Karen Siddall

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Smashwords book reviews by Karen Siddall

  • No Rules Of Engagement on June 02, 2012

    Great story – really - but plot holes and editing plays havoc. Ship a load of youngsters across the universe to fight an alien menace moving in on our own galaxy. Because of the length of the trip to get to the battleground – 6 years – start with children and train them along the way while they age to their battle-worthy peak. This seems like the novel approach – unique. (I understand a similar plotline is used in Orson Scott Cards’ Ender’s Game but I haven’t read it so this was new to me.) I look forward to the next installment in what has got to be a series, hopefully, with some improvements. As mentioned in a number of reviews, the novel is in need of editing. Jumps among points of view caused confusion and weakened the flow of the story. (The author really has a knack for telling a story, too.) Spelling and word use need some attention as well. This has been detailed elsewhere. The plot hole that bothered me (and I forgave) involves the aliens that come requesting assistance from Earth. They’ve come from the future to get Earthlings to make the 6 year long journey to be in position to save their planet when the Gators attack. Why didn’t they send fully trained soldiers into the future through the same means they used to come to the past? Because we’d miss out on the training trip with all these kids?! And what kids! Other reviewers mentioned the age of the main child character as being way too young for his speech and action. I am in agreement and think focusing on teens would have solved this issue. Even a teenager with the “Alexander the Great”-like understanding of warfare and battle strategy would have been precocious enough for me. Then, too, the girlfriend/boyfriend, sex discussion, drinking and smoking would have been less disturbing to many.
  • A Demon Made Me Do It (Demonblood Series #1) on June 07, 2012

    Great debut to a new series about a teenage demion girl (half demon, half human) virtually split into 2 separate identities (in one body). The human identity, Liora, is only “aware” during daylight hours, while Lucky, the demon “half” owns the night. King has set half the story in a human high school (Liora’s daylight) and Lucky’s story unfolds in Dryndara, a land of permanent night with 3 moons. Both settings are becoming more distinct and fully-formed as the action progresses. The story revolves around Lucky’s search for the demons that killed her friends and caused her personality-split but King includes the usual problems confronting teenage girls: how to talk to the cute new boy, boring classes, mean girls, and troubled friends. And with the cute new boy also being a demon himself and able to travel between the human and the demon worlds, we get to see how each half of our heroine handles herself around him. Just an all-around delightful story that I look forward to reading more about in upcoming sequels!
  • Fire with Fire (Demonblood Series #2) on July 27, 2012
    (no rating)
    I LOVED Fire with Fire this 2nd book in Penelope King’s Demonblood series and look forward to the further adventures of Liora/Lucky, Kieran, and Corinne. Definitely not a standalone novel, volume 1, A Demon Made Me Do It, is a “must-read” before diving into this newest part of the story. Previous action is not re-hashed to bring a new reader up to the mark. In this volume we get more information about the all-knowing and mysterious guardian, Tatiana. We get to spend some quality time with the delicious incubus/hellhound known as Bones. We meet more of the wonderful inhabitants of the dark world, Dryndara. And meet more evil beings - both supernatural and human. The author slowly introduces us to and builds up the world of demonkind while the previous book gave us more detail on Liora’s human setting. King has successfully developed 2 distinct and interesting personalities for the main character(s): Liora – the human and Lucky – the demion. As I said before, I can’t wait for Book 3!