Carla Biggins

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Carla Biggins

  • A Luminous Future on July 02, 2012

    This would be a great book to have read in college or even high school as it really humanizes the effects of communism, not just tells about it in a matter of fact way. Textbooks talk about “farmers” and “peasants” and “workers”, but we never really connect with them as “people” – people like us. That is what struck me most about this book, was that Teodor, his mother and father, his grandparents, his friends, neighbors, etc…any one of them was just like us. Like me. Like you. From the mischievous actions of a school boy, to the first loves, to the stress and strain of a family under constant scrutiny— so many things that we can all relate to, yet so many extraordinary things that most of us will never have to face. The endurance and struggles the family goes through was so beautifully written I admit I had tears in my eyes more than once. And I was sad to see the end, but loved looking at the lovely faces from the past, ones I’d forged a connection with. I cannot recommend this book enough, I’ll be singing its praises to whomever will listen. Thank you so much for writing this amazing book!
  • The Crow God's Girl on Aug. 06, 2012

    Normally fantasy isn’t really my favorite genre, but I’ve been trying to expand my reading list lately and thought the “Crow God’s Girl” by Patrice Sarath sounded interesting. And I am glad I gave it a chance! I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this epic YA fantasy. I almost read it in one night, but it turned into two (dang sleep!) I love the alternate world of Aeritan the author imagined, and thought all of the characters (and there is a lot of them!) really came to life on the pages. There were some minor editing things, but nothing major that hindered my enjoyment any. All in all a very good read that I’d recommend even to those who don’t normally read this sort of thing…try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
  • Margaret of the North on Aug. 22, 2012

    Being totally unfamiliar with the story that “Margaret of the North” is based on (the series “North and South”), I was able to read and appreciate this book with a clear and open mind. I immediately was drawn into the story of Margaret and John and loved watching their romance unfold. The author did a wonderful job of taking my imagination to another time and place and keeping it there. The characters were well-rounded and dynamic, the storyline engaging and intricate, and the descriptions clear and vivid. Almost everything I could want for in a great book. It is a bit on the long side compared to what I am used to, but in my opinion it was well worth the read.
  • Angels Gate on Sep. 26, 2012

    Four friends decide that they want to move to Costa Rica, so they decide to start smuggling in drugs (naturally). But it doesn’t stop there…they soon become unwitting recipients of what could be a windfall worth billions…problem is it isn’t as cash, but bonds that need to be laundered at a loss. But they will still make out like bandits if they are successful and if they can get away with it with the FBI hot on their trail. The main guy August is probably the most interesting character and he is well developed (more so than some of the others). I appreciated the fact that this story was presented in a factual manner, yet was written in a way that made it feel like I was reading a fiction crime-drama novel. The authors, Andrew Rafkin and Louis Pagano, are most talented and I will be reading more of their other works very soon.
  • The Sense of Touch on Aug. 07, 2014

    hmmm… I have a tough time trying to figure out how to review this,, because there are several different stories and I can’t recap them all. So I’ll just do my favorite, which was actually the first one. I liked how the guy’s relationship developed, it seemed real and not forced, and what happened to Naseem’s family was sad. But I was very surprised more with what Naseem did, and was sad. In a way it almost seemed like a Native American legend or something, the way it was retold, and has a ‘spiritual’ quality to it. I thought many of the other stories were like this too, and it’s what made me like this whole book.
  • Connecting the Dots: Man, God, Angels, and Demons on Sep. 07, 2015

    wow, what an amazing book! I was completely sucked in from the beginning, and am so impressed with Dave Shaw’s brilliant insights and ability to pull from scripture the most applicable passages to underscore his message. It is clear that he is quite scholarly in regards to Biblical Study (as his bio mentions) and that, combined with his analytical way of thinking leads him to probe deeper into certain parts of the Bible that caused him some confusion, and to look at the bigger picture of God’s Master Plan, and how it all ties together with Demons (Lucifer), the Angel Society, and Man’s function on Earth. This was so well-written and absolutely riveting. It is not a fast read, but should be carefully and thoughtfully studied and pondered. So many great discussion points here, almost wish I could have dinner with Mr. Shaw. Would be a fascinating conversation! Highly recommend for everyone.
  • Hidden Bible Taboos Forbidden By Organized Christianity (A Se7en Dimensional Guide to the Ancient Path Way and The Underground Church) on Jan. 14, 2016

    I will start by saying this is a wonderful book that I liked much more than I was expecting to! I have read several books on theology and sometimes I get the sense that most are just recycling old information. Well, for this book it seems like I read a lot of new ideas presented in a new way. The content was mostly new to me and laid out in a simple way that is well-written and very easy to follow. James Slobodzien uses his extensive expertise to share his insightful, if not controversial, interactive take on certain elements of religious doctrine and its many – often secretive— roles in society and how it influences human events. Some parts are more interesting than others, some were too ‘dry’ and esoteric for my tastes, but overall it is fast paced, informative, and easy to read… at times impossible to put down! I recommend this book, “Hidden Bible Taboos…” to anyone who wants to attain greater spiritual awareness and see a different side of Christian beliefs that you maybe haven’t realized before. Read it with an open mind and you will be impressed.
  • The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses on Jan. 14, 2016

    first, I have to say that I don’t normally read books like this, but I was looking for something a little out of my comfort zone and this book sounded intriguing. Well, I am most certainly glad I took the chance on K.N. Smith’s “The Urban Boys”! This was a captivating novel and very impressive for a debut. There is such strong, vivid writing, and the characters are all fascinating, flawed, and going through their own drama. GREAT character development, and everything just felt “beautiful” for lack of a better word – even though some parts are dark. Dialogue, interactions, scenes, descriptions…The formatting is messed up (all left justified) and it could use some proofing. But all in all a very good read that I’d recommend even to those who don’t normally read this sort of thing …try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
  • Gol on Feb. 17, 2016

    I almost feel like I just read 5 different books instead of just one – SO much happens, it would be impossible to sum up (I don’t do that anyways). And based on just the description, I think I expected something different… I think I expected more of a romance, and while that aspect is definitely there, it takes a side seat to the bigger picture. However, overall this book felt a bit flat to me as I never felt as connected to the characters as I would have liked. There seemed to be an emotional disconnect that would’ve made us feel more sympathetic towards them. We are always kept at arm’s length, watching the characters go through the steps and sequences of events, but I didn’t really feel the emotional investment that I like to while reading. But there is some great world building and terrific action, fight scenes and some really creative storylines with the Elementals and with Ashmale. So overall a decent book that will appeal to fans of high fantasy, and is probably most appropriate for adults as there is some sex, language, and violent scenes, as to be expected.
  • The Shattered Crown on Feb. 17, 2016

    while I heartily enjoyed “Gol” (the first book I read in this series), in my opinion “The Shattered Crown” was even harder to put down. Here, we have a dangerous quest and tons of good and bad characters to make it all the more exciting. At times I felt there were perhaps too many characters and we see many different perspectives which is good… but at the same time can feel a bit overwhelming as I prefer to have just a few focal points to connect to, while seeing the bigger picture. I thought the beginning was a little slow, but once it started to pick up steam it didn’t stop,, and the ending leaves us yearning for more right away. I enjoy the sketches/drawings at the chapter intro, and overall think the presentation of these novels to be very well done with a professional feel. Ready for the conclusion!
  • The Lost Prince on April 24, 2016

    this book, in fact this whole series by J.W. Webb demonstrates what a truly gifted writer can do with the constraints and conventions of the fantasy genre. It has all the required elements - swordplay, quests, magic, etc - but combined in a dark and unsettling way. Webb's heroes, fated to attempt epic feats, falter before they succeed; and both the characters and magic are dirty, unglamorous, and hazardous to your health, haha. Though all of this is extremely satisfying to anyone who has waded through any of the popular door-stopper fantasies, the books really shine in the characters and settings. His world feels real, perhaps because, unlike most fantasy writers, he focuses on the lives of seemingly ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events beyond their control and are just pawns on a grander scale. The changing plot forced the characters out of their comfort zones and into situations that challenge them and ultimately transform, on some level. Enjoyed the addition of Zallerak, as he provided a bit of uncertainty, and while there is really just too much ground covered in this book to properly sum up in a brief review, just know that this whole series has exceeded my wildest expectations and keeps getting better and better. Cannot wait to see what happens in the next one!
  • Not Black and White: From The Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on April 24, 2016

    it took me some time to get into this book, and at first I wasn’t really sure where it was going. But the more I read the more I got into it, the more wrapped up I got in this world and characters G.A. Beller created. It’s weird to think it’s actually fiction as parts really seem real, and are relatable to current times. I have a feeling that this book and the characters and their fates will stay with me for some time. I thought the overall plot and narration was good, but it could have used a bit more polish as there was some long stretches of ‘telling’ of the events (as opposed to ‘showing’ us to bring us closer to the action). It’d didn’t ruin the book, but would make it better if was more intimately connected, in my opinion. Nevertheless I look forward to reading more from Mr. Beller in the future as he is truly a gifted storyteller AND writer (not necessarily the same thing…)
  • Friend & Foe on May 01, 2016

    4.5 stars I knew by the 20% mark that I would really love this book and it would go on my “favorites” shelf, and I was right! I admit I had no real expectations when starting it, seeing as how I’d never read the author before and the description felt a bit “wide-reaching” to me. Wondered if he’d pull it off, and I truly believe he did! I was so immersed in this book and impressed with the level of detailing on almost every single aspect. A lesser author would have glossed over some of these scenes that Nik Olsen carefully and masterfully brought to life in a memorable way. The characters of Joe and Ben felt real, and the way they tell their stories we really see it through their eyes and feel like we are there. Liked the twist at the end, and will like to read the next one when it’s published. Recommend.