Housewife, mother, aspiring writer, beginner Esperantist, and vegan armchair activist. Four time Nanowrimo winner, working on edits in the hopes of publishing. Full time chocoholic.
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Smashwords book reviews by Cathy Russell
on Dec. 02, 2009
I really enjoyed this book, especially the underlying philosophy that belief shapes reality. I have to admit though, it was fun watching a superhuman capable of kicking the Devil's ass.
The writing style was engaging, and the characters were well thought out. I didn't like the villains much, nor did I sympathize with them, but at the same time I could see their point of view and how they got to be the people they were. There was plenty of action, and the more I progressed in the story the more I wished someone would make it into a comic or a movie. The plot and characters would be great in either one.
Technically speaking, I originally tried the PDB format but it didn't work that well for me with my reader. The PDF format seemed to work a lot better (G1 Android phone).
- The Breath of Life and Other Stories
on June 13, 2010
This was a great read - especially perfect for Summer with stories that you can gulp in a sitting. The variety was nice too, a mix of fantasy, speculative fiction, and horror. I was especially fond of the ghost stories and plan to keep the pdf on my phone to reread again in the future. A very enjoyable read that's well worth the price.
- Dark Pages
on June 29, 2010
This book was a real pleasure. While one of the stories was too explicit for younger readers, this anthology dealt more with the darker side of human nature rather than pure horror. Jealousy, betrayal, depression, envy - they all have starring roles. My favorite story, though it'shard to choose, was 'Clip Notes.' This collection was a thoroughly compelling read.
- Realms of the Red Rabbit (Realms of the Red Rabbit series, Book 1)
on Sep. 24, 2010
This is an updated version of Alice in Wonderland. But where Louis Carroll left off with fantasy, Laura Eno has added an additional element. The character learns morals along the way. An interesting reinterpretation of a classic tale.
- Best of Friday Flash - Volume One
on Oct. 17, 2010
In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that I am a contributor to this book, both as an author and a beta reader. But in all honesty, if I'd never heard of Friday Flash or read any flash before, I'd still rate this as one of my all time favorite books. It's a wonderful anthology, filled with fiction of all different genres. Though I'm personally partial to scifi, every single story in this book grabbed me. It truly is the some of the best flash fiction I've ever read, and I'm honored that I was able to be a part of it. I'll be reading this over and over again in the years to come.
- Blood Picnic and other stories
on July 01, 2011
Lots of bite-sized fiction with a lot of taste! I thought this book was wonderfully done, from the cover art to the content inside. I've followed Mr. Noland's flash through #FridayFlash on Twitter, and I was pleasantly surprised to find so many of my favorite stories within these pages. He truly has a gift.
I switched between reading this book on my original Nook device and the Nook app on my Android phone, and was pleased with the ease of the transition. All the chapter/short story links worked beautifully; the text was crisp, easy to read, and flowed smoothly. Overall, this was one of my most enjoyable reading experiences. With the small caveat that many tales may not be suitable for younger audiences due to subject matter, I highly recommend this book.
- The Soulkeepers
on Aug. 04, 2011
The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching brought tears to my eyes. Though it’s not a tragedy, this YA novel pulls the reader along with teenage Jacob Lau as he struggles to come to terms with his life after the loss of his mother. In the small Mid-western town of Paris, Jacob lives with the Laudners – a family he never knew existed until after the car accident that robbed him of his mother. His father had died long before, so his only remaining kin took him into their home. But not all is as it seems. Why had Jacob’s parents never mentioned Uncle John? Why did his father change his last name? What really happened during the car accident?
Determined to find his mother, faced with bigotry and persecution from the townsfolk and even within his own family, Jacob finds a single friend in Malini – another outsider. Soon, however, mysterious forces call to Jacob, and he must answer the biggest mystery of all. What power lies within himself, and can he trust an enigmatic stranger to teach him to harness it?
This book works on so many levels. There’s romance, mystery, adventure, and a fair amount of violence. There’s also a spiritual battle, not only between creatures of another realm but a battle within Jacob himself. How can he reconcile his atheism with what he learns about himself and his place in the world?
I really enjoyed this book. Although categorized as Young Adult fiction, The Soulkeepers would appeal to almost all age groups, with the exception of the very young. There are high stakes and violence, but nothing gratuitous, though I personally think the book’s battle scene is the best I’ve ever read. The main plot points are resolved, yet there is clearly room for another book. The story brought up deeper themes than I wouldn’t have expected and that I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come.
I read the book on my Simple Touch NOOK ereader device. There were no noticable errors, the text and formatting were well done, and the Table of Contents worked perfectly. The cover of the book was interesting and fit the text.