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Smashwords book reviews by Rachael Gonzales
- End of Mae
on June 28, 2011
Mae is searching for a story that will move her from small time journalist to big city reporter. She finds just that when she begins investigating the Jersey Devil disappearances and is, herself, made to disappear.
"End of Mae" was a quick, easy read with a lot more twists and turns than one would expect from a novel of its size. The author did an awesome job of setting the scene and was very generous in her use of imagery. I felt as though I were laying on the white marble slab with her, beyond frightened yet full of a courage and wit that would have fled many others in her situation. Beaten down, broken and out of her element, the main character was someone I felt I could connect with at at times, while at others she seemed an entirely different entity all together.
The book was eerie and full of supernatural quirks. The ending took me quite by surprise and I can only hope that author Angela Smith has more in store for her readers as I would love to find out more about Mae and her unlikely "hero," the villain Heylel. A little bit of extra editing would have definitely made this novella into a five star review!
End of Mae was originally reviewed on my blog: http://historicallyyoursbookreviews.blogspot.com/2011/06/book-review-end-of-mae-by-angela-smith.html
- On Dark Shores 1: The Lady
on June 28, 2011
"On Dark Shores: The Lady" is a three part series that begins by introducing us to the thief, Nereia, and her much younger sister, Mary. They live in Scarlock, a tiny Harbor town dominated by a weasel of man named Copeland. Nothing gets past him, and the inhabitants of Scarlock live in fear of him and his bodyguard, a prior boxer named Blakey who spends his days roughing up the poor and unlucky who are unable to pay their debts.
Nereia and Mary are cousins of Copeland, but unless you had read that little bit of information you wouldn't believe it by the way he treats them. Nereia is driven to steal and give what meager treasures she finds to Copeland in order to keep herself from being made to work in his brothel, and save her sister from a similar fate. Although forced to live a life she would not have chosen given the chance, Nereia is one of the only characters we meet in "On Dark Shores: The Lady" with enough courage to stand up to Copeland and fight back. Unfortunately that fighting back gets her, and Mary, in more trouble than any one person deserves.
I really enjoyed J.A. Clement's debut novel. At first confused by the opening chapter, I eventually understood where she was going with her story and looked forward to turning each page. I was so engrossed in the novel that I found myself getting angry when I had completed it! There was a dark and eerie element in the story and I kept finding myself caught up within the web of words that Clement wove around her characters. I can't wait to read the second part of the series and find out who exactly the Mother of the Shantari is and what her role in Nereia's life will be. I also look forward to seeing Copeland get what he deserves but as I am not the author I can only hope that she finds a way of putting him in his place!
*Note: I received an ecopy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
"On Dark Shores: The Lady" was originally reviewed on my blog:http://historicallyyoursbookreviews.blogspot.com/2011/06/book-review-on-dark-shores-lady-by-ja.html
on July 04, 2011
Kelly Garret, Bloodletter's primary protagonist, is a criminalist living and working in the town of Nakeita. She seems to have it all= a great job, awesome friends, a loving boyfriend... until she realizes that her current case is starting to hit a little too close to home.
There is a serial killer out there that is using the Ten Commandments as an excuse to brutally murder those who don't uphold them, or at least the version of them that the killer has created. Kelly and her team are forced to go into overdrive in search of this sadistic killer, all the while Kelly is battling flashbacks from her childhood. What really happened to her as a child? Did her mother really die in a car accident? What about this case is making her relive what was once forgotten?
Bloodletter is a chilling murder mystery that has you guessing until the very end. Written in third person, there were perhaps too many characters to keep up with in the beginning, but they eventually evened out towards the middle of the novel. There is a distinct beginning, middle and end however, at times, I didn't feel that the plot flowed properly; it was a slippery slope, balancing Kelly's flashbacks, random comments from her father (that I later realized weren't so random after all), and the serial murder case that she and her co-workers were trying to solve.
If your're in the mood for a good thriller, with a big creep factor added in, then Angel Haze's Bloodletter is the novel for you! The author did a marvelous job of creating a unique story, with great characters and an ending that definitely through me for a loop!
- The Shrew Untamed
on July 19, 2011
I have never been a fan of plays and always had a difficult time getting through anything Shakespeare related in high school, mostly because I couldn’t understand the old English style of writing. With James Carter’s The Shrew Untamed, that definitely was not the case! For anyone who enjoyed Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew (or didn’t, as was my case- I did read it several years ago so maybe I should give it another shot?), The Shrew Untamed is a delightful addition for 21st century readers that gives us a glimpse at the lives of Kate and Petruchio a year after they were married.
No longer unfortunate in love, the couple appears to have found wedded bliss and decide to stop in and see how Bianca and Lucentio are doing. Unfortunately for them, wedded bliss seems to evade them as they spend their days stuck in a bitter marital war, at heads with how they each believe the other should act within their conjugal prison. Kate and Petruchio take it upon themselves to wager a bet: Kate has three days to convince her sister and brother-in-law that their marriage could be a lot better if they would both just make some changes in their dealings with one another. What follows is a hilarious and delightful twist to what could have been between the sisters and their respective spouses had Shakespeare chosen to continue with his story.
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ The Shrew Untamed was a very quick read that had me giggling out loud and rooting for the underdogs. You won’t be disappointed!