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Smashwords book reviews by Ferdrayt Kopf
- The Judas Syndrome
on March 17, 2011
The Judas Syndrome starts with a group of young adults on a camping trip before school. A cloud hangs over the trip, namely a terrorist's threat of a nuclear holocaust. The trip itself gives the reader a chance to know these youths and how they react under normal circumstances. When they return, they find that the terrorists have struck, their homes and families are destroyed, and the world is in chaos.
How they respond makes up the bulk of the story. They must contend with poisonous rain, lack of power, unplanned pregnancy, marauders, religious fanatics, drug addiction and -- perhaps worst of all -- their own inner demons.
The author has a clear and lucid style that takes the reader from one vivid situation to another. The story is reminiscent of Lord of the Flies but without adults rescuing them at the end. What does happen at the end surprised me, though I admit the author had left several clues.
- The Curse of the Crystal Dragon
on April 07, 2011
“The Curse of the Crystal Dragon” is a collection of five short stories by Jonathan Seville. Each of the sections has a similar theme and shares the main characters, but the author has given backstory to each tale so that they can all stand alone as independent stories. Though the collection is a work of fantasy, it starts out sounding deceptively normal, with the protagonist, Thomas, offering to help an elderly woman get into a jeep. She is so impressed, she asks if he, a complete stranger, will give her grandchildren. This is just the beginning. As matters progress, people acting in increasingly strange ways. About a third of the way through the first of the series, the fantastic elements are so strong, one must draw on willing suspension of disbelief to continue, and this is even before the appearance of the supernatural (considering the title, it shouldn’t be a spoiler to say that dragons play a major role.). However, by that time, the author has drawn you so throughly into the characters’ lives, you’re quite willing to go along. I found myself continuing through the first part, unwilling to put it down until I found out what happened to the people involved
There is a lot of sexual innuendo, but no explicit erotica (unless you want to count one friendly squeeze.)
All and all, a good, light read.