Michelle McRoberts

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Smashwords book reviews by Michelle McRoberts

  • Faelorehn - Book One of the Otherworld Trilogy on July 01, 2012
    star star star star
    I received a free copy of this e-book through connections on Goodreads - This has not had an effect on the quality of my review. I do, however, tend to go a little easy on the first book in what is quite obviously meant to be a series, so take that as you will... I really enjoyed this book, and I'll be looking up this author's other works very shortly. I love the fantasy genre, but I haven't really read faerie stories as of yet - and I tend to be wary of them. Oftentimes the fae are background characters in other stories - a part of the magical landscape of a story. The part I like so much about this story is that the faerie mythology is present and elaborated upon. The Celtic history of the fae in the story is rich, and the author's study of the subject matter is obvious. A couple of things would have made this story better for me. One, I wish even more of the mythology had been revealed to the reader. It seemed that Ms. Johnson passed up some opportunities to relate Celtic mythology and/or history to the reader, so we could have more insight to the story. However, I can understand the decision to refrain at this point, because the story is told in first person and the main character has had so much hidden from her. Second, I wish it were longer and that the climax were a touch more involved. The plotline in this story reads like the typical short story plot. It wasn't the complex plot of a novel and there aren't any subplots that I've been able to identify in the story, so far. Overall, I enjoyed the slow and deliberate style of information delivery and would have liked to see more character interaction and development of the secondary characters in the downtimes. I look forward to reading the next book though and finding out more about Meghan's life and just how Cade will fit into it!
  • Angel Evolution on July 03, 2012
    star star star
    I liked this book...it was easy to read, went quickly, and I'll be reading the subsequent books, too; however, there are a few things that made me delay writing the review for the story. I had to go back and take a second look after a separation from the book. What I liked - The story was interesting. The plot was engaging and the style of delivery was relaxed and engaging...I liked the characterization of the relationship of the best friend more than than the main character (more on that below). I liked the usage of the dreams to relate and promote the mythology. The use of the snake image is good, too. I like the back story of how the special abilities of the angels and demons developed, I just don't like the use of those particular terms...(more below) What I didn't like - Rather than saying that I didn't like these, I'd rather express "What really made me wonder"... * Why use angels? (view spoiler) Using iconic mythology is helpful in some situations, because you gain the reader's prior knowledge of the type of character that is used. Fundamentally, I have a problem with the ultimate roles of the angels and demons in the plot of this story, not just because of existing religious implications in my mind, but due in part to the depth of literary history that has contributed to the existing mythology of the "angel" and the "demon," and their subsequent roles in literature and religion. Once again, I like the background story David developed, just not having it applied within existing mythology - the more daring move would have been to create a new mythology not to create a controversial twist on the old. * I also struggle somewhat with the characterization. I think another reviewer touched on this as well, but the inconsistency of the character's personalities lend to their relative ages being in the teens, not of college age. I expect to see a girl who loses herself entirely in her boyfriend or changes who she displays to the world or goes against everything she has been trained to be as a woman from a high school student in her first or second relationship, not a college student with the benefit of maturity on her side, whether or not she has much relationship experience.
  • In the Middle of Nowhere (Willow's Journey #1) on Aug. 29, 2012
    star star star
    This was a well-written story about a girl who stumbles into trouble simply because she is still too disillusioned with life after the death of her father and the upheaval her family faced after his death. The situations and events in the story are realistc situations a girl in high school might face - from ending up at a party and ending up so drunk she doesn't remember the events that are chronicled in the resulting photos to getting caught sneaking out to meet friends when she was supposed to be babysitting her brother. The love story is sweet and touching, but begs more development. This book seems to need some fleshing out in the middle and the burgeoning relationship could only benefit from including another 50 to 100 pages. I like the author's voice; it is clear and honest and represents the groups present in high schools pretty accurately. The only thing I thought was out of place was the swiftness with which a relatively good girl took steps that would have previously been out of character if not for the influence of the lonely rich girl she befriends.
  • The Moon Dwellers on Jan. 04, 2013
    star star star star
    First of all, I'd like to thank David Estes for granting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I really, really enjoyed this book. I positively love the character of Adele. She is tough, awkward, and stand-offish after living the last 6 months of her life in self-imposed isolation in The Pen. She's independent and capable of defending herself. When she meets 2 other "guests" her life really starts to change, and she learns what it is like to feel human again. Within a handful of days, her life becomes very, very interesting. I love the mysteries that surround both Adele and Tristan. The alternating points of view are woven together very smoothly, and although the two characters' chapters often overlap chronologically, it is very easy to follow. I really like Mr. Estes's writing style. It is relaxed, well-paced, and easy to read, but it is also emotionally complex. I couldn't stop reading this book...
  • The Star Dwellers on Jan. 26, 2013
    star star star star star
    Amazing series. David...so much better than your first series, which served the purpose of introducing me to you and your writing style, so I must thank it for that, at least. I adore your characterization, the depth of your characters and their background stories, the slowly developing worlds you create as the reader is introduced to each new realm. Beautifully crafted story. I spent a very enjoyable weekend reading these books and was actually disappointed to be ripped from your world when I finished book three.
  • The Sun Dwellers on Jan. 26, 2013
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    Excellent conclusion. Full of action, pain, flawless and unshakable friendship, lessens about the good and bad present in humanity, and the strength that one can find when all sources of strength seem to have melted away. Loved it.
  • Subverter on Feb. 26, 2013
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    OK...so, after I finished Down a Lost Road, the first book in this series, I'll admit it - I was hooked... I fell in love with the world and the characters created by J. Leigh Bralick. I love that this story accounts for the missing time in between the first book and when the action actually starts in this one, without dwelling too long and keeping me waiting for the good stuff to start. Perhaps my favorite aspect of Ms. Bralick's telling of this story is the consistency of her characters. All too often in a series, a character will go through an "out of character" episode that functions to fit the character to the story - not the story to the characters involved. This is not to say that Merelin is unchanged after her experiences in the first book, as she most certainly is, but her interactions are not out-of-character and her character growth is believable. I love Merelin as a character; although she is uncertain of who she is and what her purpose really is, she does not let it keep her from taking action. While there are still some rough spots in the mystery building/story weaving, it did not detract from my fascination with the story, even though in places it did lead to some confusion (especially when dealing with "connecting the dots" between current goings on and what has happened in the past).
  • Prism on March 04, 2013
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    Alrighty...well...I love Arah Byen, and I want to go live there. After all this crazy stuff has happened it sounds like a much nicer place to live, and Merelin Lindon and Yatol will be my dear friends. I thoroughly enjoy Bralick's world. Her descriptions and characters are wonderful, I still struggle with the obscurity some of the writer's dialogue in her effort to create mystery, but these things are easily fixed with some careful editing. Highly recommend this series.
  • To Stand Beside Her on May 31, 2013
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    I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. K...this one is tricky and will take some time to review...I'm finished and will review soon. ________________________________________________ I've settled on a 3.5... So, I finished this book almost a month ago, and I have tried to review it twice. I like the story. It is a great story with a lot of potential: a great female protagonist, interesting and deep supporting characters, a well-developed world, and a unique plot twist that re-defines "happily ever after." I struggled with the editing in this story though - really struggled. It needed some quality time with a red pen and perhaps another revision to iron out some kinks and further develop the relationship between Leila and Nalick during her imprisonment. Also, there are issues with pacing during this time and too much awkwardness in the development of that relationship for me to be comfortable with it. I mean King Nalick is not one to be messed with; he is scary to most who have heard of him. However, Leila doesn't show her intimidation; I love her attitude toward him even in the face of what she has heard of him. On the other hand, the author doesn't see enough of the development of their relationship to really feel invested in it.
  • Skid on June 08, 2013
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    This book was a fast-paced wild ride set right in the center of the Formula 1 racing circuit. The characters were believable, and I got caught up in the action quickly. There were times I disconnected a little bit with the main character, because I was aggravated by the difference in her private and public personas without hearing about the frustration that comes with it. It didn't reduce my enjoyment of the story, though. I appreciated the way the author brought me into the action of Formula 1 by using enough jargon to make the experience authentic, while not drowning me in so much that I couldn't follow it. I enjoyed both the action and backstory of this novel. I often thought the family stuff would have caused more difficulty for the main character, and I think that it could have enriched the story some. Overall, this was a well-written story that kept me interested all the way through.
  • Songstone on Aug. 28, 2013
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    4.5 stars - I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely loved this well-told story of a girl's coming of age and self-discovery. While the conflict and theme are nothing new, the story is unique in its native/tribal feel, which specifically borrows from the mythology and culture of New Zealand's Maori tribe, and in its unique use of magic and fantasy. The main character, Kita, is real. She is hurt teenager struggling to overcome her own feelings and improve her understanding of the world and her position in it. It was a story that drew me in and kept me reading. Kita's internal dialogue, self-doubt, acknowledgement of the changes within her and the resulting confusion those changes can bring are realistic internal dialogue for a young woman trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be. Plus, the story is polished, well-written and flowing. No editing issues. I had a difficult time putting this book down, and I found myself thinking about it when I had to put it down to work... I will be checking out more of this author.
  • As You Wake on Jan. 12, 2014
    star star star star
    This is the second book in a series about Zip McKee and her sleep afflicted boyfriend, Kieran Lanier. The first book reveals that, unbeknownst to him, Kieran's background contains dark characters that have already placed them in harm's way once. Now, the it is possible some of that past is coming back to haunt Kieran, Zip and the Laniers again. Kieran is upset with his family for keeping from him the truth of his past, and once again that past reaches out for him. I liked this story, but it seemed slower than the last one. There is some suspenseful build-up and mystery as to what has happened to Kieran and, of course, Zip gets into more trouble; however, the story seemed to be more of a story builder in between stories one and three than I would have liked. There were some good twists that came up, but I kept expecting them to be twistier than they were and that didn't happen in this one. I love the characters and the direction the story is going, so I will certainly continue to read them as Ms. Martin writes them. I was provided a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.