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.
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 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,'
This book felt like someone was preaching to me about God. That is really all there is to it. The story of Angel the main character is quite excessive, all negative things in her life seem to go too far and became unbelievable.
This might be a book you would give a religious young woman (13-15yrs) if you wanted to suggest she doesn't repeat Angel's mistakes.
All in all it was a bit of a let down for me and was too unbelievable.
Some things I noticed:
17% - 'If mother wasn't looking me (we) made out.'
20% - '...or lay on the cough (couch)...'
22% - '...full of unbelief (disbelief?)
23% - '...so I could spent (spend)
51% - '...I would do (go) out on...'
67% - 'I've got it al (all)...'
67% - 'His friends al (all) thought...'
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!
Ok, so this is the second of Colleen's books I have read, and this one was much better than the first [Lessons Learned at Summer Camp]. Even though Colleen primarily writes Christian fiction, I didn't find it to be 'forced' on you in 'Black purple sky'. It almost seemed to naturally fit with the characters and the story. So that was much better than the first one.
Gretchen, the main character in the book seems like a smart woman. She certainly is strong, assertive and smart at times, but she almost seemed to be a bit dim at the beginning of the book. I'm pretty sure this wasn't the intention. I think the idea was meant to be that she was so frightened she didn't know what to do, was almost paralysed by fear, but it didn't quite come across.
For the first 10-20% of the book you really didn't know what was going on. You were dropped right into the middle of a story with no background information. This can work for an author, but it wasn't quite right in Black purple sky, so it caused a lot of confusion and wtf moments.
The baddies... a bit cliché. First thought was Mafia. I can see I wasn't too far from the mark. Also, the names! Tony, Anthony. Perhaps a little more imaginative names for them would make it a little less obvious.
I liked the setting of the book. It was different, it was well described and seemed real to me. This was great, but it was overshadowed at times, by an almost excessive need to describe everything in a room or in the immediate vicinity. This got annoying. Sometimes detail is great, but I don't need to know about every piece of kitchenware that is in the cabin. Especially if it's not relevant to the story.
This book needs a once over by an editor. There were a number of typos and issues. I kept tabs up until about 40%, but was finding them every few pages, so I stopped. I have listed what I found below.
8% - '...she could not loose (lose) it.'
13% - 'Bleu hadn't stop (stopped) running...'
15% - '...move a muscle as she listed (listened) to the...'
15% - 'Ever (Every) so often, a patch of green grass...'
16% - 'Ever (Every) now and again, Gretchen felt...'
17% - '...to repeat the process (fullstop) After her fourth...'
18% - drug - needs to be changed to dragged.
42% - '...pillow he pulled of (off) the bed...'
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.
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
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 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**
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.
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**
If I could give half stars, this would have gotten a 3.5, but I'm rounding up because it's just too good for 3 stars. This book made me think, it made me stop and go 'WTF!', it made me smile and it made me want to know where to get the drugs some of the characters were on in the story.
If I was to provide you with one word to describe this collection of 26 unrelated stories, it would not be dark, or disturbing (but then avid followers of mine would know I am not easily distrubed and the darker the better in my opinion), it would instead, be: Twisted.
Twisted for many reasons, primary among them, the way in which the reader is led down the path of stories, thrust from one POV to another, from one style of writing to another. The way the mind-fuck shorts make you wonder what on earth could happen next, right through to the deep and profound insight into the recesses of people's minds being laid bare before your very eyes.
I found a great quote nestled among the insanity, coffee and cigarettes:
"The thought that gnaws at the essence, the thought that bounces from one neuron to the next, vibrating in the soft lining of one's skull. The thought that we fear and cherish at the same time, for it scares us while giving us hope; the thought that sparks a fire somewhere deep, in a place we knew existed long ago but failed to nourish."
The writing is at times poetic and touching and at others as blunt as the head of a hammer. If you're not sure what type of writing you're in the mood for, you could pick this one up and will likely find something that will tickle your fancy.
My thoughts on some of the stories:
Francine: I love the innuendo that is constantly challenged. Short, sweetly dark and fairly twisted. (There's that word again - right at the beginning of the book too!)
Being True to Self: I think that must be what it's like to be tripping!
Chuck's Last Cigarette: I liked this one. A glimpse into the mind of Chuck. It felt a little perverse baring witness to that, but also devilishly taboo and wild at the same time.
Perpetual Sadness: This made me think of Cloud Atlas a little, how the same two words meant such different things to those involved.
Gardening Dilemma: A wicked little story with a sting in the tale.
Mousetraps: I have read a similarly constructed story by Stephen King. I think because this is a short story it lacked the level of sensory detail King could be heavy-handed with to build a more frantic and fevered pace. Nevertheless, this was an interesting tale...
Privilege: Dare I say it? I wanted this to push the boundaries of my comfort... It fell a little short. Close, but no cigar.
Preoccupied: Perfect title!
Awake: This provides glimpses of a tale that is begging to be told. Who lives without electricity? An Amish person? Why would they live in civilization like that? So many questions.
Progress: This reminded me of stories my grandad used to tell me of his time in Ireland as a child. The written dialogue at the end especially. Interesting frame of mind, but I guess one doesn't know what that would be like until it happens to them.
Alone in her room: This was a fun one. I liked the different personalities, the trading and rivalry. Interesting idea, how we interact with inanimate objects, how that could be perceived from outside... The tales the bathroom door could tell!
Dirt: I liked this, the gradual unwrapping of what happened. I didn't think the last 4 words were needed, the sentence before was plenty strong enough.
Freak: One of the best stories of the collection. It was dark, yet surprisingly emotional.
So, with that all said, if you would like to experience some of the most surprising, emotional and thought-provoking short stories, try out Henry's collection now, but be warned it does contain adult material.
**Note: I was provided with an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**
Foreverland is dead is book two in the Foreverland series. I think writing a sequel is probably harder than writing the original story because you have to better it. So when authors fail to better their first books, it's not necessarily a bad sign, it is probably that their first books were awesome. How do you better awesome?
I thought I would like this book better than the first because it's about girls. I thought i would be able to relate more with the characters, draw similarities...I thought there would be the same level if creepy as the first, but none of those things happened.
I didn't connect with any of the characters, I didn't care about any of them, and I just didn't feel part of the story. That's not to say that this book was bad, but it was shallow where as book #1 was not.
If I had not read book 1 before starting this one, I might have enjoyed this book more, because I would not know just how much better Tony's writing can be.
I thought the ending was a bit 'blah.' I know, that's not very descriptive. The ending was just flat. It was too easy and too obvious and too safe. I was expecting something shocking to happen. It didn't.
If this is your first of Tony's books, if you don't love it, try The Annihilation of Foreverland! It was good fun.
Some things I noticed:
13% how do they know it is a woman when they haven't seen it, only smelt it?
17% - 'That's (That) we're all...
37% - I don't (know) why we're...
37-40% - use of axe and ax. It looks like ax was a typo.
42% - ...see you are all are (delete are) very...
83% - a couple (of) guys were...
**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**