Jessica Torres

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Jessica Torres

  • Bears, Recycling and Confusing Time Paradoxes on July 29, 2011

    Please humor me as I begin this review with a rather long run-on sentence. It seems the only way to aptly describe how I felt about this book. Are you ready? Brace yourself! Bears, Recycling and Confusing Time Paradoxes was a book that had me reading fervently, in between bouts of pausing to exclaim "Wait....what????", and then bursting into raucous laughter at the absurdity at was on the page before my boyfriend would look over and demand to know what I was laughing at, to which I could only exclaim "The dragon has wooden teeth! Vampire.....wooden teeth! HA!" and go back to reading. Each and every story in this anthology is worthy of a very loud and well placed, WTF? What's hilarious to me is that they are all fantastically written. It's as though the book makes fun of itself. The humor is so dry in places that there is nothing to do but just laugh. Your mind is working so hard to try to figure out how that moral, that little gem of information, links to the story that all you can do is laugh. It feels good my friends. It feels good. Were you ever curious how certain alien races chose their next leader? Why Bigfoot really exists (if he exists at all)? How about what would happen if you were the most unlucky person on Friday the 13th? If these questions have plagued your mind at all, you'll need to pick up Bears, Recycling and Confusing Time Paradoxes. I ask you, what could be better than random laughter? Yes my dear readers. That about sums it up. Greg X. Graves has compiled a set of short stories that is nothing less than confusing and brilliant, at the same time. Think of it as an utterly random, tongue in cheek, tribute to the fables of old. After all, each story does come complete with a moral! I admit that this isn't going to be for everyone (definitely not man suit wearing lizard people) and I'm okay with that. You have to have a certain kind of weird in your brain to appreciate this brilliance. Am I calling myself weird? Why yes I am. Thank goodness there are authors like Greg X. Graves out there who can cater to people like me.
  • Between on Feb. 20, 2012

    Oh what do I say about Between? Let's see. Hot Scottish guy named Aiden, who also happens to be the Grim Reaper. Check. Sweet, quirky and completely lovable protagonist. Check. Story that will have you devouring the pages and getting teary eyed. Triple check! There's everything to love about Between, and I only hope that my review does it even a minute amount of justice. I'll give it a shot! First off, the characters were by far my favorite part. Lindsey was, I think, the perfect protagonist for this story. She is tough, despite her emotional side, and full of snark and sweetness mixed together. I enjoyed her voice as the narrator, and it made this book a pleasure to read. Then, of course, there is hunky and lovely Aiden. A grim reaper of sorts, Aiden transports souls between limbo and heaven. Unfortunately for him, he's so adorable and sweet that Lindsey falls for him. The chemistry between these two crackles off the page. A little sweet, a whole lot of sexy, these two are hard not to fall in love with. My one gripe, and this is a minor one, is that Lindsey fell for Aiden so quickly! I ended up chalking it up to the fact that she was indeed dead. Perhaps it was her way of latching on to someone special, especially someone who would take such good care of her. Aiden definitely shows that he is worth falling in love with. From the way he treats her, to the way his inner thoughts are always of her, he's one amazing guy. I guess the rational part of me was slightly at war with the romantic side of me. After all, without romance what is there in the world? Story wise, Between is expertly crafted. Cyndi Tefft draws you in with Lindsey's likability and then keeps you there with the romance between her and her sizzling protector. Just when you think you understand exactly what is going on between these two, something happens and you'll be right back to devouring each page. Oh, and the ending, oh the ending. If you are a sap, like I am, I recommend you grab yourself some tissues and perhaps even some chocolate. This is a perfectly beautiful and cathartic read. Lindsey learns so much about herself, it makes you think about your life too. I'm not generally a romance gal. Give me fantasy, with wars and dragons, and we'll talk! However I have to admit that when Cyndi Tefft asked me to review Between what most drew me in was the idea of a grim reaper. I hadn't seen that done before, where could it lead? Add in the fact that he is a hot grim reaper, complete with Scottish accent, and you have me hooked. I cannot explain enough how much I adored this book! If there is more romance out there like this, please point me in that direction and don't come looking for me.
  • Between on Feb. 20, 2012

    Oh what do I say about Between? Let's see. Hot Scottish guy named Aiden, who also happens to be the Grim Reaper. Check. Sweet, quirky and completely lovable protagonist. Check. Story that will have you devouring the pages and getting teary eyed. Triple check! There's everything to love about Between, and I only hope that my review does it even a minute amount of justice. I'll give it a shot! First off, the characters were by far my favorite part. Lindsey was, I think, the perfect protagonist for this story. She is tough, despite her emotional side, and full of snark and sweetness mixed together. I enjoyed her voice as the narrator, and it made this book a pleasure to read. Then, of course, there is hunky and lovely Aiden. A grim reaper of sorts, Aiden transports souls between limbo and heaven. Unfortunately for him, he's so adorable and sweet that Lindsey falls for him. The chemistry between these two crackles off the page. A little sweet, a whole lot of sexy, these two are hard not to fall in love with. My one gripe, and this is a minor one, is that Lindsey fell for Aiden so quickly! I ended up chalking it up to the fact that she was indeed dead. Perhaps it was her way of latching on to someone special, especially someone who would take such good care of her. Aiden definitely shows that he is worth falling in love with. From the way he treats her, to the way his inner thoughts are always of her, he's one amazing guy. I guess the rational part of me was slightly at war with the romantic side of me. After all, without romance what is there in the world? Story wise, Between is expertly crafted. Cyndi Tefft draws you in with Lindsey's likability and then keeps you there with the romance between her and her sizzling protector. Just when you think you understand exactly what is going on between these two, something happens and you'll be right back to devouring each page. Oh, and the ending, oh the ending. If you are a sap, like I am, I recommend you grab yourself some tissues and perhaps even some chocolate. This is a perfectly beautiful and cathartic read. Lindsey learns so much about herself, it makes you think about your life too. I'm not generally a romance gal. Give me fantasy, with wars and dragons, and we'll talk! However I have to admit that when Cyndi Tefft asked me to review Between what most drew me in was the idea of a grim reaper. I hadn't seen that done before, where could it lead? Add in the fact that he is a hot grim reaper, complete with Scottish accent, and you have me hooked. I cannot explain enough how much I adored this book! If there is more romance out there like this, please point me in that direction and don't come looking for me.
  • Draykon on Feb. 20, 2012

    The deeper I dive into self-published Fantasy books, the more I find to love. Draykon is no exception to this! Charlotte E. English has successfully managed to mesh a sweeping fantasy world together with vibrant characters, and a very compelling mystery. As a reader I was treated to a story that immersed me so wholly, that I couldn't put it down! Once you're in, there is no coming back. Draykon tells the story of two very different characters, in alternating chapters. Overprotected by her parents for reasons unknown to the reader, Llandry feels trapped. I honestly didn't feel much for her. Her character was unsociable towards others most times, and I didn't get to know her as well as I would have liked. On the other side of the coin is Lady Evastany Glostrum, who is a strong willed and kindhearted woman. Despite her position as High Summoner, Eva is one of the most practical and down to earth characters you'll ever meet. I adored her. I'd have followed Eva happily for books and books of adventures. In fact I liked her so much, I feel the need to mention that I felt as though Llandry's chapters were somewhat unimportant to the overall story. Just my opinion I know, you be the judge. The reader follows these two women through the story, and it is so very easy to get lost in the huge and sweeping universe that English builds for her reader. Whole worlds exist inside the pages of this book. Realms of light, realms of dark, and those in between. Awe inspiring, and often terrifying, new beasts are presented for the reader's enjoyment. About half way through the story I felt so small inside of the world of Draykon that I almost wished I had a map. Okay, I did wish I had a map. Perhaps there will be one in the next book? This is high fantasy at it's finest. You aren't just getting a story here, but a whole new world along with it. The mystery aspect is also incorporated into the overall story amazingly well. As I was navigating the vibrant lands of Draykon, so too was I helping Llandry and Eva uncover the mystery of the "istore" gem. I'll admit that I was about two steps behind them the majority of the book. Although English allows the reader to come along on the journey, she doesn't make it easy to figure out where it is headed, and I loved that. Such a sense of adventure! The ending, well I wouldn't have been able to see that coming if I was clairvoyant. I'm still not a hundred percent sure how I feel about it, but that is a spoiler in the making so I'll stop there. Suffice it to say that I'm eager to get to the next in this series so I can uncover what happens next! I know this is a longer review so, if you are still with me, I applaud you! It's tough to sum up such a well-written story, with such vivid characters and worlds, in only a few short paragraphs. I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not Draykon is for you. I can tell you that it's a great place to get lost in! Happy travelling my friends.
  • Vampyre Kisses (book 1 in the Last Witch Series) on Feb. 20, 2012

    Although I haven't had a chance to review it yet, I just finished Elizabeth Kolodziej's first book Vampyre Kisses. I fell in love with the characters in that book, and I was looking forward to diving into this one! I know these reviews are a bit backwards, but I'll do my best to make sure that I explain a little bit about the overall story and what I liked. That way you won't feel lost, my lovely readers. Number one thing I love about this series in general is the copious amount of paranormal lore that is packed in. From vampires, to witches, to werewolves, there are more paranormal entities than it seems possible to fit into one story line. However Elizabeth does it seamlessly. Older vampire lore is mixed in with new and interesting abilities. What comes out of it is Werewolf Descent, a fabulously entertaining book that will keep you reading on. If I had to choose one thing that put this book at 4 stars rather than 5, since I did thoroughly enjoy the read, it would be the way the chapters are broken up. Each chapter is from a different character point of view, and there were times where I would be a bit confused as to who was speaking. Especially since Trent and Faith are so used to one another, so comfortable, that sometimes they say what the other is thinking. It was definitely an interesting way to tell the story, since it was from multiple eyes. However it was definitely a confusing read as well. The tie in of Greek Mythos made things interesting as well. I'm not entirely sure how much it spoke out in the overall story of Werewolf Descent specifically, but it was a nice undertone. The plot is fast moving, the characters are well written, and if you've read the first book you won't have a single problem picking up where you left off. I've heard people say that you can read this as a standalone. Personally I wouldn't recommend it. I started to read this first, but then quickly realized that I was missing a lot of rich back story. Spend the extra time and read both, you won't regret that you did. All these words basically equal out to one thing. This book was a great read. I'm a fan of vampires, a fan of werewolves and, thanks to Werewolf Descent, I think I've just added witches to my list as well. If you are a lover of paranormal fantasy, this is a series to look out for. I thank Elizabeth Kolodziej for allowing me the opportunity to review her books! I can't wait for the next in the series.