Nicole Hastings

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Nicole Hastings

  • A Luminous Future on June 22, 2012

    I can’t remember a time in recent history where I’ve literally wanted to ((((hug)))) the characters in a book I’m reading, but that is what “A Luminous Future” did to me! (Weird, I know). I want to give Teodor’s mother and father hugs for being so brave and having so much courage and sticking by their convictions. I want to give schoolboy Teodor a hug for the times he was discriminated against simply because his father had been given a bad rap. I won’t recap the whole plot, but the storyline revolves around Teodor’s life growing up in a small town in Transylvania after the end of WW II but where communism is still alive and well and dictators still control the lives of people. It’s terrifying and enlightening to read how the government can exert so much control over its people’s lives, and the people have no choice but to do what they are told. I don’t love the politicians here in USA, but I’m not afraid that they are going to bang down my door in the middle of the night and take my father away. Or continually arrest him because he is a hard worker. I know the world has come a long way and we tend to forget our history, it seems, once it has passes. This book is great to remind us of the past and be aware of what is out there so that it doesn’t happen again.
  • A Life In A Moment on Oct. 23, 2012

    More like 4.5 stars... In the “fast food” culture of literature, “A Life In A Moment” is a fine meal that should be savored and appreciated. Although it is a short read, there is so much “story” packed in and it is filled with beautiful descriptions and memorable characters that really come to life in such a short time span. I was completely hooked in this story and thought the prose was elegant and clean. Very few (if any) editing mistakes, however, I was curious about the odd punctuation for the quote marks. Maybe that’s how it’s done in Greece? All in all a wonderful read that I’d highly recommend.
  • Strays of Rio on Oct. 31, 2012

    WHOA…what an insane book! “Strays of Rio” by Edith Parzefall starts off with an explosive bang and doesn’t let up until the very end. It is dirty and disturbing and gritty, yet strangely fascinating. Although the type of life that Ms. Parzefall writes about certainly exists and is uncomfortable to think about, she tells a story that you WANT to keep reading, if only as a safe observer in an unsavory world. Strong writing and a fast pace makes this a definite “don’t miss.” I do appreciate that the editing was near flawless…I notice this type of thing!
  • Sugar and Spice: A Karma Café Novella on Jan. 26, 2013

    Sexy, engaging and romantic, “Sugar and Spice: A Karma Café Novella is the first book I’ve read by Tawny Weber, but it was so enjoyable I might just have to get her whole collection if the rest are anything like this one! I found the characters to be likable and engaging, and I really liked this author’s writing style. It definitely left me wanting more and was the perfect length to read during the afternoon. Highly recommend!
  • Return of the Crown on Jan. 26, 2013

    I have mixed feelings about this novel. On one hand it is extremely well-written and flows nicely. I’ve read a lot of fantasy and there were some creative and highly original aspects the author explored that I’d never seen anywhere and I found that refreshing. However, much of it just felt so familiar it was almost predictable. While there were some new angles (seeing the threads was very cool), most of the time I just felt like I was reading a different version of a story I’ve already read somewhere before, and the archetypes and characters were pretty stock and standard. No real thinking outside the box here which is something that is required to earn the highest praise from me. But if a tried-and-true fantasy is what you like, then you will love this one. The prose is lovely and the shorter chapters give it a brisk pace. While it didn’t exactly blow my mind, it was a nice read that I’m sure others will enjoy.
  • Oil and Corruption on March 01, 2013

    I thought “Oil and Corruption” by Gareth Flood was a lot of fun. I had zero expectations going in, other than I like political thrillers and action books. But I was pleasantly surprised at how much I got into the story! I was actually scared a few times for Jonathan, and laughed at some other places. I didn’t want to put down my Kindle until I had finished the book, and I thought the end was great and wrapped everything up nicely. I’d read more from Mr. Flood in the future, I think he has a great “voice”.
  • Silicon Succession on Aug. 03, 2013

    This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I’m sure it won’t be the last. His writing style was quite good and had few grammatical mistakes. I liked Silicon Succession a lot, but for some reason I think it should have been longer or had more scenes or something. It didn’t seem like it followed the typical 3-act story structure, but was more like one extended first act. There is a resolution to the story though, but it does seem to leave the door open for possible future installments. If this is the case I’ll happily read more!
  • Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism on Dec. 13, 2013

    I read this book from Swami Achuthananda cover to cover in the span of an evening. I was raised Christian, yet I’ve always been interested in other religions and cultures different than my own. Mr. Achuthananda presented a very fair and wide reaching report of several important facets of Hinduism and its traditions that I thought were very interesting. Although it is not necessarily the same thing I believe in, I can say that I like how it sounds and what the Hindus do. It seems like a peaceful, beautiful, and enlightened religion and one that has impacted the world greatly. I was drawn into this book because of Mr. Achuthananda’s way of writing that made me just want to keep reading, but it was the beautiful and informative content that held my attention all the way through. Highly recommended for the casual scholar or the curious layperson. Suitable for ages 13 on up.
  • The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky on July 29, 2014

    I was thrilled to hear that David Litwack had released another novel, and I wasted no time in reading it. I’d been in a book slump lately and this was just the antidote I needed! Creative, strong, and emotionally challenging, “The Daughter of Sea and Sky” delivers the best that books have to offer – a wonderful escape from the world around us, while gently encouraging us to consider our lives and how we impact and influence our world. There are many hidden meanings and metaphors in this novel that make you think about more than what is just going on in the story. I love when authors actually have something to say and don’t just tell a simple tale. Loved every page and I highly recommend for fans of genre fiction.
  • The Sense of Touch on July 29, 2014

    Fresh and evocative, “A Sense of Touch” is one of those books that once you start reading, you just don’t want to stop! Mr. Parsons is such a natural storyteller and writer, the way he can seamlessly transition POV’s and flawlessly transition between scenes and plots make you just want to get lost in the book forever! The writing is almost poetic at times (in fact, I thought the one story “Big Blue” was more like one long freestyle poem than a short story), and so easy to follow along. I hope he writes more books like this in the future, because I for one am a new fan!