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Smashwords book reviews by Tammy Dewhirst
- A Darkness Shattered
on June 03, 2012
Michael Nelson is a teenager home alone when the Zombie Apocalypse begins. When it becomes apparent that his parents aren't coming home, he sets out from Kansas City to his Grandparent's farm in Illinois. Along the way he meets Abbie Nelson, a foster child who had been looking to escape. This story follows the teenagers as they navigate the post-apocalyptic world with hope and trust in each other to guide them.
"A Darkness Shattered" is the first book in the Darkmind Saga.
It has been a very long time since I last stayed up all night and read a book. At 3am I realized that I needed to put my Kindle down and get some sleep. "A Darkness Shattered was so vivid a telling of a post Apocalyptic world that the imagery of the narrative kept me entranced. Clothier is a brilliant storyteller who manages to be vivid and descriptive without bogging the story down in any way.
Clothier highlights his Zombies by giving us the child zombie in the party dress and the well-dressed zombie and the zombie in uniform shirt (to name a few). They are an image of who they were and who they'll never be again. Clothier's zombies aren't a character as a whole; they're everyone you know in your life.
This story isn't about the Zombies though, not really. It's about Michael and Abbie and their struggle to survive. Its about the way humans react in the face of crisis. How they become who they were really meant to be. It's about young love blooming in terrible odds.
This is a coming of age story, and done so wonderfully that I am eagerly anticipating the next novel in this series. What happens to Michael and Abbie? Where will they go next? This is a great read that I'd recommend for anyone who likes sci-fi or dramas about human nature.
- American Goddesses
on June 28, 2012
This was an amazing read....
When Megan and Trish, average women, are taught to release the superwoman within they find coping with the new abilities difficult. It seems with power, violence follows. Will their relationships survive their new abilities and will they be able to survive the dark new evil that can slip in at the most unexpected times.
I am going to fangirl all over this book. The premise could not have been better for me as a reader but the writing style was amazing. I would have liked to have seen the baddies used more but then I love me a good baddie and there's promise at the end of more great baddies to come. I would also like to point out, as the author was clearly writing this just for me, that it was well done to make the code names for the baddies bird names because I find birds quite creepy....but then maybe that is just me.
The characterization was very real. Megan and Trish have the same insecurities you and I do and they have similiar conversations with their friends. They were both very likable (Trish more so than Megan) and this reader cheered for them as a person would any good superhero.
I usually see the ending coming but did not with this one and, no surprise, as many of the plot's twists and turns were delightful surprises.
This author painted, with this novel, a picture of ordinary women in extrodinary circumstances and could not have done better. This was simply one of my top reads of the year.
You MUST pick this book up. There's no recommending or not recommending here, it's a requirement. There are few authors I pick up on their release day but the next book in this series, the day it goes on sale, I'm there.
- Ec•o•nom•ics: A Simple Twist on Normalcy
on Aug. 06, 2012
The author is a big fan of "Freakonomics" by by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. She suggests the work as a prerequisite to reading her treatise on the topic. I, like the author, read the book in college as a requirement for a class I was taking. I was not as blown away by it as she but this work, which not a lot like the one named, could be a sister of the popular book of economic articles.
As I read the book, I knew Kelly's concepts and found her examples relatable. As textbooks go, I think if you have a child having trouble understanding the basic economic concepts entailed, "ec·o·nom·ics`` is a good text for them. Kelly relates the concepts to current models in a conversational way (if a little advanced in language for a high school child).
One example contained in the narrative: Starbucks is expensive and a luxury in a changing economy (the price of coffee here in Canada is even higher than Kelly lists using the American example) so McDonalds saw the future and changed their menu to fit the times expanding to the McCafe line. I stopped when reading and reflected on how this example relates directly to me. I bought a Starbucks drink every Friday on the way to work but as the price climbed to more than $6 per beverage, I stopped using Starbucks in favor of McCafe. In the last two years I believe I've had one Starbucks coffee whereas I've had countless McCafe's which Kelly cites an example of a changing market. Kelly also relates us to inelastic principles - cigarettes for smokers. I could go on but I won't because I believe that example makes my point.
Kelly, in the title, offers to simplify economics for us and she does in the text. Would I read this again? No. I will, however, recommend this book as an introduction to economic principles. This work is well written and simplified and I think anyone will understand the principles within once they finish reading.
- Just Beneath the Surface I
on March 12, 2013
I have never been in an abusive relationship. I have watched a LOT of true crime shows and read a LOT of true crime books that involve abuse and a woman staying in a relationship that clearly is going to escalate to hospitalization or even death. I can imagine those women having the same thought processes and rationales as Kendall. There’s a feeling after reading this book of having been behind the scenes to see something rare and the need to share that new knowledge with women or men who may find themselves in a similar situation.
Kendall is unhappy with her relationship and looks to move on. She’s been with the father of her two children a long time and while marriage is important to her, he doesn’t see the point. He’s written as a bit of a self-absorbed jerk at the start of the novel. “My life is important and what you do doesn’t matter.” When they break off and Kendall starts a new relationship there are signs. Signs that she chooses to ignore. Ramsey does a good job showing us where Kendall’s life falls apart and the reasons she chooses to stay.
While she’s moving on, Diamond is falling apart. She’s promised her friend that they’ll wait to have sex until they’re married and then, in the midst of her parents divorce, breaks that vow with the a man who was engaged to a friend’s mother. Her reputation at school is trashed, she’s called horrible names and boys are saying that they slept with her that haven’t (of course, she’s called a whore and they’re patted on the back). She gets involved with an older authority figure that warns her up front that he’s intense in relationships. Like all girls, she finds this appealing at first but the reality can be scary.
What most impressed me about this book was how carefully Ramsey plotted the abuser. He’s about control. He references Kendall’s former model status and he’s clearly insecure in his relationship with her. Each time something happens he says the right things. They curl up and talk and he pampers her and for a few days everything is okay until the next time there’s an imperceptible slight. Kendall must tell him that she loves him in a certain way, quit her job so he’s her only interaction.
on March 23, 2013
Eleven-year-old, Alex, wrote this review with some grammar edits from Tammy.
When my mom first talked about reviewing this book I didn’t think I’d like it. It sounded very “little-kid” to me. At the start of the story, Zube crosses the Forbidden QuadrANT and risks being crushed by “Two Legs” and I was hooked. The Ant characters are fun!
The bad guy is named RepugnANT and he’s a spider. I hate spiders. They freak me out. The Ants hate spiders too but that’s because the spider wants to kill all of them. He had a really bad childhood but that’s no excuse for wanting to kill ants!
The way that the author writes is fun and the action was very fun. The Ants have adventures together that are risky.Sometimes life gets busy so Mom and me couldn't read it in one sitting but I didn't want to stop reading!
This book doesn’t have any pictures but it’s a lot of fun. Children in Grade 1 or 2 who are just learning to read would love it for book reports at school or just to read for fun.
- First, I Love You
on April 07, 2013
This first novel feels like a solid set up for the rest of the series but can be difficult to follow at times because focus is divided between five different characters each of whom have a lot going on in their lives and past. There are moments of brilliance – Kiki’s memories of her father writing to her brother over the years and her clear love and admiration for him. And moments that are not so wonderful – some of the dialogue is unnatural and overused in literature along the lines of “Darnit, Jim, you’re out of control! You’re off the case!” (Mickey’s interaction with Mary down is one example).
While I found some of Dewey’s content choices questionable, she does give us a set up for a story that will become a really strong family epic. “First, I Love You” is a complete story with meat left on the plate for the novels that will follow.
- Disturbing Clockwork
on May 10, 2013
There is a whimsy to the way Morrese writes that could be called light fantasy. His work is infused with humor and intelligence and general good fun for the reader. Morrese presents us with characters that we’ve come to know and enjoy each time we meet. The reader evolves with the story and knows secrets of the world to which the natives aren’t privy and all story-lines tie together and yet stand on their own.
Over the course of the novels, the evolution of Prince Donald is startling. Trixie notes his transition from bumbling oaf to capable leaer and he is someone who will one day rule Westgrove. Donald doesn’t use his putative responsibility as an excuse to sit back but is fully part of the action. Action that the author writes very well. Is Morrese the sort of author who would kill a main character? Morrese is an author that I know will one day break my heart. I am connected with his vividly written cast. Did he break my heart in “Disturbing Clockwork?” You will simply have to read to find out. I’m not a reader who keeps a storyboard when I read a series of books but if I did the result would be a consistently evolving character in an ever-expanding story-line.
“Disturbing Clockwork” has what readers want. Action, adventure, humor, a hint of romance and great promise of continued adventures. A reader can spend a wonderful day touring Westgrove with Trixie and her friends. The plot-line in “Disturbing Clockwork” is direct. Any reader who read the fabulous “Amy’s Pendant” (not necessary but recommended) before this story will know have an inside scoop on the driving force of this story-line.
I would read the adventures of Westgrove all day and highly recommend this series for fans of lighter fantasy authors like Douglas Adams and Jasper Fforde.