I LOVE to read. More than anything else! I'm always looking for something to read so I like to enter giveaways and see what new authors have to bring to the table. It is such a great feeling when I find something awesome!
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Smashwords book reviews by jojjo
- Enchantress of Rurne
on Nov. 02, 2011
Chris Turner presents us with a short story about a warrior named Taar looking for his master's murderers but finds something else instead.
Turner did an amazing job creating a spectacular world with its own rules. Descriptions were vivid and rather poetic. Characters speak in a formal ancient dialect which adds to the feeling of being in another world. Turner starts off slow, to ease you into his world, and then the pace quickly picks up speed once we meet the Enchantress.
The characters are a bit flat. It's always either you're good or you're evil. However, it's forgivable since it was so short. The Enchantress was an especially interesting character and it was too bad we didn't learn as much about her as I would've liked. One thing that I was a bit miffed about was the abrupt switch from one conflict to another. We spend most of the story dealing with the Enchantress and then we jump into a final battle and then the story is over. The author manages to pull it off without really affecting my reading experience but, if you're a stickler about these things, this book might not be for you!
Pro: fast-paced, interesting plot, intricate and poetic descriptions
Con: somewhat flat characters, abrupt transition scenes
It's definitely worth reading but you'll be done with this story before you know it and will be wanting more! Thus, "Fantastic Realms" might be a better choice since it would include this story and many others like it.
If you want to "test the waters" and see what this author has to offer, then this is a good cheap way to check out Turner's style. If you're the diving-in type, you'll want to get "Fantastic Realms". It's an excellent book from a great author!
Received for free in a giveaway in return for a review
- Warleader - A Blood and Tears Short Story
on Nov. 22, 2011
A neat story that is absolutely worth it's price!
Tobin is a strong and interesting protagonist and even Kaz makes a good villain (he shows signs that he may not be as bad as he acts though he is pretty terrible). The lifestyle of a Kitzo is similar to warrior clans but given a slight twist to make it the author's own.
The only issue I see is that we are not told much about the Kitzo world. It's a learn-as-you-go kind of deal. Other than that, this short story is a delight to read. I do recommend readers to be prepared because they will definitely want to read the trilogy after this story is done.
- Rex Rising (Elei's Chronicles, #1)
on Nov. 29, 2011
This story is about a boy named Elei running from enemies he doesn't even know he had. All he knows is that they want him badly. In a world where parasites decide who you are and the Gutturs reign, Elei tries to survive and maybe even find a place to call home.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The concept of using parasites was an original and fascinating idea. The characters were interesting and believable. The best part was how no one was "perfect". Everyone gets hurt and not every battle was won. I especially like Elei. He is a lot like a stray cat and it's funny to see him react to something like a hug.
While enjoyable, this book was hard to get into the beginning. Mainly because it was confusing. Too many things were happening (the author starts right away with the action!) and the parasites was not explained until a third of the book was done. However, once you get through it, everything becomes clear.
Pro: Action-packed, fun and believable characters, engaging and absorbing read
Con: confusing in the beginning
I would recommend this book to everyone (though you should be warned that the language is a bit crude), especially to sci-fi and fantasy fans. This book is joining my favorite's list!
Won in a giveaway in return for an honest review
- Bound by Fire
on Dec. 18, 2011
This story centers around Ilian who is kidnapped by a red-haired assassin, Karena, for a reason that he's not all too clear about. We are also treated to the journeys of Kane, who is searching for Ilian, and Rodrach, who is looking for the answers of far too many questions.
Ronald Craft has written a very interesting and fast-paced story. The main characters are well-developed and believable. They're not set to just one way of thinking and do change over the course of the story. Also, the way everything was brought together in the end was very well done.
However, the side characters much less believable. It feels like all the "villains" act in relatively the same way. They're all jerks who fight in an underhanded way and once they lose, turn into cowards who beg for mercy. Also, while ambiguity is useful for getting a reader interested, too much of is a deterrent. For the first half of the book, we don't know what's driving the "bad guys". Karena is taking Ilian to see her boss, for some reason. Chaerak feels compelled to go to the North, for some rea- okay, you get the point. I also felt like there were some inconsistencies between Dagfinn and Bale. They both called each other the "evil brother" at one point or another. Of course, it could be a set up for the next book. Who knows? Another thing is that Ilian acts far younger than his supposed age. If I didn't know better, I'd think he was ten yrs old! Still, his character developed and I was pleased to see him change by the end of the book.
Pros: fast-paced and interesting story, well-developed main characters with a nice backstory, plenty of action
Cons: stereotypical villains, sometimes inconsistent with age, so much ambiguity!
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read, especially fans of fantasy and action. Even though it's not perfect, the book is clearly well thought out. I had a lot of fun reading this so maybe you will too! However, I would point out that younger readers shouldn't read this as some scenes are pretty violent and others are pretty...naughty.
Won in a giveaway in return for a honest review
- Angel Evolution
on Dec. 18, 2011
An interesting take on the ol' "Angels vs. Demons" story. The book centers on Christopher, Gabriel, and Taylor. Taylor is a supposedly normal college girl but it soon becomes clear that she has a special power that attracts the attention of both the angels and the demons. Things become even more complicated when it's much less clear who is the right side to trust.
Angels are pretty iffy to me, to be honest, so the direction David Estes chose to take was a great relief. The characters were interesting and the many twists in the story keeps the pace fast and engaging. The last third of the book was really well done. The ending was a cliffhanger and a bit abrupt but it was interesting. The rapid switching of character POVs kept the suspense and tension going.
Still, aside from the angels part, the story isn't all that original. Average person learns he/she has something special and must now choose to save the world? Seen and read a thousand times. However, he does a fair job of making the story interesting enough so that it doesn't become a big problem. Also, the way the story was set up, everyone, including the reader, knows what's going on. So, there were plenty of times where I just want to grab Taylor and make her see sense. Another thing was that it sometimes felt like Estes is trying too hard, maybe to be funny or to be suspenseful. Either way, a lot of the dialogue and banter is cliche or overly dramatized. But then, every now and then, he would surprise me with a clever line a few paragraphs later!
Pros: Interesting story and believable characters, fast-paced and engaging
Cons: standard plot, cliche and overly-dramatic sometimes
Overall, I think this is a wonderful book with plenty of potential. It's not the best I've ever read but it's good enough so that I know the author is only just getting started! Anyone with a fascination for angels and demons should definitely check this book out.