carole mckenzie

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Smashwords book reviews by carole mckenzie

  • Soul Quest on May 12, 2011

    Amy Jones' writing is addicting. From the very beginning I was drawn into this book and its complex story. The synopsis doesn't do the plot justice, it's a very in depth book with a lot of plot surprises. Liv's character was my favorite, and that's something this story is not lacking, good characters. Liv is a down to earth kind of girl, the girl in high school who was friends with everyone is how I'd describe her. But, all of them stand on their own. I love paranormal, fantasy, and romance books and it has that, but it is much more. These teens aren't normal and that makes it so much fun. What I Liked The original story, good versus evil, and all of the elements Amy Jones brings to the table. Liv The use of actual events in the fictional story The layout. Since it's a first person book with various narrators Amy helps the reader by changing narrators each chapter and heading each chapter with information that is useful.  What I Wasn't Crazy About There are some chapters that show the same occurrence from the various POVs. We learn the same things from the different characters, it got a little old, it could've been done better. Dialogue was stiff and awkward through a lot of the story, I don't know what it was about it but it didn't feel real.  I wanted it to be more. It began strong but in my opinion it didn't really hold up. It's definitely a starter novel and I think the rest of the series will build nicely on this introduction. I will definitely pick up the next book and continue the journey. There are so many fascinating parts of this book. I liked it and would recommend it to paranormal romance fans. Thank you to the author for the chance to read and review this fabulous story!
  • Raven's Kiss on May 19, 2011

    I really enjoyed this intense and fast paced read by Toni LoTempio. The main lesson I learned from this book is what we are all told, never judge a book by its cover! I never would have picked this book up on the shelf, but I would have missed out if I hadn't gotten a hold of it. It definitely borders the young adult/adult genre lines to me but with the rather heated (but few, really just 1) love scenes I would classify it as adult. Raven is an agent who is all business, works herself to death and is forced to take a break, but trouble just has a way of finding her. She ends up involved in a case that affects her personally and feels she has to close it now. LoTempio uses parallel universes, which reminded me of the TV show Fringe (loved that!), something new for me in a book. We all know I love strong female leads, and Raven is not lacking. She is a powerful shapeshifter who can take the form of any animal. Finn, our hot bod of a man with a scottish accent has drool worthy written all over him. The story moves so fast, there is never a dull moment. I loved the suspense throughout and the detective work involved in reading it. I tried to be one step ahead of the characters and figure out what was going on, but LoTempio continued to amaze. Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read and review!
  • The Protectors: Book 1 in the Protectors Saga on Dec. 11, 2011

    The Protectors is a fantasy story unlike those I have read before, it is very original and thorough. The story begins on a foreign plane, a planet called Orcatia. Immediately Paige Dooling jumps into action within the first page. The battle scenes present in the story are very well written and fast paced. When tragedy strikes the protector, their trainer and mentor (a gnome names Gumptin) chooses to send their spirits to Earth to be reborn. On Earth, the 5 girls lead normal high school lives until the day their past catches up to them. At 16, the protectors have no memories of the warriors they used to be. They are human and leading human lives on Earth, but soon that changes and they must return to who they were born to be. All of the girls react exactly as expected when told about their destinies as protectors, they don't believe it. After some convincing they return to their true home and begin training as the protectors that the world needs. The author does a great job giving every character in the book his or her own voice. It's like all of them had different writers, they're diverse and very relatable (which we all know is important). Jade, one of the protectors, was all tough words and bad attitude. I loved her. She brought spark to the story. Avery, while a natural born leader, is no longer the cruel girl she used to be. She is a caring and thoughtful leader who will surely do great things. One thing I couldn't get past was the name Bunny for another one of the protectors. These girls are supposed to be warriors, the name just didn't feel to fit with the overall feel of the book. Bunny was also a character I felt lacked depth. The author hints at trouble with her, then makes nothing of it, at least not in this book (hopefully there will be elaboration in the books to come). Another character introduced in the story was the lonely king of Nightfell not much older than the girls. There's something between him and Avery, secrets and more, that aren't completely explained in book 1, but I'm sure they'll be more of him in the following editions, which is exciting because he seems like a very intense personality, not to mention handsome. Once the story gets started, gets moving, and becomes intriguing, it's over. It's book 1 in the series and if you plan on reading it I would go ahead and get book 2 and 3 as well so that you don't have to suffer from withdraw from the story ;) It is a cliffhanger, the reader is left wondering what will happen next. Paige does an awesome job at pulling the reader in and trapping us in the world the protectors inhabit. It's a good beginning book, to an interesting series that is sure to be full of action, adventure, love, and friendship. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but I will say that if you enjoy fantasy novels about strong female characters, check this one out! Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read and review this book!
  • ALL'S FAIR IN VANITY'S WAR, Urban Fantasy (Book I The Seer's Seven Deadly Fairy Tales) on Feb. 03, 2012

    New. Favorite. Series. I need the next book, now! All's Fair in Vanities War is a magical story about all things ExtraOrdinary. It's a story about love and hate, and being what others need you to be even when it's hard. I felt a strong theme is the book is expectations, living up to them and tearing them down. Accompanied with great pacing, a writer who is well versed on the genre and characters who are incredibly real this book is destined for greatness. And I haven't even mentioned the magnificent cover! All's Fair has a unique plot and some amazing characters. The Seer is our guide and narrator, and her story is one of heartbreak. It's a story that requires your full attention. The reader sees everything unfold through the Seers eyes and sometimes that can be confusing, but if you follow closely it's really well written and thought out. It's not the kind of book you can read quickly or skip around in, it requires thought and has many small details that are easily missed. Locke is a disgruntled beast, he's scarred and feels undeserving of the role he should be playing in the story, but he still manages to be cocky and arrogant. Totally hot, right? I mean who doesn't love The Beast from Beauty and the Beast? To complete our cast we have Keleigh she is our light in this journey and her story is one of hope, call her Belle if you need. A lot of the future is depending on her acceptance of this crazy OtherWorldly craft, which she has had no part of before coming into Locke's life. But, he's handsome when you put aside his attitude and the mystery surrounding him draws her near. Along with the wonderful prose and an onslaught of mystical and witty characters there is an ever revolving plot that is intriguing and captivating. Battle scenes, witchcraft, healing, a murder mystery, secrets and lies, and so so so much more that I won't mention in fear of ruining something. I loved this world that Miss Elizabeth Marx has created and managed to get myself completely lost in the power that emanates from her words. It's an amazing journey, nothing like I expected and completely full of surprises. Like I said, New Favorite Series, check it out!