April Dawn


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Smashwords book reviews by April Dawn

  • Crucible of Dust (The Clockwork Ascendancy - A Steampunk Saga) on May 28, 2012

    This is different from my usual books, but I always enjoy reading different types of stories and discovering new authors. And that is what I felt like I did here…”discovered” a new author. The plot itself was just a bit “so-so” for me…felt like a lot of information packed into a short period of time and I wish I could have seen more of the characters in action. I wish there was more (…MUCH more) of Ana, and I wish we knew more of her story. I never was clear on if Cristof really was bad, when Ana seemed to indicate his reasons for sending Flynn back to break into the lab. And what was found in the notebook? I guess I just wish I had more answers to what happened with everything. It was good, just not enough information for me.
  • A Luminous Future on June 12, 2012

    What an amazing story! I still have goosebumps on my arm even after I’m done reading! Sad, yet heart-warming at the same time. The story goes much deeper than any stuffy old history or text book ever could. It really shows you what life was like for a boy/young man (Teodor Flonta) living in uncertain times in a pivotal point in history. One thing that really struck me was the frequent mention of the phrase “a luminous future” throughout the book. It is used almost ironically to push the regimes agenda on its people and force them to be its slaves while basically telling them it’s all for the promise of a luminous future…which of course it is not. But the magic of this story is that our main character manages, despite all odds, to really HAVE a luminous future…and live a life anyone should be proud of. I really loved this novel and think it deserves the highest of praise. Make sure you keep clicking all the way to the end or you will miss out on the beautiful pictures of some of the people in the book!!
  • Margaret of the North on Aug. 20, 2012

    As I was reading “Margaret of the North”, I found myself feeling torn more than anything. On one hand I thought the writing to be lovely…E. Journey is skilled at weaving engaging prose. But on the other hand I kept feeling like I was always waiting for something to actually happen. I guess for me, there weren’t enough high stakes to provide the story with the tension that its predecessor had. While it’s nice to see Margaret rich and happy and in love, there are no imminent threats, no real dangers, no real conflicts that are seemingly impossible to overcome, yet they manage to do so. It just felt too safe. However, there were some riveting interpersonal dynamics that helped to fuel the story forward, but I felt for a novel of this size there should have been much more on an emotional impact that I can’t say I really felt. Still a wonderful book that I think the fans of North and South will enjoy.
  • Quest for a Dream on Sep. 20, 2012

    I devoured this wonderful book in one night. It was so strange and intense and different from anything I’ve read lately, it was impossible to put down. I absolutely loved Dani’s “voice” and her wry sense of humor. Even when things were getting really twisted she still had a lovable spunk about her. And the writing was simply fantastic. It all flowed so smoothly, like a good friend was talking to me. I liked the short chapters as it made the pace seem even that much quicker. All in all a highly enjoyable read that I would definitely recommend to others, but especially fans of women’s fiction.
  • Return of the Crown on Jan. 17, 2013

    Return of the Crown by Mille Burns is a traditional fantasy about a young girl who wishes to save her parents and her kingdom. It is a typical quest-novel, and the lines between good and bad are very obvious with little subtlety. There are no shades of grey in this black-or-white world, and for me that takes the realism down a notch, even if it is a fantasy. I would have liked to see the characters be a bit more fleshed out and even humanized some, as sometimes the descriptions were a bit over the top with describing just how “bad” something was, or how “good”. Just a personal preference. However, for younger readers this lack of nuance may be a benefit, and it does simplify what otherwise could be complex plot points. But all in all this is a safe and satisfying read – I mean safe as in I’d rate it PG, no real sex, language (the occasional mild one here and there) or gratuitous violence. It doesn’t feel particularly original in theme or premise, but there is a certain sense of comfort in that as well.
  • The Hunt for Elsewhere on April 14, 2013

    Beatrice Vine’s “The Hunt for Elsewhere” is rich with evocative and atmospheric writing. Great amount of descriptions and details to really make the reader feel they are there as the story unfolds. The main characters are anthropomorphized animals, which will greatly appeal to younger readers. But they have experiences and adventures that will appeal to the older folk as well. There are a few parts that are a bit “circle of life”, but if the child can handle “Old Yeller” or “Where the Red Fern Grows” he or she can handle this. One thing I particularly liked was the way that the crow (Quill) would impart words of wisdom to Saxton that would be educational to the young readers, but without feeling “teachy”. Little things like directions, weather, position of states, even proper English. Highly recommended to those who enjoy a different take on a coming of age adventure story.
  • Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism on Nov. 25, 2013

    I have slightly mixed feelings on this book. On one hand, I was so pleasantly amazed at how good it was! It gave such a neat, almost step-by-step description of not only Hinduism, but about the history of India, its cultures and people, the traditions, the rituals and why they happened, and some fascinating backstory I’d never heard of before. The writing was solid and the information impressive. However, I found myself taken aback at the tone the book seems to take toward the end…to me it felt unnecessarily hostile, almost personal when criticizing certain people and events. I’d much preferred this information be delivered in a far less biased manner and let the reader decide for him/herself what they think. It left a bad taste in my mouth and soured what was otherwise a phenomenal read.
  • The Sense of Touch on Sep. 02, 2014

    4.5 stars.. Having no idea what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised by this author and the stories he wrote. Ron Parsons will be one for me to add to my list of authors I’ll read whenever they publish something. He has such a wonderful way with words, and I was intrigued by the stories he wrote… and not even so much by the actual ‘plot’ (which were perhaps a bit over simplistic at times), but how he wrote them. He could make the most ordinary scene or action or character come to life in such a unique way, everything becomes anything *but* ordinary. There are a rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts that fly through you while reading, and I liked how more than once there were twists I did not see coming.
  • Remembrance Part One: A Time For War on Feb. 21, 2015

    4.5 stars First off, this was one of the more ‘beautifully’ written novels I’ve read in a while, and I couldn’t help but notice how that played off against the subject matter. Minor proofing/formatting glitches aside, overall the narrative, prose, and dialogue of the characters is some of the best I’ve read in a long while. And the story arc… You just absolutely cannot stop reading after the prologue, and the shocking events and continual building of tension and high stakes makes it almost impossible to put down at times. I noted at the end the author explains her passion and her goals in writing this book. Well, I’d say she nailed the human experience… it felt as close as if being there! I hope this story continues… I want to see where it goes.
  • Prisoner Prodigal Pawn on April 04, 2015

    4.5 stars this was the first book I’ve read by this author Robert Sparkman, but I certainly hope it’s not the last. He has a gift for writing descriptive and life-like scenes that make us feel like we are really there inside the story, as opposed to it all just being “told” to us, as so many rookie authors make the mistake of doing. I like that this book didn’t feel stale or derivative, but instead like a new niche of suspense that serves well to help diversify a somewhat cookie-cutter genre (in my opinion). I did notice some editing mistakes that could be handled with a good proofreader, but overall the entire novel was one that I thought was well-crafted and delivered an emotional win.