on Nov. 24, 2018 :
Absolutely loved this story, so many times I would just stop and wish that Shakaran existed so I could go there. The way the Shakarans just embraced how they felt and the Sarvians had to eventually accept it. I feel like I was born a Shakaran, I'm just on the wrong planet!
Great book, kept me gripped all the way through. If i had one minor point it would be that sometimes the conclusion of an issue (Tashana's demise/illness and solution) didn't give the storyline justice, I was expecting it to be something deeper, but loved the book. Thank you, it has been a mind saver over these past couple weeks 😊
(review of free book)
on March 2, 2018 :
This was an excellent novel. I could not put it down. The characters were excellent, the storyline was riveting, and the science was believable. The names were a mouthful, but by reading it as quickly as I did, I was able to memorize them. You will not be disappointed.
(review of free book)
on Feb. 5, 2018 :
Good read. Very much liked the sci-fi elements and the spiritual theme of the mother goddess. Liked the fact the story takes place in Federation [Star Trek] Universe (dilithium crystals, phasers etc). Minor problem I had was with all the names ending in "a" of the majority of characters, it was confusing even after reading more than half of the story. You had a lexicon at the end which I found ... at the end. But summing up, all in all in, I very much liked the book.
(review of free book)
on Nov. 22, 2015 :
At the end of summer, I got an e-mail from the author, Sophia DeLuna, requesting I read and review Hidden Secrets for her. I was delighted to. And I read it but it was just as the big move was happening in my life so I felt I hadn't given the story enough of my attention and wanted to be fair. I had read it on my Fire with the text-to-speech set on "Amy" the British English setting I love. It always sounds like Julie Andrews is reading to me. But I had it set on 2x which is a little too fast to catch some things. It's okay when you want to read a book quickly. But for this task I either needed to slow it up or read it with just my eyes. So I wrote back to Ms. DeLuna explaining all of this and told her I wanted to read it again to be fair to all of us. Not that I thought the story bad, I just wanted to immerse in it a little deeper.
I loved other books by Ms. DeLuna on Smashwords. They often have an LGBT (lesbian) central character or two but they are not erotica which is refreshing. This story is the same, it is a sci-fi/space adventure that happens to include women who love women. I love the sci-fi aspect because there aren't that many sci-fis with women main characters, much less, lesbians.
The characters are interesting and I liked them. I liked that she had pictures of the characters. That helped somewhat. Though I found that I forgot who was who after a while. I kept the captain in my head. But it seemed that the deeper part of the story didn't include her so much. What tragedies that do unfold are about other characters. I don't know how I would have fixed that. It wasn't bad. I had grown to like those people, too. It just felt like we could have gotten to know them better before it got bad.
What I found interesting was that Hidden Secrets contains elements of the sci-fi series I am still editing from my NaNoWriMos long ago. Spaceship crashes on a planet that has healing elements. I think the name, Haven (my sentient planet's name), was part of the name of the planet Sophia's characters were heading toward. So it was almost like reading about my own imaginary friends. ;-)
The style of writing was my biggest problem. It is a style I fight in my own writing. Passive voice. For all the flying and meeting aliens and learning about them all... I think it would be better to have a more active voice. Now can I explain how that works? Not so much. Here, let Grammar Girl explain it:
I will have to review all that as I get away from the writing of my NaNo to the editing.
But honestly, it was still a good story and I found that even with the long period of time between reads, I still remembered quite a bit about it. AND I felt that it may have a sequel in the wings. I would like that!
(reviewed 9 months after purchase)