Maria

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Maria

  • Guardian of Eden on May 21, 2011

    Guardian of Eden by Leslie Dubois is a gritty, raw tale of a young boy, Garrett Anthony, taking care of his baby half-sister while his mother leaves them for days at a time - doing anything he can to feed her. He doesn't want to go back to living in foster homes like before. Things improve, he even gets a scholarship to a prestigious private school where he meets his girlfriend, the daughter of a Senator. But then he finds out his twelve year old sister was raped and he knows who did it...what will he do? This was a gripping book, I connected quickly with Garrett and kept rooting for things to get better for him. Ms. Dubois did an excellent job creating the characters, they all had distinct personalities with good and bad qualities. The story flowed smoothly and I never got bored. If you have a really soft heart, this book isn't for you, or you'll be crying through it. There's a lot of drama and trying times, interspersed with just enough happiness to keep you hooked. I can't say I loved the ending, but give it a read and see for yourself. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review.
  • Rise of the Raven on May 30, 2011

    I love fantasies, but this one was kind of rough for me. This is a debut novel for the author, and I think he shows promise. The ideas in the book were good, yet I think not quite as fully realized as they could have been. First off, the book is 300 pages long and it was tedious reading for at least the first 100. I found myself confused as to who was evil, who was good, and I had trouble figuring out what was going on. The book would have been more enjoyable if the characters had been fleshed out more. I needed someone to root for and, though I knew who the good guys were supposed to be - the King and the Khand, I didn't feel anything for them. They seemed flat and one-dimensional. I thought I finally found someone in the young boy Khand, he seemed sweet and I wanted to care about him, but he wasn't taken far enough. Not even his romance with the princess helped, that didn't feel real either. Perhaps the best character development was for the Demon Gaerath. We saw his supreme ego at the beginning move to frustration while fighting for Evindale, to even fear as he took on the Khand. The author does have a talent for the battle scenes. He made it easy to visualize the castle walls being bombarded, the sagging stones that had been relentlessly battered. I loved the trick used to defend against the wall falling, but I won't tell so you'll be surprised, too. In total, this being a first novel, I thought the book was okay. I'm sure those who are into lots of battle scenes than I will enjoy it more than I did. I think the author is worth looking into and see where his talent leads him in subsequent novels. *Disclaimer: I received this book from the author to review for free. I was not required to write a positive review.
  • The Eyes that See - A Prelude to the Balancer Chronicles on June 22, 2011

    The Eyes That See is a prequel to Legacy - The Balancer Chronicles. It's a short story that introduces the readers to the idea of Balancers, nearly immortal beings who keep the balance between supernatural beings and humans in the world. It does a good job of explaining how the world works and introducing characters. There isn't really much action in the story, but it's helpful for reading before Legacy, which I will be reviewing next!
  • Legacy - Book One of the Balancer Chronicles on June 23, 2011

    After reading The Eyes That See, a prequel to this novel, I was expecting a great book. The ideas for this story are very unique and exciting. I was hoping for a lot of action where Balancers were running off to battle vampires and werewolves and new creatures. This story didn't quite fulfill my expectations. The story is told through Katrina reading a book written by her ancestor James. He tells her about the Balancers and what their place is in the world. Then he goes on to tell her about his life. Most of the stories were about him dealing with becoming a Balancer and then the few relationships he was able to have as a near-immortal. The action scenes that were in there were dulled for me in that they were being read through a book instead of actually happening. You always knew James would be okay because he had lived to write the book. The parts where the author (through James) wrote about how the earth, humans, balancers, and supernatural beings came into being were pretty dull for me and way too long. The explanations went on and on, then later in the book there would be more explanations of it. I think taking some of it out would have helped the book tremendously. I think the best character out of either of the books was Wolfgang. He was tough and strong on the outside, but showed softness inside. He was handsome and funny, a very magnetic character. If only there were more of him in this book - in person, not in the story by James. This story idea has a lot of potential. I'm hoping the author will bring it out more in the sequels. Maybe having Kat learning about being a Balancer and showing some real action. The book may be worth reading for the unique ideas in it.
  • Warriors of the Cross (Warrior, #1) on July 27, 2011

    Warriors of the Cross has a little something for everyone. There's romance, mystery, suspense, supernatural, and a bit of Christian theology thrown in for good measure. The story flows fairly smoothly, though there are areas where it seems to drag some; but not enough for me to want to stop reading. The characters were mostly written well. It was easy to see Allison mature as she went through all the strange incidents happening to her. I would have preferred Clark and Brody to be more well-rounded, I think maybe in trying to keep the mystery around them, they fell a little flat at times. However, I adored the sisters and wished they would have been around more! The suspense is kept drawn tight throughout the storyline, I had to keep reading because I needed to know where Allison got her gifts and how she was going to fight off the evil! Overall, I really enjoyed the book and will be looking forward to the next two books in the series. *Disclaimer: I received this book from the author through Goodreads. I was not required to write a positive review.
  • Heart of Glass on Sep. 23, 2011

    I don't read regular romance novels much anymore. Maybe I'm jaded, maybe I'm jealous of the happy endings. But the author, Christy Hayes contacted me and asked me to review Heart of Glass and she was so nice, I agreed. I'm glad I did. Yes, you could say this is a fairly typical romance story. There's a troubled past, they split, find each other again years later and each fight the same feelings. The difference with this story is in the writing. Christy Hayes writes beautifully, I could feel the salty beach air on my cheeks, my heart ached for Kat and Danny. Sometimes, I even wanted to smack them to get them to wake up and smell the love! If you're a romance reader, don't hesitate to grab this one and give it a read!