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Smashwords book reviews by Gavin Chester
- Harmonics: Rise of the Magician
on Jan. 06, 2011
Originally posted on avidreader15.wordpress.com:
This is the first work I have ever read by Collin Earl, and I must say, he has left me wanting more! This story seems to me as more of a "Prequel" to the storyline he is working. Most of the book doesn't seem to make any sense for the first two or three chapters, until the "camera" per-say settles on the main storyline, that of Samantha Montgomery of Academy City 676's life. It was her last year of high school, and her life gets flipped upside down. Her school was attacked by 3 different groups all at once. One, a Research Lab who from my take on the story, has created a human of supernatural talents that, I am not positive but I believe, has the ability to split compounds into their elements, and recombine the elements into whatever they want. This is what it seems the element Earl has coined "Harmonicum" can do, from the various little tidbits given about MESA Lab's involvement with it at least, and the"Experiment" escaped from MESA Labs. Although this book has left a few open strings in anticipation for the next book, all in all I would say it tells a fascinating intro to a whole new world of Earl's which we will all come to love as the story progresses. Only time will tell, Until then we must wait for the release of his Next book in the series.
I don't know about other readers, but I for one can not wait to get my hands on the next book Collin Earl publishes in this story.
- Department of Temporal Adjustment
on Jan. 10, 2011
Originally posted on avidreader15.wordpress.com:
This story is about a house-mom named Vanessa and her involvement with a time-portal she stumbles upon while at college, and how it affects her family. Vanessa is the main character throughout the story, although her husband, Tony, and three daughters do play big roles. Her college lab-partner, Erica, plays a important role also, although hers is a bit more minor, and only through a part of the book. Right from the beginning of the book, it jumps you right into the life of Vanessa and Tony and how hectic it is. Within a few chapters, Vanessa is already noticing strange things around campus, from oddly dressed people roaming the grounds at strange hours, to a weird humming noise in the building that she uses the lab of. A lot of mysterious things happen to her throughout the book, things she can’t explain why they are happening to her, and that make her think she is going crazy.
At first, when I read the book description, I expected a bigger focus on the sci-fi aspects of the story, the whole “time portal on her college campus”. I was expecting some huge adventure in the future. Yes, I was disappointed, but that is NOT to say the book was un-enjoyable. I still greatly enjoyed the storyline, which is more a focus on her life in the present and how her short forays into the future affect her life, along with the life of her family. The storyline is nice, and the ending to the book is very happy. It is written in the first-person and in the end is told to be a “journal of sorts” although it reads just like a story rather than a journal, which I was happy for. All-in-all I really enjoyed the book, even though it wasn’t what I had originally expected.
- October Breezes
on Jan. 20, 2011
Originally posted on my blog at http://mrcheesete0.wordpress.com:
October Breezes follows the life of a young high-school girl, Skye Williams, through many of the terrible experiences she goes through. Other key characters include her mom; her mom's fiance, Warren; Her best friend, Devin, her new beau, Kellin; her unlikely ally in all the mess, Jimmy; the girl who wants her boyfriend, Becca; and the guy of her nightmares, Tyler. On the proverbial "high-school food-chain" Skye and Devin rank quite low, so low they don't exist to the "popular crowd". Kellin, Tyler, and Jimmy are all on the football team, and Kevin is the quarterback. Kellin and Jimmy are the opposite of all the stereotypes that just popped into your head. Tyler follows said stereotypes to the dot. Becca is the witch with a capital B who controls the minds and actions of all the girls in the popular crowd, the "queen bee" you could say. Throughout the book Skye runs into problems that threaten to destroy her life, usually caused by Tyler and Becca. Devin tries to warn her, but every time she ignores him they grow farther and farther apart. He doesn't like Kellin, but Kellin isn't the problem, Tyler is. Becca pretty much hates Skye's guts, because she has the guy Becca wants more than anything else.
I'd have to say I see through Devin's perspective the most, if I was asked. I can relate to being in his shoes, trying to stop your close friend from dating a guy that is going to hurt her. I sympathize with Skye, but as I'm not a teenage girl, and have been in almost none of her problems myself, I can't really imagine being in her shoes. This is really good book, but it isn't the kind of book I would ever say I "enjoyed", because its an extremely sad story. I didn't like the story, but there was a very loud message being said through the story, and the message is a good one. Throughout the book, I found myself on the edge of my seat, worrying for Skye, and wanting to punch Becca in the face. The writing is so good, it just drags you right into the story. I couldn't put it down My favorite part of the book was the ending, when we finally learn what the big deal with Becca is, and the couple that should have been together throughout the whole book finally come to terms with their feelings for each other. The ending to the book, was the best part because it ended all the sadness. My least favorite part was all the times Skye was abotu to do something stupid, and I couldn't warn her (I know that makes me sound silly, but its true). I wouldn't ever change anything to the story, it was written perfectly as it should have been, and for that I congratulate Mrs Hooley. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any and all young adults out there who enjoy reading, and even a lot of those who don't enjoy reading should read it. I would especially recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why, or Brian Katcher's Almost Perfect. Thank you to Mrs. Hooley for giving me the chance to read this novel and enjoy it.
- New Life Incorporated
on Jan. 27, 2011
Originalyl Posted on my blog, found on my homepage:
New Life, Inc. is about an ex-military man named Joe Ramsey, and is written in 3rd person from his perspective.. He used to work for the government, until he did something he would regret for the rest of his life. Then he quits his job, leaves his home and his pension behind, and moves far far away to try to avoid his past. But the past just keeps following him! It's back, and this time he has to pick a side. Join forces with the "Resisters" or the "Lifers". One is pro-Longevity Chips (The Lifers), the other (the Resisters) are against them. They have this crazy idea that the longevity chips aren't quite what they seem. Along the way he meets two great friends, Cammo and Murray, who also isn't what "he" seems. Another Allie on Joe's team is Wayne, the funding behind the project. On the other side of the line the main players are Caleb Walker and Malachette, his goon who does the dirty work. Murray, Cammo, Wayne, and Joe run into many complications in their attempts to unveil the evil plot of New Life, Inc. The learn the "Federation" (Mrs. Hooley's fictional govermental body) has been "bought out" by New Life. They are disliked by the general public. And they run into many many booby traps while on the main eventful mission of the story. Cammo sneaks out a few times, against the wishes of his older sibling Murray. Joe tries to find him each time. Murray is trying to deal with the emotional battleground on his inside. Joe fights his internal demons, when he learns of a man from his past is involved in the evil plot.
My personal favorite character of the story was Murray because of all the obstacles he has to face. Its like, he's the "needy" character, who can't help but make you feel sorry. I have never been in those shoes, but I do like helping people out of them. So I guess I could relate most to Joe, even though Murray is my favorite character.
I really enjoyed this book, however it isn't for all sci-fi fans. It has heavy overlays of romance to it. Unless you're a fan of storybook predictable romance's, you won't enjoy the romance. It is all predictable, but tha'ts just romance for you. I for one enjoy both Romance Novels, and Sci-Fi, so this combination of the two was an amazing read. I wouldn't suggest reading this unless you are an avid fan of romance novels. If you are, then I wholeheartedly suggest this to any audience of all ages. The only downside to this book, was the grammatical and word-choice errors, but those are to be expected of a first-edition. Could have happened from the converter smashwords used to convert the book also.