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Smashwords book reviews by He Le
- Tentacles: An Anthology
on Feb. 17, 2013
Tentacles: An Anthology consists of four short stories of monsters by three different authors. (Haley Whitehall, D.R Larsson, and Eva LeFoy) I mistakenly thought there might be other monsters involved, but they were all of grasping limb variety. Apart from that similarity, the stories are varied; a couple are in space, one spans across time and place, the last is set in the past. The last (very) short story has a lovely twist at the end, a wonderful dessert to a great feast of suckered appendages.
- Subject 19
on March 21, 2013
Subject 19 by Todd Young is a coming of age type novel with some spine-chilling twists. Joel Makerston is a young man not quite comfortable with his life. After finishing his first year away at college, he does not want to go home. However, he finds himself not sure what to do next as he has no job, no car, and no close friends. When a chance acquaintance tells him about a three-week clinical trial that pays a small fortune he seriously considers it. Besides, he has a crush on a guy who will be there, and the contract says the program is in compliance all state, federal and local laws. Almost immediately the warning signs are there; bizarre architecture, mysterious man in the penthouse, the secured perimeter with the guard advising him away.
By the middle of the book, I was almost not able to continue. If this had been a scary movie, it would have been the stage where I would put a pillow over my eyes. Todd Young’s writing was strong enough for me to identify really strongly with the characters and had tapped into some my very basic fears; loss of control, body image, stressful personal interactions. I did finish the book and I am happy to say there is an interesting and happy resolution.
on March 21, 2013
. Hexult by Perry Aylen is marketed as a young adult book, but don’t be fooled. While it took some time to orient myself in this new and chilly world, the world has much potential. Reading this book is like browsing in a foreign market; colorful and filled with a variety of remarkable people.
When a boat crash kills their father, Elya and Jacob, 15-year-old twins, are stranded in Hexult, a loose federation of island city-states on the brink of civil war. The two of them try better communication and new devices to reduce tensions between the islands.
The part I liked best in this book was the ice itself. Hexult is unique from other worlds; a series of islands set in oceans of ice. While there are many things that the reader is expected to take on faith (for instance, all he islands are heated from below) it has beautiful descriptions of the terrain. Moreover, the place has a personality, a “soul”, some of the characters considered it to have a name: Vajra.
I thought the ending was abrupt, perhaps not a cliffhanger, but certainly didn’t wrap up the problems completely. Perhaps this is to leave room for a sequel. Alternatively, like in real life, there always will be another adventure waiting. People who like the realms of Diana Wynne Jones and enjoy reading about enterprising young people taking on the problems of their world would certainly find Hexult a good read.
- Bacon Girl: A Tale of Love, Treachery, Romance, Powerlifting, and Bacon
on Aug. 21, 2013
Bacon Girl: A Tale of Love, Treachery, Romance, Powerlifting, and Bacon by Patricia Blair is a different twist on the girl meets boy. Jennifer Palmer, fitness coach and bacon lover, is serious about her message of healthy eating and serious weight lifting for women. Her first male client is Jack, a vegan. Despite the culinary disparity, there is an attraction between the two from the first workout. However, not all is peaceful in the fitness center. Jennifer with some help from Jack has deal with steroid enhanced jerks and passive managers. Luckily, like all good romances; the good guys win and the woman gets her man.
Much like going to a local hamburger joint instead of a chain restaurant, I thought it was refreshing to read a non-formulaic romance. The statistics cited for nutrition were interesting too, not sure if they were real. If you enjoy a romance and like a believable strong woman, this book is a good choice for you.