Ellen Ell VIII

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Ellen Ell VIII

  • Calculated Risk on July 22, 2012

    I loved this book; I devoured it in just a few days because I couldn't be persuaded to put it down! The writing style is lean and taut, which matched the tenseness of this sci-fi thriller perfectly. The pace was quick and always had me waiting eagerly for the next disaster. It slightly reminded me of noir-crime, because it had some of those lovely turns of phrase ("triaging a holocaust"; "felt like a violin string, dug out of something's guts and stretched far too tight"). The characters were hard-boiled and tough, even though it was obvious that most of them had a heart of gold underneath. But it also had moments of humour and tenderness, which I thought gave the book a well-rounded and realistic tone. I really liked the characters. Rafe McTavish reminded me of a Bruce Wayne billionaire playboy type, only withot the dressing up in a mask and tights to solve crime. As 3D and well-written as the main characters were, I was pleased to see that all the minor characters received the same treatment. My favourites amongst the minor characters were Janice Fisher and Greg. They always made me smile when they were around. I also liked how a lot of characters had a secret that they were trying to hide. It made working out the "whodunnit" of the crime that much more difficult and interesting. Not that I was able to figure out the "whodunnit" before it was revealed, despite trying. Although, to be honest, I prefer just sitting back and enjoying for the ride in crime thrillers, watching the characters do all the thinking! I was surprised by the revelation, but it also made perfect sense. The ending was the perfect end to the book, satisfactory, but still leaving me hungry for more. I can't wait for the next book in the series.
  • Calculated Risk on July 22, 2012

    I loved this book; I devoured it in just a few days because I couldn't be persuaded to put it down! The writing style is lean and taut, which matched the tenseness of this sci-fi thriller perfectly. The pace was quick and always had me waiting eagerly for the next disaster. It slightly reminded me of noir-crime, because it had some of those lovely turns of phrase ("triaging a holocaust"; "felt like a violin string, dug out of something's guts and stretched far too tight"). The characters were hard-boiled and tough, even though it was obvious that most of them had a heart of gold underneath. But it also had moments of humour and tenderness, which I thought gave the book a well-rounded and realistic tone. I really liked the characters. Rafe McTavish reminded me of a Bruce Wayne billionaire playboy type, only withot the dressing up in a mask and tights to solve crime. As 3D and well-written as the main characters were, I was pleased to see that all the minor characters received the same treatment. My favourites amongst the minor characters were Janice Fisher and Greg. They always made me smile when they were around. I also liked how a lot of characters had a secret that they were trying to hide. It made working out the "whodunnit" of the crime that much more difficult and interesting. Not that I was able to figure out the "whodunnit" before it was revealed, despite trying. Although, to be honest, I prefer just sitting back and enjoying for the ride in crime thrillers, watching the characters do all the thinking! I was surprised by the revelation, but it also made perfect sense. The ending was the perfect end to the book, satisfactory, but still leaving me hungry for more. I can't wait for the next book in the series.
  • Touching Madness on July 26, 2012

    'Touching Madness' has a great narrative voice that drew me in right from the first page. The writing style is quirky and humorous, which made it really fun to read. It's chatty and written in first person, so I was able to really get into the main character's head. The main character, River Madden, is a homeless man suffering from schizophrenia. Despite the overall humorous tone of the book, I thought that River's condition was handled with sensitivity and intelligence. It is never used to mock him, neither is he ever reduced to just his illness - his schizophrenia is a part of who he is, but there's a lot of other qualities to him as well. I found him to be an inspiring and very likable main character. He was also fun to hang around with, which made me keep reading. The plot is interesting. It revolves around there being different dimensions, and we get to meet characters from them such as raps (from a dimension where dinosaurs were never wiped out), neans (from a dimension where homo sapiens never developed and humanity descended from neanderthals) and my personal favourites - demons. From the beginning to the end, the plot was tightly woven and exciting, with never a dull moment. I won't give anything away about the ending, but it was the sweetest thing I've ever read. It made me so happy. This book is part of a series and I'm looking forwards to the next book! I think 'Touching Madness' would be suitable as a young adult book, but would equally be enjoyed by adults. It's charming and poignant and funny.
  • The Cornfield on Aug. 16, 2012
    (no rating)
    It passed the time and it was quite well written, but it needed more to it. As it is at the moment, it's like hundreds of other short horror stories. But I think with extension it could be interesting.