture the events occurring and you find yourself picturing what would happen if you were in the characters’ shoes. The events in question may be out of our realm, but the way that they are written makes everything so real and thrilling that you forget that it is a fantasy.
The phenomenal characters in this novel draw you in to this world as well. They had personalities that you could relate to. There were definitely times when you wanted them to stop feeling sorry for themselves and get on with life, or wondered why in the world they had done something so irreversibly stupid, but they were real people struggling through their issues. I also enjoyed the fact that the relationship between the characters grew throughout the novel. They didn’t instantly go from strangers to madly in love in the blink of an eye. They got to know each other as people first. It made them that much more real and approachable.
This novel was amazingly exciting, invigorating, and captivating. It is so different from your typical fantasy novel that you can’t help but be intrigued. It brought a brand new world to life and kept me captivated throughout. It was brilliant as a standalone novel as well as the first novel in a series, providing you with characters that you get to know and love.
- Jaguar Sun (Jaguar Sun Series Book 1)
on Feb. 21, 2013
There was so much to appreciate in this novel that I don’t know where to start. The fact that Bourke took shifters out of mainstream Caucasian society and gave them very deep ethnic roots was brilliant. She dug into existing mythology and religion to develop a wildly imaginative and extremely captivating novel that puts coming of age into a very unique light.
You don’t just see the world that Bourke describes in this novel; you get wrapped up in it and blanketed in it. This story is extremely well written, allowing you to immerse yourself even further into the action and reaction that accompanies it. She brings everything to life very well. It is brilliant.
The main characters in this story are very well developed. You know who they are, what they’re like, and what they like. I love how real the main character seems with all of her wild exaggerations. They make her leap off of the page and into the real world. I also appreciate the fact that the minor characters are quite well developed as well. Bourke found the balance wherein you get to know these characters but they don’t accidentally eclipse the major characters.
This is an extremely vivid world which is developed in such a manner that it is perfectly suited to the very vivid story that takes place within it. It is a phenomenal story that leaves you dying for more. Luckily for us, there’s a sequel.
- A Dragon's Dream of Love: Song of the Sídhí #2
on Feb. 24, 2013
What a thrilling little love story. I am completely captivated by the concept of lifemate that Cooper has developed so well in this story. Through this concept she brings to life a very unique love story that is further backed up with amazing scenery and descriptions. Not only is this world brought to life in a strikingly vivid way, but the story itself is also very well written.
Not only is this world brought together in an amazing way, but the characters themselves are also stellar. Cooper has mastered the art of developing a character in a way uniquely suited to their role in her writing. She never wastes time or space giving details that are irrelevant to the novel. However, the characters are always phenomenally developed. You get to know each and every one of the major characters.
I always love reading Cooper’s work. Although this novella was short, it was fast paced and a complete story all on its own. She never sacrifices the quality of her writing for word count.
- Beloved LifeMate: Song of the Sídhí #1
on Feb. 24, 2013
I always love reading Cooper’s work. She works cultural differences, prejudices, misunderstandings, and inclusivity into her work without ever actually mentioning it. Through the magical supernatural world that she has created, Cooper very tactfully incorporates these touchy subjects into very captivating and exhilarating stories. Beloved Lifemate is no exception to this rule.
Copper employs brilliant, vivid descriptions to help build her world. Everything has a purpose and a place, helping this world come to life right before your eyes, regardless of the length of the story written. She also manages some very well developed characters. By devoting minimal time to the development of minor characters, just giving the attributes necessary for their function in the story, she is able to focus on the main characters, making them very well rounded and lifelike.
As always, Cooper keeps her writing light, entertaining, and completely captivating. I can’t wait to dive in to more of her writing!
on March 03, 2013
You absolutely have to feel for the main character in this novel. I can’t even imagining being in his shoes, yet the author has everything laid out so clearly and vividly that I can’t imagine it not happening. I can’t actually picture myself along on this journey with him. Cypert made this all the easier because he has the ability to make the weird seem standard and everyday.
Dreamscape is so fully and vividly laid out that you feel like you’ve visited it. You can picture every room and outdoor scene that the characters go into. Even all of the rules for the realm are clearly laid out so that you would know what to do and how to act when you arrive. This story is so absolutely unique and very out of this realm without seeming over the top crazy that you can’t help but want to journey there. Not only is the world vividly put together, but the story itself is well written and fast paced.
Cypert’s cast of characters is also very intriguing. All of the major characters were quite well developed. You actually got to know them as if they were your high school friends. They also acted and spoke like characters of their own age. There were differences in dialogues based on age, and the locale where the characters grew up. This attention to detail was greatly appreciated. It was also very interesting to see the differences between some of the characters in the real world and in Dreamscape. They were the same, yet somehow different.
As a whole, this was an awesome novel. Cypert makes everything seem so very real that it doesn’t seem like a fantastical notion. It leaves you wanting more, but in a very good way.
Please note that I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
- The Heidelberg Ghost
on March 10, 2013
This novel did get off to a bit of a slow start, but by about a quarter of the way through I was hooked. It also had such a fantastically happy ending that I couldn’t help but smile. It was a genuinely fun story that I definitely enjoyed.
The author has a very approachable writing style. It added to the fact that this was a very cute novel. It was also a very consistent and fluently written novel. The descriptions and narrative matched each other. I appreciate the consistency as it adds to the upbeat aspects of the novel. I enjoyed how the mystery was worked into the novel, without interrupting the flow of this novel. And this novel did have a definite flow and progression from beginning to end. The mystery also worked in tandem with the romantic aspects of the novel, neither overpowering the other.
The characters themselves were quite well developed and absolutely adorable. I enjoyed the fact that each character was an individuals and each had real life issues that they were dealing with. The friendship and camaraderie between the characters was also very natural and apparent. I must say that I would have liked a bit more family history about some of the characters. It would have helped to round out the story a bit more since family connections were talked of so much throughout.
This novel is so different from anything that I’ve ever read and I thoroughly appreciate that fact. It was such a warm, fuzzy, fun type of story and I was thoroughly immersed in it by the ending. I definitely wanted to keep reading after the last page.
Please note that I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
- Confessions of A Corporate Slut
on March 10, 2013
This was an interesting story. It was also very informative and enlightening. I appreciated the easy flow to the storyline and the fact that it was quite well written. Each section seemed to flow naturally into the next without pause. Unfortunately I found the story a little tedious a couple of times. It began to feel like the main character found herself in the same situations time and again. Although that does happen in reality, within the parameters of a novel it begins to seem repetitive.
The main character was phenomenally well developed, as one would expect with a story that follows her from childhood to late mid-life. There were a couple of times where the main character’s actions did not seem to correlate fully to her personality. That said, they did correlate perfectly with the personalities and actions of those around her at the time. You also get to know those close to her fairly well. I would have appreciated a bit more development to some of the supporting characters. I felt that there were some who were simply names on a page.
As a whole, this was a very heartfelt story. I appreciated the perspectives that became very apparent throughout. It was definitely a novel that made you stop and think. It also makes you feel grateful for life as a whole.
Please note that I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
- Pearls in the Ashes
on March 13, 2013
This novel was very enlightening, giving you an interesting and in-depth look into life in another culture. I greatly appreciate the fact that the author took the time to do the research to give this novel a solid basis in fact. Without this, the storyline would have lost a great deal of its impact.
Meagher’s work is extremely well and fluently written. The flowing descriptions make it easy to visualize the world that the characters live in. The author has a way with words. She’s able to convey a scene or feeling with clarity, without using descriptions ad-nauseum. Through her words, she immerses you in the world of the characters, and sets you off on the journey of a lifetime.
The well-developed characters are very real and human, drawing the reader further and further into this world. Not only are the characters well developed, but they are also very strong individuals. It’s very hard to fathom living through the trials that some of these characters endured. This cast of characters combines to show the best and worst of humanity: compassion and prejudice.
As a whole, this is a story that although heart wrenching at times, is utterly captivating. Parts of the story really made me smile, feeling content and peaceful. It is a very thoughtful work, without being overly dense that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Please note that I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
- When Angels Fall
on March 21, 2013
Jackson has given a very detailed and elaborate description of angels, demons, subspecies, and hierarchies without slowing down or breaking the flow of the story. This is worked right into the storyline to keep the reader engaged while filling them in on all of the necessary details. This novel has a very unique take on angels while simultaneously staying true to traditions.
Jackson’s descriptions were very captivating. You could picture everyone and everything that she wrote about. The story also had a very good flow to it. You never got hung up wondering who was supposed to be where, or what was going on.
The character development in this story is quite in depth. You get to know a great deal about the main characters, their lives, and their histories. The characters in this story are so real that it’s comical at times. You find yourself relating to characters, only to remember that they are supernatural. Jackson manages to write misunderstandings between characters that are somehow simultaneously heartbreaking and comical, while still seeming very realistic. I would have liked to see a bit more development in the supporting cast. For the most part, they seem to be simply names on paper.
As a whole, I absolutely loved this story. Unfortunately there were a few too many spelling and grammatical errors for me to give it the higher star rating that the storyline deserved.
Please note that I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review
on March 23, 2013
What a rush. This novel grabs you from the get go and never lets go. You are constantly on the edge of your seat with all of the twists and turns that Patterson throws at you. And she keeps you on the edge of your seat with the good kind of suspense. There’s never a moment where you’re wondering what’s going on based on lack of detail or background information. The suspense is built into a very solid storyline that keeps you hooked so deep that you couldn’t get out, even if you wanted to. And trust me, you won’t want to.
Throughout the novel Patterson employs very clear and detailed descriptions that are true to life and that flow with the storyline. Everything in this novel is very vivid, but in a realistic way. Even though this is a supernatural story, it never becomes over-the-top or cartoon-like. Patterson also works some very unique interactions and relationships between supernatural species, and between those species and humans. It all just seems so real.
Everyone in this novel is very well developed to suit a specific purpose or personality. They are all such distinct people that you can’t help but identify with at least a couple of them, if not all of them in some little way. I also love that her paranormal characters are ‘human.’ Sure they have supernatural abilities, but they also look, act, talk, and feel like a human does. Because of this, the story doesn’t seem farfetched at all. You can really see this all happening in your own neighbourhood because you’d never know that your neighbours aren’t actually human. The characters that Patterson developed for this phenomenal story are the kind who will stay with you forever.
This story was a much bigger rush than I’d expected when I first picked it up. I couldn’t put it down at all. I also really appreciate the fact that this novel can stand on its own. Everything is completed within the parameters of the novel itself. That said, I really can’t wait to grab the sequel and dive into it.
Please note that I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review
- Waking Dreams (The Soul's Mark, Novella)
on April 21, 2013
Stoyanoff picks up this little novella with the same ease and flare that she writes The Soul’s Mark series. Her descriptions are fluid and vivid creating an unforgettable picture in your mind’s eye. One cannot help but be drawn in to this remarkable world, enjoying each and every minute of it. As enjoyable and light as this story was, it is also one of the most in depth novellas that I’ve ever read. By taking her characters directly from the series, Stoyanoff allows herself greater leeway for story development. She also does so with tact and class. She doesn’t ignore character development, but rather assumes that the reader knows the basics about each individual from the series as a whole, thus allowing her to tell her story.
The characters are consistently the same individuals that we’ve come to love through Stoyanoff’s work. Their emotions, actions, and reactions are true to form. As a reader, you also see how they have evolved into the characters that we see in the modern day and where they were a century ago. I also really appreciated the sneak peek into the creation and development of Willowberg into the town that Mitchell runs today.
Although this novella would be a quick, entertaining read as a standalone story, it works best as part of The Soul’s Mark series. It complements the storyline and to a large extent, explains events that preceded yet directly affect the characters and their actions in the series
- The Soul's Mark: FOUND (The Soul's Mark, #1)
on May 10, 2013
Finally, a new take on vampirism. No one sparkles, no one is indestructible, and no one fights a werewolf. And don't get me wrong, I do love my werewolves too, generally more than vampires, but this book has me rethinking that.
I picked this book up this morning and couldn’t put it down until I was finished. I was enthralled by Amelia’s character and couldn’t believe the changes that Mitchell went through in just one book. Not one single character in the book is a cardboard cut-out place holder, but rather, all characters are well developed and can hold their own as real people. As a reader, you come to identify with many characters on a personal level, not just the main characters. They all talk like real people as well. It was refreshing not to have sentences full of colloquialisms or characters who speak like they are defending a thesis at an Ivy League college.
The concept of a soul mate is also taken to a whole new level in this novel. I can’t wait to see how it progresses in the upcoming (or recently published) sequels. I also just cannot wait to read the sequel. Maybe tomorrow....
- The Soul's Mark: HUNTED (The Soul's Mark, #2)
on May 10, 2013
I love it when you read a novel in a series and the characters continue to grow, especially when the characters are young adults. Every single one of Stoyanoff’s characters do this with abandon. They are all obviously the same person that they were in the beginning but they continue to grow and morph to fit into their ever changing circumstances. The relationships between the characters are not static either. They change in minute and in major ways right along with the characters.
This installment of the series is much more intense than the first was. The love story is still very much a part of the story; however it does take a back-seat to the more action packed storyline. There is always something (or multiple somethings) happening to keep your attention on the page. This is also not a read that calls for complacency from its readers. I definitely did not expect a few of the twists and turns in this story.
The author’s writing is also nearly flawless. It flows eloquently from paragraph to paragraph and from page to page. The characters’ speech is realistic, sounding the way that an individual would speak.
If you liked the first book in the Soul’s Mark series you will absolutely love this one. One thing that I do have to mention with respect to this novel, however... If you don’t enjoy cliff-hangers, wait until the next installment is published before beginning to read this one. Enough said.
- The Soul's Mark: BROKEN (The Soul's Mark, #3)
on May 10, 2013
When it comes to series, consistency is the key. Stoyanoff has nailed that on the head. The beautiful town that she created for her novels never has a face lift, becoming something different from novel to novel or scene to scene. Her descriptions remain as vivid and detailed as ever without becoming redundant or drawn out. There is also a very similar writing style that runs through the series as a whole. Above all, however, I appreciate the fact that Stoyanoff’s novels are consistently well written, with this one being no exception to the rule.
Don’t get me wrong, the storyline itself definitely does not stay consistent. There are so many twists and turns in the storyline that you can barely guess where it’s going next. Stoyanoff keeps you perpetually on the edge of your seat. Looking back, you can see how the story and the characters got from point A to point B, but while reading it, you’re along for one very exciting ride. This novel is so unique that you can’t help but want to dive in and keep reading.
Ok, so before I get started on characters, you should know that I’m a huge Eric fan. Like drool and fawn, want to make him mine Eric fan. That said, Mitchell absolutely kills me in this installment. He is priceless. Stoyanoff doesn’t give him a magical personality overhaul, but yet is much more engaging than he has been in the past. I absolutely love the fact that Stoyanoff’s characters remain consistent throughout all of her novels. All of the main characters were quite well developed and rounded by the end of the second novel in the series, but you still get some new tidbits about them here. These characters draw directly at your heartstrings, which pulls you further and further into their lovely world.
This installment in the Soul’s Mark series is definitely a must have. It might be a bit difficult to read as a standalone novel as you would be missing some background information from the initial two novels, but that’s the joys of reading a series. It also does wonders for the storyline of the series as a whole. At the end, you’re left wondering: How in the world are they going to fix this one?
Please note that I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
- Waking Tide
on May 12, 2013
This is another phenomenal story from Andrea Goodson. Yet again she captivated me from the first page and kept me going throughout. I couldn’t put this novel down for a second. It was a brilliant novel and a phenomenal conclusion to the Riverbend trilogy.
I love how Goodson uses history to base her novel on. Although in essence this story is about love and loss, it is also about the history of an interaction between the Western world and a Native American nation. This novel is, in essence, a work of fiction, however there is real history behind it. Goodson stays true to that history as well as the practices of said nation.
I really appreciate how smoothly and clearly Goodson switches perspective from character to character. It really adds depth and mystery to the story, knowing what different characters are thinking and how they are feeling. Goodson also changes the tone and colour of her writing with certain characters to increase the feeling of suspense and possible doom that some of the characters are facing. Goodson’s descriptions continue to amaze me, putting everything into perspective while letting you see what the characters are seeing and experience what they are experiencing. Goodson also plays on the reader’s emotions, pulling them further into the conflicts of the story, both those experienced by characters individually or as a group. More than once she brought tears to my eyes, but also had times where she made me laugh out loud.
I love how Goodson’s characters continue to grow as individuals. They keep finding out new things about each other and about themselves. She really takes the time to let you get to know the characters without ever dwelling on them. I am sad to see these characters go, but I am very glad to see that our star-crossed lovers now seem to be on the same path, even though that means I can’t keep Will for myself any longer.
And the rest, they say, is history.
- The Kiss Instructor
on May 12, 2013
This is one of those novellas that catch you right from the get go and don’t let go. You also forget that you are reading a novella rather than an actual novel. It is so well and fully developed that it really tells a whole story. This story didn’t just bring tears to my eyes, it made me cry.
With this novel Anton brings verbal abuse to the forefront in a shockingly vivid way. She takes a hard hitting subject and turns it into a brilliant tale of surviving, overcoming, and loving. She also doesn’t mince words and really puts it out there. She also shows the topic in vivid realism and clarity. Characters involved react in realistic ways. But above all, she shows how difficult it can be to overcome the situation in a story that keeps you captivated.
The characters in this novella were extremely well developed. I couldn’t believe how real each and every one of them became. I also appreciated how Anton develops each to fit their role in the story as well as their backgrounds, both sociologically and culturally. I love how the author switches perspectives from character to character, giving the reader everyone’s point of view. It really adds to the impact of the story.
This was a phenomenal novella that I couldn’t put down. I was so wrapped up in the lives of the characters that I didn’t want it to end, but yet was thrilled with the ending. It was the perfect story.
Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review