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Smashwords book reviews by CynDaVaz

  • Shelter (Blood Haze: Book One) on Aug. 08, 2011

    Much like how I feel about the Twilight series, there was simply far too much teen angst and silliness for me to enjoy this at all, unfortunately. There's wasn't any depth to the characters or the plot. About 95% of the book was taken up with the characters' romantic interests with each other, the overplaying of emotions (screaming, yelling, shrieking, hissing, snarling, and other bodily reactions that were far too dramatic), and the contrived conflicts involving the silly little love triangle. If you pick up this book, be warned that's primarily what you'll encounter. I don't know if the second book is any deeper, but if you think there's going to be a good dose of vampires and action in the first story, you'll be sorely disappointed.
  • Naming The Moon on Nov. 10, 2011

    I liked this short story/novella a lot, but there were a few issues. One, the flow of the writing and the editing mistakes made it a bit difficult to know who was talking or thinking ... lack of quotes, no breaks where there should have been, etc. Another problem was the abruptness of the ending - as well as not knowing whatever happened to one of the characters. However, these issues weren't enough to make me knock a whole star off, and the writing style was unique and quirky enough to bring life to the characters.
  • Tyler Palewhite:Soft-Boiled Detective on Dec. 03, 2011

    3.5 STARS - I won this book on Library Thing, along with the author's other short (short) story, Naming the Moon. This story was a big improvement over Naming the Moon in terms of style and substance. I took a half star off because I think the characters could have been developed so much more, the story fleshed out a little better, and also because the e-book formatting was a little off-kilter sometimes (no breaks in the writing for scene changes can be a bit disorienting when you're in the flow of reading and there's an abrupt shift). But this was still a good read - the author has talent that I expect he will be able to develop more fully in the years to come.
  • The Bones of St. Isis on Dec. 09, 2011

    Won this book on Library Thing; it's a short story, and that's not the type I usually read but it looked interesting. In truth, the author's writing style is quite good, but I felt that the characters needed more depth written into them; that the story should have been a bit longer so that the reader could feel more connected to the events. At any rate, I always enjoy discovering 'new' talent in the world of books, and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to read this book.
  • Dark Before Dawn on Dec. 24, 2011

    This is a book geared towards the YA audience, but I found it enjoyable nonetheless. It's well-written, with a decent plot and good character development. Recommended for those who enjoy paranormal novels.
  • Fresh Flesh on Dec. 26, 2011

    I won this book on Library Thing and enjoyed it a lot. It's so much fun to discover 'new' talent. The writing was good, the characters interesting. There was one character in particular that I felt probably didn't really need to be there, unless he could have been given some more attention. I'm not sure if there was supposed to be a supernatural element going on as well, as that part wasn't completely 'fleshed' out (no pun intended). Perhaps it will be explored in the follow-up book. Recommended.
  • Finding Fiona on Feb. 24, 2012

    I think I've been a little spoiled by some YA books; I expect them all to be equally well-developed and engaging (Harry Potter, Sorcerer's Apprentice, etc.). Of course, this is an unrealistic expectation, but it's still disappointing to encounter any novel that just didn't live up to its potential. I won this book on Library Thing, and it's not *horrible*, but it's not all that great either. The plot is too basic, and all the characters were bland. The premise of the story was good, but it could have been executed better than it was.