Michelle Dunphy

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Michelle Dunphy

  • Glimmer (Zellie Wells #2) on Nov. 19, 2010

    ** spoiler alert ** While I enjoyed Glimmer quite a bit, it felt a bit more rushed than the first book in the series. We followed one enemy for a little while and then BOOM... they're working together to defeat someone else? It just felt a bit rough in the transition and a little jagged after that. Still though, I really enjoyed the characters and the plot in general. Zellie is a really fun character and her teenage persona is written very well. :)
  • Rebellion (Day of Sacrifice #2) on Jan. 27, 2011

    "Rebellion" is the second novella in a series by indie paranormal YA author, Stacey Wallace Benefiel. The world in this novella series is full of magic and paranormal archetypes – angels, vampires, witches – OH MY! Of course, they're all pretty hot too, especially the angels. In this world, it is required of the families to sacrifice their oldest child to the Gods to receive favor from them. The oldest children in this world never lead a normal life, as we learned in the first part of this series. Some of the parents feel guilt and try to be the best parents they can as long as they have their child while others are filled with greed, looking forward to their child's sacrificial death and the wealth & favor they will receive from the Gods. In "Rebellion", we pick up just after the first book with a character we were briefly introduced to last time. Cara is the mother of a sacrifice who was best friend to our heroine from part one and ward to her Guardian angel lover. I loved getting to know Cara better. She is a deep and powerful character in this segment of the series. She had a tough time last book and it was great to see her overcome her grief and difficulties to take a stand against the Gods and the infrastructure of their world. It was also nice to see her finally see some happiness as well. Novellas are a difficult medium in literature. Long enough to have complex plots, but short enough that you need to keep things moving or well, you won't be writing a novella anymore! The problem with this novella that in order to keep a pretty complex world and characters alive, we lose a lot of the actual plot development. Upon starting this novella, you are abruptly thrust back into the world introduced last time around. Now, again, I understand that this is a novella however even a one or two paragraph recap to help smooth over the transition would have been nice. I've read quite a few books since I read the first novella so my first reaction was “Whaaaa!?!?!?!” It made me a bit dizzy and that feeling was hard to overcome as the plot keep going along its merry way without a lot of explanation. I remember there being a prophecy, but I couldn't remember exactly what it was or how these characters related to it. Luckily, due to reading this on my e-reader (LOVE you, Amazon Kindle!), I was able to go brush up. However, I do not feel that should have been necessary in order to have the audience fully enjoy this book. There should have been some sort of transition between the two novellas. I felt like the first novella ended a bit abruptly and was rushed at times to fit the format. Maybe these would be a better novel with a little more time and development? Just a thought. The one downfall I've found in Ms. Benefiel's writing overall is some choppiness and lack of needed exposition. I think that is partially due to being an independent author. She doesn't have the time and money backing up her writing that mainstream authors have. Overall, an enjoyable, quick read for those interested in the paranormal (with focus on angels). Stacey Wallace Benefiel's writing has a lot of potential and I think that with more time, she could develop into being an awesome young adult writer. Look for these novellas and her other novels on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc. The e-published ones are very affordable and worth every penny.