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Smashwords book reviews by Lynxie
- No Rules Of Engagement
on Feb. 10, 2012
What can i say about 'No rules of engagement' that will encourage you to read it?
It reminded me of a slightly less articulate and mentally slower sibling (the kind that gets pushed to the back of photos) to Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card . Not as polished, not as exciting or well written, but the general idea of it was there (aliens, space fighting, lots of children dragged across the universe to fight an adults war... you get the gist)
My main issues with this book were the editing within the .mobi version I got from Smashwords, there was a point approx. 58% of the way through (Where he's quoting from the bible) where the text colour changes from black to this lighter grey and I seriously thought that my kindle was dying for a second until I opened another book and confirmed it was just this book. (FYI, it continues all the way to the start of Chapter 19).
Other editing issues included missing words, incorrect use of words, or mixed order of words in sentences.
they said it was a standardized test. First the questions were way to hard, and then... Missing the second o in too. Similar instances included it instead of it's, your instead of you're, except instead of accept and the list goes on. These just added to the many, many small but noticeable and quite frustrating editing/spelling/grammar mistakes. 1 full star lost to that.
I also had huge issues with the POV changing from first to third person mid scene, hell, even mid sentence!
"Please give it a try, Sir." Captain Bratten said to me as he held the door open to one of the balls. Alexander climbed in and shut the door.
Editing and spelling issues aside here, probably the most disturbing thing about this book is the age of Alexander and the very adult situations he was portrayed in. Tawna's review (on GoodReads.com) outlines pretty much every problem I had in relation to his age and I agree with her that if he was just a couple of years older this issue wouldn't be so bad.
i'm sorry, but the fact that a 10yr old is discussing having sex with his girlfriend is more than a little disturbing, even though it is a work of fiction. This along with the annoyance at the editing and POV changes really ruined what could have been a decent story. Thomas, I would consider either making Alex a bit older or laying off all the sexy stuff with his girl friend until he's at least 13-15.
The bible stuff didn't thrill me, but then I mostly skipped over that while reading as I didn't feel it added anything to the story, in fact it probably made me dislike Alexander even more, he is rather disturbing in how one minute he's super kid extraordinaire, the next he's just a mean kid who likes to bash up anyone who touches him...
I could have really gotten into a bit more information about some of the other main kids that stepped into the other major roles, Intel and Kirk etc and less simulations, or at least more interesting ones.
Sorry Thomas it just didn't do it for me. It was a struggle to get through some of it, I won't be reading book #2.
- Between The Land And The Sea
on Feb. 24, 2012
So, Between the land and the sea... what do I need to tell you to get you to read this?
Marina is a truly astonishing character, I felt like I was reading about one of my friends. Her thoughts and reactions were fairly realistic, which made this whole story more believable. There's nothing worse than reading about someone who finds out something incredible, and instantly believes it without any sort of mental anguish and struggle to understand. Marina did this brilliantly. I felt like I was experiencing this with her (sort of like a little shadow following her around).
I didn't fall in love with her, probably because she was a bit hard-headed and stubborn and that annoyed me, but I WANTED to experience it with her.
One of those things I would like to have experienced was Ethan... ooh boy! Derrolyn, I hope a real version of Ethan exists somewhere for you to drool over! Ethan was pretty much the epitome of male perfection in my eyes. He was handsom, strong and caring. He shared his emotions and didn't get all macho. If I had one complaint, it might be that he was a little too perfect, it did seem to make everything wrap up nicely. He seemed too eager to please Marina, and that lost him some points in my book. I mean I'm all for a guy worshipping his woman, but that was a little too... erm, cheesy?!
My all time favourite character in Between the land and the sea was Cruz (though I HATE his name!). He is probably the character that drew the most emotional response from me. I could really relate to his struggles, and grinned like a fool when he was experiencing some of his well earned rewards.
Mermaids aren't really high on my list of supernatural beings to read about, but Derrolyn you have piqued my interest and I fully intend on adding book #2 to my 'to be read' shelf right now.
Thank you for the incredibly well written story you have shared with us all.
- Pandora's Key
on May 10, 2012
Pandora's key is a well thought out and somewhat complex themed book. You are thrust into Evangeline's (E) world and force fed some pretty cool history around olympus and the Gods.
At times I really liked E, at others, I thought she acted like a spoilt brat ( typical teenager I suppose!). Some of the twists I had picked ahead of time, others not. So not 100% successful with the plot surprises, but a worthy attempt.
All in all, this is a relatively quick read which is entertaining as well as imparting some history. Good work Nancy!
One thing I noticed:
47% - 'Evangeline crouched beneath the window and them (then) jumped,'
- Shadows Over Innocence (an Emperor's Edge short story)
on Sep. 05, 2012
I do not know how Lindsay does it! How she manages to write this short, but 'Oh so sweet' glimpse inside of Sicarius' mind while giving her EE fans information, but keeping some of the bigger secrets hidden from those who may only be new to the EE world is beyond me!
I felt like I was reading a coded message straight from the head of EEIA (Emperor's Edge Intelligence Agency), I could read into the message all the things I have gleaned from my previous EE reading, yet someone completely new would go away with a full story too, just less intricate, less involved, but no less satisfying.
Is it weird that being inside of Sicarius' head was exactly like I thought it would be like?
Lindsay, I take my hat off to you! Brilliantly written as always!
- Fortunate Soul (Soul Reader #3)
on Sep. 18, 2012
Fortunate Soul is book #3 in the Soul Reader series. It's another short story rather than a novel or novella, but it was free on Smashwords. This time we're again thrust into Michael and John's world just after the end of book #2.
I liked this one too, but I felt a bit like it was just more of the same. Yes, the boys love each other, yes they get frisky, yes we know one is a vampire and one is not... it just seemed to fall a little flat for me.
I'll probably still read #4 whenever that appears, but I won't be in such a rush next time.
on Dec. 10, 2012
It's been quite some time since I last delved into the world of Tikaya and Rias. In fact it has been over 12 months since I read Encrypted. Still it felt like I was returning home to a family of characters I had grown to love.
Enigma is a short story, only around 15,000 words, but it's a well constructed and entertaining 15,000 words.
The bantering between Tikaya and Rias is well developed and it felt real. I thoroughly enjoy their witty comments to each other. They are both highly intelligent characters, this makes them even more enjoyable in my opinion.
You'll need to have read Encrypted before you pick this one up, as it's the continuation of the story.
I would have loved a bit more of this, it was a fun, quick read. I can't wait until book #2 in the Encrypted series. Please hurry Lindsay! :D
- Angel Evolution
on Dec. 16, 2012
David really made my weekend, with his fast-paced, flirty and fresh tale about Taylor, her angel (Gabriel), her best friend Sam and Sam's demon (Chris).
This fresh look at angels and demons felt well constructed with likable characters. It had me guessing right up until the end.
I loved to hate Gabriel, just plain LOVED Chris and drew some pretty strong comparisons between myself and Taylor (when I was that age).
I didn't love the use of the extremely hyphenated words at the beginning, but that was only very minor.
Great work David! I will be adding #2 and #3 to my to read list right now!
- Night Realm
on June 22, 2013
Night Realm is a paranormal, young adultish book that incorporates a crime/detective story in too. The criminal side of the story was quite well researched and I thought it was believable, although not too intricately written. I would have liked to see more of that side of the story.
The paranormal side of the story leaves little to the imagination. It is much the same as any other vampire book, if you've read Twilight or Vampire Diaries you'll likely know just about everything there is to know about being a vampire in this book (alas - they don't sparkle).
The side stories and characters were flat, it was fairly obvious that they were created and introduced for the purpose of being killed or used in some way in the story. While the main character (Ryan) was fairly developed, his sister Chelsea, left quite a bit to be desired. Her thought processes seemed scattered and some of them completely out of character, or the character I created from my understanding of Darren's writing at least.
I had issues with the haphazard way in which Travis (Chelsea's mysterious boyfriend) was willing to do as Chelsea asked after such a short period in time of them being together. This 'Oh, I've just met you but I will die for you, you must be my soul mate' crap that's cropping up in young adult books these days is seriously insane! It doesn't work, it ruins an otherwise reasonable story most of the time and despite the fact that falling in love at that age does feel like that, it still leaves this reader with a very unnatural feeling.
The story in itself is not that bad. I probably would have given this a 3 out of 5, but I struggled immensely with the crazy amount of detail given to mundane every day things.
Each time Ryan entered a room we were given a run down on every piece of furniture and person in there, in intricate detail. Every time Ryan felt the need to have a shower, we knew every step of the process.
I get that certain chracters are habit driven, some are very alert and observant, but the reader simply does not need to know all that stuff UNLESS it adds to the character, further develops the plot or ties in later in some way. To me, this felt like there had been a word count total set and Darren fell about 10,000 words short. Seriously not needed.
An example of this was at about 23% in, I'm paraphrasing here, but each thing listed is mentioned in the story:
Ryan lathered himself up, danced around under the water, patted himself dry, brushed his hair, sprayed on cologne, put on his undies, picked black slacks over a suit, debated on a white, black or charcoal shirt, put his wallet in his back pocket and his keys in his front pocket.
This level of unimportant description was rife throughout the entire story. It is not needed.
I did notice a couple of other things:
55% - Why is it that no one even slightly thinks about the bite wounds being made by a vampire? Yes, we all believe they are not real, but just about everyone knows what one is and despite the immediate feeling of being stupid that would come from thinking it could be a vampire, it - to me at least - seems to be the first and most natural conclusion. They could of course then talk themselves out of it, but really, the fact that NO ONE says "Oh hey, that looks like a vampire bite" to me seems completely and utterly unnatural and unbelievable.
96% - 'but I'm not (no) match for him, unfortunately.'
The ending... what can I say?!
It was cheesy and made me want to throw up a little in my mouth.
**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**
- Tower of Tales: Collected Short Stories
on July 07, 2013
bookshelves: aussie-authors, smashwords-review, aww2013, 3-star-review, a-lil-sexy, historical-fiction, indie-author, paranormal, romance, something-missing, too-short
Read from July 06 to 07, 2013 — I own a copy, read count: 1
Alison is a great writer, don't let this 3 star review put you off her work.
The reasoning behind this rating is simple. I prefer her longer works because it allows her to further develop her characters, story and in most cases fully tug on my heart strings too.
The short stories in this book were tiny glimpses into what, I am sure, would have been brilliant novels if Alison were to continue them. As they stand, however, I felt like you were getting a teaser, but alas there was nothing to follow up with. I long for the rest of these stories.
This left me feeling a little deflated after some great imagery, great character building and warm introductions to some amazing characters.
If you want a quick, easy way to introduce yourself to Alison's writing style (covering romance, historical fiction and the expat life in Singapore) then this is the book to try. The romance is sweet, not explicit. The historical fiction brief but vivid and the stories of the expat life of a wife in Singapore felt full of realism.
I especially enjoyed how Alison included a brief note about the inspiration or event that was the catalyst for the piece. A lovely insight into her creative mind.
- The King's Man
on July 14, 2013
bookshelves: aussie-authors, smashwords-review, aww2013, 4-star-review, a-lil-sexy, historical-fiction, romance
Read from July 12 to 13, 2013 — I own a copy, read count: 1
If you've read the blurb and you're not intrigued by that, then I don't know what will draw you into a book.
This story has it all; Friendship, hardship, romance, war, blackmail, assassination, drunken tavern songs, bawdy wenches and plotting and dishonesty as thick as three planks of wood. The plot is twisted and gnarly and will drag you along however unwittingly you may be, down the dimly lit corridors of this 16th century historical tale.
Thankfully, it's not all doom and gloom. Kit and Thamsine are lovely, detailed and realistic characters who draw you into their arms like lovers. They tease you with whispered sweet nothings and then dunk you head first into the cold harshness of their reality. If you don't know much about this time in England's history, you'll find this tale amusing and entertaining, if you do know of this rather turbulent time, you'll find this tale rich in detail, adding colour to the dreary, daily life of the English subjects.
There was one point that failed in this story. In actual fact it didn't fail, but it failed to deliver the impact I think Alison was going for. It has to do with the closing line in the synopsis. The lurch of my guts, the stilling of my heart... it all occurred but it wasn't allowed to sink in, the story moved along too quickly. The gut-wrenching feeling of sadness should have been overwhelming, it should have made me cry. It didn't quite get there.
I've seen this type of scene done before and, I believe, done better. If you've read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander Series you'll probably know of the scene I'm referring to. This was painstakingly drawn out and I, as the reader, was in tears as I mourned the loss of one of my dearest friends/characters. I'm not saying that Alison's tale wasn't great, this scene was almost right... perhaps another chapter or two in between would have just given me time to really start to feel for them.
All in all, this was a thoroughly engrossing tale. If you enjoy historical fiction, if you enjoy romance, if you enjoy plotting and mystery then this book is for you!
A few things I noticed:
The text changed size and font every paragraph or so, not a huge issue, but something that might wreak havoc for those who struggle with reading certain fonts.
69% - '...if you told us what (he) looks like...'
75% - '...there was little she could (do) for Kit...'
- Lethal Inheritance
on Oct. 24, 2013
Lethal Inheritance is many things…
It's the first novel in The Diamond Peak series.
It’s exciting and uplifting, thrilling and thoroughly positive, and it shows huge challenges and how to overcome them. It made me giggly and silly and generally happy.
But it’s also soul-crushingly dark and creepy in parts. Those parts left me feeling a little gutted, a little hollow inside and filled with a desire to expel the darkness. Perhaps it was my Serpentine rising up to overcome my inner Radiance or perhaps I had a Gimp climbing up my legs?
We start with Ariel, she's a regular 17-year-old girl. She's concerned about school and exams and her friends, boyfriends and fitting in. She's pretty much what everyone would expect of a normal teenage girl.
Her mother, Nadima, is a little different. She raises orphan baby wombats!
Spud instantly made me squee!! I think people around me thought I'd choked on some food, but really, I was just instantly drawn into the lives of these two women. I loved that they cared for this beautiful animal. It drew a strong connection with me and considering it was a tiny piece of information in a large and complex story, it still stuck with me throughout the whole story.
Tahlia doesn't beat around in the bush, the action happens quickly. This is a good thing. It brought me instantly into the middle of turmoil, horror and whirl-wind emotion. It also raised a lot of questions.
Foremost in my mind was what the hell is happening?!
Thankfully, things are explained in a rational and timely manner, Ariel is exposed to the same information as the reader. This is a great way to get the reader to bond with the protagonist. I mirrored the confusion and disbelief that Ariel went through.
We follow Ariel on a journey into a world she had never known existed. She's making this trip to save her mother from the Demons that kidnapped her. Why they took her, we don't really know, but the horrific ideas that Ariel creates in her mind of what could be happening to her mother are a very forceful motivator. I wanted to jump into the pages and save her mother from them myself.
When Ariel meets her cast of supporting characters, Nick and Walnut things become a little more interesting.
I adored Walnut. He pushes Ariel, comforts her and offers his many years of wisdom. I didn't really get a strong visual of what he looks like. I was thinking something like this:
but I'm not sure why I don't have a strong idea of how he looks, perhaps to me, it didn't really matter. It was more his wisdom and advice that mattered to the story.
The magical side of things was a little bit out of my depth. When inner radiance was mentioned, this is how I imagined it:
As the story progressed, I knew that was wrong. Tahlia explained the magical aspects of the story in great detail. I liked this, because it gave me an opportunity to understand exactly what she was trying to show me.
I liked too, how things just didn't fall into Ariel's lap. She had work for things, she had to experience failures before she succeeded and it made everything seem more realistic because of it. I especially liked the sword fighting.
There were a few things that were a little obvious and a little cliche. The Nick/Ariel relationship had kind of been done before, and I picked up on a lot of the twists and turns of their relationship well in advance. This was only a minor issue I had, it really didn't detract from the story, but I would have liked to see something else a little more original when it came to the two of them.
Ultimately, I plan to continue this series (of which there are four novels and one prequel), it held my attention, it is extremely well written and an enjoyable story of adventure, self exploration, magic and general mayhem.
**Note: I was provided with an electronic version of this story in return for an honest review**